Evan Lysacek ‘is in pain,’ coach Frank Carroll says

Evan Lysacek
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Evan Lysacek is six months out from the Sochi Olympics and three weeks from his first competition since winning the 2010 Olympics, but he’s far from 100 percent.

“We’re at the trial and error stage,” Lysacek’s coach, Frank Carroll, told USA Today. “He’s recovering from his injuries and his surgeries which were a lot more extensive than a lot of people know. It’s getting better and better but he is in pain and he has to be very careful with how much he does. I don’t know in figure skating if someone has tried to come back from that level of injury.”

A groin injury forced Lysacek out of Skate America last October. Then, he underwent sports hernia surgery in November. Lysacek is scheduled to compete at the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic in Salt Lake City from Sept. 12-14.

“I think he will contend,” Carroll told USA Today. “He’ll go to Salt Lake and skate well, skate decently but that’s it. Today we don’t expect the world. In a couple of months we expect him to be much, much better and 100 percent by the Olympics.”

Carroll and Lysacek made comments at Champs Camp in Colorado Springs, Colo., where U.S. figure skaters across all disciplines congregate before the season to perform their programs in front of judges. Consider it like baseball’s simulated games.

“I’m gaining more confidence as I go,” Lysacek told USA Today. “I see myself in Sochi — yes. I hope that I can make that a reality. I have a lot of steps up the ladder to get there.”

Lysacek, 28, is attempting to make his third Olympic team and to become the first man to repeat as Olympic figure skating champion since American Dick Button in 1948 and 1952.

It will not be easy, compounded by the fact that the U.S. has two men’s spots at the 2014 Olympics as opposed to the three it had in 2002, 2006 and 2010. The U.S. earned two because of its showing at worlds, where Max Aaron placed seventh and Ross Miner 14th.

Lysacek, Aaron, Miner and three-time U.S. champion Jeremy Abbott figure to fight for the two Sochi spots at the U.S. Figure Skating National Championships in Boston in January.

Internationally, the top contenders for Sochi medals will be three-time reigning world champion Patrick Chan of Canada, world silver medalist Denis Ten of Kazakhstan, world bronze medalist Javier Fernandez of Spain, Japan’s Daisuke Takahashi and Yuzuru Hanyu and, potentially, Russian Evgeni Plushenko. Plushenko, the 2006 Olympic champion, is attempting one more comeback at age 30.

U.S. figure skater’s free skate tribute to Boston

Katie Ledecky out-touches new rival at swimming’s U.S. Open, extends streak

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It was a rare sight: Katie Ledecky being matched stroke for stroke in a distance race in an American pool. She was up for the challenge.

Ledecky out-touched emerging 16-year-old Canadian Summer McIntosh by eight hundredths of a second in the 400m freestyle at the U.S. Open in Greensboro, N.C., on Thursday night.

Ledecky and McIntosh were tied at the 300-meter mark. Ledecky ended up clocking 3:59.71 to McIntosh’s 3:59.79 to extend a decade-long win streak in freestyle races of 400 meters or longer in U.S. pools.

“I know we’ll have a lot more races ahead of us,” Ledecky said on Peacock. “We bring the best out of each other.”

The U.S. Open continues Friday with live finals coverage on Peacock at 6 p.m. ET.

U.S. OPEN SWIMMING: Full Results

At the Tokyo Olympics, McIntosh placed fourth in the 400m free at age 14.

She accelerated this year, taking silver behind Ledecky at the world championships and silver behind Tokyo gold medalist Ariarne Titmus of Australia at the Commonwealth Games.

Then in October, McIntosh outdueled Ledecky in a 400m free — also by eight hundredths — in a short-course, 25-meter pool at a FINA World Cup meet in Toronto. Long-course meets like the Olympics and the U.S. Open are held in 50-meter pools.

McIntosh also won world titles in the 200m butterfly and 400m individual medley, becoming the youngest individual world champion since 2011.

A potential showdown among Ledecky, Titmus and McIntosh at the 2024 Paris Games is already being compared to the “Race of the Century,” the 2004 Olympic men’s 200m free where Australian Ian Thorpe edged Dutchman Pieter van den Hoogenband and Michael Phelps.

In other events Thursday, Regan Smith, an Olympic and world medalist in the backstroke and butterfly, won a 200m individual medley in a personal best 2:10.40, a time that would have placed fifth at June’s world championships. She beat 16-year-old Leah Hayes, who took bronze in the event at worlds.

Olympic 400m IM champ Chase Kalisz won the men’s 200m IM in 1:56.52, his best time ever outside of major summer meets. Frenchman Léon Marchand won the world title in 1:55.22 in June, when Kalisz was fourth.

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Eliud Kipchoge, two races shy of his target, to make Boston Marathon debut

Eliud Kipchoge Berlin Marathon
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World record holder Eliud Kipchoge will race the Boston Marathon for the first time on April 17.

Kipchoge, who at September’s Berlin Marathon lowered his world record by 30 seconds to 2:01:09, has won four of the six annual major marathons — Berlin, Tokyo, London and Chicago.

The 38-year-old Kenyan has never raced Boston, the world’s oldest annual marathon dating to 1897, nor New York City but has repeated in recent years a desire to enter both of them.

Typically, he has run the London Marathon in the spring and the Berlin Marathon in the fall.

Kipchoge’s last race in the U.S. was the 2014 Chicago Marathon, his second of 10 consecutive marathon victories from 2014 through 2019.

He can become the first reigning men’s marathon world record holder to finish the Boston Marathon since South Korean Suh Yun-Bok set a world record of 2:25:39 in Boston in 1947, according to the Boston Athletic Association.

In 2024 in Paris, Kipchoge is expected to race the Olympic marathon and bid to become the first person to win three gold medals in that event.

The Boston Marathon field also includes arguably the second- and third-best men in the world right now — Kipchoge’s Kenyan training partners Evans Chebet and Benson Kipruto. Chebet won Boston and New York City this year. Kipruto won Boston last year and Chicago this year.

American Des Linden, who won Boston in 2018, headlines the women’s field.

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