Travis Ganong ends World Cup drought; Steven Nyman’s season over

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Travis Ganong ended the U.S.’ longest drought between men’s World Cup wins since 2000, while teammate Steven Nyman‘s season is over after he was airlifted off the downhill course after crashing in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, on Friday.

Ganong prevailed by .38 of a second over Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud to notch the first U.S. men’s World Cup win in any discipline since Oct. 25, 2015.

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Nyman, the top American downhiller since the Sochi Olympics, crashed into safety netting on his run and was transported by helicopter off the course.

“My season is over but aside from my knee everything is okay,” was posted on Nyman’s social media. “Time for some surgery and healing. I WILL BE BACK!”

Ganong and Nyman are the only U.S. men to make a World Cup downhill podium the last three seasons. In 2016, the U.S. went a calendar year without a men’s World Cup win in any discipline for the first time since 1999.

With Ted Ligety‘s season-ending surgery and no other top racers in technical events, downhill is currently the U.S. men’s best event going into the world championships in two weeks in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Even with Nyman’s absence.

Nyman, 34 and a three-time Olympian, has posted seven of his 11 career World Cup podiums since the Sochi Olympics, all in downhill.

Ganong, 28, enjoyed a fifth-place finish in his Olympic debut in the Sochi downhill, made his first World Cup podium later that month and won his first World Cup race in December 2014.

Ganong followed that up with a surprise world championships downhill silver medal in Beaver Creek, Colo., in February 2015. He struggled in recent months, though. Before Friday, his last top-five on the World Cup came in November 2015.

The men race another downhill Saturday (live on NBCSN, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app at 6 a.m. ET).

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Boglarka Kapas, world champion swimmer, tests positive for coronavirus

Boglarka Kapas
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Boglarka Kapas, the Hungarian swimmer and world 200m butterfly champion, said she tested positive for the coronavirus.

“I don’t have any symptoms yet, and that’s why it’s important for you to know that even if you feel healthy you can spread the virus,” was posted on her social media. “Please be careful, stay at home and stay healthy.”

Nine total members of the Hungarian national team — including swimmers and staff — have tested positive, according to the federation.

Kapas said her first test was negative but a second test showed she had the virus. She was staying in quarantine at home for two weeks.

Kapas, 26, won the 200m fly at last summer’s world championships by passing Americans Hali Flickinger and Katie Drabot in the last 25 meters. She clocked 2:06.78 to prevail by .17 of a second.

Kapas also took bronze in the Rio Olympic 800m freestyle won by Katie Ledecky.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

NHL players: Marie-Philip Poulin is world’s best female hockey player

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The U.S. may have the world’s best women’s hockey team, but NHL players believe Canadian Marie-Philip Poulin is the world’s best player.

Poulin received the most votes out of 496 responses in the 2019-20 NHLPA Player Poll, conducted before the season was suspended. The tally:

Poulin: 39.92%
Hilary Knight (USA): 36.29%
Kendall Coyne Schofield (USA): 15.52%
Emily Pfalzer Matheson (USA): 1.41%
Other: 6.85%

Last year, Knight received the highest percentage of votes from 203 NHL players (27.59), edging Poulin (24.14) with Amanda Kessel third (12.81) and Coyne Schofield and Pfalzer Matheson each receiving 5.91 percent.

Why were Poulin and Knight swapped this year? Perhaps Poulin’s Canadian team winning the debut of the NHL All-Star Skills Competition women’s 3-on-3 game on Jan. 24, even though Knight scored and Poulin did not.

Poulin, now 29, scored both goals in the 2010 Olympic final and the game-tying and -winning goals in the 2014 Olympic final. Even before her Olympic debut at age 18, the daughter of Quebec hospital workers was dubbed “the female Sidney Crosby.”

Knight, 30, led last April’s world championship tournament with seven goals as the U.S. won a fifth straight title. Poulin played 4 minutes, 44 seconds, total at the tournament, missing time with a knee injury.

This spring’s tournament, which was to start Tuesday, was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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