Gwen Jorgensen leads U.S. sweep, wins 10th straight World Triathlon Series race

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Gwen Jorgensen won her 10th straight World Triathlon Series race and led a U.S. sweep for the second time this season in London on Sunday.

Jorgensen, the reigning World champion, clocked 55 minutes, 45 seconds, despite International Triathlon Union commentators reporting she suffered from the flu or flu-like symptoms last week.

“It was really tough, but I know when I race up against my competitors, everyone’s not 100 percent,” Jorgensen said in a finish-area interview. “People are sick, coming back from injury. You have to be able to perform under any conditions.”

Countrywomen Katie Zaferes and Sarah True finished second and third behind Jorgensen, as they did in Gold Coast, Australia, on April 11, when organizers didn’t have three U.S. flags available for the podium ceremony. Zaferes was 20 seconds behind Sunday, two seconds faster than True (full results here).

Jorgensen, Zafares and True rank first, second and fourth in this season’s standings.

“We have a little bit of American steamroller action going on,” True said in a finish-area interview.

It marked the third-ever sweep by one nation in a men’s or women’s World Triathlon Series event (the series started in 2009).

Jorgensen, Zaferes and True were among a leading group of six or seven after the 20km bike and going into the 5km run. Jorgensen took a six-second lead halfway through the run, with True in second and Zaferes eight seconds behind in third.

Jorgensen, a 29-year-old who finished 38th at the 2012 Olympics, also in London, after suffering a flat tire, notched her 13th career win in 29 World Triathlon Series starts. She hasn’t lost a WTS race since April 26, 2014. She extended the longest men’s or women’s win streak in series history.

Pre-WTS, Australian Emma Carney and Portugual’s Vanessa Fernandes were unbeaten across 12 straight International Triathlon Union World Cup races, but they lost separate World Championships races during those streaks.

USA Triathlon can send no more than three women to the Rio 2016 Olympics, and it looks like Jorgensen, Zaferes and True are clear favorites to take those spots later this summer or next year depending on results.

The World Triathlon Series moves to Hamburg, Germany, on July 18 for the seventh of 10 races this year.

Photos: Gwen Jorgensen’s helmet includes Bucky Badger, Paul Bunyan

Asbel Kiprop, Olympic 1500m champ, banned four years

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Kenyan Asbel Kiprop, the 2008 Olympic 1500m champion and a three-time world champ, was banned four years after testing positive for EPO in November 2017, according to track and field’s doping watchdog organization.

The ban is backdated to Feb. 3, 2018, when the 29-year-old was provisionally suspended after the failed test.

Kiprop repeatedly denied doping since last May, when he first acknowledged the positive test. Most recently, a 3,000-word defense from his lawyer was posted on Kiprop’s Facebook page.

Kiprop’s defenses included saying he was a victim of extortion and that he was offered “a reward” of becoming an anti-doping ambassador if he admitted guilt. The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), the IAAF’s independent organization to monitor doping and corruption, denied the latter last May.

A disciplinary panel dismissed six defenses from exonerating him, including the possibility his sample was spiked, in handing out the four-year ban.

Kiprop, the pre-eminent 1500m runner of the last decade, can appeal the ban.

At 19, he finished second in the Beijing Olympic 1500m but was upgraded to gold a year later after Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi failed a drug test. He is the youngest Olympic 1500m medalist of all time, according to the OlyMADMen.

Kiprop went on to earn three straight world titles in the 1500m in 2011, 2013 and 2015, matching the feats of retired legends Noureddine Morceli and Hicham El Guerrouj.

He struggled in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, finishing last in the London final with a hamstring injury and sixth in the Rio final won by American rival Matthew Centrowitz.

Kiprop has targeted El Guerrouj’s world record of 3:26:00, missing the mark by .69 of a second in 2015.

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Maggie Nichols is second woman in 20 years to repeat as NCAA all-around champ

Maggie Nichols
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Oklahoma junior and world champion gymnast Maggie Nichols became the first woman to repeat as NCAA all-around champion in 12 years, returning from a heel injury to compete on all four events for the first time since January on Friday.

Nichols, a Rio Olympic hopeful before being beset by a torn meniscus in 2016, joined 2004 Olympic silver medalist Courtney Kupets as the only women to win back-to-back NCAA all-arounds in the 2000s.

A junior, Nichols can next year join Jenny Hansen as the only women to three-peat in NCAA history.

Oklahoma goes for a third team title in four years on Saturday night against UCLA (featuring Olympic champions Madison Kocian and Kyla Ross), LSU and Denver.

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NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships Individual Results
All-Around
1. Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma) — 39.7125
2. Lexy Ramler (Minnesota) — 39.6625
2. Kyla Ross (UCLA) — 39.6625
4. Sarah Finnegan (LSU) — 39.65
5. Kennedi Edney (LSU) — 39.6

Vault
1. Kennedi Edney (LSU) — 9.95
1. Derrian Gobourne (Auburn)
1. Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma)
1. Kyla Ross (UCLA)

Uneven Bars
1. Sarah Finnegan (LSU) — 9.95

Balance Beam
1. Natalie Wojcik (Michigan) — 9.95

Floor Exercise
1. Alicia Boren (Florida) — 9.95
1. Lynnzee Brown (Denver)
1. Brenna Dowell (Oklahoma)
1. Kyla Ross (UCLA)