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: To grow track & field, Sebastian Coe of 2019 needs to talk to Sebastian Coe of 2014. The Coe of 2014 wrote in his election manifesto that reforming the track & field calendar was the top priority for the IAAF. He’s been busy dealing with corruption, doping and Russia, but he now sees the opportunity to go forward. But he needs to remember his 2014 priorities and not be seduced by other issues.
Friday: The PanAm Sports Organization announced that it has received three bids for the first Junior Pan American Games, to be held in 2021. The prospective host cities? Cali (COL), Monterrey (MEX) and Santa Ana (ESA). The decision will be made in March.
TOKYO 2020 PANORAMA
Friday: Japan’s Olympics Minister announced that the Japanese national spend on the 2020 Games will be right at $2 billion U.S. for the full period from 2013-20. The overall cost of the Games remains at $12.3 billion (converted from Japanese yen), but there are other costs for security and helping prepare the Japanese team. It’s 69% over the bid budget.
But the Tokyo organizers have received a remarkable number of 204,680 applications to volunteer for the Games, 36% of which were from outside the country!
Saturday: The amazing Mikaela Shiffrin tallied two more wins, in a Giant Slalom – a tie with Petra Vlhova (SVK) – and in the Slalom, to give her 13 World Cup wins this season. That’s just one short of the all-time record of 14 set 30 years ago by Swiss Vreni Schneider! Now Shiffrin sets her sights on next week’s World Alpine Championships in Sweden.
The men’s World Cup Downhill and Super-G in Garmisch (GER) were snowed out.
Saturday: Three world-leading marks highlighted the IAAF World Indoor Tour stop in Karlsruhe (GER). The biggest surprise came from Japan’s Naoto Tobe, who jumped 2.35 m (7-8 1/2) to win and set – along the way – four Japanese indoor records! Poland’s Ewa Swoboda also surprised Dutch sprint star Dafne Schippers with a world-leading 7.10 win in the women’s 60 m.
Saturday: In a rare match-up of four American Record holders in the 10,000-5,000-3,000 m Steeple-1,500 m, it was speedster Shelby Houlihan who had the speed to win the USATF National Cross Country Championship in Tallahassee, Florida. Her push over the final 1,000 m pushed her past Molly Huddle for her first U.S. Cross Country title. Leonard Korir looked like he might three-peat in the men’s race, but it was Shadrack Kipchirchir who had the best finish and took his first cross title.
Sunday: The third of four legs in the WCF World Cup saw the home-standing Swedish teams go down to defeat. Korea’s rink, skipped by Minji Kim, scored a 6-4 upset over Olympic champ Anna Hasselborg’s squad, and Canada’s Matt Dunstone defeated World Champion Niklas Edin, 5-4. Canada’s Kadriana Sahaidak and Colton Lott won the Mixed Doubles over Norway.
Sunday: A win in Warsaw (POL) for American Sabre star Eli Dershwitz, ranked no. 1 worldwide and showing that he intends to stay there for a while. He had to win five matches in the elimination round, including a win over U.S. teammate Daryl Homer, and Italy’s Luca Curatoli in the final.
Saturday: The youthful U.S. men’s National Team scored another win, this time a 2-0 victory in San Jose, California, over Costa Rica. The game was physical and scoreless in the first half. But the second half saw constant U.S. pressure and Sebastian Lletget finally scored in the 80th minute and then assisted on Paul Arriola’s goal in the 88th minute.
FREESTYLE SKIING AND SNOWBOARD
Friday: The FIS Freestyle Skiing and Snowboard World Championships opened in Utah with the Snowboard Cross events in Solitude Mountain. Mick Dierdorff of the U.S. and Czech Eva Samkova were the gold medalists, both first-time World Champions.
Saturday: France’s 17-year-old Tess Ledeux won the first Freestyle World Championship Big Air competition with two sensational runs. She needed both to win, ahead of American Julia Krass. Swiss Fabian Boesch won the men’s Big Air, his second world title after winning in Slopestyle in 2015.
