Jordan Burroughs sprains MCL, wins bronze at World Wrestling Championships

Jordan Burroughs
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Jordan Burroughs sprained an MCL in his first-round match at the World Championships, advanced to the semifinals, suffered his first-ever defeat to a foreign opponent and rebounded to win a bronze medal Tuesday.

Burroughs, the reigning Olympic and World champion in the 163-pound freestyle division, said he felt a “pretty good pop” during his victory over his first opponent, Augusto Midana of Guinea-Bissau.

“I just remember in the first period, I kind of tweaked it a little bit, trying to run corners,” Burroughs told reporters in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. “It just limited my mobility a little bit. But that’s what happens. You’ve got to protect yourself. Part of being great is being able to stay injury free.”

Burroughs said Midana apologized to him afterward.

“It wasn’t his fault at all,” Burroughs said. “It’s just the nature of the game.”

After that, Burroughs won two more matches and then lost to Russian Denis Tsargush 9-2 in the semifinals while wrestling with a wrapped left leg (video here). Tsargush went on to win gold.

“Obviously, it wasn’t the same, but Tsargush was well prepared,” Burroughs said of his injury, but said later he didn’t feel pain. “I’m not going to make an excuse as to why I lost today. I don’t want to even go there. I don’t want to say that pain was the terms of why I didn’t compete well in the semifinals.”

He came back to win bronze, pinning Ukraine’s Rustam Dudaiev.

“Jordan couldn’t move like he usually does,” U.S. coach Bruce Burnett said, according to USA Wrestling. “He did the best he could. He showed a lot of character and resolve and guts. … He’s a class act and a great leader for our team. I would’ve liked to have seen him wrestle Tsargush when both guys were 100 percent.”

Burroughs moved to 92-2 in his international career, having suffered his first loss to countryman Nick Marable on Feb. 15.

Tsargush won the 2009 and 2010 World Championships, before Burroughs began his run of three straight global titles in 2011.

Tsargush, 27, was the only man to push Burroughs, 26, to three periods at the 2012 Olympics, in the semifinals. He did the same at the 2011 World Championships in the round of 16. They did not meet at the 2013 Worlds, won by Burroughs four weeks after breaking an ankle.

“I didn’t go home with what I wanted, which was gold, but I still got a bronze, so I’m happy about that,” Burroughs said. “There’s going to be a lot more years to come of great wrestling between us two.”

The U.S.’ other 2012 Olympic wrestling champion, Jake Varner, lost in the second round of the 213-pound division Tuesday and was later eliminated from medal contention.

The 2015 World Championships are in Las Vegas.

“I was real excited going into this year,” Burroughs said. “I’m like, man, I’m injury free, I’m feeling good, I’ve been training hard for a long time. This is it. This is my chance to become legendary. I still think I’ve done a pretty good job in this sport. It’s not over for me yet. I’m going back to the drawing board.”

Burroughs said his goal is still to match two-time Olympic champion John Smith‘s U.S. record of six global championships.

“John, if you’re watching, I’m still coming for you,” Burroughs said. “It’s going to take a couple years longer, maybe, but I’m still going for six.”

Kerri Walsh Jennings, April Ross would not go back to old partners

Ironman Kona World Championships return for first time in three years, live on Peacock

Ironman Kona World Championship
Ironman
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The Ironman Kona World Championships return after a three-year hiatus with a new format, live on Peacock on Thursday and Saturday at 12 p.m. ET.

The Ironman, held annually in Hawaii since 1978, and in Kailua-Kona since 1981, was not held in 2020 or 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The world championships made a one-time-only stop in St. George, Utah, on May 7 to make up for the 2021 cancellation. The winners were Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt, the Tokyo Olympic triathlon champion, and Swiss Daniela Ryf, who bagged her fifth Ironman world title.

Both are entered in Kailua-Kona, where the races are now split between two days — Thursday for the women and Saturday for the men.

An Ironman includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a marathon — totaling 140.6 miles of racing. It takes top triathletes eight hours to complete. Very arguably, it crowns the world’s fittest man and woman.

WATCH LIVE: Ironman Kona, Thursday, 12 p.m. ET — STREAM LINK

Ryf, 35 and a 2008 and 2012 Olympian, can tie retired countrywoman Natascha Badmann for second place on the women’s list at six Ironman world titles. Only Zimbabwean-turned-American Paula Newby-Fraser has more with eight.

The field also includes German Anne Haug, the 2019 Kona champ and only woman other than Ryf to win since 2015. Brit Lucy Charles-Barclay, the Kona runner-up in 2017, 2018 and 2019, returns after missing the St. George event due to a stress fracture in her hip.

Blummenfelt, 28 and in his Kona debut, will try to become the youngest male champion in Kona since German Normann Stadler in 2005. His top challengers include countryman Gustav Iden, the two-time reigning Half Ironman world champion, and German Patrick Lange, the 2017 and 2018 Ironman Kona winner.

Also racing Saturday is Dallas Clark, a retired All-Pro NFL tight end with the Indianapolis Colts, and Tony Kanaan, the 2013 Indy 500 champion who completed the 2011 Kona Ironman in 12 hours, 52 minutes, 40 seconds.

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Joan Benoit Samuelson, Olympic marathon champ in 1984, runs London Marathon at 65

Joan Benoit Samuelson
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Joan Benoit Samuelson, the first Olympic women’s marathon champion in 1984, ran her first 26.2-mile race in three years at Sunday’s London Marathon and won her age group.

Benoit Samuelson, 65, clocked 3 hours, 20 minutes, 20 seconds to top the women’s 65-69 age group by 7 minutes, 52 seconds. She took pleasure in being joined in the race by daughter Abby, who crossed in 2:58:19.

“She may have beaten me with my replacement knee, but everybody said I wouldn’t do it! I will never say never,” Benoit Samuelson said, according to race organizers. “I am a grandmother now to Charlotte, and it’s my goal to run 5K with her.”

LONDON MARATHON: Results

Benoit Samuelson raced the 1987 Boston Marathon while three months pregnant with Abby. Before that, she won the first Olympic women’s marathon at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, plus the Boston Marathon in 1979 and 1983 and the Chicago Marathon in 1985.

Her personal best — 2:21:21 — still holds up. She ranks sixth in U.S. women’s history.

Benoit Samuelson plans to race the Tokyo Marathon to complete her set of doing all six annual World Marathon Majors. The others are Berlin, Boston, Chicago and New York City.

“I’m happy to finish this race and make it to Tokyo, but I did it today on a wing and a prayer,” she said, according to organizers. “I’m blessed to have longevity in this sport. It doesn’t owe me anything, but I feel I owe my sport.”

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