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Simone Biles sets when to return to training

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Simone Biles plans to return to gymnastics training in about one year, according to media at her Central Texas book signing Wednesday.

“I am taking a year off from gymnastics and am going back to training at the end of the year or beginning of next year, so I’ll start training then,” Biles said, according to the Houston Chronicle. “I don’t know when I’ll be back for the world championships. I have to get in shape, and we have trials for worlds, but hopefully the next goal after if I make worlds’ teams and championships is the Olympics again.”

Biles previously said she would take all of 2017 off from competition but planned to return at some point for a run for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The major competitions in 2018 will likely be in the summer — the national championships — and the early fall — world championships.

The only member of the Final Five who is in competition mode is Madison Kocian, who debuted for UCLA earlier this month.

Aly Raisman and Laurie Hernandez are also on breaks but expected to return to elite competition for a Tokyo run.

It’s not known whether Gabby Douglas will return to competition.

Olympic alternate Ragan Smith and a to-be-named gymnast make up the U.S. women’s team at the American Cup on March 4.

MORE: Laurie Hernandez sets 2017 goals

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.

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

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.