Haley Anderson

Haley Anderson wins Pan Pacs open-water 10K by .01 after jellyfish sting, move to Maui

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Haley Anderson definitely earned some relaxation time in Maui.

The Olympic silver medalist won the Pan Pacific Championships open-water 10K swim by .01 over U.S. teammate Eva Fabian in Hawaii on Sunday. Andrew Gemmell won the men’s race for a U.S. sweep.

Anderson’s victory came less than two weeks after she suffered a jellyfish sting in training, a hazard unique to open-water swimmers, one that Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin don’t have to worry about.

It also came one week after the Pan Pacs open-water races were moved to Maui from Gold Coast, Australia, due to high pollution levels following heavy rain Down Under.

“The whole situation was pretty nuts,” Anderson said. “If anybody can handle it, it’s open-water swimmers. We’re always at the whim of nature.”

Anderson, 22, said she suffered the jellyfish sting Aug. 18, her first day of practice in Gold Coast.

“I think I had an allergic reaction to [the jellyfish sting],” Anderson said. “I got hives all down my legs. It was nasty, like pinkish-reddish.”

Undeterred, she swam in the pool at Pan Pacs three days later, finishing seventh in the 800m freestyle won by Katie Ledecky.

Three days after that, she learned that her primary race at Pan Pacs, the open-water 10K, was postponed by six days and moved 4,750 miles to Maui, in conjunction with the junior Pan Pacific Championships.

“I was pumped,” Anderson said. “I was like, ‘We’re going to Maui!'”

Anderson said the water in Hawaii was so excellent she saw a turtle beneath her as she swam. She also wasn’t hampered by the often-times physical nature of open-water races. She said she led for about three-quarters of the race, staying out of traffic.

She finished in 1 hour, 59 minutes, 51 seconds. Fabian was one second behind. Another American, Becca Mann, was two seconds back. In all, seven swimmers were within 10 seconds of Anderson at the end of the grueling event.

“The last lap in general was just a sprint to the finish,” Anderson said. “You just worry about what you can do and play to your own strengths.”

Anderson has now won medals at the biggest meets the last three years — silver in the 2012 Olympic 10K, gold in the 2013 World Championships 5K and now her first Pan Pacs medal of any color.

Her focus will stay on the 10K going into next year’s World Championships in Kazan, Russia. There, she can qualify for the Rio Olympics. The 10K is the only open-water event contested at the Olympics. No American has won gold in Olympic open-water swimming, which debuted in 2008.

Gwen Jorgensen wins World Championship in triathlon

Joey Mantia extends U.S. medal streak at speed skating worlds; Dutch dominance returns

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Joey Mantia ensured the host U.S. finished with a medal at the world single distances championships. Ireen WüstKjeld Nuis and Jorrit Bergsma ensured the Netherlands finished atop the medal standings.

Mantia joined Shani Davis as the only U.S. men to earn individual medals at three different editions of the championships, taking bronze in the 1500m on the last day of the speed skating meet at the 2002 Olympic oval outside Salt Lake City.

Mantia won the mass start at the last two worlds in 2017 and 2019 (and finished fifth on Sunday, after the 1500m bronze).

Mantia clocked a personal best 1:42.16 in the fifth of 12 pairs of the 1500m. It held up until Nuis (1:41.66) and countryman Thomas Krol (1:41.73) in the last two pairs.

“Was starting to think that I’m so old that I can’t time trial anymore,” Mantia, a 34-year-old whose last 1500m personal best came in 2015, told media in Utah. “Maybe there’s a little bit of hope left.”

Mantia’s medal extended the U.S. streak of making the podium at every world championships this millennium — 16 straight. The single bronze is the smallest medal output since 2000.

Full results are here.

Wüst and Nuis gave the Dutch a sweep of the men’s and women’s 1500m titles, two years after they did the same at the PyeongChang Olympics. Bergsma, an Olympic and world 10,000m champion, earned his first global medal of any color — gold — in the 16-lap mass start.

The Netherlands failed to earn any golds on the first two days of the four-day competition. The dominant Dutch, who topped the medal standings at every Olympics and worlds dating to the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games, entered Sunday trailing Russia.

But Wüst began the day by clocking 1:50.92 to win the 1500m by .21 over Russian Yevgenia Lalenkova. American medal hope Brittany Bowe, the 2015 World champion who took bronze last year, finished 14th a day after taking eighth in her world-record 1000m distance.

Nuis and Krol went one-two in the men’s 1500m to tie Russia’s medal total. Then Irene Schouten took bronze in the women’s mass start to put the Netherlands ahead for good, followed by Bergsma’s capper.

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MORE: Shani Davis retires, takes new role in speed skating

Netherlands on the board; more world records at speed skating worlds

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It took four world records from other countries before the Netherlands won its first title in an Olympic program event at the world single distances speed skating championships.

Jutta Leerdam got the dominant skating nation on the board on the third day of the four-day competition and in the ninth Olympic program event. Leerdam scored an upset over defending champion and world-record holder Brittany Bowe, the American who ended up eighth.

Leerdam, 21, prevailed despite having zero World Cup podiums to her name. She clocked 1:11.84, just .23 slower than Bowe’s world record set on the same Utah Olympic Oval last year. Bowe, who recently had her yearlong win streak snapped in the 1000m, finished in 1:12.92.

“It’s a nightmare,” Bowe said, according to media on site.

Later, the Netherlands won the men’s team pursuit in a world record 3:34.68, the fifth world record in Olympic events the last two days on the world’s fastest ice at the 2002 Olympic oval outside Salt Lake City.

Full results are here.

The world championships conclude Sunday, highlighted by American Joey Mantia defending his world title in the mass start.

In other Saturday events, both the men’s 1000m and women’s 5000m world records fell. On Friday, world records were lowered in the men’s 10,000m and women’s team pursuit.

Pavel Kulizhnikov followed his Friday world 500m title with the 1000m crown, repeating his double gold from 2016. Kulizhnikov was one of the Russians banned from the PyeongChang Olympics after he served a prior doping ban.

On Saturday, Kulizhnikov clocked 1:05.69 to take .49 off Dutchman Kjeld Nuis‘ record from last March, also set at Salt Lake City. Nuis, the Olympic 1000m and 1500m champion, took silver, 1.03 seconds behind.

Russian Natalya Voronina and Czech Martina Sablikova both went under Sablikova’s world record in the 5000m. Voronina came out on top in 6:39.02, 2.99 seconds faster than Sablikova’s record from a year ago and 2.16 seconds faster than Sablikova on Saturday.

Voronina’s time would have been the men’s world record as recently as 1993. Sablikova won the previous 10 world titles in the event dating to 2007.

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