Norway wins team event at Alpine skiing world championships

Norway Alpine skiing
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CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy — Most talk about the Norwegian ski team at the world championships has been about its many injured stars.

On Wednesday, Norway made the headlines for winning gold at the team event.

“It’s going to be a major boost, having a gold medal. That’s fantastic,” head coach Steve Skavik said. “It’s great for the team. In the team event, they can do it together.”

Thea Louise Stjernesund, Sebastian Foss-Solevåg and Fabian Wilkens Solheim won their runs in the all-Scandinavian final against Sweden for a 3-1 victory.

The team also included Kristina Riis-Johannessen and Kristin Lysdahl.

ALPINE WORLDS: TV Schedule | Results

“It’s nice,” Foss-Solevåg said. “We’re still a small but strong team and we showed them that we are strong without big stars.”

Norway arrived at the worlds without Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, Adrian Smiseth Sejersted, Lucas Braathen and Atle Lie McGrath, who have all been ruled out for the season with knee injuries.

Still, the Norwegian team eased past Japan (4-0) before edging the United States in the quarter-finals and defending champions Switzerland in the semis as both ties ended 2-2.

In case of a tie, the lowest added times from the best man and best woman on a team decides the winner.

In the final, Foss-Solevåg stopped racing midway through his heat against Kristoffer Jakobsen when the Swedish skier made a mistake and appeared to invade his course. The jury opted for a re-run which Solevåg won.

“Jakobson got on his inside ski and I saw him in my vision, like falling in,” the Norwegian said. “I am not risking my health and my legs for this so I stopped right away.”

Jakobson immediately acknowledged his mistake. “He totally agreed with me so there was actually no discussion,” Foss-Solevåg said.

Going by the rules, however, Jakobsen should have lost the heat right away as “interfering with an opponent, accidentally or not” is a reason for disqualification, according to section 5 of the mixed team parallel rules.

The incident came one day after the women’s individual parallel ended in controversy following a tie in the final. Marta Bassino was initially declared the sole winner before the Italian skier’s opponent, Katharina Liensberger of Austria, was awarded a second gold medal half an hour later.

Germany beat Switzerland for bronze after a 2-2 tie in Wednesday’s team event, while Sweden eliminated three-time champion Austria in the quarter-finals.

The American team, without Mikaela Shiffrin, beat Russia in the last 16 before losing to Norway.

“It’s tough, tiebreaks are always hard,” said U.S. skier Nina O’Brien, who is set to compete again in Thursday’s giant slalom.

“Today I am racing this and other girls are probably training GS. I don’t know which way would be an advantage. But at least it’s time on skis and in a race.”

Italian racer Lara Della Mea fell hard on her back after losing control during a first-round heat against Finland and was taken off the course on a sled.

The Italian team said Della Mea will be out for the rest of the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee.

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Aksel Lund Svindal, Olympic Alpine champ, has testicular cancer, ‘prognosis good’

Aksel Lund Svindal
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Aksel Lund Svindal, a retired Olympic Alpine skiing champion from Norway, said he underwent surgery for testicular cancer and the prognosis “looked very good.”

“Tests, scans and surgery all happened very quickly,” Svindal, 39, wrote on social media. “And already after the first week I knew the prognoses looked very good. All thanks to that first decision to go see a doctor as soon as I suspected something was off.”

Svindal retired in 2019 after winning the Olympic super-G in 2010 and downhill in 2018. He also won five world titles among the downhill, combined and giant slalom and two World Cup overall titles.

Svindal said he felt a change in his body that prompted him to see a doctor.

“The last few weeks have been different,” he wrote. “But I’m able to say weeks and not months because of great medical help, a little luck and a good decision.

“I wasn’t sure what it was, or if it was anything at all. … [I] was quickly transferred to the hospital where they confirmed what the doctor suspected. Testicle cancer.”

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup schedule, results

FIBA Women's World Cup
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The U.S. goes for its fourth consecutive title at the FIBA World Cup in Sydney — and eighth global gold in a row overall when including the Olympics.

A’ja Wilson, a two-time WNBA MVP, and Breanna Stewart, the Tokyo Olympic MVP, headline a U.S. roster that, for the first time since 2000, includes neither Sue Bird (retired) nor Diana Taurasi (injured).

The new-look team includes nobody over the age of 30 for the first time since 1994, before the U.S. began its dynasty at the 1996 Atlanta Games. The Americans have won 52 consecutive games between worlds and the Olympics dating to the 2006 Worlds bronze-medal game.

The field also includes host Australia, the U.S.’ former primary rival, and Olympic silver medalist Japan.

Nigeria, which played the U.S. the closest of any foe in Tokyo (losing by nine points), isn’t present after its federation withdrew the team over governance issues. Spain, ranked second in the world, failed to qualify.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Round
Wed., Sept. 21 8:30 p.m. Puerto Rico 82, Bosnia and Herzegovina 58 Group A
9:30 p.m. USA 87, Belgium 72 Group A
11 p.m. Canada 67, Serbia 60 Group B
Thurs., Sept. 22 12 a.m. Japan 89, Mali 56 Group B
3:30 a.m. China 107, South Korea 44 Group A
6:30 a.m. France 70, Australia 57 Group B
8:30 p.m. USA 106, Puerto Rico 42 Group A
10 p.m. Serbia 69, Japan 64 Group B
11 p.m. Belgium 84, South Korea 61 Group A
Fri., Sept. 23 12:30 a.m. China 98, Bosnia and Herzegovina 51 Group A
4 a.m. Canada 59, France 45 Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia 118, Mali 58 Group B
Sat., Sept. 24 12:30 a.m. USA 77, China 63 Group A
4 a.m. South Korea 99, Bosnia and Herzegovina 66 Group A
6:30 a.m. Belgium 68, Puerto Rico 65 Group A
Sun., Sept. 25 12:30 a.m. France vs. Mali Group B
4 a.m. Australia vs. Serbia Group B
6:30 a.m. Canada vs. Japan Group B
9:30 p.m. Belgium vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
11:30 p.m. Mali vs. Serbia Group B
Mon., Sept. 26 12 a.m. USA vs. South Korea Group A
2 a.m. France vs. Japan Group B
3:30 a.m. China vs. Puerto Rico Group A
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Canada Group B
9:30 p.m. Puerto Rico vs. South Korea Group A
11:30 p.m. Belgium vs. China Group A
Tues., Sept. 27 12 a.m. USA vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
2 a.m. Canada vs. Mali Group B
3:30 a.m. France vs. Serbia Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Japan Group B
Wed., Sept. 28 10 p.m. Quarterfinal
Thurs., Sept. 29 12:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
4 a.m. Quarterfinal
6:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
Fri., Sept. 30 3 .m. Semifinal
5:30 a.m. Semifinal
11 p.m. Third-Place Game
Sat., Oct. 1 2 a.m. Final