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Upon review, Lilly King agrees with DQ in 200m breaststroke

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GWANGJU, South Korea (AP) — Lilly King believes officials made the right call when they disqualified her for an unorthodox turn in the 200-meter breaststroke heats at the world swimming championships.

As a result, the American said Friday she will reevaluate her turns in the event.

Officials ruled King didn’t touch the wall with both hands at the same time in the first turn Thursday.

“They made the right call,” King said Friday. “When you saw it in super slo-mo and super zoom, I definitely did it.”

Earlier in the championships, King won the 100m breaststroke and took silver in the 4×100 mixed medley relay.

The U.S. lost its initial protest of the DQ and was denied again by FINA’s Jury of Appeals.

“I really appreciate everyone’s effort to try to get it overturned, but it was so over the top,” King said, referring to the drawn-out process that took most of the day and wasn’t announced until shortly before the evening semifinals.

King, an outspoken doping critic, criticized FINA earlier in the meet for allowing China’s Sun Yang to compete in Gwangju while he has a pending case before the Court for Arbitration in Sport that threatens to result in his lifetime ban.

She also supported Australian Mack Horton’s shunning of Sun on the medals podium, saying, “I don’t think anyone at FINA is going to stand up for the athletes, so the athletes have to stand up for themselves.”

“Do I think maybe something I had said about FINA earlier maybe came back to haunt me in the jury? Yeah, probably,” King said, “but I’m still going to stand up for what I believe in and in the end the official made the right call.”

In the turns, swimmers try to get in and out of the wall as fast as possible. Some place both hands flat on the wall. King describes her technique as unorthodox.

She staggers her hands, with her right touching flat above the water and her left poking the wall with a finger. She uses her flat hand to push away. On-deck judges observe each lane to ensure swimmers touch the wall simultaneously.

“I think it would have been very difficult to see with the human eye personally, but I think the official was standing at just the right angle and she got me,” King said. “The officials are there to do their job and that’s what they did.”

King said she was disqualified for the same infraction in the event at the U.S. national championships four years ago.

She’s glad this latest DQ occurred at worlds instead of next year’s Olympics.

“I still have a whole year to fix that and make it better and make it perfect before we get to Tokyo,” she said.

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SWIM WORLDS: TV Schedule | Results

Joey Mantia extends U.S. medal streak at speed skating worlds; Dutch dominance returns

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Joey Mantia ensured the host U.S. finished with a medal at the world single distances championships. Ireen WüstKjeld Nuis and Jorrit Bergsma ensured the Netherlands finished atop the medal standings.

Mantia joined Shani Davis as the only U.S. men to earn individual medals at three different editions of the championships, taking bronze in the 1500m on the last day of the speed skating meet at the 2002 Olympic oval outside Salt Lake City.

Mantia won the mass start at the last two worlds in 2017 and 2019 (and finished fifth on Sunday, after the 1500m bronze).

Mantia clocked a personal best 1:42.16 in the fifth of 12 pairs of the 1500m. It held up until Nuis (1:41.66) and countryman Thomas Krol (1:41.73) in the last two pairs.

“Was starting to think that I’m so old that I can’t time trial anymore,” Mantia, a 34-year-old whose last 1500m personal best came in 2015, told media in Utah. “Maybe there’s a little bit of hope left.”

Mantia’s medal extended the U.S. streak of making the podium at every world championships this millennium — 16 straight. The single bronze is the smallest medal output since 2000.

Full results are here.

Wüst and Nuis gave the Dutch a sweep of the men’s and women’s 1500m titles, two years after they did the same at the PyeongChang Olympics. Bergsma, an Olympic and world 10,000m champion, earned his first global medal of any color — gold — in the 16-lap mass start.

The Netherlands failed to earn any golds on the first two days of the four-day competition. The dominant Dutch, who topped the medal standings at every Olympics and worlds dating to the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games, entered Sunday trailing Russia.

But Wüst began the day by clocking 1:50.92 to win the 1500m by .21 over Russian Yevgenia Lalenkova. American medal hope Brittany Bowe, the 2015 World champion who took bronze last year, finished 14th a day after taking eighth in her world-record 1000m distance.

Nuis and Krol went one-two in the men’s 1500m to tie Russia’s medal total. Then Irene Schouten took bronze in the women’s mass start to put the Netherlands ahead for good, followed by Bergsma’s capper.

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MORE: Shani Davis retires, takes new role in speed skating

Netherlands on the board; more world records at speed skating worlds

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It took four world records from other countries before the Netherlands won its first title in an Olympic program event at the world single distances speed skating championships.

Jutta Leerdam got the dominant skating nation on the board on the third day of the four-day competition and in the ninth Olympic program event. Leerdam scored an upset over defending champion and world-record holder Brittany Bowe, the American who ended up eighth.

Leerdam, 21, prevailed despite having zero World Cup podiums to her name. She clocked 1:11.84, just .23 slower than Bowe’s world record set on the same Utah Olympic Oval last year. Bowe, who recently had her yearlong win streak snapped in the 1000m, finished in 1:12.92.

“It’s a nightmare,” Bowe said, according to media on site.

Later, the Netherlands won the men’s team pursuit in a world record 3:34.68, the fifth world record in Olympic events the last two days on the world’s fastest ice at the 2002 Olympic oval outside Salt Lake City.

Full results are here.

The world championships conclude Sunday, highlighted by American Joey Mantia defending his world title in the mass start.

In other Saturday events, both the men’s 1000m and women’s 5000m world records fell. On Friday, world records were lowered in the men’s 10,000m and women’s team pursuit.

Pavel Kulizhnikov followed his Friday world 500m title with the 1000m crown, repeating his double gold from 2016. Kulizhnikov was one of the Russians banned from the PyeongChang Olympics after he served a prior doping ban.

On Saturday, Kulizhnikov clocked 1:05.69 to take .49 off Dutchman Kjeld Nuis‘ record from last March, also set at Salt Lake City. Nuis, the Olympic 1000m and 1500m champion, took silver, 1.03 seconds behind.

Russian Natalya Voronina and Czech Martina Sablikova both went under Sablikova’s world record in the 5000m. Voronina came out on top in 6:39.02, 2.99 seconds faster than Sablikova’s record from a year ago and 2.16 seconds faster than Sablikova on Saturday.

Voronina’s time would have been the men’s world record as recently as 1993. Sablikova won the previous 10 world titles in the event dating to 2007.

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MORE: World Single Distances Championships broadcast schedule