Mary Keitany

Mary Keitany wins New York Marathon, ties closest finish ever

Leave a comment

NEW YORK — Kenyan Mary Keitany won the New York City Marathon on Sunday, tying the closest women’s victory margin ever, by three seconds in her first marathon since giving birth to her second child.

Keitany, 32, clocked 2 hours, 25 minutes, 7 seconds in her first marathon since finishing fourth at the 2012 Olympics. She missed all of 2013 due to the birth of her second child.

Keitany and countrywoman Jemima Sumgong emerged from a six-woman lead pack with about four miles left. Sumgong led Keitany by a few meters with about a mile to go before Keitany summoned her finishing surge past Sumgong in Central Park.

“When I was a few kilometers away, I just closed the gap, and I see, if I go, I might win the race,” Keitany said. “So I just tried my best and go ahead of Jemima, and it was God’s will to end like that.”

In 2004, Paula Radcliffe also won by three seconds in New York.

Portugal’s Sara Moreira was third, 53 seconds back. The top U.S. finisher was Olympian Desi Linden, who was fifth in 2:28:11.

“Honestly, I wasn’t really sure what place I was in at the end,” Linden said. “I was like, honestly, this isn’t going very well. … When I saw I was fifth, I was a lot more happy with the overall performance.”

Keitany finished third at the 2010 and 2011 New York Marathons and won the 2012 London Marathon.

Keitany is the third different Kenyan woman to win in the last four New York Marathons. No U.S. woman has won in New York since Miki Gorman in 1977.

Sumgong, 29, was a sometimes training partner of Rita Jeptoo, the Boston and Chicago Marathon winner who failed an out-of-competition drug test in September. Sumgong had a two-year ban for a positive drug test in 2012 nullified after an appeal that she had an injection to treat a hip injury.

Denna Kastor, the 2004 U.S. Olympic marathon bronze medalist, was 11th in 2:33:18. Two-time U.S. Olympian Kara Goucher was 14th in 2:37:03.

Kipsang wins; Meb fourthMcFadden makes more history with another Grand Slam

Nathan Chen calls 3 quads at Skate America ‘a given’

AP
Leave a comment

When Nathan Chen won Skate America in 2017, he competed two quadruple jumps in the short program and one downgraded quad in the free skate.

When Chen won the event in 2018, he did one under-rotated quad (which was also given an edge call) in the short and three in the free.

For Skate America this weekend (Oct. 18-20, streaming live on the NBC Sports “Figure Skating Pass”), two-time and reigning world champion Chen told reporters on Monday’s media teleconference that three quads in the free skate was “a given.”

“Honestly, I don’t really know exactly,” Chen said, after admitting he gets asked this question a lot and usually ends up giving a “vague” answer. “I have ideas. I want to push three. I want to push four… As of now, I think three is a given. But beyond that, we’ll see.”

Chen completed six quads to win the free skate at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, where he ultimately finished fifth.

He’ll skate to La Boheme for the short program in Las Vegas, choreographed by Shae-Lynn Bourne, and selections from “Rocket Man” for the free skate, choreographed by Marie-France Dubreuil. Bourne is a former ice dancer and choreographs programs for many singles skaters as well as pair teams. Dubreuil is a noted former ice dancer and current dance coach, training the top teams in the world at her school in Montreal.

Chen explained that both of the choices were the choreographers’ picks, and he had to sit on the music for a day or two before committing to skating to it. Ultimately, he likes when choreographers are able to find something that they think suits him.

“I love to listen to Elton John,” Chen said. “I don’t necessarily feel as though I’m an embodiment of his character, per se. But I do feel that no matter how you listen to music there are always many ways to interpret it. The way that we’re approaching it is not necessarily that I’m trying to be Elton John but mostly that we’re trying to interpret his music and share his music.”

And compared to last season, when he was a freshman at Yale University, classes this time around are “a lot harder,” the sophomore said. In general though, he’s a lot more comfortable trying to balance both skating and his studies.

“Skating is always tough, always a challenge,” he said. “But I would say, relative to last season, skating might be a little bit on the easier side. I think classes are definitely a lot harder… You have to really grind for a long period of time or else you don’t do well.”

Luckily for Chen, Skate America is aligned with Yale’s scheduled fall break.

MORE: Figure skating season broadcast schedule

As a reminder, you can watch the events from the 2019-20 figure skating season live and on-demand with the ‘Figure Skating Pass’ on NBC Sports Gold. Check out a free trial of the Figure Skating Pass during Skate America from Oct. 18-20. Go to NBCsports.com/gold/figure-skating to sign up for access to every ISU Grand Prix and championship event, as well as domestic U.S. Figure Skating events throughout the season. NBC Sports Gold gives subscribers an unprecedented level of access on more platforms and devices than ever before.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Simone Biles reveals one thing she cannot do: Wear all her medals at once

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Three days after raising the record for world championship medals to 25, Simone Biles said her career total is a bit too much to wear at once.

“I’ve worn all five of them (from one world championship) for one time, but they’re pretty heavy, so I can’t imagine 25,” Biles said Wednesday on the “Today” show.

MORE: Mother and daughter share world championship experience

Last week, Biles became the first gymnast to win five gold medals at the world championships. She and her teammates ran away with the team gold, and she won the all-around by a staggering 2.1 points. She then won the vault, balance beam and floor exercise. Only a fifth-place finish in the uneven bars kept her from a sweep.

One event that stood out for her was the ever-challenging balance beam.

“Out of all of my performances this past week, the beam performance was one of my favorites, because I did it exactly like practice, and that’s what I’ve been training to do,” Biles said. “So it definitely helped my confidence.”

GYM WORLDS: Finals Results

Biles had her breakout performance at age 18, her first year in senior competition, in the 2013 world championships with a four-medal performance, including gold in the all-around and floor exercise. In 2014, she won those events again, along with the team event and the balance beam, and added a fifth medal on the vault. She matched that performance in 2015, then switched the vault and beam in her four-gold, five-medal performance in the 2016 Olympics.

After a post-Olympic break, she returned for the 2018 world championships to win medals in all six events, including four golds and a silver on the uneven bars, historically her least successful event.

She didn’t win six medals this year, but she took five golds for the first time. This year’s championships are also special because they’re almost certainly her last, with next year’s Olympics expected to be her last major competition.

Given all that, she’ll make more of an effort to go back and watch what she did.

“Most of the time I don’t want to see it, but this world championships was one of the best out of all five of them, so I definitely wanted to see my performances, so afterward, I would go and try to find it with my coach,” Biles said.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!