Madison Chock, Evan Bates take ice dance silver at World Championships

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Madison Chock and Evan Bates could not become the second U.S. ice dance couple to win a World Championship, dropping from first after the short dance to take silver following the free dance in Shanghai on Friday.

“I had a bobble on my twizzle, but after that, I was like, ‘Nope, I want this too badly, and I’m going to fight my tail off to get it,'” Chock said, according to U.S. Figure Skating.

Chock and Bates finished 2.94 points behind French gold medalists Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron. The French couple jumped from fourth in the short dance, overcoming a 2.53-point deficit to the Americans.

“It’s a big surprise,” Papadakis said. “I have no words.”

Canadians Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje earned the bronze (full results here).

Papadakis, 19, and Cizeron, 20, captured their biggest crown in their second season as senior skaters and became the youngest World champions in ice dance in 40 years.

They previously earned silver at the 2013 World Junior Championships and gold at the most recent European Championships in January. They were 13th at their senior-level World Championships debut last March.

“The summer before this season, our goal was to be in the top 10,” Cizeron said.

This season marked a major shake-up in ice dance, with the last two Olympic champions, Meryl Davis and Charlie White and Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, sitting out. It’s unknown if or when they will return to competition.

Chock and Bates hoped to join Davis and White as the only U.S. ice dance couples to win World titles. They took silver in three straight international events — the Grand Prix Final in December, the Four Continents Championships in February and now the World Championships.

That’s remarkably strong consistency for a couple that finished eighth at the Sochi Olympics and fifth at the World Championships last March. Their goal this season was to earn a medal at Worlds.

“This is unchartered territory for us, and it’s harder than it looks,” Bates said, according to U.S. Figure Skating.

Chock and Bates’ silvers will likely be the only medals won by Americans at these World Championships. The top U.S. pair finished seventh. The top U.S. woman was in seventh after the short program. A U.S. man has not won a medal at Worlds since 2009.

Final Results
Gold: Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron (FRA) — 184.28
Silver: Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA) — 181.34
Bronze: Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje (CAN) — 179.42
4. Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte (ITA) — 177.50
5. Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani (USA) — 172.03
10. Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA) — 156.56

U.S. women struggle in short program; Russian soars

Six months to Tokyo Paralympics: Ten athletes to watch

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Ten Paralympic hopefuls to watch, six months out from the Tokyo Games Opening Ceremony on Aug. 25 …

Chuck Aoki (Rugby)
The U.S.’ top scorer, but still looking for a Paralympic title after bronze and silver medals in 2012 and 2016. Aoki’s father’s family is from Japan, immigrating to the U.S. in the early 1900s. His great-grandparents and grandparents were placed in World War II internment camps. Aoki switched from wheelchair basketball to rugby after seeing the 2005 Oscar-nominated documentary “Murderball.” He has been on the national team since 2009.

Shingo Kunieda (Tennis)
Japan is known for its tennis players (Naomi OsakaKei Nishikori), but Kunieda is by far the most accomplished. He owns a wheelchair record 23 Grand Slam singles titles, 21 Grand Slam doubles titles and three Paralympic gold medals. Japan earned 24 medals at the Rio Paralympics, but they were all silver or bronze.

Oksana Masters (Cycling)
Already a Paralympic rowing and Nordic skiing medalist, Masters bids for a second Games to add a road cycling medal to her haul. In Rio, she placed fourth in the road race and fifth in the time trial. At her last Paralympics in PyeongChang, Masters came back from a fractured right elbow to earn five medals, including two golds.

Evan Medell (Taekwondo)
The U.S. has a medal contender in taekwondo, which debuted as an Olympic medal sport in 2000 and is on the Paralympic program for the first time in Tokyo. Medell, a 22-year-old licensed diesel mechanic, is ranked No. 1 in the world in the K44 +75kg division after 2019 titles at the European and Parapan American Championships.

Morteza Mehrzad (Volleyball)
Iran dominates men’s sitting volleyball. None of its players were more noticeable in Rio than the 8-foot, 1-inch Mehrzad, who led the team in scoring in the gold-medal match. Mehrzad was also part of Iran’s 2018 World title team, a signal that he could return for another Paralympics in Tokyo.

Becca Meyers (Swimming)
Earned three golds and one silver in individual events at the Rio Games, plus broke three world records. Meyers followed that with medals across three different strokes (plus the individual medley) between the 2017 and 2019 World Championships. She has trained at both the North Baltimore Aquatic Club and the Nation’s Capital Swim Club, which produced Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky, respectively.

Becca Murray (Basketball)
The leading scorer on the U.S.’ Rio Paralympic champion team returned to the program in 2019 after two years away. Murray, who debuted at the Paralympics in 2008 at age 18 (and earned gold), looks to help the U.S. women bounce back from a 2018 World Championship sixth-place finish without her.

Daniel Romanchuk (Track and Field)
Eliminated in the heats of all his Rio Paralympic events as an 18-year-old. Now Romanchuk is a marathon superstar, winning the wheelchair division in Boston, Chicago, London and New York City in 2019. The University of Illinois product is expected to enter a range of distances in Tokyo, given he lowered 800m and 5000m world records on the track in his classification.

Allysa Seely (Triathlon)
Led a U.S. medals sweep in her classification in triathlon’s Paralympic debut in Rio. Followed with world championships medals in 2017 (silver), 2018 (gold in an undefeated season) and 2019 (silver).

Ben Thompson (Archery)
Upset the world No. 1 compound archer to win the world title in 2019. Ended the season with a No. 1 world ranking and Male Paralympic Athlete of the Year from the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee. Thompson competed in recent years with sister-in-law Megan‘s name on his arrow wraps. Megan fought breast cancer for years before her death in November as he was en route to the Team USA Awards.

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MORE: Memorable Paralympic moments from 2010s decade

2020 World Track Cycling Championships TV, live stream schedule

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The world track cycling championships offer an Olympic preview, live on NBC Sports Gold and also airing on Olympic Channel this week.

All five daily sessions, beginning Wednesday, stream live for NBC Sports Gold “Cycling Pass” subscribers. Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA airs same-day delayed TV broadcasts.

The U.S. contingent is led by Chloé Dygert, a world champion on the track and the road who is trying to make the Olympic team in both disciplines. Dygert already qualified for Tokyo by winning the world title in the road time trial in September.

On the track, Dygert swept individual and team pursuit titles in 2017 and 2018 but missed last year’s worlds after a May 2018 concussion. She was part of the 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medal team pursuit squad in Rio.

The U.S. has yet to win an Olympic women’s track cycling title. The individual pursuit is not on the Olympic program, but Dygert could anchor a potent team pursuit. The U.S. finished seventh without Dygert and the late Kelly Catlin at the 2019 Worlds.

The international field is led by married British couple Jason and Laura Kenny, who own 10 combined Olympic titles.

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Day Time (ET) Key Events Network
Wednesday 12:20 p.m. Team sprints NBC Sports Gold | STREAM
8 p.m.* Olympic Channel | STREAM
Thursday 12:20 p.m. Team pursuits NBC Sports Gold | STREAM
8 p.m.* Olympic Channel | STREAM
Friday 12:20 p.m. Women’s sprint, omnium NBC Sports Gold | STREAM
10:30 p.m.* Olympic Channel | STREAM
Saturday 10:20 a.m. Women’s madison NBC Sports Gold | STREAM
5 p.m.* Olympic Channel | STREAM
Sunday 7:50 a.m. Women’s keirin NBC Sports Gold | STREAM
5 p.m.* Olympic Channel | STREAM

*Delayed broadcast