In Ski Cross, France got another gold, this time from Francois Place, who changed from Alpine Skiing to Freestyle and won his second career Worlds medal. The Sochi 2014 women’s Slopestyle gold medalist, Marielle Thompson, won the women’s Ski Cross.
Sunday: More good news for the hosts, as two American World Champions combined for the gold medal in the inaugural World Championships running of the Snowboard Mixed Team SnowCross event. Mick Dierdorff, who won the men’s SnowCross title back on Friday, teamed up with five-time World Champion Lindsey Jacobellis to win all three rounds and claim victory at Solitude Mountain. Italy’s Omar Visintin and Michela Moioli won the silver.
Sunday: Bad weather canceled most of Sunday’s program at the World Cup in Altenberg (GER), but Germany’s six-time World Champion Felix Loch won on Saturday to close the gap on seasonal leader Johannes Ludwig (GER) to just six points. Austria’s Thomas Steu and Lorenz Koller won their third World Cup of the season, but are still far behind Germans Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken in the seasonal standings.
Sunday: Norway’s 21-year-old sensation Jarl Magnus Riiber won his 10th World Cup competition of the season by sweeping the weekend series in Klingenthal (GER). By doing so, he clinched the seasonal World Cup title and completely dominated the series. His next challenge will be the World Championships in Austria later this month.
Sunday: New Zealand had a fun weekend at the World Rugby Sevens Series in Sydney (AUS), winning both the men’s and women’s titles. The All Blacks defeated the U.S. in the final, 21-5, while the Black Ferns beat Australia, 34-10. The U.S. men finished second for the fourth straight tournament and are tied with New Zealand for first place, with the next tourney in Las Vegas!
Sunday: The Hempel Miami World Cup ended with three wins for China and two for German boats, but the most exciting finish might have been the 2016 Olympic rematch of Brazil’s Grael and Kunze and New Zealand’s Maloney and Meech. The Kiwis came into the medal race with a 12-point lead, but when the Brazilians managed a second and the New Zealanders were ninth, the Rio result was repeated, with the Brazilians winning by two points.
Sunday: Korea dominated the penultimate Short Track World Cup in Dresden (GER), with three Koreans winning two medals. Olympic 1,500 m champ Hyo-Jun Lim won the men’s 500 m and took bronze in the 1,500 m; Dae-Heon Hwang was runner-up in the 500 m and won the 1,000 m; Ji-Yoo Kim won the women’s 1,500 and was runner-up in the second 1,000 m. Dutch star Suzanne Schulting won the second 1,000 m race and was third in the 1,500 m.
Sunday: The big ski-flying hill near Obertsdorf (GER) provided three different winners this weekend off the massive, 235 m jump: Slovenia’s Timi Zajc, a first-time World Cup winner; Japan’s seasonal leader, Ryoyu Kobayashi, and Poland’s triple Olympic champ, Kamil Stoch. Kobayashi continues to lead the World Cup, but there are nine more events remaining.
Sunday: American Brittany Bowe won two races, as did Russian Pavel Kulizhnikov at the Speed Skating World Cup in Hamar (NOR). Kulizhnikov won both 500 m races and has just about clinched the seasonal title in that event. Bowe won the women’s 1,000 m and 1,500 m and now leads the seasonal World Cup standings in both of those events, with one stop left in tour.
Sunday: Brazil’s Hugo Calderano defended his Pan American Cup title by beating the U.S.’s Kanak Jha in the men’s final, but defender Mo Zhang (CAN) was upset by Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz in front of a frenzied crowd in Guaynabo (PUR).
Highlights of the coming week, with previews in the coming days on TheSportsExaminer.com:
● Alpine Skiing: The FIS World Alpine Championships start in Are, Sweden.
● Figure Skating: The Four Continents Championship starts in Anaheim, California.
● Freestyle Skiing & Snowboard: The World Championships in Utah continue.
Lots of coverage this week as multiple World Championships continue in Europe and the U.S.