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Japan’s Mihara wins Four Continents with strong free skate

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PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) Mai Mihara captured the women’s title Saturday at the Four Continents, a test event for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

The 17-year-old Japanese rallied with a strong free skate after placing fourth in the short program. She had a total of 200.85 points at Gangneung Ice Arena. Skating to music from Cinderella, Mihara landed her jumps cleanly to earn 134.34 points in the free skate.

“I was able to achieve my goals in my first Four Continents,” she said. “I was a little nervous at first.”

Gabrielle Daleman of Canada, first after the short program, stumbled on the landing of a double axel and was second with 196.91. American Mirai Nagasu, who had a personal best of 132.04 in the free skate, was third with 194.95.

“When these moments happen, it’s so exciting and so gratifying,” Nagusu said. “It just validates my reason for training hard every day, doing programs even when I don’t feel like it and getting up when I fall.”

Kaetlyn Osmond of Canada was second after the short program but finished fourth after placing sixth in the free program. Choi Dabin of South Korea was fifth and Karen Chen of the United States was 12th.

Sui Wenjing and Han Cong of China won the pairs gold medal after placing first in the free skate for a combined total of 225.03 points.

Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada were second with 212.23 points, followed by compatriots Liubov Ilyushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch with 205.31.

WATCH: Relive Usain Bolt’s three Olympic gold medal runs in 100m

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Usain Bolt makes it look easy.

In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Bolt was a precocious 21-year-old that begged his coach to let him run in both the 100- and 200-meter sprint. Even at the ripe young age of 21, fans watched in awe and anticipation as Usain ‘Lighting’ Bolt took off, winning “by daylight.”

Four years later at the 2012 London Olympic games, Bolt did it again. He exploded off the block, sprinting his way to victory in order to keep his title as the king of the 100-meter sprint.

At the 2016 Rio Olympics fans watched on as Bolt took a different approach to winning. He didn’t blow away the field right away as per usual. He watched Justin Gatlin pull ahead to a sizable lead. Yet, in typical Bolt fashion, he ran Gatlin down, winning the 100-meter sprint, keeping up his image of impenetrability.

Throughout Bolt’s career his consistency and drive have never wavered. It doesn’t matter who has the lead, if there’s a will, there’s a way with Bolt.

An incredible athlete and an even better showman, Bolt’s retirement leaves a gaping hole to be filled. Every time the gun goes off and the fans roar, Bolt is ready to perform. It’s as if the roar of the crowd energizes Bolt, propelling him forward as he sprints his way to victory, time and time again.

Lindsey Vonn pulls out of Sunday’s World Cup race

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CRANS MONTANA, Switzerland — Lindsey Vonn has pulled out of the World Cup Alpine combined race on Sunday, completing a miserable weekend in Crans Montana for the American skier.

Vonn crashed in the super-G on Saturday, although after an anxious wait she was able to ski down the course.

The former Olympic champion also withdrew from another combined race on Friday, along with overall World Cup leader Mikaela Shiffrin and their American teammate Laurenne Ross, because of dangerous conditions on the course. In posts on social media that night she said she had food poisoning, and the next morning had not fully recovered but would race.

Late Saturday she wrote on Twitter: “Unfortunately after getting food poisoning and crashing today I don’t feel healthy enough to safely race tomorrow so I will not be starting.”

Vonn pulled out of Friday’s race after the first three competitors crashed, and one was taken away on a stretcher with a knee injury.

The event was postponed and the start was lowered but Vonn didn’t want to risk herself, and criticized organizers for not cancelling the race.

Vonn returned to competition only last month after nearly a year out with knee and arm injuries.

The announcement of her name on Saturday as she prepared to start the super-G prompted a smattering of boos among spectators. There were loud gasps when she lost control and fell, sliding several feet before crashing into the safety netting.

There was a worrying few minutes as Vonn remained down. Other competitors were clearly concerned for her. However, the four-time World Cup overall champion was able to ski down to the finish area, where she was greeted with loud cheers.

Vonn was visibly upset and appeared to be crying as she was comforted by teammate Julia Mancuso.