Sarah Hendrickson, Michael Glasder become first ski jumpers named to 2018 Olympic Team

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Sarah Hendrickson reacted as soon as she landed her second jump – she was going back to the Olympics.

“I can’t believe I did it,” Hendrickson said on NBC. “I just believe in hard work now. Dreams come true. If you keep working, they’ll come true.”

Hendrickson won the 2013 world championship title before blowing out her knee in a training accident prior to the Sochi Olympics. She competed there and finished 21st after originally looking like a gold medal threat.

Hendrickson lead after the first round of competition jumps on Sunday at the 2002 Olympic ski jumping venue in Utah, leaving her to jump last in the second round. She flew 90.6 meters and 91.0 meters in her two jumps, despite being delayed by a teammate’s crash.

Nina Lussi was in the hunt and jumping well until her second competition jump, where she crashed at the landing. She waved to the crowd as she was taken out of the landing area on a sled stretcher by the ski patrol.

Abby Ringquist finished second and Nita Englund rounded out the podium in third.

On the men’s side, Michael Glasder will be making his first Olympic appearance in PyeongChang after missing out on the 2010 and 2014 Olympic teams. He posted a 98 meter jump to lead the first round and followed it up with round two with a 98.5 meter jump.

He speculated in an interview that flying in from Europe and being jetlagged may have actually helped in his preparations this time around.

Glasder had to follow the longest jump of the day, a 100-meter jump from Kevin Bickner. Bickner ultimately finished second, followed by Will Rhoads in third.

The U.S. Olympic Trials for ski jumping functioned as winner-take-all events, with the winners being placed on the PyeongChang Olympic team. The international governing body for ski jumping (FIS) has not allocated the quota spots for the Olympics yet, so the full Olympic team roster won’t be announced until January 22. The qualifying window is open through mid-January, so the U.S. has the opportunity to lock in more spots.

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MORE: Athletes qualified for U.S. Olympic team

Asher Hong leads U.S. men’s gymnastics world team selection camp after first day

Asher Hong
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Asher Hong, 18, posted the highest all-around score on the first of two days of competition at the U.S. men’s gymnastics selection camp to determine the last three spots on the team for the world championships that start in three weeks.

Hong, bidding to become the youngest U.S. man to compete at worlds since Danell Leyva in 2009, totaled 84.6 points in Colorado Springs. He edged Colt Walker by one tenth. Tokyo Olympians Shane Wiskus (84.15) and Yul Moldauer (83.95) were next. Full apparatus-by-apparatus scores are here.

Brody Malone, who repeated as U.S. all-around champion at August’s national championships, and runner-up Donnell Whittenburg already clinched spots on the five-man team for worlds in Liverpool, Great Britain. They did not compete Monday, though their results from the first day of nationals are shown in the official scores.

The three remaining team spots will not necessarily go to the top three all-arounders at this week’s camp, which is supposed to be weighed equally with results from August’s nationals. Hong was third at nationals, but if excluding difficulty bonus points from that meet that will not be considered by the committee, would have finished behind Walker and Moldauer in August.

A selection committee is expected to announce the team soon after the second and final day of selection camp competition on Wednesday evening. The committee will look at overall scoring potential for the world team final, where three men go per apparatus, and medal potential in individual events.

Stephen Nedoroscik, who last year became the first American to win a world title on the pommel horse, is trying to make the team solely on that apparatus. He wasn’t at his best at nationals and struggled again on Monday, hurting his chances of displacing an all-arounder for one of the last three spots.

The U.S. has reason to emphasize the team event over individual medals at this year’s worlds. It will clinch an Olympic berth by finishing in the top three, and its medal hopes are boosted by the absence of the Russians who won the Olympic team title. All gymnasts from Belarus and Russia are banned indefinitely from international competition due to the war in Ukraine.

In recent years, the U.S. has been among the nations in the second tier behind China, Japan and Russia, including in Tokyo, where the Americans were fifth.

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Ironman Kona World Championships return for first time in three years, live on Peacock

Ironman Kona World Championship
Ironman
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The Ironman Kona World Championships return after a three-year hiatus with a new format, live on Peacock on Thursday and Saturday at 12 p.m. ET.

The Ironman, held annually in Hawaii since 1978, and in Kailua-Kona since 1981, was not held in 2020 or 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The world championships made a one-time-only stop in St. George, Utah, on May 7 to make up for the 2021 cancellation. The winners were Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt, the Tokyo Olympic triathlon champion, and Swiss Daniela Ryf, who bagged her fifth Ironman world title.

Both are entered in Kailua-Kona, where the races are now split between two days — Thursday for the women and Saturday for the men.

An Ironman includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a marathon — totaling 140.6 miles of racing. It takes top triathletes eight hours to complete. Very arguably, it crowns the world’s fittest man and woman.

WATCH LIVE: Ironman Kona, Thursday, 12 p.m. ET — STREAM LINK

Ryf, 35 and a 2008 and 2012 Olympian, can tie retired countrywoman Natascha Badmann for second place on the women’s list at six Ironman world titles. Only Zimbabwean-turned-American Paula Newby-Fraser has more with eight.

The field also includes German Anne Haug, the 2019 Kona champ and only woman other than Ryf to win since 2015. Brit Lucy Charles-Barclay, the Kona runner-up in 2017, 2018 and 2019, returns after missing the St. George event due to a stress fracture in her hip.

Blummenfelt, 28 and in his Kona debut, will try to become the youngest male champion in Kona since German Normann Stadler in 2005. His top challengers include countryman Gustav Iden, the two-time reigning Half Ironman world champion, and German Patrick Lange, the 2017 and 2018 Ironman Kona winner.

Also racing Saturday is Dallas Clark, a retired All-Pro NFL tight end with the Indianapolis Colts, and Tony Kanaan, the 2013 Indy 500 champion who completed the 2011 Kona Ironman in 12 hours, 52 minutes, 40 seconds.

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