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Shalane Flanagan to defend New York City Marathon title rather than retire

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Shalane Flanagan considered retirement. The decision? She’s not done racing.

Flanagan will defend her New York City Marathon title on Nov. 4, according to The New York Times.

“When I think about running New York, I get a feeling of ecstasy; my stomach turns,” she said, according to the newspaper. “It’s like if you’re dating someone and it goes well and you want more.”

Last year, Flanagan became the first U.S. female runner to win New York in 40 years. That followed one of the most difficult years (injury, missing world champs) of the four-time Olympian’s elite career that has spanned 16 years.

Flanagan teased possible retirement before and after that victory. But the Massachusetts native signed up for one more Boston Marathon this year, finishing seventh in the dreadful weather and a race won by countrywoman Des Linden.

After, Flanagan said she didn’t know what the future held, only that she had raced Boston for the last time as an elite.

The 37-year-old hasn’t ruled out going for the 2020 Olympics, when she could be the first U.S. distance runner to compete in five Games. She would be the third-oldest female U.S. Olympic runner after marathoners Colleen de Reuck (2004) and Francie Larrieu-Smith (1992), according to Olympic historians.

Flanagan won the 2012 Olympic Trials and has finished first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, ninth and ninth in her major marathon career to go along with her 2008 Olympic 10,000m silver medal.

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F4%k YEAH!!!!!! I’m heading back to NYC 🗽♥️ “When I think about returning to race in New York City, I’m flooded with magical memories. My heart skips a beat, I get butterflies in my stomach, and my palms get sweaty. New York City is incredibly special to me. It’s where I ran my first marathon in 2010, placing second, and of course, my dream come true moment in 2017 when I won the TCS New York City Marathon. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity, support, passion, and health to defend my title in 2018. I hope everyone preparing enjoys their journey to the start line and I look forward to celebrating with all the runners at the finish line on November 4th.” #TCSNYCmarathon #MovedMe 📷 @nyrr

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WATCH LIVE: Nathan Chen in U.S. Figure Skating Championships free skate

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Nathan Chen tries to become the first man to win four straight U.S. figure skating titles since 1988, live on NBC Sports on Sunday.

NBC Sports Gold streams live coverage of the men’s free skate for subscribers starting at 2:30 p.m. ET in Greensboro, N.C. NBC joins with TV coverage at 3.

LIVE STREAM: Men’s Free Skate — Gold | NBC | Skate Order

Chen, a 20-year-old Yale sophomore, is undefeated since placing fifth at the PyeongChang Olympics. He can become the seventh man since World War II to win four straight national titles.

Five of the previous six went on to earn Olympic gold, including Dick ButtonScott Hamilton and, most recently, Brian Boitano in 1988.

Chen carries a substantial 13.14-point lead from Saturday’s short program, where he landed two quadruple jumps on one week of full training following a flu bout.

The anticipated drama Sunday comes in the battle for silver and bronze medals and the last two world championships team spots.

Jason BrownAndrew TorgashevVincent Zhou and Tomoki Hiwatashi are separated by 8.78 points. Brown, the 2015 U.S. champion, and Zhou, the 2019 World bronze medalist, are the only men in the field other than Chen with world team experience.

Key Skate Times
5:01 p.m. (ET) — Vincent Zhou
5:18 — Tomoki Hiwatashi
5:26 — Andrew Torgashev
5:35 — Nathan Chen
5:43 — Jason Brown

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NATIONALS: TV Schedule | Full Results

As a reminder, you can watch the events from the 2019-20 figure skating season live and on-demand with the ‘Figure Skating Pass’ on NBC Sports Gold. Go to NBCsports.com/gold/figure-skating to sign up for access to every ISU Grand Prix and championship event, as well as domestic U.S. Figure Skating events throughout the season. NBC Sports Gold gives subscribers an unprecedented level of access on more platforms and devices than ever before.

Mikaela Shiffrin, with 66th World Cup win, moves one shy of career dream

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Mikaela Shiffrin has said one of her career dreams is to win in every discipline in one season. She is now one victory shy of realizing it.

Shiffrin earned her 66th World Cup victory — and her second in three days — at a super-G in Bansko, Bulgaria, on Sunday.

She prevailed by .29 of a second over Italian Marta Bassino and .70 over Swiss Lara Gut-Behrami. Gut-Behrami, the last skier other than Shiffrin to win a World Cup overall title back in 2016, earned her first podium in exactly one year.

Full results are here.

“Perfect weekend for me,” said Shiffrin, who moved one shy of recently retired Austrian Marcel Hirscher for third place on the World Cup career wins list. “The whole team is excited about the whole weekend, but especially today.”

She is en route to a fourth straight World Cup overall title. And she is a combined victory away from wins in all five disciplines in one season. Only Marc GirardelliPetra KronbergerJanica Kostelic and Tina Maze have done it.

“The thing that I’m most proud of right now is that I know how to win in slalom, [giant slalom], super-G and downhill, which I never expected that would really happen,” she said.

Shiffrin struggled with confidence during a winless stretch in early January, trying not to compare herself to last season, when she won a record 17 times. She still leads the men’s and women’s tours with six victories this season, a little more than halfway through.

“Every race is such a big fight, and I haven’t been the one on top of this fight every time,” she said. “Certainly I’ve been like sometimes the expectations that I have or that other people might have, I’m not quite living up to that. Sometimes it’s hard not to feel like I’m failing sometimes, even though this is still just an incredible season.”

There are two combined races left this season for Shiffrin to achieve the dream — Feb. 23 in Switzerland and March 1 in Italy. While combined — mixing a speed run and a technical run — might seem perfect for Shiffrin, she has one victory in four starts in the discipline between the World Cup and Olympics.

And Shiffrin is careful about her race schedule. She is undecided on entering a downhill and super-G next weekend at the 2014 Olympic venue in Russia.

“After this weekend my brain is a little bit dead,” she joked.

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