Chase Kalisz continues impressive weekend with world-leading time

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In the last two nights, Chase Kalisz set a personal best in the 200m breaststroke and posted the fastest time in the world this year in the 400m individual medley in Atlanta.

Kalisz, the Olympic 400m IM silver medalist, is setting up well for the U.S. Championships next month and the world championships in Budapest in July.

On Friday, Kalisz won the 200m breast in 2:10.74, lowering his personal best in the event at a second straight meet. Kalisz came into the year with a 200m breast best of 2:12.43 from 2014.

Kalisz rarely races the 200m breast and might not contest it at nationals, where the top two per event qualify for worlds. Kalisz now ranks third in the U.S. in the 200m breast this year.

“My endurance is kind of getting back to where I want to be,” Kalisz, coming off his senior season at the University of Georgia, told media Friday night. “Last year, I was consistent almost every single day, and I’m finally back to that level.”

Kalisz came back Saturday and won the 400m IM in 4:09.43, the best time in the world this year by .58 of a second. The 400m IM is his signature event. Kalisz is looking to duel Japan’s Kosuke Hagino and Daiya Seto, the Olympic gold and bronze medalists, and Hungarian Dávid Verrasztó at worlds.

Kalisz’s time Saturday was his fastest-ever outside of a major international meet or a U.S. Championships by 1.58 seconds.

Also Saturday, Katie Ledecky won for the second straight night.

The four-time Rio Olympic champion took the 200m freestyle in 1:56.26 after dominating the 400m free on Friday.

Ledecky was 1.44 seconds slower in the 200m free than at this same meet last year but also said she was “racing a little bit tired” due to recent hard training. She ranks No. 4 in the world in the 200m free this year, while leading the 400m and 800m free rankings.

Simone Manuel, the co-Olympic 100m free champion, followed her 100m free win from Friday by taking the 50m free on Saturday. Manuel clocked 24.73 seconds, not her best time this year, but still broke the pool record set by Amy Van Dyken at the 1996 Olympics.

Ryan Murphy, who swept the backstrokes in Rio, won the 200m back Saturday in 1:55.82, dousing Rio Olympic finalists Jacob Pebley (1:56.43) and Ryosuke Irie (1:57.85). Murphy ranks third in the world in the 200m back this year.

The meet concludes Sunday, with finals streamed on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app from 7-8:30 p.m. ET.

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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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