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Adam Peaty breaks 100m breaststroke world record again

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GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — By improving his own world record in the 100m breaststroke again, Olympic champion Adam Peaty is within one-hundredth of a second of completing his “Project 56.”

The British swimmer won gold in 57.00 seconds at the European Championships on Saturday, shaving 0.13 off his previous best mark, which he swam at the Rio de Janeiro Games two years ago.

Peaty, who has the 14 fastest times in the discipline, is the only swimmer to beat the 58-second mark, and last autumn he announced his ambition to go under 57 as well.

“I don’t want to just win, I want to dominate. And that’s not an arrogant side, that’s the competitive side in me,” he said on Saturday.

With a reaction time at the start of just 0.47, Peaty looked sharp from the beginning of the race. He never had his lead under threat. He beat James Wilby by 1.54 for a British 1-2 finish. Anton Chupkov of Russia finished 1.96 behind in third.

“It’s a weird one because I wasn’t going after a world record. But after the heat yesterday I knew I was in good shape,” said Peaty, who was still far from a world record in that heat (57.89) and in the semifinals (58.04), but he announced he “would be on my full game” for the final.

“After the semi I was back in the 58s but it just shows what you can do if you have a positive mental attitude,” he said.

It’s Peaty’s ninth European long-course title, to add to his five world titles.

In the buildup, Peaty said he wasn’t focusing on setting world records or below-57 finishing times anymore after his disappointing showing at the Commonwealth Games.

On the Gold Coast in April, he won the 100m breaststroke in only 58.84, and suffered a first defeat since 2014 in the 50m breaststroke, where he was edged by South Africa’s Cameron van der Burgh.

“When you go four years without losing, you kind of get complacent even if you don’t want to admit it to yourself,” he said, adding that a “spider web of support” — his girlfriend, family, and coaches — helped him to rediscover his joy in the sport.

“It’s not just my victory tonight. It’s their victory as well. I didn’t train too hard these last months. I got the balance right between training smart and training very hard.”

Just missing out on a time below 57 didn’t bother him.

“No, that gives me another level of motivation,” he said. “If I’d achieved that, people would be talking about ‘Project 55.’”

An hour after Peaty’s achievement, Kliment Kolesnikov set a world record in the 50m backstroke final. The Russian finished in 24 seconds to beat the previous best mark set by Britain’s Liam Tancock, who timed 24.04 at the 2009 World Championships in Rome.

Robert-Andrei Glinta of Romania won silver after trailing Kolesnikov by 0.55, and Shane Ryan of Ireland finished 0.64 behind for bronze.

It’s the 18-year-old Kolesnikov’s second gold medal of the European Championships after winning the 4x100m freestyle with the Russian team on Friday. He also won four European titles at the short-course championships in Copenhagen last year.

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Lindsey Vonn and her dog to host Amazing Race-like series

Lindsey Vonn
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Lindsey Vonn and one of her three dogs, Lucy, will host “The Pack,” an “Amazing Race”-like series where dogs and their humans compete in challenges across continents.

The Amazon Prime show filmed earlier this year and will premiere later in 2020. Production included a team of veterinarians and dog experts to ensure “a positive experience for everyone.”

Twelve teams vie for a prize of $500,000, plus $250,000 for the animal charity of their choice.

Vonn, the 2010 Olympic downhill champion and female record holder with 82 World Cup wins, retired after the February 2019 World Championships, four shy of the overall victories record held by Swede Ingemar Stenmark.

She traveled the last few years of her career with Lucy, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that she got in Italy in January 2016. Lucy required German, Italian and American passports to accompany Vonn on the ski circuit.

Vonn previously adopted rescue dogs Leo, a brindle boxer to help her through recovery from knee surgery that kept her out of the 2014 Olympics, and Bear.

Vonn’s previous broadcast credits included a 2010 appearance as a secretary on “Law & Order,” two judge spots on “Project Runway” and an episode of “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” in 2016.

MORE: Lindsey Vonn’s mom is tough as nails

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London Marathon mass event canceled; Kipchoge, Bekele still to race

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The London Marathon will not hold a mass participation race of 40,000-plus runners, but will have an elites-only event featuring the fastest marathoners in history on a different course.

Organizers announced that the World Marathon Major, previously rescheduled for Oct. 4 from April 26, will be restricted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Elite runners, including world-record holders Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei and Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest man in history, will instead race but not on the usual route around London landmarks.

They will run on an enclosed looped in St. James’s Park in a “secure biosphere” without spectator access. Elite wheelchair racers, including past champions David Weir and Manuela Schar, will also compete.

Before canceling, London Marathon organizers planned to use Bluetooth and wideband ranging to monitor every participant’s distance from each other, though they did not specify if the event would have still included more than 40,000 runners.

If a participant spent more than 15 minutes within a specified distance of anyone else, and if somebody had informed organizers they contracted the virus within two weeks after the race, he or she would have been contacted.

“Despite all our efforts, the fantastic support from all of our partners and the progress that has been made on planning for the return of smaller mass participation events that are not on the roads, it has not been possible to go ahead with a mass socially distanced walk or run,” event director Hugh Brasher said in press release.

Four of the other five annual World Marathon Majors this year were canceled — Berlin, Boston, Chicago and New York City. The earliest major, Tokyo, was held March 1 with elite runners only.

Kipchoge, the Olympic marathon champion from Kenya, and Bekele, a three-time Olympic track champion from Ethiopia, were previously announced as headliners for London in the winter, before the pandemic.

Kipchoge lowered the world record to 2:01:39 at the 2018 Berlin Marathon. Bekele clocked 2:01:41 in Berlin last September. They are the only men to ever break 2:02 in a marathon. Kipchoge also clocked 1:59:40 at a non-record-eligible event in Vienna on Oct. 12 instead of racing a fall marathon.

Kipchoge has won 11 of 12 marathons since moving to road racing after failing to make Kenya’s 2012 Olympic track team.

Bekele, the more accomplished track athlete with Olympic golds and world records at 5000m and 10,000m, has been a roller-coaster road runner.

Bekele owns two of the seven fastest marathons in history, recorded three years apart in Berlin. In between, he failed to finish two marathons and, in his last London start in 2018, clocked a pedestrian 2:08:53 for sixth place.

That was more than four minutes behind Kipchoge, who is undefeated in four London starts and has beaten by Bekele by at least 100 seconds in all four of their head-to-head marathons.

The Kenyan Kosgei took 81 seconds off Paula Radcliffe‘s 16-year-old women’s marathon world record on Oct. 13, clocking 2:14:04 to win the Chicago Marathon.

The 2021 London Marathon will also be held in October to give a better chance of holding a mass race than in April.

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MORE: U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials results