Josh Farris

Josh Farris shatters personal bests, wins Four Continents silver (video)

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American Josh Farris earned silver at the Four Continents Championships on Saturday, following personal international bests in both his short program and free skate in Seoul.

Kazakhstan Olympic bronze medalist Denis Ten won the competition, the biggest event before March’s World Championships, by a massive 29.45 points over Farris. China’s Han Yan snagged bronze.

U.S. champion Jason Brown was sixth. U.S. silver medalist Adam Rippon was 10th.

Farris, the 2013 World junior champion, was a surprise bronze medalist at the U.S. Championships last month and now may enter the World Championships — his debut at the event — as the top U.S. hope to win its first men’s medal since 2009.

He looked up and yelled after finishing his free skate that included a quadruple toe loop. Farris, 20, was astonished at his score — 175.72 for the free skate and 260.01 overall.

“I felt very nervous, I was shaking all day,” Farris said, according to U.S. Figure Skating. “But once I got out there, I turned those nerves into determination. It worked. I can’t believe it. I’m pretty proud of myself for that. Last year, I would have let those nerves take control of me and I didn’t let that happen.”

Placing that high at the World Championships in Shanghai will be a much taller ask. Four Continents did not include the top four finishers from the Grand Prix Final in December — Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu, Spain’s Javier Fernandez and Russia’s Sergey Voronov and Maksim Kovtun.

“I didn’t skate perfect here, and I don’t think I have peaked yet,” Farris said, according to U.S. Figure Skating. “I’m saving my best performances for the World Championships.”

The U.S. champion Brown improved from ninth after the short program to finish sixth. Brown attempted a quadruple toe loop in his short program Thursday, two-footed the landing and did not attempt a quad in the free skate.

“It’s something my coach and I are going to go over after we leave Seoul,” Brown said, according to U.S. Figure Skating. “We’ll weigh the options. I have five weeks and time to continue to practice and integrate it into the program [before Worlds]. It’s up the air, and we’ll see once I get back home.”

Rippon fell on his quadruple Lutz attempt in his free skate after putting his hands down on the landing of the jump in the short program.

“I know that [coach] Rafael [Arutyunyan] is going to kick my butt when I get home so I don’t make any mistakes when we go to Words,” Rippon said, according to U.S. Figure Skating.

Earlier in pairs, U.S. champions Alexa Scimeca and Christopher Knierim finished fifth behind Canadian winners Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford.

The Four Continents Championships finish with the women’s free skate Sunday, including Gracie Gold.

Video: Gracie Gold struggles in Four Continents short program

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

Helen Maroulis
United World Wrestling
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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.