Ted Ligety leads 3 more Alpine skiers qualifying for Olympic team

Ted Ligety
Getty Images
0 Comments

Two-time gold medalist Ted Ligety qualified for his fourth Olympic Alpine skiing team on Saturday.

Tommy Ford and Megan McJames, two more Olympic veterans, are also going to PyeongChang in the giant slalom.

They join Mikaela Shiffrin, who qualified in December, as the first four members of the Olympic team.

Ligety, 33, won surprise combined gold in 2006 and then the giant slalom in 2014. The five-time world champion has been set back by injuries since Sochi, last making a podium in December 2015.

Ligety is the top finisher on an underwhelming U.S. men’s Alpine team this season. He was fifth and seventh in a pair of December giant slaloms.

Ligety straddled a gate in the second run of Saturday’s giant slalom in Switzerland after placing eighth in the first run.

The Olympic giant slalom favorites are led by longtime Ligety rival Marcel Hirscher of Austria.

Hirscher, a six-time World Cup overall champion eyeing his first Olympic gold, has won the last three World Cup GS season titles.

The other GS medal favorites include Frenchman Alexis Pinturault and Norwegian Henrik Kristoffersen.

Ford, 28, made his second Olympic team thanks to a 10th-place finish in a giant slalom earlier this season. Ford was 26th in the 2010 Olympic GS.

McJames, 30, made her third Olympic team because she’s the only U.S. woman other than Shiffrin to finish in the top 30 of a giant slalom this season.

McJames was 30th and 32nd in the last two Olympic giant slaloms.

More than a dozen more Alpine skiers, including Lindsey Vonn, are expected to join the Olympic team in the next two weeks.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Alpine skiing season TV schedule

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

Lucas Braathen
Getty
0 Comments

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

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Sifan Hassan sets marathon debut

Sifan Hassan
Getty
0 Comments

Sifan Hassan, who won 5000m and 10,000m gold and 1500m bronze at the Tokyo Olympics in an unprecedented triple, will make her 26.2-mile debut at the London Marathon on April 23.

Hassan, a 30-year-old Dutchwoman, said she will return to the track after the race, but how the London Marathon goes will play into whether she bids for the Olympic marathon in 2024.

“I want to see what I can do on the marathon distance, to make future decisions,” she posted on social media. “We’ll see if I will finish the distance or if the distance will finish me.”

Exhausted by her Olympic feat, Hassan reportedly went at least seven months after the Tokyo Games between training in track spikes. She finished fourth in the 10,000m and sixth in the 5000m at last July’s world championships in Eugene, Oregon.

“I really needed a break after the Tokyo Olympics,” Hassan said at worlds. “I was mentally crashed. I didn’t even care about running.”

London, billed as the best women’s marathon field in history, also boasts Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya, world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya, 2016 Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia, 1500m world record holder Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia and the two fastest Americans in history, Emily Sisson and Keira D’Amato.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!