U.S. couples trail after World Championships short dance

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Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France lead two U.S. couples after the World Figure Skating Championships short dance in Boston on Wednesday, seeking to become the first repeat ice dance gold medalists since 2007.

Papadakis, still dealing with residual effects from an August concussion, and Cizeron scored a personal-best 76.29 points and take a lead of 1.59 into the free dance Thursday (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, NBC Sports Live Extra).

It’s the highest short dance score since Meryl Davis and Charlie White‘s world record 78.89 at the Sochi Olympics.

U.S. Olympians Maia and Alex Shibutani and Madison Chock and Evan Bates are in second and third, respectively. The third U.S. couple, Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, is seventh, putting the U.S. in position for three couples in the top seven overall for the first time since 1965.

The Shibutanis, who also tallied a personal best Wednesday, are trying to become the first siblings to win a World title in 25 years.

“It was the strongest performance of the season,” Maia said in a press conference. “We truly loved our short dance this season, so to end it like that in front of the audience today was pretty special.”

The last Americans to win a World title were Davis and White, who prevailed in 2013 and then became the first U.S. Olympic ice dance champs in 2014. They haven’t competed since but haven’t retired, either.

The Shibutanis have been on the upswing this year, winning their first U.S. title in January and their first Four Continents Championship in February, beating Chock and Bates in both competitions.

The Shibutanis earned World bronze in their first year as seniors in 2011 but haven’t been on the podium at the Olympics or Worlds since, with a best of fifth at the 2015 Worlds.

Chock and Bates led after the 2015 Worlds short dance but were passed by Papadakis and Cizeron in the free skate as the French became the youngest couple to win a World title in 40 years.

This season, the French returned from Papadakis’ concussion in an August practice fall to win their Nationals in December and the European Championships in January. She dealt with headaches and trouble focusing for months.

“I still have some headaches sometimes,” Papadakis said Wednesday, “but nothing really bothering me training.”

This year, Chock and Bates hope to play the comeback role.

“A silly mistake on my second twizzle that cost us,” Bates told media in Boston. “At this event, with this many good teams, you just can’t afford that. So, a little bit disappointed in myself.”

Later Wednesday, IceNetwork.com will provide live coverage of the men’s short program for subscribers beginning at 6:15 p.m. ET.

NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra coverage of the men’s short program will air at midnight ET.

WORLDS PREVIEWS: Men | WomenPairsIce Dance | Broadcast Schedule

World Championships Short Dance
1. Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron (FRA) — 76.29
2. Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani (USA) — 74.70
3. Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA) — 72.46
7. Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA) — 68.44

Mikaela Shiffrin ties world Alpine skiing championships medals record

Mikaela Shiffrin
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Mikaela Shiffrin took silver behind Italian Marta Bassino in the super-G for her 12th world Alpine skiing championships medal, tying the modern individual record.

Bassino edged Shiffrin by 11 hundredths of a second in Meribel, France, for her second world title after taking the parallel in 2021.

“That was the best run I can do on this track,” Shiffrin told Austrian broadcaster ORF. “I had one turn … coming off the [final] pitch where I almost lost it all.

“I’m so happy with my run.”

Austrian Cornelia Huetter and Norwegian Kajsa Vickhoff Lie tied for bronze, 33 hundredths back in a discipline where five different women won this season’s five World Cup races.

Swiss Lara Gut-Behrami, the reigning Olympic and world champ, led at the last intermediate split but lost 44 hundredths to Bassino in the final 18 seconds of the course and ended up sixth.

ALPINE WORLDS: Results | Broadcast Schedule

With her 12th world medal, the 27-year-old Shiffrin tied Kjetil Andre Aamodt, a Norwegian star of the 1990s and 2000s, for the most in individual events since World War II. Aamodt earned his 12th and final medal in his 27th world championships race. Shiffrin matched him in her 15th worlds start.

Swede Anja Pärson holds the overall record of 13 modern medals. She won two in the team event.

Shiffrin has six gold medals, one shy of that modern record.

