Matthew Centrowitz finishes last in 1500m heat at worlds (video)

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A listless Matthew Centrowitz finished last in his 1500m heat at the world championships on Thursday, abruptly ending his hopes of following an Olympic title with a world title.

“Just didn’t execute my plan today, yeah,” Centrowitz told Lewis Johnson on NBCSN. “No one ever has a perfect lead-up to any championship. This year was a little bit more rough than others. It’s been a tough year. Today was a culmination of all those things that have been frustrating, disappointing this year.”

Centrowitz, the first U.S. Olympic 1500m champion in 108 years, clocked 3:48.34 in his heat for 14th place. That’s 13 seconds slower than both of his 1500m races in July.

Centrowitz nearly ended his season before the USATF Outdoor Championships in June following a series of health problems.

A left adductor strain in April. A May visit to the emergency room with a viral infection similar to his 2014 bout with pericarditis. His heart rate was through the roof. Then, a right adductor tear.

Centrowitz, who placed second at nationals, did not mention any further setbacks after his last-place finish Thursday. He did say he was unable to get more than two straight weeks of healthy training this season.

“I dealt with more than I’ve ever had in my career, and it showed out there today,” Centrowitz told media in London. “My fitness is obviously not where I’d like to have been.”

It’s the first time Centrowitz failed to qualify for a global championship 1500m final. He took bronze at 2011 Worlds at age 21, then fourth at the 2012 Olympics, silver at the 2013 Worlds and was eighth at 2015 Worlds before the Rio breakout.

“Tough is the only word that comes to mind,” Centrowitz said. “Obviously, there’s a lot of expectations this year. I wanted to exceed those. It’s hard to duplicate the year I had [in 2016].”

Kenyan Asbel Kiprop advanced to Friday’s semifinals as he eyes a fourth straight world title.

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Boglarka Kapas, world champion swimmer, tests positive for coronavirus

Boglarka Kapas
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Boglarka Kapas, the Hungarian swimmer and world 200m butterfly champion, said she tested positive for the coronavirus.

“I don’t have any symptoms yet, and that’s why it’s important for you to know that even if you feel healthy you can spread the virus,” was posted on her social media. “Please be careful, stay at home and stay healthy.”

Nine total members of the Hungarian national team — including swimmers and staff — have tested positive, according to the federation.

Kapas said her first test was negative but a second test showed she had the virus. She was staying in quarantine at home for two weeks.

Kapas, 26, won the 200m fly at last summer’s world championships by passing Americans Hali Flickinger and Katie Drabot in the last 25 meters. She clocked 2:06.78 to prevail by .17 of a second.

Kapas also took bronze in the Rio Olympic 800m freestyle won by Katie Ledecky.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

NHL players: Marie-Philip Poulin is world’s best female hockey player

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The U.S. may have the world’s best women’s hockey team, but NHL players believe Canadian Marie-Philip Poulin is the world’s best player.

Poulin received the most votes out of 496 responses in the 2019-20 NHLPA Player Poll, conducted before the season was suspended. The tally:

Poulin: 39.92%
Hilary Knight (USA): 36.29%
Kendall Coyne Schofield (USA): 15.52%
Emily Pfalzer Matheson (USA): 1.41%
Other: 6.85%

Last year, Knight received the highest percentage of votes from 203 NHL players (27.59), edging Poulin (24.14) with Amanda Kessel third (12.81) and Coyne Schofield and Pfalzer Matheson each receiving 5.91 percent.

Why were Poulin and Knight swapped this year? Perhaps Poulin’s Canadian team winning the debut of the NHL All-Star Skills Competition women’s 3-on-3 game on Jan. 24, even though Knight scored and Poulin did not.

Poulin, now 29, scored both goals in the 2010 Olympic final and the game-tying and -winning goals in the 2014 Olympic final. Even before her Olympic debut at age 18, the daughter of Quebec hospital workers was dubbed “the female Sidney Crosby.”

Knight, 30, led last April’s world championship tournament with seven goals as the U.S. won a fifth straight title. Poulin played 4 minutes, 44 seconds, total at the tournament, missing time with a knee injury.

This spring’s tournament, which was to start Tuesday, was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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