Emily Seebohm keeps Australia from winless swim worlds (video)

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Australia is on the board at the swimming world championships.

Emily Seebohm won the Aussies’ first gold medal on the seventh day of the eight-day meet, ensuring the formerly dominant swim nation doesn’t go winless at an Olympics or worlds for the first time since 1986.

Seebohm, who swept the backstrokes at the 2015 Worlds, won in a national record 2:05.68 in Budapest on Saturday. She edged Hungarian Katinka Hosszu by .17, with American Kathleen Baker taking bronze.

Baker also took silver in the 100m back at the Olympics and earlier this week.

Seebohm bounced back from a poor Rio Games, where she was seventh in the 100m back and 12th in the 200m back. She was diagnosed with endometriosis later in 2016 and underwent surgery in December. She also had wisdom teeth removed in January.

Given that, her tears on the pool deck after Saturday’s victory were understandable.

“I guess for me it was really hard after Rio, I knew there was a lot going on in my body, and I really pushed through in Rio,” Seebohm said, according to Swimming Australia. “I had to rush back into the water and train really hard for this and I’m just amazed at what I have achieved tonight.”

The Aussies won seven combined silver and bronze medals this week before Seebohm’s breakthrough. Still, they could finish behind China for second place in the medal standings.

Australia has fought with China and Japan as the world’s second-best swim nation for the last several years. This comes after an era where the Aussies challenged the U.S. for pool supremacy in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Women’s 200m Backstroke Results
Gold: Emily Seebohm (AUS) — 2:05.68
Silver: Katinka Hosszu (HUN) — 2:05.85
Bronze: Kathleen Baker (USA) — 2:06.48
4. Kaylee McKeown (AUS) — 2:06.76
5. Kylie Masse (CAN) — 2:07.04
6. Hilary Caldwell (CAN) — 2:07.15
7. Daria Ustinova (RUS) — 2:07.35
8. Regan Smith (USA) — 2:07.42

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WORLDS: TV Schedule | Schedule/Results | Race Videos

12-year-old skateboarders earn medals at world championships

Chloe Covell
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At the world skateboarding championships, 12-year-olds Chloe Covell from Australia and Onodera Ginwoo from Japan earned silver and bronze medals, respectively, in Sunday’s street finals.

In the women’s event, Covell took silver behind Brazilian 15-year-old Rayssa Leal, who was a silver medalist herself at the Tokyo Games.

Frenchman Aurélien Giraud, a 25-year-old who was sixth in skateboarding’s Olympic debut in Tokyo, won the men’s final in the United Arab Emirates. Ginwoo was third behind Portugal’s Gustavo Ribeiro.

The top Americans were Olympic men’s bronze medalist Jagger Eaton in sixth and 15-year-old Paige Heyn in seventh in the women’s event.

Nyjah Huston, a six-time world champion who placed seventh in Tokyo, missed worlds after August surgery for an ACL tear.

Up to three men and three women per nation can qualify per event (street and park) for the 2024 Paris Games. World rankings come June 2024 determine which Americans qualify.

In Tokyo, four of the 12 skateboarding medalists were ages 12 or 13.

Japan’s Kokona Hiraki, then 12, won silver in women’s park to become the youngest Olympic medalist since 1936, according to Olympedia.org. Japan’s Momiji Nishiya, then 13, won women’s street and became the youngest gold medalist in an individual event since 1936.

Worlds conclude this week with the men’s and women’s park events. The finals are Saturday.

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Francesco Friedrich, most decorated bobsledder in history, rebounds for 12th world title

Francesco Friedrich
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A week after his first major championships defeat in seven years, German Francesco Friedrich returned to his winning ways to close the world bobsled championships on Sunday.

Friedrich’s four-man sled won the world title by 69 hundredths of a second over British and Latvian sleds that tied for silver, combining times from four runs over the last two days in St. Moritz, Switzerland. It marked Great Britain’s first world championships men’s bobsled medal since 1966.

Geoff Gadbois drove the lone U.S. sled in the field, finishing 18th.

Friedrich, the most decorated bobsledder in history, extended his records with a fifth consecutive world four-man title and 12th world championship between two- and four-man events.

Germany swept all four titles at bobsled worlds with four different drivers taking gold.

Friedrich had won 12 consecutive Olympic or world titles before taking two-man silver at worlds last week in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He was dethroned in that event by countryman Johannes Lochner.

Friedrich has been hampered recently by a muscle injury from sprint training in late December. Going into worlds, Lochner had won four consecutive World Cup two-man races, while Hall won the last two World Cups in four-man.

Friedrich, 32, said before this season that he plans to make the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games his final competition. Friedrich and push athlete Thorsten Margis can break the record of four career Olympic bobsled gold medals that they currently share with retired Germans Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske.

The World Cup season concludes with stops in Igls, Austria, and Sigulda, Latvia, the next two weekends.

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