Welcome to The Sports Examiner SPEED READ, a 100 mph (44.7 m/s) review of what happened over the last 72 hours in Olympic sport:
Monday: FIS President Gian-Franco Kasper made headlines with his interview in a Swiss newspaper, railing against environmentalists and noting how it is easier to put on the Olympic Games in dictatorships. But he also opened the door – thanks to the IOC’s response to his comments – to making the Winter Games smaller and more manageable. Will he follow up?
On the World Alpine Championships in Sweden:
Monday: France’s Alexis Pinturault wins the Combined with a brilliant Slalom, ahead of two first-time World Championships medal winners.
Sunday: The comeback-from-injury stories are complete for Slovania’s Ilka Stuhec, who defended her 2017 World Championship in the women’s Downhill and American Lindsey Vonn, who ended her career with a bronze medal.
Saturday: Norwegians Aksel Lund Svindal and Kjetil Jansrud went 1-2 in the 2018 Olympic Downhill and switched places in Are at the 2019 World Championships. It was a great finale to Svindal’s career in his final race.
Sunday: The world’s largest indoor archery tournament – the Vegas Shoot – was the backdrop for the finale of the World Archery Indoor World Series. The men’s final went to a one-arrow shoot-off between Dutch star Steve Wijler and American Brady Ellison, and Wijler won, 10-9.
Yeji Sim (KOR)won the women’s Recurve, and Americans Kris Schaff and Braden Gellenthien went 1-3 in the men’s Compound division.
Saturday: A sensational Millrose Games in New York, with six world-leading marks, including Yomif Kejelcha missing the world record in the mile by 0.01! There were also American Records in the 800 m from Donavan Brazier and Ajee Wilson and a marvelous 73-3 1/4 world leader from Ryan Crouser in the shot.
Friday: The IAAF World Indoor Tour meet in Madrid (ESP) produced world-leading marks in the women’s pole vault and triple jump, but also an American Indoor Record for Tori Franklin in the triple jump as well!
Sunday: It was so cold in Canmore (CAN) that the weekend races were called off. Earlier in the week, Johannes Thingnes Boe won his 12th race of the season (out of 20 contested!) and fellow Norwegian Tiril Eckhoff took her first win of the season in the individual race.
CROSS COUNTRY SKIING
Sunday: An abbreviated program of racing in Lahti (FIN), with Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo (NOR) winning yet another sprint and Maiken Caspersen Falla (NOR) winning the women’s Sprint to move into contention for the seasonal title. American Sophie Caldwell got the silver.
Sunday: Big win for American Race Imboden in the Foil Grand Prix in Turin, which returns him to no. 1 in the FIE Working Rankings! Plus a bronze medal for Gerek Meinhardt in the same tournament, moving him up no. 9.
Sunday: Every skater or pair which led after the first-day program lost at the Four Continents Championships in Anaheim, California (USA). The benefactors were long-program stars Shoma Uno (JPN), Rika Kihira (JPN), Chinese pairs stars Wejing Sui and Cong Han, and American Ice Dance pair Madison Chock and Evan Bates.
FREESTYLE SKIING & SNOWBOARD
All about the FIS World Championships in Utah:
Sunday: The Worlds ended with more rough weather, having the Snowboard Slopestyle golds to American Chris Corning and Kiwi Zoi Sadowski Synnott, based on their qualifying scores.
Saturday: Aaron Blunck of the U.S. defended his Freestyle Halfpipe title from 2017, while Estonia’s 16-year-old star, Kelly Sildaru won the women’s Freestyle Halfpipe. Moguls stars Mikael Kingsbury (CAN) and Perrine Laffont (FRA) were unsurprising winners in the Dual Moguls, as Laffont defeated American Jaelin Kauf in the final.
Friday: The greatest Moguls skier of all time, Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury, retained his title at the Worlds Championships over Australia’s Matt Graham, while Kazakhstan’s Yulia Galysheva won the women’s title over Jakara Anthony (AUS).
Friday: Sensational Snowboard Halfpipe finals in Park City, with Australia’s Scotty James taking his third world title and Chloe Kim of the U.S. blowing away the competition on her first run to win her first World Championships gold medal.
Sunday: Japan dominated the Paris Grand Slam with five wins and 15 medals overall, but the home crowd cheered wins by Clarisse Agbegnenou at -63 kg and Madeleine Malonga at -78 kg.
Sunday: German stars Natalie Geisenberger and Toni Eggert and Sasacha Benecken wrapped up season title in the women’s and Doubles categories, in the sliding at Oberhof (GER). It’s the sixth straight World Cup title for Geisenberger and the third in a row for Eggert and Benecken. But the men’s Singles title is too close to call!
Sunday: The seasonal crown in Nordic Combined has been decided, but one of the closest races of the season saw Norway’s Joergen Graabak beat last season’s World Cup winner, Akito Watabe (JPN) to the line by less than an inch in Lahti (FIN)!
Sunday: Korea showed it is still the powerhouse in the sport by sweeping the men’s individual events at the final World Cup of the season in Turin (ITA). Dutch star Suzanne Schulting was the only skater to win more than one seasonal title: she took the wins in the 1,000 m and 1,500 m.
Sunday: A sixth straight World Cup win for Maren Lundby (NOR), but then former World Cup champ Sara Takanashi wins to end the streak in tough jumping conditions in Ljubno (SLO). In the men’s jumping at Lahti (FIN), Poland’s Kamil Stoch won, but didn’t gain much ground on World Cup leader Ryoyu Kobayashi (JPN), who finished second.
Sunday: World titles for Americans Brittany Bowe in the women’s 1,500 m and Joey Mantia, who defended his 2017 championship in the men’s Mass Start event at the ISU World Single Distance Championships at Inzell (GER). Most remarkable of all: the 10th straight world title for Czech Martina Sabilkova in the 5,000 m!
Monday: The U.S. won two medals at the Zagreb Open, a UWW Ranking Tournament for Greco-Roman wrestling, from Xavier Johnson (63 kg) and G’Angelo Hancock (97 kg).
Highlights of the coming week, with all you need to know on TheSportsExaminer.com:
● Alpine Skiing: The World Alpine Championships continue in Sweden.
● Athletics: The IAAF World Indoor Tour arrives in Birmingham (GBR)
● Ice Hockey: The U.S. and Canadian women starts a new season with an exhibition series
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