Shane Tusup

Katinka Hosszu, Sarah Sjostrom break records; Missy Franklin, Ryan Lochte make finals at World Championships

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Katinka Hosszu could only cover her mouth after swimming the fastest 200m individual medley of all time. Her husband and coach was a little more excited.

Shane Tusup was unmistakable in the stands, for his “Iron Lady” black T-shirt, turned-to-the-side red hat and left bicep tattoo.

And for his celebration, raising his arms, pulling off and shaking that cap, screaming, pointing index fingers, screaming again and beating his chest after the Hungarian Hosszu broke a world record by .03 in repeating as World champion, proving again that she’s the world’s best all-around swimmer.

“She’s been training for eight, 10 hours a day minimum,” Tusup said, according to The Associated Press. “She pretty much eats, sleeps and swims. She runs her swimming as a business. To see the hard work and everything finally pay off in one race at one time is just unbelievable for me.”

Hosszu, nicknamed the Iron Lady of swimming who felt depressed after failing to earn any medal at London 2012, clocked 2:06.12 on Monday to win gold by 2.33 seconds over Japan’s Kanako Watanabe. Great Britain’s Siobhan O’Connor earned bronze.

Hosszu, a three-time Olympian with zero Olympic medals, took down American Ariana Kukors‘ 2:06.15 world record from the fast suit era in 2009. Hosszu entered seven events at Worlds, though she dropped out of the 100m backstroke already.

“This was my biggest goal,” Hosszu said in this FINA interview of her first Olympic event world record. “Being the fastest ever, it’s crazy to even say it. … I say a dream come true, but I feel like I was too worried to dream it last night. I was even just saying, even if I just get a gold, it would be already amazing. Getting the gold and the record was worth it.”

Earlier Monday, Missy Franklin qualified fifth fastest into Tuesday’s 100m backstroke final. Franklin is the reigning Olympic and World champion in the event, but the favorite is Australian Emily Seebohm, who was .86 faster than Franklin in Monday’s semifinals.

Ryan Lochte was the fastest qualifier into Tuesday’s 200m freestyle final in 1:45.36 on his 31st birthday. Lochte, who dealt with knee problems since fall 2013, clocked his fastest time in the event since he finished fourth at the 2012 Olympics.

“That race felt 10 times better than this morning,” Lochte, who is using a new turn off walls and went 1:47.18 in the morning prelims, told Michele Tafoya on Universal Sports. “I’m glad I got back into my groove.”

Lochte will face China’s Sun Yang in the final. Sun is trying to become the first swimmer to sweep the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyles at a single Worlds (as is Katie Ledecky). Sun has already earned 400m free gold at these Worlds.

The U.S. won zero medals across four finals Monday, its first medal-less day in the pool at a Worlds/Olympics since at least 2001.

Swimming World Championships: Men’s preview | Women’s preview | TV schedule | Monday results

Adam Peaty became the second British man (and first since 1975) to win a World Championship in an individual Olympic event, overcoming South African Olympic champion Cameron van der Burgh in the 100m breaststroke by .07.

Peaty, 20 and the world-record holder, was .41 behind van der Burgh after the first 50 meters. Great Britain’s Ross Murdoch earned bronze. No Americans were in the final.

“Very painful, but I didn’t give up an inch,” Peaty told Tafoya on Universal Sports. “It counted in the back end.”

In the 50m butterfly, a non-Olympic event, France’s Florent Manaudou took gold by .12 over Brazil’s Nicholas Santos. Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh and Poland’s Konrad Czerniak tied for bronze.

Swede Sarah Sjostrom repeated as 100m butterfly World champion and broke the world record for a second straight day. Olympic champion Dana Vollmer, who isn’t competing at Worlds after having a baby earlier this year, previously held the world record.

“I showed myself and everyone else that I can swim this event,” Sjostrom said on Eurosport. “I didn’t feel faster today [than in the semifinals Sunday].”

Sjostrom defeated Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen by .41, followed by Chinese Olympic silver medalist Lu Ying for bronze.  No Americans were in the final.

In semifinals, U.S. Olympic champion Matt Grevers qualified fourth fastest into Tuesday’s 100m backstroke final. He’ll face medal favorites Japanese Ryosuke Irie, Australian Mitch Larkin and French Camille Lacourt. The 2013 World silver medalist David Plummer was ninth overall in the semis, missing the eight-man final.

