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Lindsey Vonn wins ‘incredible’ 80th World Cup race

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GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (AP) — Lindsey Vonn edged Sofia Goggia in a foretaste of the Pyeongchang Olympic downhill on Saturday, raising her career total to 80 World Cup victories.

The American standout beat Goggia by two hundredths of a second as their ongoing rivalry in Alpine skiing’s fastest discipline continued.

“It’s a big number,” Vonn said of her 80 wins, which is just six short of the all-time record set by Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark in the 1980s.

“I remember when I got my 50th here, I never thought I would even get close to Annemarie Moser-Proell’s record (of 62 wins) and now I am getting close to Stenmark’s. It’s incredible,” she said.

“Also the timing of this win, coming into the Olympics,” Vonn added. “I really feel strong mentally and physically. I never thought in my life I would get 80 wins so it’s a big day.”

Vonn skied a solid run but didn’t seem to go to the limits as she trailed Italian rival Goggia by 0.08 at the last split time. However, Vonn overcame the deficit in the final section.

“I definitely skied aggressively, don’t get me wrong, but I didn’t leave all the cards on the table,” Vonn said. “I hold those extra aces for the Olympics.”

It was Vonn’s second straight downhill win after Cortina, Italy, two weeks ago. She and Goggia are the only racers with more than one downhill victory this season.

Cornelia Huetter of Austria was 0.13 behind in third, while Vonn’s American teammate Breezy Johnson finished fourth for her career best result.

Earlier Saturday, Johnson and Vonn posted the fastest times in a mandatory training session two hours before the race, after training was canceled on the previous two days.

Vonn’s joy was tempered, however, by teammate Jacqueline Wiles’ crash.

Shortly after completing her run and taking the lead in the race, Vonn saw on a large video screen in the finish area how Wiles fell, slid through a gate and went into the safety netting. Wiles appeared to have hurt her knee and had to be transported off the hill by helicopter.

Earlier, Lauren Ross, who’s working her way back after a severe knee injury, also crashed hard but she stood up and eventually skied down.

“It was really hard to actually be happy and excited and celebrate because Jackie is in the hospital,” said Vonn about Wiles, who has been financially supported by Vonn’s foundation.

“It’s a really rough day for the whole team,” Vonn said. “I am happy that Lauren wasn’t hurt. I think she will be really sore tomorrow but at least her knee is OK. We are just all hoping that Jackie is OK.”

Another downhill on the Kandahar course is scheduled for Sunday, the last World Cup race before the Olympics, and Vonn was expecting another close duel with Goggia.

The Italian edged Vonn in both speed races that were held as test events on the Olympic hill in South Korea last year.

“She is always risking everything, she’s the person that I have to beat,” said the American, who is chasing another Olympic downhill medal to add to the gold she won in Vancouver 2010.

“She is a personality that is really needed on the World Cup,” Vonn added. “We are playing a little game with each other: who has the hundredths, you know. It makes it more exciting for us and also for the spectators.”

Goggia was smiling and hugged Vonn afterward.

“From the start gate to the red finish line, it’s a battle. But after, we are friends,” Goggia said. “This is the rivalry that I like. It’s really fun and challenging for me.”

The Italian’s daredevil style of racing has sometimes been seen as similar to Bode Miller’s approach, but Goggia laughs off any comparisons with the American great.

“It would be a great honor just to have 1 percent of Bode,” she said. “I am far away from him. I am a show girl on the skis sometimes and I think that’s the only thing we have in common. He has a class that I will never reach.”

Mondo Duplantis, Elaine Thompson-Herah win to end Diamond League season

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Mondo Duplantis completed one of the greatest seasons in track and field history, under some of the most unusual circumstances for much of the year, by winning the last Diamond League meet of 2020 in Doha on Friday.

Duplantis outdueled pole vault rivals Sam Kendricks and Renaud Lavillenie in the Qatari capital, the site of his last defeat to Kendricks at the 2019 World Championships.

Duplantis, who was raised in Louisiana and competes for his mother’s birth country of Sweden, won on countback with a 5.82-meter clearance.

Back in February, the 20-year-old Duplantis twice raised the world record at indoor meets, ultimately to 6.18 meters. Eight days ago, Duplantis cleared the highest outdoor height in history, taking Ukrainian legend Sergey Bubka off the record books.

Full Doha results are here.

While the Diamond League is finished for 2020, one major event in the sport remains this year — the London Marathon on Oct. 4 at 2 a.m. ET on NBCSN.

The two fastest men in history, Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele, headline the fields on an adapted looped course.

In other events Friday, Kenyan Hellen Obiri surged to the lead after the bell in a 3000m that included five women who won 2019 World Championships medals across four different events. Obiri clocked 8:22.54 in the non-Olympic event, holding off world 10,000m bronze medalist Agnes Tirop and world 3000m steeplechase champion Beatrice Chepkoech.

Jamaican Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah won the 100m in 10.87 seconds, eight days after clocking the fastest time in the world this year of 10.85.

Thompson, who swept the 100m and 200m in Rio, has traded world-leading times with countrywoman and 2008 and 2012 Olympic 100m champ Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce the last two seasons.

Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon made a rare 800m start, winning in a personal-best 1:57.68. The only woman to run faster over the last two years is double Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya, who is now barred from events from the 400m through the mile unless she takes testosterone-suppressing measures.

Aaron Mallett won the 110m hurdles in a personal-best 13.15 seconds, making him the third-fastest American over the last three years behind Grant Holloway and Daniel Roberts. The top three at Olympic Trials next June make the Tokyo team.

MORE: Cathy Freeman reflects on 20th anniversary

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2020 French Open women’s singles draw, bracket

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If Serena Williams is to win a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title at the French Open, she may have to go through her older sister in the fourth round.

Williams, the sixth seed, could play Venus Williams in the round of 16 at Roland Garros, which begins Sunday.

Serena opens against countrywoman Kristie Ahn, whom she beat in the first round at the U.S. Open. Serena could then get her U.S. Open quarterfinal opponent, fellow mom Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria, in the second round.

If Venus is to reach the fourth round, she must potentially get past U.S. Open runner-up Victoria Azarenka in the second round. Azarenka beat Serena in the U.S. Open semifinals, ending the American’s latest bid to tie Margaret Court‘s major titles record.

Venus lost in the French Open first round the last two years.

The French Open top seed is 2018 champion Simona Halep, who could play 2019 semifinalist Amanda Anisimova in the third round.

Coco Gauff, the rising 16-year-old American, gets 2019 semifinalist Jo Konta of Great Britain in the first round in the same quarter of the draw as Halep.

The field lacks defending champion Ash Barty of Australia, not traveling due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Also out: U.S. Open winner Naomi Osaka, citing a sore hamstring and tight turnaround from prevailing in New York two weeks ago.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women | TV Schedule

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