Three-time Olympic champion Kerri Walsh Jennings won her record 47th career FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour tournament title Sunday, capturing the season opener in Fuzhou, China, with partner April Ross.
Walsh Jennings, 35, and the Olympic silver medalist Ross swept Brazilians Juliana and Maria 21-11, 21-18 in 33 minutes in the Fuzhou Open final. Walsh Jennings, who won three Olympic golds with the now retired Misty May-Treanor, broke a tie with Brazilian Larissa for the most career titles.
Two men have more titles than Walsh Jennings — Brazilians Emanuel (76) and Ricardo (55).
Walsh Jennings and Ross were foes in the London Olympic final, but both of their 2012 partners have since retired. They teamed up last summer, after the World Championships.
“April and I are a new team,” Walsh Jennings said. “We have to improve a lot. We are excited to improve. This tour is going to make us so strong because everyone is great. We’re looking forward to the challenge and we want to win gold in Rio.”
The FIVB World Tour continues with a Grand Slam event in Shanghai this week.
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The 2018 Olympic men’s hockey field of 12 teams will be complete by the end of this weekend.
The last three spots will go to winners of three round-robin qualifying tournaments in Europe that run from Thursday through Sunday.
The Olympic Channel will stream the action.
The current Olympic men’s hockey groups (world ranking in parentheses):
|Czech Republic (6)
|South Korea (23 — host)
Those three qualifiers will be the winners of these three tournaments this weekend:
|Belarus (9 — host)
||Norway (11 — host)
||Latvia (12 — host)
All of the Olympic medal contenders are among the nine nations already in the Pyeongchang field, but a few notables are vying for spots this weekend.
Belarus memorably upset Sweden in the 2002 Olympic quarterfinals and wound up fourth in Salt Lake City. It last competed in the Olympics in 2010. Belarus’ biggest competition in its qualifying tournament may be Slovenia, which won two games at the Sochi Olympics and is led by Los Angeles Kings All-Star Anze Kopitar.
Like Belarus, Germany also last played at the Olympics in 2010. More recently, it beat the U.S. at the World Championship in May, behind New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss. To get to Pyeongchang, Germany must top a group that includes host Latvia, which made the last four Olympics and beat Switzerland in Sochi.
Norway hosts the group with the least amount of recent Olympic experience. None of France, Kazakhstan or Italy made either of the last two Olympics. Norway ought to be favored, then, since it reached the 2010 and 2014 Olympics, though it lost every contest at both Winter Games. New York Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello stars for the Norwegians.
It’s unknown whether the NHL will send its players to the 2018 Olympics.
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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The IOC has stripped four more athletes — including three Russians — of medals from the 2008 Beijing Olympics after their doping samples were retested and came back positive.
A total of six athletes were sanctioned Wednesday by the International Olympic Committee based on reanalysis of their samples with improved techniques. They were among the 98 positive cases recorded in the retesting of samples from Beijing and the 2012 London Olympics.
The IOC says Tatyana Firova was stripped of her silver medal in the women’s 4×400-meter relay after testing positive for turinabol and other steroids. She also had her ninth-place finish in the individual 400m annulled.
Russia had already been stripped of the relay medal earlier this month when Anastasia Kapachinskaya tested positive.
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