Headline results of noteworthy competitions around the world:
● ALPINE SKIING ● The men and women were racing together in Zagreb, Croatia in a Slalom, with a mild surprise on the women’s side.
American Mikaela Shiffrin had won three straight Slaloms this season, but ended up second to chief rival Petra Vlhova (SVK). The Slovakian star was in charge from the start, finishing the first run with a solid 1.16-second lead over Shiffrin and then extending it to win the second race as well by 0.15 for a 1.31 margin of victory. It was Vlhova’s second win of the season and 11th in her career; she won in Zagreb after taking second in two of the last three years and collected her first Zagreb Snow Queen trophy.
“I’m never going to a race expecting that I’m going to win – especially when I have competitors like Petra,” said Shiffrin afterwards. “She doesn’t win these races from luck. She wins because she’s working really hard.”
Shiffrin’s consistency – which is what will bring her a fourth consecutive World Cup overall title – was on display again. Her silver medal gave her nine top-three finishes in her 12 races this season. That’s amazing.
In the men’s Slalom, France’s Clement Noel won his first race of the season with a solid second run that brought him from fourth to first, ahead of first-race leader Ramon Zenhaeusern (SUI) by just 0.07. Full results here.
● BOBSLED & SKELETON ● Germany swept almost all the honors in the third IBSF World Cup of the season, winning all three Bobsled races at Winterberg, Germany.
Two races were held in the men’s four-man event, with Olympic Champion Francesco Friedrich (GER) and countryman Nico Walther running 1-2. The second race was a German sweep, with Johannes Lochner winning, Friedrich second and Walther third.
The women’s race was another German sweep, with 2019 Worlds silver medalist Stephanie Schneider winning, ahead of Olympic champ Mariama Jamanka and Laura Nolte. The American pair of Kaillie Humphries and Lauren Gibbs – who had won the first two races of the season – finished fourth.
World Champion Tina Hermann won her first Skeleton race of the season, ahead of Canada’s Mirela Rahneva, and Korea’s 2018 Olympic gold medalist Sung-Bin Yun took the men’s race, defeating Germans Alexander Gassner and Axel Jungk. Full results here.
● ICE HOCKEY ● The men’s World Junior (U-20) Championship finished in Ostrava, Czech Republic, with Canada defeating Russia, 4-3, in the final, scoring three goals in the third period to overcome a 3-1 deficit. Sweden defeated Finland, 3-2, for the bronze medal; the U.S. lost to Finland in the quarterfinals, 1-0, and finished ranked sixth. Sweden’s Samuel Fagemo was the top scorer with eight goals and 13 total points. Full results here.
The United States won the IIHF Women’s U-18 World Championship held in Bratislava, Slovakia, with a 2-1 win over Canada in overtime. Kiara Zanon scored the game-winner from an assist from Maggie Nicholson at 16:52 of the first overtime period. It’s the eighth title for the U.S. women and fifth in the last six editions. Russia won the bronze medal with a 6-1 win over Finland; Russian Kristi Shashkina was the top scorer with eight points and four goals. Full results here.
● NORDIC SKIING ● Two major Nordic tournaments highlighted the weekend, the Tour de Ski in Cross Country and the famed Four Hills Tournament in Ski Jumping.
The seven-race Tour de Ski finished in Val di Fiemme on Sunday, with Norway’s Simen Hegstad Kruger winning the 10 km Freestyle Mass Start race ahead of teammate Sjur Roethe and Russian Alexander Bolshunov.
But that third-place finish was enough to give Bolshunov the overall title in the 14th edition of this tour, the second-ever Russian winner. Bolshunov finished in the top three in six of seven races and won the 15 km Classical Pursuit. The first Russian winner, Sergey Ustiugov (2017) was second overall, piling up two wins and three seconds to edge Norway’s Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo, who won both Sprint events and the 15 km Mass Start.
The women’s title went to Norway’s relentless Therese Johaug, who won the 10 m Freestyle Mass Start, 10 km Freestyle and 10 km Freestyle Mass Start Climb events and was second in the 10 km Classical Pursuit. It’s her third Tour de Ski title; she also won in 2014 and 2016. Russian Natalya Nepryayeva finished second and Ingvild Flugstad Ostberg (NOR) was third. Full results are here.
In the 68th Four Hills Tournament, Japan’s defending champ Ryoyu Kobayashi won the opener in Obertsdorf (GER), but gave way to Marius Lindvik (NOR) in Garmisch (GER) and Innsbruck (AUT). The final event will be in Monday in Bischofshofen (AUT), with Poland’s Dawid Kubacki (830.7) currently leading, with Lindvik second (821.6) and German Karl Geiger third (817.4). Kobayashi sits fourth at 817.0. More results here.
● SHORT TRACK ● Thomas Hong and Kristen Santos were the big winners at the 2020 USA Short Track Speedskating National Championships at the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns, Utah over the weekend.
The three-day event saw Hong, a 2018 Olympian, win the 500 m and 1,000 m and finish second in the 1,500 m to win the American Cup title with 89 points to 45 for Ryan Pivirotto and 39 for Andrew Heo. Pivirotto won the 1,500 m, with Hong second.
The women’s racing looked to be a showcase for 2018 Olympian Maame Biney, who won the 500 m and 1,500 m races on Saturday. In the 1,000 m final on Sunday, Biney finished second to Santos, but was disqualified for an aggressive pass on the penultimate lap against Corinne Stoddard and that made the difference in the final standings. Santos, who said she was trying to fight off some sickness and was sure that Biney would win the overall title, finished with 76 points to 71 for Biney and 35 for Stoddard. Full results here.
● COMING ATTRACTIONS ● The winter sports season comes back to a full schedule this week, with the third Winter Youth Olympic Games starting on Thursday (9th) in Lausanne, Switzerland. The IOC Executive Board will also be meeting in Lausanne on the 8th; what will they be up to?