Aly Raisman wins Secret Classic; Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas in limited action

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Aly Raisman opened the Olympic selection season just as she did four years ago — with an all-around victory at the Secret Classic.

The three-time London 2012 medalist totaled 59.25 points in Hartford, Conn., beating an all-around field that did not include Olympic champion Gabby Douglas and World champion Simone Biles. Full scores are here.

“Every single night before I go to sleep, I have butterflies in my stomach, it’s like I can’t turn it off,” Raisman, trying to become with Douglas the first women to make back-to-back Olympic teams since 2000, told Andrea Joyce on NBC Sports Live Extra. “We are all kind of freaking out.”

Biles and Douglas each took it easy Saturday, competing on two of four events (strong on uneven bars; imperfect on balance beam) to warm up for the P&G Championships in three weeks and the U.S. Olympic Trials in five weeks. The five-woman Olympic team will be announced after the Olympic Trials.

“I would grade it … like 75 percent,” Biles said. “I still had wobbles here and there and my form on bars [was off]. … You don’t want to be 100 percent just yet. At P&Gs and trials, that’s where we want to give it our all and start peaking.”

Raisman notched her first all-around title since the 2012 Secret Classic, when she similarly beat a field that didn’t include the other top U.S. women (Douglas and Jordyn Wieber at the time).

“I still feel like the same as I was in 2012,” Raisman, 22, said.

On Saturday, Raisman fell in the first 10 seconds of her first routine on uneven bars, her weakest event. She stayed on her feet on balance beam and floor exercise and then closed with the difficult Amanar vault, taking a small hop on the landing.

“It’s always really crazy when you’re trying to think positive and then one second you feel good, and the next you’re off the bar,” Raisman said. “If I make the Olympic team, it’s not going to be for bars, so I knew that I needed to prove myself on the other three events. … that’s what [U.S. national team coordinator] Martha [Karolyi] is looking for.”

Raisman decided to come back for a second Olympic run in part because she missed the London Games all-around podium, losing bronze by a tiebreaker.

If she makes the Rio team, Raisman will have to beat one of Douglas and Biles on qualification day at the Games to reach the Olympic all-around final (assuming she’s used on all four events in qualifying, by far not a given). Raisman failed to do so at the 2015 World Championships, where Biles and Douglas went on to take gold and silver.

On Saturday, Biles posted the highest balance beam score (15.65). Douglas had the third-highest uneven bars score (15.65).

Gymnastics competition concludes in Hartford on Sunday, with the final day of the P&G Men’s Championships, the first of two Olympic men’s selection meets.

Donnell Whittenburg leads after the first day, eyeing his first U.S. all-around title.

NBC Sports Live Extra will have coverage of the men from 1-4 p.m. ET on Sunday.

NBC Olympics gymnastics producer Julia Fincher contributed to this report from Hartford.

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Boglarka Kapas, world champion swimmer, tests positive for coronavirus

Boglarka Kapas
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Boglarka Kapas, the Hungarian swimmer and world 200m butterfly champion, said she tested positive for the coronavirus.

“I don’t have any symptoms yet, and that’s why it’s important for you to know that even if you feel healthy you can spread the virus,” was posted on her social media. “Please be careful, stay at home and stay healthy.”

Nine total members of the Hungarian national team — including swimmers and staff — have tested positive, according to the federation.

Kapas said her first test was negative but a second test showed she had the virus. She was staying in quarantine at home for two weeks.

Kapas, 26, won the 200m fly at last summer’s world championships by passing Americans Hali Flickinger and Katie Drabot in the last 25 meters. She clocked 2:06.78 to prevail by .17 of a second.

Kapas also took bronze in the Rio Olympic 800m freestyle won by Katie Ledecky.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

NHL players: Marie-Philip Poulin is world’s best female hockey player

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The U.S. may have the world’s best women’s hockey team, but NHL players believe Canadian Marie-Philip Poulin is the world’s best player.

Poulin received the most votes out of 496 responses in the 2019-20 NHLPA Player Poll, conducted before the season was suspended. The tally:

Poulin: 39.92%
Hilary Knight (USA): 36.29%
Kendall Coyne Schofield (USA): 15.52%
Emily Pfalzer Matheson (USA): 1.41%
Other: 6.85%

Last year, Knight received the highest percentage of votes from 203 NHL players (27.59), edging Poulin (24.14) with Amanda Kessel third (12.81) and Coyne Schofield and Pfalzer Matheson each receiving 5.91 percent.

Why were Poulin and Knight swapped this year? Perhaps Poulin’s Canadian team winning the debut of the NHL All-Star Skills Competition women’s 3-on-3 game on Jan. 24, even though Knight scored and Poulin did not.

Poulin, now 29, scored both goals in the 2010 Olympic final and the game-tying and -winning goals in the 2014 Olympic final. Even before her Olympic debut at age 18, the daughter of Quebec hospital workers was dubbed “the female Sidney Crosby.”

Knight, 30, led last April’s world championship tournament with seven goals as the U.S. won a fifth straight title. Poulin played 4 minutes, 44 seconds, total at the tournament, missing time with a knee injury.

This spring’s tournament, which was to start Tuesday, was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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