Tatyana McFadden

Tatyana McFadden wins New York City Marathon, makes more history

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NEW YORK — Tatyana McFadden captured the second-ever marathon Grand Slam, winning the New York City Marathon women’s wheelchair division on Sunday on top of her titles in Boston, London and Chicago earlier this year.

Who was the first athlete, able-bodied or wheelchair, to win four major marathons in one year? Also McFadden, who also won Boston, London, Chicago and New York City last year.

In the last 26 months, McFadden won three gold medals at the London 2012 Paralympics (giving her 10 career Paralympic medals), six gold medals at the 2013 IPC World Track and Field Championships, one cross-country skiing silver medal at the Sochi 2014 Paralympics and those eight major marathon titles.

“I cannot believe that I have won eight marathons in a row,” McFadden said. “This is absolutely incredible.”

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On Sunday, McFadden conquered a 23.2-mile route rather than the standard 26.2-mile course for her third New York title (she won her first in 2010). She finished in 1 hour, 42 minutes, 16 seconds in Central Park.

She won by 1:08, after falling out of her chair near the finish on a tight right turn.

“It was quite embarrassing,” McFadden said, “but I owned it at that moment, and I got back in and took one look behind me to make sure the girls didn’t catch me.”

The wheelchair start was moved from the Verrazano Bridge in Staten Island into Brooklyn due to high winds. Gusts of 40mph were expected. McFadden agreed with the decision to race 23.2 miles instead of 26.2.

“That was just a safety call,” McFadden said. “It was very, very windy. So in the race, you had to be smart. You had to be strategic. And you had to conserve, and you had to think about where your strength and weaknesses are throughout the entire race.”

New York Road Runners, which puts on the marathon, believes a shortened wheelchair race has happened before due to high winds, in 1995, but couldn’t confirm officially.

McFadden was born in Russia paralyzed from the waist down due to spina bifida and adopted from a St. Petersburg orphanage at age 6 by an American family.

She is 25 years old and next plans to race in the Oita International Wheelchair Marathon in Japan on Nov. 9. She hopes to make her fourth U.S. Paralympic team in 2016.

Australian Kurt Fearnley won the men’s 23.2-mile wheelchair race in 1:30:57 for his fifth title in New York.

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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)