Heather Richardson

Heather Richardson, Brittany Bowe go 1-2 in Astana 1000m

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U.S. dominance in the 1000m was prevalent in Astana, Kazakhstan, this weekend.

Heather Richardson and Brittany Bowe were the top two finishers Sunday, one day after Olympic champion Shani Davis took the men’s 1000m.

Richardson, the reigning World Cup champion in the distance, clocked a track record 1 minute, 14.22 seconds to grab her first medal on the final day of competition in the Kazakh capital. Bowe, who won the 1,500m on Saturday, came in .56 of  a second behind. Russian Olga Fatkulina, the reigning world champion, took third.

Richardson and Bowe have made the podium in all three World Cup 1,000m races this season. In Astana, they consolidated their results from fast North American ice in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Calgary, Alberta, in November. The conditions in Kazakhstan were closer to what’s expected at the Sochi Olympic oval.

Top Dutch skaters Ireen Wuest and Lotte van Beek sat out the Astana World Cup.

In other action Sunday, Japan’s Keiichiro Nagashima won the second men’s 500m race in 34.69 ahead of South Korean Olympic champion Mo Tae-Bum and Russian Artyom Kuznetsov. Kuznetsov had won the first 500m on Saturday.

American Tucker Fredricks finished sixth and fifth in the 500m races.

Dutch favorite Sven Kramer won the 10,000m.

The speed skating World Cup moves to Berlin later this week.

Astana Day 3

Women’s 1000m
1. Heather Richardson (USA) 1:14.22
2. Brittany Bowe (USA) 1:14.78
3. Olga Fatkulina (RUS) 1:15.18

Men’s 500m — Race 2
1. Keiichiro Nagashima (JPN) 34.69
2. Mo Tae-Bum (KOR) 34.87
3. Artyom Kuznetsov (RUS) 34.92
5. Tucker Fredricks (USA) 35.00
15. Mitchell Whitmore (USA) 35.33

Men’s 10,000m
1. Sven Kramer (NED) 13:02.38
2. Alexis Contin (FRA) 13:14.64
3. Patrick Beckert (GER) 13:18.73
6. Jonathan Kuck (USA) 13:23.54

Speed skating season storylines

MLB Players Association head says ‘continuing dialogue’ about 2020 Olympics

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SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — The head of the Major League Baseball Players Association says it will be difficult for big leaguers to participate at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Baseball returns to Olympics after a 12-year absence for the Tokyo Games, which are scheduled for July 24-Aug. 9 — in the middle of baseball’s season.

“There are challenges with the schedule, and there are challenges with major leaguers being involved,” Tony Clark said Thursday at the Baltimore Orioles’ spring training camp.

In 2008, players on major league 25-man rosters and disabled lists on June 26 were ineligible to play. The U.S. roster included 17 players from Triple-A, seven from Double-A and college pitcher Stephen Strasburg, now with the Washington Nationals.

“It doesn’t mean that we are not continuing to have dialogue. We have going back. We will going forward. Where we land, I don’t know,” Clark said. “One of the things we were able to discuss during this round of bargaining were some additional flexibility in the schedule moving forward. Maybe there are some opportunities for a broader discussion than there have been a year ago. We’ll have to wait and see. We haven’t had that kind of substantive sit down yet.”

Many players are preparing for the fourth edition of World Baseball Classic, an international tournament launched in 2006 that is co-owned by Major League Baseball and the union. Clark hopes to see a fifth edition in 2021.

“I see no reason at this point why it wouldn’t,” he said. “I’m hopeful it continues, understanding that the world we live in four years from now may be different from the one we’re in now.”

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Lance Armstrong’s $100 million trial set for November

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - DECEMBER 20:  Lance Armstrong (C) heads out with cyclists on December 20, 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand. The disgraced Tour de France rider is in New Zealand to film a commercial, and put out a call on social media for local riders to join him on a ride along the Auckland Waterfront.  (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Lance Armstrong‘s $100 million legal fight with the federal government has been set for a November trial.

U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper on Thursday set a Nov. 6 trial start in Washington. Armstrong’s legal team had asked to postpone trial until 2018 because of a potential scheduling conflict.

The government wants Armstrong to pay back the $32 million the U.S. Postal Service paid his team for sponsorship, plus triple damages.

Armstrong’s former teammate Floyd Landis initially filed the whistle-blower case in 2010, accusing him of violating the sponsorship contract by taking performance-enhancing drugs. The government joined the case in 2013 after Armstrong admitted cheating and was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and 2000 Olympic bronze medal.

Landis, who was stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title for cheating, could collect up to 25 percent of damages awarded.

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