Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki breaks 3:30 in New York Marathon

1 Comment

NEW YORK — Caroline Wozniacki said she partied until 4 a.m. three days before her first marathon, didn’t run more than 13.1 miles in training and spent Saturday night eating popcorn with Serena Williams at a hockey game.

“I’ve done everything you’re not supposed to do before a marathon,” she joked.

Then she ran the New York City Marathon in 3 hours, 26 minutes, 33 seconds.

Wozniacki beat her goal and achieved a qualifying standard for the Boston Marathon on Sunday. She did so after missing breakfast before going to the start in Staten Island, though she grabbed two bagels in a tent.

Wozniacki said her goal when she signed up for the marathon, after boyfriend Rory McIlroy called off their planned November wedding, was to beat four hours. She felt so good in training, despite skipping a planned long run due to tennis commitments, that she hoped to beat 3:30.

“Somewhere in between 3:45 and 3:30 was my goal,” she said after finishing Sunday afternoon. “I’m really proud.”

Wozniacki met her good friend Williams at the finish in Central Park. They embraced two months after Williams swept Wozniacki in the U.S. Open final in Queens.

“I thought I was gonna die,” Wozniacki said shortly after she completed 26.2 miles.

That was a drastic change from early in the race, when she was ripping off sub-8-minute miles. About nine miles in, Wozniacki told the two pacers running with her that she wanted to run another marathon.

She changed her tune as she went through the five boroughs, hitting a wall around the 20-mile mark.

“I’m never running another marathon again,” Wozniacki thought with six miles to go.

Wozniacki said she won’t run Boston next year, despite the qualifying time, but she wants to run another marathon “at some point.”

“I’m going to look back on this experience and say that this was awesome and want to do it again,” she said.

Wozniacki’s splits slowed to 8:20, 8:42 and 8:27 in miles 24, 25 and 26 before she finished shortly around 1:10 p.m. in Central Park. Her time easily beat the Boston Marathon qualifying standard of 3:35 for her age group.

She raised more than $80,000 for her charity, Team for Kids, which supports youth fitness programs. Olympic tennis champions Andy Murray and Williams were among the contributors.

Other tennis players have run the New York City Marathon, but the notables did so after they retired. Wozniacki, 24, is in the middle of her career and finished a tournament in Singapore the previous weekend.

Wozniacki beat three retired tennis professionals’ New York City Marathon times from 2010.

Former world No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo completed the race in 3:40:20. Former French Open champion Yannick Noah did it in 4:01:38, followed by Justin Gimelstob in 4:09:58.

Mauresmo also ran the 2012 Paris Marathon in a reported 3:16:49. Japan’s Kimiko Date-Krumm ran the 2004 London Marathon in 3:27.

Wozniacki, ranked eighth on the WTA Tour, resumes competitive tennis in Australia this winter. Until then, she’ll take an earned break.

“I deserve to put my feet up a little bit,” she said.

Also Sunday, another Olympian, 2010 U.S. Olympic Nordic combined champion Bill Demong, finished the New York Marathon in an unofficial 2:33:05.

Demong notably beat fellow U.S. Winter Olympic champ Apolo Ohno‘s time of 3:25:14 from 2011.

Kipsang wins men’s race; Meb fourth | Women’s race ties closest ever | McFadden makes history

When Michael Phelps raced Libby Trickett at Duel in the Pool

Leave a comment

At the peak of his career, Michael Phelps was upstaged in a race by a swimmer who went four seconds slower.

Australian Libby Trickett held her own against Phelps to lead off the opening event of the 2007 Duel in the Pool, a mixed-gender 4x100m freestyle relay. Trickett, then known as Libby Lenton shortly before she got married, clocked 52.99 seconds to Phelps’ 48.72 in a head-to-head race at the Sydney 2000 Olympic swimming venue.

“I was trash-talking … asking what he has got and telling him if he is going to bring it tonight. I think deep down he was really scared of me,” Trickett said, joking, according to The Associated Press. “Before the race he said good luck. He is a good competitor to race against, and I will remember that for the rest of my life — that I raced against Michael Phelps.”

Australia went on to win the relay by 2.49 seconds, in large part because Trickett actually swam faster than the women’s 100m free world record. Normally, relay leadoff swims are eligible to break individual world records.

But FINA later ruled that Trickett’s time was not record eligible because the mixed 4x100m free was not an approved event. (Mixed-gender relays debuted at the world championships in 2015 and will debut at the Olympics in Tokyo next year.)

