Anze Kopitar

Slovenia names Olympic hockey roster

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Slovenia announced its first Olympic men’s hockey team Monday, becoming the second country to name its 25-man roster after the U.S.

It is led by Los Angeles Kings sniper Anze Kopitar, whose father, Matjaz, is the head coach. Younger brother Gasper, 21, did not make the team despite playing at the 2013 Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

Slovenia beat Belarus, Ukraine and Denmark to make it to Sochi as the lowest-ranked team (17th) in the 12-nation field.

Slovenia is not expected to have much success in its first Olympic hockey tournament.

Olympic hockey rosters: U.S. | Canada | Russia | Sweden | Finland | Czech Republic | Slovakia | Switzerland | Latvia | Norway | Austria | Slovenia

Its highest finish at the World Championships is 13th. It’s grouped with medal contenders Russia, the U.S. and Slovakia in Sochi.

“The guys did a tremendous job in qualifying, beating out some very good teams,” Anze Kopitar said, according to Reuters. “Our national team can only choose from maybe about 30 guys compared to some other hockey nations, they’ve got a lot more guys to choose from.

“But just the fact that we made it and the huge stage we are going to be on in Sochi, it’s going to be one hell of a feeling for sure — a career moment.”

The other 10 nations have until Tuesday to name their rosters. Canada is scheduled to announce its team at 11 a.m. ET on Tuesday.

Here’s the full Slovenia roster:

Luka Gracnar
Andrej Hocevar
Robert Kristan

Blaz Gregorc
Sabahudin Kovacevic
Ales Kranjc
Ziga Pavlin
Klemen Pretnar
Mitja Robar
Matic Podlipnik
Andrej Tavzelj

Anze Kopitar — Los Angeles Kings
Jan Mursak — former Detroit Red Wings player
Bostjan Golicic
Ziga Jeglic
Anze Kuralt
Ales Music
Ziga Pance
Tomaz Razingar
David Rodman
Marcel Rodman
Robert Sabolic
Rok Ticar
Jan Urbas
Miha Verlic

Siberian man runs marathon in minus-36 degrees

Katie Ledecky beaten in NCAA Championships individual medley

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Katie Ledecky lost an NCAA Championships race for the first time in eight career finals, taking second in the 400-yard individual medley on Friday.

Stanford teammate Ella Eastin easily beat Ledecky by 3.69 seconds and grabbed the American and NCAA records from Ledecky, too. Eastin’s 3:54.60 is 1.93 seconds faster than Ledecky’s time from the Pac-12 Championships last month.

How did she do it?

“Honestly, I don’t know,” Eastin said on ESPNU. “I’ve built a lot of endurance this year, and it really showed.”

Eastin is decorated in her own right. She three-peated as NCAA 400-yard IM champion and held the American record in the event before Ledecky lowered it last month.

Eastin would have made the 2017 World Championships team had she not been disqualified for an illegal turn after finishing in second place at nationals.

Ledecky, a sophomore, has never contested the 400m IM at a U.S. Championships, Olympics or world championships, nor did she race the 400-yard IM at 2017 NCAAs. She raced the 400 IM instead of the 200 freestyle on Friday.

All of Ledecky’s races at major meets before Friday were in freestyle events. Her only defeat in a major international meet individual final was the 200m freestyle at 2017 Worlds.

Ledecky won five NCAA titles last year and the last two nights anchored the 800-yard freestyle relay and captured the 500-yard freestyle by eight seconds.

Meet results are here.

Later Friday, Lilly King of Indiana three-peated in the 100-yard breaststroke, breaking her American and NCAA records and winning in 56.25 seconds. King is also the Olympic and world champion in the 100m breast, plus the world-record holder.

“Always excited to get the record, but was really hoping to break 56 today,” King said.

Louisville’s Mallory Comerford became the second woman after Missy Franklin to break 1:40 in the 200-yard freestyle, winning in 1:39.80. Co-Olympic 100m free champ Simone Manuel of Stanford was third. Comerford and Ledecky tied for the 2017 NCAA 200 free title.

Stanford’s Ally Howe won the 100-yard backstroke in 49.70, one hundredth shy of her NCAA and American records. Olympic 100m backstroke silver medalist Kathleen Baker of Cal-Berkeley was third.

NCAAs conclude Saturday. Ledecky swims the 1,650-yard freestyle. She is the overwhelming favorite, having gone 35 seconds faster than anyone this season.

Ledecky hasn’t discussed with Stanford whether she will return for her junior season or turn pro, according to the school.

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World vault champion out for all of 2018

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Maria Paseka, a two-time world vault champion and four-time Olympic medalist, said she is out for the rest of the year after December back surgery, according to Russian news agency TASS.

Paseka, 22, earned the lone Russian title at worlds in October, repeating as champion on vault by edging American Jade Carey by .084. She handed Simone Biles her only defeat in a 2015 Worlds final, also on vault.

Paseka also took vault silver and bronze medals at the last two Olympics, as well as helping Russia to team silvers in London and Rio.

As Paseka is sidelined, Russia’s two other recent headliners are on the comeback trail.

Viktoria Komova, the all-around silver medalist at the 2011 Worlds and 2012 Olympics who missed Rio due to a back injury, competed in December for the first time since 2015.

Aliya Mustafina, a seven-time Olympic medalist with two uneven bars golds, is expected to return to competition this spring from June childbirth.

The world championships are in Doha in October.

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