U.S. Olympic curling trials women’s finals set

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It’s Nina Roth versus Jamie Sinclair for one spot in the Olympics.

The two favored teams advanced Wednesday to the U.S. Olympic curling trials finals in Omaha.

Roth finished round-robin play 4-2, while Sinclair is at 3-2 with one match left Wednesday night that will not impact the finals matchup.

The third and final team at trials, skipped by Cory Christensen, fell to 1-4, eliminated with an 8-6 loss to Roth on Wednesday afternoon.

Nobody on any of the three women’s teams has competed at an Olympics.

Every member of Christensen’s team is 22 or 23 years old, which would have made them the youngest U.S. Olympic curling team ever. But they came to Omaha as the lowest-ranked team.

Roth and Sinclair’s rinks will now play a best-of-three series starting Thursday afternoon with the winner becoming the U.S. Olympic team in PyeongChang.

Sinclair beat Roth in the finals at last season’s nationals, but Roth went to worlds (and placed fifth) because she had the better overall season.

“There’s definitely some for improvement; we’re getting closer and closer to our A game,” Roth said.

NBCSN, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app will air trials finals coverage. A full broadcast schedule is here.

In the men’s tournament, three-time Olympian John Shuster is guaranteed a spot in the best-of-three finals with a 6-1 record in round-robin play with one match left.

Shuster’s team will play a team skipped by either Heath McCormick or Todd Birr, who face off in the last round-robin session Wednesday night. Birr, the oldest curler in Omaha at 49 years old, must beat McCormick to force a tiebreaker.

The U.S. has earned one Olympic curling medal, bronze in the men’s event in 2006. Curling was part of the Winter Games in 1924 and every Olympics since 1998.

Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway and Great Britain are the world powers in curling.

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Curling Olympic Trials Schedule

U.S. falls to Sweden in men’s hockey worlds semifinals

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The U.S. men’s hockey team could not end the drought.

The Americans, whose only title at a standalone world championship came in 1933, saw their gold-medal hopes extinguished in a 6-0 loss to Sweden in Saturday’s semifinals in Denmark.

Viktor Arvidsson (two goals, including an empty-netter), Magnus Paajarvi, Patric Hornqvist, Mattias Janmark and Adrian Kempe all beat U.S. goalie Keith Kinkaid. The Vancouver Canucks’ Anders Nilsson became the first goalie to shut out the U.S. in their ninth game.

Sweden, eyeing a repeat world title, will play Switzerland in Sunday’s gold-medal game. The Swiss upset Finland in the quarterfinals and Canada 3-2 in Saturday’s later semifinal. Switzerland has never won an Olympic or world title.

The U.S. plays Canada for bronze Sunday. The U.S. earned bronze in 2013 and 2015 and hasn’t finished higher than third since its last silver medal in 1950.

The U.S., with all NHL players save one on its roster, reached the final four for the fourth time in six years. The Olympic team made up of non-NHL players lost to the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals in PyeongChang.

Patrick Kane headlines a U.S. roster that also includes NHL All-Stars Johnny GaudreauDylan Larkin and Cam Atkinson.

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Katie Ledecky crushes 200m freestyle field in Indianapolis

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Katie Ledecky made it three wins in three days in Indianapolis, taking the 200m freestyle by 2.64 seconds at the Pro Series meet on Friday.

Ledecky clocked 1:55.42, which ranks third in the world this year. The two fastest swimmers, Canadian Taylor Ruck and Australian Ariarne Titmus, were not in Friday’s race.

Earlier in the meet, Ledecky smashed her 1500m freestyle world record by five seconds on Wednesday and swam the second-fastest 400m free in history on Thursday.

Her 200m free on Friday, while 1.69 seconds off her personal best from the Olympics, came an hour after she placed third in a 400m individual medley.

“I’m pretty happy with it coming off the 400m IM,” Ledecky said on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA.

Full meet results are here. The meet finishes Saturday, with Ledecky entered in the 200m individual medley and 800m freestyle. NBCSN, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app will air live coverage at 7 p.m. ET.

Also Friday, 12-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte competed for the first time this spring, placing fourth in the 200m free and 100m butterfly at a meet in Atlanta. Lochte is scheduled for three meets in four weeks, including his first Pro Series meet since the Rio Olympics and his 10-month suspension in Santa Clara, Calif., next month.

Swimmers are preparing for the U.S. Championships in July and Pan Pacific Championships in August, the two meets that will determine the 2019 World Championships team.

An hour before her 200m free, Ledecky placed third in the 400m IM, an event she doesn’t swim at major meets. Melanie Margalis, fourth in the 200m IM at the 2016 Olympics and 2017 Worlds, and NCAA champion Ella Eastin went one-two in personal-best times.

Ledecky clocked 4:38.88, 1.93 seconds behind Margalis and .45 behind her Stanford teammate Eastin. Ledecky’s time was her third-fastest ever in the 400m IM, trailing her personal best of 4:37.93.

In other events, world champion Chase Kalisz won the men’s 400m IM by 6.54 seconds in 4:10.55, the second-fastest time in the world this year behind his own 4:08.92 from March 2.

Simone Manuel took the 50m free in 24.59, the fastest time by an American this year. Manuel is the Olympic silver medalist and world bronze medalist in the splash and dash. Australian Cate Campbell has the fastest time in the world of 23.78, but she’s not in Indianapolis.

Eight-time Olympic medalist Nathan Adrian won the men’s 50m free in 21.97, well off Brit Pen Broud‘s fastest time this year of 21.30. Neither Proud nor world champion Caeleb Dressel were in the field.

World bronze medalist Jacob Pebley prevailed in a 200m backstroke that lacked Olympic champ Ryan Murphy. Pebley clocked 1:57.03, 1.18 seconds off his fastest time this year.

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