Nathan Adrian stars on final night in Orlando; Michael Phelps sums up his meet

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Nathan Adrian may have looked better in the 50m freestyle last year, but his heart still savors the 100m free.

Adrian, the Olympic 100m free champion by .01 of a second in London, matched his fastest 100m freestyle since 2013 at a Pro Swim Series meet in Orlando on Saturday night.

He clocked 48.05 seconds, beating a field that included Michael Phelps (third place, 49.57). Full meet results are here.

“My training’s been showing a lot of speed in the 50 recently, but the 100’s my baby, that’s the one that I always focus on,” Adrian said on NBCSN. “That’s the one we’re constantly working at. To see it kind of pay off a little bit right there is really exciting.”

Put Adrian’s time in perspective.

It’s his fastest 100m free in a meet other than the Olympics, World Championships, Pan Pacific Championships and U.S. Championships, summer meets that swimmers train to peak for.

This is March. Adrian is training to peak at the Olympic trials in June and July.

It’s the second-fastest 100m free in the world this year, behind Australian Cameron McEvoy‘s 47.56. However, Australian swimmers must train to peak earlier than the rest of the world, since their Olympic trials are in April.

All told, it’s a great sign for Adrian, who dropped in the 100m free from gold at the 2012 Olympics to bronze at the 2013 World Championships to a tie for seventh at the 2015 World Championships.

Meanwhile, Adrian broke the American record in the 50m free at the 2015 World Championships in the semifinals and then earned silver in the final.

He’s looking like the favorite in both the 50m free and the 100m free at the U.S. Olympic trials. Adrian was third in the 50m free and first in the 100m free at the 2012 Olympic trials.

Meanwhile, Phelps would like to at the very least show he deserves a place on the 4x100m free relay in Rio. He’s been a part of the relay final quartet at the last three Olympics but ranked 20th in the U.S. in the event last year.

However, Phelps did not contest the 100m free at the August U.S. Championships, the meet that he peaked for in 2015. His time on Saturday ranked No. 6 in the U.S. this year.

“I’d like to get a good 100 between now and trials and potentially be on that relay,” Phelps said Saturday.

Phelps’ meet included a victory in the 100m butterfly Thursday and a third and a fourth in two of his non-primary events, the 100m free and 100m back, the last two nights.

“I’m always so hard on myself,” Phelps said on NBCSN, lamenting not having longtime coach Bob Bowman with him at a meet for the first time since he believed 2007 (Bowman is coaching the Arizona State men at the Pac-12 Championships this weekend). “Some of the small things really just weren’t there. My finish in the 100m fly was kind of blah. My finish in the 100m back wasn’t that great. My freestyle is still a little choppy.”

Phelps, while sitting shirtless in the TV booth, said he’s probably “the most cut” he’s been in his life.

“I don’t know if I should say this, but I’m going to,” Phelps said. “Not having a drink for over a year and a half, it’s incredible. … I can really tell the difference in my body.”

Phelps said in August that he gave up drinking alcohol after his Sept. 30, 2014, DUI arrest and that he won’t drink again through Rio, if ever.

In other events Saturday, Missy Franklin won the 200m backstroke with the fifth-fastest time in the world this year. Franklin captured the 100m back on Friday in her fastest time since the World Championships in August.

In the women’s 100m free on Saturday, both Franklin and Katie Ledecky were beaten by Simone Manuel.

Manuel, who finished sixth in the 100m free at Worlds in August, clocked 54.27. She was followed by Olympic 200m free champion Allison Schmitt in 54.56 and Ledecky in 54.67. Franklin was eighth in 55.83.

The Pro Swim Series continues with a meet in Mesa, Ariz., from April 14-16.

MORE SWIMMING: Franklin to co-author book

12-year-old skateboarders earn medals at world championships

Chloe Covell
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At the world skateboarding championships, 12-year-olds Chloe Covell from Australia and Onodera Ginwoo from Japan earned silver and bronze medals, respectively, in Sunday’s street finals.

In the women’s event, Covell took silver behind Brazilian 15-year-old Rayssa Leal, who was a silver medalist herself at the Tokyo Games.

Frenchman Aurélien Giraud, a 25-year-old who was sixth in skateboarding’s Olympic debut in Tokyo, won the men’s final in the United Arab Emirates. Ginwoo was third behind Portugal’s Gustavo Ribeiro.

The top Americans were Olympic men’s bronze medalist Jagger Eaton in sixth and 15-year-old Paige Heyn in seventh in the women’s event.

Nyjah Huston, a six-time world champion who placed seventh in Tokyo, missed worlds after August surgery for an ACL tear.

Up to three men and three women per nation can qualify per event (street and park) for the 2024 Paris Games. World rankings come June 2024 determine which Americans qualify.

In Tokyo, four of the 12 skateboarding medalists were ages 12 or 13.

Japan’s Kokona Hiraki, then 12, won silver in women’s park to become the youngest Olympic medalist since 1936, according to Olympedia.org. Japan’s Momiji Nishiya, then 13, won women’s street and became the youngest gold medalist in an individual event since 1936.

Worlds conclude this week with the men’s and women’s park events. The finals are Saturday.

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Francesco Friedrich, most decorated bobsledder in history, rebounds for 12th world title

Francesco Friedrich
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A week after his first major championships defeat in seven years, German Francesco Friedrich returned to his winning ways to close the world bobsled championships on Sunday.

Friedrich’s four-man sled won the world title by 69 hundredths of a second over British and Latvian sleds that tied for silver, combining times from four runs over the last two days in St. Moritz, Switzerland. It marked Great Britain’s first world championships men’s bobsled medal since 1966.

Geoff Gadbois drove the lone U.S. sled in the field, finishing 18th.

Friedrich, the most decorated bobsledder in history, extended his records with a fifth consecutive world four-man title and 12th world championship between two- and four-man events.

Germany swept all four titles at bobsled worlds with four different drivers taking gold.

Friedrich had won 12 consecutive Olympic or world titles before taking two-man silver at worlds last week in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He was dethroned in that event by countryman Johannes Lochner.

Friedrich has been hampered recently by a muscle injury from sprint training in late December. Going into worlds, Lochner had won four consecutive World Cup two-man races, while Hall won the last two World Cups in four-man.

Friedrich, 32, said before this season that he plans to make the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games his final competition. Friedrich and push athlete Thorsten Margis can break the record of four career Olympic bobsled gold medals that they currently share with retired Germans Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske.

The World Cup season concludes with stops in Igls, Austria, and Sigulda, Latvia, the next two weekends.

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