Tatyana McFadden

What’s next for Tatyana McFadden after Sochi success

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Tatyana McFadden admitted to feeling jetlagged, even exhausted after flying home from the Sochi Paralympics.

She’s earned plenty of rest, but she won’t be taking much.

The 24-year-old plans to defend her London Marathon and Boston Marathon wheelchair titles in April, one month after winning a sitting cross-country skiing silver medal to complement her collection of 10 Summer Paralympic medals.

“I’m getting in my chair this week,” McFadden said in a phone interview Tuesday. “It’s going to be hard. … I think it will take me a few days, a week to get my mind back to wheelchair racing. To get my endurance back.”

In Sochi, McFadden won her silver medal in a 1km sprint to join the list of Paralympians with Summer and Winter medals (three of her Sochi teammates had already accomplished the feat). Each round of the 1km sprint took about 3 minutes.

Her April marathons are each 42 times longer in distance and take about 1 hour, 45 minutes.

McFadden is concerned enough about transitioning back that she won’t yet commit to defending later marathon titles in Chicago and New York and going for a second straight “Grand Slam.” But she felt picking up cross-country skiing over the last year, and the different work that goes into it, will help her on the road to Rio in 2016.

“In [wheelchair] racing it’s all shoulders and all arms,” McFadden said. “[In cross-country skiing], your core kind of drives where your arms go. … Now I’ve got a really strong core and strong lats. I can use that for wheelchair racing.”

On the track, she is considering adding the 5000m to her Paralympic schedule if she makes it to Rio. McFadden didn’t race the event at London 2012, where she bagged four medals with three golds, but won it as part of an unprecedented haul of six golds at the 2013 World Championships.

She’s not done with cross-country skiing, either.

“I sort of got addicted to it,” said McFadden, a Maryland native who spent December through February training on snow in Colorado. “My concentration is on Rio, and then during the winters I will probably go and ski. … We’ll see what happens.”

Ireland’s history at the Olympics

Ragan Smith, after watching in Rio, leads P&G Championships

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Ragan Smith could do nothing more than watch in Rio as the Final Five dominated. The roles reversed at the P&G Championships on Friday night.

Smith, a Rio Olympic alternate, easily topped the all-around standings on the first of two nights of competition that will determine national champions.

Oh, and Simone Biles and Laurie Hernandez were among those in the Honda Center crowd in Anaheim.

It’s the beginning of a new era for U.S. women’s gymnastics. None of the Rio Olympians are competing this weekend, but all five could come back for a Tokyo 2020 run.

For now, the spotlight is on Smith.

“It’s kind of nice, like, having a new generation coming up,” Smith, who is coached by 1992 Olympic bronze medalist Kim Zmeskal Burdette, said on NBCSN. “I think it’s a little less pressure, but I still kind of feel like it’s the same because I had no idea what was going to happen last year.”

The 17-year-old Texan leads by 1.3 points over Riley McCusker going into the final day Sunday (7 p.m. ET, NBC, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app). Full scores are here. A four-woman team for October’s world championships will be named after a camp later this summer.

Smith overcame minor flaws on her first routine — uneven bars — and more significant ones on her next — balance beam. A solid floor exercise and vault gave her a first-day lead six tenths shy of Biles’ average margin from 2013 through 2016.

The second- and third-highest scores Friday actually came from the earlier junior division. With no team event at this year’s worlds, senior depth is less necessary.

Smith, after just missing the Rio Olympic team in her first year as a senior gymnast, won the AT&T American Cup on March 4 despite a beam fall. That made her the favorite this week.

The rest of the field — with no Olympians for the first time since 2008 — could not keep pace Friday. Smith’s top challengers coming in were McCusker and Morgan Hurd.

McCusker, who shares a coach with Hernandez, reeled back some difficulty. She was on crutches with a cast on her wrist in early July.

Hurd, a first-year senior who competes in glasses, took two out-of-bounds steps and sat down on back-to-back floor exercise passes.

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Simone Biles says she’s back in the gym (video)

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Simone Biles is back in the gym.

In between giggles, Biles said she returned to the gym two weeks ago in an NBCSN interview at the P&G Championships in Anaheim on Friday night.

“I actually started, like, two Fridays ago,” Biles said. “I’m weak. But I’m coming back. I’m just doing conditioning and basics right now.”

Biles last competed at the Rio Olympics, winning five medals, including four golds, for the greatest single-Games medal haul by a female gymnast in nearly three decades. That came after Biles swept every U.S. and world all-around title in that four-year Olympic cycle.

The 20-year-old said late last year and early this year that she planned to return to training in late 2017 or early 2018 with an eye on Tokyo 2020.

“It’s OK to sit out one [year],” Biles said. “I can’t imagine being out on the floor now.”

Biles has not set a return to competition. Her longtime coach, Aimee Boorman, moved from Texas to Florida after Rio.

If Biles makes the Tokyo 2020 team, she can attempt to become the first woman to repeat as Olympic all-around champion since the late Czech Věra Čáslavská in 1964 and 1968.

Gabby Douglas attempted this feat in Rio but did not qualify for the all-around final.

Douglas said earlier this month that she has not decided whether she will return to competition.

Aly Raisman said in September that she plans to return to training after taking 2017 off. Laurie Hernandez said she hopes to go for 2020 but has not set a return to training.

Madison Kocian is the lone member of the Olympic team who has competed since Rio, but it wasn’t on the elite stage. The Texan did a full freshman season for UCLA with a torn labrum and partially torn rotator cuff in her shoulder.

Kocian said in June that she has not decided if she will return to elite gymnastics.

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P&G CHAMPS: Men’s Preview | Women’s Preview
TV Schedule | Final Five Updates