Headline results of noteworthy competitions around the world:
Anyone who pays attention to alpine skiing is running out of superlatives to shower on American superstar Mikaela Shiffrin.
Skiing in a Super-G race – not her forte – in St, Moritz, Switzerland, she claimed her sixth medal in eight races this season with an impressive third on Saturday. Starting 13th, she flew down the slope in 1:13.09, second at the time, but finally third after Italian star Sofia Goggia won from the 16th position in 1:12.96, just ahead of teammate Federica Brignone (1:12.97).
Shiffrin’s ability to pile up points in the “speed events” in addition to being almost unbeatable in the Slalom and Giant Slalom is what makes her to tough to deal with in the overall World Cup race. After just nine of the 41 scheduled races for 2019-20, she already has a 532-281 points lead on Brignone. The bronze in St. Moritz was her fourth in a Super-G and the 89th of her brilliant career.
She is also entering a stretch of 10 races in which seven are Slaloms or Giant Slaloms, meaning she could be running away with the World Cup points race in about a month.
● ALPINE SKIING ● In the other event in St. Moritz, Slovenia’s Petra Vlhova won the Parallel Slalom over Anna Swenn-Larsson (SWE); results are here.
The men’s events at Val d’Isere (FRA) were burdened by heavy snows and the Giant Slalom had to be canceled. France’s Alexis Pinturault claimed a popular win in Sunday’s Slalom over Andre Myrher (SWE) and Stefano Gross (ITA) and took over the seasonal points lead. Full results here.
● ARCHERY ● The second leg of the World Archery Indoor World Series was in Italy for the Roma Trophy, with home favorite Marco Galiazzo pulling off an upset win in the men’s Recurve final (18 m) over American star Brady Ellison, 6-4. But U.S. fans were happy with the third-place finish of 19-year-old Jack Williams, continuing his rise in international competition. The women’s Recurve final was won by Korea’s Chae Young Kang in a 6-5 overtime thriller against Italy’s Tatiana Andreoli, as both shot 10 in the extra end, but Kang’s was measured closer to the center. Full results here.
● BADMINTON ● As he has been all season, Japan’s Kento Momota was the story at the World Tour Finals in Guangzhou (CHN). “King Kento” defeated Indonesia’s Anthony Ginteng, 17-21, 21-17, 21-14 and set a new record in men’s singles of 11 titles in a season, overtaking Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei’s 2010 record of 10.
China’s Yufei Chen won the women’s Singles title over two-time champ Tzu Ying Tai (TPE) in three sets, and China won the women’s Doubles (Qingchen Chen and Yifan Jia) and Mixed Doubles titles (Siwei Zheng/Yaqiong Huang). Indonesia’s Hendra Setiawan and Mohammad Ahsan won the men’s Doubles. The winners each received $120,000 (singles) or $126,000 (doubles), with the silver medalists getting $60,000 and the bronze medalists, $30,000 each. Full results here.
● BIATHLON ● The second World Cup of the season in Hochfilzen (AUT) was once again dominated by Norwegian star Johannes Thingnes Boe. He won both the 10 km Sprint and the 12.5 km Pursuit and has won three of the four races held so far this season. Russian Alexander Loginov was third in the Sprint and second in the Pursuit to also claim two medals on the weekend.
The women’s races were won by Italy’s Dorothea Wierer (7.5 km Sprint) and Norway’s Tiril Eckhoff (10 km Pursuit). Wierer has now won both Sprints this season and leads the overall standings. Norway’s Ingrid Tandrevoid won silver (Sprint) and bronze (Pursuit) for two medals in two races. Full results here.
● BOBSLED & SKELETON ● The second leg of the IBSF World Cup was once again in Lake Placid (for the second straight week), with familiar winners. Canada’s Justin Kripps, the 2018 Olympic two-man gold medalist, drove to wins in both of the four-man races, beating Oskars Kibermanis (LAT) in the first race and German Johannes Lochner in the second (no two-man races this week). The women’s two was won – again – by the new American team of Kaillie Humphries and Lauren Gibbs, this time edging German Kim Kalicki, 1:54.03-1:54.18.
Russians won both of the Skeleton events, with Alexander Tretiakov and Elena Nikitina winning tight match-ups with Martins Dukurs (LAT: second for the second week in a row) and last week’s winner, Jacqueline Loelling (GER). Full results here.
● CURLING ● The third of six stops on the Grand Slam of Curling tour for 2019-20 was the Boost National in Conception Bay South, Newfoundland (CAN), with 2014 Olympic champ Brad Jacobs (CAN) winning his sixth career Grand Slam title over four-time World Champion Niklas Edin (SWE), 3-1 in the final. The women’s final was another Canada-Sweden match-up, but this time it was 2018 Olympic champ Anna Hasselborg (SWE) getting the win over 2018 World Champion Jennifer Jones (CAN), 7-3. Full results here.
● CYCLING ● The penultimate Track Cycling World Cup was held in Brisbane (AUS), with two gold medals each for Sam Welsford (AUS: men’s Madison and Team Pursuit) and Georgia Baker (GBR: women’s Madison and Team Pursuit). American Jennifer Valente won the women’s Omnium and reigning World Champion Wai Sze Lee (HKG) won the Sprint. Full results here. The last meet of the season will be in late January in Milton (CAN).
● FENCING ● A busy weekend, with three World Cups on three continents! In the men’s Foil in Tokyo, Italy’s 2018 World Champion, Alessio Foconi defeated France’s Maxime Pauty in the final, 13-5. In St. Maur (FRA), fellow 2018 World Foil Champion Alice Volpi (ITA) eased past countrywoman Martine Batini, 15-10. Reigning World Champion Inna Deriglazova (RUS) and American Lee Kiefer earned the bronze medals. In Salt Lake City, the women’s Sabre title went to four-time World Champion Olga Kharlan (UKR), who won over China’s Jiarui Qian, 15-9. Links to results are here.
● FREESTYLE SKIING ● The first Freestyle Halfpipe event since September was held at Copper Mountain, Colorado, with the U.S. winning again. This time, it was reigning World Champion Aaron Blunck winning, after finishing third in Cardrona (NZL) in the early fall. Two-time Olympic champ David Wise of the U.S. was second and Canada’s Noah Bowman was third.
The women’s Halfpipe title went to Britain’s unheralded Zoe Atkin, who won ahead of Brita Sigourney (USA) and Rachael Karker (CAN).
The Ski Cross titles in Montafon (AUT) went to Ryan Regez (SUI) and Marielle Thompson (CAN) with Sandra Naeslund (SWE: G-S-S) and Courtney Hoffos (CAN: S-B-B) winning medals for the third race in a row!
The Moguls events in Thaiwoo (CHN) were won by Ikuma Horishima (JPN) over superstar Mikael Kingsbury (CAN) on Saturday, but Kingsbury came back to win the Dual Moguls on Sunday, ahead of Ben Cavet (FRA) and Horishima. It’s Kingsbury’s 58th World Cup win, extending his own record. France’s Perrine Laffont, the 2018 Olympic Champion, continued her perfect season – 3-for-3 – by winning both events.
Beijing (CHN) hosted a Norwegian sweep in the Big Air events, with Birk Ruud winning the men’s competition and Johanne Killi winning over Swiss Giulia Tanno, who second for the second event in a row. Links to full results are here.
● HANDBALL ● The Netherlands won its first-ever IHF Women’s World Championship with a thrilling 30-29 win over Spain in Sunday’s final at Higashi-ku, Japan. Estavana Polman led the Dutch with nine goals and secured their place in the 2020 Olympic tournament.
Norway (4-1) and the Netherlands (3-2) qualified for the semis as the first and second finishers in second-round Group I, and Russia (5-0) and Spain (3-1-1) went 1-2 in Group II. In the semifinals, the Dutch squeezed past Russia, 33-32, to reach the final. Spain defeated Norway, 28-22.
Russia defeated Norway, 33-28, in the bronze-medal match.
Polman was named Most Valuable Player in the tournament; the top scorer was Dutch star Lois Abbingh, with 71 goals. Full results here.
● JUDO ● The final tournament of 2019 was the Qingdao Masters in China, which turned into a showcase for Japan’s stars. Japanese entries won five divisions and 12 medals in total, well ahead of France (7: 1-3-3) and the Netherlands (5: 3-1-1). Interestingly, not a single 2019 World Champion won, but Israel’s Sagi Muki (81 kg), Czech Lukas Krpalek (+100 kg) and France’s Clarisse Agbegnenou (63 kg) all won silvers. Full results here.
● LUGE ● The third stage of the FIL World Cup was held on the 2010 Olympic Winter Games track at Whistler (CAN) with strong results for Russia. Former World Cup champ Roman Repilov won the men’s race and was second to Reinhard Egger (AUT) in the Sprint, while Tatiana Ivanova won both women’s races, with Anna Berreiter (GER) second in the standard race and American Emily Sweeney the Sprint runner-up. German stars Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken won both Doubles races, finishing ahead of countrymen Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt in both. Full results here.
● NORDIC SKIING ● Situation normal for the Cross Country World Cup racing in Davos (SUI): Norway in front.
Superstar Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo won the Sprint Freestyle and confirmed his season in the overall standings, then saw countryman Simen Hegstad Krueger win the 15 km Freestyle on Sunday, ahead of Russia’s Sergey Ustinov and legendary Swiss Dario Cologna, now 33.
The women’s Sprint was won by Sweden’s 19-year-old Linn Svahn for her first World Cup medal and first World Cup win, defeating 2014 Olympic champ Maiken Caspersen Falla. But Norway was back on top on Sunday with Therese Johaug (NOR) winning the 10 km Freestyle for her fourth win in four distance races this season.
The U.S. has a strong weekend in the women’s races, with Sophie Caldwell scoring a bronze in the Sprint and Jessica Diggins winning a bronze behind Johaug and Heidi Weng (NOR) in the 10 km Free. Diggins has been on fire, winning three medals in the four distance races held so far and the American women have taken a medal in five of the six races held this season! Full results here.
In Ski Jumping, last year’s sensation, Ryoyu Kobayashi (JPN) returned to the top of the podium for the first time this season. Jumping off the 140 m hill in Klingenthal (GER), Kobayashi earned his second straight medal and took the seasonal lead with the win, ahead of Austria’s Stefan Kraft and Marius Lindvik (NOR). The women’s jumping, off the same hill, was a triumph for Austria’s Chiara Hoelzl, who won over Ema Klinec (SLO) and Katharina Althaus (GER). Hoelzl has now won medals in all three events this season. Full results here.
● RUGBY ● The men’s and women’s Seven Series were both in Cape Town, South Africa this week, with New Zealand winning both tournaments in hotly-contested finals. The men’s tournament saw Australia and New Zealand win close semifinals and then the All-Blacks won the final by 17-7, with Canada third (22-17 over France. Full results here.
The women’s tourney had New Zealand and host South Africa as semifinal winners. The final was a tough, defensive match, but the Black Ferns managed a 7-5 victory, with France defeating Fiji, 29-24, for third. Full results here.
● SNOWBOARD ● A very busy weekend, with events in Italy, the U.S. and China.
The Big Air season is now 75% complete (!!!), with Canada’s Max Parrot – the 2018 Olympic Slopestyle silver medalist – winning in Beijing (CHN), ahead of Sven Thorgren (SWE) and Chris Corning of the U.S. With one event remaining next week (in Atlanta), Corning is the seasonal leader at 2,200 points, followed by Nic Laframboise (CAN: 1,500) and Finland’s Kalle Jarvilehto and Ryoma Kimata (JPN), both with 1,220.
In women’s Big Air, Miyabi Onitsuka (JPN) won her first medal and first gold of the season, winning over Austrian star Anna Gasser and Canada’s Laurie Blouin. Going into the finale in Atlanta, Reira Iwabuchi (JPN) leads with 1,900 points, ahead of Gasser (1,400) and Britain’s Katie Ormerod (1,150).
The Snowboard Cross openers in Montafon (AUT) were won by home favorite Alessandro Hammerle and 2014 Olympic Champion Eva Samkova (CZE). The Parallel Giant Slalom races in Cortina d’Ampezzo had back-to-back winners for both men and women as Roland Fischnaller (ITA) and Germany’s Ramona Hofmeister both triumphed again.
The Halfpipe opener at Copper Mountain, Colorado saw three-time World Champion Scotty James of Australia win the men’s title, ahead of Yuto Totsuka (JPN) and Ruka Hirano (JPN). Spain’s Queralt Castellet, the 2015 Worlds silver medalist, won her fifth World Cup victory, out-pointing Jiayu Liu (CHN) and Maddie Mastro of the U.S. Links to results are here.
● SPEED SKATING ● The last World Cup for 2019 was held at the famous M-Wave Arena in Nagano (JPN), but Russia had the most to celebrate with four wins.
American Brittany Bowe dominated the women’s 1,000 m for the third straight meet, winning in 1:14.344, ahead of Japanese star Miho Takagi (1:14.894).
The hosts had plenty to cheer about, as Olympic star Nao Kodaira won the first women’s 500 m ahead of Russia’s Angelina Golikova, 37.496-37.515. And Yuma Murakami led a men’s 1-2 in the first 500 m over Tatsuya Shinhama, 34.584-34.672.
But the Russians took over, finishing 1-2 in the second men’s 500 m with Viktor Mushtakov and Pavel Kulizhnikov taking top honors, then Kulizhnikov won the men’s 1,000 m and Danila Semerikov won the men’s 5,000 m. Golikova won the re-match with Kodaira in the second women’s 500 m, with Vanessa Herzog (AUT) second and Kodaira taking the bronze.
The women’s distance races were won by Canada’s Ivanie Blondin, at 3,000 m and the Mass Start. American Mia Kilburg scored an impressive bronze in the Mass Start final. The men’s Mass Start was another Canadian win, this time for Jordan Belchos, who finished ahead of American Joey Mantia.
The last two World Cups will be held in February and March. Full results here.
● TABLE TENNIS ● China won four of five events in the World Tour Grand Finals in Zhengzhou (CHN), with all-China finals in both the men’s and women’s Singles matches. The men’s final had no. 2-ranked Zhendong Fan winning over no. 3 Long Ma, 4-1, and no. 1 Meng Chen defeated no. 6 Manyu Wang, 4-1. Fan teamed with Xin Xu to win the men’s Doubles title and then Xu and Shiwen Liu won a tight Mixed Doubles final over Japan’s Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito, 3-2. But Japan’s Miyuu Kihara and Miyu Nagasaki won the women’s Doubles title, 3-0, over Korea’s Jihee Jeon and Haeun Yang. Full results here.
● WEIGHTLIFTING ● China dominated the IWF World Cup held in Tianjin (CHN), winning six of the 10 men’s classes and five of the 10 women’s classes. South Korean lifters won two men’s division titles and North Koreans won women’s classes. World 73 kg Champion Zhiyong Shi (CHN) set a world record of 198 kg in the Clean & Jerk and superstar Wei Deng set a women’s 64 kg world record in the Snatch at 117 kg. Full results here.