Gwen Jorgensen
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Gwen Jorgensen’s routes to NYC Marathon, Tokyo 2020 both look unconventional

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Olympic triathlon champion Gwen Jorgensen‘s preparation for her first marathon has been, well, unusual.

Seven days before she races the New York City Marathon, Jorgensen completed her longest competition of the year, more than twice the 26.2-mile marathon distance.

She won the Island House Triathlon, a three-day, stage race totaling 64 miles of swimming, biking and running in the Bahamas last Sunday.

Her combined time for the three days was 3:55:01, likely more than an hour longer than she’ll spend on the roads in New York this Sunday.

“An unconventional route may not seem like the best, but everyone’s individualistic,” Jorgensen said Tuesday, kicking her feet up at home in Minnesota.

Jorgensen’s longest run of her life before winning gold in Rio was 12 miles. Her longest run since, 16 miles.

She doesn’t even know what pace she’ll start at those first few miles crossing Staten Island into Brooklyn on Sunday morning.

“I’m not setting any goals or expectations,” Jorgensen said. “I have no idea what’s going to happen.”

Jorgensen, 30, was a swimmer until joining the University of Wisconsin cross-country team as a junior in 2007.

She graduated, became an accountant and then was recruited to triathlon in 2009.

She ran her first true triathlon in 2010 and developed into quite arguably the world’s best runner in the sport’s history, erasing deficits of greater than one minute on 10km runs in Olympic-distance races.

Jorgensen decided before the Olympics that she would race the New York City Marathon, an idea coined two years ago under driving rain in Central Park.

She won the Dash to the Finish Line 5K the morning before the 2014 New York City Marathon and was urged by officials to come back for the big show another year.

She wouldn’t dare race a marathon while preparing for the Olympic triathlon, so she waited.

“I’ve been wanting to do a marathon for quite a few years,” she said.

After Rio, Jorgensen continued to train as a triathlete.

She finished second at the World Triathlon Series Grand Final in Cozumel, Mexico, on Sept. 17 and chose to race the Island House Triathlon the final weekend of October, surely a head-scratcher for marathon followers.

“We decided there’s no way in four or five weeks that we could just change everything we do and strictly become a marathon runner,” Jorgensen said, citing injury risk.

Her coach, New Zealander Jamie Turner, sprinkled in one marathon-specific workout per week. Jorgensen’s marathon race pace in those workouts fluctuated. She listed two numbers — 3:31 per kilometer and 3:40 per kilometer.

If Jorgensen kept that pace for an entire marathon, she would finish in the 2-hour, 30-minute range. A 2:30 would have placed in the women’s top 10 each of the last two years and second in the U.S. standings both times.

On Oct. 9, Jorgensen finished third in the U.S. 10-mile Championships on the same streets she trains on in Minnesota. She beat American marathoner Sara Hall by 20 seconds. Hall finished 12th in the London Marathon in a personal-best 2:30:06 on April 24.

Jorgensen would not engage in time predictions. Her husband, Patrick Lemieux, has told her the marathon results of other top triathletes, but she couldn’t remember them while speaking Tuesday.

She asked a reporter to tell her the times of 2012 Olympic triathlon champion Nicola Spirig (2:42:53, after more extensive distance training than Jorgensen) and 2008 Olympic silver medalist Vanessa Fernandes (2:31:25, four years after her elite triathlon career ended).

Jorgensen is prepared to take one full year off of triathlon in the 2020 Olympic cycle should she and Lemieux start a family, but she also has designs on defending her title in Tokyo.

She named Spirig and marathoner Kara Goucher as inspirations, two women who gave birth and came back to qualify for Olympics. Spirig took silver behind Jorgensen in a memorable Rio duel.

“Four years ago, I wouldn’t have thought it was possible to be able to have a child and get back into sport and be successful,” Jorgensen said.

