Jackie Galloway
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Jackie Galloway is first to qualify for 2016 U.S. Olympic taekwondo team

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Jackie Galloway, a 2012 Olympic alternate for Mexico, is the first member of the 2016 U.S. Olympic taekwondo team.

The 19-year-old qualified via her World Taekwondo Federation Olympic ranking — being in the top six in the 67-plus kilogram weight class after this past weekend’s Grand Prix Final in Mexico City.

“My goal is to win gold at the Olympics,” Galloway said, according to TeamUSA.org. “And that’s not just my goal, that’s my plan.”

Galloway, a Southern Methodist mechanical engineering sophomore whose Twitter handle is @ikick_urface, this year earned World Championships bronze, Pan American Games gold and finished fourth at the Grand Prix Final.

The dual citizen and native Texan trained for the 2012 Olympics in Mexico City and moved back to the U.S. after missing the London Games.

The U.S. has won medals at all four Olympic taekwondo tournaments — the sport debuted at Sydney 2000 — but Galloway is the first U.S. men’s or women’s heavyweight division athlete to qualify for an Olympics.

Five of the eight U.S. Olympic taekwondo medals were won by members of the Lopez family — Mark, Steven and Diana.

Steven Lopez, the lone U.S. Olympic taekwondo champion, has made all four U.S. Olympic taekwondo teams. The 37-year-old reached the World Championships quarterfinals in May.

Lopez and others will try to qualify for Rio by winning the U.S. Olympic trials in February and then placing in the top two at a Pan American qualifier in March in Mexico.

MORE: Top-ranked taekwondo athlete switches from Britain to Moldova

Athletes qualified for 2016 U.S. Olympic team
Haley Anderson (Swimming) — @Swimhaley
Carlos Balderas (Boxing)
Morgan Craft (Shooting) — @morgancraft25
Glenn Eller (Shooting) — @wgeller3
Matthew Emmons (Shooting) — @mattemmonsusa
Jackie Galloway (Taekwondo) — @ikick_urface
Vincent Hancock (Shooting) — @vincent_hancock
Gwen Jorgensen (Triathlon) – @gwenjorgensen
Michael McPhail (Shooting)
Sean Ryan (Swimming) — @seanryan92
Keith Sanderson (Shooting)
Nathan Schrimsher (Modern Pentathlon) — @pentnate5
Sarah True (Triathlon) — @sgroffy
Jordan Wilimovsky (Swimming) — @j_wilimovsky
Jennifer Wu (Table Tennis)

Asbel Kiprop, Olympic 1500m champ, banned four years

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Kenyan Asbel Kiprop, the 2008 Olympic 1500m champion and a three-time world champ, was banned four years after testing positive for EPO in November 2017, according to track and field’s doping watchdog organization.

The ban is backdated to Feb. 3, 2018, when the 29-year-old was provisionally suspended after the failed test.

Kiprop repeatedly denied doping since last May, when he first acknowledged the positive test. Most recently, a 3,000-word defense from his lawyer was posted on Kiprop’s Facebook page.

Kiprop’s defenses included saying he was a victim of extortion and that he was offered “a reward” of becoming an anti-doping ambassador if he admitted guilt. The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), the IAAF’s independent organization to monitor doping and corruption, denied the latter last May.

A disciplinary panel dismissed six defenses from exonerating him, including the possibility his sample was spiked, in handing out the four-year ban.

Kiprop, the pre-eminent 1500m runner of the last decade, can appeal the ban.

At 19, he finished second in the Beijing Olympic 1500m but was upgraded to gold a year later after Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi failed a drug test. He is the youngest Olympic 1500m medalist of all time, according to the OlyMADMen.

Kiprop went on to earn three straight world titles in the 1500m in 2011, 2013 and 2015, matching the feats of retired legends Noureddine Morceli and Hicham El Guerrouj.

He struggled in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, finishing last in the London final with a hamstring injury and sixth in the Rio final won by American rival Matthew Centrowitz.

Kiprop has targeted El Guerrouj’s world record of 3:26:00, missing the mark by .69 of a second in 2015.

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Maggie Nichols is second woman in 20 years to repeat as NCAA all-around champ

Maggie Nichols
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Oklahoma junior and world champion gymnast Maggie Nichols became the first woman to repeat as NCAA all-around champion in 12 years, returning from a heel injury to compete on all four events for the first time since January on Friday.

Nichols, a Rio Olympic hopeful before being beset by a torn meniscus in 2016, joined 2004 Olympic silver medalist Courtney Kupets as the only women to win back-to-back NCAA all-arounds in the 2000s.

A junior, Nichols can next year join Jenny Hansen as the only women to three-peat in NCAA history.

Oklahoma goes for a third team title in four years on Saturday night against UCLA (featuring Olympic champions Madison Kocian and Kyla Ross), LSU and Denver.

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NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships Individual Results
All-Around
1. Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma) — 39.7125
2. Lexy Ramler (Minnesota) — 39.6625
2. Kyla Ross (UCLA) — 39.6625
4. Sarah Finnegan (LSU) — 39.65
5. Kennedi Edney (LSU) — 39.6

Vault
1. Kennedi Edney (LSU) — 9.95
1. Derrian Gobourne (Auburn)
1. Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma)
1. Kyla Ross (UCLA)

Uneven Bars
1. Sarah Finnegan (LSU) — 9.95

Balance Beam
1. Natalie Wojcik (Michigan) — 9.95

Floor Exercise
1. Alicia Boren (Florida) — 9.95
1. Lynnzee Brown (Denver)
1. Brenna Dowell (Oklahoma)
1. Kyla Ross (UCLA)