Kerri Walsh Jennings, April Ross

Kerri Walsh Jennings, April Ross eliminated in first beach volleyball tournament together

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Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross‘ partnership got off to a strong start in their debut event, but it came to a screeching halt Friday.

Walsh Jennings and Ross were eliminated before the quarterfinals at an FIVB tour stop in Gstaad, Switzerland, by Brazilians Maria Antonelli and Agatha Bednarczuk 21-17, 22-20.

It marked Walsh Jennings’ first tournament since 2012. She had her third child in April, daughter Scout, and appeared in ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue this week.

Walsh Jennings, a three-time Olympic champion, and Ross, a 2012 Olympic silver medalist, went 3-0 in pool play before losing their first elimination-round match.

“I’m disappointed in how we did,” Ross said in an FIVB press release. “I thought we played better each match in pool play and then I feel we went back a step in this match. Kerri hurt her abs a little bit and I didn’t contribute at all; I wasn’t digging balls and couldn’t get my serve in the court.”

Also notable in the release was this line …

Towards the end of 2013 Ross and Walsh will go fulltime, though the pair are remaining tight-lipped on the subject and offered only a coy, “by the end of the year,” when pressed on the subject.

Walsh Jennings and Ross will not play together at the Long Beach Grand Slam from July 22-27. Walsh Jennings will play with Whitney Pavlik, and Ross will go with silver-medal teammate Jennifer Kessy.

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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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Mark McMorris hospitalized after snowboarding accident

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Olympic bronze medalist Mark McMorris suffered several injuries including a fractured jaw, fractured left arm, ruptured spleen, stable pelvic fracture, rib fractures and a collapsed left lung during a backcountry snowboarding trip Saturday, according to Canada Snowboard.

McMorris underwent surgery to control bleeding from the spleen on Saturday. He underwent another surgery to repair the jaw and arm fractures Sunday and was resting in Vancouver General Hospital on Monday morning.

“While both the mandible and humerus fractures were complicated injuries, the surgeries went very well, and both fractures are now stabilized to heal in excellent position,” Canada Snowboard team physician Dr. Rodney J. French said, according to the press release. “It is too early to speculate on a timeline for Mark’s recovery.”

McMorris, 23, won bronze in the first Olympic snowboard slopestyle event in Sochi, competing 12 days after breaking a rib.

McMorris has been considered a threat for two gold medals in PyeongChang, with the addition of big air. He earned Winter X Games medals in both slopestyle and big air in 2015, 2016 and 2017, including double gold in 2015.

He has already come back in this Olympic cycle from breaking his right femur in an Air and Style big air run in Los Angeles on Feb. 21, 2016 (video here). His rehab has been extensively documented by Canadian media.

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