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Meb Keflezighi outlines New York City Marathon goals

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NEW YORK — Meb Keflezighi would be satisfied with a top-10 finish in his 10th New York City Marathon.

“Goal No. 1 is to try to win,” he said. “Goal No. 2 is to be top three, then top five, then top six. If I can’t do that, top 10.”

The 40-year-old is the last American to win the five-borough race, in 2009, and has finished in the top 10 seven out of his nine starts dating to 2002.

“If I can land any of those [top-10s], it would be awesome,” said Keflezighi, the only men’s or women’s winner from the U.S. since Alberto Salazar in 1982. “Obviously, the closer to No. 1, the better.”

A top-10 should be no problem for Keflezighi, if his recent form holds up. Last year, he won the Boston Marathon in a personal-best 2:08:37, then finished fourth in New York in blustery conditions in 2:13:18 and in April returned to Boston with an eighth-place 2:12:42.

Ten men in the field other than Keflezighi have ever run faster than 2:13:18 over 26.2 miles, and New York is not a course conducive to personal bests.

Keflezighi will also race Sunday with the Olympic trials in 104 days in Los Angeles (live on NBC) resting in the back of his mind.

His biggest remaining goal in marathon running is to make a fourth Olympic team in 2016, and he has successful experience with short turnarounds to know he can perform well in November and February.

The biggest gauge for Keflezighi’s chances to finish in the top three in the Olympic trials will be how he performs Sunday.

The race includes one other top contender for the U.S. Olympic team, Nick Arciniaga, who is ranked No. 7 in the nation in marathon times since the 2012 Olympics.

Obviously, if Keflezighi is slower than Arciniaga, who famously finished 10th in New York last year with bloody nipples, then his trials hopes will take a major hit.

The 2004 Olympic silver medalist Keflezighi has the second-fastest marathon by an American since the 2012 Olympics, behind Dathan Ritzenhein.

In 2016, Keflezighi will be older than any previous U.S. Olympic runner. He plans to run beyond Rio, which would be his 24th time competing over 26.2 miles.

“And then maybe one Boston, and then finish up in New York [with a 26th marathon] would be huge,” he said.

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Netherlands on the board; more world records at speed skating worlds

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It took four world records from other countries before the Netherlands won its first title in an Olympic program event at the world single distances speed skating championships.

Jutta Leerdam got the dominant skating nation on the board on the third day of the four-day competition and in the ninth Olympic program event. Leerdam scored an upset over defending champion and world-record holder Brittany Bowe, the American who ended up eighth.

Leerdam, 21, prevailed despite having zero World Cup podiums to her name. She clocked 1:11.84, just .23 slower than Bowe’s world record set on the same Utah Olympic Oval last year. Bowe, who recently had her yearlong win streak snapped in the 1000m, finished in 1:12.92.

“It’s a nightmare,” Bowe said, according to media on site.

Later, the Netherlands won the men’s team pursuit in a world record 3:34.68, the fifth world record in Olympic events the last two days on the world’s fastest ice at the 2002 Olympic oval outside Salt Lake City.

Full results are here.

The world championships conclude Sunday, highlighted by American Joey Mantia defending his world title in the mass start.

In other Saturday events, both the men’s 1000m and women’s 5000m world records fell. On Friday, world records were lowered in the men’s 10,000m and women’s team pursuit.

Pavel Kulizhnikov followed his Friday world 500m title with the 1000m crown, repeating his double gold from 2016. Kulizhnikov was one of the Russians banned from the PyeongChang Olympics after he served a prior doping ban.

On Saturday, Kulizhnikov clocked 1:05.69 to take .49 off Dutchman Kjeld Nuis‘ record from last March, also set at Salt Lake City. Nuis, the Olympic 1000m and 1500m champion, took silver, 1.03 seconds behind.

Russian Natalya Voronina and Czech Martina Sablikova both went under Sablikova’s world record in the 5000m. Voronina came out on top in 6:39.02, 2.99 seconds faster than Sablikova’s record from a year ago and 2.16 seconds faster than Sablikova on Saturday.

Voronina’s time would have been the men’s world record as recently as 1993. Sablikova won the previous 10 world titles in the event dating to 2007.

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MORE: World Single Distances Championships broadcast schedule

Christian Coleman wins 60m at USATF Indoor Champs in history’s second-fastest time

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Christian Coleman overcame an average start to nearly break his 60m world record at the USATF Indoor Championships, a signal that the Olympic 100m favorite is in form to start the season.

Coleman clocked 6.37 seconds, matching the second-fastest time in history behind his world record 6.34 from 2018.

“I thought I had a shot at the record,” Coleman, the 2019 World 100m champion, told Lewis Johnson on NBC. “We haven’t done a whole lot of speed work [in training], so I’m pretty satisfied.”

Coleman now has the four fastest 60m times in history. He beat a field at nationals in Albuquerque that did not include Olympic 100m contenders Noah Lyles and Justin Gatlin, who did not race the indoor season.

Nationals mark the last major meet of the indoor season, given the world indoor championships were postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus outbreak in host China.

USATF Indoors: Results

In other events Saturday, Olympic champion Ryan Crouser launched the second-farthest indoor shot put in history — 22.60 meters. It was six centimeters shy of American Randy Barnes‘ world record from 1989.

Shelby Houlihan earned her 13th national title and her second in as many days. Houlihan, fourth in the 2019 Worlds 1500m, followed Friday’s 3000m title by pulling away in Saturday’s 1500m in 4:06.41.

Olympic steeplechaser Colleen Quigley was second, 1.89 seconds behind. Elle Purrier, who last Saturday ran the second-fastest indoor mile in history, withdrew before the race.

Sandi Morris beat Jenn Suhr in a battle of the 2016 Olympic silver medalist and 2012 Olympic champion in the pole vault. Morris cleared 4.90 meters, where Suhr failed at three attempts.

World bronze medalist Vashti Cunningham earned her fifth straight U.S. indoor high jump title.

MORE: Full list of U.S. athletes qualified for Tokyo Olympics

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