Celski wins both finals in 500 at Olympic trials
J.R. Celski of Federal Way continues to dominate at the U.S. Olympic trials in Kearns, Utah.
Celski, 23, won both finals at 500 meters on Saturday — a day after winning both finals at 1,500 meters. He has secured berths at next month’s Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in both events.
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Celski earned two bronze medals at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, B.C.
In the 500 finals, Eddy Alvarez of Miami was runner-up to Celski each time. Alvarez is the first Cuban-American man to make an Olympic speedskating team.
Celski and Alvarez have competed against each other since they were 6.
Of making the Olympic team with Celski, Alvarez said, “It sounds pretty awesome, don’t you think? It’s everything we always talked about.”
Celski’s winning times were 40.994 seconds for the first 500-meter final and 41.000 for the second.
Jessica Smith of Melvindale, Mich., won both women’s 500 finals and Emily Scott of Springfield, Mo., also qualified for the team.
Five men will make the U.S. team, while three women will after they failed to qualify a relay for Sochi.
Vonn remains in U.S.
Lindsey Vonn has not skied for two weeks and will “most likely” skip next weekend’s World Cup speed races in Austria, her coach said, seemingly leaving her status for the Olympics in question.
Vonn is in the United States after aggravating her surgically repaired right knee in a downhill race in Val d’Isere, France, on Dec. 21.
“She’s recovering and preparing and everything is (up) in the air,” U.S. women’s coach Alex Hoedlmoser told The Associated Press, adding Vonn will “most likely not” race in Austria next weekend.
“Right now it’s a total open book,” Hoedlmoser said. “We don’t know. It totally depends on how she recovers, how the knee feels, if she gets the strength back, the stability in the knee.”
Vonn needed surgery in February to reconstruct two knee ligaments after a crash at the world championships, and partially re-tore one of them in November. She returned to the World Cup in Lake Louise, Alberta, in the first week of December and finished 40th and 11th in two downhills before placing fifth in a super-giant slalom the next day.
But a loss of balance in Val d’Isere left her clutching her knee in another setback.
Deneen places 3rd
Patrick Deneen of Cle Elum finished third — his first podium of the World Cup season — in a moguls event in Calgary, Alberta.
World champion Mikael Kingsbury of Canada won and teammate Alex Bilodeau, the Olympic champion, placed second.
American Serena Williams, ranked No. 1 in the world, beat No. 2 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 6-4, 7-5 to successfully defend her title at the Brisbane International in Australia — and perhaps set the tone for next week’s Australian Open in Melbourne.
Williams extended her winning streak to 22 matches.
The Williams sisters were hoping to both win a WTA Tour event in the same week for the first time in 15 years, but Ana Ivanovic of Serbia prevented that when she beat Venus Williams 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 in the final of the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand.
In the men’s final in Brisbane, Roger Federer of Switzerland will play Lleyton Hewitt of Australia in the final.
Meanwhile, in Perth, Australia, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Alize Cornet gave France its first Hopman Cup title by winning the decisive mixed-doubles match against Poland’s Grzegorz Panfil and Agnieszka Radwanska 6-0, 6-2 in the final.
• Second baseman Eddie Rosario, 21, who is in the Minnesota Twins’ organization, has been suspended 50 games for a second positive test for a drug of abuse in violation of baseball’s minor-league drug program. There were 60 suspensions last year under the minor-league program.
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