Tom Shields

U.S. edges Europe in tiebreak relay to win Duel in the Pool (video)

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The U.S. remained unbeaten in the Duel in the Pool — barely.

Down 68-54 after Friday, the Americans rallied to win the Ryder Cup-style swimming event 132-131 following a tiebreaking mixed relay when the teams were even after 30 scheduled races in Glasgow, Scotland, on Saturday.

NBC will televise the Duel in the Pool on Sunday from 4-6 p.m. ET.

The U.S. has won all six duels, including a 181.5-80.5 whipping of a European all-star team at the last edition in 2011 in Atlanta. The first three duels were U.S.-Australia battles during the heyday of their rivalry in 2003, 2005 and 2007.

This matchup was expected to be the closest yet, given the U.S. was missing Michael PhelpsRyan Lochte and Missy Franklin and its star, Katie Ledecky, was feeling under the weather and managed one podium finish, second place in the 200m freestyle Saturday.

“I didn’t have the best meet,” a hoarse Ledecky said, according to Swimming World. “But it sure as heck will be one that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”

Europe led by as much as 86-63 after 17 of 30 races in the short-course meet. The pool was 25 meters long, as opposed to Olympic-size 50-meter pools.

Points were awarded for first, second and third place in individual events (five for first, three for second, one for third). Seven points were given in winner-take-all relays.

The U.S. stormed back with five straight individual wins but never led, forcing a 131-131 tie after the final men’s 4x100m freestyle relay anchored by Cullen Jones.

“It was intense,” two-time U.S. Olympian Anthony Ervin said, according to Swimming World“I heard mutterings about that we had to win the last relay in order to go to the tiebreaker relay. Personal efforts aside, we dug deep like we did the whole day as a team.”

So, the teams came back out for a mixed 4x50m medley relay. The U.S. led after each split with anchor Simone Manuel touching .20 of a second ahead of Great Britain’s Francesca Halsall to set off “U-S-A” chants.

A 2015 Duel in the Pool announcement has not been made, but it is expected to be staged in the U.S.

Women’s 800m Freestyle — Europe 77, U.S. 54
1. Mireia Belmonte Garcia (EUR) 8:07.90
2. Lotte Friis (EUR) 8:10.40
3. Jazmin Carlin (EUR) 8:12.01

Men’s 800m Freestyle — Europe 80, U.S. 60
1. Michael McBroom (USA) 7:33.99
2. Pal Joensen (EUR) 7:39.69
3. Michael Klueh (USA) 7:41.96

Women’s 200m Freestyle — Europe 86, U.S. 63
1. Michelle Coleman (EUR) 1:53.63
2. Katie Ledecky (USA) 1:53.83
3. Melani Costa (EUR) 1:53.96

Men’s 200m Freestyle — Europe 87, U.S. 71
1. Conor Dwyer (USA) 1:41.68
2. Tyler Clary (USA) 1:43.84
3. Robbie Renwick (EUR) 1:44.44

Women’s 100m Backstroke — Europe 91, U.S. 76
1. Olivia Smoliga (USA) 57.06
2. Simona Baumrtova (EUR) 57.11
3. Daryna Zavina (EUR) 57.16

Men’s 100m Backstroke — Europe 92, U.S. 84
1. Eugene Godsoe (USA) 50.08
2. Tom Shields (USA) 50.18
3. Chris Walker-Hebborn (EUR) 50.55

Women’s 100m Breaststroke — Europe 93, U.S. 92
1. Jessica Hardy (USA) 1:04.65
2. Micah Lawrence (USA) 1:05.27
3. Sophie Allen (EUR) 1:05.39

Men’s 100m Breaststroke — Europe 97, U.S. 97
1. Kevin Cordes (USA) 56.88
2. Marco Koch (EUR) 57.05
3. Damir Dugonjic (EUR) 57.08

Women’s 200m Butterfly — Europe 103, U.S. 100
1. Mireia Belmonte Garcia (EUR) 2:03.31
2. Cammile Adams (USA) 2:04.61
3. Franziska Hentke (EUR) 2:05.83

