Anton Chupkov rallies for 200m breast world title (video)

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Russian Anton Chupkov went from fourth to first in the last 50 meters to win the 200m breaststroke at the world championships in Budapest.

Chupkov, the Olympic bronze medalist, passed the world-record holder while swimming the second-fastest time in history, a 2:06.96.

Japan’s Yasuhiro Koseki took silver, .33 behind, followed by Ippei Watanabe, who has the world record of 2:06.67.

Chupkov was a half-second behind going into the last length of the pool. He summoned the fastest final split time by eight tenths as part of a three-gold day for Russia.

The U.S. failed to earn a medal in this event for the third time in the last four worlds. Kevin Cordes entered Budapest ranked No. 3 in the world this year but ended up sixth, one spot behind Nic Fink. Cordes had earned medals in his previous three world championships breaststroke races — bronze in the 50m in 2015 and silver in the 200m in 2015 and the 100m on Monday.

Shock Rio gold medalist Dmitry Balandin of Kazakhstan failed to make the final. Rio silver medalist Josh Prenot was third at the U.S. Championships, missing the world team by one spot.

Men’s 200m Breaststroke Results
Gold: Anton Chupkov (RUS) — 2:06.96
Silver: Yasuhiro Koseki (JPN) — 2:07.29
Bronze: Ippei Watanabe (JPN) — 2:07.47
4. Ross Murdoch (GBR) — 2:08.12
5. Nic Fink (USA) — 2:08.56
6. Kevin Cordes (USA) — 2:08.68
7. Ilya Khomenko (RUS) — 2:09.18
8. Matthew Wilson (AUS) — 2:10.37

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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.

MORE: Eliud Kipchoge opines on shoe technology debate

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Canadians become first female doubles luge team in World Cup

AP
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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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