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

Lindsey Vonn and her dog to host Amazing Race-like series

Lindsey Vonn
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Lindsey Vonn and one of her three dogs, Lucy, will host “The Pack,” an “Amazing Race”-like series where dogs and their humans compete in challenges across continents.

The Amazon Prime show filmed earlier this year and will premiere later in 2020. Production included a team of veterinarians and dog experts to ensure “a positive experience for everyone.”

Twelve teams vie for a prize of $500,000, plus $250,000 for the animal charity of their choice.

Vonn, the 2010 Olympic downhill champion and female record holder with 82 World Cup wins, retired after the February 2019 World Championships, four shy of the overall victories record held by Swede Ingemar Stenmark.

She traveled the last few years of her career with Lucy, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that she got in Italy in January 2016. Lucy required German, Italian and American passports to accompany Vonn on the ski circuit.

Vonn previously adopted rescue dogs Leo, a brindle boxer to help her through recovery from knee surgery that kept her out of the 2014 Olympics, and Bear.

Vonn’s previous broadcast credits included a 2010 appearance as a secretary on “Law & Order,” two judge spots on “Project Runway” and an episode of “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” in 2016.

MORE: Lindsey Vonn’s mom is tough as nails

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London Marathon mass event canceled; Kipchoge, Bekele still to race

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The London Marathon will not hold a mass participation race of 40,000-plus runners, but will have an elites-only event featuring the fastest marathoners in history on a different course.

Organizers announced that the World Marathon Major, previously rescheduled for Oct. 4 from April 26, will be restricted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Elite runners, including world-record holders Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei and Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest man in history, will instead race but not on the usual route around London landmarks.

They will run on an enclosed looped in St. James’s Park in a “secure biosphere” without spectator access. Elite wheelchair racers, including past champions David Weir and Manuela Schar, will also compete.

Before canceling, London Marathon organizers planned to use Bluetooth and wideband ranging to monitor every participant’s distance from each other, though they did not specify if the event would have still included more than 40,000 runners.

If a participant spent more than 15 minutes within a specified distance of anyone else, and if somebody had informed organizers they contracted the virus within two weeks after the race, he or she would have been contacted.

“Despite all our efforts, the fantastic support from all of our partners and the progress that has been made on planning for the return of smaller mass participation events that are not on the roads, it has not been possible to go ahead with a mass socially distanced walk or run,” event director Hugh Brasher said in press release.

Four of the other five annual World Marathon Majors this year were canceled — Berlin, Boston, Chicago and New York City. The earliest major, Tokyo, was held March 1 with elite runners only.

Kipchoge, the Olympic marathon champion from Kenya, and Bekele, a three-time Olympic track champion from Ethiopia, were previously announced as headliners for London in the winter, before the pandemic.

Kipchoge lowered the world record to 2:01:39 at the 2018 Berlin Marathon. Bekele clocked 2:01:41 in Berlin last September. They are the only men to ever break 2:02 in a marathon. Kipchoge also clocked 1:59:40 at a non-record-eligible event in Vienna on Oct. 12 instead of racing a fall marathon.

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

Bekele, the more accomplished track athlete with Olympic golds and world records at 5000m and 10,000m, has been a roller-coaster road runner.

Bekele owns two of the seven fastest marathons in history, recorded three years apart in Berlin. In between, he failed to finish two marathons and, in his last London start in 2018, clocked a pedestrian 2:08:53 for sixth place.

That was more than four minutes behind Kipchoge, who is undefeated in four London starts and has beaten by Bekele by at least 100 seconds in all four of their head-to-head marathons.

The Kenyan Kosgei took 81 seconds off Paula Radcliffe‘s 16-year-old women’s marathon world record on Oct. 13, clocking 2:14:04 to win the Chicago Marathon.

The 2021 London Marathon will also be held in October to give a better chance of holding a mass race than in April.

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MORE: U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials results