Former professional cyclist makes Olympic speed skating team

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WEST ALLIS, Wis. (AP) — Mia Manganello made her first Olympic team with a third-place finish in the 1500m at the U.S. Olympic Speed Skating Trials, capping a comeback following a five-year break from the sport.

Manganello qualified with a time of 1:59.28 on Saturday night.

Brittany Bowe upset world champion and world-record holder Heather Bergsma for the win — 1:55.93 to 1:56.13.

All three made the Olympic team in the 1500m. Bowe and Bergsma previously qualified for the Olympics in the 500m and 1000m.

Manganello smiled as she circled the ice after crossing the finish line in time to qualify. She returned to speed skating in 2016 after focusing on professional cycling for five years.

“It’s everything I thought it would feel like. It’s a moment that I’ve been dreaming about, at least this year for sure every day,” she said. “I can’t believe it’s actually true.”

A former inline skater who switched to ice at age 13, Manganello needed a break after failing to advance out of the 2010 Olympic Trials. She spent five years racing professionally in cycling before returning to speed skating in 2016.

Manganello skated in the last pair on Saturday, two groups after favorites Bowe and Bergsma squared off. She felt an Olympic berth was within reach.

“I was pretty much tearing up when going to the line, knowing that if I just went out and skated the best I could (to) my potential that I would make it,” Manganello said with an ear-to-ear grin. “Luckily that day came that I finally could be an Olympian.”

In the men’s 1500m, Brian Hansen qualified for his third Olympic team with a second-place finish behind Joey Mantia, who already made the team in the 1000m.

Shani Davis, who earned 1500m silver in 2006 and 2010, also joined Mantia on the team in the 1000m and 1500m with a third-place finish.

“I think that I have the tools to be a real threat for sure in the 1000m,” Davis said. “The 1500m is kind of questionable, but anything can happen in the Olympics.”

Jonathan Garcia and Kimani Griffin, who did not race Saturday, earned trips to the Games in the 500m by virtue of qualification rules, with Mantia and Davis eligible at multiple distances.

Garcia and Griffin finished second and third, respectively, in the 500m on Friday.

On the women’s side, Jerica Tandiman clinched a spot on the team, with Bowe and Bergsma able to double up in other distances. Tandiman finished fourth in the 1000m but made the team because third-place Manganello doesn’t have a fast enough qualifying time from this season.

The Olympic Trials wrap up with mass-start races Sunday.

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