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Mao Asada, Nick Symmonds finish Honolulu Marathon

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Olympic figure skating silver medalist Mao Asada ran the Honolulu Marathon in 4 hours, 34 minutes, 13 seconds, on Sunday.

Nick Symmonds, a two-time U.S. Olympic 800m runner, ran 3:00:35.

Asada, a three-time world champion from Japan who retired in April, just missed her reported goal of breaking 4:30 but beat another reported goal.

She easily went faster than older sister Mai’s reported time from the Nagoya Marathon in 2013, about five hours.

The Honolulu Marathon was sponsored by Japan Airlines, which has put Asada’s image on the side of a plane.

Symmonds wanted to break three hours but said he was done in by a hill at mile 24, where he split more than 8 minutes.

“I want to break three so I never have to run another one,” Symmonds said, adding that he averaged 25 miles a week in training (that’s on the low side for suggested marathon training). “I’ve run almost every day of my life for 20 years, so that helps. … It was really fun for 20 miles, and then I tried to stay mentally tough for six. … I’m going to set a goal to run a spring marathon, find a nice, flat course and really get after it.”

Symmonds, the 2013 World 800m silver medalist who retired earlier this year, has said he wants to climb the tallest mountain on every continent.

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ゼッケン受け取りました❗️ いよいよ明日が本番です‼️

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IOC: ‘More exciting initiatives’ for Korean unity in PyeongChang

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Olympic organizers on Friday welcomed an agreement between North and South Korea to unite athletes at the PyeongChang Winter Games and promised that “much more exciting initiatives” promoting Korean unity will emerge this weekend.

“Watch this space,” International Olympic Committee presidential spokesman Mark Adams told The Associated Press in an interview, a day before a crucial meeting of Korean delegations at Olympics headquarters in Lausanne.

He declined to elaborate, saying the decisions would come Saturday.

Referring to a detailed peace-making agreement between the rival countries announced Thursday by South Korea’s Unification Ministry, including a joint team in the women’s hockey tournament, Adams said it was “great … but these are discussions” — meaning the IOC had not yet given the deal the final green light.

“I can tell you that there will also be some much more exciting initiatives coming through as well tomorrow,” he added.

Provided that the IOC finalizes the deal, it would mark the first time the two National Olympic Committees would be competing together in a single team.

Some have questioned the fine print of the agreement announced by the two Koreas, saying it gives the combined hockey squad a far larger roster than any other national team.

Asked how the IOC planned to maintain the integrity of the sport, Adams said: “People would say that these are exceptional circumstances, and we need exceptional measures.”

“This is about the Olympic spirit,” Adams added. “And the Olympic spirit is about nations competing, athletes competing, and we will do our best make sure that it sends a signal that sport can improve the world.”

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Julia Mancuso skis final race dressed as Wonder Woman (video)

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Julia Mancuso bid farewell like only she could — with a tiara, cape and Wonder Woman suit.

The most decorated female U.S. Olympic skier with four medals announced Friday morning that today’s World Cup downhill in Cortina d’Ampezzo would be the last race of her career.

More on Mancuso’s retirement, career and immediate future here.

She raced Friday as her nickname — “Super Jules” — and coasted to the bottom 18 seconds slower than winner Sofia Goggia.

Afterward, U.S. Ski Team members sprayed her with champagne and lifted her up in the finish corral.

Mancuso chose an appropriate venue for her last race.

She notched her first World Cup podium in Cortina in January 2006, then won the Olympic giant slalom in Sestriere, Italy, four weeks later.

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