All three Rio Olympic men’s golf medalists miss Tokyo Games qualification

Olympic Games 2016 Golf
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The Tokyo Olympic men’s golf tournament is set to produce three new medalists.

All three Rio medalists — Justin RoseHenrik Stenson and Matt Kuchar — failed to qualify outright for Tokyo.

The Olympic men’s golf field of 60 is drawn from the world rankings after this weekend’s U.S. Open.

Rose, Stenson and Kuchar went into the U.S. Open outside of outright qualification, and none made the cut at Torrey Pines.

Rose, who in Rio became the first Olympic golf champion since 1904, is ranked highest of the trio at No. 42. He needed to climb more than 20 spots in the rankings to pass Paul Casey and Matthew Fitzpatrick for the second and final British spot after Tyrrell Hatton.

Stenson has dropped to No. 149 in the world, but he still had a chance going into the U.S. Open. A nation can qualify up to two golfers per gender to the Olympics if they’re all ranked outside the top 15, and Sweden’s No. 2, Henrik Norlander, entered this week ranked No. 134. Stenson is currently Sweden’s first alternate if Alex Noren or Norlander withdraws from the Games.

Kuchar is ranked 59th in the world but outside the top 25 Americans. Even with a win this week, he would not have qualified, according to rankings guru @VC606.

The top four U.S. men will qualify for Tokyo, given they will be ranked in the top 15. Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa and Bryson DeChambeau were the top four entering the U.S. Open, though Johnson has said he will not take an Olympic spot. That moves everybody up one spot, which put Xander Schauffele in qualifying position going into the U.S. Open.

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Olympic flame to travel by sea for Paris 2024, welcomed by armada

Paris 2024 Olympic Torch Relay Marseille
Paris 2024
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The Olympic flame will travel from Athens to Marseille by ship in spring 2024 to begin the France portion of the torch relay that ends in Paris on July 26, 2024.

The torch relay always begins in the ancient Olympic site of Olympia, Greece, where the sun’s rays light the flame. It will be passed by torch until it reaches Athens.

It will then cross the Mediterranean Sea aboard the Belem, a three-masted ship, “reminiscent of a true Homeric epic,” according to Paris 2024. It will arrive at the Old Port of Marseille, welcomed by an armada of boats.

Marseille is a former Greek colony and the oldest city in France. It will host sailing and some soccer matches during the Paris Olympics.

The full 2024 Olympic torch relay route will be unveiled in May.

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Paris 2024 Olympic Torch Relay Marseille
Paris 2024

Mikaela Shiffrin heads to world championships with medal records in sight

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Before Mikaela Shiffrin can hold the World Cup wins record, she can become the most decorated Alpine skier in modern world championships history.

Shiffrin takes a respite from World Cup pursuits for the biennial world championships in France. She is expected to race at least four times, beginning with Monday’s combined.

Shiffrin has a tour-leading 11 World Cup victories in 23 starts this season, her best since her record 17-win 2018-19 campaign, but world championships do not count toward the World Cup.

Shiffrin remains one career victory behind Swede Ingemar Stenmark‘s record 86 World Cup wins until at least her next World Cup start in March.

Shiffrin has been more successful at worlds than at the Olympics and even on the World Cup. She has 11 medals in 13 world championships races dating to her 2013 debut, including making the podium in each of her last 10 events.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

She enters worlds one shy of the modern, post-World War II individual records for total medals (Norway’s Kjetil Andre Aamodt won 12) and gold medals (Austrian Toni Sailer, Frenchwoman Marielle Goitschel and Swede Anja Pärson won seven).

Worlds take place exactly one year after Shiffrin missed the medals in all of her Olympic races, but that’s not motivating her.

“If I learned anything last year, it’s that these big events, they can go amazing, and they can go terrible, and you’re going to survive no matter what,” she said after her most recent World Cup last Sunday. “So I kind of don’t care.”

Shiffrin ranks No. 1 in the world this season in the giant slalom (Feb. 16 at worlds) and slalom (Feb. 18).

This year’s combined is one run of super-G coupled with one run of slalom (rather than one downhill and one slalom), which also plays to her strengths. She won that event, with that format, at the last worlds in 2021. The combined isn’t contested on the World Cup, so it’s harder to project favorites.

Shiffrin is also a medal contender in the super-G (Feb. 8), despite starting just two of five World Cup super-Gs this season (winning one of them).

She is not planning to race the downhill (Feb. 11), which she often skips on the World Cup and has never contested at a worlds. Nor is she expected for the individual parallel (Feb. 15), a discipline she hasn’t raced in three years in part due to the strain it puts on her back with the format being several runs for the medalists.

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