Yannick Agnel

Katie Ledecky beaten; Europe on pace for history at Duel in the Pool

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Not even Katie Ledecky could keep the U.S. from sinking to start the Duel in the Pool. The European team is up 68-54 and now one day away from handing the Americans their first loss in the Ryder Cup-like event.

Ledecky, the four-time 2013 World Championships gold medalist, was sixth in the 400m freestyle on Friday in Glasgow, Scotland, capping a gray day for the red, white and blue.

The 400m free winner, Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia, also won the 400m individual medley. Europe won eight of 14 events overall in the short-course meters meet (25m pool vs. 50m for the Olympics).

The scoring system awards points for first through third place (5, 3, 1) and a winner-take-all seven points in relays.

NCAA champion breaststroker Kevin Cordes was the highlight for the U.S., breaking the American record in the 200m breaststroke. But Cordes was beaten by two Europeans in the race.

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.

The Duel in the Pool concludes with the final 16 of 30 total events Saturday at 9 a.m. ET. NBC will televise the Duel in the Pool on Sunday from 4-6 p.m. ET.

Women’s 400m Individual Medley — Europe 8, U.S. 1
1. Mireia Belmonte Garcia (EUR) 4:24.58
2. Aimee Willmott (EUR) 4:26.80
3. Caitlin Leverenz (USA) 4:28.45

Men’s 400m Individual Medley — Europe 9, U.S. 9
1. Conor Dwyer (USA) 4:01.76
2. Chase Kalisz (USA) 4:02.40
3. David Verraszto (EUR) 4:03.04

Women’s 100m Freestyle — Europe 14, U.S. 13
1. Michelle Coleman (EUR) 52.65
2. Shannon Vreeland (USA) 52.73
3. Olivia Smoliga (USA) 52.74

Men’s 100m Freestyle — Europe 22, U.S. 14
1. Yannick Agnel (EUR) 47.13
2. Adam Brown (EUR) 47.24
3. Anthony Ervin (USA) 47.36

Women’s 200m Backstroke — Europe 30, U.S. 15
1. Daryna Zevina (EUR) 2:01.62
2. Simona Baumrtova (EUR) 2:04.06
3. Kathleen Baker (EUR) 2:05.08

Men’s 200m Backstroke — Europe 31, U.S. 23
1. Eugene Godsoe (USA) 1:52.14
2. Tyler Clary (USA) 1:52.27
3. Yannick Lebherz (EUR) 1:53.41

Women’s 200m Breaststroke — Europe 32, U.S. 31
1. Micah Lawrence (USA) 2:19.15
2. Breeja Larson (USA) 2:22.20
3. Sophie Allen (EUR) 2:23.36

Men’s 200m Breaststroke — Europe 40, U.S. 32
1. Michael Jamison (EUR) 2:01.83
2. Marco Koch (EUR) 2:01.90
3. Kevin Cordes (USA) 2:02.38

Women’s 100m Butterfly — Europe 45, U.S. 36
1. Jeanette Ottesen (EUR) 56.78
2. Claire Donahue (USA) 56.83
3. Kendyl Stewart (USA) 57.63

Men’s 100m Butterfly — Europe 49, U.S. 41
1. Tom Shields (USA) 49.80
2. Ivan Lendjer (EUR) 51.67
3. Velimir Stjepanovic (EUR) 51.68

Women’s 400m Freestyle — Europe 58, U.S. 41
1. Mireia Belmonte Garcia (EUR) 3:57.65
2. Melani Costa (EUR) 3:59.14
3. Lotte Friis (DEN) 4:00.19

Men’s 400m Freestyle — Europe 61, U.S. 47
1. Michael Klueh (USA) 3:39.94
2. Yannick Agnel (EUR) 3:40.19
3. Conor Dwyer (USA) 3:40.24

Women’s 4x100m Medley Relay — Europe 68, U.S. 47
1. Europe 3:49.14
2. USA 3:51.38

Men’s 4x100m Medley Relay — Europe 68, U.S. 54
1. USA 3:23.24
2. Europe 3:25.42

Three-time Olympic champ eyes comeback in open-water swimming

Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin, Olympian, world champion snowboarder, drowns in spearfishing accident

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Alex “Chumpy” Pullin, an Olympian and world champion snowboarder, drowned while spearfishing on Australia’s Gold Coast on Wednesday.

A police spokesperson said a 32-year-old man, later identified as Pullin, was unresponsive when taken from the water and died despite receiving CPR from lifeguards and emergency treatment from paramedics.

