WATCH LIVE: Medal favorites China, Japan, United States begin men’s gymnastics

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The men’s gymnastics competition begins Saturday, with there being three subdivisions competing throughout the day. The United States, which is looking to medal in the team all-around after failing to do so in London four years ago, will be part of subdivision 2 which begins its qualification at approximately 1:30 p.m. Eastern on NBCOlympics.com and on the NBC Sports app. In addition to the qualifications for the team all-around final gymnasts will compete for places in the individual events, including the individual all-around competition.

WATCH: Men’s Gymnastics Subdivision 2 on NBCOlympics.com

Danell Leyva, who won the bronze medal in the all-around competition four years ago, will not be one of the United States’ two gymnasts who will look to qualify for the all-around final. Sam Mikulak and Chris Brooks, who posted the top two scores in the all-around at the U.S. Olympic Trials last months, were the two choices to compete in all six events for the United States. Leyva, who replaced the injured John Orozco on the team, will participate in three disciplines, the pommel horse, horizontal bar and parallel bars. Joining those three for the United States are Alex Naddour and Jake Dalton.

Leading the way in the first subdivision is Japan, which features the man many hail as the greatest gymnast of all time in Kohei Uchimura. Uchimura has won the last six world championships in the individual all-around, and in addition to earning Olympic gold he aims to help Japan win gold in the team all-around. Japan fell just short of that goal in London, winning the silver medal. The first subdivision begins competition at 9:30 a.m. on NBCOlympics.com and on the NBC Sports app.

Reigning gold medalists China anchor the third and final subdivision, which begins at 5:30 p.m. on NBCOlympics.com and on the NBC Sports app. Deng Shudi, who finished third at the world championships last year, made the cut for China but 2008 high bar gold medalist Zou Kai did not. The men’s team all-around final is scheduled for Monday, August 8, with the individual all-around final scheduled for Wednesday, August 10 and the individual apparatus finals scheduled to take place from April 14-16.

9:30 a.m. Subdivision 1WATCH LIVE
Subdivision 1 Floor Exercise – WATCH LIVE
Subdivision 1 Pommel Horse – WATCH LIVE
Subdivision 1 Vault – WATCH LIVE
Subdivision 1 Still Rings – WATCH LIVE
Subdivision 1 Horizontal Bar – WATCH LIVE
Subdivision 1 Parallel Bars – WATCH LIVE

1:30 p.m. Subdivision 2WATCH LIVE
Subdivision 2 Floor Exercise – WATCH LIVE
Subdivision 2 Pommel Horse – WATCH LIVE
Subdivision 2 Vault – WATCH LIVE
Subdivision 2 Still Rings – WATCH LIVE
Subdivision 2 Horizontal Bar – WATCH LIVE
Subdivision 2 Parallel Bars – WATCH LIVE

5:30 p.m. Subdivision 3WATCH LIVE
Subdivision 3 Floor Exercise – WATCH LIVE
Subdivision 3 Pommel Horse – WATCH LIVE
Subdivision 3 Vault – WATCH LIVE
Subdivision 3 Still Rings – WATCH LIVE
Subdivision 3 Horizontal Bar – WATCH LIVE
Subdivision 3 Parallel Bars – WATCH LIVE

Mikaela Shiffrin heads to world championships with medal records in sight

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Before Mikaela Shiffrin can hold the World Cup wins record, she can become the most decorated Alpine skier in modern world championships history.

Shiffrin takes a respite from World Cup pursuits for the biennial world championships in France. She is expected to race at least four times, beginning with Monday’s combined.

Shiffrin has a tour-leading 11 World Cup victories in 23 starts this season, her best since her record 17-win 2018-19 campaign, but world championships do not count toward the World Cup.

Shiffrin remains one career victory behind Swede Ingemar Stenmark‘s record 86 World Cup wins until at least her next World Cup start in March.

Shiffrin has been more successful at worlds than at the Olympics and even on the World Cup. She has 11 medals in 13 world championships races dating to her 2013 debut, including making the podium in each of her last 10 events.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

She enters worlds one shy of the modern, post-World War II individual records for total medals (Norway’s Kjetil Andre Aamodt won 12) and gold medals (Austrian Toni Sailer, Frenchwoman Marielle Goitschel and Swede Anja Pärson won seven).

Worlds take place exactly one year after Shiffrin missed the medals in all of her Olympic races, but that’s not motivating her.

“If I learned anything last year, it’s that these big events, they can go amazing, and they can go terrible, and you’re going to survive no matter what,” she said after her most recent World Cup last Sunday. “So I kind of don’t care.”

Shiffrin ranks No. 1 in the world this season in the giant slalom (Feb. 16 at worlds) and slalom (Feb. 18).

This year’s combined is one run of super-G coupled with one run of slalom (rather than one downhill and one slalom), which also plays to her strengths. She won that event, with that format, at the last worlds in 2021. The combined isn’t contested on the World Cup, so it’s harder to project favorites.

Shiffrin is also a medal contender in the super-G (Feb. 8), despite starting just two of five World Cup super-Gs this season (winning one of them).

She is not planning to race the downhill (Feb. 11), which she often skips on the World Cup and has never contested at a worlds. Nor is she expected for the individual parallel (Feb. 15), a discipline she hasn’t raced in three years in part due to the strain it puts on her back with the format being several runs for the medalists.

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Lucas Braathen, world’s top male slalom skier, in doubt for world championships

Lucas Braathen
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Norway’s Lucas Braathen, the world’s top male slalom skier this season, is doubtful to compete in the world championships slalom on Feb. 19 after appendix surgery on Tuesday.

“It’s been a tough couple of days fighting after surprisingly finding out about quite an intense infection on my appendix,” Braathen, a 22-year-old soccer convert with a Brazilian mom, posted on social media. “I’ve been through surgery and I’m blessed that it went successfully.”

The Norway Alpine skiing team doctor said Braathen’s recovery will take a few weeks, but there is a small possibility he can make it back for the world championships slalom, which is on the final day of the two-week competition.

Braathen has two slalom wins and one giant slalom win this World Cup season. He will miss Saturday’s slalom in Chamonix, France, the last race before worlds. Countryman Henrik Kristoffersen and Swiss Daniel Yule can overtake him atop the World Cup slalom standings in Chamonix.

Braathen entered last year’s Olympics as the World Cup slalom leader and skied out in the first run at the Games.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

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