Could U.S. lose Duel in the Pool for first time?

Katie Ledecky
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It looked like the U.S. was in trouble when the preliminary Duel in the Pool teams came out in October, but roster changes may have shifted the balance of power in the Ryder Cup-like meet.

The U.S. team is led by Katie Ledecky, 16, who won four World Championships this summer with two world records, and Tyler ClaryCullen Jones and Anthony Ervin. The European team features French Olympic champion Yannick Agnel and Dutch Olympic champion Ranomi Kromowidjojo.

The two-day event runs Friday (2 p.m. ET) and Saturday (9 a.m.) in Glasgow, Scotland, and will be televised by NBC on Sunday from 4-6 p.m. ET. It will be a short course meet, which is in a 25-meter pool rather than the Olympic size of 50 meters.

The U.S. has won all five previous duels handily, including a 181.5-80.5 whipping of a European all-star team at the last edition in 2011 in Atlanta. The first three duels were U.S.-Australia battles during the heyday of their rivalry in 2003, 2005 and 2007.

This shapes up to be the closest duel yet, and the U.S. could very well lose given it’s missing Michael PhelpsRyan Lochte and Missy Franklin, among others.

The U.S. roster is largely the same from October’s preliminary list, except for the major withdrawal of Lochte, who recently returned to swimming following his run-in with a fan.

The European roster might have suffered greater losses since October, though, with the scratches of French stars Camille MuffatFrederick BousquetFabien GilotFlorent Manaudou and Jeremy Stravius.

The duel features 30 total events — 15 men’s, 15 women’s with up to four swimmers for each side in each race — with scoring at five for first place, three for second place and one for third place in individual events. Seven points are given to the side that wins each of the four relays.

There are 262 total points available, meaning the first side to earn 132 points wins.

Here is the complete U.S. Duel in the Pool roster:

Women
Cammile Adams — 2012 Olympian
Kathleen Baker
Claire Donahue — 2012 Olympic champion
Jessica Hardy — 2012 Olympic champion
Megan Hawthorne
Sarah Henry
Breeja Larson — 2012 Olympic champion
Micah Lawrence — 2012 Olympian
Katie Ledecky — 2012 Olympic champion
Caitlin Leverenz — 2012 Olympic bronze medalist
Simone Manuel
Megan Romano
Gillian Ryan
Olivia Smoliga
Kendyl Stewart
Chloe Sutton — 2008, 2012 Olympian
Shannon Vreeland — 2012 Olympic champion

Men
Tyler Clary – 2012 Olympic champion
Kevin Cordes
Conor Dwyer — 2012 Olympic champion
Anthony Ervin — 2000 Olympic champion, 2012 Olympian
Jimmy Feigen — 2012 Olympic silver medalist
Nic Fink
Eugene Godsoe
Cullen Jones — 2008, 2012 Olympic champion
Chase Kalisz
Michael Klueh
Tom Luchsinger
Michael McBroom
Matt McLean — 2012 Olympic champion
Cody Miller
Shane Ryan
Tom Shields
Michael Weiss

Here is the complete European Duel in the Pool roster:

Women
Sophie Allen (GBR)
Simona Baumrtova (CZE)
Mireia Belmonte Garcia (ESP)
Jazmin Carlin (GBR)
Petra Chocova (CZE)
Michelle Coleman (SWE)
Melanie Costa (ESP)
Fiona Doyle (IRL)
Lotte Friis (DEN)
Francesca Halsall (GBR)
Femke Heemskerk (NED)
Franziska Hentke (GER)
Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED)
Hannah Miley (GBR)
Moniek Nijhuis (NED)
Jeanette Ottesen-Gray (DEN)
Lauren Quigley (GBR)
Aimee Willmott (GBR)
Daryna Zevina (UKR)

Men
Yannick Agnel (FRA)
Bence Biczo (HUN)
Adam Brown (GBR)
Damir Dugonjic (SLO)
James Guy (GBR)
Michael Jamieson (GBR)
Pal Joensen (FAR)
Radoslaw Kawecki (POL)
Marco Koch (GER)
Yannick Lebherz (GER)
Ivan Lendjer (SRB)
Craig McNally (GBR)
Roberto Pavoni (GBR)
Ben Proud (GBR)
Robbie Renwick (GBR)
Velimir Stjepanovic (SRB)
David Verraszto (HUN)
Chris Walker-Hebborn (GBR)
Andrew Willis (GBR)

Tongan luger set to be nation’s first Winter Olympian

12-year-old skateboarders earn medals at world championships

Chloe Covell
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At the world skateboarding championships, 12-year-olds Chloe Covell from Australia and Onodera Ginwoo from Japan earned silver and bronze medals, respectively, in Sunday’s street finals.

In the women’s event, Covell took silver behind Brazilian 15-year-old Rayssa Leal, who was a silver medalist herself at the Tokyo Games.

Frenchman Aurélien Giraud, a 25-year-old who was sixth in skateboarding’s Olympic debut in Tokyo, won the men’s final in the United Arab Emirates. Ginwoo was third behind Portugal’s Gustavo Ribeiro.

The top Americans were Olympic men’s bronze medalist Jagger Eaton in sixth and 15-year-old Paige Heyn in seventh in the women’s event.

Nyjah Huston, a six-time world champion who placed seventh in Tokyo, missed worlds after August surgery for an ACL tear.

Up to three men and three women per nation can qualify per event (street and park) for the 2024 Paris Games. World rankings come June 2024 determine which Americans qualify.

In Tokyo, four of the 12 skateboarding medalists were ages 12 or 13.

Japan’s Kokona Hiraki, then 12, won silver in women’s park to become the youngest Olympic medalist since 1936, according to Olympedia.org. Japan’s Momiji Nishiya, then 13, won women’s street and became the youngest gold medalist in an individual event since 1936.

Worlds conclude this week with the men’s and women’s park events. The finals are Saturday.

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Francesco Friedrich, most decorated bobsledder in history, rebounds for 12th world title

Francesco Friedrich
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A week after his first major championships defeat in seven years, German Francesco Friedrich returned to his winning ways to close the world bobsled championships on Sunday.

Friedrich’s four-man sled won the world title by 69 hundredths of a second over British and Latvian sleds that tied for silver, combining times from four runs over the last two days in St. Moritz, Switzerland. It marked Great Britain’s first world championships men’s bobsled medal since 1966.

Geoff Gadbois drove the lone U.S. sled in the field, finishing 18th.

Friedrich, the most decorated bobsledder in history, extended his records with a fifth consecutive world four-man title and 12th world championship between two- and four-man events.

Germany swept all four titles at bobsled worlds with four different drivers taking gold.

Friedrich had won 12 consecutive Olympic or world titles before taking two-man silver at worlds last week in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He was dethroned in that event by countryman Johannes Lochner.

Friedrich has been hampered recently by a muscle injury from sprint training in late December. Going into worlds, Lochner had won four consecutive World Cup two-man races, while Hall won the last two World Cups in four-man.

Friedrich, 32, said before this season that he plans to make the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games his final competition. Friedrich and push athlete Thorsten Margis can break the record of four career Olympic bobsled gold medals that they currently share with retired Germans Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske.

The World Cup season concludes with stops in Igls, Austria, and Sigulda, Latvia, the next two weekends.

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