Mo Farah

Mo Farah beaten in London Marathon (video)

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Marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang won his second London Marathon, while Mo Farah finished eighth in his 26.2-mile debut on Sunday.

The Kenyan Kipsang, 32, prevailed by 26 seconds in 2:04:29, a course record and a record fifth marathon under 2:05 for one man.

Kipsang had broken the world record over 26.2 miles on Sept. 29 at the Berlin Marathon, clocking 2:03:23 to shave 15 seconds off Patrick Makau‘s previous mark. He also won the 2012 London Marathon and bronze at the 2012 Olympics.

Farah, the 2012 Olympic 5000m and 10,000m champion, was eighth in 2:08:21. He missed the European record (2:06:36) and the British record (2:07:13) but broke the English record of 2:08.33.

“It was pretty tough,” Farah said on the BBC, a few minutes after grimacing behind sunglasses and a British kit in the final meters. “Quite disappointed today. … You learn. Life goes on.”

The event was billed as perhaps the greatest field in marathon history, including the world record holder, the fastest man ever on a non-certified course, the reigning Olympic champion and the London course record holder.

Farah was 27 seconds behind after the first 5km as the leaders went out in sub-world record pace behind pacemaker Haile Gebrselassie, the two-time Olympic 10,000m champion and former marathon world record holder.

Farah said he will race another marathon but wouldn’t rule out going back to the track for the 2016 Olympics.

“I’m not going to finish it like this,” Farah said of marathon running. “I will be back.”

Farah is, though, scheduled to return to the track for at least one meet this summer.

Kenyan Edna Kiplagat won the women’s race, outsprinting countrywoman Florence Kiplagat (no relation) to win by three seconds in 2:20.21. Edna Kiplagat, 34, won the 2011 and 2013 World Championships and was 20th at the London Olympics.

Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba, a six-time Olympic medalist on the track in the 5000m and 10,000m, finished third in her first marathon in 2:20:35, the third fastest women’s debut in history.

American Tatyana McFadden won the women’s wheelchair race for the second straight year. She won an unprecedented marathon Grand Slam in 2013 — sweeping Boston, London, Chicago and New York — in addition to becoming the first person to win six gold medals at a single International Paralympic Committee World Track and Field Championships. McFadden, a 10-time Summer Paralympic medalist, won her first Winter Paralympic medal in cross-country skiing in Sochi in February.

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Regan Smith swims another historic backstroke time at Pro Series meet

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Regan Smith, who last summer broke both backstroke world records, put up the fastest 100m back in history outside of a major international meet or trials competition on Saturday.

Smith, a 17-year-old Minnesota high school senior, clocked 58.26 seconds to win at a Pro Series meet in Knoxville, Tenn. It tied for the 12th-fastest time in history. None of the other fastest dozen came in January, six months out from when swimmers peak for the world’s biggest events like the Olympics.

Making it more impressive: Smith did it 27 minutes after finishing second in the 200m butterfly, which she’s also expected to contest at June’s Olympic trials in Omaha.

“It actually wasn’t as bad, as I was nervous it was going to be,” Smith, whose world record is 57.57, said of the double on NBCSN. Smith entered two events per day at the three-day Knoxville meet, in part to prepare for the trials, where she is slated to race six straight days in a bid to make the Olympic team in enough events to swim eight straight days in Tokyo.

On Saturday, Smith held off fellow 17-year-old Phoebe Bacon by six tenths. Bacon beat Smith at the U.S. Open in December, posting the second-fastest time among Americans in the event for 2019.

The teen emergence puts pressure on Kathleen Baker, the Rio Olympic silver medalist who had the world record before Smith took it at worlds.

Full Knoxville results are here. USASwimming.org live streams the last night of finals Sunday at 6:30 ET.

In other events Saturday, world silver medalist Hali Flickinger overcame Smith in the 200m fly, winning in 2:08.34. Smith, third-fastest among Americans last season, was .39 behind. The second-fastest American last year, Katie Drabot, was not in the field. The top two at trials make the Olympic team.

Erika Brown beat world champion Simone Manuel in a freestyle sprint for a second straight meet, taking the 50m free in 24.57 seconds.

Brown, a University of Tennessee senior, edged Manuel by .06 and took .01 off her personal best. Brown ranked third among Americans last year behind Manuel (24.05) and Abbey Weitzeil (24.47).

Brown also defeated Manuel in the 100m free at the U.S. Open in December, moving to fourth-fastest in the U.S. last year in that event. The top six in the 100m free at trials are in line to make the Olympic team, given relay spots.

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Mikaela Shiffrin nearly makes it three-way tie for World Cup win

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Mikaela Shiffrin came .01 shy of making it a three-way tie for a World Cup giant slalom win on Saturday, confirming GS has been the most up-for-grabs discipline for either gender in recent years.

Shiffrin, beaten in her last two slaloms, had the fastest second run to place third behind co-winners Italian Federica Brignone and Slovakian Petra Vlhova in Sestriere, Italy. The reigning Olympic and World Cup champion in the GS rallied from fourth place and .42 behind after the first run.

Shiffrin still leads the World Cup overall standings by 233 points over Vlhova. The American last won Dec. 29. Though she made the podium in three of her four races since, Shiffrin expressed a lack of confidence heading into this weekend’s races at the 2006 Olympic venue.

“The most exciting thing for me is that people have stopped asking me, like, are you unbeatable?” said Shiffrin, who won a record 17 World Cup races last season and has four victories nearly halfway through this season, tied with Vlhova for most on tour. “I feel really good in GS. It’s just been a long time since [the last GS on Dec. 28].”

Vlhova earned her third victory this month after beating Shiffrin those last two slaloms. Brignone leads the GS season standings by 61 points over Shiffrin, seeking to become the sixth different woman to win that discipline title in the last six years. There are four more GS races left this season.

It’s the second straight season with a World Cup GS tie. Last Feb. 1, Shiffrin and Vlhova tied in Maribor, Slovenia.

It’s the first time the top three finishers were separated by such a small margin since the last three-way tie for a win in 2006, when Lindsey VonnMichaela Dorfmeister and Nadia Styger had the same super-G time, and fourth-place Kelly VanderBeek was .01 behind.

“Last season, I had the lucky side of the hundredths many times, so sometimes I’m not going to be on the lucky side, too,” said Shiffrin, who had three victories by .16 or tighter last season.

World Cup racing continues with a parallel giant slalom on Sunday at 5:45 a.m. ET on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA and streaming on NBC Sports Gold.

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