Caeleb Dressel gets first Pro Swim Series win since Tokyo Olympics

TYR Pro Swim Series - San Antonio

Caeleb Dressel picked up his first Pro Swim Series race victory since the Tokyo Olympics, though he had to share it.

Dressel, who earned five gold medals last summer, tied for the win in a 100m freestyle in San Antonio on Saturday, the last day of the final top-level meet before the world championships trials in four weeks.

He clocked 49.13 seconds, matching Serbian Andrej Barna with the fastest time by an American this year. Dressel’s personal best is 46.96, the second-fastest time in history.

Other swimmers have been hotter to start 2022 — notably Shaine Casas and Claire Curzan, who each picked up another win Saturday. Going into Saturday, Dressel had finished between second and fourth in his five Pro Series races this year in his Olympic gold-medal events — 50m and 100m frees and 100m butterfly.

PRO SERIES: Full Results | Broadcast Schedule

There was little concern, however, as Dressel is known for making big time drops for the meets that really count.

At world trials in Greensboro, N.C., the top two in Dressel’s main events make the team. His primary competition: Michael Andrew, who is ranked No. 1 in the nation in the 50m free and No. 3 in the 100m fly, and the sizzling Casas, ranked No. 3 in the 100m free and No. 1 in the 100m fly.

Casas on Saturday continued his incredible run since missing the Olympic team. The 22-year-old new pro won the 200m individual medley in 1:56.70, beating Olympic 400m IM champion Chase Kalisz by four tenths. It’s the fastest time in the world since the Tokyo Games for Casas, who is more known as a backstroker.

Curzan made it eight victories between the two Pro Series stops this year, capping her meet by taking the 100m free in 53.68, four tenths faster than Erika Brown. Curzan, a 17-year-old who finished 10th in her lone Olympic event, is the nation’s fastest woman this year in five different individual events, though many of the top Americans haven’t swum in Olympic-size pools while competing collegiately.

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Mikaela Shiffrin heads to world championships with medal records in sight


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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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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