Kathleen Baker

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How to watch overall World Cup champ Mikaela Shiffrin ski this weekend

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It would seem Mikaela Shiffrin picked the best weekend of the season to take a break after every scheduled event in Sochi, Russia last week had to be cancelled due to adverse weather conditions.

Shiffrin, while training in Italy ahead of this weekโ€™s events in the Czech Republic, was still able to make headlines, when her World Cup points total allowed her to clinch her third-consecutive overall title. She has also clinched her fourth-straight slalom crystal globe, and sixth overall, after taking an insurmountable 203-point lead in the standings.ย 

The womenโ€™s World Cup will attempt to get back to racing on Friday with the first run of the giant slalom scheduled for 4:30 a.m. ET. Watch the first run live on OlympicChannel.com or with an NBC Sports Gold Snow Pass. The second run can be seen live on TV and streaming on Olympic Channel and NBC Sports Gold.

After crisscrossing the globe, the ISU Speed Skating World Cup winds up in Utah for the final event of the season. The U.S.โ€™ Brittany Bowe and Joey Mantia, both recently crowned world champions, will close out their seasons on home ice at the site of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games.

For Bowe, she returns to the track where she set the world record in the 1000m not once, but twice in her career, and is closing out a season where she has landed on 12 World Cup podiums.

Watch speed skating from Salt Lake City beginning on Friday at 11:00 p.m. on TV on Olympic Channel. ย 

If youโ€™re looking to thaw out from all the winter sports action, some of the best international swimmers in the world convene in Des Moines at the second stop on the TYR Pro Swim Series. Look for the U.S.โ€™ 2016 Olympic gold medalists Caeleb Dressel and Kathleen Baker to be in the pool in Iowa. Watch the first of three days of swimming in primetime beginning on Thursday at 8:00 p.m. ET on TV and streaming on Olympic Channel.

ALPINE SKIING WORLD CUPย — Spindleruv Mlyn, Czech Republic; Kranjska Gora, Slovenia

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Friday 4:30 a.m. Women’s Giant Slalom (Run 1) OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold
7:30 a.m. Women’s Giant Slalom (Run 2) Olympic Channel Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold
12:00 p.m. Women’s Giant Slalom (Run 2)* NBCSN
Saturday 3:30 a.m. Menโ€™s Giant Slalom (Run 1) OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold
4:30 a.m. Women’s Slalom (Run 1) OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold
6:30 a.m. Men’s Giant Slalom (Run 2) DELAYED start at 8:30 a.m. Olympic Channel Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold
7:30 a.m. Women’s Slalom (Run 2) Olympic Channel Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold
6:00 p.m. Women’s Slalom (Run 2)* NBCSN
Sunday 4:30 a.m. Men’s Slalom (Run 1) OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold
7:30 a.m. Men’s Slalom (Run 2) Olympic Channel Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold

*Same-day delay

BOBSLED AND SKELETON WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPSย — Whistler, British Columbia

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Thursday 12:00 p.m. Men’s Skeleton (Run 1) Olympic Channel Olympic Channel
1:45 p.m. Men’s Skeleton (Run 2) Olympic Channel Olympic Channel
3:30 p.m. Women’s Skeleton (Run 1) Olympic Channel Olympic Channel
5:00 p.m. Women’s Skeleton (Run 2) Olympic Channel Olympic Channel
11:30 p.m. Men’s and Women’s Skeleton Day 1* NBCSN
Friday 12:00 p.m. Men’s Skeleton (Run 3) Olympic Channel Olympic Channel
1:45 p.m. Men’s Skeleton (Final Run) Olympic Channel Olympic Channel
3:30 p.m. Women’s Skeleton (Run 3) Olympic Channel Olympic Channel
5:00 p.m. Women’s Skeleton (Final Run) Olympic Channel Olympic Channel
8:00 p.m. Four-Man Bobsled (Run 1) Olympic Channel Olympic Channel
9:30 p.m. Four-Man Bobsled (Run 2) NBCSN NBCSN
Saturday 8:00 p.m. Four-Man Bobsled (Run 3) Olympic Channel Olympic Channel
9:30 p.m. Four-Man Bobsled (Final Run) Olympic Channel Olympic Channel

*Same-day delay

BIATHLON WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPSย — Oestersund, Sweden

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Thursday 10:15 a.m. Mixed Relay Olympic Channel Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold
4:00 p.m. Mixed Relay* NBCSN
Friday 10:15 a.m. Women’s 7.5km Sprint Olympic Channel Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold
1:00 p.m. Women’s 7.5km Sprint* NBCSN
Saturday 10:30 a.m. Men’s 10km Sprint Olympic Channel Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold
Sunday 8:45 a.m. Women’s 10km Pursuit Olympic Channel Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold
11:30 a.m. Men’s 12.5km Pursuit Olympic Channel Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold

