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Olympic medalists headline U.S. roster for diving worlds

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Three Olympic medalists headline the U.S. roster for the world diving championships, but David Boudia is absent for the first time since 2003.

Trials concluded Sunday in Indianapolis, where Olympic synchro platform silver medalist Steele Johnson made his first worlds team on the 3m springboard.

Johnson teamed in Rio with the 2012 Olympic platform champion Boudia, who is not competing this international season and may retire.

At world trials, Johnson was edged on the 3m springboard by Olympic synchro springboard silver medalist Michael Hixon, but both made the team as the U.S. can enter two divers per individual event at worlds.

Sam Dorman, who teamed with Hixon for that Rio silver, was fourth in the 3m springboard semifinals at trials and 90.9 points out of second place. With standings cumulative, he had a low chance of getting on the worlds team in the event and scratched out of finals.

MORE: U.S. Diving Trials Results

Still, Dorman previously made the worlds team in synchro springboard with Hixon. Each diver can build off his Olympic silver with a first world championships medal in Budapest in July.

Johnson qualified for three events at worlds — 1m and 3m springboard, plus the synchro platform with new partner Brandon Loschiavo. The 20-year-old Johnson previously competed at the 2015 Worlds, but not in any individual events. He finished 13th in the individual platform in Rio, one spot shy of making the finals.

Johnson took a break from the pounding of platform training after Rio but said his focus for worlds remains on the synchro platform rather than his individual springboard events.

With Dorman, Hixon and Johnson, the U.S. team at worlds boasts three Olympic men’s medalists. There are no Olympic medalists on the women’s side, but Rio Olympians Jessica Parratto (platform, synchro platform) and Kassidy Cook (synchro springboard) are back.

Perhaps the most promising member of the team is Tarrin Gilliland, a 14-year-old who will compete in both the women’s and mixed synchro platform events. Gilliland was third in the individual platform Sunday, missing the two-woman worlds team in that event by .05 of a point.

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U.S. roster for World Diving Championships

Men’s 3m Springboard
Michael Hixon (Olympian)
Steele Johnson (Olympian)

Women’s 3m Springboard
Brooke Schultz
Krysta Palmer

Men’s Platform
David Dinsmore
Jordan Windle

Women’s Platform
Jessica Parratto (Olympian)
Delaney Schnell

Men’s 1m Springboard

Michael Hixon (Olympian)
Steele Johnson (Olympian)

Women’s 1m Springboard
Maria Coburn
Alison Gibson

Men’s Synchro Springboard
Sam Dorman (Olympian)
Michael Hixon (Olympian)

Women’s Synchro Springboard
Maria Coburn
Kassidy Cook (Olympian)

Men’s Synchro Platform
Steele Johnson (Olympian)
Brandon Loschiavo

Women’s Synchro Platform
Tarrin Gilliland
Jessica Parratto (Olympian)

Mixed Synchro Springboard
Briadam Herrera
Lauren Reedy

Mixed Synchro Platform
Andrew Capobianco
Tarrin Gilliland

Alysia Montano races pregnant again at USATF Outdoor Championships

Alysia Montano
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U.S. Olympic 800m runner Alysia Montaño raced four months pregnant in 110-degree heat at the USATF Outdoor Championships in Sacramento, Calif., on Thursday.

Montaño, who raced eight months pregnant at the 2014 USATF Outdoors also in Sacramento, finished last in her 800m first-round heat in 2:21.40. She was 10 seconds faster than her time three years ago.

In a Wonder Woman top, she gritted her teeth on the final straightaway and raised her arms crossing the finish line.

“[In 2014] women let me know that my journey and my story had inspired them in so many different ways,” Montaño told media in Sacramento, standing next to 2-year-old daughter Linnea. “I think there’s something about coming out to any venue, not really expecting to win, but just going along with the journey and seeing what comes out of it. And that’s the most beautiful part for me, being a track and field athlete, the platform that I have, I feel so responsible to be a representative for people who don’t have the same platform, don’t have the same voice that I do.

“I represent so many different people. I represent women. I represent black women. I represent pregnant women. … I think it’s my responsibility to make sure I’m a voice and advocate for them.”

Athletes are looking for top-three finishes to qualify for the world championships in London in August. Finals are later this weekend.

In the men’s 800m, two-time Olympian and 2013 World silver medalist Nick Symmonds was eliminated, 32nd-fastest of 33 runners in the first round.

Symmonds, in his final season, said he has one more race left — the Honolulu Marathon on Dec. 10.

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USATF OUTDOORS: Men’s Preview | Women’s Preview
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Lilly King to be less vocal on Yuliya Efimova topic this summer

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Expect to see Lilly King and Yuliya Efimova resume their breaststroke rivalry at the world championships next month.

It will look very different than in Rio, when King became a vocal opponent of doping and directed some of her words at the formerly suspended Russian Efimova.

“This summer, I’m not going to talk about everything that happened last summer,” King said, according to the Indianapolis Star. “I spoke my piece. I’ve said everything I need to say.”

Her focus needs to stay in the pool, where she must finish first or second at the USA Swimming National Championships next week to make it to worlds (broadcast schedule here).

King said in May her goal is to break world records at worlds in Budapest in July.

She may need to in order to defeat Efimova like in Rio.

Efimova has the fastest 100m breast time in the world this year, a 1:04.82 set on Sunday. The national record put her No. 3 on the all-time list (and .09 faster than King’s winning time in Rio).

King is in third place this year at 1:06.20, though she spent all winter focusing on NCAA competition in 25-yard pools.

In Rio, King said Efimova shouldn’t have been allowed to compete given her doping history.

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, 2016, and was absolved along with other athletes.

King memorably finger-wagged at an image of Efimova on a TV in the ready room before her 100m breast semifinal and relegated the Russian to silver the following the night.

“You’ve been caught for drug cheating, I’m just not a fan,” King memorably said in Rio, adding last November, “[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.”

King struggled with her newfound fame after she returned home last summer, sobbing in a winter meeting with her University of Indiana coach, Ray Looze, according to the Indianapolis Star:

It was so hard to do normal activities in her hometown – go to the grocery store or eat at a restaurant – that she considered wearing a wig to disguise herself. Her likeness was on a bingo card at a fall festival, so people purposely looked for her. When in Evansville now, she said, she looks at the ground so no one will recognize her. After an initial wave of attention on IU’s campus, she can walk around without interruption.

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