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Figure skating Grand Prix Final qualification standards adjusted

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The short program standings will act as final results for the Trophée Bompard Grand Prix figure skating competition in Bordeaux, France, the International Skating Union announced. Instead of the six-skater Grand Prix Final in Barcelona Dec. 10-13, the ISU has allowed for a seventh skater (or pair / ice dance couple) to participate in the final under specific circumstances. The free programs were canceled due to the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris.

If skaters who participated in Trophée Bompard are in seventh place after next weekend’s final Grand Prix event, NHK Trophy, they will be invited to the Grand Prix Final. Otherwise, the competition will be limited to six skaters if the seventh place athlete was not a Trophée Bompard participant.

More from Grand Prix France short programs: Gold breaks personal best in short program | Chan, Aaron struggle

Gracie Gold, who lead the ladies field after the short program, clinched a berth into the Grand Prix Final with this adjustment. She also qualified into last year’s field, but withdrew due to a stress fracture in her left foot.

Ashley Wagner and Japan’s Mao Asada are slated to skate at the NHK Trophy in Japan. Both of them have the opportunity to bump reigning Russian world champion Elizaveta Tuktamysheva from the final.

Other Russians, like Julia Lipnitskaya, are still in the hunt for the final. Lipnitskaya is an interesting case, however; if she is bumped to seventh place in the overall standings, she will be invited to the Grand Prix Final because of her participation in Trophée Bompard.

On the men’s side, Max Aaron mimics Lipnitskaya’s position. He is currently sixth, without the results of this weekend’s NHK Trophy included in the standings. Again, if he is bumped to seventh, the men’s field will include Aaron and six other skaters because of his participation in Trophée Bompard.

Other men included in the Grand Prix Final field are reigning world champion Javier Fernandez, who clinched his spot by winning last weekend’s Rostelecom Cup, while appearances by Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu and Olympic silver medalist Patrick Chan seem likely. Hanyu will compete this weekend at NHK Trophy in Japan.

Top ladies Grand Prix season scores
1. Yelena Radionova (RUS) — 211.32 (Rostelecom Cup)
2. Yevgenia Medvedeva (RUS) — 206.76 (Rostelecom Cup)
3. Yevgenia Medvedeva (RUS) — 206.01 (Skate America)
4. Gracie Gold (USA) — 202.80 (Skate America)
5. Ashley Wagner (USA) — 202.52 (Skate Canada)
6. Mao Asada (JPN) — 197.48 (Cup of China)
7. Rika Hongo (JPN) — 195.76 (Cup of China)
8. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) — 188.99 (Skate Canada)
9. Satoko Miyahara (JPN) — 188.07 (Skate America)

Top men’s Grand Prix season scores
1. Javier Fernandez (ESP) — 271.43 (Rostelecom Cup)
2. Patrick Chan (CAN) — 271.14 (Skate Canada)
3. Javier Fernandez (ESP) — 270.55 (Cup of China)
4. Jin Boyang (CHN) — 261.23 (Cup of China)
5. Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) — 259.54 (Skate Canada)
6. Max Aaron (USA) — 258.95 (Skate America)
7. Shoma Uno (JPN) — 257.43 (Skate America)
8. Daisuke Murakami (JPN) — 252.25 (Skate Canada)

Eliud Kipchoge sets next marathon

Eliud Kipchoge
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Eliud Kipchoge will race the London Marathon on April 26 before he is expected to defend his Olympic title in Japan on Aug. 9, which would mark the shortest break between marathons of his career.

Kipchoge, who in his last 26.2-mile effort became the first person to break two hours at the distance, won all four of his London Marathon starts, including breaking the course record in 2016 and 2019.

His time this past April 28 — 2:02:37 — is the third-fastest time in history. Kipchoge has the world record of 2:01:39 set at the 2018 Berlin Marathon. His sub-two-hour marathon in Vienna on Oct. 12 was not in a record-eligible race.

Kipchoge’s previous shortest break between marathons came in 2016, when he also ran London and the Olympics. The Olympics will be two weeks earlier in 2020 than in 2016.

Kipchoge, 35, has won 11 of 12 marathons since moving to road racing after failing to make Kenya’s 2012 Olympic track team.

He has yet to race the two most prestigious marathons in the U.S. — Boston and New York City — but has said they are on his bucket list.

MORE: Eliud Kipchoge opines on shoe technology debate

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Canadians become first female doubles luge team in World Cup

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WHISTLER, British Columbia (AP) — Caitlin Nash and Natalie Corless made luge history Saturday, becoming the first female team to compete in a World Cup doubles race.

The 16-year-olds from Whistler combined to finish 22nd in a field of 23 sleds, though that seemed largely irrelevant. There have been four-woman teams in what is typically called four-man bobsledding, but luge has never seen a pairing like this until now.

The German sled of Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken won the race in 1 minute, 16.644 seconds. Germany’s Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt finished second and the Russian team of Vsevolod Kashkin and Konstantin Korshunov placed third for their first medal of the season.

The U.S. team of Chris Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman placed 11th.

But the story was the Canadian teens, who qualified for the World Cup event on Thursday. They were nearly a half-second behind any other finisher and almost 2.7 seconds back of Eggert and Benecken. But they’ll forever be able to say that they were winning the race at one point — a technicality because they were the first ones down the hill at the Whistler Sliding Center, but accurate nonetheless.

The only sled they beat was the Italian team of Ivan Nagler and Fabian Malleier, who crashed in the second heat.

There are women’s singles and men’s singles races on the World Cup luge circuit, but there is no rule saying doubles teams must be composed of two men. There have been more female doubles racers at the junior level in recent years, and it was generally considered to be just a matter of time before it happened at the World Cup level.

That time became Saturday.

Canada had the chance to qualify a second sled into the doubles field because some teams typically on the circuit chose to skip this weekend’s stop, and Nash and Corless got into by successfully finishing a Nations Cup qualifying race on Thursday.

They were 11th in that race out of 11 sleds, more than a full second behind the winner and nearly a half-second behind the closest finisher. But all they had to do was cross the line without crashing to get into Saturday’s competition, and earned their spot in the luge history books as a result.

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