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Australia’s Groves leads way into 200 butterfly final, two Americans advance

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Of the eight swimmers to qualify for Wednesday’s 200 butterfly final, three nations will be responsible for six of them.

Australia’s Madeline Groves posted a time of 2:05.66 to lead the eight qualifiers, with Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia coming in second with a time of 2:06.06. Groves is one of two Australians to qualify for the final, with Brianna Throssel finishing with the seventh-best time. Also having two swimmers qualify for the final were China and the United States.

China’s Zhou Yilin posted the third-best qualifying time, with teammate Zhang Yufei ranking fifth among qualifiers. As for the United States, Hali Flickinger posted the sixth-best time with Cammile Adams coming eighth. Adams’ time of 2:07.22 was 11 one-hundredths of a second better than the time posted by Japan’s Suzuka Hasegawa.

Both Belmonte and Adams raced in the 200 butterfly final four years ago in London, with Belmonte taking silver and Adams finishing fifth.

First Olympic women’s aerials champion Cheryazova dies at 50

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MOSCOW (AP) Lina Cheryazova, the first woman to win an Olympic aerials skiing gold medal, has died. She was 50.

Officials in the Russian city of Novosibirsk, where Cheryazova was living for the last two decades, said she died “following a lengthy illness,” without giving further details.

Competing for Uzbekistan, Cheryazova won gold with a triple flip when aerials skiing debuted on the Olympic program in 1994 in Lillehammer.

Shortly after winning, she learned her mother died three weeks before.

Cheryazova’s career was derailed later that year when she suffered a serious head injury while training in the United States, and spent days in a coma. She retired after failing to qualify for the 1998 Winter Olympics.

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Clare Egan notches first World Cup podium in biathlon season finale

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In the final biathlon event of the 2018-19 season, American Clare Egan recorded her first career World Cup podium finish, placing third in the mass start in Oslo, Norway. She hit 19 of 20 targets and crossed the finish line 10.4 seconds behind winner Hanna Oberg of Sweden. Norway’s Tiril Eckhoff finished second.

Egan, 31, made her Olympic debut at the 2018 PyeongChang Games, but considered retiring from biathlon at the end of the last season. “I decided that I wanted to do one more year, just for fun, just to see how much I could learn and how good a biathlete I could become,” Egan said in a U.S. Biathlon press release.

Her decision to continue has paid off: since the start of the 2018-19 season, Egan has posted the top eight finishes of her career (including three top-10 results). She concludes the season ranked 18th in the overall World Cup standings.

“I skied much faster this year than I have in the past and I think that was due to finally finding a good balance in my training, between working hard and resting. I did not train more, but the quality was much higher. I’m very excited for the next season,” Egan told U.S. Biathlon.