Sun Yang

Sun Yang beats Kosuke Hagino (linked video), Ye Shiwen wins at Asian Games

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Chinese Olympic and World champion Sun Yang topped the world’s best all-around swimmer, Kosuke Hagino, and South Korean star Park Tae-hwan in the 400m freestyle, the biggest race of the Asian Games on Tuesday.

Sun, the 2013 Swimming World Male Swimmer of the Year, came from behind after 100 meters to win in 3:43.23 (race video here), which was .08 slower than the fastest time in the world this year (Park to win the Pan Pacific Championships).

It was plenty fast enough to beat the 20-year-old Hagino, though. The Japanese finished 1.25 seconds behind, winning his fifth medal of the meet. Hagino had beaten Sun and Park in the 200m free Sunday.

Sun is stronger as the distances are greater. He is the world record holder in the 1500m free.

Park, the 2008 Olympic 400m free champ, won bronze Tuesday but was more than five seconds behind Sun.

Hagino has two more individual races left. He is an overwhelming favorite in the 400m individual medley and also swims the 200m backstroke.

The most recognizable Chinese female swimmer, Ye Shiwen, won her 400m IM on Tuesday. Ye is best known for sweeping the IMs at the London Olympics, including a world record in the 400m IM, where she swam the final 50 meters faster than Ryan Lochte did to win the men’s event gold.

Ye’s time Tuesday was not eye-popping. She posted 4:32.97, more than two seconds slower than her best time this year and four seconds off her world record.

Kosuke Hagino: I’m trying to become like Michael Phelps

Heimana Reynolds wins skateboard world title, nears an Olympic goal from age 10

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In February 2009, a 10-year-old Heimana Reynolds was profiled by his local NBC TV station on Oahu.

“My goal is to become a professional skateboarder and compete in the X Games and the Olympics,” he said, according to the report.

Skateboarding would not be added to the Olympics for another seven years. But here Reynolds is, age 21, having just won the world title in park, one of two skateboarding events that debut at the Games in Tokyo.

Reynolds, who wasn’t named to the four-man U.S. national team in March, consolidated his lead in the Olympic qualification rankings by prevailing over a pair of Brazilians in Sao Paulo on Sunday.

A shirtless Reynolds scored 88 points in the final, beating Luis Francisco (85.50) and Pedro Quintas (85).

No more than three Americans can make the Olympic team in the event, which will make it difficult if three-time Olympic halfpipe snowboarding champion Shaun White decides to continue his skateboarding pursuit. White was the sixth-best American, bowing out in the semifinals in 13th place on Saturday in just his second contest since returning to competitive skating last year.

Back to Reynolds. He grew up on the North Shore and attended the Punahou School, where Barack Obama is the most famous alum. His first name is Tahitian, reportedly referring to the power of Jesus’ crown of thorns.

Reynolds, the son of a surfer, proved a natural on land. After pre-teen media profiles, he blossomed into a world silver medalist last year. He won an Olympic qualifier in China in July to take the top spot in the Olympic rankings despite a best career X Games finish of sixth.

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Primoz Roglic, ex-ski jumper, wins Vuelta a Espana

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In a year of new talent in cycling, a former world junior champion ski jumper won the last Grand Tour.

Primoz Roglic, a 2007 World junior team ski jumping champion, won the Vuelta a Espana, becoming the first Slovenian to capture a Grand Tour. He prevailed by 2 minutes, 16 seconds over Spanish veteran Alejandro Valverde after Sunday’s final stage, a largely ceremonial ride into Madrid.

“Not much words to say about it,” Roglic said in a speech atop the podium. “See you next races.”

Roglic, 29, became the fifth straight first-time Grand Tour champion dating to Geraint Thomas‘ 2018 Tour de France title.

Roglic benefited from Thomas and other stars like Chris Froome skipping the Vuelta, but he also had the credentials, having finished fourth in the 2018 Tour and third in this year’s Giro d’Italia.

Valverde deserves acclaim, too, having, at age 39, made his ninth Grand Tour podium and seventh at the Vuelta. Valverde, the reigning world road race champion, has gone 16 years between his first and most recent Vuelta podium. He also had a record-breaking 19th Grand Tour top 10, according to Gracenote.

Then there’s third-place finisher Tadej Pogacar, a 20-year-old Slovenian who became the youngest Grand Tour podium finisher since 1974.

Roglic, who suffered this scary crash before leaving ski jumping, joined Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz and Colombian Egan Bernal as this year’s Grand Tour winners. All ride for different teams.

Roglic is with Jumbo-Visma, which also includes this year’s Tour de France third-place finisher Steven Kruijswijk and will include, starting in 2020, 2018 Tour de France runner-up Tom Dumoulin.

Kruijswijk abandoned the Vuelta with a knee injury in the fourth stage. Dumoulin did not start the Vuelta.

The road cycling season continues with the world championships in Yorkshire, Great Britain, later this month.

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