Michael Phelps’ influence out of pool impacts Olympic Trials results

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Michael Phelps wasn’t competing on opening night of the U.S. Olympic swimming trials. Still, the 18-time gold medalist’s influence impacted the results in the 400-meter individual medley, an event he once dominated.

With a proud Phelps looking on, his training partner Chase Kalisz (KAY-lish) won the final Sunday night, becoming the first swimmer to make the team for the Rio Games. Kalisz overtook defending Olympic champion Ryan Lochte for the lead on the breaststroke leg and went on to win in 4 minutes, 9.54 seconds.

Kalisz has admired Phelps since they both swam at North Baltimore Aquatic Club under coach Bob Bowman. Back then, Kalisz was a pesky kid and Phelps was already an Olympic champion. Kalisz and his teammates would twirl the spinners on the wheels of Phelps’ tricked-out Escalade in the parking lot at a local meet when the superstar swimmer wasn’t around.

“He would come out and catch us all and set off his car alarm, and we would freak out and run,” Kalisz recalled.

He and his co-conspirators wheedled multiple autographs out of Phelps which they traded for T-shirts from other swim teams.

“He’s a brother to me,” said Phelps, who at 30 is eight years older than Kalisz.

The relationship has flourished in the Arizona desert, where Phelps moved to continue training with Bowman, who became head coach at Arizona State last year. Kalisz took a year off of school at Georgia to join them in pursuit of his first Olympics.

Phelps is attempting to swim at his fifth and last Olympics. He was a two-time gold medalist in the 400 IM before finishing fourth in the London Games four years ago. He’s dropped the grueling event from his program, so seeing Kalisz win the race and keep it in the NABC family moved him to tears in the stands.

“I know Chase is very determined,” Phelps said. “I’ve watched him, I train with him every day, and the kid works his butt off.”

Phelps’ future retirement plans include becoming a volunteer assistant under Bowman at ASU. He’s testing his coaching skills on Kalisz, and sometimes it gets a little rough.

“When Michael gets on you, it’s pretty severe,” Bowman said. “It’s kind of nonstop for a while. When I do, it’s like a nuclear bomb got dropped on your head for about 2 1/2 minutes, but after that it’s over. Michael kind of keeps it going.”

Kalisz considers himself lucky to have Phelps, whom he describes as “the greatest swimmer of all time,” and Bowman giving tips.

“I’m very hard on him,” Phelps said. “There was a time when he actually asked Bob if I could back off a little bit. I just see potential and I want him to be the best he can be. He made some incredible improvements this year.”

It paid off during the first race at trials in front of a raucous, sold-out crowd at CenturyLink Center.

Kalisz was third through the opening 150 meters before moving up to second behind Lochte, who later said he pulled his groin in the morning preliminaries. Just as he did in prelims, Kalisz overtook Lochte on the breaststroke leg and stayed in front to the finish.

“I don’t have a fly and backstroke like him, so I got to play to my strengths,” Kalisz said. “I knew what I needed to do was build the first 50 breaststroke, like I talked to Michael and Bob about, and just hammer it as hard as I can coming home on the 150.”

Phelps found his way to Kalisz after the race and conveyed his pride.

“That was just a very emotional moment,” Kalisz said. “Michael has been like an older brother to me that I never had. He’s been the one guy that I’ve looked up to my entire life. I’ve never had a role model as big as him.”

Phelps watched the race from the media section, where he provided commentary for NBC. He touted unknown Jay Litherland as someone to watch over the last 100 meters, and it turns out the winningest Olympian in history was right.

Litherland finished second in 4:11.02 and claimed the other berth for Rio.

“He trained with us a little bit in Colorado when we were up there at altitude,” Phelps said. “The kid can swim. He closes races really well.”

MORE: For Phelps at Trials, nothing is a lock

Eliud Kipchoge breaks marathon world record in Berlin

Eliud Kipchoge Berlin Marathon
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Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge broke his own world record in winning the Berlin Marathon, clocking 2:01:09 to lower the previous record time of 2:01:39 he set in the German capital in 2018.

Kipchoge, 37 and a two-time Olympic champion, earned his 15th win in 17 career marathons to bolster his claim as the greatest runner in history over 26.2 miles.

His pacing was not ideal. Kipchoge slowed in the final miles, running 61:18 for the second half after going out in an unprecedented 59:51 for the first 13.1 miles. He still won by 4:49 over Kenyan Mark Korir.

“I was planning to go through it [the halfway mark] 60:50, 60:40,” Kipchoge said. “My legs were running actually very fast. I thought, let me just try to run two hours flat, but all in all, I am happy with the performance.

“We went too fast [in the first half]. It takes energy from the muscles. … There’s still more in my legs [to possibly lower the record again].”

