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Heather Richardson takes another world record from Brittany Bowe

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Heather Richardson took Olympic teammate Brittany Bowe‘s name off the world record books for the second straight Saturday, breaking Bowe’s mark in the 1500m in Kearns, Utah.

Richardson won a World Cup race at the 2002 Olympic venue in 1 minute, 50.85 seconds, taking .74 off Bowe’s world record set Sunday in Calgary (Dutch broadcast video here).

Bowe, skating in the same pair, also came in under her own world record (1:51.31).

Richardson’s time was .44 faster than the time Norwegian legend Johann Olav Koss skated to win the men’s 1500m at the Lillehammer 1994 Olympics, then a world record before the clap-skate era.

Last Saturday, Bowe broke the 1000m world record and Richardson reset it about three minutes later.

“I think we feed off each other,” Richardson said, according to US Speedskating. “I know last weekend I fueled her fire after taking the record in the 1000m, then she went and did the 1500m, so I’m sure tomorrow she’s going to bring her A game [in the 1000m at Kearns].”

Now, Richardson owns the women’s 1000m and 1500m world records, while another U.S. Olympian, Shani Davis, owns the men’s 1000m and 1500m world records from 2009.

In the last two weekends, world records have been broken in four of the 10 individual Olympic speed skating events. In three of those four, the world record has been broken multiple times.

The races have all been at Calgary and Kearns, the fastest venues in the world. World Cup races are held in Calgary and Kearns annually, which makes this year’s bevy of records quite extraordinary but also means no more records should be set the rest of this season.

The record flurry included one in the grueling men’s 10,000m earlier Saturday, when Dutch-born Canadian Ted-Jan Bloemen clocked 12:36.30, taking 5.39 seconds off Sven Kramer‘s mark from 2007.

Kramer’s time was the longest-standing Olympic event world record.

On Friday, Russian Pavel Kulizhnikov broke the men’s 500m world record for the second straight week, clocking 33.98 seconds in Kearns.

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Coronavirus forces Olympic soccer and boxing qualifiers to move

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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Olympic qualifying events in two sports were moved from the Chinese city of Wuhan on Wednesday because of an outbreak of a deadly viral illness.

A four-nation Asian qualifying group for the women’s soccer tournament was switched from the city at the center of the health scare to Nanjing.

The Asia-Oceania boxing qualifying tournament scheduled for Feb. 3-14 in Wuhan was cancelled. No new plans were announced.

The decisions followed Chinese health authorities telling people in Wuhan to avoid crowds and public gatherings.

The Asian Football Confederation said the round-robin group — featuring host China, Australia, Taiwan and Thailand — will be played on Feb. 3-9, retaining the same dates, in Nanjing.

More than 500 people have been infected and at least 17 killed since the outbreak emerged last month. The illness comes from a newly identified type of coronavirus.

Cases have also been reported in the United States, Japan, South Korea and Thailand. All involve people from Wuhan or who recently traveled there.

In the soccer qualifiers in China, two teams advance to a four-nation playoff round in March. That will decide which two teams from Asia join host Japan at the Tokyo Olympics.

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Russia trounces U.S. boys’ hockey team to wrap up Youth Olympic Games

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Russia routed the U.S. 4-0 in the boys’ hockey gold medal game Wednesday, the final day of the Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The U.S. had more penalties (three) than shots (two) in the first period. Russia’s Matvei Michkov converted the first power play and added an even-strength goal later in the period. Another power-play goal in the second period ran the score to 3-0.

Michkov just turned 15 and is projected as a top pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.

The gold medal was Russia’s ninth of the Games, excluding events that featured mixed-nationality teams, and 27th overall medal. Both numbers were the best of the competition.

Switzerland finished second in the medal tally with nine golds and 22 total. Japan, the surprise winner in girls’ hockey, matched Switzerland with nine golds among its 17 medals.

The U.S. had two gold medals and 11 total. Kiernan Fagan took gold in the boys’ ski slopestyle and silver in ski big air. Dusty Henricksen won the boys’ snowboard slopestyle.

Fagan, who turned 18 during the Games, already has a couple of World Cup podiums and finished 12th in slopestyle in last year’s world championships. He also took silver in big air and slopestyle in last year’s world junior championships.

Henricksen, who’ll turn 17 next month, placed 17th in the World Cup big air event last month in Atlanta.

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