How U.S. Olympic women’s swim team would look based on 2015 times

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Now that the year’s biggest swim meets are finished, there’s an opportunity to compare times and rank the fastest U.S. women’s swimmers per event.

The top two swimmers per event make the U.S. Olympic team at the trials next June and July, plus likely the top six from the 100m and 200m freestyles for relays.

Before getting to the rankings, two notes:

  • Katie Ledecky is the only U.S. woman ranked No. 1 in the world in an event, for the second straight year. Though Ledecky swept the 200m, 400m and 800m World titles (and the 1500m, but that’s not an Olympic event), she is fourth fastest in the world in the 200m in 2015. Ledecky is also ranked No. 42 in the world in the 100m free (ninth among Americans).
  • Natalie Coughlin, a 12-time Olympic medalist who made the London 2012 team only in the 4x100m freestyle relay, ranks No. 2 in the 50m free, No. 3 in the 100m free and No. 1 in the 100m back, ahead of Olympic champion Missy Franklin. If Coughlin makes the Rio team and wins one medal, she will break her tie with Jenny Thompson and Dara Torres for the most Olympic medals won by an American woman.

How U.S. Olympic men’s swim team would look based on 2015 times

Here are the rankings with world ranking in parentheses.

50m Freestyle
1. Simone Manuel — 24.47 (8)
2. Natalie Coughlin — 24.66 (14)

3. Madison Kennedy — 24.71 (15)
4. Amanda Weir — 24.85 (23)

100m Freestyle
1. Missy Franklin — 53.68 (9)
2. Simone Manuel — 53.81 (10)
3. Natalie Coughlin — 53.85 (14)
4. Margo Geer — 53.95 (19)
5. Amanda Weir — 54.24 (29)
6. Allison Schmitt — 54.34 (34)

200m Freestyle
1. Katie Ledecky — 1:55.16 (4)
2. Missy Franklin — 1:55.49 (5)
3. Allison Schmitt — 1:56.23 (10)
4. Leah Smith — 1:57.52 (25)
5. Katie McLaughlin — 1:57.55 (26)
6. Melanie Margalis — 1:57.91 (33)

400m Freestyle
1. Katie Ledecky — 3:59.13 (1)
2. Leah Smith — 4:04.66 (6)

3. Lindsay Vrooman — 4:07.28 (21)
4. Hali Flickinger — 4:07.93 (25)

800m Freestyle
1. Katie Ledecky — 8:07.39 (1)
2. Becca Mann — 8:24.13 (9)

3. Leah Smith — 8:24.74 (10)
4. Lindsay Vrooman — 8:26.67 (11)

100m Backstroke
1. Natalie Coughlin — 59.05 (6)
2. Missy Franklin — 59.40 (7)

3. Claire Adams — 59.58 (9)
4. Kathleen Baker — 59.63 (11)

200m Backstroke
1. Missy Franklin — 2:06.34 (3)
2. Maya DiRado — 2:08.50 (10)

3. Lisa Bratton — 2:09.31 (14)
4. Claire Adams — 2:09.44 (17)

100m Breaststroke
1. Katie Meili — 1:05.64 (3)
2. Jessica Hardy — 1:06.68 (7)

3. Lily King — 1:06.69 (8)
4. Breeja Larson — 1:07.33 (22)

200m Breaststroke
1. Micah Lawrence — 2:22.04 (4)
2. Laura Sogar — 2:23.54 (14)

3. Molly Hannis — 2:25.57 (27)
4. Annie Lazor — 2:26.23 (31)

100m Butterfly
1. Kelsi Worrell — 57.24 (3)
2. Katie McLaughlin — 57.87 (14)

3. Kendyl Stewart — 58.05 (17)
4. Felicia Lee — 58.54 (34)

200m Butterfly
1. Cammile Adams — 2:06.40 (5)
2. Katie McLaughlin — 2:06.95 (8)

3. Hali Flickinger — 2:07.59 (10)
4. Cassidy Bayer — 2:08.03 (17)

200m Individual Medley
1. Maya DiRado — 2:08.99 (4)
2. Melanie Margalis — 2:10.26 (7)

