This winter will allow Russian Olympic hopefuls to accrue as much of a home-ice and home-snow advantage as possible.
By Nov. 19, non-Russian athletes will be banned from training at Sochi’s Olympic venues, according to R-Sport.
The Sanki Sliding Center, in particular, home of bobsled, luge and skeleton, could be key for the Russians. A comfortable feel for sliding tracks is a major boost for pilots, and Russia is strong (but not the best nation) in sliding sports. Open training at the center will run from Nov. 8-19.
“(That) will be the last training session,” said Dmitry Chernyshenko, president of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, according to R-Sport. “Then all the facilities will be closed to give our athletes the chance to train.”
Putin says glitches, delays in Sochi prep
Two Americans will go from the Rio Olympic track next month to the New York City Marathon on Nov. 6.
Kim Conley, who made her second Olympic 5000m team earlier this month, will debut in the marathon less than three months after her event final in Rio. The full American field for the race is here.
Conley joins fellow two-time Olympian Molly Huddle in making a 26.2-mile debut in New York. Huddle announced her entry June 9, following a trend of recent great U.S. distance runners, and one month later won the Olympic Trials 10,000m.
The New York field will also include Dathan Ritzenhein, a 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympian who failed to make the Rio team. Ritzenhein was the fastest American at the 2015 Boston Marathon in seventh place (2:11:20) but dropped out of the Olympic Trials marathon on Feb. 13 around mile 20.
Sara Hall, the wife of the retired Ryan Hall (fastest American marathoner of all time), will make her New York City Marathon debut on Nov. 6 as well. Sara Hall was the top American at the London Marathon on April 24 in 12th place.
More Rio Olympians could still be added to the New York City Marathon field.
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The Brazil men’s basketball team may be down two of its top four scorers from the 2012 Olympics.
Golden State Warriors big man Anderson Varejao is likely to be withdrawn from the Rio roster (named last week) due to a back injury, according to ESPN.com.
Varejao’s absence would further deplete Brazil in the frontcourt. The team is already without Atlanta Hawks big man Tiago Splitter, who underwent NBA season-ending hip surgery in February.
Splitter and Varejao were the third- and fourth-leading scorers on Brazil’s 2012 Olympic team that was eliminated in the quarterfinals after not qualifying for the Games in 2000, 2004 and 2008.
The Rio roster includes four other NBA players — Leandro Barbosa, Marcelo Huertas, Nenê and Raul Neto.
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