Brittany Bowe, Heather Richardson go one-two at World Championships

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U.S. Olympians Brittany Bowe and Heather Richardson won gold and silver in the 1000m at the World Single Distance Championships in Heerenveen, Netherlands, on Friday.

Bowe, who skated a track record 1:13.9, captured the first World Championship by a U.S. woman since Chris Witty prevailed in the same distance in 1998.

Richardson was second in 1:14.49, followed by Czech Karolina Erbanova. (full results here)

Bowe’s victory was an upset, given Richardson had relegated her to second place in two World Cup 1000m races on the same ice in December and last week.

“Since the beginning of the year my goal has been World Single Distance Championships gold medal in the 1000m,” Bowe told Dutch broadcaster NOS. “Last week was just a stepping stone.”

Richardson and Bowe were seventh and eighth at the Sochi Olympics in the 1000m as the entire U.S. long-track team struggled, winning zero medals. They entered the Winter Games as medal contenders.

Later, four-time U.S. Olympic medalist Shani Davis finished fourth in the 1500m (full results here), matching his lowest result in the event in eight appearances. Davis won a medal in the World Championships 1500m in six of his previous seven tries.

The World Championships continue through the weekend. Bowe and Richardson could win more medals in the 500m and 1500m.

Shani Davis will retire if results don’t improve

Helen Maroulis to miss world championships, eyes still on defending Olympic title

Helen Maroulis
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Helen Maroulis, the lone U.S. female wrestler to win an Olympic title, sat out this past weekend’s world team trials, which means she will not compete at the world championships in September.

Maroulis is working her way back from blowing out her right shoulder in a first-round loss at worlds on Oct. 24, after she returned from a concussion. She underwent surgery in November and was cleared to return earlier this spring before tweaking the shoulder again.

Maroulis said Friday she was cleared again to compete at trials but chose rest, recovery and her long-term health given what happened in 2018.

“It’s not coming from a place of fear,” she said. “I’m just not ready yet.

“If trials were end of June, everything would be perfect. I’m still feeling good and confident for 2020.”

As Maroulis stressed at 2018 Worlds, she prioritizes health over wrestling.

“Not just for myself, but to set an example because I get a lot of messages from kids on Instagram — I have a concussion, or my teammate has a concussion.” Maroulis said in October. “There’s this wrestler mindset to just push through — you’re the toughest, find a way to win. But there’s just a lot more to it.”

Maroulis, 27, put together one of the most dominant stretches in sport from 2015-17, going 78-1 overall among three different weight classes and going unscored upon at two world championships.

In between, she beat Saori Yoshida in the Rio Olympic 53kg final, preventing the Japanese legend from a record fourth Olympic title.

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Ex-partner of deceased figure skater John Coughlin says she was abused

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — One of the former skating partners of two-time U.S. pairs champion John Coughlin has accused him in a series of social media posts of sexually assaulting her over a 2-year period.

Bridget Namiotka said on Facebook that Coughlin, who died by suicide in January, hurt “at least 10 people including me.” She skated with Coughlin from 2004, when she was 14, through the 2007 season.

Namiotka’s attorney confirmed to The Associated Press that the comments were made by her.

The U.S. Center for SafeSport and U.S. Figure Skating had given Coughlin, who became a coach and TV commentator after his retirement, an interim suspension for unspecified conduct. He was barred from attending events and activities sanctioned by the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Coughlin was found dead Jan. 18 at his father’s home in Kansas City, Missouri.