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Team USA coasts to women’s 4×200 free gold medal

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The decision to not have Missy Franklin in the lineup for the women’s 4×200 freestyle final certainly raised some eyebrows. But in the end, the race boiled down to one thing: the United States had Katie Ledecky, and no other team in the pool did.

Ledecky posted a time of 1:53.74 in her 200 meter anchor leg, turning what was a close race into a comfortable win for the United States. Team USA finished in a time of 7:43.03, with Allison Schmitt, Leah Smith and Maya DiRado swimming the first three legs. DiRado, who also won medals in the 200 IM (bronze) and 400 IM (silver), won her first Olympic gold medal as did Smith.

Schmitt has now won four Olympic gold medals in her career, with Ledecky having four to her credit as well.

Taking the silver was Australia with a time of 7:44.87, and Canada won bronze with a time of 7:45.39. While Franklin didn’t swim in the final she will be awarded a medal due to her competing in the preliminary heat, as will Melanie Margalis and Cierra Runge.

Boglarka Kapas, world champion swimmer, tests positive for coronavirus

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Boglarka Kapas, the Hungarian swimmer and world 200m butterfly champion, said she tested positive for the coronavirus.

“I don’t have any symptoms yet, and that’s why it’s important for you to know that even if you feel healthy you can spread the virus,” was posted on her social media. “Please be careful, stay at home and stay healthy.”

Nine total members of the Hungarian national team — including swimmers and staff — have tested positive, according to the federation.

Kapas said her first test was negative but a second test showed she had the virus. She was staying in quarantine at home for two weeks.

Kapas, 26, won the 200m fly at last summer’s world championships by passing Americans Hali Flickinger and Katie Drabot in the last 25 meters. She clocked 2:06.78 to prevail by .17 of a second.

Kapas also took bronze in the Rio Olympic 800m freestyle won by Katie Ledecky.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

NHL players: Marie-Philip Poulin is world’s best female hockey player

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The U.S. may have the world’s best women’s hockey team, but NHL players believe Canadian Marie-Philip Poulin is the world’s best player.

Poulin received the most votes out of 496 responses in the 2019-20 NHLPA Player Poll, conducted before the season was suspended. The tally:

Poulin: 39.92%
Hilary Knight (USA): 36.29%
Kendall Coyne Schofield (USA): 15.52%
Emily Pfalzer Matheson (USA): 1.41%
Other: 6.85%

Last year, Knight received the highest percentage of votes from 203 NHL players (27.59), edging Poulin (24.14) with Amanda Kessel third (12.81) and Coyne Schofield and Pfalzer Matheson each receiving 5.91 percent.

Why were Poulin and Knight swapped this year? Perhaps Poulin’s Canadian team winning the debut of the NHL All-Star Skills Competition women’s 3-on-3 game on Jan. 24, even though Knight scored and Poulin did not.

Poulin, now 29, scored both goals in the 2010 Olympic final and the game-tying and -winning goals in the 2014 Olympic final. Even before her Olympic debut at age 18, the daughter of Quebec hospital workers was dubbed “the female Sidney Crosby.”

Knight, 30, led last April’s world championship tournament with seven goals as the U.S. won a fifth straight title. Poulin played 4 minutes, 44 seconds, total at the tournament, missing time with a knee injury.

This spring’s tournament, which was to start Tuesday, was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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