Slovenia’s Stuhec wins back-to-back world championship downhills

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As with many of the speed races at this year’s world championships, the women’s downhill was run on a shortened course due to Mother Nature whipping up the winds in Are.

The U.S.’ Lindsey Vonn was the sentimental favorite of the day, skiing in the last race of her career.

Vonn did hold the lead early in the event, but Slovenia’s Ilka Stuhec was the eventual winner, crossing the finish line .49 hundredths of a second faster than Vonn. For two consecutive world championships, Stuhec has won downhill gold. Her first win was in 2017.

It appeared that Vonn might leave with the silver medal until Switzerland’s Corinne Suter, skiing 19th on the day, fearlessly held her tuck in the fastest sections on course to cross the finish line .26 hundredths of a second faster than Vonn. Vonn’s time stood as the third best on the day. A happy ending for the legendary U.S. skier who only recently decided to call it quits, saying her body simply could not go on.

Full results are here.

Stuhec has three World Cup downhill podium finishes this season, but just one of those was for the win.

A trio of Austrians have owned the World Cup downhill this season. Ramona Siebenhofer and Nicole Schmidhofer have two World Cup downhill wins apiece, with Stephanie Venier holding one. All finished off the world championship podium in Are.

The men’s Super combined is next up on the world championship docket tomorrow morning, beginning with the downhill at 5:00 a.m. ET followed by the slalom at 8:30 a.m. Watch the downhill live on TV or streaming on Olympic Channel or with an NBC Sports Gold Snow Pass. The slalom can be seen live on TV and streaming on NBCSN as well as NBC Sports Gold.

The U.S.’ Mikaela Shiffrin is expected to race in Are on Thursday in the giant slalom and again on Saturday in the slalom. Check out the full schedule for the remaining events at the 2019 Alpine World Ski Championships below.

ALPINE SKIING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP — Are, Sweden

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Monday 5:00 a.m. Men’s Super Combined – Downhill Olympic Channel Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold
7:30 a.m. Men’s Super Combined – Downhill* NBCSN
8:30 a.m. Men’s Super Combined – Slalom NBCSN NBCSN/NBC Sports Gold
Tuesday 9:55 a.m. Team Event NBCSN NBCSN/NBC Sports Gold
Thursday 8:00 a.m. Women’s Giant Slalom (Run 1) Olympic Channel Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold
10:30 a.m. Women’s Giant Slalom (Run 1)* NBCSN
11:30 a.m. Women’s Giant Slalom (Run 2) NBCSN NBCSN/NBC Sports Gold
Friday 8:00 a.m. Men’s Giant Slalom (Run 1) Olympic Channel Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold
11:00 a.m. Men’s Giant Slalom (Run 2) NBCSN NBCSN
11:30 a.m. Men’s Giant Slalom (Run 2) NBC Sports Gold
Saturday 5:00 a.m. Women’s Slalom (Run 1) Olympic Channel Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold
7:00 a.m. Women’s Slalom (Run 1)* NBCSN
8:00 a.m. Women’s Slalom (Run 2) NBCSN NBCSN/NBC Sports Gold
1:00 p.m. Women’s Slalom* NBC
Sunday 5:00 a.m. Men’s Slalom (Run 1) Olympic Channel Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold
7:00 a.m. Men’s Slalom (Run 1)* NBCSN
8:00 a.m. Men’s Slalom (Run 2) NBCSN NBCSN/NBC Sports Gold

*Same-day delay

Federica Brignone passes Mikaela Shiffrin for World Cup overall lead

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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.

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MORE: Alpine skiing season TV schedule

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

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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.

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