Mikaela Shiffrin improves in her second World Cup downhill

AP
0 Comments

In her first two career World Cup downhills, Mikaela Shiffrin improved five spots from Friday to Saturday in Lake Louise, Alberta.

Shiffrin, the youngest Olympic slalom champion, finished 13th in Saturday’s race, 1.46 seconds behind Slovenian winner Ilka Stuhec.

Full results are here. A race replay is here.

Stuhec also won Friday, when she was 1.99 seconds ahead of Shiffrin, who then tied for 18th. Shiffrin’s goal for Saturday was to build more speed from Friday. She accomplished it.

“That’s what it’s supposed to feel like!” Shiffrin said, according to the U.S. Ski Team. “So, that’s cool.’”

Shiffrin is the world’s best slalom skier and a World Cup winner in giant slalom. She added super-G to her repertoire last season (15th- and 29th-place finishes) and, this season, plans to race all disciplines (but not all races) to become one of few all-around skiers on the circuit.

Shiffrin continues to focus on her goals in slalom (staying at the top) and giant slalom (becoming a consistent podium finisher/winner). She will race downhill again this season, but she doesn’t know when.

“I don’t know how many more downhills I’ll do this year, but just doing it at all and feeling that speed is an amazing experience,” Shiffrin said, according to the U.S. Ski Team. “I’ll just try to lock that feeling away in my journal and then see what happens next time I do a downhill. … I’ll be back on the downhill circuit, but I have to keep sight of my real goals this season.”

Swiss Lara Gut was second Saturday, cutting Shiffrin’s World Cup overall standings lead to 128 points. Gut is the defending World Cup overall champion and appears to be Shiffrin’s biggest and perhaps only threat to this year’s overall crown.

Shiffrin is now guaranteed to finish the Lake Louise weekend as the World Cup overall leader, with a super-G remaining Sunday (1 p.m. ET, streaming on NBCSports.com).

With a bevy of technical races (slaloms and giant slaloms) through Jan. 10, she could hold onto the lead into the middle of the season.

Lindsey Vonn, owner of a record 18 wins at Lake Louise, is missing the annual World Cup stop in Alberta due to a broken arm from a November crash. Vonn had raced at Lake Louise each of the previous 15 seasons.

VIDEO: High-speed crash at Lake Louise downhill delays Shiffrin

2022 Ironman Kona World Championships results

Ironman Kona World Championships
Getty
0 Comments

2022 Ironman Kona World Championship top-10 results and notables (full, searchable pro and age group results are here) …

Pro Women
1. Chelsea Sodaro (USA) — 8:33:46
2. Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR) — 8:41:37
3. Anne Haug (GER) — 8:42:22
4. Laura Philipp (GER) — 8:50:31
5. Lisa Norden (SWE) — 8:54:43
6. Fenella Langridge (GBR) — 8:56:26
7. Sarah Crowley (AUS) — 9:01:58
8. Daniela Ryf (SUI) — 9:02:26
9. Skye Moench (USA) — 9:04:31
10. Laura Siddall (GBR) — 9:07:49
16. Heather Jackson (USA) — 9:22:17
DNF. Sarah True (USA)

Pro Men
Race is on Saturday, live on Peacock at 12 p.m. ET.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Chelsea Sodaro wins Ironman Kona World Championship, ends American drought

Chelsea Sodaro
Getty
0 Comments

Chelsea Sodaro was the surprise winner of the Ironman Kona World Championships women’s race, ending the longest American victory drought in the event’s 44-year history.

Sodaro, a 33-year-old mom to an 18-month-old, prevailed in an unofficial 8 hours, 33 minutes, 46 seconds on Hawaii’s Big Island.

“My mind is a little bit blown right now,” she said in a finish area interview 25 minutes later, standing next to her daughter, Skylar. “This is the culmination of things being right in my life and having perspective. … This is freakin’ incredible, but the greatest gift at the end of the finish line is my little 18-month-old.”

Sodaro was in fifth place after the 2.6-mile swim and 112-mile bike, then recorded one of the fastest 26.2-mile marathon runs in event history (2:51:45) to win by 7 minutes, 50 seconds over Brit Lucy Charles-Barclay.

Swiss Daniela Ryf, who was eyeing her sixth Ironman world title, led after the bike but faded quickly on the run.

MORE: Ironman Kona Race Results

Sodaro, whose lone previous full Ironman was a second-place finish at June’s European Championships (reportedly in the second-fastest Ironman distance debut in history), became the first American to win in Kona since Tim DeBoom in 2002 and the first American to win the women’s race since Zimbabwean-turned-American Paula Newby-Fraser in 1996.

She is the first woman or man to win in their Kona debut since Brit Chrissie Wellington took the first of her four titles in 2007.

Sodaro (née Reilly) was an All-America runner at Cal, then placed 19th in the 10,000m at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials.

She turned to triathlon in 2017, made podiums on the World Cup circuit (just below the top-level World Series for Olympic hopefuls) and moved up to long-distance racing in 2018.

At the half Ironman distance, she was fourth at the 2019 World Championships, her last major championship start before the pandemic, pregnancy, childbirth and a move up to the full Ironman this year.

“I’m pretty stoked that I think I maybe get to take the rest of the year off and be a mom for a month or so,” Sodaro said.

The pro men’s race is Saturday, live on Peacock at 12 p.m. ET.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!