HIGHLIGHTS: Two bobsled World Cup wins for new citizen Humphries; Ledecky in amazing form at U.S. Open; third World Cup skating win for Erin Jackson

New American (and already two-time Olympic champ) bobsled star Kaillie Humphries

Headline results of noteworthy competitions around the world:

● Alpine Skiing ● The women’s FIS World Cup circuit was in Lake Louise (CAN) for speed racing, with Olympic Downhill champ Sofia Goggia (ITA) signaling she is going to defend strongly.

Goggia, 29, won both of the Downhill races, both times ahead of American contender Breezy Johnson, 1:46.95-1:48.42 and 1:48.42-1:49.26. Johnson, 26, collected her first four World Cup medals last season and now has two already for 2021-22. Austria’s Mirjam Puchner was third on Friday and Swiss Corinne Suter was third on Saturday.

Sunday’s Super-G was another win for Goggia, the fifth of her career in this discipline, as she finished in 1:18.28, just 0.11 up on Swiss star Lara Gut-Behrami and 0.44 ahead of Puchner. American star Mikaela Shiffrin was sixth in 1:18.86.

The men were in Beaver Creek, Colorado for two Super-G and two Downhill races, with Swiss Marco Odermatt taking the first Super-G race, but then giving way to veteran Norwegian star Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, who won the second Super-G and the first Downhill. Odermatt edged Matthias Mayer (AUT) by 1:08.61-1:09.39, but Aamodt was just 0.03 better on Friday, winning 1:10.26-1:10.29, with American Travis Ganong third (1:10.63) and Mayer fourth.

In Saturday’s Downhill, Aamodt was more dominant, winning over Mayer, 1:39.63-1:40.29, with Swiss star Beat Feuz third (1:40.64). American Ryan Cochran-Siegle was sixth in 1:40.87. Sunday’s Downhill had to be canceled due to strong winds.

● Athletics ● NCAA Cross Country champ Connor Mantz debuted in the Half Marathon with a win in the USA Track & Field Half Marathon Championships on Sunday in Hardeeville, South Carolina.

Mantz led for most of the race, sometimes alternating with Morgan Pearson, with 2017 USATF runner-up Sam Chelanga in close attendance. With a mile to go, Chelenga tried to break away, but Mantz maintained a lead and won in 1:00:55 to win, with Chelanga at 1:00:59 and Nico Martinez third in 1:01:13.

The women’s race was dominated by Keira D’Amato, who won in 1:07:55, ahead of Natosha Rogers (1:09:36) second and Dakotah Lindwurm (1:09:40). D’Amato attacked after mile five and was never headed; it’s her third Half-Marathon win in five races at the distance.

● Badminton ● The BWF World Tour Finals in Bali (INA) showcased winners from four different nations, with only South Korea able to post two champions.

In the men’s Singles final, Tokyo Olympic champ Viktor Axelsen (DEN) took the title with a 21-12, 21-8 win over surprise finalist Kunlavut Vitidsarn (THA). Korea’s Seyoung An won her eighth World Tour title, defeating V. Sindhu Pusarla (IND) in straight sets, 21-16, 21-12.

Japan’s Takuro Hori and Yugo Kobayashi won the men’s Doubles in a tense 21-16, 13-21, 21-17 win over Indonesian stars Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo. Koreans Soyeong Kim and Heeyong Kong won the women’s Doubles by 21-14, 21-14 over Namoi Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida (JPN). The Mixed Doubles title went to Thai stars Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai, over Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino (JPN) by 21-19, 21-11.

● Biathlon ● The second week of the IBU World Cup in Oestersund (SWE), with Sprint and Pursuit races for both men and women.

The men’s 10 km Sprint was a second straight win for Sweden’s Sebastian Samuelsson, in 22:58.7, up 18.0 seconds on runner-up Emilien Jacquelin (FRA). Sunday’s Pursuit race was won by Norway’s Vetle Christiansen (30:14.8, with one penalty) over Samuelsson (+9.8; 4 penalties), with Jacquelin third (+11.0; 3).

The women’s 7.5 km Sprint was the first win of the season and the second medal for Austria’s Lisa Theresa Hauser, who beat Elvira Oberg (SWE), 19:30.2-19:42.7. Norwegian star Marte Olsbu Roeiseland won her ninth career World Cup title, 32:20.6-32:25.4, over France’s Anais Bescond.

The World action moves to Hochfilzen (AUT) next week.

● Bobsled & Skeleton ● The IBSF World Cup has moved to Germany with races in Altenberg, Winterberg and then back to Altenberg for the next three stages.

The one constant, no matter where the events take place, is Germany’s reigning Olympic champion driver Francesco Friedrich. He took his third straight two-man win in the 2021-22 World Cup, 1:46.96-1:47.20 over countryman Johannes Lochner, who finished second for the third straight time.

