Three-time champ Jeremy Abbot highlights men’s nationals

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The competition in Omaha might seem a bit lackluster after Vancouver gold medalist Evan Lysacek and three-time national champ Johnny Weir have recently pulled out of the event. But with Jeremy Abbot aiming for his fourth title in five years, there’s still plenty to be excited about.

“I’m actually feeling good,” he told the OC Register. “It’s actually been a lot of work getting my back feeling good again. I really feel like I’m building some momentum. I want two solid programs, make the team, and then put everything I have into Worlds.”

A fourth U.S. title would put Abbot, who nearly bowed out of the event due to lower back problems, in the elite company of gold medalists Scott Hamilton, Brian Boitano, and Dick Button.

The 27-year-old admitted that he won’t be throwing a quad jump in his short program Friday night, but will have a quad toe loop for during his long program on Sunday. So, you know, get excited.

Young U.S. relay team can’t match Great Britain, Russia (video)

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It’s no coincidence that the U.S. men’s 4x200m freestyle relay team had its worst finish since 2001, a bronze in Budapest on Friday.

From 2002 through 2016, either Michael Phelps or Ryan Lochte was part of the quartet (and usually both of them were).

But with Phelps retired and Lochte suspended, a much younger foursome swam at worlds, including three men who had no Olympic final experience.

The U.S. led after three of four legs, but Great Britain anchor James Guy (2015 World 200m free champion) had the fastest split of all 32 swimmers by .78.

Guy zoomed past American Zane Grothe as the Brits repeated as world champs in the relay by .98 over Russia, which was a half-second ahead of the U.S. for silver.

Grothe, who is better in the 400m and 800m frees, split three seconds slower than Guy. He was the slowest American by nearly a second (when accounting for slower leadoff legs due to flat starts).

One swimmer the U.S. left off the final quartet was Conor Dwyer, a relay finalist member at every Olympics worlds since 2011. But Dwyer, the Rio 200m free bronze medalist, was fourth in the 200m free at nationals and even slower leading off the U.S. 4x200m in the morning heats.

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Simone Biles gets biopic

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Simone Biles is executive producing her own biopic, “The Simone Biles Story” (working title) set to premiere in early 2018 on Lifetime.

The film is based on her biography, “Courage to Soar,” and will reveal “the sacrifices and dedication it took her to become one of the greatest and most celebrated athletes in the world,” according to a press release.

Biles is a co-executive producer with three others, including her agent.

Biles follows Gabby Douglas, whose biopic, “The Gabby Douglas Story,” premiered on Lifetime in early 2014 after her 2012 Olympic all-around title.

Biles is expected to return to gymnastics training late this year or early next year.

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