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Alysia Montaño to receive medals several years after being cheated out of them

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U.S. 800m runner Alysia Montaño will receive her first world outdoor track and field championships medals, six and nine years after being cheated out of them.

Montaño will be in Doha for the world championships that start next week, not to compete but to be given bronze medals from the 2011 and 2013 World Championships, according to her social media.

Montaño crossed the finish line fourth in each of those world 800m finals. Russian Maria Savinova, an original gold and silver medalist in those respective races, was retroactively stripped of those medals (and her 2012 Olympic title) years later for doping. That cleared the way for Montaño’s upgrade.

“I always give everything I’ve got, and in track and field that has also been the case,” was posted on Montaño’s Instagram. “Everything I had I left it out there, I have no regrets, used all of the power in me to come up with the best possible result for all my true, honest hard work and over a decades time worth of dedication. From 2007-2016 I had the ultimate displeasure of racing against dopers who ultimately dominated the top of the scoreboard. These athletes who were doping stole precious moments and money from clean athletes including me, who never got the outdoor podium moment that I earned. -The [IAAF] took monetary bribes from the athletes that were doping at the time to cover up theirs failed results, if it were not for whistle blower Yulia Stepanova who secretly recorded her teammates as they explained their operation, what they took and how they got away with it, I would not have the opportunity to stand on and receive my podium moment and my medals that I honestly earned.”

Montaño, 33 and a 2012 Olympian, last competed at the 2017 USATF Outdoor Championships, placing seventh in her first-round heat while five months pregnant.

MORE: U.S. roster for track and field worlds

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Tommy Ford ends U.S. men’s World Cup drought at Beaver Creek

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Tommy Ford earned his first World Cup win at age 30 and ended the U.S. men’s longest victory and podium droughts in two decades.

Ford won the giant slalom in Beaver Creek, Colo., on Sunday, the last North American race on tour this season. He prevailed by eight tenths of a second combining times over two runs.

“It doesn’t beat doing it here. I’ve been working hard,” Ford, in his 86th World Cup start dating to 2009, said on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA. “No secret, just kept it simple and really trusted what I was doing.”

Norwegians Henrik Kristoffersen and Leif Kristian Nestvold-Haugen were second and third. American Ted Ligety, fourth after the opening run, finished 11th.

Full results are here.

Ford became the first U.S. man to win a World Cup since Travis Ganong took a downhill on Jan. 27, 2017. He also became the first U.S. male podium finisher since Ligety in January 2018. Both were the longest droughts for the program since the late 1990s.

Ford, a 2010 and 2018 Olympian who missed the 2014 Olympics due to a broken femur, had been working toward this moment.

He finished a World Cup career-high fourth at the season-opening giant slalom in Soelden, Austria, on Oct. 27. Last season, the Oregon native and former Dartmouth student had a pair of fifths.

The men’s World Cup moves to Val d’Isere, France, next weekend for a giant slalom and slalom.

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Katie Ledecky wins race by 30 seconds, takes back No. 1 ranking

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In her last race of the year, Katie Ledecky ensured she would finish 2019 as the world’s fastest 1500m freestyler.

Ledecky clocked 15:35.98 at the U.S. Open in Atlanta, winning the longest event on the Olympic pool program by 29.97 seconds. Typical for Ledecky, who owns the nine fastest times in history. This one came in at No. 8. Full meet results are here.

Ledecky scratched the 1500m free final at the summer world championships due to illness. Italian Simona Quadarella went on to win that title in 15:40.89, which was the world’s fastest time this year until Saturday night.

“I didn’t have time on my mind at all today. I just wanted to have a consistent swim,” Ledecky, undefeated in 1500m free finals for nine years, said on NBCSN. “That’s probably the best mile that I’ve had in a while.”

The women’s 1500m freestyle debuts at the Olympics in Tokyo. Ledecky is expected to add that to her Rio Olympic individual lineup of 200m, 400m and 800m frees, assuming she is top two in each event at the June Olympic trials.

In other events Saturday, Erika Brown handed Simone Manuel a rare defeat in the 100m freestyle. Brown, a University of Tennessee senior, clocked 53.42 and lowered her personal best by .71 between prelims and the final. Brown moved from sixth to fourth in the U.S. rankings this year, upping her stock as a contender to make the Olympic 4x100m free relay pool via a top-six finish at trials.

Brown previously lowered her personal best in the 50m free on Thursday. She ranks third in the U.S. this year in that event.

Emily Escobedo dealt Lilly King a rare domestic defeat in the 200m breaststroke. Escobedo lowered her personal best by .87 and clocked 2:22.00, moving to seventh fastest in the world this year and remaining fourth among Americans.

In the men’s 200m breast, Olympic champion Dmitriy Balandin of Kazakhstan was beaten by Cody Miller, the Olympic 100m breast silver medalist. Both were slower than their best times this year.

The next significant swim meet is a Tyr Pro Series stop in Knoxville, Tenn., from Jan. 16-19.

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