Meb Keflezighi

Meb Keflezighi eighth after stopping, throwing up, crying at Boston Marathon

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Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa captured his second Boston Marathon, while Kenyan Caroline Rotich won her first major marathon on Monday.

The top U.S. finishers were Olympians Desi Linden (fourth) and Shalane Flanagan (ninth) in the women’s race. In the men’s, Dathan Ritzenhein was seventh, and the 2014 champion Meb Keflezighi was eighth, holding and raising the hand of near the finish.

“Last year was an epic race, epic moment for Boston, for the United States and for the world,” Keflezighi, who turns 40 on May 5, said on Universal Sports. “I was hoping to defend it, but as soon as I got to … mile 21, 22, just tough going. I took a drink. It didn’t go down. They made a big move. The separation happened.”

Keflezighi said he stopped and threw up five times with the liquid not sitting well. He also said he cried on the final stretch on Boylston Street, site of his emotional triumph last year.

“I was hurting pretty bad,” he said in an interview on Boston’s CBS station. “I was very emotional.”

Keflezighi said he next plans to go on a tour for his book, “Meb For Mortals.” He has said he wants to run a fall marathon, perhaps New York City on Nov. 1, before the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials on Feb. 13 in Los Angeles.

Full results can be found here.

Desisa, who won the 2013 Boston Marathon before twin bombings rocked the world’s oldest annual 26.2-mile race later that day, pulled away from countryman Yemane Tsegay in the final two miles Monday. Desisa’s time was 2:09:17, 31 seconds faster than Tsegay in damp, windy conditions. In 2013, Desisa gave his winner’s medal back to the city.

Desisa, 25, has been first or second in every major race he’s finished in the last two years. He did not finish the 2014 Boston Marathon won by Keflezighi, hampered by an ankle injury picked up in training.

“Boston is my second home,” Desisa said on Universal Sports.

Ritzenhein and Keflezighi took turns at the front of the men’s lead group in the latter half of the race but were dropped as the pace quickened. They finished more than two minutes back.

Rotich, 30, battled Ethiopians Mare Dibaba and Buzunesh Deba in the final two miles, after dropping Linden. She outsprinted Dibaba by four seconds on the Boylston Street finish. Her time was 2:24:55.

Rotich had never before finished better than fourth in a major marathon.

“I have been waiting for this and training and training,” Rotich said on Universal Sports. “When we came through this last stretch, corner, I feel like, yeah I want to do this, and I could let it go.”

U.S. Olympians Linden, Flanagan and Amy Cragg were part of a 12-woman lead group at the half marathon mark, but all three were shed as the group thinned.

“I could just tell the pounding, the typical Boston course, my legs felt it,” Flanagan, who finished seventh in 2014 and fourth in 2013, said on Universal Sports. “I tried to talk them [my legs] out of slowing down, but they didn’t want to listen.”

No U.S. woman has won Boston since Lisa Larsen Weidenbach in 1985.

Tatyana McFadden, an 11-time Paralympic medalist, won her third straight women’s wheelchair race in Boston in 1:52:54.

Swiss Paralympic marathon silver medalist Marcel Hug took the men’s wheelchair in 1:29:53.

The next World Marathon Major is the London Marathon on Sunday, featuring the last two men’s world-record holders, from Kenya, and world-record holder Paula Radcliffe in her competitive 26.2-mile farewell.

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U.S. Olympic, USA Gymnastics leaders set for another Senate hearing

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Recently replaced U.S. Olympic Committee acting CEO Susanne Lyons, USA Gymnastics President and CEO Kerry Perry and Michigan State interim president John Engler are scheduled witnesses for a Senate subcommittee hearing next Tuesday on reforms following the Larry Nassar sexual-abuse crimes.

The hearing is titled, “Strengthening and Empowering U.S. Amateur Athletes: Moving Forward with Solutions” and will stream live at https://www.commerce.senate.gov/ on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. ET.

“The hearing will focus on changes made by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Gymnastics (USAG), and Michigan State University (MSU) to protect Olympic and amateur athletes from abuse,” according to the subcommittee’s website. “It will examine recent reforms to provide safe environments for athletes and how these reforms are being implemented.”

The subcommittee held hearings April 18 and June 5 with testimonies from gymnasts and other athletes who were abused, former Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon and former senior vice president of USA Gymnastics Rhonda Faehn. Former USA Gymnastics CEO Steve Penny also attended the June 5 hearing but refused to answer questions.

Lyons and Perry were questioned at a House subcommittee hearing May 23.

The USOC last Thursday named Sarah Hirshland its new CEO, replacing Lyons, who had been in the role on an interim basis since Scott Blackmun resigned in February. Blackmun, who had been CEO since January 2010, left citing prostate cancer and the USOC’s need to immediately address the USA Gymnastics sexual-abuse scandal.

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Annemiek van Vleuten wins La Course with epic comeback (video)

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Annemiek van Vleuten, the cyclist who returned from a horrific Rio Olympic road race crash to become world champion, repeated as La Course winner with an epic last-kilometer comeback on Tuesday.

Van Vleuten sprinted from several seconds behind countrywoman Anna van der Breggen to win the one-day race, including four categorized climbs, contested on part of the Tour de France stage 10 course later that day.

“With 300 meters to go, I still thought I got second, and then I saw her dying,” Van Vleuten said, adding later, according to Cyclingnews.com, “With 500 meters to go my team director in the car gave up and stopped cheering for me.”

In Rio, van Vleuten suffered three small spine fractures and a concussion when her brakes appeared to lock, and she flipped over into a ditch during the road race. Van Vleuten was alone in the lead at the time with about seven miles to go of the 87-mile course.

She was eventually hospitalized in intensive care.

Van der Breggen went on to win the Olympic title, while van Vleuten returned quick enough to race at the October 2016 World Championships.

Van Vleuten, 35, won her first world title 13 months after the Rio Games, taking the time trial crown ahead of van der Breggen by 12 seconds. She also won the 10-stage Giro Rosa that concluded on Sunday.

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