Erriyon Knighton among World Athletics Rising Star Award nominees

Erriyon Knighton
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One year after winning World Athletics’ Men’s Rising Star Award, American teenage sprinter Erriyon Knighton is again among the nominees for the honor that recognizes the world’s best U20 track and field athlete of the year.

Knighton, 18, took 200m bronze at the world championships on July 21 in Eugene, Oregon, becoming the youngest individual sprint medalist in championships history. He was part of a U.S. medals sweep with Noah Lyles and Kenny Bednarek.

That came three months after Knighton ran a 19.49-second 200m to become, at the time, the fourth-fastest man in history. Lyles went even faster to win worlds (19.31), pushing Knighton to fifth all-time.

Last year, Knighton broke junior sprint records held by Usain Bolt and became the youngest U.S. male track and field Olympian since miler Jim Ryun in 1964. He finished fourth in the 200m in Tokyo.

Knighton also made the Time 100 Next list announced Sept. 28, along with 17-year-old figure skater Ilia Malinin.

Knighton is up for the Men’s Rising Star Award along with French pole vaulter Anthony Ammirati, Jamaican triple jumper Jaydon Hibbert, Botswanan sprinter Letsile Tebogo and Kenyan 800m runner Emmanuel Wanyonyi.

Knighton can become the first person to win multiple Rising Star Awards. It was added to the annual World Athletics award list in 2005 and separated into men’s and women’s awards in 2010.

The Women’s Rising Star Award nominees are Kenyan steeplechasers Jackline Chepkoech and Faith Cherotich, South African shot putter Mine De Klerk, Jamaican sprinter Kerrica Hill and Serbian javelin thrower Adriana Vilagos.

The award winners will be selected by an international panel of experts and announced on World Athletics’ social media in early December.

American Athing Mu won last year’s women’s award after taking the Olympic 800m title. Mu, then 19, was the youngest U.S. woman to win individual Olympic track and field gold since Wyomia Tyus in the 100m at the 1964 Tokyo Games.

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Mikaela Shiffrin skips Lake Louise speed races with different World Cup schedule

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Mikaela Shiffrin will not race downhills and a super-G in Lake Louise, Alberta, this weekend, skipping the traditional first speed races of the World Cup season for the first time since 2014 to focus on training her primary events of slalom and giant slalom.

Shiffrin decided before the season began that she would not race Lake Louise, a representative said. A reason: For the first time in six years, tech races rather than speed races in Europe are scheduled for the weekend following Lake Louise.

Shiffrin’s schedule for now includes the next speed races in St. Moritz, Switzerland, from Dec. 16-18, but that may change.

For the first time in her career, Shiffrin won her first two races of the season, taking slaloms on back-to-back days in Levi, Finland, two weekends ago.

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This past weekend, she placed 13th and fifth in a GS and a slalom in Killington, Vermont. In five previous trips to Killington, she finished second, third, fourth and fifth in the GS and won all five of the slaloms.

“There are positives to take away from the races and positives about my skiing,” Shiffrin posted on social media. “I know the direction I need to work in GS, and I just need a few days to get that repetition. With slalom, I also have a bit of a direction as well.

“It’s easy for people to say that I won in Levi and that I’m back and I’m going to win everything now again…it’s not really the case. There are women who are skiing better than I am, and on any given day any one of us have the capability to win.”

Shiffrin has raced more downhills and super-Gs in Lake Louise than any other World Cup venue. She made her World Cup super-G debut there in 2015 and her World Cup downhill debut there in 2016 and earned her first World Cup downhill win there in 2017 and first World Cup super-G win there in 2018.

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Anna Shcherbakova, Olympic figure skating champion, extends competition absence

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Olympic figure skating champion Anna Shcherbakova will miss the Russian Championships because she has not fully recovered from August knee surgery, a representative for the skater said Tuesday.

Shcherbakova, 18, has been sidelined from competition since the surgery. All Russian skaters are banned from international competition due to the war in Ukraine, but Russia has been holding domestic events with its top skaters.

Shcherbakova will take part in non-competitive skating shows in December, first at a World Cup fan zone in Qatar and later a show in Russia that takes place during the national championships, according to Russian media. Shcherbakova’s representative did not address her show plans when confirming her absence from nationals.

Russia is scheduled to hold its national championships the week of Christmas, as usual. That event usually determines its team for March’s world championships, though there is no indication that the ban on Russian skaters will be lifted any time soon to make them eligible for worlds.

Since Russian skaters were banned from competing at last March’s worlds, they were unable to qualify more than the minimum one entry per discipline for the next worlds for which they will be eligible.

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