Kaetlyn Osmond wins Skate Canada; Ashley Wagner rallies (video)

0 Comments

Canadian Kaetlyn Osmond won Skate Canada, despite a fall to close her free skate on Saturday.

Ashley Wagner rallied for bronze, up from seventh place after Friday’s short program.

Osmond and Wagner, the last two world silver medalists behind Russian Yevgenia Medvedeva, were joined on the podium by Russian Maria Sotskova.

The other two Americans — Courtney Hicks and U.S. champion Karen Chen — were fourth and seventh, respectively.

Japan’s Shoma Uno, the world silver medalist, won the men’s title with a score only one man has bettered this season. That man is also Uno. American Jason Brown benefited from three-time world champ Patrick Chan‘s meltdown to take silver.

Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won the ice dance with a world-record score, continuing their undefeated run since returning from a two-year break last season. They are favorites to win a second Olympic title in February.

Canadians Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford rallied to overtake short-program leaders Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany for their fourth straight Skate Canada pairs title.

Full Skate Canada scores are here.

Osmond won her first Grand Prix title since prevailing in her Grand Prix debut at Skate Canada five years ago at the age of 16. She remains one of, if not the top threat to Medvedeva, who hasn’t lost in two years.

Wagner landed six triple jumps in her “Moulin Rouge” free skate. The bronze gives her a chance to make December’s six-woman Grand Prix Final, which will determine the PyeongChang Olympic medal favorites.

Wagner will likely make the Grand Prix Final if she wins Skate America on Thanksgiving weekend.

No other U.S. woman has a realistic shot at the Grand Prix Final.

Chen had trouble fully rotating jumps in her free skate, continuing her struggles in Grand Prix events. She also did not have a triple-triple combination in either program at Skate Canada.

Chen, 18, surprised to win the U.S. title last season — and then surprised even more by finishing fourth at worlds — but has never finished better than fifth in five Grand Prix starts.

The three-woman U.S. Olympic team will be named after nationals in January. Selections will be made based off not only nationals standings, but also results from the previous two seasons.

That makes this fall’s Grand Prix season key. The top four finishers from last season’s nationals have all finished their first of two starts this Grand Prix season. Hicks, 12th at last season’s nationals, had her one and only scheduled start this week.

Their scores:

Mariah Bell — 188.56 (Rostelecom Cup, sixth place)
Ashley Wagner — 183.94 (Skate Canada, third place)
Courtney Hicks — 182.57 (Skate Canada, fourth place)
Mirai Nagasu — 178.25 (Rostelecom Cup, ninth place)
Karen Chen — 170.40 (Skate Canada, seventh place)

The Grand Prix season continues next weekend with two-time world champion Javier Fernandez headlining Cup of China. A full broadcast schedule is here.

Skate Canada
Women
Gold: Kaetlyn Osmond (CAN) — 212.91
Silver: Maria Sotskova (RUS) — 192.52
Bronze: Ashley Wagner (USA) — 183.94
4. Courtney Hicks (USA) — 182.57
7. Karen Chen (USA) — 170.40

Men
Gold: Shoma Uno (JPN) — 301.10
Silver: Jason Brown (USA) — 261.14
Bronze: Alexander Samarin (RUS) — 250.06

Ice Dance
Gold: Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir (CAN) — 199.86 WR
Silver: Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje (CAN) — 190.01
Bronze: Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA) — 189.43
4. Kaitlin Hawayek/Jean-Luc Baker (USA) — 165.20

Pairs
Gold: Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford (CAN) — 222.22
Silver: Aliona Savchenko/Bruno Massot (GER) — 215.66
Bronze: Vanessa James/Morgan Cipres (FRA) — 214.37
7. Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier (USA) — 172.95

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Will Virtue, Moir bid farewell at Olympics?

Joan Benoit Samuelson, Olympic marathon champ in 1984, runs London Marathon at 65

Joan Benoit Samuelson
Getty
0 Comments

Joan Benoit Samuelson, the first Olympic women’s marathon champion in 1984, ran her first 26.2-mile race in three years at Sunday’s London Marathon and won her age group.

