Wilson Kipsang wins NYC Marathon; Meb Keflezighi fourth

Wilson Kipsang

NEW YORK — Wilson Kipsang emerged from a two-man duel to win the New York City Marathon in his debut, while Boston Marathon winner Meb Keflezighi was fourth Sunday.

Kipsang, the Kenyan and former marathon world-record holder, won in 2 hours, 10 minutes, 55 seconds. Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa entered Central Park neck and neck with Kipsang and finished 11 seconds behind.

Another Ethiopian, 2010 New York winner Gebre Gebremariam, placed third in 2:12:13.

Keflezighi finished fourth in 2:13:18, ahead of two-time defending New York champion Geoffrey Mutai. Keflezighi was the last U.S. man to win the New York City Marathon in 2009.

Keflezighi, 39, memorably became the first U.S. man to win in Boston in 31 years on April 21, one year after twin bombings rocked the world’s oldest annual marathon. On Sunday, he greatly improved on his performance at New York from one year ago, when he finished 23rd and was asked about retirement.

“I think the high from Boston is still going, and people saying, ‘Meb! Meb! USA! USA!’ is just phenomenal, and that really helped me at the end,” Keflezighi said.

Another Kenyan, Mary Keitany, won the women’s race Sunday, matching the closest finish ever with a three-second margin. Kenya swept the New York Marathon men’s and women’s races for the fourth time and second straight year.

Tennis player Caroline Wozniacki also ran her first marathon and finished in 3:26:33. There were 50,881 participants Sunday.

In the men’s race, Desisa made brief contact with Kipsang in the final few hundred meters, after which Kipsang sprinted past the Ethiopian.

“When I saw that Lelisa was running really close to me, I had to save energy for the closing kick,” Kipsang said. “I was trying to check the distance and the amount of energy that was really left. So I was really very sure of that kind of sprint, even if it was 50 meters, I was ready for it.”

Kipsang added New York to his 2013 Berlin and 2014 London Marathon titles. Kipsang beat the world record in winning the 2013 Berlin Marathon in 2:03:23, a mark that was broken by countryman Dennis Kimetto in Berlin this year.

Kipsang also clinched the World Marathon Majors series title, combining results from the top marathons in the world over the last two years. He earned $500,000 on top of his $100,000 check for prevailing Sunday.

Kipsang said that due to sustained 31mph winds at the start — with temperatures in the low 40s — the New York winning time was the slowest since 1995.

“I was feeling very strong, but there was no way I could really take off at high speed because there was a lot of headwind and everybody was trying to run from behind,” Kipsang said.

Desisa said he relieved himself at about the 15km (9.3 miles) mark.

“My bladder is full,” he said. “Maybe this is good to release, the bathroom. … Because my bladder is full, I’m not relaxed because of that.”

McFadden makes more history with another Grand Slam

2023 U.S. Figure Skating Championships TV, live stream schedule

U.S. Figure Skating Championships
U.S. Figure Skating

The U.S. Figure Skating Championships, in some ways marking a new era in the sport, air live from San Jose, California, on NBC Sports, USA Network and Peacock.

After last February’s Olympics, U.S. figure skating saw its greatest turnover from one season to the next in more than 20 years.

Nathan Chen and Vincent Zhou, the top two men last season, are not competing this season and may be done altogether. Alysa Liu and Mariah Bell, the top two women, retired. As did the top ice dance couple of Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue. Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc, last year’s national pairs’ champions, also left the sport.

So, for the first time since 1993, the U.S. Championships feature a reigning national champion in just one of the four disciplines.

Amid all that, U.S. skaters performed well in the fall Grand Prix Series and made the podium in all four disciplines at December’s Grand Prix Final for the first time. Note the absence of Russian skaters, banned from international events due to the war in Ukraine.

At nationals, skaters are vying for spots on the team — three per discipline — for March’s world championships in Japan.

Ilia Malinin, an 18-year-old from Virginia, is the headliner after becoming the first skater to land a quadruple Axel, doing so at all four of his events this season. He ranks second in the world by best total score, a whopping 38.28 points ahead of the next American (Camden Pulkinen).

Jason Brown is the lone Olympian in the men’s field, competing for the first time since placing sixth at the Games.

Isabeau Levito, 15 and a reigning world junior champion like Malinin, took silver at the Grand Prix Final against the world’s other top skaters. She enters nationals with a best score this season 18.13 points better than the next American, Amber Glenn. Bradie Tennell, a 2018 Olympian coming back from foot and ankle injuries, is also a threat to gain one of the three women’s spots at worlds.

Ice dancers Madison Chock and Evan Bates are the lone defending national champions and will likely make the podium for an 11th consecutive year, which would be one shy of the record.

Bates, who last year at 32 became the oldest U.S. champion in any discipline in decades, has made 12 career senior nationals podiums with Chock and former partner Emily Samuelson. It is believed that a 13th finish in the top three would break the U.S. record for a single discipline he currently shares with Michelle Kwan, Nathaniel Niles and Theresa Weld Blanchard.

In pairs, Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier return after missing nationals last year due to Frazier contracting COVID-19 the week of the event. Since, they posted the best U.S. pairs’ finish at an Olympics in 20 years, the first world title for a U.S. pair in 43 years and the first Grand Prix Final medal ever for a U.S. pair.

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2023 U.S. Figure Skating Championships Live Broadcast Schedule

Day Event Time (ET) Platform
Thursday Pairs’ Short Program 3:30-5:45 p.m. Peacock | Skate Order
Rhythm Dance 6:30-9 p.m. Peacock | Skate Order
Rhythm Dance 7-9 p.m. USA Network | STREAM LINK
Women’s Short Program 9:10 p.m.-12 a.m. Peacock | Skate Order
Women’s Short Program 10 p.m.-12 a.m. USA Network | STREAM LINK
Friday Men’s Short Program 4:10-7 p.m. Peacock | Skate Order
Men’s Short Program 5-7 p.m. USA Network
Women’s Free Skate 7:45-11 p.m. Peacock
Women’s Free Skate 8-11 p.m. NBC
Saturday Free Dance 1:45-4:30 p.m. Peacock | Skate Order
Free Dance 2:30-4:30 p.m. NBC
Pairs’ Free Skate 7:30-10 p.m. Peacock | Skate Order
Pairs’ Free Skate 8-10 p.m. USA Network
Sunday Men’s Free Skate 2:30-6 p.m. Peacock
Men’s Free Skate 3-6 p.m. NBC

*All NBC and USA Network broadcasts also stream on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for subscribers.

Peter Sagan to retire from road cycling, eyes mountain bike at 2024 Paris Olympics

Peter Sagan

Peter Sagan said 2023 will be his final year as a professional road cyclist and that he will target the 2024 Olympics in mountain bike.

The Slovakian made the announcement on his 33rd birthday in a social media video. He said he made the decision “quite some time ago.”

“I always said I would like to finish my career on the mountain bike, because I started my career on the mountain bike,” Sagan said in a press conference, according to Cyclingnews.com. “It gives me some pleasure at the end of my career because I’m doing something I really enjoy.

“It’s important for me to spend time with my son Marlon and to see life from different angles, and not just as a cyclist. It was never my dream to race or to be a professional rider until 40 or 50. I think it’s time now. And if I am going to be able to finish my career in Paris at the Olympics Games, that’s going to be something nice for me.”

Sagan is a record seven-time Tour de France green jersey champion as best sprinter. He has 12 individual stage wins (the last in 2019), second-most among active riders behind Mark Cavendish‘s record-tying 34.

At the Olympics, Sagan was 34th in the road race in 2012 and 35th in the mountain bike in 2016. He missed the Tokyo Games after surgery to treat an infection in his right knee stemming from a 2021 Tour de France crash.

Sagan won the world junior title in mountain biking at age 18 in 2008 before his road racing career, which included three consecutive world road race titles from 2015-17.

Of qualifying for Paris in the mountain bike, he said, “We’ll see whether it is even possible, but I think it can be another nice adventure.”

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