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 … and a lot happened:
Monday: The International Paralympic Committee impressively and decisively dealt with the anti-Semitic stance of the Malaysian government by removing July’s World Para Swimming Championships from the country. The IPC issued a statement noting that free access to the event was promised when the event was awarded to Kuching in 2017, but a change in the government led to the public announcement that no Israeli swimmer would be allowed into the country for the competition.
The IPC now has to find a new host, but the best choice would be Israel, which has excellent experience with swimming events and has hosted much larger programs, such as the quadrennial Maccabiah. And, of course, Malaysian para-swimmers would be welcome!
Sunday: Once is a surprise, but twice may be a trend. France’s Clement Noel, 21, beat Austria’s World Cup superstar Marcel Hirscher in the Slalom at Kitzbuehel for the second race in a row. Dominik Paris (ITA) won the Kitzbuehel Downhill, and in Garmisch (GER), Olympic Downhill gold medalist Sofia Goggia returned to competition with silver medals in the Downhill (won by Nicole Schmidhofer/AUT) and Super-G (won by Stephanie Venier/AUT).
Saturday: The IAAF World Indoor Tour opened with the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Roxbury, Massachusetts. The headliner, Sydney McLaughlin, won the women’s 500 m in fine style, but the stars were Ethiopians Yomif Kejelcha and Hagos Gebrhiwet. Kejelcha won the mile in 3:51.70 and is a threat to break the 22-year-old world indoor mark of 3:48.45. Gebrhiwet took the 3,000 m in 7:37.41 and ran away from Kenya’s Edward Cheserek.
Saturday: While the New Balance meet was on in Boston, there were great marks at the Norb Sander Columbia Challenge in New York, including a 5.71 m (18-8 3/4) clearance from 2018 California State High School champ Sondre Guttormsen (from Norway), now a freshman at UCLA.
Friday: Astonishing results from the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon: Ethiopia’s Getaneh Molla made his marathon debut in 2:03:34 – the fastest first-time marathon ever – and made him the no. 6 performer in history! Countryman Herpassa Negasa ran 2:03:40 … and lost! The women’s winner, Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich ran 2:17:08 for the no. 3 marathon ever, ahead of Worknesh Degefa (ETH), whose 2:17:41 makes her the no. 4 performer in history! Wow!
Sunday: Upset at the Indonesia Masters in Jakarta, as Denmark’s Anders Antonsen defeated no. 1-ranked Kento Momota (JPN), while India’s Saina Nehwal won over Olympic champ Carolina Marin (ESP), when the latter was injured during the first set.
Sunday: Norway’s Johannes Thingnes Boe won two races and was second in a third at the IBU World Cup stop in Antholz-Anterselva (ITA) to tighten his grip on the World Cup seasonal lead. The last seven years have belonged to France’s Martin Fourcade, but who can stop Boe now? Italy’s Dorothea Wierer won one of the women’s races and continues in the seasonal lead.
BOBSLED & SKELETON
Sunday: German sleds had won every World Cup Bobsleigh race this season – 15 in a row – coming into St. Moritz (SUI), but after Francesco Friedrich extended the streak to 16 with a win in the Two-Man, it was Elana Meyers Taylor and Lauren Gibbs of the U.S. who stopped it. They posted a solid win, the fourth in a row – with three different brakemen – for Meyers Taylor at St. Moritz and left the Germans to start a new streak. They did, with Friedrich piloting the Four–Man sled to another win, his fourth in six starts this season.
CROSS COUNTRY SKIING
Sunday: The seventh straight distance win for Norway’s comebacking Therese Johaug, who pounded the competition at Ulricehamn (SWE), taking the 10 km Freestyle race with a 22.8-second win. She’s now closing in on some World Cup history if she keeps winning.
Sunday: The UCI Track Cycling World Cup concluded in Hong Kong and the home fans had lots to cheer for as Wai Sze Lee won both the Sprint and the Keirin, and took the seasonal Keirin title.
Sunday: Down in Australia, Italy’s Elia Viviani mounted a final sprint to win the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Race outside of Melbourne.
