Jan Frodeno
AP

Jan Frodeno wins Ironman World Championship seven years after Olympic gold

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 (AP) — German Olympic champion Jan Frodeno won the Ironman World Championship on Saturday, pulling away in the bike leg in scorching conditions for his first victory in the event.

The 34-year-old Frodeno completed the 2.4-mile ocean swim, 112-mile bike leg and marathon run in 8 hours, 14 minutes, 40 seconds. He was second after the swim and took the lead for good 95 miles into the bike leg.

With temperatures on the course in excess of 120 degrees, Frodeno finished the swim in 50:50, the bike ride in 4:27:28 and the run in 2:52:22.

“I had good run form, but it was brutal,” Frodeno said. “No shade at all. If you’re going uphill, your heart rate goes up and it just doesn’t come back down.”

Frodeno, who was third last year, also is the reigning Ironman 70.3 world champion and won the gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He’s the first triathlete to win Olympic and Ironman World Championship titles.

Germany’s Andreas Raelert was second, and American Tim O’Donnell finished third.

“By far it’s the best performance I’ve had here,” O’Donnell said. “Andy is a great competitor. He came up to me really close in the Energy Lab, but I was able to pull away. I soon paid for that effort.”

Daniela Ryf of Switzerland won the women’s race for her first Ironman title after two-time defending champion Australian Mirinda Carfrae withdrew mid-race.

Ryf was among the first women out of the water and finished in 8:57:57, more than 12 minutes ahead of second-place Rachel Joyce of Britain.

“I’m so happy. It was such a hard day. Everything went perfect. I had a bit of luck and last 2 k I had a flat tire and could only roll in,” Ryf said. “I could put it together in such an amazing atmosphere.”

Liz Blatchford of Australia was third in 9:14:52.

Each year, more than 110,000 athletes vie for slots in the event. More than 2,300 triathletes started the race Saturday.

Asbel Kiprop, Olympic 1500m champ, banned 4 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)