Ryan Lochte

Ryan Lochte out of Charlotte Grand Prix, publicist says

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Ryan Lochte will not swim in the Arena Grand Prix at Charlotte that begins Thursday, pulling out as a precautionary measure because the knee from his previous MCL tear was bothering him, his publicist said in an email.

Lochte’s swim team later confirmed the news.

“We are going to exercise precautionary measures this weekend, as his knee continues to bother him,” Dr. Jason Batley said in a press release. “We don’t want him to push through pain if that would be counterproductive to ongoing recovery. While we want him back quickly, we want him back safely as well.”

It’s the third straight Grand Prix meet that Lochte has been impacted by knee or leg issues since returning from his Nov. 2 fan incident. Lochte said a fan ran to him, he caught her, they both fell to the ground and his knee hit a curb in Gainesville, Fla., last year.

Lochte, who now lives and trains in Charlotte, said he pushed the knee too hard in returning at a meet in Orlando in February, and it hurt afterward. He then scratched out of the last finals session of the Mesa Grand Prix on April 26, when he tweaked the knee in warm-ups.

It’s unknown if Lochte will swim the next Grand Prix event in Santa Clara, Calif., from June 19-22.

Lochte had been scheduled to swim in two events with Michael Phelps in Charlotte, the 100m butterfly and 200m freestyle. Lochte beat Phelps in the 100m butterfly in Mesa, which was Phelps’ first meet since the 2012 Olympics.

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Teddy Riner, dominant judoka, to skip 2018, 2019 Worlds

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French judoka Teddy Riner, arguably the world’s most dominant athlete, will reportedly skip the next two world championships before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

French coach Franck Chambily said Riner will compete a light international schedule the next two years ahead of what would be his fourth Olympics, according to Agence France-Presse.

Riner, a 29-year-old, 6-foot-8-inch native of Guadeloupe, is undefeated since 2010 with a reported 144-match winning streak. That includes Olympic titles in 2012 and 2016 and world titles in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

Before the streak, Riner also earned world titles in 2007, 2009 and 2010, plus an Olympic bronze at age 19 in 2008.

He could compete through the 2024 Paris Games.

“When I am invincible, I will stop,” Riner said in 2013, according to The Associated Press.

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Maggie Nichols wins NCAA all-around title with perfect 10

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Even after a perfect 10 in the last rotation, Maggie Nichols didn’t know that she had won the NCAA all-around title. Her coach at Oklahoma, K.J. Kindler, had to tell her.

The reaction?

“Excitement,” Nichols said Friday night on ESPNU. “I just wanted to go out there and feel out the equipment, staying calm and doing my routines that I have been doing in training.”

Nichols, a 2015 World team champion who retired from elite gymnastics after missing the 2016 Olympic team (set back by a torn meniscus that year), became the first Sooner to win the NCAA all-around in 30 years.

The sophomore tallied 39.8125 points and topped Olympic alternate MyKayla Skinner of Utah by .0875 for the title in St. Louis. It came one year after Nichols was 29th in the all-around with a balance beam fall.

Oklahoma and Utah will be joined in Saturday night’s Super Six team finals by UCLA, LSU, Florida and Nebraska. The Sooners eye their third straight national title.

Nichols capped her night with one of two perfect scores between the two semifinal sessions, matching 2012 Olympic alternate Elizabeth Price‘s 10 on uneven bars. It gave Nichols a second career gym slam, a perfect score on every apparatus for the season.

On Jan. 9, Nichols came forward as “Athlete A,” who first reported to USA Gymnastics that she was sexually abused by Larry Nassar in summer 2015.

“She has had a really unique year probably like no one else, and her strength showed through,” Kindler said Friday, according to the University of Oklahoma. “It was tough, and to come out on this side this year is really special.”

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