Elana Meyers

Elana Meyers, Steve Holcomb sweep Park City bobsled openers (video)

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The U.S. Bobsled Team continued its golden start to the season, sweeping the two-woman and two-man World Cup races in Park City, Utah, on Friday.

Olympic bronze medalist Elana Meyers and Olympic champion Steve Holcomb drove USA-1 sleds to victory at the 2002 Olympic track.

Meyers, 29, notched her first career World Cup victory as a driver in her fourth season and the first U.S. women’s victory since January 2011. She came in with five career World Cup podiums and World Championships silver and bronze medals.

Meyers, with push athlete Aja Evans, came from behind to upset Olympic and world champion Kaillie Humphries in a two-run time of 1 minute, 37.67 seconds.

“Definitely didn’t have two perfect runs, but I’ve got a great brakeman [Evans] behind me,” Meyers said. “She helps me out at the start and allows me to make a couple mistakes.”

The Canadian Humphries was .13 back in second after posting the fastest opening run.

“I know I made a mistake at the top of the track,” Humphries said. “Competition is stiff. It’s their home track. … I drove the very best that I could.”

Americans Jamie Greubel and Katie Eberling and Jazmine Fenlator and Emily Azevedo were third and fourth.

Meyers, who finished second to Humphries in the season opener last week, handed the Canadian her first loss on North American ice since 2010.

Greubel took third for the second straight World Cup race. Fenlator bounced back after finishing 15th last week, her worst World Cup finish in three seasons as a driver. The 2010 Olympian Azevedo replaced Lolo Jones as Fenlator’s push athlete Friday. The teams could be changed for Saturday’s race.

Holcomb, 33, won the two-man event with Chris Fogt in 1:35.51, beating another American sled with Nick Cunningham and Dallas Robinson by. 25. Cunningham notched his best career World Cup finish in his second season on the circuit.

Germans Francesco Friedrich and Jannis Baecker were third. Americans Cory Butner and Chuck Berkeley were fourth.

Holcomb has won all three men’s races this season, adding the Park City two-man to two- and four-man events in Calgary, Alberta, last weekend. He has now won five straight World Cup two-man events on North American tracks.

“I grew up on these tracks, so I know these better than any tracks,” said Holcomb, a Park City native. “We had two great starts. It’s easy to stay in the lead. Just point it in the right direction.”

The Park City World Cup concludes with two-woman and four-man races Saturday beginning at noon ET.

Park City Day 1

Two-woman
1. Elana Meyers/Aja Evans (USA) 1:37.67
2. Kaillie Humphries/Heather Moyse (CAN) 1:37.80
3. Jamie Greubel/Katie Eberling (USA) 1:37.86
4. Jazmine Fenlator/Emily Azevedo (USA) 1:38.05

Two-man
1. Steve Holcomb/Chris Fogt (USA) 1:35.51
2. Nick Cunningham/Dallas Robinson (USA) 1:35.76
3. Francesco Friedrich/Jannis Baecker (GER) 1:35.80
4. Cory Butner/Chuck Berkeley (USA) 1:35.93

Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards plans to ski jump at age 50

Eliud Kipchoge wins Berlin Marathon; no world record

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Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge won the Berlin Marathon but missed the world record by 35 seconds, slowed by rain and humidity.

The Kenyan clocked 2:03:32, just missing the three-year-old record of 2:02:57. Countryman Dennis Kimetto set that mark at the 2014 Berlin Marathon.

Kipchoge, who has won nine of his 10 career marathons, said Sunday marked the toughest conditions under which he has run 26.2 miles.

“My mind was to run at least a world record,” the 32-year-old said. “Next time. Tomorrow is a [new] day. … I still have a world record in my legs.”

The two other men chasing the record — Kenenisa Bekele and Wilson Kipsang — dropped out after 18 miles.

Instead, the runner-up was surprise Ethiopian Guye Adola, who ran the fastest debut marathon ever on a record-eligible course in an unofficial 2:03:46.

Adola stuck with Kipchoge until the last mile as both men trailed off Kimetto’s world-record pace.

Kenyan Gladys Cherono won the women’s race by 18 seconds in 2:00:23. It’s her second Berlin win in three years.

Many expected to see a men’s world record Sunday. Kipchoge, Bekele and Kipsang had all run within 16 seconds of the mark in the last two years but had never raced together in the German capital.

Berlin is the world’s fastest marathon. The men’s world record has been lowered six times since 2003, each time in the shadow of the Brandenburg Gate.

Kipchoge was the pre-race favorite.

On May 6, he ran 2:00:25 in Nike’s staged sub-two-hour marathon attempt on an Italian Formula One track. It was contested under special conditions that made it ineligible for record purposes with pacers entering mid-race.

Kipchoge won Berlin in 2015 in 2:04:00 despite insoles flopping out the back of his shoes the last half of the race.

Bekele and Kipsang teased the world record in a memorable Berlin duel last year, with Bekele winning six seconds shy of it.

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MORE: Top Americans set for major marathon next month

Yuzuru Hanyu falters as Javier Fernández wins opener

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Even Yuzuru Hanyu can struggle in September.

The Olympic and world champion singled his first jump, doubled a few more and fell in the free skate of his opening event of the Olympic season on Saturday. Video is here.

He squandered an 11.52-point lead over two-time world champion Javier Fernández from Friday’s short program at the Autumn Classic in Montreal.

Hanyu ended up 10.83 points behind Fernández overall, even though the Spaniard also fell in his free skate.

Full scores are here.

It’s a familiar feeling for Hanyu, who saw Fernández pass him in the free skate at the 2015 and 2016 Worlds.

The Japanese megastar also been known to have clunker programs at fall events in past seasons. In every one of his senior seasons, Hanyu has been beaten in one of his first two competitions.

Hanyu came to Montreal with a sore knee, which reportedly led him to take the quadruple loop out of his repertoire for one weekend.

Still, Hanyu was marvelous in the short program. His score was the second-highest under the 13-year-old judging system.

Showdowns like Hanyu-Fernández are usually reserved for, at the earliest, the Grand Prix series in late October and November. The Autumn Classic is a lower-level event.

Hanyu, 22, next skates at the Rostelecom Cup in four weeks. He will face 18-year-old U.S. champion Nathan Chen, who beat Hanyu at the Four Continents Championships at the PyeongChang Olympic venue in February.

The figure skating season continues next weekend with Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany, the final Olympic qualifying competition. North Korea could clinch its first spots in any sport for the Olympics in the pairs event.

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