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

Eliud Kipchoge sets next marathon

Eliud Kipchoge
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Eliud Kipchoge will race the London Marathon on April 26 before he is expected to defend his Olympic title in Japan on Aug. 9, which would mark the shortest break between marathons of his career.

Kipchoge, who in his last 26.2-mile effort became the first person to break two hours at the distance, won all four of his London Marathon starts, including breaking the course record in 2016 and 2019.

His time this past April 28 — 2:02:37 — is the third-fastest time in history. Kipchoge has the world record of 2:01:39 set at the 2018 Berlin Marathon. His sub-two-hour marathon in Vienna on Oct. 12 was not in a record-eligible race.

Kipchoge’s previous shortest break between marathons came in 2016, when he also ran London and the Olympics. The Olympics will be two weeks earlier in 2020 than in 2016.

Kipchoge, 35, has won 11 of 12 marathons since moving to road racing after failing to make Kenya’s 2012 Olympic track team.

He has yet to race the two most prestigious marathons in the U.S. — Boston and New York City — but has said they are on his bucket list.

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Canadians become first female doubles luge team in World Cup

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WHISTLER, British Columbia (AP) — Caitlin Nash and Natalie Corless made luge history Saturday, becoming the first female team to compete in a World Cup doubles race.

The 16-year-olds from Whistler combined to finish 22nd in a field of 23 sleds, though that seemed largely irrelevant. There have been four-woman teams in what is typically called four-man bobsledding, but luge has never seen a pairing like this until now.

The German sled of Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken won the race in 1 minute, 16.644 seconds. Germany’s Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt finished second and the Russian team of Vsevolod Kashkin and Konstantin Korshunov placed third for their first medal of the season.

The U.S. team of Chris Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman placed 11th.

But the story was the Canadian teens, who qualified for the World Cup event on Thursday. They were nearly a half-second behind any other finisher and almost 2.7 seconds back of Eggert and Benecken. But they’ll forever be able to say that they were winning the race at one point — a technicality because they were the first ones down the hill at the Whistler Sliding Center, but accurate nonetheless.

The only sled they beat was the Italian team of Ivan Nagler and Fabian Malleier, who crashed in the second heat.

There are women’s singles and men’s singles races on the World Cup luge circuit, but there is no rule saying doubles teams must be composed of two men. There have been more female doubles racers at the junior level in recent years, and it was generally considered to be just a matter of time before it happened at the World Cup level.

That time became Saturday.

Canada had the chance to qualify a second sled into the doubles field because some teams typically on the circuit chose to skip this weekend’s stop, and Nash and Corless got into by successfully finishing a Nations Cup qualifying race on Thursday.

They were 11th in that race out of 11 sleds, more than a full second behind the winner and nearly a half-second behind the closest finisher. But all they had to do was cross the line without crashing to get into Saturday’s competition, and earned their spot in the luge history books as a result.

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