Kerri Walsh Jennings

Kerri Walsh Jennings: ‘I miss Misty every day’

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Three-time Olympic champion Kerri Walsh Jennings is enjoying early success with new partner April Ross, but she still gets nostalgic about her previous teammate, Misty May-Treanor.

“The hardest part about transitioning from Misty to April is just the bittersweetness of it. I miss Misty every day,” Walsh Jennings said, according to The Associated Press. “Sometimes I get a tear in my eye, and sometimes it makes me giggle.”

May-Treanor retired after she and Walsh Jennings won their third straight Olympic beach volleyball title in London in 2012. No other beach pair, men or women, has won two golds since the sport was introduced in Atlanta in 1996.

Walsh Jennings, 35, had her third child in April 2013 and then began playing with Ross. Walsh Jennings and May-Treanor beat Ross and Jennifer Kessy in the 2012 Olympic gold-medal game.

Walsh Jennings and Ross won two of three FIVB tournaments together last year and captured the 2014 season-opening event in China, a female record 47th career title for Walsh Jennings.

They’ll next play in the AVP season opener in St. Petersburg, Fla., this weekend.

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Chinese figure skating judges banned for biased Olympic scoring

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Two Chinese figure skating judges were suspended by the International Skating Union for biased judging at the PyeongChang Olympics.

Chen Weiguang and Huang Feng had “preferential marking” for top Chinese skaters Jin Boyang (fourth place in PyeongChang) and the silver medalist pairs’ team of Sui Wenjing and Han Cong, respectively, according to the ISU.

Chen was banned two years and excluded from the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Huang got a one-year ban.

Chen awarded her highest grades of execution scores of the men’s competition to Jin, as well as her second-highest program components scores, trailing only gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu. Both sets of scores, in both the short and long programs, were out of line with the other eight judges.

“There is evidence of preference for the Chinese skater and prejudice against his strongest competitors,” an ISU report read. “Her marks were completely unrealistic.”

The pairs’ judge Huang “obviously favored his pair also vis-à-vis the other top candidates for the Olympic gold medal,” the ISU said in a report, referencing inflated scores for Sui and Han and lower scores for gold and bronze medalists Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany and Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada.

Huang was warned one month before the Olympics by the ISU for biased judging at the December 2017 Grand Prix Final pairs’ event.

Both suspensions are subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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Javier Fernandez to skip Grand Prix, still compete next season

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Javier Fernandez, who in PyeongChang became the first Spanish Olympic figure skating medalist, will skip the fall Grand Prix series but return for January’s European Championships, which could be his final competition.

Europeans will be Fernandez’s focus for the season, his agent said Tuesday.

Fernandez, 26, added an Olympic bronze medal to his 2015 and 2016 World titles. He has said that his third Olympics in PyeongChang would be his last. But Fernandez did not say he would retire after the Winter Games, though he did skip the world championships in March.

Fernandez now plans to compete in his 13th straight European Championships in Minsk in January. He won the last six titles. It’s unknown if he will continue on to the world championships in Saitama, Japan, in March.

In Fernandez’s absence, the top male singles skaters in the fall Grand Prix season should be double Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu, PyeongChang silver medalist Shoma Uno and American Nathan Chen, who was fifth at the Olympics after a disastrous short program but ran away with March’s world title by the largest margin in history.

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