Men’s 200m Butterfly — Europe 107, U.S. 105
1. Tom Shields (USA) 1:50.61
2. Velimir Stjepanovic (EUR) 1:52.06
3. Roberto Pavoni (EUR) 1:52.87

Women’s 50m Freestyle — Europe 115, U.S. 106
1. Francesca Halsall (EUR) 23.93
2. Jeanette Ottesen Gray (EUR) 24.02
3. Simone Manuel (USA) 24.40

Men’s 50m Freestyle — Europe 115, U.S. 115
1. Jimmy Feigen (USA) 21.20
2. Cullen Jones (USA) 21.27
2. Anthony Ervin (USA) 21.27

Womens’ 200m Individual Medley — Europe 121, U.S. 118
1. Sophie Allen (EUR) 2:05.90
2. Caitlin Leverenz (USA) 2:06.77
3. Hannah Miley (EUR) 2:08.55

Men’s 200m Individual Medley — Europe 124, U.S. 124
1. Conor Dwyer (USA) 1:53.51
2. Roberto Pavoni (EUR) 1:54.20
3. Chase Kalisz (USA) 1:54.26

Women’s 400m Freestyle Relay — Europe 131, U.S. 124
1. Europe 3:27.70
2. U.S. 3:28.96

Men’s 400m Freestyle Relay — Europe, 131, U.S. 131
1. U.S. 3:06.66
2. Europe 3:07.95

Mixed 4x50m Medley Relay — U.S. 132, Europe 131
1. U.S. 1:37.17
2. Europe 1:37.37

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IOC president doesn’t rule out awarding 2028 Olympic host in 2017

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 23: The Olympic Flag waves as part of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony at Fisht Olympic Stadium on February 23, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
AP
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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Signaling a potential radical change in the way Olympic host cities are chosen, IOC President Thomas Bach wants to revise the bidding process because it “produces too many losers.”

He wouldn’t rule out the possibility of awarding two Games at the same time.

Bach’s comments came on Thursday, the same day the IOC executive board cleared all three candidate cities for the 2024 Olympics — Paris, Los Angeles and Budapest, Hungary — to advance to the next stage of the race.

“We have to take into consideration that the procedure as it is now produces too many losers,” Bach said at a news conference. “You can be happy about a strong field in quantity for one day but you start to regret it the next day.

“It is not the purpose of an Olympic candidate city procedure to produce losers. It is to produce the best possible host for an Olympic Games. We will have to look into this.”

It was the first time Bach has publicly spoken about further changes to the bidding process, which has suffered in recent years as voters rejected bids in referendums, and cities dropped out because of concerns over the costs of the games.

Paris, Los Angeles, and Budapest are in the final nine months of the race for the 2024 Games. The International Olympic Committee is scheduled to vote on the host city in September in Lima, Peru.

Paris and Los Angeles are viewed as close favorites, with Budapest as an outsider. Olympic officials in recent months have begun privately discussing the idea of awarding the 2024 and 2028 Games simultaneously, ensuring that Paris and Los Angeles would get one or the other.

Some officials believe that, because both cities are such strong contenders, it would be a mistake for one to lose out. It would seem unlikely that either loser would bid again for 2028.

Bach repeated several times that the 2024 bidding is already in full swing and the IOC is “happy” with that process. However, he was asked twice about the possibility of awarding both Games at the Lima meeting, and he didn’t categorically rule it out.

“Let us study this question, which is not an easy one,” he said.

Bach suggested it is more likely any major change will come for future bidding races.

“We have to think long term,” he said, adding that, for the 2024 race, the IOC advised three unidentified cities during the “invitation phase” not to submit bids because they failed to meet the requirements.

The IOC has been seeking to fix the bidding process for years amid a sharp downturn in interest from potential host cities, many scared off by the $51 billion price tag associated with the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.

The bid races for the 2020, 2022 and 2024 Olympics were all hit by withdrawals for political or financial reasons. Six cities pulled out of the contest for the ’22 Winter Games, leaving only two finalists, with Beijing defeating Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Hamburg pulled out of the 2024 race after local residents rejected the bid in a referendum, and Rome’s 2024 bid was scrapped after the new mayor rejected the project over costs.

