Shani Davis

Tearful Shani Davis returns to the top at World Championships

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Shani Davis captured his first World Championship in four years, taking the 1000m gold in Heerenveen, Netherlands, on Saturday.

Later, countrywoman Heather Richardson took the first World Single Distance Championships gold of her career in the 500m. And the biggest Dutch star, Sven Kramer, kept his winning streak alive in the 5000m.

Davis, 32, clocked 1:08.57 in the 1000m to prevail by .04 over Pavel Kulizhnikov of Russia. The Netherlands’ Kjeld Nuis won bronze. It’s a major victory for Davis, a two-time Olympic champion in the event.

“I’ve always tried to win on Thialf [the name of the ice arena in Heerenveen] in the Single Distances, and I never, ever had a chance to do it,” Davis told Dutch broadcaster NOS. “My last opportunity before they break down the building, I won the race. I’m so happy and thrilled. I was crying I was so happy.

“When have you ever seen me cry after a race?”

He had not finished better than third in any World Cup race this season and was fourth in the World Championships 1500m on Friday.

Before the World Championships, Davis said he would retire next season if his results didn’t improve.

Davis was eighth in the 1000m at the Sochi Olympics and took bronze at the 2013 World Championships.

“I needed something to show me that I still have what it takes and that I need to continue on,” Davis told NOS. “It’s the best way for me to top the season after having so many bad races. … I couldn’t be happier with myself than I am right now.”

Richardson, a two-time Olympian, continued her stellar form this season by handing two-time Olympic champion Lee Sang-hwa her first defeat in the 500m at a World Championships or Olympics since 2011.

Richardson was eighth in the 500m at the Sochi Olympics but earned her first global championship medal in the event Saturday. Teammate Brittany Bowe earned silver in a reverse of their one-two finish from the 1000m on Friday.

But the loudest cheers in Heerenveen were for Kramer, who trailed countryman Jorrit Bergsma‘s time in the 5000m midway through his pair. But Kramer eventually got under Bergsma’s pace and prevailed by 1.88 seconds.

Kramer, 28, has not lost a World Championships or Olympic 5000m since 2006. Bergsma, 29, took silver after he won the 10,000m on Thursday without Kramer in the field.

Erin Hamlin just misses history at World Championships

Danielle Perkins is first U.S. boxer to win world title in 3 years

Danielle Perkins
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Danielle Perkins became the U.S.’ first world champion boxer in this Olympic cycle, taking the heavyweight crown in Russia on Sunday.

Perkins, a 37-year-old who played college basketball at George Mason and St. John’s, improved from bronze in 2018 to earn her first world title, blanking defending world champion Yang Xiaoli of China 5-0 in Sunday’s final.

Video of the bout is here.

Perkins was slated to fight Yang in the 2018 World semifinals but withdrew due to medical reasons, according to USA Boxing.

The heavyweight division is 81+kg, but the heaviest Olympic weight division is capped at 75kg.

The last American to earn a world title was Claressa Shields in 2016, before she repeated as Olympic champion in Rio and moved to the professional ranks.

The Olympic trials are in December in Louisiana, after which winners will fight internationally in early 2020 in bids to qualify for the Tokyo Games.

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MORE: IOC strips Olympic status from boxing body AIBA

Brigid Kosgei shatters marathon world record in Chicago

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Kenyan Brigid Kosgei shattered a 16-year-old world record in the women’s marathon by 81 seconds, winning the Chicago Marathon in 2:14:04 on Sunday.

Brit Paula Radcliffe had held the record of 2:15:25 set at the 2003 London Marathon. Kenyan Mary Keitany holds the female-only record of 2:17:01 from the 2017 London Marathon. Both Kosgei and Radcliffe, the only women to break 2:17, ran with men in their record races.

Radcliffe’s record was the longest-standing for the men’s or women’s marathon of the last 50 years.

Kosgei did it one day after Eliud Kipchoge became the first person to run a sub-two-hour marathon in a non-record-eligible event in Vienna. She won by a gaping 6 minutes, 47 seconds over Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh.

Kosgei, who won Chicago in 2018 and the London Marathon in April, came in highly favored. The 25-year-old tuned up with the fastest half-marathon ever by a woman (by 23 seconds) on Sept. 8 on a non-record-eligible course.

“2:10 is possible for a lady,” Kosgei said after Sunday’s record.

Jordan Hasay, the top U.S. woman in the field, stopped after feeling a sharp hamstring strain after two miles. Hasay, who was coached by Alberto Salazar before his ban in a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency case, is one of several women in contention for the three Olympic spots at the Feb. 29 trials in Atlanta.

Kenyan Lawrence Cherono won the men’s race by one second over Ethiopian Dejene Debela in 2:05:45.

The U.S.’ top marathoner, Galen Rupp, dropped out around mile 23 after straining a calf around the sixth mile. Rupp, who was also coached by Salazar, was racing for the first time since the 2018 Chicago Marathon and Achilles surgery.

Mo Farah, the defending champion and four-time Olympic track gold medalist, finished eighth in 2:09:58. He also dropped from the leaders before the halfway point.

American Daniel Romanchuk and Swiss Manuela Schar won the wheelchair races.

Romanchuk, 21, repeated as champion. He has also won Boston London and New York City in the last year. Schar distanced decorated American Tatyana McFadden by 4:14, though McFadden did qualify for the Tokyo Paralympics with her runner-up finish (as did Romanchuk).

The fall major marathon season concludes with the New York City Marathon on Nov. 3, featuring defending champions Mary Keitany and Lelisa Desisa and 2018 Boston Marathon champion Des Linden.

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MORE: Chicago Marathon results