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Amber Neben wins world championships time trial after being left off Olympic team

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U.S. road cyclist Amber Neben won her first world championships time trial in eight years, the gold medal coming three months after she lost an arbitration case in a bid to be named to the Rio Olympic team.

“My heart just hasn’t stopped beating since I finished,” Neben said more than an hour after she finished in steamy Doha on Tuesday. “I think this one is more special because of everything that’s happened between 2008 and now.”

Neben, 41, became the second-oldest world champion in the event, behind French legend Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli, who took gold in 2001 at age 42, according to reports.

She completed the 18-mile course in 36 minutes, 37.04 seconds, topping the Netherlands’ Ellen van Dijk by 5.99 seconds. Katrin Garfoot of Australia was third.

The Netherlands’ Annemiek van Vleuten, who broke three bones in her back in a descent crash while leading the Rio Olympic road race, finished fifth. Full results are here. The event replay is here.

American Kristin Armstrong, who at 42 won her third straight Olympic time trial title in Rio, was not in the worlds race Tuesday.

Armstrong was one of four women on the Rio Olympic road cycling team, which did not include Neben, who finished seventh in the time trial at London 2012.

Carmen Small and Neben finished first and second, respectively, in the U.S. Championships time trial May 27 but were passed over for the Olympic team. They argued they deserved one of three discretionary spots on the Olympic road team, but their appeals were denied in arbitration cases on July 14.

Megan Guarnier earned an automatic spot on the Olympic team as she earned bronze in the 2015 Worlds road race, while discretionary places were given to Armstrong, Evelyn Stevens and Mara Abbott.

Armstrong and Stevens were the riders chosen for the Olympic time trial, while all four competed in the road race.

MORE: Armstrong makes it three straight Olympic time trial titles

Yulia Efimova wags finger as Lilly King rivalry heats up (video)

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The Lilly KingYulia Efimova rivalry is back on, but this time the Russian is wagging her finger.

Efimova missed the 100m breaststroke world record by .01 in the semifinals at the world swimming championships in Budapest on Monday.

Efimova celebrated her time by finger wagging, an homage to King’s famous move in the ready room at the Rio Olympics.  She and King will go head to head in the final as the top two seeds on Tuesday after King won her later semifinal in a personal-best time .17 slower than Efimova.

“I’m always looking at the results from the heat before,” King told media in Budapest, adding that she wasn’t shaved for Monday’s semifinals. “I saw a little finger wag. I saw it. It’s just motivating me more, so that’s OK.”

King, who criticized Efimova’s presence in Rio after serving a doping ban, beat the Russian in the Olympic 100m breaststroke final last year.

Efimova served a 16-month ban for testing positive for the banned steroid DHEA in 2013. She again tested positive in February 2016 for meldonium, though she said she stopped taking it before it became a banned substance Jan. 1 and was absolved along with other athletes.

“You’ve been caught for drug cheating, I’m just not a fan,” King memorably said in Rio, adding last fall, “[Doping] was on all of our minds. We had team meetings talking about what it was going to be like. We were going to be racing dopers, and we all knew it.”

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Katinka Hosszu wins 200m IM as swimmer leaves pool mid-race (video)

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Hungarian Katinka Hosszu delivered the gold-medal performance a raucous Budapest crowd hoped for at the world swimming championships.

Canadian Sydney Pickrem, a medal favorite, appeared to get out of the pool after 50 meters. Swimming Canada later said she “took on water” approaching the first wall.

“Unfortunately it inhibited her to the point where she wasn’t able to continue in the race,” a press release said.

Hosszu won her third straight world title in the 200m individual medley, clocking 2:07.00 at the frenzied Danube Arena. The Olympic champion and world-record holder was followed by Japan’s Yui Ohashi (2:07.91) and American Madisyn Cox (2:09.71).

“Just another stepping stone,” said Cox, who finished her University of Texas career this year and made her major international debut in Budapest. “Of course, I want to be better. That time will come.”

Hosszu was the overwhelming favorite, given she held the three fastest times in the world this year going into Monday’s final. The “Iron Lady” became the first woman to win 10 individual world championships medals, a mark that Sarah SjostromKatie Ledecky and Yulia Efimova can surpass later in the meet. Retired Australian Leisel Jones won nine, all in breaststroke.

Hosszu scratched her other event Monday night, the 100m backstroke, one of three events she won at the Rio Olympics. Hosszu could earn medals in the 200m backstroke and 400m individual medley later this week.

Pickrem ranked No. 3 in the world this year and had the third-fastest time in the semifinals behind Hosszu and American Melanie Margalis, who finished fourth.

Women’s 200m Individual Medley Results
Gold: Katinka Hosszu (HUN) — 2:07.00
Silver: Yui Ohashi (JPN) — 2:07.91
Bronze: Madisyn Cox (USA) — 2:09.71
4. Melanie Margalis (USA) — 2:09.82
5. Runa Imai (JPN) — 2:09.99
6. Kim Seoyeong (KOR) — 2:10.40
7. Siobhan-Marie O’Connor (GBR) — 2:10.41
DQ. Sydney Pickrem (CAN)

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