Queen dethroned: Russia’s Sotnikova tops Yuna Kim for gold

1 Comment

One day after the playoff demise of the Russian men’s hockey team, Adelina Sotnikova has brought perhaps the ultimate rejuvenation to the country’s spirits.

In an upset decision over South Korea’s Yuna Kim, the 17-year-old from Moscow has become the first Russian to win Olympic gold in ladies’ figure skating today at the Iceberg Skating Palace.

Sotnikova had come into the Sochi Olympics overshadowed by her 15-year-old teammate and European champion Yulia Lipnitskaia. But she’ll never have to worry about being under the radar again.

After finishing a close second to Kim in the short program, Sotnikova moved into first place with a free skate that brought her a staggering score of 149.95 and pushed her total to 224.59.

But Kim was still to come at the end of the night, and her free skate appeared equally impeccable. But the difference came down to the technical: Sotnikova earned a 75.54 TES from the judges, while Kim only got a 69.69.

MORE: Holcomb on mend ahead of four-man bobsled

Kim wound up with a 144.19 on her free skate and a total of 219.11 that made her settle for the silver and triggered a thunderous roar from the Russian crowd at the Iceberg.

Their girl had won on the Winter Olympics’ biggest stage.

Italy’s Carolina Kostner entered the day in third, and was able to hold off Team USA’s Gracie Gold for the bronze medal – her first Olympic medal in her third Games.

Gold fell on a triple flip but otherwise had a solid free skate to maintain her fourth-place position, which is a solid result in her Olympic debut.

She proved to be the highest-finishing American in the individual figure skating competitions at Sochi. The other two American women, Ashley Wagner and Polina Edmunds, finished seventh and ninth.

Nonetheless, Sochi marks the first time that the U.S. has failed to earn a men’s or women’s individual medal in figure skating since the 1936 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Winter Games.

1. Adelina Sotnikova (RUS), 224.59 (74.64/149.95)

2. Yuna Kim (KOR), 219.11 (74.92/144.19)
3. Carolina Kostner (ITA), 216.73 (74.12/142.61)

4. Gracie Gold (USA), 205.53 (68.63/136.90)
7. Ashley Wagner (USA), 193.20 (65.21/127.99)
9. Polina Edmunds (USA), 183.25 (61.04/122.21)

Katie Ledecky out-touches new rival at swimming’s U.S. Open, extends streak


It was a rare sight: Katie Ledecky being matched stroke for stroke in a distance race in an American pool. She was up for the challenge.

Ledecky out-touched emerging 16-year-old Canadian Summer McIntosh by eight hundredths of a second in the 400m freestyle at the U.S. Open in Greensboro, N.C., on Thursday night.

Ledecky and McIntosh were tied at the 300-meter mark. Ledecky ended up clocking 3:59.71 to McIntosh’s 3:59.79 to extend a decade-long win streak in freestyle races of 400 meters or longer in U.S. pools.

“I know we’ll have a lot more races ahead of us,” Ledecky said on Peacock. “We bring the best out of each other.”

The U.S. Open continues Friday with live finals coverage on Peacock at 6 p.m. ET.

U.S. OPEN SWIMMING: Full Results

At the Tokyo Olympics, McIntosh placed fourth in the 400m free at age 14.

She accelerated this year, taking silver behind Ledecky at the world championships and silver behind Tokyo gold medalist Ariarne Titmus of Australia at the Commonwealth Games.

Then in October, McIntosh outdueled Ledecky in a 400m free — also by eight hundredths — in a short-course, 25-meter pool at a FINA World Cup meet in Toronto. Long-course meets like the Olympics and the U.S. Open are held in 50-meter pools.

McIntosh also won world titles in the 200m butterfly and 400m individual medley, becoming the youngest individual world champion since 2011.

A potential showdown among Ledecky, Titmus and McIntosh at the 2024 Paris Games is already being compared to the “Race of the Century,” the 2004 Olympic men’s 200m free where Australian Ian Thorpe edged Dutchman Pieter van den Hoogenband and Michael Phelps.

In other events Thursday, Regan Smith, an Olympic and world medalist in the backstroke and butterfly, won a 200m individual medley in a personal best 2:10.40, a time that would have placed fifth at June’s world championships. She beat 16-year-old Leah Hayes, who took bronze in the event at worlds.

Olympic 400m IM champ Chase Kalisz won the men’s 200m IM in 1:56.52, his best time ever outside of major summer meets. Frenchman Léon Marchand won the world title in 1:55.22 in June, when Kalisz was fourth.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Eliud Kipchoge, two races shy of his target, to make Boston Marathon debut

Eliud Kipchoge Berlin Marathon

World record holder Eliud Kipchoge will race the Boston Marathon for the first time on April 17.

Kipchoge, who at September’s Berlin Marathon lowered his world record by 30 seconds to 2:01:09, has won four of the six annual major marathons — Berlin, Tokyo, London and Chicago.

The 38-year-old Kenyan has never raced Boston, the world’s oldest annual marathon dating to 1897, nor New York City but has repeated in recent years a desire to enter both of them.

Typically, he has run the London Marathon in the spring and the Berlin Marathon in the fall.

Kipchoge’s last race in the U.S. was the 2014 Chicago Marathon, his second of 10 consecutive marathon victories from 2014 through 2019.

He can become the first reigning men’s marathon world record holder to finish the Boston Marathon since South Korean Suh Yun-Bok set a world record of 2:25:39 in Boston in 1947, according to the Boston Athletic Association.

In 2024 in Paris, Kipchoge is expected to race the Olympic marathon and bid to become the first person to win three gold medals in that event.

The Boston Marathon field also includes arguably the second- and third-best men in the world right now — Kipchoge’s Kenyan training partners Evans Chebet and Benson Kipruto. Chebet won Boston and New York City this year. Kipruto won Boston last year and Chicago this year.

American Des Linden, who won Boston in 2018, headlines the women’s field.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!