*Same-day delay

CROSS-COUNTRY WORLD CUPย — Oslo, Norway

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Saturday 4:00 a.m. Men’s 50km Mass Start Olympic Channel Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold
Sunday 6:45 a.m. Women’s 30km Mass Start OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold
1:00 p.m. Women’s 30km Mass Start* Olympic Channel

*Same-day delay

FENCING GRAND PRIXย — Cairo, Egypt; Budapest, Hungary

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Friday 9:00 a.m. Fromย Cairo, Egypt* Olympic Channel
Sunday 4:00 p.m. From Budapest, Hungary OlympicChannel.com

*Pre-recorded

FREESKI AND SNOWBOARDING TOYOTA U.S. GRAND PRIXย — Mammoth Lakes, California

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Friday 12:30 p.m. Snowboarding: Slopestyle NBCSports.com/NBC Sports Gold
4:00 p.m. Freeski: Halfpipe NBCSports.com/NBC Sports Gold
Sunday 12:30 a.m. Freeski: Halfpipe* NBCSN
12:30 p.m. Freeski: Slopestyle NBCSports.com/NBC Sports Gold
4:00 p.m. Snowboarding: Halfpipe NBCSports.com/NBC Sports Gold
11:30 p.m. Snowboarding: Slopestyle* NBCSN

*Encore presentation

NORDIC COMBINED WORLD CUPย — Oslo, Norway

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Saturday 3:00 a.m. Men’s HS134 OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold
7:30 a.m. Men’s 10km OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold

SKI JUMPING WORLD CUP RAW AIR TOURNAMENTย — Oslo, Norway

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Friday 1:30 p.m. Men’s Qualifying OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold
Saturday 8:30 a.m. Men’s Team OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold
3:00 p.m. Men’s Team* Olympic Channel
Sunday 5:00 a.m. Women’s Individual OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold
9:30 a.m. Men’s Individual OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold
3:00 p.m. Women’s Individual* Olympic Channel
4:30 p.m. Men’s Individual* Olympic Channel

*Same-day delay

SNOWBOARDING WORLD CUPย — Scuol, Switzerland

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Saturday 7:30 a.m. Parallel Giant Slalom OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold

SPEED SKATING WORLD CUPย — Salt Lake City, Utah

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Saturday 2:20 p.m. World Cup Final Day 1 NBC Sports Gold
11:00 p.m. World Cup Final Day 1* Olympic Channel
Sunday 3:15 p.m. World Cup Final Day 2 NBC Sports Gold
11:00 p.m. World Cup Final Day 2* Olympic Channel

*Same-day delay

SHORT TRACK WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPSย — Sofia, Bulgaria

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Saturday 8:00 a.m. Day 2 NBC Sports Gold
6:00 p.m. Day 2* Olympic Channel
Sunday 8:00 a.m. Day 3 NBC Sports Gold
6:00 p.m. Day 3* Olympic Channel

*Same-day delay

TYR PRO SWIM SERIESย — Des Moines, Iowa

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Thursday 8:00 p.m. Day 1 Olympic Channel Olympic Channel
Friday 1:00 a.m. Day 1* NBCSN
8:00 p.m. Day 2 NBCSN NBCSports.com
Saturday 8:00 p.m. Day 3 NBCSports.com

*Next-day delay

U.S. female swimmers historically dominant in 2018 world rankings

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The U.S. has a female swimmer ranked in the top four of every Olympic event this year, which is the first time since 2007, according to FINA and USA Swimming databases.

The world’s fastest times came into focus following last week’s Asian Games, the biggest meet remaining on the 2018 senior international schedule. There are still opportunities remaining, particularly the Youth Olympics in October, but that has an age limit of 18 years old.

The biggest meet of the year for every swimming power has passed — the Commonwealth Games in April and the European Championships, Pan Pacific Championships and Asian Games this month.

This is the only year in the four-year cycle without an Olympics or a world championships. The best way to determine the world’s best swimmers is to compare best times from around the world throughout the year.

The U.S. women would earn medals in 12 of 14 individual Olympic events if awarded based on fastest times this year, matching their results from the 2016 Olympics and 2017 World Championships.

Katie Ledeckyย would take three golds (400m, 800m and 1500m freestyles) and a silver (200m freestyle).ย Kathleen Bakerย would earn 100m backstroke gold and silver in the 200m back and 200m individual medley, making her the most versatile swimmer in the country.

