Shiffrin wins super-G world title; Vonn crashes out

Leave a comment

ARE, Sweden (AP) — The celebratory smile on Mikaela Shiffrin’s face quickly turned to a look of serious concern for American teammate Lindsey Vonn.

Seconds after Shiffrin completed her winning run in the super-G at the skiing world championships Tuesday, Vonn was involved in a nasty crash.

Vonn straddled a gate mid-air and went careening into the safety nets.

RELATED: Vonn ‘fine’ after crash

Fortunately, Vonn was able to get up and ski down the hill after being tended to by medical personnel.

“Everybody, cross your fingers or hold your thumbs. That didn’t look like a nice crash,” Shiffrin said when interviewed over the public address system. “She went really hard into the fence. Hopefully she is OK.”

Vonn, the all-time leader in women’s World Cup wins, announced last week that she will retire after racing the super-G and downhill at the worlds as she battles persistent pain in both of her knees.

The women’s downhill is scheduled for Sunday at 6:25 a.m. It can be watched live on NBCSN, Olympic Channel (Home of Team USA) and NBC Sports Gold and will be replayed at 3 p.m. ET on NBC and at 10:30 p.m. on NBCSN.

On a highly technical course, many other skiers also failed to finish their runs. American teammate Laurenne Ross also crashed, as did Christina Ager of Austria.

Of the 43 starters, 14 failed to finish.

For Shiffrin, a two-time Olympic champion who is not too far behind Vonn on the all-time wins list, it marked her first major championship medal in a speed event.

Shiffrin has been unbeatable in super-G all season, winning all three World Cup super-Gs she entered and leading the discipline standings.

Still, this victory wasn’t without its complications: Shiffrin veered off line on the lower section of the course, flailed her arms mid-air to slow down and narrowly cleared the next gate, clipping it with her side.

She finished 0.02 seconds ahead of Olympic downhill champion Goggia. Corinne Suter of Switzerland was third, 0.05 behind, on a course that was shortened because of strong winds.

Federica Brignone passes Mikaela Shiffrin for World Cup overall lead

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Italian Federica Brignone passed an absent Mikaela Shiffrin for the World Cup overall standings lead by winning a combined in Switzerland on Sunday.

Brignone prevailed by .92 of a second adding times from super-G and slalom runs in Crans-Montana. Full results are here.

Brignone moved 73 points ahead of Shiffrin in the overall through 29 of 40 scheduled races. A race winner receives 100 points on a descending scale through the 30th-place finisher. The season runs through March 22.

Shiffrin, the three-time reigning World Cup overall champion, has not competed since the unexpected death of her father on Feb. 2. She has not announced if or when she will return this season.

Brignone, 29, is having a career season with five wins and 10 podiums across four disciplines.

Brignone’s best previous World Cup overall standings finish was fifth. She earned giant slalom medals at the 2018 Olympics (bronze) and 2011 World Championships (silver).

She could become Italy’s first female World Cup overall champion. The last Italian male winner was Alberto Tomba in 1995.

The women’s Alpine skiing World Cup moves to La Thuile, Italy, for a super-G and a combined next Saturday and Sunday.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Alpine skiing season TV schedule

Jade Carey on brink of becoming first gymnast to qualify for U.S. Olympic team

Leave a comment

The U.S. Olympic gymnastics trials aren’t until late June, but Jade Carey is in position to qualify for the Tokyo Games in March.

Carey, seeking an individual Olympic gymnastics spot outside of the team competition, earned the maximum points in a World Cup series that is one path to Olympic qualification.

Carey has three wins each on floor exercise and vault with two World Cups left in March. Carey will mathematically clinch an Olympic spot if no other gymnasts earn maximum points on one of the apparatuses to force a tiebreaker.

A gymnast’s top three finishes across the eight-stop series count in Olympic qualifying. If Carey finishes atop the floor or vault standings, she goes to the Olympics.

Carey picked up those third wins on floor and vault at the sixth World Cup in Melbourne, Australia, this weekend.

So far, no other gymnast has two wins on floor. One other gymnast can get to the maximum points on vault with one win between the last two stops (and others with two).

The one downside to qualifying this route: Carey would not be able to compete in the team competition at the Olympics. Those four spots will be determined at and after June’s trials in St. Louis, with Simone Biles likely grabbing one of them.

“I knew I would be giving up being on the team,” Carey said in October of going the World Cup route, “but I think, for me, it made sense to just go for it.”

Carey is a world medalist on vault and floor, but she doesn’t have the all-around credentials of Biles and some other U.S. gymnasts.

Olympic team event roster sizes were cut from five to four for Tokyo, putting a greater onus on all-around prowess given a team must put three gymnasts on each apparatus in the Olympic final.

The U.S. is the deepest country in women’s gymnastics, so the only truly safe pick to make the four-woman Olympic team event roster is Biles.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Olympic vault champion retires