IAAF to discuss Paralympians competing in Olympics ‘in the coming weeks’

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The IAAF, track and field’s international governing body, will look into the possibility of Paralympians like German amputee long jumper Markus Rehm competing in the Rio Olympics “in the coming weeks,” an IAAF spokesman told Yahoo Sports.

Rehm, a 2012 Paralympic champion long jumper whose right leg was amputated below the knee after a boating accident at age 14, won the able-bodied German long jump title in 2014.

He would have won it this year, too, except he had to compete aside from the able-bodied jumpers after the German track and field federation “used biometric studies to rule that his carbon-fiber prosthesis gives him an unfair advantage,” according to The Associated Press.

Rehm said he would be willing to compete at the Olympics as he did in the German Championships, aside from the able-bodied athletes, according to Yahoo.

“I would offer to compete off of the rankings,” Rehm said, according to the report. “I would. I have a chance to win a medal in the Paralympics, and I’m quite fine with that. I don’t want to win the [Olympic] medal if it’s not clear I didn’t have an advantage. I am the one who has to sleep at night.”

Rehm leaped a personal-best 8.29m on May 16, which ranks him the seventh-best long jumper in the world this year.

Rehm has said his goal is to compete at the World Championships and Olympics, according to German press agency DPA, citing German outlet Sport Bild.

Rehm has also said he wants another investigation into whether his prosthetic right leg gives him a competitive advantage over able-bodied athletes.

Rehm would not be the first Paralympian to compete at the Olympics. The most famous was Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee who made the London 2012 400m semifinals. Pistorius could be released from prison and put on house arrest later this month after shooting and killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013.

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Valencia Marathon produces historic times in men’s, women’s races

2022 Valencia Marathon
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Kenyan Kelvin Kiptum and Ethiopian Amane Beriso won the Valencia Marathon and became the third-fastest man and woman in history, respectively.

Kiptum, a 23-year-old in his marathon debut, won the men’s race in 2 hours, 1 minute, 53 seconds. The only men to ever run faster over 26.2 miles are legends: Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge (2:01:09 world record, plus a 2:01:39) and Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele (2:01:41).

Kipchoge made his marathon debut at age 28, and Bekele at 31.

Beriso, a 31-year-old whose personal best was 2:20:48 from January 2016, stunned the women’s field Sunday by running 2:14:58. The only women to have run faster: Kenyans Brigid Kosgei (2:14:04) and Ruth Chepngetich (2:14:18).

Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey finished second in 2:16:49, the fastest-ever time for a woman in her marathon debut. Gidey is the world record holder at 5000m and 10,000m.

Valencia is arguably the top annual marathon outside of the six World Marathon Majors. The next major marathon is Tokyo on March 5.

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Aleksander Aamodt Kilde wins Beaver Creek downhill

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BEAVER CREEK, Colo. — Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde won his second straight World Cup downhill race to start the season, despite feeling under the weather.

Although dealing with an illness all week in training, Kilde powered through the challenging Birds of Prey course Saturday in a time of 1 minute, 42.09 seconds. It was enough to hold off Marco Odermatt of Switzerland by 0.06 seconds. James Crawford of Canada was third to earn his second career World Cup podium finish.

Kilde also won the opening downhill last weekend in Lake Louise, Alberta.

“It’s been a tough week,” Kilde said after the race. “I caught the flu in Lake Louise after a very, very nice weekend. It really hit me hard. Then I got a couple of days to rest and take it easy. … I felt OK. Still feeling it a little bit in my system.”

The Beaver Creek crew members had the course in solid shape a day after a downhill race was canceled due to high wind and snowfall.

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Kilde reached speeds around 75 mph in picking up his eighth World Cup downhill victory. That tied him with Kjetil Jansrud for the third-most downhill wins in the World Cup discipline among Norwegian men. The total trails only Aksel Lund Svindal (14) and Lasse Kjus (10).

“I found a really, really good set-up with my equipment and also with my skiing,” Kilde explained. “I believe in myself. I trust in myself. I have a good game plan. When I stand on the start, I don’t dwell on anything. I know that this plan is what I do and when I do that it’s going to be fast.”

Odermatt has been on the podium in all four World Cup races this season as he tries to defend his overall World Cup title. The 25-year-old finished third in the opening downhill of the season last weekend. He’s also won a giant slalom race and a super-G.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle wound up in seventh place for the top American finish. He was ninth in the downhill in Lake Louise.

“It’s been solid,” Cochran-Siegle said of his strides in the discipline. “A couple of little things here and there that pushed me off that top three. You have to ski with a lot of intensity and ski without abandon, in a sense. Today was a good step.”

Switzerland’s Beat Feuz, who won the Olympic downhill gold medal at the Beijing Games last February, tied for ninth.

The Beaver Creek stop on the circuit comes to a close Sunday with a super-G race. Odermatt will be the favorite after holding off Kilde in the opening super-G last weekend.

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