David Boudia leads four more U.S. divers in booking Rio Olympic berths

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — David Boudia and Kassidy Cook couldn’t wait to share their Olympic moments Sunday.

So Boudia walked calmly to the stands and grabbed his toddler daughter from his wife, holding her up so she could celebrate with him.

Cook hugged everyone in sight.

Now the defending Olympic champion in men’s 10-meter and America’s comeback kid in women’s 3-meter will head to Rio as teammates after winning the final events at this year’s U.S. Olympic diving trials.

“The job’s not done yet,” Cook said shortly after making her first Olympic team after missing the team by 0.42 points in 2012. “This is just the first step. Now it’s time to go to Rio and kick some butt there.”

Boudia can advise the 21-year-old Texan about what to expect – and what it will take to win gold on diving’s biggest stage.

And at age 27, he looks every bit as good as he did 2012.

VIDEO: U.S. Olympic Diving Trials

Thy synchro 10-meter team of Boudia and Steele Johnson qualified together on Thursday. Then after finishing second in the individual 10-meter prelims, behind Johnson, Boudia took the lead in the semifinals and pulled away in the finals by scoring at least 83 points on four of his six dives to finish with a score of 1,534.4.

Johnson earned the second spot in the event by finishing with 1,475.15 points, exactly 12 more than David Dinsmore in what was the best duel in the pool all week.

Johnson spent most of the night in second place but surrendered that spot briefly to Dinsmore after Round 3. Dinsmore wound up with a 61.05 on his next dive, opening the door for Johnson who scored a 99.9 and retook second.

Dinsmore rallied for scores of 96.9 and 102.6 on his final two dives, but Johnson got an 88.4 and an 86.4 – just enough to bring Johnson to his knees and Dinsmore to tears.

“I honestly thought Dinsmore was ahead of me,” Johnson said. “I thought I needed a 95 to go ahead of him, but it turned out 86 was good enough – by 12 points.”

Boudia celebrated his win differently.

He cuddled his daughter, Dakoda, in his arms and repeatedly hugged and kissed her as she pointed to the fans and raised her arm as if she was acknowledging the applause for her dad. When Boudia handed his daughter back, he gave his wife, Sonnie, a kiss.

The next stop is Rio where Boudia will try to join Greg Louganis, Samuel Lee and Bob Webster as the only American men to win back-to-back Olympic golds in platform.

“What’s funny is that after this competition was over, I wasn’t exactly happy with it,” Boudia said. “I know it’s not going to cut it in Rio. So while I’m happy, I’ve still got a lot of work to do.”

For Cook, the stakes were even higher.

After missing out on London, injuries cost here most of the next three years of training. That left Cook with less than 18 months to regain Olympic form – knowing she could be setting herself up for more heartbreak.

She didn’t allow it to happen.

Cook took a solid lead into the finals and continued to pad it. She finished with a score 1,003.65, well ahead of her good friend Abby Johnston, who was part of the synchro 3-meter team that knocked Cook out of the Olympics four year earlier. Johnston, who attends medical school, claimed the second Olympic spot with 949.3 points. Laura Reedy was third at 898.8.

When it ended, all that emotion rushed out in one quick burst.

The ecstatic Cook sprinted to Johnston and gave her a hug. Coach Ken Armstrong was next in line for a hug, and then Cook sprinted up the steps to the judge’s stand, hopped over the railing and into the crowd where she began hugging a large contingent of family and friends.

“I’m at a loss for words because it all happened so fast,” Cook said, speaking with the pace of an auctioneer. “It’s still all a blur right now but it was amazing.”

Johnston, a silver medalist in London, was every bit as excited for her friend as she was about making her second Olympic team and her first in an individual event.

She even added to the diving tradition by awarding Cook her Olympic ring.

“She deserves it. It was so hard four years ago because we are such good friends, and to be the one who narrowly edged her out, it really weighed on me to see someone I cared so much about so sad,” Johnston said. “I know she is going to kick butt in Rio, and I’m going to be right there with her.”

MORE: Parratto, Young clinch U.S. Olympic berths in women’s platform

Mikaela Shiffrin has rare fall in World Cup race

AP
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SAN VIGILIO DI MAREBBE, Italy (AP) — Overall World Cup leader Mikaela Shiffrin had an uncharacteristic fall and Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway held a slim lead following the first run of a challenging giant slalom on Tuesday.

Seeking her first victory, Mowinckel held a 0.08-second lead over Marta Bassino of Italy and was 0.09 ahead of Viktoria Rebensburg at the Kronplatz resort.

Shiffrin lost control of her inside ski coming around a turn as she entered the steepest section of a slope named Erta, which translates as steep. Shiffrin slid a long way down the course but immediately got up and was not injured.

After missing a gate on Sunday in a super-G in Cortina d’Ampezzo, it marks the first time in Shiffrin’s career that she has failed to finish two consecutive races.

Russian Olympic, world champion skaters barred from PyeongChang

Viktor Ahn
AP
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MOSCOW (AP) — Speedskater Viktor Ahn, a six-time Olympic gold medalist, is among several top Russian athletes barred from the upcoming Pyeongchang Games amid the country’s ongoing doping scandal, the Russian Olympic Committee said Tuesday.

The ROC said Ahn, as well as cross-country skier Sergei Ustyugov and biathlete Anton Shipulin, have been left out of an International Olympic Committee pool of eligible athletes.

ROC senior vice president Stanislav Pozdnyakov said in a statement that he discovered the absences during negotiations with IOC officials on Monday and has asked the IOC to explain why they were not included.

Pozdnyakov said the three athletes “have never been involved in any doping cases and all of the many samples they have given during their careers testify that they are clean athletes. Regardless, their names are currently missing from the list of potential participants in the games.”

The IOC said it would not comment on individual cases.

Ahn, a short-track speedskater, won three gold medals for South Korea at the 2006 Olympics as Ahn Hyun-soo before switching allegiance to Russia in the run-up to the 2014 Sochi Olympics, where he won three more.

The head of the Russian Skating Union, Alexei Kravtsov, told the RIA Novosti state news agency that numerous other speedskaters had been barred.

They include world champions Pavel Kulizhnikov and Denis Yuskov, both of whom have previously served bans for failed doping tests, as well as Ruslan Zakharov, who won an Olympic relay gold medal in short-track speedskating in Sochi in 2014.

As punishment for what it termed a sophisticated Russian doping program at the 2014 Olympics, the IOC has forced all Russians competing in Pyeongchang to do so as “Olympic Athletes from Russia” under the Olympic flag, rather than as an official Russian team.

Russian athletes must be vetted by an IOC commission, which will examine their history of drug testing and links to past doping, before they are invited to the games.

On Friday, the IOC said it had cut an initial list of 500 Russian athletes down to a pool of 389, but didn’t give any names. Russian officials have expressed hope they could field a team of 200 athletes. That’s below the number that competed for Russia in 2014, but above its total from the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow is waiting for the IOC to clarify the situation.

“We have seen those deplorable reports in the media,” Peskov said. “We deeply regret if such decisions have indeed been taken. But we hope the situation will clear up because we do have contacts with the IOC. We hope those contacts will help clarify the situation around the aforementioned prominent athletes.”

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MORE: IOC creates pool of Russians eligible for PyeongChang Olympics