Mao Asada
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Mao Asada announces sudden retirement from figure skating


One year after Mao Asada said she planned to compete through the 2018 Olympics, the three-time world figure skating champion announced what she called a “sudden” retirement from competition Monday.

The 2010 Olympic silver medalist previously took a one-season break after winning her third world title in March 2014, one month after a disappointing sixth-place finish at the Sochi Winter Games.

Asada came back in 2015 but struggled, winning once in seven international starts the last two seasons and bottoming out with a 12th-place finish at the Japanese Championships in December.

“After I came back to competition, I wasn’t able to pull off the performance and achieve the result that I expected, and I started to worry more,” Asada, who reportedly dealt with a knee injury this season, wrote in a blog Monday, according to an Icenetwork translation. “When I finished the last Japanese nationals, the goal that had been motivating me disappeared, and I lost the energy to continue my competitive career.”

Asada, 26, changed her mind in recent months. Immediately after Japanese nationals, where she had her worst result in 14 appearances, she said she planned to compete next season, according to Japanese media.

It would have been very difficult for Asada to make Japan’s Olympic team. The Japanese qualified two women’s spots for PyeongChang, their fewest since 2002.

Asada leaves competitive skating as an innovator in the sport, regularly performing the triple Axel, a jump no top women currently attempt.

She would have been a gold-medal contender at the 2006 Torino Olympics, had she not been too young to compete in those Winter Games.

Asada won her first world title in 2008 and took silver behind Yuna Kim at the Vancouver Olympics. The following month, Asada beat Kim for her second world title in Torino.

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101-year-old woman wins gold medal at World Masters Games

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Man Kaur, a 101-year-old woman from India, won a gold medal at the World Masters Games by running the 100m in 74 seconds on Monday.

“I enjoyed it and am very, very happy,” Kaur told media, according to the Times of India, which added that she took up track and field eight years ago, at age 93. “I’m going to run again, I’m not going to give up. I will participate, there’s no full stop.”

Kaur sprinted alone on the track at Trusts Arena in Auckland, to audible applause and cheers from the crowd. There were two other runners in her heat, according to the New Zealand Herald, women ages 85 and 88. But they both finished in under 30 seconds, ceding the stage to Kaur for most of her race.

Kaur later danced in celebration with the medal around her neck.

The World Masters Games are a quadrennial multi-sport event, like the Olympics, but with different classifications per age group.

In track and field, there are age groups from 30-35 years all the way up to 100-and-over in Auckland. Kaur was the oldest track and field athlete competing by 11 years and thus won her age group with no competition.

Kaur is also entered in the 200m, javelin and shot put later this week.

She’s not the first centenarian to star in an Olympic sport.

Japan’s Hidekichi Miyazaki made headlines two years ago at age 105 for running 100m in 42 seconds.

In cycling, a 105-year-old Frenchman covered 14 miles in one hour in January.

A 100-year-old Japanese woman swam 1500m in 1 hour, 15 minutes, in 2015.

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Watch Simone Biles samba to Destiny’s Child on ‘Dancing with the Stars’

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Simone Biles easily advanced to the final seven on “Dancing with the Stars,” while Nancy Kerrigan was the last contestant to survive elimination Monday night.

Biles, a four-time Rio Olympic gymnastics gold medalist, danced a samba to Destiny’s Child’s “Survivor” with partner Sasha Farber.

They received 35 points out of a possible 40 — with no 10s after Biles received her first 10s the previous week. It was the fourth-best score of eight couples Monday.

Judges felt their timing was off.

Kerrigan, a two-time Olympic figure skating medalist, performed with Artem Chigvintsev to En Vogue’s “Free Your Mind.”

They scored 33 points, lowest of the four women’s contestants remaining, with judges telling Kerrigan she looked unstable and tense at times. Kerrigan has been dealing with back pain and arm weakness.

“We had a lunch break, and we had sushi, and she couldn’t lift the soy sauce,” Chigvintsev said on ABC News.

The elimination came down to Kerrigan and “Glee” actress Heather Morris. Morris was cut, via a combination judges scores and fan votes, despite recording the first perfect score of the season Monday night.

The announcement drew boos from the studio crowd.

Kerrigan and Biles are looking to become the sixth Olympian to win the Mirrorball Trophy in the series’ 24 seasons, joining Kristi YamaguchiApolo OhnoShawn JohnsonMeryl Davis and Laurie Hernandez.

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