Kristin Armstrong just misses podium, Olympic spot in World Championships comeback

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Two-time Olympic champion Kristin Armstrong finished fifth in the World Road Cycling Championships time trial in Richmond, Va., on Tuesday, in her biggest race since the London Olympics.

Armstrong, a 42-year-old mother, retired after repeating as Olympic time trial champion in 2012 and becoming the first U.S. woman to earn multiple Olympic cycling gold medals.

She unretired (for the second time in her career) earlier this year.

In Richmond, Armstrong finished fifth in 40 minutes, 50.45 seconds, which was 20.58 seconds slower than New Zealand winner Linda Villumsen on the 19-mile course. The Netherlands’ Anna van der Breggen took silver, with German Lisa Brennauer capturing bronze after winning the title last year.

Armstrong was the top American, six seconds faster than Evelyn Stevens, who took sixth after earning bronze last year.

Armstrong was the second starter of 44 in Richmond. She posted the fastest time early in the afternoon and then waited about two hours before somebody posted a faster time.

A top-three finish would have clinched a 2016 Olympic spot for any American. They can still earn spots on the team for the Rio Games at a later date.

Also Tuesday, three-time Czech Republic Olympic speed skating champion Martina Sablikova finished 12th for the second straight year. Sablikova qualified for the Rio Olympics, according to Czech media.

The World Road Cycling Championships continue Wednesday with the men’s time trial, featuring 2012 Olympic fourth-place finisher Taylor Phinney. Universal Sports (12:30-2 p.m. ET), NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra (2-4 p.m.) will have coverage.

MORE: World Road Cycling Championships broadcast schedule

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U.S. Olympic 3×3 basketball qualifying teams named with former NBA player, WNBA stars

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Former NBA player Robbie Hummel and WNBA stars lead U.S. Olympic qualifying teams in the new Olympic event of 3×3 basketball.

The four-man and four-woman teams will compete in a global qualifier in India in March, each favored to grab one of three available Olympic berths per gender for the U.S.

Hummel, who unretired to become world champion in 3×3, is joined on the U.S. Olympic men’s qualifying team by Team Princeton teammates Canyon Barry and Kareem Maddox, plus Dominique Jones, who has played with Team Harlem. Team Princeton is guided by an investment firm CEO who once beat Michael Jordan one-on-one.

Last year, Hummel, Maddox and Barry (one of Rick Barry‘s sons) were part of a team that won the world title.

The U.S. women’s 3×3 qualifying roster is made up of WNBA stars Napheesa Collier, Stefanie DolsonAllisha Gray and Kelsey Plum. The U.S.’ top-ranked 3×3 player, as of last month, is Oregon star Sabrina Ionescu, who can’t play internationally this spring as she is in the thick of the NCAA season.

Olympic teams will not necessarily be made up of players from the qualifying tournament.

If the U.S. qualifies for Tokyo, it will then choose its roster(s) in a similar fashion to its traditional basketball teams — via selection committee. It’s unlikely active NBA players will be eligible.

Like with the qualifying tournament, two of the four Olympic players must be ranked in the top 10 among Americans in FIBA 3×3 rankings (as of a May 22 cutoff).

In 3×3, games last 10 minutes, or until one team reaches 21 points. Games are played on a half-court with a 12-second shot clock, and offense immediately turns to defense after a team scores.

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First U.S. sailors qualify for Olympics; gold medalist misses on tiebreak

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The first five members of the U.S. Olympic sailing team were finalized this past weekend. The last American sailor to win an Olympic title missed on a tiebreaker.

Stephanie Roble and Maggie Shea (49er FX), Anna Weis and Riley Gibbs (Nacra 17) and Charlie Buckingham (Laser) qualified after world championships competition concluded in Australia. The U.S. Olympic roster across all sports is now at 43 qualified athletes.

The closest race for a U.S. Olympic spot came in 49er FX. Roble and Shea edged Paris Henken and 2008 Olympic champion Anna Tobias on a tiebreak. Roble and Shea, both first-time Olympic qualifiers, won Saturday’s medal race and earned an overall bronze medal.

That put the two U.S. duos in a tie in Olympic qualifying — combining placements from the 2019 and 2020 Championships, according to TeamUSA.org. The tiebreak went to Roble and Shea for having the better finish at this year’s worlds.

Tobias, a 37-year-old who won the individual 2008 Olympic Laser Radial as Anna Tunnicliffe, came out of retirement in a bid for a third Olympics. She left competitive sailing in 2014, took up CrossFit competitions and returned to crew for Henken more than two years ago.

“We are very sad and upset,” was posted on Tobias’ Instagram, “but we wish them [Roble and Shea] the best of luck.”

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