Jessie Diggins’ Tour de Ski history; Kikkan Randall’s 5th Olympics

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The U.S. cross-country team that has made so much history the last few years just made some more.

Jessie Diggins became the first American to finish the Tour de Ski on the podium on Sunday, third overall in the 12th annual edition of the World Cup stage race.

The U.S. Olympic cross-country team also grew with the conclusion of the Tour de Ski. Diggins, Sadie Bjornsen and Sophie Caldwell previously qualified for PyeongChang.

Now they’re joined by Kikkan Randall, a 35-year-old mom going to her fifth Olympics, and Liz Stephen and Rosie Brennan. And Sadie’s brother, Erik.

No U.S. woman has competed in five Winter Games, but Randall, snowboarder Kelly Clark and Alpine skier Julia Mancuso can do so next month.

A full list of U.S. athletes qualified for the Olympics across all sports is here.

The Tour de Ski is akin to the Tour de France, though it’s only a week long. It’s a test of all-around skiing with sprint and distance races in both classical and freestyle technique.

Diggins, 26, overcame a 10-second deficit to Finland’s Krista Parmakoski in the pursuit Sunday to grab the last podium spot.

Norway’s Heidi Weng overtook countrywoman Ingvild Flugstad Østberg to win the Tour de Ski for a second straight year.

Diggins capped a consistently strong Tour de Ski. She finished third, fourth, fifth and seventh among the first six stages leading into Sunday’s finale.

Diggins and Stephen shared the previous best overall Tour de Ski finish for an American — fifth.

Add this to Diggins’ groundbreaking accomplishments.

In 2013, she and Randall won the first U.S. world title (team sprint).

Last year, Diggins added two more medals to give her four total and become the most decorated American in world championships history.

Diggins is one of four U.S. women with a World Cup podium this season, along with Randall, Bjornsen and Caldwell.

They’re all seeking the second U.S. Olympic cross-country skiing medal in PyeongChang, 42 years after Bill Koch‘s 30km silver in Innsbruck.

Randall, the trailblazer for U.S. cross-country in the mid-2000s, took a break after Sochi to have son Breck in April 2016. She returned last season and won sprint bronze at worlds.

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Eliud Kipchoge wins London Marathon; no world record (video)

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Eliud Kipchoge won his eighth straight marathon (ninth if you count Nike’s sub-two attempt), but missed the world record at a steamy London Marathon by more than one minute on Sunday.

The Kenyan Olympic champion clocked 2:04:17, pulling away from Ethiopian Tola Kitata by 32 seconds. Mo Farah, the four-time Olympic track champ in his second marathon, finished third in 2:06:21.

Kipchoge and Kitata fell off Dennis Kimetto‘s world-record pace around the 20th mile. Kimetto ran 2:02:57 at the 2014 Berlin Marathon.

Full results are here.

The temperature eclipsed 70 degrees Farenheit during the race, making it one of the hottest London Marathons ever. Perhaps considering that, Kipchoge said he ran “a beautiful race” for his third London title in four years.

“The conditions, I can’t complain, because all of us were running in the same arena,” he told media in London. “No regrets at all.”

Farah was satisfied, too, achieving his primary goal of breaking the 33-year-old British record held by Steve Jones.

“If you looked at the field before the start of that race, you would never have put me third place,” said Farah, who ran nearly two minutes faster than his marathon debut in London in 2014. “You would put ahead of me so many other guys.”

No world record in the women’s race, either. Kenyan Vivian Cheruiyot won in 2:18:31, passing pre-race favorite Mary Keitany in the 23rd mile. Cheruiyot won by 1 minute, 42 seconds over countrywoman Brigid Kosgei. Keitany slowed to fifth in 2:24:27.

Cheruiyot, a 34-year-old mom, made her marathon debut in London last year, finishing fourth. Before that, Cheruiyot earned four Olympic medals on the track, plus four world titles combined in the 5000m and 10,000m.

Paula Radcliffe‘s world record with male pacers — 2:15:25 from 2003 — was a target for Keitany. Last year, Keitany broke Radcliffe’s world record without male pacers by 41 seconds, winning her third London title in 2:17:01.

The other leading contender Sunday, Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba, stopped in the 20th mile.

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2018 London Marathon results

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Top finishers from the 38th London Marathon (full searchable results here) …

Men’s Elite
1. Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) 2:04:17
2. Tola Kitata (ETH) 2:04:49
3. Mo Farah (GBR) 2:06:21
4. Abel Kirui (KEN) 2:07:07
5. Bedan Karoki (KEN) 2:08:34
6. Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) 2:08:53
7. Lawrence Cherono (KEN) 2:09:25
8. Daniel Wanjiru (KEN) 2:10:35
9. Amanuel Mesel (ERI) 2:11:52
10. Yohanes Gebregergish (ER) 2:12:09
17. Guye Adola (ETH) 2:32:35

Women’s Elite
1. Vivian Cheruiyot (KEN) 2:18:31
2. Brigid Kosgei (KEN) 2:20:13
3. Tadelech Bekele (ETH) 2:21:40
4. Gladys Cherono (KEN) 2:24:10
5. Mary Keitany (KEN) 2:24:27
6. Rose Chelimo (BRN) 2:26:03
7. Mare Dibaba (ETH) 2:27:45
8. Lily Partridge (GBR) 2:29:24
9. Tracy Barlow (GBR) 2:32:09
10. Stephanie Bruce (USA) 2:32:28
DNF. Tirunesh Dibaba (ETH)

Men’s Wheelchair
1. David Weir (GBR) 1:31:15
2. Marcel Hug (SUI) 1:31:15
3. Daniel Romanchuk (USA) 1:31:16
4. Josh George (USA) 1:31:24
5. Kurt Fearnley (AUS) 1:31:24

Women’s Wheelchair
1. Madison de Rozario (AUS) 1:42:58
2. Tatyana McFadden (USA) 1:42:58
3. Susannah Scaroni (USA) 1:43:00
4. Manuela Schar (SUI) 1:43:01
5. Amanda McGrory (USA) 1:43:04

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