Bach’s Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms were aimed at making bidding and hosting more flexible and less costly. But Bach acknowledged on Thursday the reforms hadn’t solved everything, saying they have been affected by “more changes in the decision-making mechanisms in politics.”

“You can see how in many countries, you have populist movements and anti-establishment movements getting stronger and stronger, asking different and new questions,” he said.

While the IOC has traditionally awarded one Olympics at a time, some other major sports bodies have awarded multiple events at a time.

FIFA awarded the 2018 World Cup to Russia and 2022 tournament to Qatar in the same bidding process. FIFA leaders say that was a mistake that will not be repeated. Swiss federal prosecutors are still looking into suspicions of wrongdoing during that contest.

VIDEO: LA 2024 Olympic bid venue plan

Yuzuru Hanyu tops Grand Prix Final short program

Yuzuru Hanyu
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Yuzuru Hanyu is well on his way to a record fourth straight Grand Prix Final title.

The Olympic champion landed two quadruple jumps while his closest rival, Spain’s Javier Fernandez, nearly fell twice in the short program in Marseille, France, on Thursday.

Hanyu tallied 106.53 points, the third-highest short program score under the decade-old scoring system, but said he wasn’t completely satisfied. Hanyu owns the five best short programs, all compiled in the last two seasons, with a best of 110.95.

“This program feels like a concert,” said Hanyu, who skated to Prince music in a purple outfit. “I consider this program cannot be completed without the audience.

“I feel this program has a lot more potential. I really wanted to improve my personal-best score here.”

Hanyu is trying to become the first singles skater to win four straight Grand Prix Finals in the event’s 22-year history.

He leads three-time Canadian world champion Patrick Chan by 6.77 points going into Saturday’s free skate. Chan’s clean short program included one quad and marked his first personal best in three years.

“The first good short program in a long time, internationally,” Chan said. “It didn’t feel any more special than any usual training day.”

Fernandez, who beat Hanyu at the last two world championships, nearly fell on a quad Salchow and a triple Axel and is in third, nearly 15 points back of Hanyu.

Fernandez was followed by Japan’s Shoma Uno and the two Americans, training partners Nathan Chen and Adam Rippon, in fifth and sixth in the six-skater field.

Chen, 17, fell on a quad flip and stepped out of a quad Lutz landing.

“I made two pretty big mistakes, so I’m a little bit upset about that,” Chen said, according to U.S. Figure Skating. “I was able to land the triple Axel, which I’m happy about because that’s always been my struggle jump.”

Rippon, 27, was the only skater to not attempt a quad.

“I’m trying the least amount of quads so my focus is to skate well overall,” Rippon said, according to U.S. Figure Skating. “I want to do my best and improve for the rest of the season.”

Chen and Rippon are the first American men in a Grand Prix Final, the second-biggest annual competition, since 2011.

The Grand Prix Final continues Friday with the short dance, pairs free skate and women’s short program (broadcast schedule here).

Earlier in pairs, Canadian world champions Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford struggled to third place in the short program. Duhamel fell on a throw triple Axel.

Russians Yevgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov lead by 3.26 points going into Friday’s free skate.

MORE: Javier Fernandez builds toward last Olympic chance

Men’s Short Program
1. Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) — 106.53
2. Patrick Chan (CAN) — 99.76
3. Javier Fernandez (ESP) — 91.76
4. Shoma Uno (JPN) — 86.82
5. Nathan Chen (USA) — 85.30
6. Adam Rippon (USA) — 83.93

Pairs Short Program
1. Yevgenia Tarasovana/Vladimir Morozov (RUS) — 78.60
2. Xiaoyu Yu/Hao Zhang (CHN) — 75.34
3. Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford (CAN) — 71.44
4. Cheng Peng/Yang Jin (CHN) — 70.84
5. Natalya Zabiyako/Aleksander Enbert (RUS) — 65.79
6. Julianne Seguin/Charlie Bilodeau (CAN) — 60.86