In the four-man, Friedrich won again to stay perfect on the season (3-0), finishing in 1:47.96 to 1:48.63 for Austria’s Benjamin Maier.

The two-women racing saw American star Kaillie Humphries win for the first time this season. The two-time Olympic champion (for Canada) had Kaysha Love aboard and finished in 1:54.10, ahead of Germany’s Laura Nolte (1:54.14), who had won the prior two races this season. Canada’s Christine de Bruin was third for the third straight race (1:54.45). American Elana Meyers Taylor (with Sylvia Hoffman) was fifth (1:54.77).

In the men’s Skeleton, two-time Worlds runner-up Axel Jungk led a German 1-2 in 1:51.71, ahead of Christopher Grotheer (1:51.82), with Latvian star Martins Dukurs third (1:52.16). Grotheer has now won medals in all three races this season.

The women’s Skeleton was a first seasonal win for Germany’s four-time World Champion Tina Hermann, who finished in 1:55.36 to 1:55.67 for Russian Alina Tararychenkova.

The women’s Monobob World Series continued in Winterberg and Altenberg, with New Zealand’s Breeana Walker winning in Winterberg on Friday in 1:59.54 ahead of home favorite Lisa Buckwitz (GER: 1:59.99).

At Altenberg on Saturday, new American citizen Humphries won for the first time this season (2:00.57), ahead of Cynthia Appiah (CAN: 2:00.63), with Meyers Taylor sixth (2:01.87).

● Cross Country Skiing ● The second stop on the FIS World Cup circuit was in Lillehammer (NOR), with Norway sweeping the men’s individual events and Sweden taking the women’s races.

Two-time World Cup overall champ Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo won his first race of the season in Friday’s Freestyle Sprint final, finishing ahead of teammate Thomas Larsen, 2:52.48-2:53.06. Saturday’s 15 km Freestyle was a Norwegian sweep, with Simen Hegstad Krueger just 1.6 seconds up on Hans Christer Holund, 32:26.2-32:27.8. with fellow Norse Martin Nyenget third (32:43.7).

The women’s Freestyle Sprint was the second win this season for Swede Maja Dahlqvist, just 0.35 up on American Jessie Diggins (3:14.07-3:14.42), with Tiril Weng (NOR: 3:14.93) third and American Rosie Brennan fifth.

In the 10 km Freestyle, Brennan collected her first medal of the season in third (27:09.7) behind the second win of the season for Frida Karlsson (SWE: 26:58.4), who barely edged Norwegian superstar Therese Johaug (26:58.7).

● Freestyle Skiing ● The short, two-event “season” in Big Air came to a conclusion (!) in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, with Austria’s Matej Svancer sweeping the two men’s competitions.

Svancer out-scored American Benjamin Hall by 188.50-185.75 to take the event and the seasonal title, with 160 points. France’s Antoine Adelisse was third on Saturday (180.00). Hall finished second on the season at 120 and Norway’s Birk Ruud had 86.

China’s Eileen Gu won the women’s Big Air event (184.25), confirming her contender status for the Beijing Winter Games. France’s Tess Ledeux was second (177.50) and Norway’s Johanne Killi third (177.00). For the season, Ledeux won at 180 points, followed by Sarah Hoefflin (SUI: 120) and Elena Gaskill (CAN: 110).

The Moguls and Aerials skiers were in Ruka (FIN) for their first events of the season. Reigning World Aerials Champion Maxim Burov (RUS) won both of the men’s events, over Pirmin Werner (SUI) and Noe Roth (SUI) on Thursday and then ahead of Zongyang Jia (CHN) and Roth on Friday.

The women’s Aerials events were both won by China, with Fanyu Kong defeating teammate Shao Qi and Kazak Zhanbota Aldabergenova (who tied for second) on Thursday and veteran Mengtao Xu and Kong going 1-2 on Friday with Hanna Huskova (BLR) third.

The men’s Moguls opener was another World Cup win – his 66th – for Olympic champ Mikael Kingsbury (CAN), scoring 82.99 vs. Pavel Kolmakov (KAZ: 82.10) and 2017 World Champion Ikuma Horishima (JPN: 81.12).

American Olivia Giaccio took the women’s Moguls win – her first World Cup victory – ahead of 2019 Worlds silver medalist Jakara Anthony (NZL) and fellow American Kai Owens, 78.51-78.17-76.61.

● Luge ● The second week of FIL World Cup racing in Sochi (RUS) – replacing the North American sites of Whistler and Lake Placid due to Covid travel issues – saw the first non-German men’s winner of the season. Latvia’s Kristers Aparjods scored a tight, 1:42.881-1:42.905 win over Johannes Ludwig (GER), who had won the first two races of the year. Italy’s Dominick Fischnaller won his first medal of the season in third (1:42.920).