The 2013 World bronze medalist Jessica Hardy failed to qualify for the 100m breaststroke final. Olympic and World champion and world-record holder Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania and World silver medalist Yulia Efimova of Russia headline Tuesday’s final.

Katie Ledecky breaks 1500m freestyle world record again

Men’s 100m breaststroke
Gold: Adam Peaty (GBR) — 58.52

Silver: Cameron van der Burgh (RSA) — 58.59
Bronze: Ross Murdoch (GBR) — 59.09
4. Dmitriy Balandin (KAZ) — 59.42
5. Jack Packard (AUS) — 59.44
6. Giedrius Titenis (LTU) — 59.56
7. Kirill Prigoda (RUS) — 59.84
8. Hendrik Feldwehr (GER) — 1:00.16

Women’s 100m butterfly
Gold: Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) — 55.64
Silver: Jeanette Ottesen (DEN) — 57.05
Bronze: Lu Ying (CHN) — 57.48
4. Emma McKeon (AUS) — 57.67
5. Katerina Savard (CAN) — 57.69
6. Xinyi Chen (CHN) — 57.85
7. Alexandra Nathalie Wenk (GER) — 57.94
8. Noemie Thomas (CAN) — 58.22

Women’s 200m individual medley
Gold: Katinka Hosszu (HUN) — 2:06.12
Silver: Kanako Watanabe (JPN) — 2:08.45
Bronze: Siobhan O’Connor (GBR) — 2:08.77

4. Maya DiRado (USA) — 2.08.99
5. Hannah Miley (GBR) — 2:10.19
6. Sydney Pickrem (CAN) — 2:10.32
7. Melanie Margalis (USA) — 2:10.41
8. Ye Shiwen (CHN) — 2:14.01

Jordan Thompson, U.S. volleyball’s new weapon, took unique route to NCAA history

Jordan Thompson
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It was about this time last year that Jordan Thompson first appeared on the radar of U.S. women’s volleyball coach Karch Kiraly. Since, Thompson emerged as the youngest starter, and arguably a star, for the national team.

She goes into what could be her final weekend of college volleyball as one of the most dominant athletes in any sport. And one of the most unique stories in NCAA history.

Thompson plays not for a Big Ten or Pac-12 powerhouse, but for Cincinnati, a school that, before she arrived, never made it past the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

The unranked Bearcats upset second-ranked Pittsburgh in the second round last Saturday. They play Penn State, winner of six of the last 12 NCAA titles, in the Sweet 16 on Friday.

In 33 games this season, Thompson has registered a Division I-leading 768 kills, which is 143 more than the next most prolific attacker. That margin of 143 is the same number that separates No. 2 from No. 31.

Last season, she had 827 kills, which was 240 more than anybody else and a single-season record (by 112 kills) since NCAA match formats shifted from 30-point to 25-point sets in 2008.

She is a contender, if not a favorite, to be AVCA National Player of the Year. All of the previous winners dating to 1985 came from schools that reached at least one Final Four.

On Oct. 4, a UCF player’s face caught the wrong end of a Thompson attack. Cincinnati teammates watching from the bench dropped to the floor in astonishment.

Thompson tallied 50 kills in one match alone on Nov. 3, becoming the first D-I player to do so in 20 years.

That happened on Senior Day. Before that match, Thompson received a plaqued No. 23 jersey and flowers.

She posed for a photo standing with her husband, former Cincinnati offensive lineman Blake Yager, her mother, Mary, whose bribes helped Thompson develop into an attacker, and her father, 1990s Harlem Globetrotter Tyrone Doleman (and brother of Pro Football Hall of Famer Chris Doleman).

Mary has been most instrumental, raising Thompson as a single mom in Minnesota. Thompson, who is 6 feet, 4 inches now, was always tall for her age.

She played youth basketball against older girls and grew frustrated by the physical contact. Kneepads weren’t comfort enough. She decided to give volleyball a try in middle school.

“She was very timid,” Mary said of her daughter, who has since gotten 10 tattoos, including one of a hummingbird. “She would tell me she didn’t want to hurt anyone on the other side of the net. I told her I would give her a dollar for every time she would whack it. And I would give her $10 if she would actually hit someone on the other end of the court.”

It took a while, but Thompson was motivated by her love of horses. The payouts from her mom went toward a saddle and a bridal. A box with horse equipment remains in the family garage back home.

