Gabby Douglas

Gabby Douglas to return to U.S. National Team camp

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Olympic all-around champion Gabby Douglas will take part in her first U.S. National Team camp since the London Games next week.

The five-day camp, which begins Monday, will be at the National Team Training Center at the Karolyi Ranch in Texas, led by National Team coordinator Martha Karolyi.

Douglas, 18, took time away from the gym after winning team and all-around gold at the 2012 Olympics. She moved from Des Moines, Iowa, to Los Angeles and began training, only to move back to Des Moines and resume working with coach Liang Chow in April.

“This is still the beginning stage,” Chow said, according to the Des Moines Register. “We’re working on the physical things. We have to put all the pieces together. Everything has to be falling together. In maybe one or two more months, I can give you a much clearer picture.”

Douglas said last September, shortly after moving to Los Angeles, that she planned to return at the 2014 U.S. Championships in Pittsburgh in August.

What’s the rest of the Fierce Five doing?

McKayla Maroney won vault gold at last year’s World Championships and had knee surgery in March.

Aly Raisman is training again with an eye on returning to a national team camp in October.

Jordyn Wieber hasn’t competed since the Olympics. She’s a team manager at UCLA, and it’s unknown if or when she will return.

Kyla Ross has been the busiest, competing each of the last two seasons. She took second to Elizabeth Price in the all-around at the Pacific Rim Championships in April. Price, an Olympic alternate, then retired from international competition.

Douglas and Ross are the only Fierce Five members going to the camp next week. They’ll be joined by a group that includes 2013 world all-around champion Simone Biles and McKenna Kelley, the 17-year-old daughter of 1984 Olympic all-around champion Mary Lou Retton.

No U.S. women’s gymnast has made back-to-back Olympic teams since 1996 and 2000.

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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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