Lindsey Vonn just misses downhill win at 2018 Olympic track

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Lindsey Vonn looked golden at the 2018 Olympic track, up until Sofia Goggia crossed the finish line.

The Italian Goggia edged Vonn by .07 of a second in a World Cup downhill in Jeongseon, South Korea, site of the PyeongChang Olympic speed races in 11 months.

“I think it’s better that I save my best skiing for the Olympics,” an upbeat Vonn said afterward. “I was second as well in Vancouver at the test event [in 2008] before the [2010] Olympics. If that shows any indication of what’s to come next year, hopefully that’s what it means.”

Vonn put up a strong run as the first racer to go at the first women’s World Cup race in South Korea. Goggia, the fifth racer, trailed Vonn at every split until the finish.

Goggia was .22 behind with about 11 seconds left but made up nearly three tenths in the final portion.

The Italian recorded her first World Cup win after 10 previous podium finishes this season, including a world championships giant slalom bronze.

Full Results | Race Replay

Vonn was hoping for her second win in 10 races since returning in January from crash-caused knee and arm fractures last year, and her 78th World Cup win overall.

She arrived in South Korea on Tuesday after a race crash last Saturday in Switzerland that left her with neck whiplash, plus food poisoning last week.

Nevertheless, Vonn was fastest in both downhill training runs Thursday and Friday, saying afterward her confidence level on the track was similar to how she feels at her favorite venue of Lake Louise, Alberta.

Vonn has won 18 times in 41 World Cup starts at Lake Louise, a record number for any racer (male or female) at one place in history.

She remains nine wins shy of the World Cup record of 86 held by retired Swede Ingemar Stenmark.

Vonn will race again Sunday in a World Cup super-G in Jeongseon, live on NBCSN, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app on Saturday at 9 p.m. ET.

South Korea is 14 hours ahead of New York time.

World Cup overall leader Mikaela Shiffrin is skipping the South Korean speed races to prepare for next week’s giant slalom and slalom in Squaw Valley, Calif.

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MORE: Vonn among Olympic medalists in documentary about gender in sports

Kelly Cheng, Sara Hughes, beach volleyball’s new sensation, win World Tour Finals

Kelly Cheng, Sara Hughes
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In just a few months since reuniting, Kelly Cheng and Sara Hughes have become not just the best women’s beach volleyball team in the U.S., but also, arguably, the world.

Cheng and Hughes, former partners who got back together for a 2024 Olympic run, won the World Tour Finals for the biggest title for a U.S. pair since April Ross and Alix Klineman took gold in Tokyo.

The 27-year-old Californians swept reigning world champions Duda and Ana Patricia of Brazil 21-18, 21-16 in Sunday’s final in Doha.

Cheng and Hughes have entered four tournaments since reuniting last fall and won all of them — once on the domestic AVP tour and now three international events.

They are rolling into the start of the 2024 Olympic qualifying window next week. It’s likely that the top two U.S. women’s pairs across international events over the course of the next 18 months qualify for the Paris Games.

Cheng and Hughes were previously NCAA champion teammates at USC, then the most promising, young U.S. pro team before splitting in 2018. Cheng made the Tokyo Olympics with Sarah Sponcil (lost in the round of 16), while Hughes’ Tokyo bid flamed out when partner Summer Ross suffered a back injury in 2019.

“It was a lot of the unknown and being young and kind of immature and listening to maybe outside forces and not really knowing how to deal with things as well,” Hughes said in October of their past breakup. “We’ve pretty much moved past that in our relationship. Moving forward with one another, we’re completely different players, and we’re a lot more mature. It feels like the right time. The past is past. We’re just moving forward.”

Cheng and Hughes have taken over from April Ross and Klineman as the top U.S. team. After winning Olympic gold, Klineman underwent shoulder surgery in January 2022 and last week announced she is pregnant and may return from childbirth for a “last-second” 2024 Olympic qualifying bid.

April Ross, a 40-year-old with an Olympic medal of every color, last competed in March, then withdrew before June’s world championships, where she was entered with Emily Day, with an unspecified injury. She has not announced if or when she plans to return to competition.

The U.S. earned at least one beach volleyball medal at every Olympics that the sport has been on the program (since 1996), and a men’s or women’s gold at all but one Olympics. Eighteen months out from the Paris Games, Cheng and Hughes are the best hope to keep the podium streak going.

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Germany opens bobsled worlds with double gold; Kaillie Humphries gets silver

Laura Nolte Bobsled
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Germans Laura Nolte and Johannes Lochner dethroned the reigning Olympic and world champions to open the world bobsled championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland, this weekend.

Nolte, the Olympic two-woman champion driver, won the four-run monobob by four tenths of a second over American Kaillie Humphries, who won the first world title in the event in 2021 and the first Olympic title in the event in 2022. Another German, Lisa Buckwitz, took bronze.

In the two-man, Lochner became the first driver to beat countryman Francesco Friedrich in an Olympic or world championships event since 2016, ending Friedrich’s record 12-event streak at global championships between two-man and four-man.

Friedrich, defeated by 49 hundredths, saw his streak of seven consecutive world two-man titles also snapped.

Lochner, 32, won his first outright global title after seven Olympic or world silvers, plus a shared four-man gold with Friedrich in 2017.

Swiss Michael Vogt drove to bronze, one hundredth behind Friedrich. Geoff Gadbois and Martin Christofferson filled the top American sled in 18th.

Americans Steven Holcomb and Steven Langton were the last non-Germans to win a world two-man title in 2012.

Bobsled worlds finish next weekend with the two-woman and four-man events.

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