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Japanese runner clocks 76th sub-2:20 marathon in frigid temps

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Japan’s Yuki Kawauchi reportedly broke the world record for most sub-2:20 marathons by winning a 26.2-mile race in Massachusetts on Monday in single-digit temperatures.

Kawauchi, 30, ran his 76th marathon under 2:20 in winning the Marshfield Marathon in 2:18:59 wearing full-body tights. American Doug Kurtis ran sub-2:20 a total of 75 times.

It may have also been the fastest marathon in weather that cold.

“At 5 km [3.1 miles] I was already all alone and so cold that I couldn’t move my legs,” Kawauchi said, according to Japan Running News. “When I saw my 5 km split it was the first time in a race I’ve ever thought, ‘Why am I doing this?’

“After this I think I could do pretty well going after the Antarctica record.”

Kawauchi was dubbed Japan’s “Citizen Runner” several years ago because he worked a full-time job in his local government.

He debuted in the marathon in 2009, which means he has averaged eight sub-2:20 marathons per year.

He has never competed at the Olympics but is certainly fast enough to make Japan’s team. He was ninth at the world championships in London on Aug. 6 and sixth at the 2015 New York City Marathon.

Kawauchi is entered in the Boston Marathon on April 18.

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Helen Maroulis to miss world championships, eyes still on defending Olympic title

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Helen Maroulis, the lone U.S. female wrestler to win an Olympic title, sat out this past weekend’s world team trials, which means she will not compete at the world championships in September.

Maroulis is working her way back from blowing out her right shoulder in a first-round loss at worlds on Oct. 24, after she returned from a concussion. She underwent surgery in November and was cleared to return earlier this spring before tweaking the shoulder again.

Maroulis said Friday she was cleared again to compete at trials but chose rest, recovery and her long-term health given what happened in 2018.

“It’s not coming from a place of fear,” she said. “I’m just not ready yet.

“If trials were end of June, everything would be perfect. I’m still feeling good and confident for 2020.”

As Maroulis stressed at 2018 Worlds, she prioritizes health over wrestling.

“Not just for myself, but to set an example because I get a lot of messages from kids on Instagram — I have a concussion, or my teammate has a concussion.” Maroulis said in October. “There’s this wrestler mindset to just push through — you’re the toughest, find a way to win. But there’s just a lot more to it.”

Maroulis, 27, put together one of the most dominant stretches in sport from 2015-17, going 78-1 overall among three different weight classes and going unscored upon at two world championships.

In between, she beat Saori Yoshida in the Rio Olympic 53kg final, preventing the Japanese legend from a record fourth Olympic title.

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Ex-partner of deceased figure skater John Coughlin says she was abused

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — One of the former skating partners of two-time U.S. pairs champion John Coughlin has accused him in a series of social media posts of sexually assaulting her over a 2-year period.

Bridget Namiotka said on Facebook that Coughlin, who died by suicide in January, hurt “at least 10 people including me.” She skated with Coughlin from 2004, when she was 14, through the 2007 season.

Namiotka’s attorney confirmed to The Associated Press that the comments were made by her.

The U.S. Center for SafeSport and U.S. Figure Skating had given Coughlin, who became a coach and TV commentator after his retirement, an interim suspension for unspecified conduct. He was barred from attending events and activities sanctioned by the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Coughlin was found dead Jan. 18 at his father’s home in Kansas City, Missouri.