The U.S. women’s hockey team beat Canada 3-2 on their home ice in Ottawa Tuesday night to win their fifth IIHF world championship and add another (victorious) chapter to the growing border war.
“I feel like it’s revenge,” Amanda Kessel, who tied for the team points lead and scored the winner Tuesday, said. “We got beat on our home soil last year. To come into Canada and win the gold medal is unbelievable. We used our speed and worked hard. It gives us great confidence heading to Sochi.”
The American women are still down to their northern neighbors in the overall count of world championships and Olympic gold medals since they started officially keeping score in 1990, but have taken home five of the last seven and IIHF titles and are discovering how to win when it counts. The U.S. had lost 3-2 to Canada in a shootout during the preliminary round, but:
“What matters is how you finish the tournament,” Kessel added. “I think we played our best game tonight.”
Meanwhile, the Canadians can take pride in keeping the game close despite being out-shot 30-16.
“We needed to have more sense of urgency in front of their net earlier on,” Canadian Hayley Wickenheiser said. “We need to execute. There was no shortage of chances for us… but we didn’t execute.”
The U.S. women tore a “Hockey Is Ours” Nike advertisement off the boards to pose with it after avenging last year’s disappointing 5-4 overtime loss, which will likely spur some additional animosity between the nations when they face-off in the Olympics less than a year from now.
Then again, Canada and tournament MVP Marie-Philip Poulin used all their effort to blow out the Swiss 13-0 and Finland 8-0, so they get what they deserve. U-S-A! U-S-A!
Ibtihaj Muhammad lost to Germany’s Ann-Sophie Kindler, 15-12, in her opening bout of the women’s individual sabre, Round of 64, at the 2017 World Fencing Championships in Leipzig, Germany. Muhammad finished the event ranked 36th. Her best finish at worlds in individual sabre came in 2013 when she finished 18th.
Famously becoming the first U.S. athlete to compete at an Olympic Games while wearing a hijab, Muhammad stood on the fencing team sabre event podium at the 2016 Rio Olympics, winning bronze with fellow fencers Monica Aksamit, Dagmara Wozniak and Mariel Zagunis.
Also appearing in the women’s individual sabre Round of 64 for the U.S. at Worlds, Monica Aksamit and Dagmara Wozniak won their opening bouts. Wozniak, currently the highest ranking U.S. fencer in sabre at 18th in the world, defeated China’s Jia Xiaoye and Aksamit beat Hong Kong’s Chan Yin Fei – both contests ending with a score of 15-9.
The Americans were unable to make it two-in-a-row after advancing to the Round of 32, as both fell to their opponents. Wozniak was beaten in a close battle, 14-15, by Russia’s Sofia Pozdniakova while Askamit was knocked out by Japan’s Norika Tamura, 11-15.
Mariel Zagunis, one of only two U.S. fencers to win Olympic gold – her first coming in 2004 – was not on the pistes in Leipzig. This year is the first time Zagunis has been absent for a world championships since 1999. Back in May of 2017, Zagunis announced she was pregnant, expecting the birth of her first child in October. Zagunis is planning her return to competition and for a run at what would be her fifth Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.
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Australian Evan O’Hanlon‘s jersey couldn’t contain his excitement after learning he won an IPC world 100m title in London on Friday.
O’Hanlon and China’s Hu Jianwen crossed the finish line in a dead heat, both in 11.07 seconds. It took about 30 seconds for the scoreboard to turn up the first name, at the 2-hour, 8-minute, 40-second mark in the above video.
When it was the five-time Paralympic champion O’Hanlon, the Australian reacted by ripping his jersey apart like the Incredible Hulk.
After Hu appeared to walk off the track, the scoreboard updated to show they were co-gold medalists.
A short while later, O’Hanlon was reinstated as the sole winner, with Hu taking silver.
Afterwards, O’Hanlon tweeted, “If anyone needs me I’ll be at the pub…”
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