Mikaela Shiffrin comes back for 49th World Cup win

Leave a comment

Make it 49 World Cup wins for Mikaela Shiffrin, not that she’s keeping track. She goes for No. 50 on Saturday.

The 23-year-old won her fourth straight World Cup start, capturing a giant slalom in snowy Courchevel, France, on Friday.

Shiffrin made up a .08 deficit from the first run to prevail by .14 over 2010 Olympic GS champion Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany. The second-run start was moved down due to the weather. Full results are here.

“Normally, I’m having trouble with this kind of conditions when it’s inconsistent or a little bit soft snow, and definitely I have trouble when it’s bad visibility,” said the normally reserved Coloradoan, who screamed a “Yes!” and “Woo!” when she skied into the lead by .33 with two skiers still to go, including first-run leader Rebensburg. “It’s really exciting today because those were the two things we were all battling in the second run. My skis felt just perfect.”

Shiffrin is the youngest skier to reach 49 World Cup wins and will be the youngest to 50 by winning any of the upcoming technical races ahead of the world championships in February.

“We were talking last night. I didn’t know how many wins I had,” said Shiffrin, whose first came Dec. 20, 2012 at age 17. “I mean, yeah, I know, but I’m trying to kind of ignore it. … It’s just a number.

“If you asked me five years ago, I would never think that I could be in this position.”

She has won six of her 10 starts this season and in every discipline save downhill and super combined (the latter, thought to be fazing out of the Alpine program, will only be contested once this season on Feb. 24).

Shiffrin skipped a downhill and super-G on Tuesday and Wednesday, a decision made before she felt back soreness after winning her last event, a parallel slalom, on Dec. 9.

One of Shiffrin’s goals is to become the fourth woman to win a race in every discipline in one season, joining Petra KronbergerJanica Kostelic and Tina Maze.

The next priority is Saturday’s slalom in Courchevel. Shiffrin is undefeated in her trademark event since finishing a shocking fourth at the PyeongChang Olympics, where she did win the GS. The event streams live on NBC Sports Gold and Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA (broadcast info here).

Shiffrin is one shy of Austrian Marlies Schild‘s record 35 World Cup slalom victories.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

VIDEO: Swiss Olympian flown to hospital after World Cup downhill crash

Chinese swimmer Sun Yang gets rare open hearing in doping case

Getty Images
3 Comments

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said Monday it will hear the World Anti-Doping Agency’s case against three-time Olympic gold medalist Sun Yang on Nov. 15 in front of reporters — possibly even live-streamed — at the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace in Montreux, Switzerland.

The hearing won’t be completely open. Registration will be required, and photographers and videographers “will be invited to leave the hearing room after the opening,” CAS said in a statement. But those outside the room may still get a glimpse of the proceedings.

“With the agreement of all parties, it is intended to live stream all or parts of the hearing on the CAS website,” CAS said.

CAS noted that it has only held one prior hearing that wasn’t in a private setting — the 1999 case involving Irish swimmer Michelle Smith de Bruin, who won three gold medals in the 1996 Olympics but was banned for four years for tampering with a urine sample, a case that still prompts soul-searching in the Irish media. De Bruin lost the appeal.

Sun is accused of smashing a vial of blood at a drug test last fall. FINA allowed him to continue to compete, but the WADA has appealed, seeking a substantial suspension.

The Chinese swimmer won two gold medals at the world championships this summer and snubbed by some rivals at each medal ceremony, leading to a confrontation with British swimmer Duncan Scott.

RECAP AND VIDEO: Sun taunts Scott after medal ceremony

Sun has won 11 world individual titles in several freestyle distances but also has a long history of controversies ranging from a prior positive drug test and confrontations with other swimmers.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

 

 

 

 

U.S. women’s volleyball team ends year with surprise loss to Dominican Republic

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Dominican Republic surprised the U.S. women’s volleyball team in the final of the NORCECA (North, Central America and Caribbean) women’s continental championship Sunday in San Juan, Puerto Rico, winning the first two sets and regrouping after a U.S. rally to win the fifth set.

The final score of the back-and-forth match: 25-19, 25-23, 15-25, 20-25, 15-9. The U.S. women had defeated the Dominican Republic in three previous finals: 2011, 2013 and 2015. The Dominican Republic won a semifinal matchup on its way to the 2009 title.

In group play, the U.S. team had beaten the Dominican Republic in straight sets. The U.S. also breezed past Trinidad & Tobago and Mexico in group play and swept past Canada in the semifinals.

The loss doesn’t affect Olympic qualification. The U.S. women had already qualified for the 2020 Olympics by winning a qualification tournament in August in Bossier City, La.

MORE: U.S. women rally to qualify

Semifinalists Canada and Puerto Rico qualified for a last-chance Olympic qualifier that the Dominican Republic will host in January. Mexico defeated Cuba in the NORCECA fifth-place game to be the last of the four teams vying for one spot.

The Dominican Republic has had some success in women’s volleyball, finishing fifth in the 2014 world championships and reaching the 2012 Olympic quarterfinals before falling to the U.S. The team also won this year’s Pan Am Games, to which the U.S. did not send its top players. Currently, the team is ranked 10th in the world.

Earlier this year, the U.S. women had defeated the Dominican Republic in two tournament finals — the Pan American Cup and the NORCECA Champions Cup. The U.S. also won a matchup in the World Cup last month, but the Dominican Republic won another five-set match in the Nations League preliminary round in Italy.

The U.S. finishes the year with a 44-7 record in tournament play, including a first-place finish in the Nations League and second place in the World Cup.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!