Lilly King DQ’d from 200m breaststroke at swimming worlds

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GWANGJU, South Korea (AP) — Lilly King was disqualified from the 200m breaststroke for touching the wall illegally in her preliminary heat at the world swimming championships.

King won the third preliminary heat in 2 minutes, 24.56 seconds, on Thursday morning but was disqualified for not touching the wall with both hands at the same time in the first turn of the four-lap race, according to USA Swimming.

The U.S. team filed a formal protest, which was denied by FINA’s appeals process. The matter was then escalated to a jury of appeal at the Americans’ request, and the jury upheld the DQ two hours before Thursday evening’s semifinals, which King watched from the stands while wearing swim goggles.

King had the second-fastest prelims time behind Canada’s Sydney Pickrem, who led the way in 2:24.53.

King reacted with shock upon seeing ‘DSQ’ next to her name on the video board. She said she wasn’t told why she had been disqualified although she asked the officials. Michael Phelps, too, was wondering what happened.

On-deck judges supervise each lane to observe whether swimmers are simultaneously touching the wall.

It was a big blow for King, who was aiming for a sweep of the breaststroke titles in Gwangju. She already won the 100m over Russian rival Yuliya Efimova.

Swimming in the last heat, Efimova said she was a bit nervous after seeing the DQ.

“I’m actually always thinking about this because some people make some stuff and nothing happen, but I know if a Russian do something, it’s always like …,” she said, making a kicking motion with her foot.

King’s DQ recalled a similar situation involving Aaron Peirsol in the 200m backstroke final at the 2004 Athens Olympics. The American was disqualified for making an illegal turn while finishing first. The decision was overturned, and he received the gold medal.

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SWIM WORLDS: TV Schedule | Results

Justin Schoenefeld gets U.S.’ first men’s aerials World Cup win in 4 years

Justin Schoenefeld
U.S. Ski & Snowboard
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Justin Schoenefeld ended a four-year U.S. men’s aerials drought with his first World Cup win Saturday in Belarus.

Schoenfeld, 21, hit a double full-full-full in the super final to beat a field that included world champion Maxim Burov of Russia. Burov was fourth, one spot behind another American, Chris Lillis. Full results are here.

“I’m pretty speechless right now,” Schoenefeld said, according to U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “I’m just shocked. It just all came so quick, all of a sudden the two finals were over, and I was on top of the podium. I probably landed two of my training jumps yesterday, but I managed to land all of my comp jumps down to my feet.”

Schoenefeld’s best previous World Cup finish was fourth, in Belarus last season.

Lillis earned the U.S.’ last World Cup men’s aerials victory on Feb. 20, 2016, also in Belarus. The four-year gap between wins marked the longest for the U.S. men since aerials was added as an Olympic medal sport in 1994.

Schoenefeld also became the first American of either gender to win a World Cup aerials event in two years, since Kiley McKinnon on Jan. 6, 2018. That gap was the longest for the U.S. since 2005.

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MORE: Olympic aerials champion retires to coach

Kaillie Humphries wins bobsled world title in first season for U.S.

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Two-time Olympic champion Kaillie Humphries won a bobsled world title in her first season since switching allegiance from Canada to the U.S., ending recent German dominance.

Humphries, with brakewoman Lauren Gibbs, edged German junior world champ Kim Kalicki by .37 of a second combining times from four runs between Friday and Saturday in Altenberg, Germany.

“I love this track. It’s very challenging, one of the hardest in the world,” Humphries said, according to U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton. “It demands a lot of focus, a lot of respect every minute you’re on that track. So to be able to win here, I know the Germans and the spectators, everybody, have worked so hard and this week, no exceptions. I’m proud of all of the girls.”

Canadian Christine de Bruin took bronze for a second straight year. Full results are here.

Humphries, who married a former U.S. bobsledder, was released by Canada in September after filing verbal abuse and harassment claims against a coach, saying she no longer felt safe with the program. As a Canadian, Humphries won 2010 and 2014 Olympic titles, plus 2012 and 2013 World titles.

Humphries joined German Sandra Kiriasis as the only female drivers to win three world titles. She is already the only female driver with multiple Olympic titles.

German Mariama Jamanka, the reigning Olympic champion and defending world champion, finished fourth in Altenberg.

Triple U.S. Olympic medalist Elana Meyers Taylor didn’t compete as she sits out the season due to pregnancy. Meyers Taylor and Gibbs teamed for silver in PyeongChang.

The world championships continue Sunday with the conclusion of the two-man competition. German Francesco Friedrich, eyeing his sixth straight world title, leads after the first two of four runs.

A full TV and live stream schedule is here.

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