“She was trying to build up her supplies to be able to one day say to me, look, I’ve got a saddle, I’ve got all of my tack, I’ve got stuff to clean the hooves, can we get a horse now?” Mary said. 

After just two years of club volleyball, Thompson received her first Division-I scholarship offer. It came from Syracuse. Thompson was a high school sophomore.

“In the back of my head, I’m thinking, I’m never going to get another offer, so I better take this one,” she said.

Thompson was intent on Syracuse for a year before a coaching change led her to decommit. She wasn’t sure if many schools knew she had reopened her recruiting. A Minnesota club teammate had committed to Cincinnati and suggested Thompson take a visit.

The Bearcats went 3-29 the season before she committed.

“I said, Jordan, you can play D-I at Texas. You can go to Nebraska,” Mary said. “She was like, no, no, I want to play all four years. I actually want to get playing time, mom. She really struggled believing how good she could be.”

The biggest obstacle came junior year. In a preseason training session, Thompson collided with that Minnesota club teammate, Jade Tingelhoff, and tore the UCL in her dominant, right arm. She was in an armpit-to-wrist brace for two months post-Tommy John surgery, including three weeks with her arm locked in place.

She couldn’t brush her hair, had a hard time brushing her teeth and found it difficult showering and getting dressed.

She still went to every Bearcats game and traveled with the team. Cincinnati went from 22-10 her sophomore season to 13-19 that year without her on the court.

“It ended up being OK,” Tingelhoff said. “She came back that next season — I’m not kidding — 10 times as better than she was even the previous year.”

As a redshirt junior, Thompson and her 827 kills helped Cincinnati to a 26-8 record and its first NCAA Tournament win in seven years. She also caught the eye of Kiraly by the end of that 2018 season.

“She was one of the elite players in all of college volleyball,” he said. “Probably the only one who came from a conference other than the ones known for producing the most NCAA champions, like the Big Ten and the Pac-12.”

By last spring break, Thompson had become a favorite of U.S coaches at a camp to help select teams for summer international tournaments.

She had a one-on-one conversation with Kiraly, the only person to own Olympic indoor and beach gold medals. The legend told her she had potential to play at the Pan American Games. Later, he upped the praise to say she was ready for the top-level Nations League, a precursor to Olympic qualifying.

Thompson made her national team debut in May. By August, she came off the bench to help spur a comeback in a crucial Olympic qualifying match. The next day, she was in the starting lineup for the U.S.’ final Olympic qualifier, where the Americans clinched a Tokyo 2020 berth.

“I think a lot people don’t know she is still in college,” two-time U.S. Olympic outside hitter Jordan Larson said then. “She still has one more year left.”

Agents reached out, but Thompson had no intention of giving up her final year of NCAA eligibility. She wanted to make history at Cincinnati. That was secured with the Sweet 16 berth.

With the new year, she will trade the Cincinnati red and black for Team USA colors. She will keep in mind what the U.S. coaching staff told the team during Olympic qualifying and what she called a dream summer.

“My big goal in life was I just wanted to be in the USA gym,” said Thompson, who is working on her master’s in criminal justice. “To hear that we’re all working towards this goal of trying to make this roster, and we are being looked as potential players to make that roster, my jaw dropped. To know that it’s even a remote possibility is mind-blowing.”

VIDEO: Brazil volleyball star faints during courtside interview

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Tahiti chosen for Olympic surfing competition at 2024 Paris Games

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Paris 2024 Olympic organizers want the surfing competition to be held in Tahiti, an island in French Polynesia that is about 9,800 miles from Paris.

It would break the record for the farthest Olympic medal competition to be held outside the host. In 1956, equestrian events were moved out of Melbourne due to quarantine laws and held five months earlier in Stockholm, some 9,700 miles away.

The Paris 2024 executive board approved the site Thursday — specifically, the village of Teahupo’o — and will propose it to the IOC. It beat out other applicants Biarritz, Lacanau, Les Landes and La Torche, all part of mainland France.

“If, ever, we have two alternatives, and where one alternative gives the athletes of a particular sport more closeness to the heart of the Games and allows them to enjoy the magic and the spirit of the Games better, then in the interest of the athletes, we prefer this solution,” IOC President Thomas Bach said in June when asked about Tahiti’s interest in hosting surfing.

Surfing will debut at the 2020 Tokyo Games but is not on the permanent Olympic program. Surfing was among sports added to the Paris 2024 program in June and could be added for the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

MORE: U.S. athletes qualified for Tokyo Olympics

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