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Georgian to become first woman to compete in nine Olympics

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The first time Nino Salukvadze competed at the Olympics, it was for the Soviet Union. Next year, the shooter is expected to become the first woman in any sport to participate in nine Olympics.

Salukvadze, 50, clinched an Olympic quota place for her native Georgia by finishing fifth at a 10m air pistol world cup in Beijing, according to the International Shooting Sport Federation.

She is expected to fill that quota in Tokyo next year and break her tie with Italian canoeist Josefa Idem-Guerrini and Canadian rower Lesley Thompson-Willie for Olympic appearances.

Salukvadze competed in every Olympics since the 1988 Seoul Games, representing the Soviet Union, then the Unified Team and then Georgia for the last seven Olympics. She earned gold and silver medals as a 19-year-old in 1988, then a bronze at the 2008 Beijing Games, where she famously exchanged a kiss on the cheek with a Russian medalist while the nations were at war.

In Rio, Salukvadze and Tsotne Machavariani became what was believed to be the first mother and son to compete at the same Olympics.

Canadian equestrian Ian Millar holds the overall record with 10 Olympic appearances from 1972 to 2012.

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Alistair Brownlee, after Ironman, leans toward Olympic return

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Alistair Brownlee is already the only triathlete with multiple Olympic titles. In July, he is reportedly leaning toward another impressive feat, to win an Olympic gold medal the summer after completing the Kona Ironman World Championships.

The Brit Brownlee said he is “definitely swinging towards” trying to qualify for the Tokyo Games, according to the Times of London. Brownlee’s manager confirmed the stance while noting that his result in the Ironman Western Australia on Dec. 1 will play into the ultimate decision.

Brownlee previously reportedly said he was “50-50” on going for the Olympics and that he had to decide between focusing on the shorter Olympic distance or the Ironman, which includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a marathon.

Other Olympic triathletes transitioned to the Ironman and never went back, such as 2008 Olympic champion Jan Frodeno of Germany and two-time U.S. Olympian Sarah True.

Brownlee finished 21st in Kona on Oct. 12 in 8 hours, 25 minutes, 3 seconds, which was 33:50 behind the winner Frodeno.

Brownlee won four half Ironmans between 2017 and 2018 (sandwiched by a hip surgery), then finished second to Frodeno at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship on Sept. 2.

One other triathlete won an Olympic title after completing the Kona Ironman — Austrian Kate Allen, who was seventh in Kona in 2002, then took gold at the 2004 Athens Games.

MORE: 2019 Kona Ironman World Championships Results

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Alberto Salazar appeals doping ban

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The Court of Arbitration for Sport says it has registered an appeal by track coach Alberto Salazar against his ban for doping violations, though a hearing will take several months to prepare.

CAS says Salazar and Dr. Jeffrey Brown appealed against their four-year bans by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

After a multi-year USADA investigation, Salazar and Brown were found guilty of doping violations linked to the Nike Oregon Project training camp. USADA said Salazar ran experiments with supplements and testosterone, and possessed and trafficked the banned substance.

The case also related to falsified and incomplete medical records that disguised the work.

CAS says Salazar and Brown asked for more time to file “written submissions and evidence,” adding the hearing is “unlikely to take place before March.”

Verdicts typically take at least a further several weeks.

MORE: Mary Cain raises issues from being coached by Salazar

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