Boston Marathon bombing voted AP sports story of the year

Boston Marathon Bombing
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The Boston Marathon bombing that killed three people and injured more than 200 was selected The Associated Press sports story of the year.

Two bombs exploded near the finish line of the April 15 race at about 2:50 p.m. ET, 5 1/2 hours after the first wheelchair races set out on the 26.2-mile course.

Brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev carried out the bombings in retaliation to U.S. involvement in Muslim countries, according to the AP.

The tragedy led to an outpouring of support. The term “Boston Strong” became a motto. After the Boston Red Sox won the World Series, Jonny Gomes placed the trophy at the Boston Marathon finish line.

The 2014 Boston Marathon will be April 21. The 118th edition of the race will include room for about 5,000 runners who did not have the opportunity to cross the finish line this year.

In total, the field is set at 36,000, more than this year’s 27,000 and second only to the Centennial Boston Marathon in 1996, which had 38,708 entrants.

The 2013 champions of the race, Rita Jeptoo of Kenya and Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia, are expected to defend their titles.

The Boston Marathon bombings led a vote over other dark sports events in 2013. Here’s the AP’s top 10:

1. Boston Marathon Bombings
2. Lance Armstrong’s admission
3. NFL concussion settlement
4. Baseball drug bans
5. Aaron Hernandez’s arrest
6. Boston Red Sox win World Series
7. Baltimore Ravens win Super Bowl
8. Auburn Tigers turnaround
9. Manti Te’o’s hoax
10. Miami Heat win NBA Finals

Olympians at New York City Marathon reminded of Boston

Lucas Braathen, world’s top male slalom skier, in doubt for world championships

Lucas Braathen
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Norway’s Lucas Braathen, the world’s top male slalom skier this season, is doubtful to compete in the world championships slalom on Feb. 19 after appendix surgery on Tuesday.

“It’s been a tough couple of days fighting after surprisingly finding out about quite an intense infection on my appendix,” Braathen, a 22-year-old soccer convert with a Brazilian mom, posted on social media. “I’ve been through surgery and I’m blessed that it went successfully.”

The Norway Alpine skiing team doctor said Braathen’s recovery will take a few weeks, but there is a small possibility he can make it back for the world championships slalom, which is on the final day of the two-week competition.

Braathen has two slalom wins and one giant slalom win this World Cup season. He will miss Saturday’s slalom in Chamonix, France, the last race before worlds. Countryman Henrik Kristoffersen and Swiss Daniel Yule can overtake him atop the World Cup slalom standings in Chamonix.

Braathen entered last year’s Olympics as the World Cup slalom leader and skied out in the first run at the Games.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

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Sifan Hassan sets marathon debut

Sifan Hassan
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Sifan Hassan, who won 5000m and 10,000m gold and 1500m bronze at the Tokyo Olympics in an unprecedented triple, will make her 26.2-mile debut at the London Marathon on April 23.

Hassan, a 30-year-old Dutchwoman, said she will return to the track after the race, but how the London Marathon goes will play into whether she bids for the Olympic marathon in 2024.

“I want to see what I can do on the marathon distance, to make future decisions,” she posted on social media. “We’ll see if I will finish the distance or if the distance will finish me.”

Exhausted by her Olympic feat, Hassan reportedly went at least seven months after the Tokyo Games between training in track spikes. She finished fourth in the 10,000m and sixth in the 5000m at last July’s world championships in Eugene, Oregon.

“I really needed a break after the Tokyo Olympics,” Hassan said at worlds. “I was mentally crashed. I didn’t even care about running.”

London, billed as the best women’s marathon field in history, also boasts Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya, world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya, 2016 Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia, 1500m world record holder Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia and the two fastest Americans in history, Emily Sisson and Keira D’Amato.

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