Mikaela Shiffrin passed in World Cup GS standings after ‘heartbreaking’ result

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Mikaela Shiffrin, who opened the World Cup season with four straight podiums and two wins, could not find her usual speed Tuesday, finishing 17th in a giant slalom in Couchevel, France.

Italian Federica Brignone won and snatched the World Cup GS standings lead from Shiffrin through three of a scheduled nine races. Shiffrin, the Olympic GS champion, won the season-long World Cup GS title for the first time last season.

On Tuesday, Shiffrin was “visibly upset, speechless and a little stunned,” according to U.S. Ski & Snowboard, after her worst result since the PyeongChang Olympics and her worst for a tech race outside of DNFs in more than five years.

“I have a lot of thoughts, but I probably shouldn’t say any of them on camera,” she joked, according to a press release. “Look, it’s not really OK for me to expect something more from the day. I mean … I skied and I placed how I placed. The girls who are ahead of me skied harder, better and cleaner than me.”

Shiffrin was 19th after the first run and had the 11-fastest time in the second run. She finished 1.65 seconds behind Brignone, who edged Norwegian Mina Fuerst Holtmann by .04. Shiffrin’s coach Mike Day set the course for run No. 2.

“I don’t have any excuse, really,” Shiffrin said, according to U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “They did an amazing job preparing the surface. The slope was actually in an amazing condition. Both courses were really fun to ski, and my equipment has been really great in training and everything. There’s really no one to blame but myself. I’m for sure going to watch my video. It’s experience, and there’s always a lesson to learn. Right now it feels heartbreaking, but it’s also not the end of the world, so we just have to move on to the next one.”

In the World Cup GS standings, Brignone moved from 14 points behind Shiffrin to 71 points ahead.

The Italian is likely to go into 2020 with the lead, given there is one World Cup GS over the next month and race winners receive 100 points for a win on a sliding scale for the top 30 finishers.

Shiffrin is still comfortably ahead in the chase for her fourth straight World Cup overall title, 165 points clear of Brignone.

Shiffrin skipped Sunday’s parallel slalom in St. Moritz, Switzerland, her third time passing on a tech race (aside from injury) since she burst onto the scene as a teenager in 2012. She used the time off to rest after last Saturday’s super-G, ahead of Tuesday’s GS and this weekend’s downhill and super combined in Val d’Isere, France.

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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