Simone Manuel, Ryan Lochte among swim stars not entered in world champs trials

Simone Manuel
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Simone ManuelRyan LochteAllison Schmitt and Nathan Adrian, who own a combined 35 Olympic medals and haven’t competed since the Tokyo Games, have not yet entered next week’s world swimming championships trials.

The preliminary entries were published Thursday here.

The standard entry deadline passed on Tuesday night. Late entries are allowed, with a fee, through Sunday.

In most events, the top two swimmers at trials next week in Greensboro, N.C., qualify for the world championships in Budapest in June.

U.S. SWIMMING RANKINGS: Women | Men

Manuel, a five-time Olympic medalist, was expected to take a break after the Tokyo Games. She announced at the Olympic Trials last June that she had been diagnosed with overtraining syndrome and dealt with depression, anxiety and insomnia last spring.

A doctor told her that, pending she made the Olympic team, she needed to take two months off to let her body rest.

Manuel has not publicly stated if or when she plans to compete again.

Manuel, 25, made every Olympic, world championships and Pan Pacific Championships team in the last two Olympic cycles. This year will be her first time not on the national team since the 2012 London Games.

Manuel won four gold medals and a female record seven total medals at the last worlds in 2019.

In Manuel’s absence, the top U.S. female sprint freestylers this year have been fellow Tokyo Olympians Claire Curzan and Abbey Weitzeil.

Lochte, 37 and a 12-time Olympic medalist, said after missing the Tokyo Olympic team that he still wanted to race but didn’t know if he could make it to another Olympic Trials in 2024. Lochte’s agent confirmed he will not be a late entry into trials. This will be the first trials meet that Lochte has missed — that he’s been eligible for — since the 2000 Olympic Trials.

Schmitt, 31 and a 10-time Olympic medalist, has not publicly said whether she will return to competition. She took nearly two years off after the 2016 Rio Games.

Adrian, 33 and an eight-time Olympic medalist, said after missing the Tokyo Olympic team by one spot in the 50m free that he didn’t know what was next for him in the sport. His agent said that Adrian will not be a late trials entry and is expected to decide on his competitive future by the end of the summer.

Erica Sullivan, the Olympic 1500m free silver medalist who competed this past NCAA season as a Texas freshman, is also not entered at trials, citing a shoulder injury, according to Swimswam.com.

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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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