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Dana Vollmer’s plan for second child may include racing while pregnant

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Dana Vollmer pulled off the remarkable in Rio, earning a medal of every color, 17 months after childbirth. The butterfly swimmer wants to have another baby and return to competition again, and she’s preparing differently this time.

Vollmer has talked with her swimsuit maker, Tyr, about designing a suit for whatever size belly she has if and when she is pregnant. The goal is sooner rather than later.

“I didn’t swim at all with [baby boy] Arlen, so I’m hoping to be able to train through more of the pregnancy, hopefully,” Vollmer said last month. “Last time I was on bedrest. Really hoping that doesn’t happen.”

The seven-time Olympic medalist could even see a scenario where she competes in the early stages of pregnancy. Perhaps in 2017.

In the last Olympic cycle, Vollmer competed in the season after the London Olympics. Then she took 23 months off from competition before returning 13 months before the Rio Games.

“This time, if we get pregnant soon, then I’ll have more time than I had leading up to Rio,” Vollmer said. “I do feel like that I kind of ran out of time. I could have been faster in Rio. It’s part of what motivates me to continue swimming right now. I still feel like I have a faster swim in me.”

Vollmer was plenty fast in 2016, regaining her form as the fastest American in the 100m butterfly and posting the top 100m freestyle time in the country for the year going into the Olympic Trials.

In Rio, she took bronze in the 100m butterfly, silver as part of the 4x100m freestyle relay and gold with the 4x100m medley relay.

The 100m fly is her signature event.

At the 2012 Olympics, Vollmer broke Sarah Sjöström‘s world record in the 100m fly final and won gold.

In Rio, Sjöström broke the world record in the 100m butterfly and won gold. Vollmer, beaten by a gaping 1.15 seconds, then joked to her Swedish rival.

“Next is my turn,” Vollmer said, hinting at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Vollmer laughed about that comment in an interview last month.

“I would have liked to be a little closer to her to give her a little more of a scare for the gold medal,” she said. “For her to go as fast as she did [a half-second better than Vollmer’s personal best] was insane.”

Vollmer will be 32 come 2020, which is older than any previous U.S. Olympic female swimmer save Dara Torres, who raced at Sydney 2000 at age 33 and Beijing 2008 at 41.

Vollmer has been touched by words from other moms at playdates in the park this fall. They say she inspired them to believe they can achieve a life balance of being a mom while also pursuing their own self-interests, particiularly in physical fitness.

It could be just the start, especially if a pregnant Vollmer suits up for meets in the next year or so.

“I don’t know what my ‘fly would look like, and I don’t know how slow it might be,” she said. “It would be more about getting in and having fun racing a 100 fly.”

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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.

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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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