Michael Andrew wins 100m butterfly over Caeleb Dressel ahead of trials

0 Comments

Michael Andrew made the U.S. Olympic team last summer in the freestyle, breaststroke and individual medley. Could he add a butterfly for the world championships this summer?

The versatile Andrew won the 100m fly over Olympic champion and world-record holder Caeleb Dressel at a Pro Series meet in Westmont, Illinois, on Friday. Andrew clocked 51.74 seconds, edging fellow 22-year-old rising star Shaine Casas by .03 and Dressel by .05.

PRO SWIM SERIES: Full Results

Andrew entered last summer’s Olympic Trials as the fastest American in the 100m fly for the year, but scratched the event as he focused on the overlapping 200m individual medley. In Tokyo, he finished fourth, fourth and fifth in three individual events, adding a gold with the medley relay.

Next month, Andrew will face more schedule decisions at the world championships trials, where the top two per individual Olympic event are again in line to make the team. The 100m fly is the same day as the 50m breaststroke and 50m backstroke, non-Olympic events that Andrew swam at the last worlds in 2019.

If USA Swimming selection procedures remain the same as in the past, Andrew could swim those non-Olympic 50m events at worlds without swimming them at trials, provided he makes the team in the 100m in the corresponding stroke.

Dressel should still be considered the massive 100m fly favorite at trials next month in Greensboro, N.C. He has a reputation for making massive time drops at major meets, so defeats on the Pro Series circuit aren’t too significant. Andrew appears the favorite for the second spot at trials, assuming he swims it this time.

In other events Friday, Claire Curzan, who made the Tokyo Olympic team in the 100m fly at age 16, won both the 100m fly and the 200m backstroke. Curzan flew the fastest in 56.89, beating Rio Olympian Kelsi Dahlia by .64.

The women’s 100m fly at world trials could include four of the five fastest Americans in history in the event, including American record holder Torri Huske, who isn’t in Westmont as she competes for Stanford.

Curzan lowered her personal best in the 200m back in prelims and finals, bringing it from 2:10.16 to 2:07.31 against a field lacking the top Americans. She now ranks fifth in the U.S. in the event since the start of 2021.

Katie Ledecky bypassed the 200m freestyle for the 400m individual medley and placed third in an event she doesn’t swim at major meets. Olympic bronze medalist Hali Flickinger prevailed in 4:36.46, distancing Leah Smith by 3.32 seconds. Ledecky touched in 4:40.28.

Ryan Murphy extended a near-three-year domestic win streak in the 200m backstroke, touching in 1:56.78, a comeback win over Casas (1:58.09).

The Pro Series meet finishes Saturday at 7 p.m. ET with finals streaming on USASwimming.org.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Mikaela Shiffrin heads to world championships with medal records in sight

0 Comments

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.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Lucas Braathen, world’s top male slalom skier, in doubt for world championships

Lucas Braathen
Getty
0 Comments

Norway’s Lucas Braathen, the world’s top male slalom skier this season, is doubtful to compete in the world championships slalom on Feb. 19 after appendix surgery on Tuesday.

“It’s been a tough couple of days fighting after surprisingly finding out about quite an intense infection on my appendix,” Braathen, a 22-year-old soccer convert with a Brazilian mom, posted on social media. “I’ve been through surgery and I’m blessed that it went successfully.”

The Norway Alpine skiing team doctor said Braathen’s recovery will take a few weeks, but there is a small possibility he can make it back for the world championships slalom, which is on the final day of the two-week competition.

Braathen has two slalom wins and one giant slalom win this World Cup season. He will miss Saturday’s slalom in Chamonix, France, the last race before worlds. Countryman Henrik Kristoffersen and Swiss Daniel Yule can overtake him atop the World Cup slalom standings in Chamonix.

Braathen entered last year’s Olympics as the World Cup slalom leader and skied out in the first run at the Games.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!