David Boudia, Steele Johnson win U.S. Olympic Diving Trials

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Steele Johnson wouldn’t let the reality sink in until after the final dive Thursday night. David Boudia wouldn’t let him.

Standing off to the side of the 10-meter platform, Johnson realized he and synchronized diving teammate Boudia had such a large lead if they didn’t complete their final dive they would still win the final round and earn spots in the Olympic Games.

But Boudia, who competed in the 2008 and 20012 Olympics, reeled in his teammate and the pair completed their final dive, finishing with a score of 1,326.57 to cement their spot on the U.S. team.

Ryan Hawkins and Toby Stanley finished in second at 1,088.55.

“I knew we didn’t have to do our last dive because we were so far ahead, but (David) brought me back down to where we needed to be,” Johnson said. “He said we still had a job to do, but the second we hit the water (the emotions) came out.”

They won by 238 points, and they did it Indianapolis just miles from their hometowns. And if there was a moment where the two left no doubt in the minds of their competitors and spectators that were present, it was their 4 1/2-rotation forward summersault in the fifth round that garnered a 101.01 from the judges and an almost standing ovation from the crowd in attendance.

“How those dives went tonight is how they go in training,” Johnson said.

Boudia added, “Diving like this is in our bag of tricks, we train like this. But for it to play out like this in competition right before we leave for (Rio) is exactly what we wanted. Yes we did make it to the Olympic Games, but this isn’t where (success) stops. This is just the beginning.”

Boudia said Thursday night was the most emotional he has ever been in this, his third time making the Summer Games.

As the two came out of the water on their final dive, they ran over to the section where their families were sitting. Boudia hugged his wife and then raised his daughter into the air before hugging her. Johnson’s family, all of them donning matching t-shirts in support of Steele, gathered around the railing and waited for Johnson. When Johnson made it to the railing, he and his father shared a very emotional moment as the two hugged.

Johnson said he had been off social media for three weeks, and would only hop back on the grid for tonight. Tomorrow, the two will be back on the platform, practicing for the 10-meter individual final Sunday (standings here). Then, preparing for the Olympics in less than two months will be the only focus.

As Johnson began talking about the individual task ahead of both divers for Sunday’s event and the training the pair still needs before Rio, Boudia interrupted his teammate — it was time for Johnson to embrace the moment and forget about everything else.

“We get to enjoy this night,” Boudia said, looking at Johnson as he started to fight back tears.

MORE: Athletes qualified for U.S. Olympic team

Eliud Kipchoge sets next marathon

Eliud Kipchoge
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Eliud Kipchoge will race the London Marathon on April 26 before he is expected to defend his Olympic title in Japan on Aug. 9, which would mark the shortest break between marathons of his career.

Kipchoge, who in his last 26.2-mile effort became the first person to break two hours at the distance, won all four of his London Marathon starts, including breaking the course record in 2016 and 2019.

His time this past April 28 — 2:02:37 — is the third-fastest time in history. Kipchoge has the world record of 2:01:39 set at the 2018 Berlin Marathon. His sub-two-hour marathon in Vienna on Oct. 12 was not in a record-eligible race.

Kipchoge’s previous shortest break between marathons came in 2016, when he also ran London and the Olympics. The Olympics will be two weeks earlier in 2020 than in 2016.

Kipchoge, 35, has won 11 of 12 marathons since moving to road racing after failing to make Kenya’s 2012 Olympic track team.

He has yet to race the two most prestigious marathons in the U.S. — Boston and New York City — but has said they are on his bucket list.

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Canadians become first female doubles luge team in World Cup

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WHISTLER, British Columbia (AP) — Caitlin Nash and Natalie Corless made luge history Saturday, becoming the first female team to compete in a World Cup doubles race.

The 16-year-olds from Whistler combined to finish 22nd in a field of 23 sleds, though that seemed largely irrelevant. There have been four-woman teams in what is typically called four-man bobsledding, but luge has never seen a pairing like this until now.

The German sled of Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken won the race in 1 minute, 16.644 seconds. Germany’s Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt finished second and the Russian team of Vsevolod Kashkin and Konstantin Korshunov placed third for their first medal of the season.

The U.S. team of Chris Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman placed 11th.

But the story was the Canadian teens, who qualified for the World Cup event on Thursday. They were nearly a half-second behind any other finisher and almost 2.7 seconds back of Eggert and Benecken. But they’ll forever be able to say that they were winning the race at one point — a technicality because they were the first ones down the hill at the Whistler Sliding Center, but accurate nonetheless.

The only sled they beat was the Italian team of Ivan Nagler and Fabian Malleier, who crashed in the second heat.

There are women’s singles and men’s singles races on the World Cup luge circuit, but there is no rule saying doubles teams must be composed of two men. There have been more female doubles racers at the junior level in recent years, and it was generally considered to be just a matter of time before it happened at the World Cup level.

That time became Saturday.

Canada had the chance to qualify a second sled into the doubles field because some teams typically on the circuit chose to skip this weekend’s stop, and Nash and Corless got into by successfully finishing a Nations Cup qualifying race on Thursday.

They were 11th in that race out of 11 sleds, more than a full second behind the winner and nearly a half-second behind the closest finisher. But all they had to do was cross the line without crashing to get into Saturday’s competition, and earned their spot in the luge history books as a result.

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