Brittany Bowe, Heather Richardson trade 1000m world records

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Brittany Bowe rebroke her 1000m world record on Saturday. Heather Richardson took it away about three minutes later.

The U.S. Olympic teammates went one-two in the season-opening World Cup on blazing-fast ice in Calgary.

Bowe, the reigning World Sprint champion, began the day holding the world record of 1:12.58 in the distance, set on Nov. 17, 2013, in Salt Lake City, an oval also known for quick times.

Bowe raced just under it in Calgary, in 1:12.54.

Richardson, the World 500m champion, followed in the next pair and knocked Bowe out of the record books in 1:12.51. It’s Richardson’s first single-distance world record.

“Yesterday, I was a little disappointed with my speed,” Richardson, who was fourth in the 500m on Friday, told Dutch broadcaster NOS. “I kept my cool today and was able to pull it off.”

Here’s video of Bowe and Richardson from NOS.

For perspective, take Dan Jansen‘s emotional 1000m victory at the Lillehammer 1994 Olympics. That came in 1:12.43, before the clap-skate era.

Bowe and Richardson, who were part of U.S. speed skating’s zero-medal effort at Sochi 2014, went one-two in both 500m and both 1000m races at the World Sprint Championships last season. They split one-two finishes in the 500m and the 1000m at the World Single Distance Championships as well.

In other events in Calgary, two-time reigning Olympic champion Lee Sang-hwa of South Korea took the 500m on Friday. Czech distance queen Martina Sablikova earned the 3000m title.

On the men’s side, Shani Davis was fifth in the 1000m on Saturday, while the Netherlands’ Sven Kramer beat out countryman Jorrit Bergsma (Richardson’s husband) in the 5000m on Friday.

Full results are here.

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Alpine skiing to test new format for combined race

Alpine Skiing Combined
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Alpine skiing officials will test a new format for the combined event, a race that is under review to remain on the Olympic program.

French newspaper L’Equipe reported that the International Ski Federation (FIS) will test a new team format for the combined, which has been an individual event on the Olympic program since 1988. L’Equipe reported that a nation can use a different skier for the downhill and slalom in the new setup, quoting FIS secretary general Michel Vion.

For example, the U.S. could use Breezy Johnson in the downhill run and sub her out for Mikaela Shiffrin in the slalom run, should the format be adopted into senior competition.

The format will be tested at the world junior championships in January in St. Anton, Austria, according to the report.

In response to the report, a FIS spokesperson said, “Regarding the new format of the combined is correct, and our directors are working on the rules so for the moment the only thing we can confirm is that there will be this new format for the Alpine combined that has been proposed by the athletes’ commission.”

Some version of the combined event has been provisionally included on the 2026 Olympic program, with a final IOC decision on its place coming by April.

This will be the third consecutive World Cup season with no combined events. Instead, FIS has included more parallel races in recent years. The individual combined remains on the biennial world championships program.

L’Equipe also reported that the mixed team parallel event, which is being dropped from the Olympics, will also be dropped from the biennial world championships after this season.

“There is nothing definitive about that yet, but it is a project in the making,” a FIS spokesperson said in commenting on the report.

Vion said the mixed team event, which debuted at the Olympics in 2018, was not a hit at the Beijing Games and did not draw a strong audience, according to L’Equipe.

The World Cup season starts in two weeks with the traditional opening giant slaloms in Soelden, Austria.

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Ironman Kona World Championships return, 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.

WATCH LIVE: Ironman Kona men’s pro race, Saturday, 12 p.m. ET — STREAM LINK

Both entered Kailua-Kona, where the races were now split between two days — Thursday for the women and Saturday for the men. Chelsea Sodaro won the women’s race, ending a 20-year American victory drought.

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.

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.

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