Jan Frodeno wins Ironman World Championship seven years after Olympic gold

Jan Frodeno
AP
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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.

Mark McMorris breaks Winter X Games medals record with slopestyle gold

Mark McMorris
Getty
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Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris broke his tie with American Jamie Anderson for the most Winter X Games medals across all sites, earning his 22nd medal, a slopestyle gold, in Aspen, Colorado.

On the final run of Sunday’s contest, McMorris overtook Norway’s Marcus Kleveland with back-to-back 1620s on the last two jumps. McMorris’ last three Aspen slopestyle titles were all won on his final run (2019, 2022).

“It’s something I never thought would ever come to me as a kid from Saskatchewan,” McMorris, 29, said on the broadcast. “Everything’s just been a bonus since I became a pro snowboarder.”

In a format introduced three years ago, athletes were ranked on overall impression of their best run over the course of a jam session rather than scoring individual runs.

McMorris won his record-extending seventh X Games Aspen men’s slopestyle title, one day after finishing fourth in big air.

“It just keeps getting crazier because I keep getting older,” he said. “People just keep pushing the limits, pushing the limits. Last night was such a downer, almost bums me out, like, dude, do I still have it? … To have one of those miracle wins where you do it on the last run and someone makes you push yourself, those are the best feelings.”

McMorris won slopestyle bronze medals at each of the last three Olympics and reportedly said last February that he was planning to compete through the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games.

Canadian Max Parrot, the 2022 Olympic slopestyle champion, is taking this season off from competition.

Anderson, a two-time Olympic snowboard slopestyle champion, is expecting her first child.

Later Sunday, U.S. Olympian Mac Forehand won men’s ski big air with a 2160 on his last run, according to commentators. It scored a perfect 50. Olympic gold medalist Birk Ruud of Norway followed with a triple cork 2160 of his own, according to commentators, and finished third.

Canadian skier Megan Oldham added slopestyle gold to her big air title from Friday, relegating Olympic champion Mathilde Gremaud of Switzerland to silver.

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Ilia Malinin wins U.S. Figure Skating Championships despite quadruple Axel miss

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One year ago, Ilia Malinin came to the U.S. Championships as, largely, a 17-year-old unknown. He finished second to Nathan Chen in 2022 and was left off the three-man Olympic team due to his inexperience, a committee decision that lit a fire in him.

After the biggest year of change in U.S. figure skating in three decades, Malinin came to this week’s nationals in San Jose, California, as the headliner across all disciplines.

Though he fell on his quadruple Axel and doubled two other planned quads in Sunday’s free skate (the most ambitious program in history), he succeeded the absent Chen as national champion.

Malinin, the world’s second-ranked male singles skater, still landed two clean quads in Friday’s short program and three more Sunday. He totaled 287.74 points and prevailed by 10.43 over two-time Olympian Jason Brown, a bridge between the Chen and Malinin eras.

“I think I was just not ready to deliver at that day,” Malinin, who was bidding to become the second man to land six quads in one program after Chen, said on NBC. “I was really so confident, I think I sort of overthought everything and tried to get ahead of myself. But I think it’s all right.”

FIGURE SKATING NATIONALS: Full Results

Brown, a 28-year-old competing for the first time since placing sixth at the Olympics, became the oldest male singles skater to finish in the top three at nationals since Jeremy Abbott won the last of his four titles in 2014. As usual, he didn’t attempt a quad but had the highest artistic score by 9.41 points.

Brown’s seven total top-three finishes at nationals tie him with Chen, Michael WeissBrian Boitano, David Jenkins and Dick Button for the second-most in men’s singles since World War II, trailing only Todd Eldredge‘s and Hayes Jenkins‘ eight.

“I’m not saying it’s super old, but I can’t train the way I used to,” Brown said after Friday’s short program. “What Ilia is doing and the way he is pushing the sport is outstanding and incredible to watch. I cannot keep up.”

Andrew Torgashev took bronze, winning the free skate with one quad and all clean jumps. Torgashev, who competed at nationals for the first time since placing fifth in 2020 at age 18, will likely round out the three-man world team.

Japan’s Shoma Uno will likely be the favorite at worlds. He won last year’s world title, when Malinin admittedly cracked under pressure in the free skate after a fourth-place short program and ended up ninth.

That was before Malinin became the first person to land a quad Axel in competition. That was before Malinin became the story of the figure skating world this fall. That was before Malinin took over the American throne from Chen, who is studying at Yale and not expected to return to competition.

Malinin’s next step is to grab another label that Chen long held: best in the world. To do that, he must be better than he was on Sunday.

“You always learn from your experiences, and there’s always still the rest of the season to come,” he said. “I just have to be prepared and prepare a little bit extra so that doesn’t happen again.”

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