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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Teri McKeever fired by Cal as women’s swimming coach after investigation

Teri McKeever
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Teri McKeever, the first woman to serve as a U.S. Olympic swimming head coach, was fired by the University of California at Berkeley after an investigation into alleged verbal and emotional abuse of swimmers that she denied.

McKeever was put on paid administrative leave from her job as head women’s swimming coach in May after an Orange County Register report that 20 current or former Cal swimmers said McKeever verbally and emotionally bullied her swimmers.

Cal athletics director Jim Knowlton wrote in a letter to the Cal team and staff that a resulting independent law firm report detailed “verbally abusive conduct that is antithetical to our most important values.”

“I strongly believe this is in the best interests of our student-athletes, our swimming program and Cal Athletics as a whole,” Knowlton said of McKeever’s firing in a press release. “The report details numerous violations of university policies that prohibit race, national origin and disability discrimination.”

The Orange County Register first published what it says is the full independent report here.

“I deny and unequivocally refute all conclusions that I abused or bullied any athlete and deny any suggestion I discriminated against any athlete on the basis of race, disability or sexual orientation,” McKeever said in a statement Tuesday confirming her firing and expressing disappointment in how the investigation was conducted. “While I am disappointed in the way my CAL Career will conclude, I wish to thank and celebrate the many student-athletes and staff that made my time in Berkeley a true blessing and gift.”

McKeever’s lawyer wrote that McKeever “will be filing suit to expose the manner in which gender has affected not only the evaluation of her coaching but harmed and continues to harm both female and male athletes.”

McKeever led Cal women’s swimming and diving for nearly 30 years, winning four NCAA team titles and coaching Olympic champions including Missy FranklinNatalie Coughlin and Dana Vollmer.

In 2004, she became the first woman to be on a U.S. Olympic swim team coaching staff, as an assistant. In 2012, she became the first woman to be head coach of a U.S. Olympic swim team. She was an assistant again for the Tokyo Games.

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Diana Taurasi returns to U.S. national basketball team

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Diana Taurasi is set to return to the U.S. national basketball team next week for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics, signaling a possible bid for a record-breaking sixth Olympic appearance in 2024 at age 42.

Taurasi is on the 15-player roster for next week’s training camp in Minnesota announced Tuesday.

Brittney Griner is not on the list but is expected to return to competitive basketball later this year with her WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury (also Taurasi’s longtime team, though she is currently a free agent), after being detained in Russia for 10 months in 2022.

Taurasi said as far back as the 2016 Rio Games that her Olympic career was likely over, but returned to the national team after Dawn Staley succeeded Geno Auriemma as head coach in 2017.

In Tokyo, Taurasi and longtime backcourt partner Sue Bird became the first basketball players to win five Olympic gold medals. Bird has since retired.

After beating Japan in the final, Taurasi said “see you in Paris,” smiling, as she left an NBC interview. That’s now looking less like a joke and more like a prediction.

Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve succeeded Staley as head coach last year. In early fall, she guided the U.S. to arguably the best FIBA World Cup performance ever, despite not having stalwarts Bird, Griner, Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles.

Taurasi was not in contention for the team after suffering a WNBA season-ending quad injury in the summer. Taurasi, who is 38-0 in Olympic games and started every game at the last four Olympics, wasn’t on a U.S. team for an Olympics or worlds for the first time since 2002.

Next year, Taurasi can become the oldest Olympic basketball player in history and the first to play in six Games, according to Olympedia.org. Spain’s Rudy Fernandez could also play in a sixth Olympics in 2024.

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