Team USA’s Elana Meyers, Lauryn Williams lead first day of women’s bobsled

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Team USA’s top women’s bobsled pairing will force the defending Olympic champions to have to rally tomorrow at Sanki Sliding Center.

On their second run, driver Elana Meyers and brakeman Lauryn Williams set a new start record (5.13 seconds) and went on to log a 57.63-second time that pushed their overall lead over Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse of Canada to .23 of a second.

Humphries and Meyers, the No. 1 and No. 2-ranked World Cup drivers respectively, were expected to settle the gold between them and it looks like that is what will happen in the final two runs tomorrow.

It’s a solid start for the USA-1 team, which had its sled take front-end damage in a training incident last week. The day before, Meyers was also involved in a crash.

The Americans’ second sled, with driver Jamie Greubel and brakeman Aja Evans, is in bronze medal position at .56 of a second behind Meyers and Williams in USA-1.

Fourth place belongs to Belgium-1 (Elfje Willemsen/Hanna Emilie Marien), but they sit almost half a second behind Greubel and Evans for a spot on the podium.

As for hurdler-turned-bobsledder Lolo Jones, she and driver Jazmine Fenlator currently run 11th in the third sled for the U.S.

source: AP
USA-1 (Elana Meyers/Lauryn Williams) leads after the first day of women’s bobsled. Photo: AP

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Eliud Kipchoge sets next marathon

Eliud Kipchoge
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Eliud Kipchoge will race the London Marathon on April 26 before he is expected to defend his Olympic title in Japan on Aug. 9, which would mark the shortest break between marathons of his career.

Kipchoge, who in his last 26.2-mile effort became the first person to break two hours at the distance, won all four of his London Marathon starts, including breaking the course record in 2016 and 2019.

His time this past April 28 — 2:02:37 — is the third-fastest time in history. Kipchoge has the world record of 2:01:39 set at the 2018 Berlin Marathon. His sub-two-hour marathon in Vienna on Oct. 12 was not in a record-eligible race.

Kipchoge’s previous shortest break between marathons came in 2016, when he also ran London and the Olympics. The Olympics will be two weeks earlier in 2020 than in 2016.

Kipchoge, 35, has won 11 of 12 marathons since moving to road racing after failing to make Kenya’s 2012 Olympic track team.

He has yet to race the two most prestigious marathons in the U.S. — Boston and New York City — but has said they are on his bucket list.

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Canadians become first female doubles luge team in World Cup

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WHISTLER, British Columbia (AP) — Caitlin Nash and Natalie Corless made luge history Saturday, becoming the first female team to compete in a World Cup doubles race.

The 16-year-olds from Whistler combined to finish 22nd in a field of 23 sleds, though that seemed largely irrelevant. There have been four-woman teams in what is typically called four-man bobsledding, but luge has never seen a pairing like this until now.

The German sled of Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken won the race in 1 minute, 16.644 seconds. Germany’s Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt finished second and the Russian team of Vsevolod Kashkin and Konstantin Korshunov placed third for their first medal of the season.

The U.S. team of Chris Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman placed 11th.

But the story was the Canadian teens, who qualified for the World Cup event on Thursday. They were nearly a half-second behind any other finisher and almost 2.7 seconds back of Eggert and Benecken. But they’ll forever be able to say that they were winning the race at one point — a technicality because they were the first ones down the hill at the Whistler Sliding Center, but accurate nonetheless.

The only sled they beat was the Italian team of Ivan Nagler and Fabian Malleier, who crashed in the second heat.

There are women’s singles and men’s singles races on the World Cup luge circuit, but there is no rule saying doubles teams must be composed of two men. There have been more female doubles racers at the junior level in recent years, and it was generally considered to be just a matter of time before it happened at the World Cup level.

That time became Saturday.

Canada had the chance to qualify a second sled into the doubles field because some teams typically on the circuit chose to skip this weekend’s stop, and Nash and Corless got into by successfully finishing a Nations Cup qualifying race on Thursday.

They were 11th in that race out of 11 sleds, more than a full second behind the winner and nearly a half-second behind the closest finisher. But all they had to do was cross the line without crashing to get into Saturday’s competition, and earned their spot in the luge history books as a result.

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