Fischnaller won the first Sprint race of the season in 34.833, to 34.872 for Russia’s Roman Repilov; Austrian star Wolfgang Kindl was third (34.883).

In the men’s Doubles, Russians Andrey Bogdanov and Yuri Prokhorov moved up from second last week to winners on Saturday, timing 1:39.351 to beat four-time World Champions Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken (GER: 1:39.485).

The women’s racing on Sunday saw a German 1-2, with 2021 World Champion Julia Taubitz getting her first win this season in 1:39.434 over two-time defending Olympic champ Natalie Geisenberger (1:39.802), then winning the Sprint race as well (31.743), ahead of American Summer Britcher (31.764) and German teammate Dajana Eitberger (31.775).

● Nordic Combined ● The second stage of the FIS World Cup was in Lillehammer (NOR) for both men and women, as the women’s competition continued to move toward Olympic inclusion in 2026.

Both of the women’s events were off the 98 m hill and with 5.0 km racing, with Norway’s Gyda Westvold Hansen winning both over teammate Mari Leinan Lund. The margin was 8.4 seconds on Friday, with Annika Sieff (ITA: +56.1) third; on Saturday, Hansen won by 52.6 seconds, but with Lisa Hirner (AUT: +1:29.1) third.

The only men’s individual race was on Sunday, off a 140 m hill and a 10 km race, with another win for Norwegian star Jarl Magnus Riiber in the third 1-2 finish – in four races this season – with Austria’s Johannes Lamparter, 25:40.1-25:53.6. Five-time World Cup seasonal champ Eric Frenzel (GER) was third( 26:25.7).

● Rugby Sevens ● The men’s and women’s Sevens Series was in Dubai (UAE) for the second straight week, with South Africa beating Australia in the men’s final, and Australia beating Fiji again in the women’s final.

South Africa and Australia finished men’s pool play 3-0, and they whipped through the playoffs and into the final, with the South Africans winning a tight battle by 10-7. Argentina defeated France for third place, 38-21.

The women’s tournament was a repeat of the first Dubai edition, with Australia and Fiji both 4-0 in pool play. In the final, the Aussies won again, 15-5, after recording a 22-7 win in the first championship match. Russia won the bronze, 28-5, over France.

● Ski Jumping ● The women’s World Cup was also in Lillehammer (NOR) with two events, off a 98 m hill and the 140 m hill. The Saturday 98 m jumping was a win for 2019 Worlds silver medalist Katarina Althaus (GER: 278.1) over Austria’s Marita Kramer (273.2) and Slovenia’s Ursa Bogataj (272.3).

On Sunday, the positions were reversed, as Kramer won for the second time this season, 268.9-259.8 over Althaus. Norway’s Silje Opseth was third (253.2).

The men were in Wisla (POL) for one competition off the 134 m hill, with Austria’s Jan Hoerl getting his first career World Cup win, 261.9-255.2 over Marius Lindvik (NOR), with fellow Austrian star Stefan Kraft third (253.6).

● Snowboard ● Only two events in Big Air were included in the 2021-22 season and they’re both done after this weekend’s competitions in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

The men’s winner on Saturday was China’s 17-year-old Yuming Su, who scored 155.25 to sail past Austria’s Clemens Millauer (139.50)and Norway’s Mons Roisland (134.00). On the “season,” Yu and first-event winner Jonas Boesiger (SUI) had 100 points, with Finland’s Rene Rinnekangas third at 98.

Japanese veteran Reira Iwabuchi won the women’s Big Air, way ahead of 2018 Olympic Champion Anna Gasser (AUT), 178.25-148.00, with German Anna Morgan third (132.25). Gasser won the seasonal title, scoring 160 points with runner-up finishes in both events. Japan’s Iwabuchi and first-event winner Kokomo Murase tied for second at 136.

● Speed Skating ● The ISU Speed Skating World Cup moved to the ultra-fast Olympic Oval in Kearns, Utah, site of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, and home favorite Erin Jackson delivered again.

On Thursday, she won her third race of the season in the women’s 500 m, setting an American Record of 36.809, ahead of Russian star Angelina Golikova (36.935). “It feels great, especially with the home crowd out there. I get a lot of family support,” she said. “I was just happy to do a good one for the fans.”

The second women’s 500 m on Saturday was a win for Poland’s Andzelika Wojcik (36.775) over Golikova (36.786) and Olga Fatkulina (RUS: 36.937). Jackson finished 37.029. Japan’s Miho Takagi, the 2018 bronze medalist, won her first 1,000 m World Cup of the season in 1:11.834, ahead of Jetta Leerdam (NED: 1:12.254) and American star Brittany Bowe (1:12.608).

