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David Boudia’s diving comeback delayed by concussion

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Four-time Olympic diving medalist David Boudia is missing this week’s national championships and next month’s FINA World Cup, the biggest competition of the year, due to a concussion suffered in a crash off the 10m platform.

“Since February I’ve been struggling with dizziness, blackouts, numbness, and fatigue which I assumed resulted from high anxiety from a crash I had from 10m (Having struggled with high anxiety in the past I choose to push through it and chalked it to that),” was posted on Boudia’s social media Monday. “After going to our team physician, the crash resulted in a concussion and was not resolving due to a lack of recovery (continuing to dive on my head). Unfortunately, this means that I will be out of competition for our major events (National Championship & World Cup) because of the time off to recover. Hard to swallow that having been training for almost a year to get back to elite competition which mean I get to choose to be content with the end goal in mind and push on towards #tokyo2020 and more importantly trusting in the Lord’s plan for my pursuit toward diving and giving up my own plans.”

Boudia, 29, has not competed since taking individual bronze and synchronized silver on the platform in Rio. He also earned individual gold and synchro bronze in 2012.

He considered retirement after his third Olympics but announced in September he planned to return to competition this year after taking the 2017 season off, missing the world championships for the first time in a senior career that dates to 2005.

“I just missed the relationships that I had at the pool, that I had with the diving community,” Boudia said then in West Lafayette, Ind., where he trains at Purdue University. “I don’t want to be 35, 40 years old and say what if I would have given it another shot? Kind of too late at that point.”

Boudia, after never taking more than three months away from diving since 2000, turned to real estate after the Rio Games.

“If you would have asked me in 2015 if I was done [after Rio], I would have said yes; I was drained,” Boudia said in September. “One of the big reasons, apart from being exhausted mentally, I just felt like [diving] wasn’t what I was supposed to do. You have all the people saying, oh, you’re getting older. You’re 28. You need to start retiring, thinking about what you’re going to do next in life. It’s fun banter. My teammates would call me grandpa. In my mind, I was thinking, maybe it’s time for me to be done in the sport. I let it simmer.”

Boudia’s platform gold in 2012 ended a medal drought for U.S. divers in individual events since Laura Wilkinson‘s surprise Sydney 2000 title.

Boudia is the only U.S. male diver to top the Olympic platform since Greg Louganis, who swept the springboard and platform in 1984 and 1988.

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Since February I’ve been struggling with dizziness, blackouts, numbness, and fatigue which I assumed resulted from high anxiety from a crash I had from 10m (Having struggled with high anxiety in the past I choose to push through it and chalked it to that) – after going to our team physician, the crash resulted in a concussion and was not resolving due to a lack of recovery (continuing to dive on my head). Unfortunately, this means that I will be out of competition for our major events (National Championship & World Cup) because of the time off to recover. Hard to swallow that having been training for almost a year to get back to elite competition which mean I get to choose to be content with the end goal in mind and push on towards #tokyo2020 and more importantly trusting in the Lord’s plan for my pursuit toward diving and giving up my own plans.

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Joey Mantia extends U.S. medal streak at speed skating worlds; Dutch dominance returns

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Joey Mantia ensured the host U.S. finished with a medal at the world single distances championships. Ireen WüstKjeld Nuis and Jorrit Bergsma ensured the Netherlands finished atop the medal standings.

Mantia joined Shani Davis as the only U.S. men to earn individual medals at three different editions of the championships, taking bronze in the 1500m on the last day of the speed skating meet at the 2002 Olympic oval outside Salt Lake City.

Mantia won the mass start at the last two worlds in 2017 and 2019 (and finished fifth on Sunday, after the 1500m bronze).

Mantia clocked a personal best 1:42.16 in the fifth of 12 pairs of the 1500m. It held up until Nuis (1:41.66) and countryman Thomas Krol (1:41.73) in the last two pairs.

“Was starting to think that I’m so old that I can’t time trial anymore,” Mantia, a 34-year-old whose last 1500m personal best came in 2015, told media in Utah. “Maybe there’s a little bit of hope left.”

Mantia’s medal extended the U.S. streak of making the podium at every world championships this millennium — 16 straight. The single bronze is the smallest medal output since 2000.

Full results are here.

Wüst and Nuis gave the Dutch a sweep of the men’s and women’s 1500m titles, two years after they did the same at the PyeongChang Olympics. Bergsma, an Olympic and world 10,000m champion, earned his first global medal of any color — gold — in the 16-lap mass start.

The Netherlands failed to earn any golds on the first two days of the four-day competition. The dominant Dutch, who topped the medal standings at every Olympics and worlds dating to the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games, entered Sunday trailing Russia.

But Wüst began the day by clocking 1:50.92 to win the 1500m by .21 over Russian Yevgenia Lalenkova. American medal hope Brittany Bowe, the 2015 World champion who took bronze last year, finished 14th a day after taking eighth in her world-record 1000m distance.

Nuis and Krol went one-two in the men’s 1500m to tie Russia’s medal total. Then Irene Schouten took bronze in the women’s mass start to put the Netherlands ahead for good, followed by Bergsma’s capper.

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Netherlands on the board; more world records at speed skating worlds

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It took four world records from other countries before the Netherlands won its first title in an Olympic program event at the world single distances speed skating championships.

Jutta Leerdam got the dominant skating nation on the board on the third day of the four-day competition and in the ninth Olympic program event. Leerdam scored an upset over defending champion and world-record holder Brittany Bowe, the American who ended up eighth.

Leerdam, 21, prevailed despite having zero World Cup podiums to her name. She clocked 1:11.84, just .23 slower than Bowe’s world record set on the same Utah Olympic Oval last year. Bowe, who recently had her yearlong win streak snapped in the 1000m, finished in 1:12.92.

“It’s a nightmare,” Bowe said, according to media on site.

Later, the Netherlands won the men’s team pursuit in a world record 3:34.68, the fifth world record in Olympic events the last two days on the world’s fastest ice at the 2002 Olympic oval outside Salt Lake City.

Full results are here.

The world championships conclude Sunday, highlighted by American Joey Mantia defending his world title in the mass start.

In other Saturday events, both the men’s 1000m and women’s 5000m world records fell. On Friday, world records were lowered in the men’s 10,000m and women’s team pursuit.

Pavel Kulizhnikov followed his Friday world 500m title with the 1000m crown, repeating his double gold from 2016. Kulizhnikov was one of the Russians banned from the PyeongChang Olympics after he served a prior doping ban.

On Saturday, Kulizhnikov clocked 1:05.69 to take .49 off Dutchman Kjeld Nuis‘ record from last March, also set at Salt Lake City. Nuis, the Olympic 1000m and 1500m champion, took silver, 1.03 seconds behind.

Russian Natalya Voronina and Czech Martina Sablikova both went under Sablikova’s world record in the 5000m. Voronina came out on top in 6:39.02, 2.99 seconds faster than Sablikova’s record from a year ago and 2.16 seconds faster than Sablikova on Saturday.

Voronina’s time would have been the men’s world record as recently as 1993. Sablikova won the previous 10 world titles in the event dating to 2007.

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