Germans Jan Frodeno, Anne Haug win 2019 Kona Ironman World Championships

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Germany was well represented in the 2019 Kona Ironman World Championships as countrymen Jan Frodeno and Anne Haug won the pro men and pro women divisions, respectively.

Frodeno’s time of 7:51:13 gave him his third Ironman World Championship title and broke the course record in Kona, Hawaii. The previous record of 7:52:39 was set by 2017 and 2018 champion Patrick Lange, who dropped out during the bike portion.

A 47:31 swimming portion put Frodeno in second before a 4:16:03 bike leg. His 2:42:43 marathon propelled him to the top of the podium. Frodeno, the 2008 Olympic triathlon champion who won the 2015 and 2016 Kona titles, was derailed by injuries the last two years.

MORE: 2019 Kona Ironman World Championships Results

“For all the nerves and all the hard work, it’s just the best feeling to be back here in great shape,” said Frodeno, who made it six straight titles for German men. “People shout ‘Get the [course record] time!’ I’m like, bloody time, I just want to finish.

“Honestly I don’t care about the record. … It’s the Wimbledon of our sport. It’s the greatest feeling in the world. After walking [during the marathon] here two years ago, it’s a blooding good feeling to run four-minute [kilometers].”

American Tim O’Donnell, who finished second, was the only other competitor to finish the 140.6-mile triathlon in under eight hours with a time of 7:59:41. O’Donnell posted the best finish by an American in five years. It’s been 17 years since an American man or woman won, the longest drought for the host nation in Ironman Kona’s 42-year history.

Brit Alistair Brownlee, the 2012 and 2016 Olympic triathlon champion, was 21st in his Kona debut. Brownlee said he would decide after Kona whether to try for Tokyo 2020.

Haug won her first Ironman World Championship title after her 2:51:07 marathon catapulted her past front runner Lucy Charles-Barclay. Charles-Barclay was the first out of the water, but Haug’s 4:50:18 bike portion began wearing on her lead. Daniela Ryf, the four-time defending champion, finished in 13th place just a year after setting the course record.

Haug’s winning 8:40:10 overall time makes her the first German woman to claim the title.

Two-time U.S. Olympian Sarah True withdrew during the 112-mile bike.

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U.S. Olympic 3×3 basketball qualifying teams named with former NBA player, WNBA stars

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Former NBA player Robbie Hummel and WNBA stars lead U.S. Olympic qualifying teams in the new Olympic event of 3×3 basketball.

The four-man and four-woman teams will compete in a global qualifier in India in March, each favored to grab one of three available Olympic berths per gender for the U.S.

Hummel, who unretired to become world champion in 3×3, is joined on the U.S. Olympic men’s qualifying team by Team Princeton teammates Canyon Barry and Kareem Maddox, plus Dominique Jones, who has played with Team Harlem. Team Princeton is guided by an investment firm CEO who once beat Michael Jordan one-on-one.

Last year, Hummel, Maddox and Barry (one of Rick Barry‘s sons) were part of a team that won the world title.

The U.S. women’s 3×3 qualifying roster is made up of WNBA stars Napheesa Collier, Stefanie DolsonAllisha Gray and Kelsey Plum. The U.S.’ top-ranked 3×3 player, as of last month, is Oregon star Sabrina Ionescu, who can’t play internationally this spring as she is in the thick of the NCAA season.

Olympic teams will not necessarily be made up of players from the qualifying tournament.

If the U.S. qualifies for Tokyo, it will then choose its roster(s) in a similar fashion to its traditional basketball teams — via selection committee. It’s unlikely active NBA players will be eligible.

Like with the qualifying tournament, two of the four Olympic players must be ranked in the top 10 among Americans in FIBA 3×3 rankings (as of a May 22 cutoff).

In 3×3, games last 10 minutes, or until one team reaches 21 points. Games are played on a half-court with a 12-second shot clock, and offense immediately turns to defense after a team scores.

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First U.S. sailors qualify for Olympics; gold medalist misses on tiebreak

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The first five members of the U.S. Olympic sailing team were finalized this past weekend. The last American sailor to win an Olympic title missed on a tiebreaker.

Stephanie Roble and Maggie Shea (49er FX), Anna Weis and Riley Gibbs (Nacra 17) and Charlie Buckingham (Laser) qualified after world championships competition concluded in Australia. The U.S. Olympic roster across all sports is now at 43 qualified athletes.

The closest race for a U.S. Olympic spot came in 49er FX. Roble and Shea edged Paris Henken and 2008 Olympic champion Anna Tobias on a tiebreak. Roble and Shea, both first-time Olympic qualifiers, won Saturday’s medal race and earned an overall bronze medal.

That put the two U.S. duos in a tie in Olympic qualifying — combining placements from the 2019 and 2020 Championships, according to TeamUSA.org. The tiebreak went to Roble and Shea for having the better finish at this year’s worlds.

Tobias, a 37-year-old who won the individual 2008 Olympic Laser Radial as Anna Tunnicliffe, came out of retirement in a bid for a third Olympics. She left competitive sailing in 2014, took up CrossFit competitions and returned to crew for Henken more than two years ago.

“We are very sad and upset,” was posted on Tobias’ Instagram, “but we wish them [Roble and Shea] the best of luck.”

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