Italy’s Dominik Paris gets downhill World Cup win

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Entering the day, Italy’s Dominik Paris was ranked second in downhill World Cup points, more than 100 points behind the season leader, Switzerland’s Beat Feuz.

Feuz, skiing two racers ahead of Paris in Kvitfjell, Norway today, laid down a run more than a second faster than then-current leader, Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde. Paris stepped into the gate knowing he had to be on the podium — preferably on top of it — if he wanted a chance to win his first World Cup crystal globe as the season draws to a close.

Paris fearlessly attacked the course, and crossed the finish .25 hundredths of a second ahead of Feuz and picked up his third World Cup downhill win of the season.

Full results are here.

With the win, Paris earned 100 World Cup points. However, Feuz held on to the lead in the downhill point standings, earning 80 points for his second place finish. Things could get interesting with one final downhill race remaining on the schedule for the season. Both men will need to be at their best if they hope to walk away with the crystal globe in Soldeu, Andorra on March 13.

The U.S.’ Steve Nyman had his best downhill race since December, finishing seventh on the day, while his teammate, and frequent top-10 finisher, Bryce Bennett ended up in 12th place.

On Sunday, the men are scheduled to race in the Super-G. Watch live beginning at 5:00 a.m. ET on TV and streaming on Olympic Channel and NBC Sports Gold.   

The women’s World Cup tour was supposed to race this weekend in Sochi, Russia, but snow and wind have kept athletes off the mountain since Wednesday. It’s the first World Cup event in Sochi since the 2014 Olympics. Despite the lack of racing, the U.S.’ Mikaela Shiffrin, not even entered in the events this weekend, had enough points banked from previous racing to mathematically win her third-consecutive overall World Cup title.

Efforts are now focused on salvaging what’s left of the weekend, with race officials hoping to have a skiable Super-G course ready for Sunday at Rosa Khutor. If successful, racing is set to begin at 2:30 a.m. ET, with live coverage on TV and streaming on Olympic Channel and NBC Sports Gold.   

2022 Pan Pacific Championships canceled as swimming calendar shifts

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The Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, a quadrennial major international meet, will not be held in 2022 “out of respect for the recent changes to the international sporting calendar,” according to a press release.

The Pan Pacs’ charter nations — the U.S., Australia, Canada and Japan — agreed to the move. The 2026 event will be held in Canada, which was supposed to be the 2022 host.

The decision came after the 2021 World Championships were moved to May 2022, following the Tokyo Olympics moving from 2020 to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The quadrennial multi-sport Commonwealth Games — which includes Australia and Canada, but not the U.S. or Japan — are scheduled for July 27-Aug. 7, 2022.

“Organizing a third major championships in that window presented several challenges,” according to the Pan Pacs release.

Pan Pacs mark the third-biggest major international meet for U.S. swimmers, held in non-Olympic, non-world championships years.

MORE: Caeleb Dressel co-hosts a podcast. It’s not about swimming.

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Boston Marathon canceled for first time after 123 years; virtual event planned

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The Boston Marathon, held every year since 1897, has been canceled as an in-person event for the first time. It will be held as a virtual race instead due to the coronavirus.

“While we cannot bring the world to Boston in September, we plan to bring Boston to the world for an historic 124th Boston Marathon,” Boston Athletic Association (BAA) CEO Tom Grilk said in a press release.

The world’s oldest annual marathon had been postponed from April 20 to Sept. 14, it was announced March 13.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said he first considered canceling the postponed marathon during a coronavirus surge in April.

“We were maxed out in our hospital emergency rooms,” Walsh said Thursday. “I realized that the downside of the curve, which we were on, the backside of the curve, is going to be going for some time. The concern of a second surge made me have some real reservations about can we have the marathon or not.”

Walsh said experts said a potential second surge would be between August and October. He held out hope to hold the race until talking with the BAA last week.

All participants originally registered for Boston will be offered a full refund of their entry fee and have the opportunity to participate in the virtual alternative, which can be run between Sept. 7-14.

More details, including entry information, will be announced in the coming weeks.

It’s the biggest alteration to the Boston Marathon, which was inspired by the marathon’s debut at the first modern Olympics in 1896. Previously, the biggest change came in 1918, the last year of World War I. The marathon was still held on Patriots’ Day in April but as a 10-man military relay race.

The original 2020 Boston elite fields included two-time U.S. Olympian Des Linden, the 2018 Boston winner who was fourth at the Feb. 29 Olympic Trials, where the top three earned Olympic spots.

London is the world’s other major spring marathon. It was rescheduled from April 27 to Oct. 4. Its original fields for April were headlined by the two fastest men in history — Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge and Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele. It’s unknown if they will remain in the field, should London happen.

The fall major marathon schedule

Boston — Sept. 7-14 (virtual event)
Berlin — TBD (will not be held as planned on Sept. 27)
London — Oct. 4
Chicago — Oct. 11
New York City — Nov. 1

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MORE: U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials results