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Michael Phelps set to make record fifth Olympic team; Wednesday finals preview

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OMAHA — Michael Phelps has the chance to make more Olympic history on Wednesday night.

The 22-time Olympic medalist will become the first male swimmer to make five U.S. Olympic teams should he finish in the top two in the 200m butterfly (coverage starts at 8 p.m. ET, NBC and NBC Sports app).

Phelps is a heavy favorite in this event, the one he swam at his first Olympics in 2000.

Phelps had the fastest time in Tuesday’s preliminaries and semifinals. Last August, he swam the world’s fastest 200m butterfly since 2009 (Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh has since gone .03 faster).

Currently, Phelps shares the men’s record of four U.S. Olympic swimming teams with Jason Lezak and Ryan LochteDara Torres made five Olympic teams.

An event-by-event outlook for Wednesday’s semifinals and finals session:

Men’s 100m Freestyle Semifinals
Olympic champion Nathan Adrian had the fastest time in morning heats (48.43), followed by collegians Ryan Held (48.46) and Caeleb Dressel (48.69). Notable veterans eyeing a top eight overall finish to reach Thursday night’s final are 2000 co-Olympic 50m free champ Anthony Ervin and Ryan Lochte, who were fourth and sixth fastest in the morning. Cullen Jones, a two-time Olympic 4x100m free relay member, failed to make the semis.

Update: Lochte scratched out of the 100m free semifinals. He is still eligible for the 4x100m free relay in Rio via making the Olympic team in the 4x200m free relay Tuesday night.

Women’s 200m Freestyle Final
This is struggling Missy Franklin‘s best chance at making the Olympic team. She qualified fourth fastest into this final, and the top six finishers Wednesday night are likely headed to Rio for the 4x200m free relay. The top two go individually. Katie Ledecky ought to be one of them, followed by either Leah Smith, who took second to Ledecky in the 400m free Sunday, or Allison Schmitt, the Olympic champion in this event.

Men’s 200m Butterfly Final
Phelps qualified 1.10 seconds faster than anybody else into this final but wasn’t satisfied with his first swims of Trials on Tuesday. Tom Shields, who beat Phelps in the 100m butterfly at the 2014 U.S. Championships, and training partner Chase Kalisz, who won the 400m individual medley on Sunday, are in the running for the second Olympic spot.

SWIM TRIALS: Results | Broadcast Schedule

Women’s 200m Butterfly Semifinals
This event was nearly turned on its head Wednesday morning, when 2015 World silver medalist Cammile Adams was temporarily disqualified for an illegal turn. After video replay, she was reinstated with the fastest time of prelims by .91. The top eight from the two semifinals will make Thursday night’s final.

Men’s 200m Breaststroke Semifinals
Kevin Cordes, who broke the American record and won the 100m breaststroke earlier at Trials, is more known for his 200m breast. The 2015 World silver medalist had the fastest preliminary time by .89. Watch out for 6-foot-8-inch 16-year-old Reece Whitley, who was seventh in prelims. The top eight make Thursday night’s final.

Women’s 200m Individual Medley Final
Maya DiRado, who won the 400m IM on Sunday to make her first Olympic team, qualified fastest into the final by 1.21 seconds. The rest of the field is fighting for second, including 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Caitlin Leverenz.

ZACCARDI: Gold medalists deal with disappointment at Trials

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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.

MORE: Eliud Kipchoge opines on shoe technology debate

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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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