Takagi took the 1,500 m in 1:49.990 ahead of teammate Ayano Sato (1:51.468) with Bowe eighth in 1:52.320. Dutch stars Irene Schouten and Antoinette de Jong were 1-2 in the women’s 3,000 m (3:52.899-3:55.194). Canadian star Ivanie Blondin won the Mass Start (8:31.870), barely ahead of Marijke Groenewoud (8:31.88).

American Joey Mantia posted his first World Cup win of the season in the men’s 1,500 m in 1:41.54 – a lifetime best – ahead of Zhongyan Ning (CHN: 1:41.386). Dutch skaters swept the 1,000 m with Thomas Krol (1:06.448) winning over Kjeld Nuis (1:06.867) and Hein Otterspeer (1:06.959).

The men also had two 500 m races, with Yamato Matsui and Wataru Morishige going 1-2 for Japan on Friday (34.048-34.091), and then Morishige coming back to win Sunday’s race in a lifetime best of 33.997 over Artem Arefyev (RUS: lifetime best 34.003).

Swedish star Nils van der Poel set a world record in the men’s 5,000 m at 6:01.566, well ahead of three-time World Allround Champion Patrick Roest (NED: 6:04.415). Van der Poel cut 0.30 from Ted-Jan Bloemen (CAN) and his 2017 mark, set in the same rink!

Belgium’s Bart Swings, the 2018 silver winner, took the men’s Mass Start race over Denmark’s Viktor Hald Thorup, 7:25.420-7:26.110.

● Swimming ● USA Swimming’s U.S. Open was held with noteworthy results in Greensboro, North Carolina for two Tokyo superstars from the U.S.

After superstar Katie Ledecky – now coaching and training at the University of Florida – won the women’s 800 m (long-course) in the second-fastest time of 2021 on Wednesday, she recorded the fastest prelim time in the 400 m Free on Thursday at 4:01.64, the no. 12 performance of 2021. She won the 400 m Free final Thursday night in 4:00.51, the no. 7 swim of the year (she has five of the seven).

Ledecky continued hot on Friday, setting a U.S. Open meet record of 1:56.06 for the 200 m Free and then winning the final in 1:55.47, the no. 26 performance in the world for 2021 and just 0.26 slower than she swam in the Olympic final in Tokyo.

On Saturday, she topped off the meet with a 1,500 m win in 15:45.32, the no. 10 performance of the year; she has seven of the top 10. In December? Not just amazing, but demonstrates that at 24, she is far from done.

Bobby Finke, the Tokyo Olympic men’s 800-1,500 m gold medalist, won the 800 m Free on the first night, was second in the 400 m Free on Thursday, took the 400 m Medley on Friday and the 1,500 m on Saturday.

Two-time Tokyo medal winner Regan Smith – still just 19 – was also a triple winner, taking the 100 m Backstroke in 58.69, then finishing on Saturday with wins in the 200 m Back (2:07.09) and 200 m Fly (2:10.58).

France-based Energy Standard won the third-season International Swimming League team title, edging defending champions Cali Condors by 534.0-522.0 in the final at Eindhoven (NED), with the London Road third (393.5) and L.A. Current fourth (305.5).

The individual stars included American Nic Fink, who won the 50-100-200 m Breaststroke events, setting American short-course Records in the 50 m on Friday and the 100 m on Saturday. His 100 m win in 55.56 lowered his own American mark from 2020 from 56.16.

British stars Ben Proud and Duncan Scott both won two events, with Proud taking the 50 m Free and 50 m Butterfly, while Scott doubled in the 200-400 m Medleys. Tokyo superstar Caeleb Dressel of the U.S. won the 100 m Medley and the 50 m Fly Skins race, but was second to fellow American Tom Shields in the 100 m Fly.

Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey won the women’s 100-200-400 m Freestyles and was the only women’s triple individual winner, swimming for Energy Standard. Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom, also swimming for Energy Standard, won the 50 m Free and the 100 m Medley; U.S. star Lilly King won the 100-200 m Breast events and was second in the 50 m race. American Hali Flickinger took the 200 m Fly and the 400 m Medley and Canadian Ingrid Wilm won the 50-100 m Backstrokes.

American Beata Nelson won the 200 m Back, but also set an American short-course record in the 100 m Medley, finishing second to Sjostrom in 57.72, lowering her own mark of 59.90.

The meet finished with one world short-course record by Dahlia in the 100 m Fly and U.S. marks for Fink (2) and Nelson.

The seasonal Most Valuable Swimmer award was won by Sjostrom, who scored 511.5 total points to Haughey’s 468.0.

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