Which nation wins most medals in PyeongChang? Germany looks golden

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Germany will top the PyeongChang Olympic medal standings if results repeat from this season’s winter sports world championships.

Germans have easily won the most medals (34) and golds (18) in Olympic events across this season’s world championships. A total of 100 of the 102 Olympic events (or their equivalents) have had their world championships contested already this season.

While men’s hockey and mixed doubles curling worlds are still to take place, Germany’s lead is insurmountable.

The medal standings:

Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
Germany 18 10 6 34
USA 12 7 9 28
Norway 8 9 10 27
Canada 7 11 8 26
France 5 8 9 22
Austria 8 5 7 20
Russia 4 8 7 19
Netherlands 10 3 5 18
Japan 4 7 4 15
Switzerland 3 6 5 14
China 4 3 3 10
Sweden 2 4 4 10
South Korea 3 1 4 8

Germany cleaned up in its hallmark sliding sports, winning seven gold medals in 10 events at bobsled, luge and skeleton world championships (aided significantly by hosting bobsled and skeleton worlds). It also earned seven of 11 golds at biathlon worlds and swept the three Nordic combined gold medals.

Germany topped the Winter Olympic medal standings in 1998, 2002 and 2006. It slipped to second behind the U.S. at Vancouver 2010.

In Sochi, Germany fell all the way down to sixth in total medals with 19, its fewest since reuniting East and West Germany at the Olympics 25 years ago.

The U.S. is likely to finish second in the world championships medal table, setting up well to repeat its second-place finish in the Sochi Olympic medal standings next year.

The Americans excelled in a number of sports this season. They range from the traditional strengths — freestyle skiing and snowboarding — to events with no Olympic medal history — biathlon and women’s cross-country skiing.

Russia, embroiled in a doping scandal, is not looking like the power that topped the Sochi standings with 33 medals and 13 golds. This winter, Russians have earned just four gold medals and rank seventh in total medals.

Russia finished sixth, fifth and sixth in total medals in the three Winter Games before Sochi. It appears likely to revert toward those places in PyeongChang, assuming it is able to send a full delegation.

Meanwhile, Olympic host country South Korea has earned eight medals this season, all in short- and long-track speed skating. That’s good for 13th place, which would match its output in Sochi.

South Korean athletes will undoubtedly receive a home-field advantage next February, likely resulting in a medal boost since most world championships were held in Europe.

They better. South Korean sports officials have repeated that the 2018 Olympic medal target is 20 overall, with eight gold, more than double the totals from this world championships season.

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MORE: PyeongChang 2018 daily schedule highlights

Kenenisa Bekele still eyes Eliud Kipchoge’s marathon world record, but a duel must wait

Kenenisa Bekele
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LONDON — Kenenisa Bekele made headlines last week by declaring “of course I am the best” long distance runner ever. But the Ethiopian was fifth-best at Sunday’s London Marathon, finishing 74 seconds behind Kenya’s Amos Kipruto.

Bekele, 40, clocked 2:05:53, the fastest-ever marathon by a runner 40 years or older. He was with the lead pack until being dropped in the 21st mile.

But Bekele estimated he could have run 90 to 120 seconds faster had he not missed parts of six weeks of training with hip and joint injuries.

“I expect better even if the preparation is short,” he said. “I know my talent and I know my capacity, but really I couldn’t achieve what I expect.”

Bekele is the second-fastest marathoner in history behind Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge, who broke his own world record by clocking 2:01:09 at the Berlin Marathon last week.

“I am happy when I see Eliud Kipchoge run that time,” Bekele said. “It motivates all athletes who really expect to do the same thing.”

LONDON MARATHON: Results

Bekele’s best time was within two seconds of Kipchoge’s previous world record (2:01:39). He described breaking Kipchoge’s new mark as the “main goal” for the rest of his career.

“Yes, I hope, one day it will happen, of course,” Bekele said. “With good preparation, I don’t know when, but we will see one more time.”

Nobody has won more London Marathons than Kipchoge, a four-time champion who set the course record (2:02:37) in 2019. But the two-time Olympic marathon champion did not run this year in London, as elite marathoners typically choose to enter one race each spring and fall.

Bekele does not know which race he will enter in the spring. But it will not be against Kipchoge.

“I need to show something first,” Bekele said. “I need to run a fast time. I have to check myself. This is not enough.”

Kipchoge will try to become the first runner to win three Olympic marathon titles at the Paris Games. Bekele, who will be 42 in 2024, has not committed to trying to qualify for the Ethiopian team.

“There’s a long time to go before Paris,” Bekele said. “At this moment I am not decided. I have to show something.”

So who is the greatest long distance runner ever?

Bekele can make a strong case on the track:

Bekele
Four Olympic medals (three gold)
Six World Championship medals (five gold)
Former 5000m and 10,000m world-record holder

Kipchoge
Two Olympic medals
Two World Championship medals (one gold)

But Kipchoge can make a strong case on the pavement:

Bekele
Second-fastest marathoner in history
Two World Marathon Major victories

Kipchoge
Four of the five best marathon times in history
Two-time Olympic marathon champion
12 World Marathon Major victories

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Yalemzerf Yehualaw, Amos Kipruto win London Marathon

Yalemzerf Yehualaw
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Ethiopian Yalemzerf Yehualaw became the youngest female runner to win the London Marathon, while Kenyan Amos Kipruto earned the biggest victory of his career in the men’s race.

Yehualaw, 23, clocked 2:17:26, prevailing by 41 seconds over 2021 London champ Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya.

Yehualaw tripped and fell over a speed bump around the 20-mile mark. She quickly rejoined the lead pack, then pulled away from Jepkosgei by running the 24th mile in a reported 4:43, which converts to 2:03:30 marathon pace; the women’s world record is 2:14:04.

Yehualaw and Jepkosgei were pre-race favorites after world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya withdrew Monday with a right hamstring injury.

On April 24, Yehualaw ran the fastest women’s debut marathon in history, a 2:17:23 to win in Hamburg, Germany.

She has joined the elite tier of female marathoners, a group led by Kenyan Peres Jepchirchir, the reigning Olympic, New York City and Boston champion. Another Ethiopian staked a claim last week when Tigist Assefa won Berlin in 2:15:37, shattering Yehualaw’s national record.

Joan Benoit Samuelson, the first Olympic women’s marathon champion in 1984, finished Sunday’s race in 3:20:20 at age 65.

LONDON MARATHON: Results

Kipruto, 30, won the men’s race in 2:04:39. He broke free from the leading group in the 25th mile and crossed the finish line 33 seconds ahead of Ethiopian Leul Gebresilase, who said he had hamstring problems.

Kipruto, one of the pre-race favorites, had never won a major marathon but did finish second behind world record holder Eliud Kipchoge in Tokyo (2022) and Berlin (2018) and third at the world championships (2019) and Tokyo (2018).

Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest marathoner in history, was fifth after being dropped in the 21st mile. His 2:05:53 was the fastest-ever marathon by a runner 40 years or older. Bekele ran his personal best at the 2019 Berlin Marathon — 2:01:41 — and has not run within four minutes of that time since.

The major marathon season continues next Sunday with the Chicago Marathon, headlined by a women’s field that includes Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich and American Emily Sisson.

London returns next year to its traditional April place after being pushed to October the last three years due to the pandemic.

MORE: Bekele looks ahead to Kipchoge chase after London Marathon

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