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Team USA wins fourth World Team Trophy title

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Skaters from the United States put together their fourth win at World Team Trophy overnight Saturday in Fukuoka, Japan.

Nathan Chen and Vincent Zhou did their part earlier in the competition, finished first and second in both the short program and the free skate. Then Saturday, Bradie Tennell and Mariah Bell placed second and fifth in the free skate to clinch the title for the U.S.

The ladies’ competition featured two more triple Axel attempts: Grand Prix Final and Four Continents champion Rika Kihira of Japan fell on her attempt, but 2015 world champion Elizaveta Tuktamysheva of Russia completed a clean triple Axel.

Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc finished fifth in the pairs’ free skate to earn even more points for Team USA, to bring the total to 117 points.

Japan finished second on home ice with 104 points, while Russia earned bronze with 102 points.

Full results are here.

“We’re very excited,” team captain Madison Hubbell said through U.S. Figure Skating. “Everyone on our team skated beautifully and I couldn’t be more proud. This is a great way to end our season and the Japanese crowd was so supportive.”

The three-day competition is held every odd year. Teams from the United States have earned medals in all six editions of the event.

MORE: Team Paradise leads after short program at World Synchronized Skating Championships

As a reminder, you can watch the events from the 2018-19 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.

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Helen Maroulis to miss world championships, eyes still on defending Olympic title

Helen Maroulis
United World Wrestling
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Helen Maroulis, the lone U.S. female wrestler to win an Olympic title, sat out this past weekend’s world team trials, which means she will not compete at the world championships in September.

Maroulis is working her way back from blowing out her right shoulder in a first-round loss at worlds on Oct. 24, after she returned from a concussion. She underwent surgery in November and was cleared to return earlier this spring before tweaking the shoulder again.

Maroulis said Friday she was cleared again to compete at trials but chose rest, recovery and her long-term health given what happened in 2018.

“It’s not coming from a place of fear,” she said. “I’m just not ready yet.

“If trials were end of June, everything would be perfect. I’m still feeling good and confident for 2020.”

As Maroulis stressed at 2018 Worlds, she prioritizes health over wrestling.

“Not just for myself, but to set an example because I get a lot of messages from kids on Instagram — I have a concussion, or my teammate has a concussion.” Maroulis said in October. “There’s this wrestler mindset to just push through — you’re the toughest, find a way to win. But there’s just a lot more to it.”

Maroulis, 27, put together one of the most dominant stretches in sport from 2015-17, going 78-1 overall among three different weight classes and going unscored upon at two world championships.

In between, she beat Saori Yoshida in the Rio Olympic 53kg final, preventing the Japanese legend from a record fourth Olympic title.

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Ex-partner of deceased figure skater John Coughlin says she was abused

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — One of the former skating partners of two-time U.S. pairs champion John Coughlin has accused him in a series of social media posts of sexually assaulting her over a 2-year period.

Bridget Namiotka said on Facebook that Coughlin, who died by suicide in January, hurt “at least 10 people including me.” She skated with Coughlin from 2004, when she was 14, through the 2007 season.

Namiotka’s attorney confirmed to The Associated Press that the comments were made by her.

The U.S. Center for SafeSport and U.S. Figure Skating had given Coughlin, who became a coach and TV commentator after his retirement, an interim suspension for unspecified conduct. He was barred from attending events and activities sanctioned by the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Coughlin was found dead Jan. 18 at his father’s home in Kansas City, Missouri.