The notable improvement this year came in the U.S.’ traditionally weak events — the 200m breaststroke and 200m butterfly.

In 2016, the top-ranked U.S. women in the 200m breast wasย Katie Meiliย at No. 14, according to FINA. No Americans made the Olympic final. Now it’s arguably a deep event.ย Micah Sumrallย (formerly Lawrence) is ranked No. 3 in 2018 despite taking all of 2017 off from competition.ย Bethany Galatย andย Lilly Kingย finished second and fourth in the 200m breast at 2017 Worlds.

In 2017,ย Hali Flickinger was the top American in the 200m fly but No. 12 in the world. The U.S. hasn’t earned an Olympic women’s 200m fly medal sinceย Misty Hyman‘s upset gold at Sydney 2000, its longest drought in any men’s or women’s Olympic pool event. In every other event, the U.S. has earned at least one medal between the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.

But Flickinger, a 24-year-old veteran, took gold at Pan Pacs after lowering her personal best at nationals from 2:06.67 to 2:05.87. Flickinger was seventh in Rio and ninth at the 2017 Worlds. She’s No. 2 in the world this year.

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2018 Swimming World Rankings — Women
50m Freestyle
1. Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) — 23.74
2. Pernille Blume (DEN) — 23.75
3. Cate Campbell (AUS) — 23.78
4. Simone Manuel (USA) — 24.10
5. Maria Kameneva (RUS) — 24.21
5. Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED) — 24.21

100m Freestyle
1. Cate Campbell (AUS) — 52.03
2. Bronte Campbell (AUS) — 52.27
3. Simone Manuel (USA) — 52.54
4. Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) — 52.72
5. Taylor Ruck (CAN) — 52.72
5. Pernille Blume (DEN) — 52.72

200m Freestyle
1. Taylor Ruck (CAN) — 1:54.44
2. Katie Ledecky (USA) — 1:54.56
3. Ariarne Titmus (AUS) — 1:54.85
3. Rikako Ikee (JPN) — 1:54.85
5. Charlotte Bonnet (FRA) — 1:54.95

400m Freestyle
1. Katie Ledecky (USA) — 3:57.94
2. Ariarne Titmus (AUS) — 3:59.66
3. Leah Smith (USA) — 4:02.21
4. Wang Jianjiahe (CHN) — 4:03.14
5. Simona Quadrella (ITA) — 4:03.35

800m Freestyle
1. Katie Ledecky (USA) — 8:07.27
2. Simona Quadrella (ITA) — 8:16.45
3. Ariarne Titmus (AUS) — 8:17.07
4. Leah Smith (USA) — 8:17.27
5. Wang Jianjiahe (CHN) — 8:18.09

1500m Freestyle
1. Katie Ledecky (USA) — 15:20.48
2. Simona Quadrella (ITA) — 15:51.61
3. Wang Jianjiahe (CHN) — 15:53.01
4. Li Bingjie (CHN) — 15:53.80
5. Ashley Twichell (USA) — 15:55.68

100m Backstroke
1. Kathleen Baker (USA) — 58.00
2. Kylie Masse (CAN) — 58.54
3. Emily Seebohm (AUS) — 58.66
4. Olivia Smoliga (USA) — 58.75
5. Regan Smith (USA) — 58.83

200m Backstroke
1. Kylie Masse (CAN) — 2:05.98
2. Kathleen Baker (USA) — 2:06.14
3. Margherita Panziera (ITA) — 2:06.18
4. Taylor Ruck (CAN) — 2:06.36
5. Regan Smith (USA) — 2:06.43

100m Breaststroke
1. Yulia Efimova (RUS) — 1:04.98
2. Lilly King (USA) — 1:05.36
3. Molly Hannis (USA) — 1:05.78
4. Reona Aoki (JPN) — 1:05.90
5. Katie Meili (USA) — 1:06.19

200m Breaststroke
1. Yulia Efimova (RUS) — 2:20.72
2. Reona Aoki (JPN) — 2:21.85
3. Micah Sumrall (USA) — 2:21.88
4. Tatjana Schoenmaker (RSA) — 2:22.02
5. Lilly King (USA) — 2:22.12

100m Butterfly
1. Rikako Ikee (JPN) — 56.08
2. Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) — 56.23
3. Kelsi Dahlia (USA) — 56.44
4. Emma McKeon (AUS) — 56.54
5. Maddie Groves (AUS) — 57.19

