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

Serena Williams, reclusive amid pandemic, returns to tennis eyeing Grand Slam record

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Serena Williams travels with “like 50 masks” and has been a little bit of a recluse since early March and the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I don’t have full lung capacity, so I’m not sure what would happen to me,” Williams said Saturday, two days before the start of the WTA’s Top Seed Open in Lexington, Ky., her first tournament since playing Fed Cup in early February. “I’m sure I’ll be OK, but I don’t want to find out.”

Williams, 38, has a history of blood clots and pulmonary embolisms. She faced life-threatening complications following her Sept. 1, 2017, childbirth that confined her to a bed for six weeks. She said her daily routine was surgery and that she lost count after the first four.

More recently, Williams enjoyed “every part” of the last six months at home in Florida, her longest time grounded since her teens.

“I’ve been a little neurotic, to an extent,” on health and safety, she said. “Everyone in the Serena bubble is really protected.”

Williams is entered to play next week in Lexington and at consecutive tournaments in New York City later this month — the Western & Southern Open and U.S. Open, the latter starting Aug. 31.

Williams is the highest-ranked player in the Lexington field at No. 9. Others include 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens, older sister Venus Williams and 16-year-old Coco Gauff.

She has been bidding ever since having daughter Olympia to tie Margaret Court‘s record 24 Grand Slam singles titles, albeit many of Court’s crowns came before the Open Era and, notably at the Australian Open, against small fields lacking the world’s best players. Williams reached the last two Wimbledon and U.S. Open finals, losing all of them.

She showed her seriousness in committing early to this year’s U.S. Open by installing a court at home with the same surface. Three of the top 10 female singles players already said they will skip the U.S. Open due to travel and/or virus concerns, including No. 1 Ash Barty.

“Tennis is naturally a socially distanced sport, so it was kind of easy to go back and just walk on my side of the court and have my hitter walk on his side of the court,” Williams said.

The French Open starts two weeks after the U.S. Open ends. Williams was asked if she will fly to Europe for tournaments this autumn.

“I see myself doing it all, if it happens,” she said.

The Tokyo Olympics are too far away to make plans.

“We’ll have to kind of wait to see what happens in the fall,” she said. “One thing I have learned with this pandemic is don’t plan.”

MORE: Past U.S. Open champions get wild cards

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Conseslus Kipruto tests positive for coronavirus, canceling world-record bid

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Conseslus Kipruto, the Olympic and world 3000m steeplechase champion, tested positive for the coronavirus without symptoms, which will keep him from a world-record chase on Friday, according to his social media.

The Kenyan was to race in the first in-person Diamond League meet of the year in Monaco on Friday.

“Our World is going through a challenging period and we all have to take our responsibilities,” was posted. “Unfortunately my covid-19 test, as part of the Monaco-protocol, came back positive and therefore I can’t be part of the Monaco Diamond League.

“I don’t have any symptoms and I was actually in great shape. I was planning to go for the WR: it has stayed too long outside Kenya. As the World & Olympic Champion I feel strongly its something I should go for as well.”

Kipruto, 25, is the 14th-fastest steepler in history with a personal best of 8:00.12. The world record is 7:53.63, set by Kenyan-born Qatari Saif Saaeed Shaheen in 2004.

Last year, Kipruto won the world title by .01, extending a streak of a Kenyan or Kenyan-born man winning every Olympic or world title in the event since the 1988 Seoul Games. He was sidelined by a stress fracture in his left foot until opening his season extremely late on Aug. 24.

MORE: Trayvon Bromell’s road back through destruction, death

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Our World is going through a challenging period and we all have to take our responsibilities. Unfortunately my covid-19 test, as part of the Monaco-protocol, came back positive and therefore I can’t be part of the Monaco Diamond League on August 14th. I don’t have any symptoms and I was actually in great shape. I was planning to go for the WR: it has stayed too long outside Kenya. As the World & Olympic Champion I feel strongly its something I should go for as well. Wish to thank Monaco for all the work they have done and I wish them and my colleagues a wonderful competition. Athletics is back and I will be back as well. Anyone willing to organise a steeple once I can be cleared? @diamondleaguemonaco #nike #quarantine #WR #Kenya

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