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

Gus Kenworthy’s hard crash dents Olympic double hope (video)

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Gus Kenworthy‘s goal of making the Olympic team in two events may have disintegrated as he tumbled to the bottom of the halfpipe in Mammoth Mountain, Calif., on Friday night.

He crashed on the lip of the pipe on his last run to finish ninth at the fifth and final Olympic ski halfpipe qualifier. Kenworthy needed at least a runner-up to automatically qualify for PyeongChang.

Kenworthy is still very likely to make the Olympic ski slopestyle team for a second straight time, but he wanted to be the first American to contest slope and pipe at the Games. That’s likely gone.

What we know: The three automatic Olympic halfpipe spots went to Sochi gold medalist David Wise, fellow Sochi Olympian Torin Yater-Wallace and first-time Olympian Alex Ferreira.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard can add a fourth man to the team via discretionary selection. It’s unlikely to be Kenworthy based on qualifying results. Kenworthy ranks sixth in the standings overall.

The man with the best credentials is Aaron Blunck, a Sochi Olympian and reigning X Games champ who made two podiums among the five selection events.

Another strong option is Kyle Smaine, the surprise winner of the fifth and final qualifier Friday night. But Smaine doesn’t have a finish better than seventh from the other four qualifiers.

Kenworthy has two ski slopestyle qualifiers Saturday and Sunday in Mammoth, after which the Olympic team will be named.

He is stronger in slopestyle than halfpipe, earning silver in Sochi and at the 2017 World Championships in the former. Kenworthy missed the Sochi team in halfpipe.

In women’s ski halfpipe on Friday, Devin Logan and Brita Sigourney joined Sochi gold medalist Maddie Bowman on the Olympic team.

Sigourney won the fifth and final Olympic selection event with a 91.20-point run, edging Bowman (89.80) and Logan (83.80).

Logan, the Sochi ski slopestyle silver medalist, is very likely to make the Olympic team in both halfpipe and slopestyle, which no man or woman did in Sochi.

One more discretionary Olympic women’s halfpipe spot could be awarded, likely to Sochi Olympian Annalisa Drew or Carly Margulies, who both missed the podium Friday night.

U.S. Olympic Qualifying Standings
Ski Halfpipe 
(through five of five events)
Three skiers can auto qualify per gender; up to four named to Olympic team
1. David Wise — 200** QUALIFIED
2. Alex Ferreira — 180** QUALIFIED
3. Torin Yater-Wallace — 160** QUALIFIED

4. Aaron Blunck — 140** (2nd and 3rd)
5. Kyle Smaine — 136* (1st and 7th)
6. Gus Kenworthy — 116* (2nd and 7th)

1. Brita Sigourney — 180** QUALIFIED
2. Maddie Bowman — 160** QUALIFIED

3. Devin Logan — 140** QUALIFIED

4. Annalisa Drew — 95 (4th and 5th)
5. Carly Margulies — 90 (4th and 6th)
**Has automatic qualifying minimum of two top-three results.
*Has one top-three result.

Mammoth Finals (all times Eastern)
Friday

Ski Halfpipe — 9:30-11 p.m. (NBCSports.com/live, NBC Sports app)

Saturday
Ski Slopestyle (#1) — 12:30-2 p.m. (NBCSports.com/live, NBC Sports app)
Snowboard Slopestyle — 5-6 p.m. (NBC, NBCSports.com/live, NBC Sports app)
Snowboard Halfpipe — 9:30-11 p.m. (NBCSports.com/live, NBC Sports app)

Sunday
Ski Slopestyle (#2) — 4:30-6 p.m. (NBCSports.com/live, NBC Sports app)

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VIDEO: Shaun White scores perfect 100 to qualify for Olympics

Christian Coleman breaks world indoor 60m record (video)

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Christian Coleman is the fastest man of all time — indoors.

The 21-year-old U.S. sprinter broke the world indoor 60m record by clocking 6.37 seconds at his first meet of 2018 in South Carolina on Friday night.

Maurice Greene, the 2000 Olympic 100m champion, held the previous record of 6.39, which he clocked in 1998 and 2001.

The record must still go through ratification procedures, which requires a drug test at the meet.

The 60m is the indoor equivalent of the outdoor 100m. They are the shortest sprints contested at their respective world championships.

Coleman, a 4x100m prelim relay runner at the Rio Olympics, has blossomed into arguably the early 2020 Olympic 100m favorite.

He most memorably clocked a 40-yard dash of 4.12 seconds last spring, which is one tenth faster than the NFL Combine record.

Then in August, Coleman took 100m silver behind Justin Gatlin at the world outdoor championships, beating Usain Bolt in the Jamaican’s final individual race.

There are no world outdoor championships this year, but Coleman could go for the world indoor 60m title in Birmingham, Great Britain, in March.

Coleman’s mark is the first men’s world record in an event contested at a world championships since Wayde van Niekerk broke Michael Johnson‘s 400m world record at the Rio Olympics.

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