Mikaela Shiffrin makes podium in first race since Olympics


Mikaela Shiffrin finished second in her first race since the Olympics, breaking her tie with Petra Vlhova for the World Cup overall standings lead.

“After the last couple of weeks, I really appreciate this,” said Shiffrin, who had a best Olympic finish of ninth in five individual events. “I’ve been actually pretty awful to be around with my team. They’re trying to lift me up a bit. Not because of the Olympics, but of course it’s a big part of it. It’s just been heavy. Everything felt really, really heavy on my mind and on my heart.

“I finally just actually enjoyed skiing for a day. I just want to focus on that.”

France’s Romane Miradoli was the surprise super-G winner in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. The 27-year-old’s best previous individual finish in 126 World Cup starts was fifth.

Shiffrin, .38 of a second behind, notched her best super-G result since Jan. 26, 2020, when she won in her last race before her father’s death.

Olympic champion Lara Gut-Behrami was third.

ALPINE WORLD CUP: Full Results | Broadcast Schedule

Vlhova was 18th, so Shiffrin took a 67-point lead in a close competition for the overall title, the biggest annual prize in ski racing combining results in all disciplines over the World Cup season.

A notable spectator was Roger Federer, who met with skiers including Shiffrin at the bottom of the course. Federer and Shiffrin share a sponsor in Barilla and have appeared in a commercial together.

There are seven more races scheduled in the 37-race season, starting with a giant slalom in Lenzerheide on Sunday.

Shiffrin won three consecutive World Cup overall titles in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Vlhova is the reigning champion.

With a fourth crown, Shiffrin can tie Lindsey Vonn for second place in women’s history, trailing only Austrian Annemarie Moser-Pröll, who won six in the 1970s.

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

Lucas Braathen

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

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Sifan Hassan sets marathon debut

Sifan Hassan

Sifan Hassan, who won 5000m and 10,000m gold and 1500m bronze at the Tokyo Olympics in an unprecedented triple, will make her 26.2-mile debut at the London Marathon on April 23.

Hassan, a 30-year-old Dutchwoman, said she will return to the track after the race, but how the London Marathon goes will play into whether she bids for the Olympic marathon in 2024.

“I want to see what I can do on the marathon distance, to make future decisions,” she posted on social media. “We’ll see if I will finish the distance or if the distance will finish me.”

Exhausted by her Olympic feat, Hassan reportedly went at least seven months after the Tokyo Games between training in track spikes. She finished fourth in the 10,000m and sixth in the 5000m at last July’s world championships in Eugene, Oregon.

“I really needed a break after the Tokyo Olympics,” Hassan said at worlds. “I was mentally crashed. I didn’t even care about running.”

London, billed as the best women’s marathon field in history, also boasts Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya, world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya, 2016 Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia, 1500m world record holder Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia and the two fastest Americans in history, Emily Sisson and Keira D’Amato.

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