Chad le Clos, Michael Phelps

Chad le Clos wants Michael Phelps’ world records

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South African swimmer Chad le Clos wasn’t fully satisfied in beating Michael Phelps at the 2012 Olympics. His eyes are now fixed on Phelps’ world records.

“My next goal is to break one of Michael Phelps’ long-course records, eventually, maybe next year at the Commonwealth Games, or in 2015 at the World Championships in (Kazan) Russia,” Le Clos told Agence France-Presse at a Singapore meet. “It’s just about getting faster each year and the most important thing is to make sure that I keep dominating the events that I am dominating, and extending on other events like the freestyles and the individual medley races.”

Le Clos, who out-touched Phelps for Olympic 200m butterfly gold in London, made the comments fresh off breaking the short course world record in the 200m butterfly Tuesday. Le Clos previously broke the mark — not held by Phelps — in August.

Short course races are in 25-meter pools, while long courses are 50 meters, such as the Olympics and World Championships.

Le Clos won both the 100m and 200m butterfly at this summer’s long course World Championships in Barcelona.

His best times are 51.06 and 1:52.96, each more than a second off Phelps’ world records from the fast-suit-buoyed 2009 World Championships — 49.82, 1:51.51.

“Those records are really hard, 49 and 1:51 long course is very difficult,” Le Clos, 21, told AFP. “But if you look at my times over the years, I keep improving. If I don’t ever break them, I will definitely go down trying.”

Phelps, despite going 1-1 against le Clos in London, became friendly with his rival at the Olympics. They said they would go cage diving with sharks in South Africa this past summer.

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Teddy Riner, dominant judoka, to skip 2018, 2019 Worlds

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French judoka Teddy Riner, arguably the world’s most dominant athlete, will reportedly skip the next two world championships before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

French coach Franck Chambily said Riner will compete a light international schedule the next two years ahead of what would be his fourth Olympics, according to Agence France-Presse.

Riner, a 29-year-old, 6-foot-8-inch native of Guadeloupe, is undefeated since 2010 with a reported 144-match winning streak. That includes Olympic titles in 2012 and 2016 and world titles in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

Before the streak, Riner also earned world titles in 2007, 2009 and 2010, plus an Olympic bronze at age 19 in 2008.

He could compete through the 2024 Paris Games.

“When I am invincible, I will stop,” Riner said in 2013, according to The Associated Press.

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Maggie Nichols wins NCAA all-around title with perfect 10

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Even after a perfect 10 in the last rotation, Maggie Nichols didn’t know that she had won the NCAA all-around title. Her coach at Oklahoma, K.J. Kindler, had to tell her.

The reaction?

“Excitement,” Nichols said Friday night on ESPNU. “I just wanted to go out there and feel out the equipment, staying calm and doing my routines that I have been doing in training.”

Nichols, a 2015 World team champion who retired from elite gymnastics after missing the 2016 Olympic team (set back by a torn meniscus that year), became the first Sooner to win the NCAA all-around in 30 years.

The sophomore tallied 39.8125 points and topped Olympic alternate MyKayla Skinner of Utah by .0875 for the title in St. Louis. It came one year after Nichols was 29th in the all-around with a balance beam fall.

Oklahoma and Utah will be joined in Saturday night’s Super Six team finals by UCLA, LSU, Florida and Nebraska. The Sooners eye their third straight national title.

Nichols capped her night with one of two perfect scores between the two semifinal sessions, matching 2012 Olympic alternate Elizabeth Price‘s 10 on uneven bars. It gave Nichols a second career gym slam, a perfect score on every apparatus for the season.

On Jan. 9, Nichols came forward as “Athlete A,” who first reported to USA Gymnastics that she was sexually abused by Larry Nassar in summer 2015.

“She has had a really unique year probably like no one else, and her strength showed through,” Kindler said Friday, according to the University of Oklahoma. “It was tough, and to come out on this side this year is really special.”

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