Brittany Bowe adds World Cup 1000m win to 1500m

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Brittany Bowe earned her second victory in the first three speed skating World Cup stops on Friday, again showing she returned to form from a July 2016 concussion.

Bowe, an Olympic team pursuit bronze medalist, won a 1000m in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Poland, in 1:15.399, beating Olympic bronze medalist Miho Takagi of Japan by 1.02 seconds. The event lacked Olympic champion Jorien ter Mors, who is out due to knee surgery.

Bowe won a 1500m at the season-opening World Cup three weeks ago, her first victory since suffering a concussion in a July 2016 training collision with a teammate. In 2015, Bowe swept the 1000m and 1500m at the world championships, then broke world records in both events that fall.

She looked primed for individual success at the PyeongChang Winter Games early in that Olympic cycle. But the concussion affected her for the entire 2016-17 season, including blood-pressure issues and fainting spells.

She returned in full last season but did not make an individual podium between the World Cups and the Olympics, missing a 1000m medal in PyeongChang by .38 and in the 1500m by .28.

Bowe was part of a team pursuit squad that took third in South Korea, the first U.S. women’s speed skating medal since the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.

Bowe and Heather Bergsma were dominant skaters in the last Olympic cycle. Bergsma, also a team pursuit bronze medalist, said she is taking at least a two-year break from the sport after having baby Brent in October.

Bowe now leads the World Cup standings in the 1000m and the 1500m. Her 19th individual World Cup win on Friday matched three-time Olympic medalist Chris Witty for fifth on the U.S. all-time list behind Bonnie Blair (69), Shani Davis (58), Dan Jansen (46) and Bergsma (34), according to schaatsstatistieken.nl.

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MORE: J.R. Celski retires after three Olympics, three medals

IOC revokes shooting event status over Pakistan visa refusal

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The International Olympic Committee has revoked the Olympic qualification status of a 25-meter shooting event in New Delhi because Indian officials refused to grant entry visas to two Pakistani athletes and an official.

The IOC said Thursday it was informed on Monday that the Indian government authorities did not grant entry visas to the Pakistani delegation for the 25-meter rapid-fire pistol event at the ISSF World Cup, where two places at next year’s Tokyo Olympics were meant to be at stake.

The IOC said it only withdrew the Olympic qualification status from the competition in which the two Pakistani athletes were supposed to participate. There are 500 athletes from 61 countries who are already in India for other World Cup events.

“Since becoming aware of the issue, and in spite of intense last-minute joint efforts by the IOC, the ISSF (International Shooting Sport Federation) and the Indian NOC (National Olympic Committee), and discussions with the Indian government authorities, no solution has been found to allow the Pakistani delegation to enter India in time to compete,” the IOC said in a statement.

It did not say whether Pakistani athletes were entered in any other events at the competition.

In a statement to the Press Trust of India news agency, Rajeev Mehta, the secretary general of the Indian Olympic Association, said Friday the IOA would approach the government again about the visas.

“It is a dangerous situation for all sport in the county,” Mehta was quoted as saying. “In addition to not being able to host events in India, there may be problems for our athletes to take part in international events.”

The IOC said the situation goes against the fundamental principles of the Olympic Charter to not discriminate against any athlete.

The visa refusal comes amid escalated tensions between the two countries following last week’s deadly suicide bombing in Kashmir against Indian paramilitary troops. At least 40 Indian soldiers were killed in Thursday’s attack, which New Delhi blamed on Islamabad.

Since independence from Britain in 1947, Pakistan and India have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir, which is divided between the two but claimed by each in its entirety.

Yevgenia Medvedeva wins Russian figure skating event to revive Worlds hope

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VELIKY NOVGOROD, Russia — Yevgenia Medvedeva beat Elizaveta Tuktamysheva in the Russian Cup final on Friday and boosted her hopes of a dramatic return to the Russia team for the world championships.

Despite a fall in the free skate, last year’s Olympic silver medalist scored 222.90 points to beat Tuktamysheva by just 1.71.

Medvedeva has struggled this season after moving to Canada to train, while Tuktamysheva started strongly in the autumn but was then hospitalized with pneumonia.

The Russian Cup was widely considered an unofficial skate-off for Russia’s third world championship slot next month alongside Olympic gold medalist Alina Zagitova and European champion Sofia Samodurova.

The skater likely to lose her spot is Stanislava Konstantinova, who followed up fourth at the European championships with another fourth-place finish on Friday.

MORE: Medvedeva’s coach Brian Orser says they’re on stand-by for Worlds spot

As a reminder, you can watch the world championships 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.

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