3. Caitlin Leverenz — 2:10.51 (8)
4. Madisyn Cox — 2:10.75 (9)

400m Individual Medley
1. Maya DiRado — 4:31.71 (2)
2. Caitlin Leverenz — 4:35.46 (6)

3. Elizabeth Beisel — 4:36.71 (11)
4. Sarah Henry — 4:38.88 (21)

How Katie Ledecky can be an underdog at the Rio Olympics

Ironman Kona World Championships return for first time in three years, live on Peacock

Ironman Kona World Championship
Ironman
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The Ironman Kona World Championships return after a three-year hiatus with a new format, live on Peacock on Thursday and Saturday at 12 p.m. ET.

The Ironman, held annually in Hawaii since 1978, and in Kailua-Kona since 1981, was not held in 2020 or 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The world championships made a one-time-only stop in St. George, Utah, on May 7 to make up for the 2021 cancellation. The winners were Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt, the Tokyo Olympic triathlon champion, and Swiss Daniela Ryf, who bagged her fifth Ironman world title.

Both are entered in Kailua-Kona, where the races are now split between two days — Thursday for the women and Saturday for the men.

An Ironman includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a marathon — totaling 140.6 miles of racing. It takes top triathletes eight hours to complete. Very arguably, it crowns the world’s fittest man and woman.

WATCH LIVE: Ironman Kona, Thursday, 12 p.m. ET — STREAM LINK

Ryf, 35 and a 2008 and 2012 Olympian, can tie retired countrywoman Natascha Badmann for second place on the women’s list at six Ironman world titles. Only Zimbabwean-turned-American Paula Newby-Fraser has more with eight.

The field also includes German Anne Haug, the 2019 Kona champ and only woman other than Ryf to win since 2015. Brit Lucy Charles-Barclay, the Kona runner-up in 2017, 2018 and 2019, returns after missing the St. George event due to a stress fracture in her hip.

Blummenfelt, 28 and in his Kona debut, will try to become the youngest male champion in Kona since German Normann Stadler in 2005. His top challengers include countryman Gustav Iden, the two-time reigning Half Ironman world champion, and German Patrick Lange, the 2017 and 2018 Ironman Kona winner.

Also racing Saturday is Dallas Clark, a retired All-Pro NFL tight end with the Indianapolis Colts, and Tony Kanaan, the 2013 Indy 500 champion who completed the 2011 Kona Ironman in 12 hours, 52 minutes, 40 seconds.

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Joan Benoit Samuelson, Olympic marathon champ in 1984, runs London Marathon at 65

Joan Benoit Samuelson
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Joan Benoit Samuelson, the first Olympic women’s marathon champion in 1984, ran her first 26.2-mile race in three years at Sunday’s London Marathon and won her age group.

Benoit Samuelson, 65, clocked 3 hours, 20 minutes, 20 seconds to top the women’s 65-69 age group by 7 minutes, 52 seconds. She took pleasure in being joined in the race by daughter Abby, who crossed in 2:58:19.

“She may have beaten me with my replacement knee, but everybody said I wouldn’t do it! I will never say never,” Benoit Samuelson said, according to race organizers. “I am a grandmother now to Charlotte, and it’s my goal to run 5K with her.”

LONDON MARATHON: Results

Benoit Samuelson raced the 1987 Boston Marathon while three months pregnant with Abby. Before that, she won the first Olympic women’s marathon at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, plus the Boston Marathon in 1979 and 1983 and the Chicago Marathon in 1985.

Her personal best — 2:21:21 — still holds up. She ranks sixth in U.S. women’s history.

Benoit Samuelson plans to race the Tokyo Marathon to complete her set of doing all six annual World Marathon Majors. The others are Berlin, Boston, Chicago and New York City.

“I’m happy to finish this race and make it to Tokyo, but I did it today on a wing and a prayer,” she said, according to organizers. “I’m blessed to have longevity in this sport. It doesn’t owe me anything, but I feel I owe my sport.”

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