Usain Bolt wins 200m in Ostrava; David Rudisha injured

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Usain Bolt won his second 200m race in the last 21 months, clocking 20.13 on a rained-on track in Ostrava, Czech Republic, on Tuesday.

Bolt’s time ranks him fourth fastest in the world this year in the 200m and was .07 faster than his time on April 11, his first 200m since August 2013.

“It was a little bit colder than I thought it would be,” Bolt told an on-track reporter. “It’s all about working on my technique, getting back into shape.”

The Ostrava field included zero of the expected top challengers to Bolt at the World Championships in Beijing on Aug. 29.

Earlier, Olympic 800m champion and world-record holder David Rudisha pulled up early in a 600m race, holding the front of his right thigh. Rudisha pulled a muscle, but the injury was not very serious, according to the Kenyan’s Twitter.

Rudisha, 26, went more than one year between races in 2013 and 2014 due to a right knee injury and returned to be the fifth fastest man in the world in the 800m last year.

Also Tuesday, Asafa Powell won a 100m in 10.04 seconds with a small headwind, well off his 9.84 from May 9.

Bolt ran a total of 400 meters in competition last season, one shortened due to foot surgery.

Bolt’s 200m world record from 2009 is 19.19, a mark he has said he hopes to break.

Bolt is scheduled to race at the Adidas Grand Prix in New York on June 13 (NBC, 1-3 p.m. ET).

Bolt’s biggest rival, American Justin Gatlin, is scheduled to race a 200m at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore., on Saturday (3:30-4:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN; 4:30-6 on NBC).

Gatlin clocked 19.68 and 19.71 in 200m races in 2014, the fastest times in the world since Bolt ran 19.66 to win the 2013 World Championship.

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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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