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Pan Pacific Swimming Championships TV, streaming schedule

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The Pan Pacific Championships, this year’s major international swim meet and the determinant of the U.S. team for the 2019 World Championships, airs live on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA this week.

All Olympic Channel coverage streams on NBCSports.com/live, the NBC Sports app, OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app for subscribers.

NBC airs Pan Pacs highlights Saturday and Sunday.

The U.S., led by Katie LedeckySimone Manuel, Lilly KingCaeleb Dressel and Chase Kalisz, takes on non-European nations including swim powers Australia and Japan.

Results at the meet in Tokyo can be viewed in three ways:

  • Pure racing for gold, silver and bronze medals.
  • Comparing times with the ongoing European Championships and Asian Games later this month to determine the fastest swimmers in the world this year.
  • Ranking the top two Americans per individual Olympic event to see who makes the 2019 World Championships team. Worlds spots go to the swimmers with the best times from either finals at nationals two weeks ago or the A or B finals from Pan Pacs.

The last bullet creates a competition within the competition for the U.S., which earned more than three times as many swimming medals as the second-place nation at the 2016 Olympics and 2017 Worlds.

The top matchups between the U.S. and other nations at Pan Pacs: women’s backstrokes (Kathleen Baker vs. Canadians Kylie Masse and Taylor Ruck), women’s 200m freestyle (Ledecky vs. Ruck) and men’s individual medleys (Kalisz vs. Japanese Kosuke Hagino and Daiya Seto).

Ledecky swept the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m frees, plus anchored the victorious 4x200m free relay at this meet four years ago. She is favored to win all of those events again in Tokyo.

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MORE: Chase Kalisz, among Floyd, swim stardom, Waffle House, at home in Athens

Date Time (ET) Network
Thursday 5-8:30 a.m. Olympic Channel (LIVE)
Friday 6-8:30 a.m. Olympic Channel (LIVE)
Saturday 5:30-8 a.m. Olympic Channel (LIVE)
4-6 p.m. NBC
Sunday 5-8:30 a.m. Olympic Channel (LIVE)
4-6 p.m. NBC

Asbel Kiprop, Olympic 1500m champ, banned four years

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Kenyan Asbel Kiprop, the 2008 Olympic 1500m champion and a three-time world champ, was banned four years after testing positive for EPO in November 2017, according to track and field’s doping watchdog organization.

The ban is backdated to Feb. 3, 2018, when the 29-year-old was provisionally suspended after the failed test.

Kiprop repeatedly denied doping since last May, when he first acknowledged the positive test. Most recently, a 3,000-word defense from his lawyer was posted on Kiprop’s Facebook page.

Kiprop’s defenses included saying he was a victim of extortion and that he was offered “a reward” of becoming an anti-doping ambassador if he admitted guilt. The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), the IAAF’s independent organization to monitor doping and corruption, denied the latter last May.

A disciplinary panel dismissed six defenses from exonerating him, including the possibility his sample was spiked, in handing out the four-year ban.

Kiprop, the pre-eminent 1500m runner of the last decade, can appeal the ban.

At 19, he finished second in the Beijing Olympic 1500m but was upgraded to gold a year later after Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi failed a drug test. He is the youngest Olympic 1500m medalist of all time, according to the OlyMADMen.

Kiprop went on to earn three straight world titles in the 1500m in 2011, 2013 and 2015, matching the feats of retired legends Noureddine Morceli and Hicham El Guerrouj.

He struggled in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, finishing last in the London final with a hamstring injury and sixth in the Rio final won by American rival Matthew Centrowitz.

Kiprop has targeted El Guerrouj’s world record of 3:26:00, missing the mark by .69 of a second in 2015.

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Maggie Nichols is second woman in 20 years to repeat as NCAA all-around champ

Maggie Nichols
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Oklahoma junior and world champion gymnast Maggie Nichols became the first woman to repeat as NCAA all-around champion in 12 years, returning from a heel injury to compete on all four events for the first time since January on Friday.

Nichols, a Rio Olympic hopeful before being beset by a torn meniscus in 2016, joined 2004 Olympic silver medalist Courtney Kupets as the only women to win back-to-back NCAA all-arounds in the 2000s.

A junior, Nichols can next year join Jenny Hansen as the only women to three-peat in NCAA history.

Oklahoma goes for a third team title in four years on Saturday night against UCLA (featuring Olympic champions Madison Kocian and Kyla Ross), LSU and Denver.

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NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships Individual Results
All-Around
1. Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma) — 39.7125
2. Lexy Ramler (Minnesota) — 39.6625
2. Kyla Ross (UCLA) — 39.6625
4. Sarah Finnegan (LSU) — 39.65
5. Kennedi Edney (LSU) — 39.6

Vault
1. Kennedi Edney (LSU) — 9.95
1. Derrian Gobourne (Auburn)
1. Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma)
1. Kyla Ross (UCLA)

Uneven Bars
1. Sarah Finnegan (LSU) — 9.95

Balance Beam
1. Natalie Wojcik (Michigan) — 9.95

Floor Exercise
1. Alicia Boren (Florida) — 9.95
1. Lynnzee Brown (Denver)
1. Brenna Dowell (Oklahoma)
1. Kyla Ross (UCLA)