Ryan Lochte painfully beaten in Austin; Katie Ledecky wins



Ryan Lochte entered what they call the “decathlon of swimming” in competition Friday for the first time in 20 months.

It did not go well.

“I forgot how bad that event hurts,” Lochte told reporters at the Pro Swim Series in Austin, Texas. “Right after the fly [the first 100 meters], I was like, I’m already in pain.”

Lochte, the Olympic champion in the event, finished in third place. He clocked 4 minutes, 18.68 seconds, which was 2.6 seconds behind winner Josh Prenot. (full meet results here)

Lochte was 13.5 seconds slower on Friday than he was in the London Olympic final, which isn’t shocking given swimmers don’t train to peak in January.

Lochte was also seven seconds slower than in his last 400m IM in competition, at the 2013 Santa Clara Grand Prix. In fact, that was Lochte’s only 400m IM since the London Olympics before Friday.

Since 2012, Lochte has been off-and-on about whether he will try to swim the 400m IM at the 2016 Olympics. He said in interviews shortly after the London Olympics that he couldn’t do longer-distance events in 2016 because of his age (he is older than Michael Phelps and will turn 32 two days before the Opening Ceremony).

Those comments were reminiscent of Phelps’ comments after the 2008 Olympics, when he ruled out the 400m IM entirely. Of course, Phelps went back on his word and swam the 400m IM in London, placing fourth.

Lochte opted not to swim the 400m IM at the 2013 and 2014 U.S. Championships. Instead, he swam a different event on the same day as the 400m IM at both meets — the 100m butterfly, which he’s never competed at an Olympics and is a Phelps trademark event.

Now, Lochte is already saying he will “definitely” swim the 400m IM at the next Pro Swim Series event in Orlando in February (coincidentally, he aggravated a knee injury in Orlando last February, setting him up for an injury-hampered season, perhaps a big reason why he didn’t swim the 400m IM, and, at the Pan Pacific Championships in August, his worst performance at a major international meet since 2006).

Phelps, who is suspended into April, has said in his comeback that he will not swim the 400m IM (again).

“It’s probably the hardest event in swimming, besides the mile,” Lochte said of the 400m IM on Friday. “I just started training like a week and a half ago. This meet is like a training meet. … Getting my butt kicked is always a good thing.”

In other events Friday, Katie Ledecky won the 200m freestyle in 1:56.16, which was one second slower than her personal best set at the 2014 U.S. Championships. Again, not bad at all for a January meet. Ledecky also swept the 100m and 400m frees Thursday.

The world’s best all-around swimmer, Katinka Hosszu, was surprisingly off Friday. She finished third in the 400m IM, where she is the reigning World champion. U.S. Olympic silver medalist Elizabeth Beisel beat Hosszu by 3.22 seconds there.

Hosszu, a Hungarian, was also sixth in the 200m backstroke, won by Dominique Bouchard by .07 over Beisel.

Conor Dwyer, who isn’t swimming for North Baltimore Aquatic Club in Austin, won the men’s 200m free. Ryan Murphy beat Olympic 100m back champion Matt Grevers in the men’s 200m back.

Brazil’s Bruno Fratus outdueled the U.S.’ best sprinters — Nathan Adrian, Anthony Ervin, Cullen Jones and Jimmy Feigen — to win the 50m free.

The meet concludes Saturday.

Katie Ledecky and the 100m freestyle


Ukraine Olympic champion auctions gold medals to support his country

Yuriy Cheban

Sprint canoeist Yuriy Cheban, Ukraine’s most decorated male Olympian, is auctioning his two gold medals and one bronze medal to support his country’s defense and recovery efforts amid the war with Russia.

“It was one of the best moments of my life that can be compared only with the birth of my child,” Cheban posted specifically about his repeat 200m gold at his last Olympics in Rio in 2016. “This Olympic finish left a great memory forever in the world history and in the hearts of Ukraine.

“Time to move on, I would like these medals to benefit Ukrainians once again.”

Cheban, a 36-year-old who coached Ukraine canoeists at the Tokyo Games, took 500m bronze in 2008 before his 200m golds in 2012 and 2016, all in individual races.

