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: Part two of our early-on look at what a Congressional commission reviewing the status of the United States Olympic Committee and the U.S. National Governing Bodies might turn up. Some of the reviews will be easy – and the USOC will score well – but others are going to be difficult to research properly in the proposed nine-month term of the Commission. And: what do the athletes really want?
THE BIG PICTURE:
Friday: The IOC lost its appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal of the Cross Country Skiing gold and silver medalist Alexander Legkov (RUS) case from the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, in which the IOC’s Disciplinary Commission disqualified Legkov for being part of the Russian doping scheme. The Court of Arbitration for Sport reversed the IOC’s finding because there was not enough specific evidence against Legkov. This impacts not only Legkov, but also 27 others who got a reprieve from the CAS.
Sunday: The International Olympic Committee announced another doping positive from the 2012 Olympic Games in London, bringing the total from that Games to a record 121. A complete statistical look at these positives by Dr. Bill Mallon on OlympStats shows 85 of the 121 were from NOCs that were at one time part of the USSR, with the most positives from Russia (38) and Ukraine (16). Some 106 of these positives came from the IOC’s re-testing process.
Sunday: American Mikaela Shiffrin continued her dream season with yet another win in a Super-G race in Cortina d’Ampezzo (ITA). That gives her 11 wins this season in the 22 World Cup races that have been held! American Lindsey Vonn’s return was rocky, as she finished 15th and ninth in the two Cortina Downhills and she ran through a panel and did not finish the Super-G. She continues to be concerned with substantial pain during her runs, and told reporters that she is seriously considering retiring now.
Sunday: The men concluded three days of World Cup skiing in Wengen (SUI), with Marco Schwarz (SUI) winning his second World Cup of the season (and his career) in the rarely-run Combined; Austria’s Vincent Kriechmayr won the Downhill for his fourth career World Cup gold, and France’s Clement Noel surprised everyone with his first career World Cup win in the Slalom.
Sunday: Korea swept the Recurve divisions of the World Archery Indoor World Series event in Nimes (FRA), with Seung-Yun Lee and Chae-Young Kang winning the men’s and women’s titles. But younger stars made the finals, including Ukraine’s Sergei Makarevych and 14-year-old American Casey Kaufhold! American Braden Gellenthien edged teammate Kris Schaff in the men’s Compound final and Germany’s Janine Meissner won the women’s Compound title.
Sunday: The Malaysia Masters had surprise finishes, as Olympic champs Long Chen (CHN) and Carolina Marin (ESP) both lost. Chen was beaten by Wan Ho Son (KOR) and Marin was defeated by Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon.
Sunday: Norway’s Johannes Thingnes Boe won his eighth and ninth races of the season – out of 12 held so far – to dominate the Biathlon World Cup in Ruhpolding (GER). Slovakian star Anastasiya Kuzmina won the women’s Sprint and Germany’s Franziska Preuss – who lives in Ruhpolding – won the Mass Start race for her first World Cup gold.
BOBSLED & SKELETON:
Sunday: Germany maintained a perfect record in the Bobsleigh World Cup: 15 races and 15 wins by German sleds. Double Olympic champion Francesco Friedrich won both of the men’s races and has a perfect 5-for-5 record in the two-man division in this year’s World Cup races. Stephanie Schneider led a 1-2 finish for Germany in the women’s division, with Mariama Jamanka second and American driver Elana Meyers Taylor (with Sylvia Hoffmann this time) third. The Skeleton races were won by Latvian great Martins Dukurs and Austria’s Janine Flock.
CROSS COUNTRY SKIING:
Sunday: Another win for Norway’s Therese Johaug, continuing a perfect comeback off of a doping suspension for a loaded lip balm (!). She won the World Cup 10 km Classical race in Estonia by 48 seconds and has won all six of her races this season. Among the men, Norway’s Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo won the Sprint to extend his lead in the overall World Cup standings.
Sunday: Patrick Bevan (NZL) led the Santos Tour Down Under in the Adelaide area in Australia by seven seconds going into the final stage, but South Africa’s Daryl Impey became the first rider to win back-to-back titles in the event with a final charge on the uphill finish of the final stage to move from second to first.
Sunday: The fifth of six UCI Track Cycling World Cup events was held in Cambridge (NZL), with the host Kiwis winning five titles and Hong Kong’s Wai Sze Lee winning the women’s Sprint for the third time on the circuit.
Saturday: The 28-game unbeaten streak for the U.S. women’s National Team ended with a thud as France pounded the American side, 3-1, in Le Havre in a friendly. Conditions were cold and three key American players were held out with minor injuries, but the no. 3 French were by far the better side. Kadidiatou Diani scored twice for France.
Saturday: The Lake Placid Freestyle Cup for Moguls and Aerials ended with surprise winners in Moguls as Benjamin Cavet (FRA) and Jakara Anthony (AUS) both won for the first time in their World Cup careers. The Aerials events were won by veteran stars Maxim Burov (RUS) and Mengtao Xu (CHN).
Sunday: The 26th IHF men’s World Championship is in the second group phase, with Sweden and Denmark still perfect – both 8-0-0 – and looking good for the semifinals late next week. France and Germany – both unbeaten, but with multiple ties – are leading Group I, but still have work to do to clinch their spots in the semis.
Sunday: The Nordic Combined Triple, usually held in Seefeld (AUT), was moved to Neuve-Chaux in France for 2019 and newcomers stole the show. Unheralded Franz-Josef Rehrl (AUT) won his first two World Cup golds in the 5 km and 10 km races and Mario Seidl (AUT) took the final day’s race over 15 km to move to second place in the seasonal World Cup standings.
Sunday: Veterans dominated the jumping in Zakopane (POL) for the men and Zao (JPN) for the women. Austria’s Stefan Kraft, a past World Champion, claimed his first win in two seasons and his 13th career World Cup gold. In Zao, Austria’s Daniela Iraschko-Stolz and Maren Lundby (NOR) each won their 15th career World Cup gold in the two women’s competitions.
Saturday: The famous Laax Open in Switzerland drew some of the biggest names in the sport and Americans Chloe Kim (Halfpipe) and Chris Corning (Slopestyle) put on a show and came away with wins in their disciplines. Arielle Gold of the U.S. was third in the women’s Halfpipe as well. Australia’s Scotty James won the men’s Halfpipe and Norway’s Silje Norendal took the women’s Slopestyle title.
Friday: Impressive details of FINA’s new “Champions Swim Series” with the dates announced for March-April-May in China, Hungary and the U.S. Good prize money, appearance fees and travel will be offered with a total prize purse of $3.9 million!
Sunday: With the World Championships coming to Budapest in April, China brought a strong team for the Hungarian Open and went 1-2 in the men’s Singles, men’s Doubles, women’s Singles and women’s Doubles and won the Mixed Doubles. Is this a preview of what will happen at April’s Worlds?
Highlights of the coming week, with previews in the coming days on TheSportsExaminer.com:
● Athletics: Start of the IAAF World Indoor Tour with the New Balance Grand Prix in Boston.
● Figure Skating: The 2019 U.S. National Championships come this week in Detroit.
● Luge: The 2019 FIL World Championships in Winterberg (GER).
A huge week of competition, especially in winter sports, with 38 events on tap all over the world and we’ll have the details for you in TheSportsExamner.com.