200m Butterfly
1. Alys Thomas (GBR) — 2:05.45
2. Hali Flickinger (USA) — 2:05.87
3. Zhang Yufei (CHN) — 2:06.61
4. Laura Taylor (AUS) — 2:06.80
5. Mireia Belmonta (ESP) — 2:07.09

200m Individual Medley
1. Yui Ohashi (JPN) — 2:08.16
2. Kathleen Baker (USA) — 2:08.32
3. Kim Seoyeong (KOR) — 2:08.34
4. Sydney Pickrem (CAN) — 2:09.07
5. Melanie Margalis (USA) — 2:09.43

400m Individual Medley
1. Yui Ohashi (JPN) — 4:33.77
2. Fantine Lesaffre (FRA) — 4:34.17
3. Ilaria Cusinato (ITA) — 4:34.65
4. Ally McHugh (USA) — 4:34.80
5. Aimee Wilmott (GBR) — 4:34.90

Katie Ledecky wins by 21 seconds to close Pan Pacs

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Katie Ledeckyย routed the 1500m freestyle field by 21.11 seconds as the U.S. won seven of 10 events on the last day of the Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo on Sunday.

Ledecky ended the meet with three gold medals, one silver and one bronze. In her last swim, she clocked 15:38.97, well off her world record from May 16 of 15:20.48, but still easily enough to win an event that she has never lost.

“The time wasn’t great,” Ledecky told media in Tokyo. “Swimming the range of events that I swim, it’s hard to put together all great races.”

She qualified for the 2019 World Championships in the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m frees and also figures to anchor the 4x200m free relay in South Korea next year. Ledecky swam all of those events plus the 4x100m free at the 2017 Worlds.

Sweeping those five events at 2019 Worlds, as she did at the 2015 Worlds, looks like a difficult task. Ledecky was third in the 200m free in Tokyo, faced (and passed) her toughest test in the 400m free in six years and was part of a 4x200m free team at Pan Pacs that was beaten by Australia.

Overall, many U.S. swimmers posted slower times than they did at nationals two weeks ago, some citing jet lag from arriving in Japan four days before the meet started. The Americans won two of the seven relays, its worst percentage at a major international meet since it went winless at the 2001 Worlds.

Australia swept the women’s relays, capped byย Cate Campbellย passing Olympic and world 100m free championย Simone Manuelย on the last leg of the medley relay Sunday. The U.S. barely held off Japan by .05 in the men’s medley relay, one day after swimming out of order in the 4x100m free.

The U.S. totaled 18 gold medals for the meet, which does not include European nations and lacks China’s best swimmers. Australia was second at eight golds with open-water events still to come.

PAN PACS: Full Results | U.S. qualifiers for 2019 Worlds

In other events Sunday,ย Michael Andrewย upset seven-time 2017 World championย Caeleb Dresselย in the 50m freestyle for a second straight meet. Andrew, who turned pro at 14 in 2013, clocked a personal-best 21.46 seconds, easily beating Dressel (21.93). Great Britain’sย Ben Proudย is fastest in the world this year at 21.11.

“The first two finals sessions [this week] were kind of rough,” said Andrew, who clocked personal bests in the 50m free, 100m backstroke and 100m butterfly in Tokyo. “I feel like that had to do with maybe time zone or something. But very quickly I took the effort, changing my mental frame of mind, being able to prepare for the meet I still had ahead of me. So I’m really happy with the swims.”

Campbell completed a sweep of the sprint freestyles, holding off Manuelย in the 50m free. Campbell clocked 23.81 to Manuel’s 24.22 and finished the meet with five golds, including three on relays.

Olympic championย Ryan Murphyย won the 200m backstroke in a personal-best 1:53.57, ranking him second in the world this year behind world championย Evgeny Rylovย of Russia.

Zane Grotheย missed the American record by .14, winning the 800m freestyle in 7:43.74. Grothe, who made the 2019 Worlds team in the 400m, 800m and 1500m frees, ranks second in the world this year behind European championย Mykhailo Romanchuk of Ukraine.

Kathleen Bakerย took the women’s 200m back in a personal-best 2:06.14, ranking her second in the world this year. World leaderย Kylie Masseย of Canada was fourth in 2:07.00.

In the 200m breaststroke, Micah Sumrallย edged Olympic 100m breast championย Lilly Kingย by .24 in 2:21.88. King’s rival in the 100m breast, Russianย Yulia Efimova, owns the fastest time in the world this year of 2:20.72.

World-record holderย Ippei Watanabeย of Japan won the men’s 200m breast in 2:07.75. World championย Anton Chupkovย of Russiaย is fastest in the world this year with a 2:06.80.

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