The accident happened at Palm Beach around 10:40 a.m. local time. Pullin had been diving on an artificial reef when he was found by a snorkeler.

“Another diver was out there and located him on the sea floor and raised the attention of nearby surfers who sought lifeguards to bring him in,” police said. “He didn’t have an oxygen mask. We understand he was free diving and spearfishing out on the reef.”

Pullin competed in Olympic snowboard cross in 2010, 2014 and 2018 with a best finish of sixth. He won back-to-back world titles in 2011 and 2013. He carried Australia’s flag at the Sochi Olympic Opening Ceremony in 2014.

“We are all in shock today as one of the most beloved members of our close snow sport community, Chumpy, has sadly lost his life in what appears to be a tragic accident,” Snow Australia CEO Michael Kennedy said in a statement. “He was a mentor to so many of our younger snowboarders, giving up his time to coach and provide advice to our future Olympians. His loss will be felt right across our community.

“We know it won’t just be here in Australia that Chumpy’s legacy will be remembered, but throughout the international snowboarding community. It wasn’t just his ability to deliver results that will be missed, but his leadership and the path that he laid for so many.”

His parents owned a ski and snowboard shop in the Australian Alps, where Pullin began riding at age 8. Older friends gave him the nickname “Chumpy,” and it stuck.

Pullin, who spent time as a frontman for the surf-reggae band love Charli, often brought a guitar with him while traveling for competitions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Shaunae Miller-Uibo leans toward Olympic decision, schedule unchanged

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Shaunae Miller-Uibo said she likely will not defend her Olympic 400m title in Tokyo in favor of racing the 200m because the turnaround between the two events is too tight, according to a report.

“I would have to choose one event, and we’re leaning more toward the 200m seeing that we already have the 400m title,” Miller-Uibo said, according to the Nassau Guardian in her native Bahamas. Miller-Uibo’s agent later confirmed the sentiment.

Last summer, Miller-Uibo said she requested that World Athletics modify the Olympic track and field schedule to better accommodate a 200m-400m double. A World Athletics spokesperson confirmed Tuesday that it reviewed the request, could not change the schedule and that decision was final.

Olympic schedules have been changed in the past for 200m-400m double attempts, including for Michael Johnson and Allyson Felix. But the debut of the mixed-gender 4x400m relay to the Olympic program in Tokyo “added to the complexities of developing the timetable,” World Athletics said in a statement it said it first released last September.

The revised Olympic schedule for 2021 has not been announced, but a change in the lineup of track and field events would be a surprise, especially given World Athletics’ statement on Miller-Uibo’s request.

“While it may look simple to move one race to a time which would allow increased rest time between the 200m and 400m, there is a knock on effect with other events which are then impacted,” according to World Athletics. “Following the review of various scenarios, we concluded that the current timetable provides the best opportunity for a 200m/400m doubling opportunity without adversely affecting other events. The current timetable does allow the possibility to compete in both the 200m and 400m although we do acknowledge this requires racing twice in the same day on one occasion. Having taken that into consideration, we have tried to allow the maximum time in between the events which results in almost 12 hours on that particular day.”

The original 2020 Olympic schedule had the 400m first round and the 200m final on the same day (former in the morning, latter at night), with the 400m semifinals the following day.

“It’s still a little bit tricky,” Miller-Uibo said last August. “We’re just asking them to clear it up a little bit more for us, where we can focus on three [rounds in the 200m] and then focus on the other three [rounds in the 400m]. I think it’s always been so simple for the 100m/200m runners. The 200m/400m being a more complex double, I think we’re asking for a day, if they can at least do that for us.”

Miller-Uibo went undefeated at 200m and 400m for two years before taking silver at the 2019 World Championships in the 400m behind Bahrain’s Salwa Eid Naser. Naser was provisionally suspended last month for missing three drug tests in a 12-month span. Naser said the missed tests all came before worlds. It hasn’t been announced whether she could be stripped of the world title.

Miller-Uibo chose to race the 400m over the 200m at worlds, where the schedule made a double more difficult than the Olympic schedule. She remains the fastest woman in the world in this Olympic cycle in the 200m.

The world’s three fastest 400m runners in this Olympic cycle could be out of the 400m in Tokyo. Naser could be suspended through the Games. Miller-Uibo is second-fastest since Rio. The third-fastest, Niger’s Aminatou Seyni, said she can’t race the 400m due to the new testosterone cap for women’s events between the 400m and mile, according to multiple reports.

Next fastest: Jamaican Shericka Jackson and Americans Shakima Wimbley, Wadeline Jonathas and Phyllis Francis.

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