Sanya Richards-Ross
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Sanya Richards-Ross to retire after Rio Olympics

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Olympic 400m champion Sanya Richards-Ross plans to make the Rio Olympics her final meet, according to her social media.

The announcement was not a surprise from Richards-Ross, 31 and a three-time Olympian.

Richards-Ross previously said she could see Rio being her final Olympics and that she (very briefly) considered retiring during this injury-plagued Olympic cycle.

Richards-Ross will be older in August than any woman who owns an Olympic 400m medal, according to sports-reference.com.

One woman has won back-to-back Olympic 400m golds — France’s Marie-José Pérec in 1992 and 1996.

Richards-Ross must finish in the top three in the U.S. Olympic Trials 400m final on July 3 to clinch a berth in the individual 400m in Rio. She likely needs to be top six to earn a place on the Olympic 4x400m relay.

Richards-Ross shockingly failed to make the eight-woman final at the 2015 U.S. Championships but was still named to the 4x400m relay team for Worlds last August.

She entered the U.S. Championships as the second-fastest woman in the world in the event in 2015.

Now, World champion Allyson Felix is the Olympic 400m favorite. Countrywoman Francena McCorory finished 2015 as the second-fastest American, followed by Richards-Ross.

Two more Americans — Courtney Okolo and Quanera Hayes — have already posted 400m times in 2016 that were faster than Richards-Ross’ best all of last year.

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First Olympic women’s aerials champion Cheryazova dies at 50

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MOSCOW (AP) Lina Cheryazova, the first woman to win an Olympic aerials skiing gold medal, has died. She was 50.

Officials in the Russian city of Novosibirsk, where Cheryazova was living for the last two decades, said she died “following a lengthy illness,” without giving further details.

Competing for Uzbekistan, Cheryazova won gold with a triple flip when aerials skiing debuted on the Olympic program in 1994 in Lillehammer.

Shortly after winning, she learned her mother died three weeks before.

Cheryazova’s career was derailed later that year when she suffered a serious head injury while training in the United States, and spent days in a coma. She retired after failing to qualify for the 1998 Winter Olympics.

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Clare Egan notches first World Cup podium in biathlon season finale

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In the final biathlon event of the 2018-19 season, American Clare Egan recorded her first career World Cup podium finish, placing third in the mass start in Oslo, Norway. She hit 19 of 20 targets and crossed the finish line 10.4 seconds behind winner Hanna Oberg of Sweden. Norway’s Tiril Eckhoff finished second.

Egan, 31, made her Olympic debut at the 2018 PyeongChang Games, but considered retiring from biathlon at the end of the last season. “I decided that I wanted to do one more year, just for fun, just to see how much I could learn and how good a biathlete I could become,” Egan said in a U.S. Biathlon press release.

Her decision to continue has paid off: since the start of the 2018-19 season, Egan has posted the top eight finishes of her career (including three top-10 results). She concludes the season ranked 18th in the overall World Cup standings.

“I skied much faster this year than I have in the past and I think that was due to finally finding a good balance in my training, between working hard and resting. I did not train more, but the quality was much higher. I’m very excited for the next season,” Egan told U.S. Biathlon.