U.S. sprint star quartet meets at 200m at USATF Golden Games at Mt. SAC

Michael Norman, Rai Benjamin
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World champion Christian Coleman and Olympic medalists Fred KerleyRai Benjamin and Michael Norman meet at 200m at the USATF Golden Games at the Mt. SAC Relays on Saturday, live at 5 p.m. ET on CNBC, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app.

Coleman was the world’s fastest man in the 100m in the last Olympic cycle but missed the Tokyo Games due to a suspension for missing three drug tests (but never failing a test).

Kerley, a two-time national 400m champion, dropped down to the 100m last year and won Olympic silver behind Italian Marcell Jacobs.

Benjamin and Norman, training partners in California, normally race a full lap. Benjamin earned 400m hurdles silver in Tokyo, taking .53 of a second off the previous world record. He was runner-up to Norway’s Karsten Warholm, who shattered his world record.

Norman was the world’s fastest man at 400m in the last Olympic cycle, and that time came at the Mt. SAC Relays. In the Olympics, he was fifth and later earned 4x400m relay gold.

GOLDEN GAMES: Entry lists

All four men are preparing for the USATF Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon, in two months, where the top three in most individual events qualify for the world championships in July, also in Eugene.

Coleman already has a spot on the team in the 100m as a reigning world champion, so he is expected to race the 200m at nationals.

Kerley could bid for a 100m-200m double at nationals. He missed the Olympic 200m team by one spot.

Norman is less likely to race the 200m at nationals since it overlaps with the 400m at worlds. Benjamin’s eggs are expected to be solely in the 400m hurdles basket this summer, though he could be called on for 4x400m duty.

The top three from the Olympic Trials 200m — Kenny BednarekNoah Lyles and Erriyon Knighton — finished second, third and fourth at the Olympics. None are entered in the Golden Games 200m. Bednarek is slated to race the 400m in a field including Michael Cherry, who was fourth in Tokyo.

Elsewhere Saturday, Olympic gold medalist Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica headlines the women’s 100m, which also includes U.S. Olympians Teahna Daniels and Javianne Oliver. The 200m features bronze medalist Gabby Thomas and Olympic teammate Jenna Prandini.

Devon Allen, who last week signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, returns to the 110m hurdles to face Olympic teammate Daniel Roberts. Allen, who was fourth and fifth at the last two Olympics, is expected to race the hurdles through the world championships, assuming he makes the U.S. team, before heading to football training camp.

The 100m hurdles includes all three U.S. Olympians in Tokyo, led by silver medalist Keni Harrison.

Dalilah Muhammad, an Olympic gold and silver medalist in the 400m hurdles, runs the flat 400m against a field including 2017 World champion Phyllis Francis.

Evan Jager, a 2016 Olympic silver medalist since set back by injuries, will look to finish his first steeplechase since 2018.

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

Lucas Braathen
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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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