Shiffrin, the greatest slalom skier in history, is selective when it comes to the speed events of downhill and super-G. She has never raced the downhill at worlds and will not enter Saturday’s race.

In the super-G, she now has a world championships medal of every color and is one of two skiers in history to make the super-G podium at three consecutive worlds. The other is Austrian legend Hermann Maier.

“I’m emotional because I don’t really feel like I should be winning a medal in super-G right now,” said Shiffrin, who had a win and a seventh place in two World Cup super-G starts this season and was sixth in the super-G run of Monday’s combined. “There are so many women who are strong and fast.”

Shiffrin rebounded from Monday’s first race of worlds, where she was in line for combined gold before losing her balance with five gates left and straddling the third-to-last gate in her slalom run. That snapped her streak of a medal in 10 consecutive world championships races dating to 2015.

Worlds continue with the men’s super-G on Thursday. Shiffrin’s next race is expected to be the giant slalom on Feb. 16.

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2023 World Alpine Skiing Championships results

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Top 10 and notable results from the 2023 World Alpine Skiing Championships in Meribel and Courchevel, France …

Women’s Combined
Gold: Federica Brignone (ITA) — 1:57.47
Silver: Wendy Holdener (SUI) — +1.62
Bronze: Ricarda Haaser (AUT) — +2.26
4. Ramona Siebenhofer (AUT) — +2.48
5. Franziska Gritsch (AUT) — +2.71
6. Michelle Gisin (SUI) — +3.43
7. Laura Gauche (FRA) — +3.71
8. Emma Aicher (GER) — +3.78
9. Elena Curtoni (ITA) — +4.05
10. Marie-Michele Gagnon (CAN) — +4.91
13. Bella Wright (USA) — +6.21
DSQ (slalom). Mikaela Shiffrin (USA)
DNS (slalom). Lara Gut-Behrami (SUI)
DNS (slalom). Ragnhild Mowinckel (NOR)
DNS (slalom). Sofia Goggia (ITA)
DNF (super-G). Marta Bassino (ITA)
DNF (super-G). Breezy Johnson (USA)
DNF (super-G). Tricia Mangan (USA)

ALPINE WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

Men’s Combined
Gold: Alexis Pinturault (FRA) — 1:53.31
Silver: Marco Schwarz (AUT) — +.10
Bronze: Raphael Haaser (AUT) — +.44
4. River Radamus (USA) — +.69
5. Atle Lie McGrath (NOR) — +.72
6. Loic Meillard (SUI) — +1.20
7. Tobias Kastlunger (ITA) — +2.99
8. Albert Ortega (ESP) — +3.50
9. Erik Arvidsson (USA) — +4.43
10. Ryan Cochran-Siegle (USA) — +5.25
DNF (slalom). Johannes Strolz (AUT)
DNF (slalom). Luke Winters (USA)
DNS (slalom). Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR)
DNS (slalom). James Crawford (CAN)
DSQ (super-G). Marco Odermatt (SUI)

Women’s Super-G
Gold: Marta Bassino (ITA) — 1:28.06
Silver: Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) — +.11
Bronze: Cornelia Huetter (AUT) — +.33
Bronze: Kajsa Vickhoff Lie (NOR) — +.33
5. Ragnhild Mowinckel (NOR) — +.36
6. Lara Gut-Behrami (SUI) — +.37
7. Alice Robinson (NZL) — +.54
8. Federica Brignone (ITA) — +.55
9. Tessa Worley (FRA) — +.58
10. Michelle Gisin (SUI) — +.69
11. Sofia Goggia (ITA) — +.76
24. Breezy Johnson (USA) — +2.09
DNF. Tricia Mangan (USA)
DNF. Bella Wright (USA)

Men’s Super-G (Feb. 9)
Women’s Downhill (Feb. 11)
Men’s Downhill (Feb. 12)
Team Parallel (Feb. 14)
Men’s Parallel (Feb. 15)
Women’s Parallel (Feb. 15)
Women’s Giant Slalom (Feb. 16)
Men’s Giant Slalom (Feb. 17)
Women’s Slalom (Feb. 18)
Men’s Slalom (Feb. 19)

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