Mikaela Shiffrin turns speed racer at Lake Louise

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Mikaela Shiffrin‘s slalom dominance consolidated, the double Olympic champion switches to speed racing, live on NBC Sports, NBC Sports Gold and Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA this weekend.

Shiffrin is the headliner, expected to contest downhills on Friday and Saturday and a super-G on Sunday in Lake Louise, Alberta. She broke through in the Canadian Rockies last December, making her first downhill podium, then winning a downhill the following day.

Lindsey Vonn normally opens her campaign in earnest at Lake Louise, where she had so much success (18 of her 82 World Cup wins in 44 starts) that the venue is often nicknamed Lake Lindsey. But a training crash last week forced Vonn to delay her farewell season debut to, at the earliest, Dec. 8.

Shiffrin added downhills and super-Gs to her repertoire in the last Olympic cycle. While her Olympic and world medals are all in slalom, giant slalom and the super combined, she harbors a goal of winning a race in every discipline in the same season.

She already has two slalom wins in as many starts this fall, opening an early lead in the World Cup overall standings as she bids for at three-peat as the world’s best all-around skier. Shiffrin, 23 years old with 45 World Cup wins, can tie retired Austrian Renate Götschl for fourth on the World Cup list with one victory this weekend.

Her primary rivals in Lake Louise may be Slovenian Ilka Stuhec, the 2017 World downhill champion who missed last season with a torn ACL, and Swiss Lara Gut-Behrami, the 2016 World Cup overall champion. PyeongChang downhill gold medalist Sofia Goggia of Italy is out after breaking an ankle in October.

NBC Sports will also air live coverage of the men’s World Cup stop in Beaver Creek, Colo., on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Two-time Olympic champion Ted Ligety won five World Cup giant slaloms at the venue, plus one of his three world titles in the GS. Ligety, riddled by injuries in the last Olympic cycle, eyes his first victory anywhere since October 2015.

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MORE: Alpine skiing season broadcast schedule

Olympian Derrick Mein ends U.S. men’s trap drought at shotgun worlds

Derrick Mein
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Tokyo Olympian Derrick Mein became the first U.S. male shooter to win a world title in the trap event since 1966, prevailing at the world shotgun championships in Osijek, Croatia, on Wednesday.

Mein, who grew up on a small farm in Southeast Kansas, hunting deer and quail, nearly squandered a place in the final when he missed his last three shots in the semifinal round after hitting his first 22. He rallied in a sudden-death shoot-off for the last spot in the final by hitting all five of his targets.

He hit 33 of 34 targets in the final to win by two over Brit Nathan Hales with one round to spare.

The last U.S. man to win an Olympic trap title was Donald Haldeman in 1976.

Mein, 37, was 24th in his Olympic debut in Tokyo (and placed 13th with Kayle Browning in the mixed-gender team event).

The U.S. swept the Tokyo golds in the other shotgun event — skeet — with Vincent Hancock and Amber English. Browning took silver in women’s trap.

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Mo Farah withdraws before London Marathon

Mo Farah
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British track legend Mo Farah withdrew before Sunday’s London Marathon, citing a right hip injury before what would have been his first 26.2-mile race in nearly two years.

Farah, who swept the 2012 and 2016 Olympic track titles at 5000m and 10,000m, said he hoped “to be back out there” next April, when the London Marathon returns to its traditional month after COVID moved it to the fall for three consecutive years. Farah turns 40 on March 23.

“I’ve been training really hard over the past few months and I’d got myself back into good shape and was feeling pretty optimistic about being able to put in a good performance,” in London, Farah said in a press release. “However, over the past 10 days I’ve been feeling pain and tightness in my right hip. I’ve had extensive physio and treatment and done everything I can to be on the start line, but it hasn’t improved enough to compete on Sunday.”

Farah switched from the track to the marathon after the 2017 World Championships and won the 2018 Chicago Marathon in a then-European record time of 2:05:11. Belgium’s Bashir Abdi now holds the record at 2:03:36.

Farah returned to the track in a failed bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, then shifted back to the roads.

Sunday’s London Marathon men’s race is headlined by Ethiopians Kenenisa Bekele and Birhanu Legese, the second- and third-fastest marathoners in history.

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