Katie Ledecky wins race by 37 seconds

0 Comments

It was a ho-hum Thursday for Katie Ledecky.

Ledecky swam her first 1500m freestyle in nearly two years and won by 37.24 seconds at a Pro Series meet in Santa Clara, Calif. She clocked the fifth-fastest time ever, trailing only the last four instances where she broke the world record in the event.

Ledecky touched the wall in 15 minutes, 35.65 seconds on Thursday. Second-place Kristel Kobrich was more than a full length of the pool behind and stopped the clock in 16:12.89. Full results are here.

The Chilean Kobrich is no slouch, having finished seventh in the 1500m free at the 2015 World Championships.

Ledecky’s still-standing world record from the 2015 Worlds, 15:25.48, is more than 10 seconds faster than her own time Thursday and more than 13 seconds faster than any other woman has posted. Ledecky’s time Thursday was the fastest in the world this year by 28 seconds.

The women’s 1500m free is not an Olympic event, so Ledecky did not swim it at all in 2016. The 1500m free is a men’s event at the Olympics, while the women swim the 800m free.

Ledecky and other swimmers are competing in Santa Clara in preparation for the U.S. Championships in Indianapolis in four weeks. The top two per individual event in Indianapolis qualify for the world championships in Budapest in July.

Ledecky is expected to try and replicate her Ledecky Slam from the 2015 Worlds, where she became the first swimmer to sweep the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m frees at a single global meet.

Ledecky, a 20-year-old rising Stanford sophomore, has broken 13 worlds records among the 400m, 800m and 1500m frees. She’s nearly halfway to Michael Phelps‘ tally of 29 individual world records.

Since 2013, Ledecky has lowered the women’s 1500m free world record by 17.06 seconds from 15:42.54 (set by Kate Ziegler in 2007, in the super-suit era, which lowered Janet Evans‘ 1988 mark by nearly 10 seconds).

Ledecky is entered in one more race in Santa Clara, the 200m free on Saturday.

The Santa Clara finals on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will stream on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app from 8-9:30 p.m. ET. NBCSN will also carry the Friday and Sunday finals live, with the Saturday finals airing on 1:30 a.m. ET on Sunday.

MORE: Phelps eyes WSOP Main Event

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

IOC gives more time to pick 2030 Olympic host, studies rotating Winter Games

Getty
0 Comments

The 2030 Winter Olympic host, expected to be Salt Lake City or Sapporo, Japan, is no longer targeted to be decided before next fall, the IOC said in announcing wider discussions into the future of the Winter Games, including the possibility of rotating the Games within a pool of hosts.

The IOC Future Host Commission was granted more time to study factors, including climate change, that could impact which cities and regions host future Winter Olympics and Paralympics. The 2030 Winter Games host is not expected to be decided before or at an IOC session next September or October.

Hosts have traditionally been chosen by IOC members vote seven years before the Games, though recent reforms allow flexibility on the process and timeline. For example, the 2024 and 2028 Games were awarded to Paris and Los Angeles in a historic double award in 2017. The 2032 Summer Games were awarded to Brisbane last year without a traditional bid race.

Italy hosts the 2026 Winter Games in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo.

There are three interested parties for the 2030 Winter Olympics, the IOC said Tuesday without naming them. Previously, Salt Lake City, Sapporo and Vancouver were confirmed as bids. Then in October, the British Columbia government said it would not support a Vancouver bid, a major setback, though organizers did not say that decision ended the bid. All three cities are attractive as past Winter Games hosts with existing venues.

U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee officials have said Salt Lake City is a likelier candidate for 2034 than 2030, but could step in for 2030 if asked.

The future host commission outlined proposals for future Winter Olympics, which included rotating hosts within a pool of cities or regions and a requirement that hosts have an average minimum temperature below freezing (32 degrees) for snow competition venues at the time of the Games over a 10-year period.

The IOC Executive Board gave the commission more time to study the proposals and other factors impacting winter sports.

The IOC board also discussed and will continue to explore a potential double awarding of the 2030 and 2034 Winter Olympic hosts.

Also Tuesday, the IOC board said that Afghanistan participation in the 2024 Olympics will depend on making progress in safe access to sports for women and young girls in the country.

On Monday, Human Rights Watch urged the IOC to suspend Afghanistan until women and girls can play sport in the country.

In a press release, the IOC board expressed “serious concern and strongly condemned the latest restrictions imposed by the Afghan authorities on women and young girls in Afghanistan, which prevent them from practicing sport in the country.” It urged Afghanistan authorities to “take immediate action at the highest level to reverse such restrictions and ensure safe access to sport for women and young girls.”

The IOC board also announced that North Korea’s National Olympic Committee will be reinstated when its suspension is up at the end of the year.

In September 2021, the IOC banned the North Korean NOC through the end of 2022, including banning a North Korean delegation from participating in the Beijing Winter Games, after it chose not to participate in the Tokyo Games.

North Korea, formally known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, was the only one of 206 National Olympic Committees to withdraw from Tokyo. The country made its choice in late March 2021, citing a desire “to protect our athletes from the global health crisis caused by the malicious virus infection.”

The IOC said in September 2021 that it “provided reassurances for the holding of safe Games and offered constructive proposals to find an appropriate and tailor-made solution until the very last minute (including the provision of vaccines), which were systematically rejected by the PRK NOC.”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Olympic champion Justine Dufour-Lapointe leaves moguls for another skiing discipline

Justine Dufour-Lapointe
Getty
0 Comments

Justine Dufour-Lapointe, the 2014 Olympic moguls champion, is leaving the event to compete in freeriding, a non-Olympic skiing discipline.

“After three Olympic cycles and 12 years on the World Cup circuit, I felt that I needed to find a new source of motivation and had to push my limits even more so I can reach my full potential as a skier,” the 28-year-old Montreal native said in a social media video, according to a translation from French. “Today, I am starting a new chapter in my career. … I want to perfect myself in another discipline. I want to connect with the mountain differently. Above all, I want to get out of my comfort zone in a way I’ve never done before.”

Dufour-Lapointe said she will compete on the Freeride World Tour, a series of judged competitions described as:

There‘s a start gate at the summit and a finish gate at the bottom. That’s it. Best run down wins. It truly is that simple. Think skiers and snowboarders choosing impossible-looking lines through cornices and cliff-faces and nasty couloirs. Think progressive: big jumps, mach-speed turns and full-on attack. Think entertaining.

Dufour-Lapointe has retired from moguls skiing, according to a Freeride World Tour press release, though she did not explicitly say that in social media posts Tuesday.

At the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, Dufour-Lapointe denied American Hannah Kearney‘s bid to become the first freestyle skier to repeat as Olympic champion. Older sister Chloé took silver in a Canadian one-two.

Dufour-Lapointe also won the world title in 2015, then Olympic silver in 2018 behind Frenchwoman Perrine Laffont.

Chloé announced her retirement in September. A third Dufour-Lapointe Olympic moguls skier, Maxime, retired in 2018.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!