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U.S. Olympic rowers get anti-microbial training suits for Rio waters

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U.S. Olympic rowers will be given a new, high-tech training suit with anti-microbial features designed to protect them against water pollution in Rio de Janeiro.

Athletics apparel maker Boathouse Sports says the new, seamless one-piece suit is knitted with an anti-microbial finish. It also has water-repellant features to keep the rowers cool and dry.

Testing last year by The Associated Press found that the lagoon where the Olympic rowing and canoeing events will be held next month was heavily contaminated.

Boathouse Sports says the training suit to be unveiled Monday is so close-fitting it feels “like a second skin” and even features a “double-layered bottom construction” that allows rowers to skip underwear.

“The preference of athletes today is to wear as little as possible,” company founder and CEO John Strotbeck told The Associated Press on Sunday.

The Philadelphia-based company also makes U.S. Rowing’s official racing uniform, a more standard garment without anti-bacterial features but a bolder graphic design, including an American flag on the back.

However, Strotbeck said once the rowers try out the new suits they may decide to use them for racing as well. The entire team must use the same uniforms.

“What I think they will find is the way it feels is remarkable,” said Strotbeck, who rowed for the U.S. in the 1984 and 1988 Olympics.

U.S. Rowing didn’t return calls and emails seeking comment on the new training suit.

In a statement, U.S. Rowing’s chief marketing officer Beth Kohl said: “We’re excited to be part of this new direction in rowing gear and look forward to seeing our athletes in this new unisuit while training for the podium in Rio.”

The Games run Aug. 5 to 21.

MORE: U.S. athletes qualified for Rio Olympics

Justin Schoenefeld gets U.S.’ first men’s aerials World Cup win in 4 years

Justin Schoenefeld
U.S. Ski & Snowboard
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Justin Schoenefeld ended a four-year U.S. men’s aerials drought with his first World Cup win Saturday in Belarus.

Schoenfeld, 21, hit a double full-full-full in the super final to beat a field that included world champion Maxim Burov of Russia. Burov was fourth, one spot behind another American, Chris Lillis. Full results are here.

“I’m pretty speechless right now,” Schoenefeld said, according to U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “I’m just shocked. It just all came so quick, all of a sudden the two finals were over, and I was on top of the podium. I probably landed two of my training jumps yesterday, but I managed to land all of my comp jumps down to my feet.”

Schoenefeld’s best previous World Cup finish was fourth, in Belarus last season.

Lillis earned the U.S.’ last World Cup men’s aerials victory on Feb. 20, 2016, also in Belarus. The four-year gap between wins marked the longest for the U.S. men since aerials was added as an Olympic medal sport in 1994.

Schoenefeld also became the first American of either gender to win a World Cup aerials event in two years, since Kiley McKinnon on Jan. 6, 2018. That gap was the longest for the U.S. since 2005.

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MORE: Olympic aerials champion retires to coach

Kaillie Humphries wins bobsled world title in first season for U.S.

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Two-time Olympic champion Kaillie Humphries won a bobsled world title in her first season since switching allegiance from Canada to the U.S., ending recent German dominance.

Humphries, with brakewoman Lauren Gibbs, edged German junior world champ Kim Kalicki by .37 of a second combining times from four runs between Friday and Saturday in Altenberg, Germany.

“I love this track. It’s very challenging, one of the hardest in the world,” Humphries said, according to U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton. “It demands a lot of focus, a lot of respect every minute you’re on that track. So to be able to win here, I know the Germans and the spectators, everybody, have worked so hard and this week, no exceptions. I’m proud of all of the girls.”

Canadian Christine de Bruin took bronze for a second straight year. Full results are here.

Humphries, who married a former U.S. bobsledder, was released by Canada in September after filing verbal abuse and harassment claims against a coach, saying she no longer felt safe with the program. As a Canadian, Humphries won 2010 and 2014 Olympic titles, plus 2012 and 2013 World titles.

Humphries joined German Sandra Kiriasis as the only female drivers to win three world titles. She is already the only female driver with multiple Olympic titles.

German Mariama Jamanka, the reigning Olympic champion and defending world champion, finished fourth in Altenberg.

Triple U.S. Olympic medalist Elana Meyers Taylor didn’t compete as she sits out the season due to pregnancy. Meyers Taylor and Gibbs teamed for silver in PyeongChang.

The world championships continue Sunday with the conclusion of the two-man competition. German Francesco Friedrich, eyeing his sixth straight world title, leads after the first two of four runs.

A full TV and live stream schedule is here.

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