He and boxer Vasiliy Lomachenko are the only men to win two Olympic gold medals for Ukraine, which began competing independently in 1994. Cheban is the only man to win three total Olympic medals for Ukraine, according to Olympedia.org.

Swimmer Yana Klochkova won the most medals for Ukraine — four golds and five total.

All proceeds from the sales will go to Ukraine’s Olympic Circle charity, according to SCP Auctions.

Olympic Circle was created by sportsmen to help Mykolaiv, a city in southern Ukraine, fight Russian occupants, according to SCP.

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Alpine skiing TV, live stream schedule for 2022-23 World Cup season

Mikaela Shiffrin, Marco Odermatt

NBC Sports and Peacock combine to air live coverage of the 2022-23 Alpine skiing season, including races on the World Cup, which starts this weekend.

Coverage begins with the traditional season-opening giant slaloms in Soelden, Austria, this Saturday and Sunday, streaming live on Peacock.

The first of four stops in the U.S. — the most in 26 years — is Thanksgiving weekend with a women’s giant slalom and slalom in Killington, Vermont. The men’s tour visits Beaver Creek, Colorado the following week, as well as Palisades Tahoe, California, and Aspen, Colorado after worlds in Courchevel and Meribel, France.

NBC Sports platforms will broadcast all four U.S. stops in the Alpine World Cup season, plus four more World Cups in other ski and snowboard disciplines. All Alpine World Cups in Austria will stream live on Peacock.

Mikaela Shiffrin, who last year won her fourth World Cup overall title, is the headliner. Shiffrin, who has 74 career World Cup race victories, will try to close the gap on the only Alpine skiers with more: Lindsey Vonn (82) and Ingemar Stenmark (86). Shiffrin won an average of five times per season the last three years and is hopeful of racing more often this season.

On the men’s side, 25-year-old Swiss Marco Odermatt returns after becoming the youngest man to win the overall, the biggest annual prize in ski racing, since Marcel Hirscher won the second of his record eight in a row in 2013.

2022-23 Alpine Skiing World Cup Broadcast Schedule
Schedule will be added to as the season progresses. All NBC Sports TV coverage also streams live on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

Date Coverage Network/Platform Time (ET)
Sat., Oct. 22 Women’s GS (Run 1) – Soelden (PPD) Peacock 4 a.m.
Women’s GS (Run 2) – Soelden (PPD) Peacock 7:05 a.m.
Sun., Oct. 23 Men’s GS (Run 1) — Soelden Peacock 4 a.m.
Men’s GS (Run 2) – Soelden Peacock 7 a.m.
Sat., Nov. 12 Women’s Parallel (Qualifying) — Lech (PPD) Peacock 6 a.m.
Women’s Parallel (Finals) — Lech (PPD) Peacock 12 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 13 Men’s Parallel (Qualifying) — Lech (PPD) Peacock 4 a.m.
Men’s Parallel (Finals) — Lech (PPD) Peacock 10 a.m.
Sat., Nov. 19 Women’s SL (Run 1) — Levi Skiandsnowboard.live 4 a.m.
Women’s SL (Run 2) — Levi Skiandsnowboard.live 7 a.m.
Sun., Nov. 20 Women’s SL (Run 1) — Levi Skiandsnowboard.live 4:15 a.m.
Women’s SL (Run 2) — Levi Skiandsnowboard.live 7:15 a.m.
Fri., Nov. 25 Men’s DH — Lake Louise (PPD) Skiandsnowboard.live 2:30 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 26 Women’s GS (Run 2) — Killington NBC, Peacock 12:30 p.m.
Men’s DH — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 2:30 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 27 Women’s SL (Run 2) — Killington NBC, Peacock 12:30 p.m.
Men’s SG — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 2:15 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 2 Women’s DH — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 2 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 3 Women’s DH — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 2:30 p.m.
Men’s DH — Beaver Creek CNBC, Peacock 4 p.m.*
Men’s DH — Beaver Creek NBC, Peacock 5 p.m.*
Sun., Dec. 4 Women’s SG — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 1 p.m.
Men’s SG — Beaver Creek NBC, Peacock 5 p.m.*

*Delayed broadcast.

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