Oksana Chusovitina makes world championships vault final at age 43

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Make it 17 Olympic or world championships vault finals for Oksana Chusovitina. The 43-year-old Uzbek mom can become the oldest Olympic gymnast in 100 years in Tokyo.

Chusovitina, who competed in a gymnastics record-breaking seventh Olympics in Rio, qualified fifth into Friday’s eight-woman vault final at worlds in Doha.

While Simone Biles is the clear favorite, Chusovitina is a medal threat. She was fifth last year, and the 2017 World gold and silver medalists are not competing in Doha this week.

The 2017 International Gymnastics Hall of Fame inductee made her 14th world vault final overall, highlighted by a 2003 World title. She also reached the last three Olympic vault finals with a silver at Beijing 2008.

MORE: Full women’s finals qualifiers

Chusovitina is already the oldest female Olympic gymnast.

She debuted at the world championships in 1991, winning gold with the Soviet Union, and at the Olympics in 1992 with the Unified Team.

She also represented Germany from 2006 through 2012. She had moved there to seek treatment for son Alisher’s leukemia. Alisher turns 20 next year.

Chusovitina has long focused on vault, where she has won nine world medals, the most recent in 2011.

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MORE: Gymnastics Worlds TV/Stream Schedule

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.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

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Sifan Hassan sets marathon debut

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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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