“I am a little disappointed because I know in my heart what time I swam and that time is faster than the existing world record,” Trickett said in 2007, according to Swimming Australia. “However, having said that, the disappointment can take nothing away from the fact I now know I am capable of swimming under 53 seconds and I will continue to strive to improve every aspect of my swimming.”

Trickett broke the world record officially at the 2008 Australian Olympic Trials, clocking 52.88 to take .42 off German Britta Steffen‘s mark. The world record has since been lowered all the way to 51.71 by Swede Sarah Sjöström at the 2017 World Championships.

Phelps’ time was impressive, his second-fastest 100m free at the point in his career. He raced tired, two days after that year’s world championships finished in Melbourne. Phelps earned seven golds at those worlds, and he has said 2007 was his peak, rather than 2008.

Still, he raced strategically against Trickett, not allowing her to draft off him in the adjacent lane.

“I remember going down the first lap, and she was kind of right at my shins,” Phelps said with a laugh, according to the Los Angeles Times. “I was like, ‘Oh, this is not good.’ I knew she would jump up on the lane line and kind of drag, the smart way to do it. I remember I was going right into the 50 [meter] wall, and I turned and went completely on the other side of the lane.”

Trickett won five golds at the 2007 Worlds and another four medals at the 2008 Olympics, though Steffen edged her for 100m free gold by .04.

MORE: Most decorated U.S. female Olympian on front line of coronavirus fight

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Who is Germany’s greatest Olympian?

Birgit Fischer-Schmidt
Getty Images
Leave a comment

The combined all-time German Olympic medal total (including East Germany and West Germany) trails only the United States and Russia/Unified Team/Soviet Union. Norway owns the most Winter Olympic medals of any single National Olympic Committee, but the Germany/East Germany/West Germany sum is actually greater. A look at five of Germany’s greatest Olympians …

Kathrin Boron
Rowing
Four Olympic Gold Medals

Alternated gold medals between double sculls and quadruple sculls from 1992 through 2004, the last one as a mom, tacking on a bronze in 2008. Boron also earned eight world titles. In 19 total Olympic and world championships starts, she collected 12 golds, five silvers, a bronze and a fourth. An ankle injury kept her out of the 1988 Olympics at age 18, or else she could have been the first woman to take gold at five Olympics.

Birgit Fischer-Schmidt
Canoe-Kayak
Eight Olympic Gold Medals

Considered by some the greatest Olympian in history. Fischer-Schmidt won 12 Olympic medals (in 13 career Olympic events) and 37 world championships medals from 1979-2005, scattered among four retirements, two childbirths and the 1984 East German boycott. Fischer-Schmidt retired after earning her last two world championships bronze medals in 2005 at age 43. Had Fischer-Schmidt extended to one more Olympics in 2008, she could have been on the same team as niece Fanny Fischer, who earned a gold of her own in Beijing.

Georg Hackl
Luge
Three Olympic Gold Medals

The only luger with three individual Olympic titles. Hackl was called the “Flying White Sausage” for his build and Bavarian roots, a nickname he opposed. His speed on the sled was not up for debate. Hackl finished second in singles and fourth in doubles in his Olympic debut in 1988. Then he won singles golds in 1992, 1994 and 1998 before bowing out in 2006. He then became a coach for the German team and its next luge great — 2010 and 2014 Olympic champion Felix Loch.

Claudia Pechstein
Speed Skating
Nine Olympic Medals

The only woman to compete in seven Winter Olympics. Pechstein owns Olympic titles in the 3000m, 5000m and team pursuit, the last medal of any color coming in 2006. At 48, she continues to race on the top international level, placing eighth, ninth and 11th at the world single distances championships in February, 28 years after her Olympic debut in Albertville, France. Pechstein served a two-year doping ban from 2009-11 over irregularities in her biological passport. She denied cheating and fought the ban in court for several years after its conclusion.

Isabell Werth
Equestrian
10 Olympic Medals

The most decorated Olympic equestrian with 10 medals and six golds. Werth, nicknamed the “Dressage Queen,” earned her first medals at the 1992 Barcelona Games and now, at 50, currently holds the Nos. 1 and 2 world rankings with two different horses. In 10 career Olympic events, she has never finished worse than second place. No other female Olympian can make that claim.

MORE: Most decorated U.S. female Olympian on front line of coronavirus fight

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!