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Patrick Chan: Maybe ISU should put limit on quadruple jumps

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Olympic silver medalist Patrick Chan suggested a limit on quadruple jumps would benefit figure skaters due to injury risk.

“Maybe they [the International Skating Union] need to limit the amount of quads you can do in the long program,” Chan said, according to Reuters. “But I don’t think that will happen until somebody actually does get hurt.”

Chan, a 26-year-old who won three straight world titles from 2011-13, has voiced concern over the proliferation of four-revolution jumps since his comeback in 2015.

“It’s like the slam-dunk contest, that’s what it’s becoming,” Chan said after winning his eighth Canadian title in January, according to the Canadian Press. “I will be dead honest, I think with my experience and credibility at this point, I can say already with the men doing three quads, the quality of skating is diminished.”

Chan finished fifth at each of the last two world championships, beaten by skaters with more quads.

This year, he performed three quadruple jumps in his free skate for the first time at worlds. But it wasn’t enough to land on the podium despite Chan having the second-highest artistic marks in both the short program and free skate.

The world medalists — Yuzuru HanyuShoma Uno and Jin Boyang — each performed one more quad jump than Chan in the short program and in the free skate. American Nathan Chen attempted a record six quads in the free, falling twice and finishing sixth overall.

Hanyu, who took gold over Chan at the Sochi Olympics, is 22 years old, four years younger than Chan. Uno and Jin are each 19. Chen is 17.

“I’m going to stick to what I can do … because if I try and … do the impossible, I will either get too frustrated to the point where I won’t enjoy the sport anymore or I will get hurt and maybe have to get hip replacements at age 30,” Chan said, according to Reuters. “The advantage of a 17-year-old like Nathan and Shoma … [is that] there is a bit of disconnect between the toll their bodies are physically going through and the connection to the brain where it’s sending the pain.”

The judging system in place since 2004 rewards more quad attempts as skaters seek to accumulate points.

“The judging system is along for the ride as opposed to leading us to add more quads,” Chan said, according to Reuters. “The men’s field have taken it and morphed it to their strengths.”

Chan has felt like an underdog throughout his comeback. At this time four years ago, he held the world-record total score of 280.98 points. Now, that score ranks No. 33 all time. Five men have broken 300 points. Chan is not one of them.

“I have to remind myself of the little victories along the way,” Chan said at the world championships, noting he’s one of few skaters who have endured through three Olympic cycles. “That’s the only way I can hang with these guys.”

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Mo Farah focused on Chicago Marathon defense, not ruling out 10,000m double

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Mo Farah said all of his training focus is on defending his Chicago Marathon title on Oct. 13, but the British star also said Tuesday that he can wait until “the last minute” to change his mind and also enter the world championships 10,000m on Oct. 6.

“I am a reigning world champion, so I do get an automatic spot anyway,” Farah said of the 10,000m, where he is a three-time reigning world champion.

Farah transitioned to road racing after the 2017 season and was thought to be done with major track championships. Farah was the distance king for more than a half-decade, sweeping the 5000m and 10,000m at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.

Farah said Tuesday that he didn’t know what the deadline would be to enter the world championships 10,000m.

“I really don’t know. I think the last minute,” he said. “As I said, I get an automatic spot anyway. I don’t know. My main target is to defend my [marathon] title, come out to Chicago. All the training is geared toward the marathon.”

An IAAF spokesperson said Farah must be entered as part of the British team by Sept. 16 to be eligible for worlds.

British Athletics said Wednesday that its team will be selected Sept. 2.

“Should Mo wish to race the 10,000m in Doha, he would need to advise the selection panel prior to this date,” a spokesperson said.

Farah enticed his followers about the 10,000m in a July 27 Instagram with the hashtag #doha10k, referencing the site of world championships in Qatar. Farah was asked Tuesday why he included the hashtag.

“Anything is possible,” he said. “I’m a reigning champion. I get an automatic spot. There’s nothing I have to do. I just thought why not?”

It’s not an unprecedented type of move to race a 10,000m one week before a marathon. Former training partner Galen Rupp placed fifth in the 2016 Olympic 10,000m on Aug. 13, then took bronze in the marathon on Aug. 21.

Farah said he hasn’t set any major racing plans beyond Chicago. He finished what he called a disappointing fifth in the London Marathon in 2:05.39 on April 28, three minutes behind winner Eliud Kipchoge. Farah said a satisfying result in Chicago would be a win above worrying about a specific time. The last man to repeat as Chicago champ was Kenyan Sammy Wanjiru in 2010.

The 2020 London Marathon is three and a half months before the Tokyo Olympic marathon, a tight turnaround.

“I think I can get back in form for the London Marathon before the Olympics, and then the Olympics, I guess, but I haven’t decided,” Farah said. “My main target now is just Chicago, then work from there.”

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Race Imboden, Gwen Berry get probation for Pan Am Games podium protests

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DENVER (AP) — The letter went to the two protesters. The message was meant for a much wider audience.

The CEO of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee sent letters of reprimand to hammer thrower Gwen Berry and fencer Race Imboden for protesting on the medals stand last week at the Pan American Games, but the 12-month probations that came with the letters also included a none-too-subtle signal for anyone vying for next year’s Olympics.

“It is also important for me to point out that, going forward, issuing a reprimand to other athletes in a similar instance is insufficient,” Sarah Hirshland wrote in the letters sent Tuesday. The Associated Press obtained copies of the documents.

Neither Berry’s raised fist nor Imboden’s kneel-down on the Pan Am medals stand were met with immediate consequences, in part because they happened at the tail end of the Games that were wrapping up in Lima, Peru.

Hirshland’s letter was as clear a sign as possible that athletes who try the same next year in Tokyo could face a different reaction.

It’s the IOC’s role to discipline athletes who break rules that forbid political protest at the Olympics — much the way the IOC triggered the ouster of John Carlos and Tommie Smith after their iconic protest in 1968 — though national federations can get into the mix, too. Before going to the Olympics, athletes sign forms stating they’re aware of the rules and won’t break them.

“We recognize that we must more clearly define for Team USA athletes what a breach of these rules will mean in the future,” Hirshland wrote. “Working with the (athletes and national governing body councils), we are committed to more explicitly defining what the consequences will be for members of Team USA who protest at future Games.”

Neither athlete immediately returned messages sent to them by AP via their social media accounts and agents.

Both will be eligible for the Olympics next summer, when the United States will be in the heat of a presidential campaign.

In a tweet sent shortly after his team’s medals ceremony at the Pan Am Games, Imboden said: “Racism, gun control, mistreatment of immigrants, and a president who spreads hate are at the top of a long list” of issues that need to be addressed.

Berry said she was protesting social injustice in America, and that it was “too important to not say something.”

Hirshland said she respected the perspectives of the athletes and would work with the IOC “to engage on a global discussion on these matters.”

“However, we can’t ignore the rules or the reasons they exist,” she wrote.

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