MORE: Berlin Marathon Results

Ethiopian Tigist Assefa won the women’s race in 2:15:37, the third-fastest time in history for somebody who ran one prior marathon in 2:34:01. Only Brigid Kosgei (2:14:14 in Chicago in 2019) and Paula Radcliffe (2:15:25 in London in 2003) have gone faster.

American record holder Keira D’Amato, who entered as the top seed, was sixth in 2:21:48. D’Amato, who went nearly a decade between competitive races after college, owns the American record of 2:19:12 and now also the 10th-best time in U.S. history.

“Today wasn’t my best day ever, but it was the best I could do today,” she said in a text message, according to Race Results Weekly, adding that she briefly stopped and walked late in the race.

The last eight instances the men’s marathon world record has been broken, it has come on the pancake-flat roads of Berlin. It began in 2003, when Kenyan Paul Tergat became the first man to break 2:05.

The world record was 2:02:57 — set by Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in 2014 — until Kipchoge broke it for the first time four years ago.

The following year, Kipchoge became the first person to cover 26.2 miles in under two hours, clocking 1:59:40 in a non-record-eligible showcase rather than a race.

Kipchoge’s focus going forward is trying to become the first runner to win three Olympic marathon titles in Paris in 2024. He also wants to win all six annual World Marathon Majors. He’s checked off four of them, only missing Boston (run in April) and New York City (run every November).

Kipchoge grew up on a farm in Kapsabet in Kenya’s Rift Valley, often hauling by bike several gallons of the family’s milk to sell at the local market. Raised by a nursery school teacher, he ran more than three miles to and from school. He saved for five months to get his first pair of running shoes.

At 18, he upset legends Hicham El Guerrouj and Kenenisa Bekele to win the 2003 World 5000m title on the track. He won Olympic 5000m medals (bronze in 2004 and silver in 2008), then moved to the marathon after failing to make the 2012 Olympic team on the track.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup schedule, results

FIBA Women's World Cup
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The U.S. goes for its fourth consecutive title at the FIBA World Cup in Sydney — and eighth global gold in a row overall when including the Olympics.

A’ja Wilson, a two-time WNBA MVP, and Breanna Stewart, the Tokyo Olympic MVP, headline a U.S. roster that, for the first time since 2000, includes neither Sue Bird (retired) nor Diana Taurasi (injured).

The new-look team includes nobody over the age of 30 for the first time since 1994, before the U.S. began its dynasty at the 1996 Atlanta Games. The Americans have won 52 consecutive games between worlds and the Olympics dating to the 2006 Worlds bronze-medal game.

The field also includes host Australia, the U.S.’ former primary rival, and Olympic silver medalist Japan.

Nigeria, which played the U.S. the closest of any foe in Tokyo (losing by nine points), isn’t present after its federation withdrew the team over governance issues. Spain, ranked second in the world, failed to qualify.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Round
Wed., Sept. 21 8:30 p.m. Puerto Rico 82, Bosnia and Herzegovina 58 Group A
9:30 p.m. USA 87, Belgium 72 Group A
11 p.m. Canada 67, Serbia 60 Group B
Thurs., Sept. 22 12 a.m. Japan 89, Mali 56 Group B
3:30 a.m. China 107, South Korea 44 Group A
6:30 a.m. France 70, Australia 57 Group B
8:30 p.m. USA 106, Puerto Rico 42 Group A
10 p.m. Serbia 69, Japan 64 Group B
11 p.m. Belgium 84, South Korea 61 Group A
Fri., Sept. 23 12:30 a.m. China 98, Bosnia and Herzegovina 51 Group A
4 a.m. Canada 59, France 45 Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia 118, Mali 58 Group B
Sat., Sept. 24 12:30 a.m. USA 77, China 63 Group A
4 a.m. South Korea 99, Bosnia and Herzegovina 66 Group A
6:30 a.m. Belgium 68, Puerto Rico 65 Group A
Sun., Sept. 25 12:30 a.m. France 74, Mali 59 Group B
4 a.m. Australia 69, Serbia 54 Group B
6:30 a.m. Canada 70, Japan 56 Group B
9:30 p.m. Belgium vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
11:30 p.m. Mali vs. Serbia Group B
Mon., Sept. 26 12 a.m. USA vs. South Korea Group A
2 a.m. France vs. Japan Group B
3:30 a.m. China vs. Puerto Rico Group A
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Canada Group B
9:30 p.m. Puerto Rico vs. South Korea Group A
11:30 p.m. Belgium vs. China Group A
Tues., Sept. 27 12 a.m. USA vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
2 a.m. Canada vs. Mali Group B
3:30 a.m. France vs. Serbia Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Japan Group B
Wed., Sept. 28 10 p.m. Quarterfinal
Thurs., Sept. 29 12:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
4 a.m. Quarterfinal
6:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
Fri., Sept. 30 3 .m. Semifinal
5:30 a.m. Semifinal
11 p.m. Third-Place Game
Sat., Oct. 1 2 a.m. Final