Mao Asada plans to compete through 2018 Olympics

Mao Asada
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BOSTON — Three-time World figure skating champion Mao Asada said Monday that she plans to compete through the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics.

“If I make the Olympic team,” Asada added with a laugh, through a translator.

The 2010 Olympic silver medalist took the 2014-15 season off from competition and announced her return in May, when she reportedly said it was “much too early to think about the [2018] Olympics.”

Asada, 25, opened her season in earnest by winning the Cup of China in November over a field that included Russian Yelena Radionova, arguably the silver-medal favorite at the World Championships at TD Garden this week.

“My feelings are much more geared toward the next event, but the Olympics are at the back of my mind,” Asada said after the Cup of China, according to Kyodo News.

Asada has not won in three top-level events since, taking third at NHK Trophy and sixth (last place) at the Grand Prix Final in the fall. Then she finished third at the Japanese Championships on Christmas weekend, matching her worst result at Nationals since 2003.

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Asada, the only woman in this week’s field with a World title or an individual Olympic medal to her name, did not perform her trademark triple Axel in practice Monday morning but still plans it in both her short program and free skate this week (full Worlds schedule here).

She said she feels better now that at any point this season.

She’ll very likely need to be in top form to earn a place on the podium. The medal favorites — Russians Yevgenia Medvedeva and Radionova and countrywoman Satoko Miyahara — are all at least seven years younger than Asada but also proven major-competition medalists.

If Asada makes it to Pyeongchang 2018, she’ll be chasing the only hole on her résumé.

She won the December 2005 Grand Prix Final at age 15 but was too young for the Torino 2006 Olympics.

She took silver at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics behind Yuna Kim and then lost any shot of a medal in Sochi with a 16th-place showing in the short program. She rebounded to finish sixth at her second Olympics.

MORE: Ashley Wagner, Gracie Gold weigh in on U.S. medal drought

Aksel Lund Svindal, Olympic Alpine champ, has testicular cancer, ‘prognosis good’

Aksel Lund Svindal
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Aksel Lund Svindal, a retired Olympic Alpine skiing champion from Norway, said he underwent surgery for testicular cancer and the prognosis “looked very good.”

“Tests, scans and surgery all happened very quickly,” Svindal, 39, wrote on social media. “And already after the first week I knew the prognoses looked very good. All thanks to that first decision to go see a doctor as soon as I suspected something was off.”

Svindal retired in 2019 after winning the Olympic super-G in 2010 and downhill in 2018. He also won five world titles among the downhill, combined and giant slalom and two World Cup overall titles.

Svindal said he felt a change in his body that prompted him to see a doctor.

“The last few weeks have been different,” he wrote. “But I’m able to say weeks and not months because of great medical help, a little luck and a good decision.

“I wasn’t sure what it was, or if it was anything at all. … [I] was quickly transferred to the hospital where they confirmed what the doctor suspected. Testicle cancer.”

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup schedule, results

FIBA Women's World Cup
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The U.S. goes for its fourth consecutive title at the FIBA World Cup in Sydney — and eighth global gold in a row overall when including the Olympics.

A’ja Wilson, a two-time WNBA MVP, and Breanna Stewart, the Tokyo Olympic MVP, headline a U.S. roster that, for the first time since 2000, includes neither Sue Bird (retired) nor Diana Taurasi (injured).

The new-look team includes nobody over the age of 30 for the first time since 1994, before the U.S. began its dynasty at the 1996 Atlanta Games. The Americans have won 52 consecutive games between worlds and the Olympics dating to the 2006 Worlds bronze-medal game.

The field also includes host Australia, the U.S.’ former primary rival, and Olympic silver medalist Japan.

Nigeria, which played the U.S. the closest of any foe in Tokyo (losing by nine points), isn’t present after its federation withdrew the team over governance issues. Spain, ranked second in the world, failed to qualify.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Round
Wed., Sept. 21 8:30 p.m. Puerto Rico 82, Bosnia and Herzegovina 58 Group A
9:30 p.m. USA 87, Belgium 72 Group A
11 p.m. Canada 67, Serbia 60 Group B
Thurs., Sept. 22 12 a.m. Japan 89, Mali 56 Group B
3:30 a.m. China 107, South Korea 44 Group A
6:30 a.m. France 70, Australia 57 Group B
8:30 p.m. USA 106, Puerto Rico 42 Group A
10 p.m. Serbia 69, Japan 64 Group B
11 p.m. Belgium 84, South Korea 61 Group A
Fri., Sept. 23 12:30 a.m. China 98, Bosnia and Herzegovina 51 Group A
4 a.m. Canada 59, France 45 Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia 118, Mali 58 Group B
Sat., Sept. 24 12:30 a.m. USA 77, China 63 Group A
4 a.m. South Korea 99, Bosnia and Herzegovina 66 Group A
6:30 a.m. Belgium 68, Puerto Rico 65 Group A
Sun., Sept. 25 12:30 a.m. France vs. Mali Group B
4 a.m. Australia vs. Serbia Group B
6:30 a.m. Canada vs. Japan Group B
9:30 p.m. Belgium vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
11:30 p.m. Mali vs. Serbia Group B
Mon., Sept. 26 12 a.m. USA vs. South Korea Group A
2 a.m. France vs. Japan Group B
3:30 a.m. China vs. Puerto Rico Group A
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Canada Group B
9:30 p.m. Puerto Rico vs. South Korea Group A
11:30 p.m. Belgium vs. China Group A
Tues., Sept. 27 12 a.m. USA vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
2 a.m. Canada vs. Mali Group B
3:30 a.m. France vs. Serbia Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Japan Group B
Wed., Sept. 28 10 p.m. Quarterfinal
Thurs., Sept. 29 12:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
4 a.m. Quarterfinal
6:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
Fri., Sept. 30 3 .m. Semifinal
5:30 a.m. Semifinal
11 p.m. Third-Place Game
Sat., Oct. 1 2 a.m. Final