Kristian Ipsen
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U.S. could send full team of individual divers to Olympics

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U.S. divers came into the FINA World Cup in Rio de Janeiro this past week with plenty of work to do, and they just about got the entire job done.

The U.S. has qualified seven of a possible eight individual diving spots for the Olympics, after coming into the World Cup with two qualified spots.

The U.S. could receive an eighth spot, its second women’s springboard berth, but that might not be determined until June.

Abby Johnston finished 20th overall in the World Cup springboard preliminary event, missing earning the U.S. a second Olympic spot by two places (the top 18 divers in the event qualified a spot automatically).

All nations will submit their Olympic diving entries to FINA by June 15. If spots remain in the field, either by nations not sending divers or by athletes doubling up in multiple events, FINA will reallocate spots based on the World Cup results. The U.S. would be second in line to receive a women’s springboard berth.

The U.S. had a full complement of individual divers at its last 15 Olympics (not counting the boycotted Moscow 1980 Games), according to sports-reference.com.

Earlier at the World Cup, the U.S. earned Olympic berths in three of the four synchronized events, missing out only in the women’s springboard. That was a surprise given the U.S. earned its first Olympic women’s diving medals since 2000 in women’s synchro springboard at London 2012 (silver).

This past week, the best individual U.S. performances came from men’s divers.

Kristian Ipsen, an Olympic synchro springboard bronze medalist, earned individual springboard bronze on Monday, the first U.S. World Cup medal in that event since Troy Dumais‘ bronze in 2006.

David Dinsmore, who will eye his first Olympics at the June trials, also finished third in men’s platform, one spot ahead of Steele Johnson.

Olympic platform champion David Boudia did not compete individually at the World Cup because he already qualified a U.S. Olympic platform spot via his silver medal at the 2015 World Championships. He and Johnson were fourth in synchro platform Sunday.

Johnston, the only active U.S. female diver with an Olympic medal, struggled at the World Cup. She and Laura Ryan were eighth in synchro springboard, failing to qualify a U.S. spot for the Olympics by one place.

No U.S. divers clinched spots on the Olympic team at the World Cup. Rather, they qualified spots for the U.S. that will be allocated at the U.S. Olympic trials in Indianapolis from June 18-26.

MORE: David Boudia: ‘Silver is like a thorn in the side’

NBC Olympic researcher Alex Azzi contributed to this report from Rio de Janeiro.

Danielle Perkins is first U.S. boxer to win world title in 3 years

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Danielle Perkins became the U.S.’ first world champion boxer in this Olympic cycle, taking the heavyweight crown in Russia on Sunday.

Perkins, a 37-year-old who played college basketball at George Mason and St. John’s, improved from bronze in 2018 to earn her first world title, blanking defending world champion Yang Xiaoli of China 5-0 in Sunday’s final.

Video of the bout is here.

Perkins was slated to fight Yang in the 2018 World semifinals but withdrew due to medical reasons, according to USA Boxing.

The heavyweight division is 81+kg, but the heaviest Olympic weight division is capped at 75kg.

The last American to earn a world title was Claressa Shields in 2016, before she repeated as Olympic champion in Rio and moved to the professional ranks.

The Olympic trials are in December in Louisiana, after which winners will fight internationally in early 2020 in bids to qualify for the Tokyo Games.

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MORE: IOC strips Olympic status from boxing body AIBA

Brigid Kosgei shatters marathon world record in Chicago

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Kenyan Brigid Kosgei shattered a 16-year-old world record in the women’s marathon by 81 seconds, winning the Chicago Marathon in 2:14:04 on Sunday.

Brit Paula Radcliffe had held the record of 2:15:25 set at the 2003 London Marathon. Kenyan Mary Keitany holds the female-only record of 2:17:01 from the 2017 London Marathon. Both Kosgei and Radcliffe, the only women to break 2:17, ran with men in their record races.

Radcliffe’s record was the longest-standing for the men’s or women’s marathon of the last 50 years.

Kosgei did it one day after Eliud Kipchoge became the first person to run a sub-two-hour marathon in a non-record-eligible event in Vienna. She won by a gaping 6 minutes, 47 seconds over Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh.

Kosgei, who won Chicago in 2018 and the London Marathon in April, came in highly favored. The 25-year-old tuned up with the fastest half-marathon ever by a woman (by 23 seconds) on Sept. 8 on a non-record-eligible course.

“2:10 is possible for a lady,” Kosgei said after Sunday’s record.

Jordan Hasay, the top U.S. woman in the field, stopped after feeling a sharp hamstring strain after two miles. Hasay, who was coached by Alberto Salazar before his ban in a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency case, is one of several women in contention for the three Olympic spots at the Feb. 29 trials in Atlanta.

Kenyan Lawrence Cherono won the men’s race by one second over Ethiopian Dejene Debela in 2:05:45.

The U.S.’ top marathoner, Galen Rupp, dropped out around mile 23 after straining a calf around the sixth mile. Rupp, who was also coached by Salazar, was racing for the first time since the 2018 Chicago Marathon and Achilles surgery.

Mo Farah, the defending champion and four-time Olympic track gold medalist, finished eighth in 2:09:58. He also dropped from the leaders before the halfway point.

American Daniel Romanchuk and Swiss Manuela Schar won the wheelchair races.

Romanchuk, 21, repeated as champion. He has also won Boston London and New York City in the last year. Schar distanced decorated American Tatyana McFadden by 4:14, though McFadden did qualify for the Tokyo Paralympics with her runner-up finish (as did Romanchuk).

The fall major marathon season concludes with the New York City Marathon on Nov. 3, featuring defending champions Mary Keitany and Lelisa Desisa and 2018 Boston Marathon champion Des Linden.

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MORE: Chicago Marathon results