Benoit Samuelson, 65, clocked 3 hours, 20 minutes, 20 seconds to top the women’s 65-69 age group by 7 minutes, 52 seconds. She took pleasure in being joined in the race by daughter Abby, who crossed in 2:58:19.

“She may have beaten me with my replacement knee, but everybody said I wouldn’t do it! I will never say never,” Benoit Samuelson said, according to race organizers. “I am a grandmother now to Charlotte, and it’s my goal to run 5K with her.”

LONDON MARATHON: Results

Benoit Samuelson raced the 1987 Boston Marathon while three months pregnant with Abby. Before that, she won the first Olympic women’s marathon at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, plus the Boston Marathon in 1979 and 1983 and the Chicago Marathon in 1985.

Her personal best — 2:21:21 — still holds up. She ranks sixth in U.S. women’s history.

Benoit Samuelson plans to race the Tokyo Marathon to complete her set of doing all six annual World Marathon Majors. The others are Berlin, Boston, Chicago and New York City.

“I’m happy to finish this race and make it to Tokyo, but I did it today on a wing and a prayer,” she said, according to organizers. “I’m blessed to have longevity in this sport. It doesn’t owe me anything, but I feel I owe my sport.”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Kenenisa Bekele still eyes Eliud Kipchoge’s marathon world record, but a duel must wait

Kenenisa Bekele
Getty
0 Comments

LONDON — Kenenisa Bekele made headlines last week by declaring “of course I am the best” long distance runner ever. But the Ethiopian was fifth-best at Sunday’s London Marathon, finishing 74 seconds behind Kenya’s Amos Kipruto.

Bekele, 40, clocked 2:05:53, the fastest-ever marathon by a runner 40 years or older. He was with the lead pack until being dropped in the 21st mile.

But Bekele estimated he could have run 90 to 120 seconds faster had he not missed parts of six weeks of training with hip and joint injuries.

“I expect better even if the preparation is short,” he said. “I know my talent and I know my capacity, but really I couldn’t achieve what I expect.”

Bekele is the second-fastest marathoner in history behind Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge, who broke his own world record by clocking 2:01:09 at the Berlin Marathon last week.

“I am happy when I see Eliud Kipchoge run that time,” Bekele said. “It motivates all athletes who really expect to do the same thing.”

LONDON MARATHON: Results

Bekele’s best time was within two seconds of Kipchoge’s previous world record (2:01:39). He described breaking Kipchoge’s new mark as the “main goal” for the rest of his career.

“Yes, I hope, one day it will happen, of course,” Bekele said. “With good preparation, I don’t know when, but we will see one more time.”

Nobody has won more London Marathons than Kipchoge, a four-time champion who set the course record (2:02:37) in 2019. But the two-time Olympic marathon champion did not run this year in London, as elite marathoners typically choose to enter one race each spring and fall.

Bekele does not know which race he will enter in the spring. But it will not be against Kipchoge.

“I need to show something first,” Bekele said. “I need to run a fast time. I have to check myself. This is not enough.”

Kipchoge will try to become the first runner to win three Olympic marathon titles at the Paris Games. Bekele, who will be 42 in 2024, has not committed to trying to qualify for the Ethiopian team.

“There’s a long time to go before Paris,” Bekele said. “At this moment I am not decided. I have to show something.”

So who is the greatest long distance runner ever?

Bekele can make a strong case on the track:

Bekele
Four Olympic medals (three gold)
Six World Championship medals (five gold)
Former 5000m and 10,000m world-record holder

Kipchoge
Two Olympic medals
Two World Championship medals (one gold)

But Kipchoge can make a strong case on the pavement:

Bekele
Second-fastest marathoner in history
Two World Marathon Major victories

Kipchoge
Four of the five best marathon times in history
Two-time Olympic marathon champion
12 World Marathon Major victories

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!