Yuna Kim

Yuna Kim announces program music for figure skating season

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Yuna Kim may very well enter the Iceberg Skating Palace in Sochi to “Send in the Clowns.”

The defending Olympic figure skating champion from South Korea announced her music for the Olympic season: “Send in the Clowns” for her short program and “Adios Nonino” for her free skate. Kim, 22, has said she plans to retire after the Sochi Games.

“(‘Send in the Clowns’) is sung by a woman who misses her lover who left,” Kim said, according to BNT News. “At the first time I heard it, I wanted to perform with this song sometimes.

“This is my last competition program as a player (skater), and I’m so happy that I chose the song that I’ve always wanted to do. I’ll try my best to show as great performance as fans are expecting from me.”

The women’s competition is by custom the final event of the Olympic figure skating program. It will take place Feb. 19-20 in Sochi, finishing two nights before the closing ceremony. The medal contenders are set to perform their free skates in the afternoon Eastern time, via the time change.

Kim is attempting to become the first woman since Katarina Witt in 1984 and 1988 to win back-to-back Olympic figure skating titles.

In fact, next year is shaping up to be the first time in 20 years the Olympic field will include a woman who owns an Olympic gold medal (Witt came back for 1994 and finished seventh).

Kim is the favorite for Sochi gold, a statement emboldened by her comfortable victory at the World Championships in March after a two-year break from competition. The other contenders are longtime rival Mao Asada of Japan, 2012 world champion Carolina Kostner of Italy and Americans Ashley Wagner and Gracie Gold.

Kim will make her season debut at Skate Canada, Oct. 25-27, according to icenetwork.com.

“Send in the Clowns” should conjure images of the 2010 Olympics for figure skating fans. There, Germany’s Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy used it for their short program on their way to bronze. The visual was more memorable than the audio:

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U.S., Great Britain to hold track and field dual meet

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The U.S. and Great Britain go head-to-head in a track and field meet on July 21 at the London Olympic Stadium.

“The Meet” will include nine running, jumping, hurdles and relay events and last two hours. Specific events and athletes will be announced early next year.

The U.S. topped the overall medal standings at every Olympics and world outdoor championships since 2004.

Great Britain is one of three countries to earn at least five medals at every Olympics and worlds since 2007, joining the U.S. and Kenya.

British athletes made six podiums at the just-completed worlds at the London Olympic Stadium, including in all four relays. The other two medals came from Mo Farah, who is moving to road racing and marathons after this season.

“The Meet” is similar to swimming’s “Duel in the Pool,” a biennial head-to-head competition between the U.S. and rival Australia from 2003 through 2007 and between the U.S. and Europe between 2009 and 2015.

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Maria Sharapova gets U.S. Open wild card

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NEW YORK (AP) — Maria Sharapova was granted a wild-card invitation for the U.S. Open’s main draw on Tuesday and will take part in a Grand Slam event for the first time in more than 1 ½ years.

Sharapova is among eight women given entry into the 128-player field by the U.S. Tennis Association — and by far the most noteworthy.

The former No. 1-ranked player and owner of five major titles, including the 2006 U.S. Open, has not entered a major tournament since the Australian Open in January 2016, when she tested positive for the newly banned drug meldonium.

That led to a 15-month doping ban, which expired in April. She returned to the tour, but her ranking — currently 148th — was too low to allow entry into major tournaments, and the French Open denied her a wild card. Sharapova planned to try to qualify for Wimbledon, but the 30-year-old Russian wound up skipping the grass-court portion of the season because of an injured left thigh.

Sharapova has been participating in tournaments via wild-card invitations, beginning in April on red clay at Stuttgart, Germany. She’s only played nine matches this season.

Sharapova was 19 when she won her U.S. Open trophy. Two years before, at 17, Sharapova won her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon. She has since completed a career Grand Slam and become one of the most recognizable — and marketable — athletes in the world.

The U.S. Open starts in Flushing Meadows on Aug. 28.

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