Missy Franklin, Ryan Lochte

Duel in the Pool swimming competition set for December

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The Duel in the Pool, which is becoming swimming’s version of the Ryder Cup, will be held in Glasgow, Scotland, on Dec. 20-21, according to Swimming World.

It reports this year’s duel will pit a U.S. team against European all-stars, the same format as the previous two editions in 2009 (Manchester, England) and 2011 (Atlanta). The first three duels were U.S.-Australia battles during the heyday of their rivalry in 2003, 2005 and 2007.

In Glasgow, swimmers will compete in short-course meters (25-meter pool rather than 50 in the Olympics) at the venue that will be used for the Commonwealth Games next July and August, according to the report.

USA Swimming confirmed the dates but no additional details. An announcement is expected Thursday.

The U.S. is not allowed in the Commonwealth Games, and there are no long-course World Championships until 2015. There are short-course World Championships in December 2014 in Doha, Qatar.

If history is any indication, this will be the most star-studded swim meet between now and the Pan Pacific Championships in August.

In 2011, the U.S. whipped Europe, 181.5 to 80.5 points, thanks to a roster that included Ryan LochteMissy FranklinNatalie Coughlin and Dana Vollmer. The biggest absences were Michael Phelps Allison Schmitt and Nathan Adrian.

The European team included Olympic medalists Laszlo CsehDaniel Gyurta and Katinka Hosszu (Hungary) and Ranomi Kromowidjojo (Netherlands). But it was missing more stars than the U.S., including Yannick Agnel and Camille Muffat (France) and Federica Pellegrini (Italy).

Perhaps the format should be tinkered with in the future given the U.S. has won all five duels.

A U.S.-Asia duel could be much closer than the 2011 blowout, given Japan and China were second and third to the U.S. in the 2012 Olympic swimming medal count. Australia, though, caught up again at the 2013 World Championships. If China was involved, the two best male swimmers in the world could go head to head: Lochte and Sun Yang.

It will be interesting to see which swimmers show up in Scotland in December.

Franklin will be on break from her freshman year at California. Will she want to spend some of that time so far away from her Colorado home?

Quadruple 2013 worlds gold medalist Katie Ledecky will also be on a break, from Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda, Md., where she is a junior.

Who knows where Lochte will be. It’s been reported he hopes to spend four months training in Australia beginning this fall, but he has yet to leave the U.S.

Video: Michael Phelps blinged out in commercial with Lil Jon

Breanna Stewart to miss entire WNBA season with Achilles injury

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Breanna Stewart, the world’s top female basketball player and one of the most dominant athletes of 2018, is expected to miss the entire upcoming WNBA season after rupturing an Achilles playing in Europe on Sunday, according to the Seattle Storm.

“The situation is still a shock to me,” was posted on Stewart’s social media. “I’m feeling every emotion possible at this point but just know that the bounce back will be real and I’ll be back better than ever.”

Stewart, 24, skyrocketed in this Olympic cycle.

The Storm’s franchise player went from playing the second-fewest minutes on the 2016 Olympic team as its youngest player to leading the U.S. per game in points (16.3) and minutes (27) at the 2018 World Championship tournament.

Stewart earned MVP honors at worlds, matching her WNBA season and Finals honors. She became the first player to earn all three MVPs in one year.

Stewart is still expected to be in play for the 2020 Olympic team, given the Storm expect her to make a full recovery by the start of the following WNBA season next spring.

Tamika Catchings made the 2008 Olympic team after tearing her right Achilles in September 2007.

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Caster Semenya leads Olympians in Time 100; streak hits 16 years

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An Olympian has made the Time 100 Most Influential list every year since its annual inception in 2004. South African runner Caster Semenya, soccer players Alex Morgan and Mo Salah and LeBron James kept the streak going in 2019.

It’s the fourth appearance for James (2005, 2013, 2017), extending his record for an athlete, and the first for Semenya, Morgan and Salah. Semenya made it in the “icons” category, while the other three are “titans.”

Two-time Olympic 400m hurdles champion Edwin Moses penned an essay about the two-time Olympic 800m champion Semenya, who is fighting a legal battle with the IAAF over a potential rule change limiting women’s testosterone levels in her events. If the rule goes into effect, Semenya’s dominance (three years undefeated at 800m) is expected to vanish.

“Caster Semenya has taught us that sex isn’t always binary, and caused us to question the justness of distributing societal benefits according to “male” and “female” classifications,” Moses wrote. “Ultimately, this incredibly difficult issue is a political one for sport to resolve. But however it is addressed, Semenya will have already made a singular historical contribution to our understanding of biological sex.”

Here are Olympians and Paralympians on past Time 100 lists, counting only athletes who competed in the Games before being listed:

2018 — Kevin Durant, Roger Federer, Chloe Kim, Adam Rippon
2017 — Simone Biles, LeBron James, Neymar
2016 — Usain BoltCaitlyn JennerKatie LedeckySania MirzaRonda Rousey
2015 — Abby Wambach
2014 — Cristiano Ronaldo, Serena Williams
2013 — LeBron James, Li Na, Lindsey Vonn
2012 — Novak DjokovicLionel MessiOscar Pistorius
2011 — Lionel Messi
2010 — Yuna KimSerena Williams
2009 — Rafael Nadal
2008 — Andre Agassi, Lance Armstrong, Oscar Pistorius
2007 — Roger FedererChien Ming-Wang
2006 — Joey CheekSteve Nash
2005 — LeBron James
2004 — Lance Armstrong, Paula Radcliffe, Yao Ming
2000 (20th Century) — Muhammad Ali

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