Meryl Davis and Charlie White win Olympic ice dancing gold

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On the final free skate of the night, Meryl Davis and Charlie White earned the one thing they’d worked for four years to attain: The first Olympic ice dancing gold in U.S. history.

Davis and White had another world-record skate, earning a 116.63 in their free portion for a total score of 195.52 that lifted them over 2010 Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada to the historic victory.

It also marked one of the biggest moments so far for Team USA as a whole in these Sochi Olympics, going alongside their slopestyle (ski/snowboard) golds and the thrilling men’s hockey triumph over Russia this past weekend.

As you’d expect, Virtue and Moir didn’t give up their Olympic title without a fight.

VIDEO: Watch their gold-medal routine

Their “Petit Adagio” free skate was a beautiful one, and the judges thought so as well – giving them a 114.66 for a total score of 190.99 that put them in the lead with three pairs to go.

The two top Russian duos then followed, with the Elena Ilinykh/Nikita Katsalapov pairing cementing the bronze medal after a free score of 110.44 put them with a total of 183.48.

Then, to close out the evening, Davis and White took to the ice with the whole world watching.

With the pressure on, they performed brilliantly to “Scheherazade” and made sure that they lived up to the expectations set for them after they won silver behind Virtue and Moir four years ago in Vancouver.

source: AP
The results are in…And Davis and White have got the gold. Photo: AP

MORE: Domracheva becomes 1st woman with 3 biathlon golds in single Winter Olympics

FIGURE SKATING – ICE DANCING
1. Davis/White (USA), 195.52
2. Virtue/Moir (CAN), 190.99
3. Ilinykh/Katsalapov, 183.48

8. Chock/Bates (USA), 164.64
9. Shibutani/Shibutani (USA), 155.17

Gregorio Paltrinieri swims second-fastest 1500m freestyle in history

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Olympic champion Gregorio Paltrinieri swam the second-fastest 1500m freestyle in history, clocking 14:33.10 in his native Italy on Thursday.

Paltrinieri, 25, missed Chinese Sun Yang‘s world record from the 2012 Olympics by 2.08 seconds.

The Italian now owns the second- and third-fastest times in history, including his 14:34.10 from the 2016 European Championships, also held at the 2012 Olympic pool in London.

Paltrinieri is a versatile distance swimmer. At last year’s world championships, he finished sixth in the open-water 10km to qualify for the Olympics, then won the 800m free in the pool in a European record time and finished with 1500m bronze, just missing a third straight world title in that event.

German Florian Wellbrock won the 1500m in 14:36.54 at worlds, with Paltrinieri finishing 2.21 seconds back.

Sun, 28, was in February banned eight years stemming from destroying a drug-test sample with a hammer in September 2018. Sun, who focused more on the 200m and 400m frees in recent years, did not race the 1500m at the 2017 or 2019 Worlds.

Top-level swim meets in the U.S. are scheduled to resume in November with the Tyr Pro Series.

MORE: Michael Phelps qualifies for first Olympics at age 15

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Bianca Andreescu to miss U.S. Open

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Bianca Andreescu withdrew from the U.S. Open, citing “unforeseen challenges, including the Covid pandemic” compromising her ability to prepare to defend her Grand Slam title.

“I have taken this step in order to focus on my match fitness and ensure that I return ready to play at my highest level,” Andreescu, a 20-year-old Canadian, posted on social media. “The US Open victory last year has been the high point of my career thus far and I will miss not being there. However, I realize that the unforeseen challenges, including the Covid pandemic, have compromised my ability to prepare and compete to the degree necessary to play at my highest level.”

Andreescu’s absence means the U.S. Open, the first Grand Slam tournament since tennis resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic, will be without both 2019 male and female singles champions.

Rafael Nadal previously announced he would not defend his title, saying he would rather not travel given the global situation. Roger Federer is also out after knee surgery. Women’s No. 1 Ash Barty didn’t enter, either, citing travel concerns.

Last year, Andreescu made her U.S. Open title run as the 15th seed, sweeping Serena Williams in the final. Ranked 208th a year earlier, she became the first player born in the 2000s to win a Slam and the first teen Slam winner since Maria Sharapova at the 2006 U.S. Open.

Andreescu then missed the Australian Open in January due to rehab from a knee injury that forced her to retire during a match at the WTA Finals on Oct. 30. She also missed the French Open and Wimbledon in 2019 following a rotator cuff tear.

MORE: Serena Williams, reclusive amid pandemic, returns to tennis competition

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