Sunday: A heavy schedule saw current World Champion Yannick Borel (FRA) and former World Champion Julia Beljajeva (EST) win titles in the first Epee Grand Prix of the season in Doha (QAT). There were surprise seconds and thirds, however, including Jacob Hoyle of the U.S., who won his first career Grand Prix medal with a bronze.
In Tokyo, Richard Kruse (GBR) defeated Race Imboden of the U.S. in the final of the Foil World Cup in Tokyo and Russia’s Inna Deriglazova won another women’s Foil World Cup, this one in St. Maur (FRA). France’s Cecilia Berder won the women’s Sabre World Cup in Salt Lake City.
Friday: A new American women’s skating star? Alysa Liu, just 13, won the U.S. Figure Skating Championship in Detroit, ahead of defending champ Bradie Tennell and Mariah Bell. Liu is so young that she doesn’t qualify to compete in not only the ISU World Championships, but is also barred from the ISU World Junior Champs!
Sunday: The Gregg Berhalter Era opened for the U.S. men’s National Team in Glendale, Arizona, with a 3-0 win over a young Panama team. American youngsters Djordje Mihailovic, Walker Zimmerman and Christian Ramirez all scored, as the U.S. dominated possession and the offensive chances for most of the game.
Sunday: Another American teenager scored big, this time at the Slopestyle World Cup in Seiser Alm (ITA). Eileen Gu, 15, won her first World Cup gold, after collecting a silver a couple of weeks ago in France. She was joined on the podium by Julia Krass, 21, who won her first World Cup medal – a bronze – after six seasons on tour. Another U.S. teen, Kiernan Fagan, who his first World Cup medal with a bronze in the men’s Slopestyle.
Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury got back to winning in the men’s Moguls at Tremblant (CAN), for his 54th World Cup victory. France’s Perrine Laffont won the women’s Moguls for her fifth medal in five competitions this season.
Sunday: Urged on by a capacity crowd in Herning, Denmark won its first-ever men’s World Championship with an impressive 31-22 victory over Norway. Mikkel Hansen led the Danes with seven goals and was named the Most Valuable Player.
Saturday: Historic IJF World Tour Grand Prix in Israel saw the home team earn the most medals, including four wins, topped by Or Sasson’s victory in the men’s heavyweight class.
Sunday: The first Karate 1 Premier League stop for 2019 was in Paris, but it was Japan that had the strong team, winning four classes and 10 medals overall.
Sunday: The FIL World Championships in Winterberg (GER) saw the home team won five of the seven events and extend its streak of leading the medal count to 19 straight Worlds. Felix Loch won his sixth world title in the men’s Singles and Natalie Geisenberger won her fourth in the women’s race. But American Emily Sweeney, who memorably crashed out in PyeongChang, won the bronze medal, her first World Championships medal ever!
Sunday: Norway’s Jarl Magnus Riiber hadn’t won in a little while, but he silenced any doubters with two wins over the weekend before home fans in Trondheim (NOR).
Sunday: Fiji won the third leg of the men’s Rugby Sevens tournament, this time in Hamilton (NZL), but the U.S. was second once again. So Fiji and the U.S. are tied at 57 points for the series lead!
Sunday: Sweeps were the order of the weekend, with Austria’s Stefan Kraft winning both events in Sapporo and Norway’s Maren Lundby taking both competitions in Rasnov (ROU). The sweeps moved Kraft into second place in the seasonal World Cup standings and Lundby into the lead.
Sunday: The Slopestyle events at Seiser Alm (ITA) produced first-time winners in Markus Olimstad (NOR) and Isabel Derungs (SUI), and also a silver medal for American Lyon Farrell.
Sunday: The important Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix in Siberia saw a Russian sweep of the 10 men’s classes, but Americans Sarah Hildebrandt and Tamyra Mensah-Stock won their classes in the women’s division and three other Americans won medals as the 2019 season got underway.
Highlights of the coming week, with coverage aplenty coming on TheSportsExaminer.com:
● Athletics: The IAAF World Indoor Tour continues in Karlsruhe (GER).
● Skiing: Start of the FIS World Freestyle and Snowboard Championships in Utah.
Our Stat Pack for a 38-event weekend will be issued later on Monday (we hope).