VIDEO: Kenenisa Bekele misses marathon world record by 6 seconds

Gymnastics doctor’s lawyers want trial moved, cite media coverage

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Attorneys for a former Michigan State and USA Gymnastics doctor accused of molesting dozens of athletes are pushing to have his trial moved out of the Lansing area.

The Lansing State Journal reports that attorneys representing Larry Nassar filed a change-of-venue request because of what they called “inflammatory and sustained media coverage” that they say has made it difficult for Nassar to get a fair trial in the area.

The media attention grew more intense this week when 21-year-old 2012 Olympic gold medal gymnast McKayla Maroney wrote on Twitter that Nassar started assaulting her when she was 13.

Nassar has pleaded not guilty to nearly two dozen charges in Michigan. He has pleaded guilty to three child pornography charges in an unrelated case but has not been sentenced.

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Nathan Chen holds off Yuzuru Hanyu to win first Grand Prix

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U.S. champion Nathan Chen opened the Grand Prix season by beating Olympic gold-medal favorite Yuzuru Hanyu.

Chen, 18, held off Hanyu at Rostelecom Cup in Moscow, totaling 293.79 points to win by 3.02 over the Japanese megastar.

Russian Yevgenia Medvedeva easily won the women’s title despite a rare fall in her free skate. Medvedeva is undefeated since 2015 Rostelecom Cup.

Full scores are here.

Chen landed four quadruple jumps in a strong but imperfect free skate for his first Grand Prix title in his second senior international season.

“I got a little tired halfway through the program and started faltering a little bit on the second quad toe – that was a big mistake,” Chen said, according to the International Skating Union .”I can’t let things like that happen in the future. But this is my first Grand Prix win, and I’m very happy with that.”

Hanyu outscored Chen in the free skate, but the American benefited from his 5.69-point lead from Friday’s short program.

Hanyu, the reigning Olympic and world champion, has never won his opening Grand Prix start in eight tries.

He did three quadruple jumps in Saturday’s free skate rather than the planned five, but did not fall as he did in the short program.

Chen has now outscored Hanyu in three of their last four head-to-head events dating to February. Hanyu got the better of Chen at the most important event — winning the world championships, where the American was sixth.

Also Saturday, two-time world medalists Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani won the ice dance with 189.24 points, sweeping both the short and free programs.

The siblings and U.S. champions have now won four straight Grand Prix titles (not counting the Grand Prix Final).

They won by 4.5 points over Russians Yekaterina Bobrova and Dmitry Soloviyev.

The world’s top two couples were not in the field — Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir and France’s Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron.

Russia swept the pairs podium, led by world bronze medalists Yevgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov.

The top pairs teams from the rest of the world — including world champions Sui Wenjing and Han Cong — were not in the field.

The Rostelecom Cup women’s free skate is later Saturday.

The Grand Prix season continues next weekend with Skate Canada, headlined by three-time U.S. champion Ashley Wagner and three-time world champion Patrick Chan.

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Rostelecom Cup
Men
1. Nathan Chen (USA) — 293.79
2. Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) — 290.77
3. Mikhail Kolyada (RUS) — 271.06
11. Grant Hochstein (USA) — 206.09

Women
1. Yevgenia Medvedeva (RUS) — 231.21
2. Carolina Kostner (ITA) — 215.98
3. Wakaba Higuchi (JPN) — 207.17
6. Mariah Bell (USA) — 188.56
9. Mirai Nagasu (USA) — 178.25

Ice Dance
1. Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani (USA) — 189.24
2. Yekaterina Bobrova/Dmitry Soloviyev (RUS) — 184.74
3. Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin (RUS) — 179.35
7. Rachel Parsons/Michael Parsons (USA) — 148.75

Pairs
1. Yevgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov (RUS) — 224.25
2. Ksenia Stolbova/Fedor Klimov (RUS) — 204.43
3. Kristina Astakhova/Aleksey Rogonov (RUS) — 199.11
7. Marissa Castelli/Mervin Tran (USA) — 170.53