Ebee Price wins all-around at Stuttgart World Cup

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Elizabeth “Ebee” Price, alternate for the 2012 women’s Olympic gymnastic team, won the all-around competition in dominating fashion at this weekend’s Stuttgart World Cup, while fellow U.S. teammate and Olympic all-around bronze medalist Danell Leyva finished fifth in a deep men’s field.

World Cup events remain popular with athletes abroad, particularly those in European nations, but are rarely attended by U.S. Gymnasts, who choose to focus on the major international competitions such as World Championships and Olympic games.

The Stuttgart World Cup, however, tends to draw many returning Olympians given it’s proximity to the games. On the men’s side alone six of the seven competing gymnasts finished in the top ten in London. London Olympic champion Kohei Uchimura withdrew last minute with minor shoulder and ankle injuries, but this competition should be a good indicator that he plans to continue in the sport.

Leyva didn’t fair as well in Stuttgart as London. He posted the top score on high bar but struggled on his first two events leaving him in fifth. Olympic all around silver medalist Marcel Nguyen from Germany grabbed the top spot followed by Daniel Purvis of Great Britain and David Belyavsky of Russia.

As expected on the women’s side Elizabeth Price won the competition by almost three points (yup, that’s a lot) ahead of Germany’s Elizabeth Seitz and Switzerland’s Giulia Steingruber. Price was one of the most memorable athletes at the U.S. Olympic trials that were essentially her coming out party. Ebee was a long shot to make the team until late in the season and she brought her famous coaches Bill and Donna Strauss to tears after her final floor routine that essentially sealed her placed as a team alternate. She’ll be one to watch over the next four years leading into Rio.

Also on the women’s side, the Russian team (which included Olympic uneven bars champ and resident diva Alyia Mustafina) won the team title ahead of Japan and Germany.

Elizabeth Price and Danell Leyva will move on to compete at the Glasgow World Cup on December 8th, which will conclude the 2012 World Cup Series for Gymnastics.

U.S. senators speak up as women’s hockey worlds near with no resolution

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Sixteen U.S. senators wrote a letter to USA Hockey’s executive director Monday over their concerns about the treatment of the women’s national team.

Players have threatened to boycott the upcoming world championships over a wage dispute. The senators, all Democrats, urged David Ogrean to resolve the matter and ensure the team receives “equitable resources.” They cited the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act.

USA Hockey’s board of directors meets Monday, and players said Sunday night they hope there’s a deal.

The senators, all Democrats, joined a chorus of support that includes unions representing players from the NHL, NBA, NFL and Major League Baseball. Those organizations said over the weekend they stood with the women’s team and criticized USA Hockey for attempting to find replacement players.

Prominent NHL agent Allan Walsh tweeted Sunday, “Word circulating among NHL players that American players will refuse to play in men’s World Championships in solidarity with the women.”

Zach Bogosian, an American-born Buffalo Sabres defenseman, went to high school with U.S. captain Meghan Duggan. He tweeted his support and said he hopes the dispute is resolved.

The U.S. is the defending champion at the International Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship, which begins Friday in Plymouth, Michigan.

In negotiations over the past 15 months, players have asked for a four-year contract that pays them outside the six-month Olympic period. The senators’ letter notes the $6,000 that players earn around the Olympics and USA Hockey’s $3.5 million annual spending on the men’s national team development program and other discrepancies.

“These elite athletes indeed deserve fairness and respect, and we hope you will be a leader on this issue as women continue to push for equality in athletics,” the senators wrote.

In a statement Sunday night, players said they hoped USA Hockey would approve terms discussed during a meeting last week. They said the agreement has the “potential to be a game changer for everyone.”

The letter was signed by: Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey of Massachusetts, Patty Murray of Washington, Dianne Feinstein of California, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Thomas Carper of Delaware, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Robert Menendez and Cory Booker of New Jersey, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

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Ugandan Olympian’s body shuts down at World Cross-Country Champs (video)

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Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei went from leading the race to finishing 30th in the final kilometer at the World Cross-Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda, on Sunday.

Cheptegei, a 20-year-old Olympian, saw his body shut down in the last four minutes of his race.

His stride shortened. His pace slowed. Cheptegei appeared on the verge of falling. At one point, a teammate deliberately pushed him from behind to keep going.

Cheptegei led by 12 seconds going into the final two-kilometer lap. He would finish 1 minute, 44 seconds behind Kenyan winner Geoffrey Kamworor, with 28 other runners separating them after the 10km race that took about a half-hour.

Cheptegei’s body movement looked similar to that of British triathlete Jonny Brownlee, who had to be helped to the finish line by brother Alistair Brownlee at the World Triathlon Series Grand Final in Cozumel, Mexico, in September.

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