Getty Images

Matt Antoine is first U.S. skeleton slider to qualify for Olympics

Leave a comment

Sochi bronze medalist Matt Antoine qualified for his second Olympics as the U.S.’ top-ranked skeleton slider this season, according to TeamUSA.org.

He’s the first of up to five U.S. skeleton sliders who could be going to the Olympics. The rest of the team will be determined in the next two weeks.

So far, 98 athletes have qualified for the U.S. Olympic team, which should eclipse 200 athletes before the competition starts in PyeongChang on Feb. 7.

Antoine, 32, ranks seventh in World Cup standings this season with a top finish of seventh in six races.

The Olympic favorites are Latvian Martins Dukurs and South Korean Yun Sung-Bin, the top two ranked sliders each of the last three seasons.

Antoine took seventh at last season’s world championships and was 10th at the March World Cup at the PyeongChang Olympic track.

Antoine’s bronze medal from Sochi could be upgraded to silver after Russian gold medalist Aleksandr Tretiyakov was stripped and banned from the Olympics for life as part of his nation’s doping scandal. Tretiyakov has appealed and is still allowed to compete in World Cups.

Antoine said in 2015 that he was diagnosed with depression and that he nearly retired after Sochi.

“Everyone, at some point, needs help,” Antoine said then, according to The Associated Press. “At first I almost felt defeated that I had to seek medical and professional help. It felt like I had lost.

“I don’t feel that way anymore.”

Antoine bought a house in Phoenix, got a dog and regained control of his life.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Ghana, Nigeria skeleton racers set for Olympic berths

New Zealand sweeps Rugby World Cup Sevens, celebrates with haka

AP Photo
Leave a comment

SAN FRANCISCO — New Zealand has won a World Cup Sevens double for the second time after the men’s team beat England 33-12 in San Francisco on Sunday to follow the Black Ferns’ win in the women’s tournament.

The New Zealand teams won the men’s and women’s titles in Russia in 2013 and again were dominant.

Sione Molia scored two of New Zealand’s five tries in the men’s final, and South Africa held off Olympic champion Fiji 24-19 to take bronze.

The weekend results mean New Zealanders are the men’s and women’s World Cup holders in the traditional 15-a-side rugby and the sevens.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: U.S. women get fourth at Rugby World Cup Sevens

Tour de France rider expelled for punching cyclist

AP
Leave a comment

CARCASSONNE, FRANCE (AP) — Team Sky rider Gianni Moscon was expelled from the Tour de France on Sunday after he appeared to deliberately hit a fellow cyclist during the race.

The Italian lashed out at French rider Elie Gesbert of Team Fortuneo while both were competing during Stage 15 from Millau to Carcassonne.

“I’m sorry for today’s incident, and I totally regret my actions,” Moscon said. “I would like to personally apologize to Elie Gesbert…. What happened was wrong and was a bad example coming from me to everyone, and I want to publicly apologize. … I make no excuse for it and accept the decision of the race organizers.”

Team Sky director Dave Brailsford said the team would consider taking further action against Moscon after the Tour concludes next weekend.

The 24-year-old Moscon was suspended by Sky for six weeks last year for using a racial slur against an opponent.

His expulsion leaves Sky with seven riders.

Sky’s Geraint Thomas is leading the race ahead of teammate Chris Froome after 15 of 21 stages.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

TOUR DE FRANCE: StandingsTV Schedule | Riders to Watch