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

Tokyo Paralympic medals unveiled with historic Braille design, indentations

Tokyo Paralympic Medals
Tokyo 2020
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The Tokyo Paralympic medals, which like the Olympic medals are created in part with metals from recycled cell phones and other small electronics, were unveiled on Sunday, one year out from the Opening Ceremony.

In a first for the Paralympics, each medal has one to three indentation(s) on its side to distinguish its color by touch — one for gold, two silver and three for bronze. Braille letters also spell out “Tokyo 2020” on each medal’s face.

For Rio, different amounts of tiny steel balls were put inside the medals based on their color, so that when shaken they would make distinct sounds. Visually impaired athletes could shake the medals next to their ears to determine the color.

More on the design from Tokyo 2020:

The design is centered around the motif of a traditional Japanese fan, depicting the Paralympic Games as the source of a fresh new wind refreshing the world as well as a shared experience connecting diverse hearts and minds. The kaname, or pivot point, holds all parts of the fan together; here it represents Para athletes bringing people together regardless of nationality or ethnicity. Motifs on the leaves of the fan depict the vitality of people’s hearts and symbolize Japan’s captivating and life-giving natural environment in the form of rocks, flowers, wood, leaves, and water. These are applied with a variety of techniques, producing a textured surface that makes the medals compelling to touch.

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Tokyo Paralympic Medals

Tokyo Paralympic Medals

Alysa Liu lands quad Lutz

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Alysa Liu, a 14-year-old who in January became the youngest U.S. women’s figure skating champion, on Saturday landed a quadruple Lutz, something no other U.S. woman has done in competition.

Liu landed the jump at the Aurora Games, a women’s sports festival in Albany, N.Y. It does not count officially, since it’s not a sanctioned competition.

Previously, Sasha Cohen landed a quadruple Salchow in practice in 2001, but never in competition. At least three Russian teens landed quads in junior competition in the last two years.

Kazakhstan’s Elizabet Tursynbaeva became the first woman to land a clean, fully rotated quad in senior competition en route to silver at last season’s world championships.

Liu, who landed three triple Axels between two programs at January’s nationals, makes her junior international debut at a Grand Prix stop in Lake Placid, N.Y., next week.

She will not meet the age minimum for senior international competitions until the 2022 Olympic season. But she can continue to compete at senior nationals.

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