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

No medal for David Boudia as China extends perfect run at diving worlds

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David Boudia is very much a work in progress in his first year as a springboard diver. That much was evident in his dive list for Thursday’s final at the world championships, where Boudia had the lowest total degree of difficulty.

Boudia, a four-time Olympic platform medalist who earned individual platform silver at his last three world championships, took fifth in the springboard final in Gwangju, South Korea while performing easier dives than the other 11 men.

It marked Boudia’s first major international meet since Rio. He took 2017 off from diving to sell homes. In February 2018, he suffered a concussion on a badly missed dive in training off the 10-meter platform, sparking the switch to springboard, a common move for divers late in their careers.

Boudia will spend the next year — the next six months in particular — trying to close the gap on the medalists. China’s Xie Siyi and Cao Yuan went one-two.

Great Britain’s Jack Laugher was in position to become the first non-Chinese diver to take gold in 10 events this week before failing his last dive for 30.6 points, the lowest-scoring dive of the 72 in the final. Laugher scored at least 9.0s on his first five dives, including a 10, before recording between 2s and 3s from the seven judges in the last round and squandering a 31.1-point lead.

Laugher had 21.6 points in difficulty in Thursday’s final. Xie had 21.3 and Cao 21.2. Boudia had 19.9, arguably putting him out of the running for the podium before he stepped on the springboard.

Boudia, a 30-year-old father of three, accomplished his goal for worlds simply by making the final.

Boudia and Rio Olympian Michael Hixon reached the top 12 to ensure the U.S. gets two men’s springboard spots at Tokyo 2020, to be filled at June’s Olympic trials in Indianapolis. Hixon, who was 10th in Rio and 20th at the 2017 Worlds, finished seventh in Gwangju.

Diving worlds continue with the women’s springboard final, featuring Chinese Olympic champion Shi Tingmao but no Americans, on Friday. The men’s platform final is Saturday.

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Chris Froome wins 2011 Vuelta a Espana

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AIGLE, Switzerland (AP) — Chris Froome has become the 2011 Spanish Vuelta winner because of Juan Jose Cobo’s disqualification for blood doping.

The International Cycling Union says Cobo did not meet a deadline to challenge his three-year ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The UCI says Cobo’s suspension announced last month is confirmed, and he is stripped of results at the 2009 world championships and Vuelta, and the 2011 Vuelta which he won.

Froome was runner-up eight years ago and becomes the winner of his first Grand Tour title, and seventh overall.

Froome also becomes the first British winner of any of the major stage races — the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, or Vuelta.

That honor was held by Bradley Wiggins, the 2012 Tour winner who rises from third to be runner-up at the 2011 Vuelta.

The 38-year-old Cobo is retired from racing. His doping ban was announced days after Froome suffered season-ending injuries crashing at the Dauphine race in France.

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