Simone Biles

World Gymnastics Championships nominative lists announced

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The U.S. women’s team for the World Gymnastics Championships won’t be announced until Wednesday, but the International Gymnastics Federation released “nominative lists” of gymnasts for every nation.

These lists mean nothing for the U.S., but it’s interesting to note which names were submitted. Here they are:

Simone Biles — 2013 World all-around champion
Kyla Ross — 2013 World all-around silver medalist
Alyssa Bauman
Madison Desch
Madison Kocian
Ashton Locklear
Mykayla Skinner

Full women’s nominative list | Men’s nominative list

The World Championships in Nanning, China, start Oct. 3.

Last year, the four U.S. women on the nominative list ended up being the four U.S. women who flew to Antwerp, Belgium, for the event. The 2013 World Championships only included individual competition. This year, the team event returns, so nations can send seven gymnasts.

Biles and Ross are considered shoo-ins for the team. Ross is the only member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team who could make it with none of the other Fierce Five members active this year.

Brenna Dowell made the 2013 World Championships team with Biles, Ross and McKayla Maroney, but she did not compete in Antwerp in favor of the other three competing in all four events in qualifying.

Dowell did not make this year’s nominative list, but she is among 12 women attending next week’s U.S. National Team camp in Texas from which the World Championships team will be chosen. Here are the 12:

Simone Biles — on nominative list
Kyla Ross — on nominative list
Alyssa Bauman — on nominative list
Madison Desch — on nominative list
Madison Kocian 
— on nominative list
Ashton Locklear — on nominative list
Mykayla Skinner 
— on nominative list
Brenna Dowell
Felicia Hano
Veronica Hults
Amelia Hundley
Macy Toronjo

The U.S. women will be looking to win a second straight World Championships team gold, but the pool of gymnasts to choose from is shallower than hoped. The following gymnasts will not be competing in Nanning:

Maroney underwent surgery earlier this year.

Maggie Nichols, who finished third in the all-around behind Biles and Ross at the P&G Championships last month, dislocated a kneecap at the Pan American Championships.

Rachel Gowey, who is from the same gym that produced Shawn Johnson and Gabby Douglas, broke an ankle in training at the P&G Championships. Gowey was fourth at the Secret U.S. Classic behind Biles, Ross and Nichols.

Peyton Ernst, who replaced Biles at the Pacific Rim Championships in April, had shoulder surgery and missed the P&G Championships.

Lexie Priessman, the 2012 P&G junior all-around champion, withdrew from the Secret U.S. Classic after suffering an ankle injury, had surgery and did not compete at the P&G Championships.

Katelyn Ohashi, the 2011 P&G junior all-around champion, hasn’t competed in more than one year.

Elizabeth Price, the 2012 Olympic alternate and American Cup winner in March, retired from elite gymnastics.

The U.S.’ biggest competition should come from Olympic silver medalist Russia, expected to be led by veteran Aliya Mustafina.

The entire U.S. men’s team announced Aug. 24 is on the nominative list, along with Japan’s reigning all-around gold and silver medalists, Kohei Uchimura and Ryohei Kato.

Tokyo 1964 Olympic cauldron lighter passes away

Asbel Kiprop, Olympic 1500m champ, banned 4 years

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Kenyan Asbel Kiprop, the 2008 Olympic 1500m champion and a three-time world champ, was banned four years after testing positive for EPO in November 2017, according to track and field’s doping watchdog organization.

The ban is backdated to Feb. 3, 2018, when the 29-year-old was provisionally suspended after the failed test.

Kiprop repeatedly denied doping since last May, when he first acknowledged the positive test. Most recently, a 3,000-word defense from his lawyer was posted on Kiprop’s Facebook page.

Kiprop’s defenses included saying he was a victim of extortion and that he was offered “a reward” of becoming an anti-doping ambassador if he admitted guilt. The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), the IAAF’s independent organization to monitor doping and corruption, denied the latter last May.

A disciplinary panel dismissed six defenses from exonerating him, including the possibility his sample was spiked, in handing out the four-year ban.

Kiprop, the pre-eminent 1500m runner of the last decade, can appeal the ban.

At 19, he finished second in the Beijing Olympic 1500m but was upgraded to gold a year later after Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi failed a drug test. He is the youngest Olympic 1500m medalist of all time, according to the OlyMADMen.

Kiprop went on to earn three straight world titles in the 1500m in 2011, 2013 and 2015, matching the feats of retired legends Noureddine Morceli and Hicham El Guerrouj.

He struggled in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, finishing last in the London final with a hamstring injury and sixth in the Rio final won by American rival Matthew Centrowitz.

Kiprop has targeted El Guerrouj’s world record of 3:26:00, missing the mark by .69 of a second in 2015.

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Maggie Nichols is second woman in 20 years to repeat as NCAA all-around champ

Maggie Nichols
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Oklahoma junior and world champion gymnast Maggie Nichols became the first woman to repeat as NCAA all-around champion in 12 years, returning from a heel injury to compete on all four events for the first time since January on Friday.

Nichols, a Rio Olympic hopeful before being beset by a torn meniscus in 2016, joined 2004 Olympic silver medalist Courtney Kupets as the only women to win back-to-back NCAA all-arounds in the 2000s.

A junior, Nichols can next year join Jenny Hansen as the only women to three-peat in NCAA history.

Oklahoma goes for a third team title in four years on Saturday night against UCLA (featuring Olympic champions Madison Kocian and Kyla Ross), LSU and Denver.

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NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships Individual Results
All-Around
1. Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma) — 39.7125
2. Lexy Ramler (Minnesota) — 39.6625
2. Kyla Ross (UCLA) — 39.6625
4. Sarah Finnegan (LSU) — 39.65
5. Kennedi Edney (LSU) — 39.6

Vault
1. Kennedi Edney (LSU) — 9.95
1. Derrian Gobourne (Auburn)
1. Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma)
1. Kyla Ross (UCLA)

Uneven Bars
1. Sarah Finnegan (LSU) — 9.95

Balance Beam
1. Natalie Wojcik (Michigan) — 9.95

Floor Exercise
1. Alicia Boren (Florida) — 9.95
1. Lynnzee Brown (Denver)
1. Brenna Dowell (Oklahoma)
1. Kyla Ross (UCLA)