Katie Ledecky’s individual Rio schedule set after Trials rout

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Katie Ledecky‘s schedule in Rio is all set. The teenager will go for gold in three individual events after closing her U.S. swimming trials with another dominating performance.

The only blemish on her week came in the 100-meter freestyle, where she finished seventh.

She’ll swim the 200, 400 and 800 freestyles in Rio, taking aim at becoming the first woman since American Debbie Meyer at the 1968 Mexico City Games to sweep those events.

Also in Ledecky’s sights is Australian Shane Gould, who won three events all in world-record time at the 1972 Munich Games, including the 200 and 400 free.

“I’m just focused on my own goals,” Ledecky said Saturday night. “Anybody else’s expectations don’t mean that much to me.”

Ledecky won the 800 free in 8 minutes, 10.32 seconds, well off her own world record of 8:06.68 set in January at a meet in Austin, Texas. Still, the 19-year-old from Bethesda, Maryland, won the final by nearly 10 seconds.

“I was 8:19 here at trials in 2012, so definitely have improved a lot since then,” she said.

SWIM TRIALS: Video | Results | Broadcast Schedule

Four years ago, Ledecky was the surprise winner of the 800 free in London, where she was the youngest member of the U.S. swimming team. Now, she’ll be the heavy favorite to defend her title and add two more, plus she’ll be on at least one relay.

Away from the pool, Ledecky wants to participate in the Olympic tradition of pin trading.

“I did one or two last time, but it would be cool to rack up a little collection,” she said.

Ledecky is already looking ahead to the 100 free in 2020, which should scare the competition.

“Getting seventh here will be motivation for four years when the 100 will more likely be a target and something I might consider focusing a little more on in the future,” she said.

MORE: The code to Katie Ledecky’s goals in Rio

Lucas Braathen, world’s top male slalom skier, in doubt for world championships

Lucas Braathen
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Norway’s Lucas Braathen, the world’s top male slalom skier this season, is doubtful to compete in the world championships slalom on Feb. 19 after appendix surgery on Tuesday.

“It’s been a tough couple of days fighting after surprisingly finding out about quite an intense infection on my appendix,” Braathen, a 22-year-old soccer convert with a Brazilian mom, posted on social media. “I’ve been through surgery and I’m blessed that it went successfully.”

The Norway Alpine skiing team doctor said Braathen’s recovery will take a few weeks, but there is a small possibility he can make it back for the world championships slalom, which is on the final day of the two-week competition.

Braathen has two slalom wins and one giant slalom win this World Cup season. He will miss Saturday’s slalom in Chamonix, France, the last race before worlds. Countryman Henrik Kristoffersen and Swiss Daniel Yule can overtake him atop the World Cup slalom standings in Chamonix.

Braathen entered last year’s Olympics as the World Cup slalom leader and skied out in the first run at the Games.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

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Sifan Hassan sets marathon debut

Sifan Hassan
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Sifan Hassan, who won 5000m and 10,000m gold and 1500m bronze at the Tokyo Olympics in an unprecedented triple, will make her 26.2-mile debut at the London Marathon on April 23.

Hassan, a 30-year-old Dutchwoman, said she will return to the track after the race, but how the London Marathon goes will play into whether she bids for the Olympic marathon in 2024.

“I want to see what I can do on the marathon distance, to make future decisions,” she posted on social media. “We’ll see if I will finish the distance or if the distance will finish me.”

Exhausted by her Olympic feat, Hassan reportedly went at least seven months after the Tokyo Games between training in track spikes. She finished fourth in the 10,000m and sixth in the 5000m at last July’s world championships in Eugene, Oregon.

“I really needed a break after the Tokyo Olympics,” Hassan said at worlds. “I was mentally crashed. I didn’t even care about running.”

London, billed as the best women’s marathon field in history, also boasts Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya, world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya, 2016 Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia, 1500m world record holder Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia and the two fastest Americans in history, Emily Sisson and Keira D’Amato.

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