Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, most decorated Winter Olympian, left off Norway team

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Ole Einar Bjørndalen, the most decorated Winter Olympian with 13 medals, was left off Norway’s biathlon team for PyeongChang, ending his Olympic career at six Winter Games.

The 43-year-old was omitted because of his poor form this season — individual results of 18th, 31st, 18th, 28th, 46th, 52nd, 36th and 42nd this season, according to a press release Monday.

Bjørndalen became the oldest individual Winter Olympic champion in Sochi, where he also passed countryman Bjørn Daehlie for the career Winter Games medal record and tied Daehlie for the career gold-medal record (eight).

Bjøerndalen committed to one more Olympic run after capturing medals in three of four individual events at the 2016 World Championships in Oslo.

He also announced in spring 2016 that he and Belarusian biathlete Darya Domracheva, who won three golds at the Sochi Olympics, were having a baby.

Bjøerndalen’s medal records may not last through PyeongChang

Norwegian cross-country skier Marit Bjørgen is three medals shy and two gold medals shy of the career records.

The 37-year-old mom said last year that it’s a dream — but not a goal — and certainly motivation to try and pass Bjørndalen’s record in PyeongChang, according to Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang (VG).

She returned to competition from childbirth last season and dominated the world championships, winning three of the four individual events and anchoring Norway’s winning relay team.

Bjørgen has been less dominant this season, winning two of eight World Cup starts.

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MORE: PyeongChang Olympic schedule daily highlights

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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.

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Sifan Hassan sets marathon debut

Sifan Hassan
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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.

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