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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Emily Sweeney posts fastest time in qualifier for luge World Cup opener

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World championship bronze medalist Emily Sweeney placed first in the Nations Cup luge race Friday in Innsbruck, Austria, qualifying with ease for the first World Cup event of the season.

Twelve women, including fellow American Summer Britcher, were seeded directly into the World Cup race. Sweeney, Brittney Arndt and Ashley Farquharson all qualified from the Nations Cup race. Britcher has finished third in the overall World Cup standings for two straight years and is a contender in a wide-open year with seven-time defending champion Natalie Geisenberger taking a year off while pregnant.

MORE: Geisenberg will not race in 2019-20

In the men’s competition, Jonny Gustafson and Olympic silver medalist Chris Mazdzer finished third and fifth in the Nations Cup race to advance. Tucker West claimed the second-to-last qualifying spot to get all three U.S. sliders in Sunday’s World Cup race.

Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman qualified for the doubles competition, ensuring all eight U.S. sliders will see the weekend races.

OlympicChannel.com will have live streaming this weekend (all times ET):

  • Women: Saturday, 4:15 a.m. and 5:40 a.m.
  • Doubles: Saturday, 7:05 a.m. and 8:25 a.m.
  • Men: Sunday, 4 a.m. and 5:35 a.m.
  • Team relay: Sunday, 7:40 a.m.

Highlights will be on television at the following times:

  • Saturday: Olympic Channel, 5:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, Olympic Channel, 5:30 p.m.
  • Sunday: NBCSN, 4:30 p.m.

Next weekend, the World Cup series heads to Lake Placid, N.Y.

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Russian track and field federation faces expulsion threat over new doping allegations

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MOSCOW (AP) — The governing body for track and field will consider expelling Russia from membership following new charges that senior officials faked medical records.

Russia has been suspended by World Athletics, formerly known as the IAAF, over widespread doping since 2015. There will be a review of whether vetted Russians should still be allowed to compete in international events as neutrals.

“We need to deal with renegade factions like this,” World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said Friday in Monaco.

World Athletics has frozen talks about lifting the long-running suspension and asked its Russia task force for recommendations on expelling the country’s track federation.

“It’s not symbolic,” said Coe, who said the charges and suspensions against Russian officials were so wide-ranging that they left the task force with almost no one left to talk to.

One route could be to close the Russian track federation and set up a new national governing body. Russia’s sports minister said he had referred the federation to a commission which oversees such matters.

Federation president Dmitry Shlyakhtin and four other senior officials are accused of obstructing the investigation into 2017 world championship silver medalist Danil Lysenko, who was accused last year of failing to make himself available for drug testing.

Lysenko allegedly provided fake medical documents as an alibi with help from the officials. He and his coach have also been suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit pending full disciplinary hearings.

Also Friday, the three-time world high jump champion Mariya Lasitskene assailed Russian track leaders after they were charged Thursday, saying they have made a “doping nightmare” even worse.

Lasitskene called for swift and radical reforms, and the removal of officials appointed by Shlyakhtin.

Shlyakhtin took office shortly after the federation was suspended from international competition for widespread doping. The suspension remains in place four years later.

“The new team, whose task was to take us out of this doping nightmare, has turned out no better than the old one. And in some ways worse,” Lasitskene wrote on Instagram. “Shlyakhtin and his team must quit their posts immediately and never come back. And I will make sure this happens.”

Lasitskene has won two of her three world titles as a neutral athlete as a result of Russia’s suspension, which also caused her to miss the 2016 Olympics.

“Our track and field is in its death throes and we can’t procrastinate anymore,” she wrote. “We’ve lost four years already. Clean athletes are still defenseless and not sure they’ll be able to compete tomorrow.”

Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov expressed concern about the “emergency situation” and referred the federation to a ministry commission which could officially withdraw its government recognition.

“The future fate of the track and field federation will be examined,” Kolobkov said Friday in a video statement. “For us now, the main thing is that the training process isn’t interrupted. That means all of the athletes will get the help they need to continue the training and competition process.”

Earlier, the Kremlin said the charges against Shlyakhtin and others won’t derail the country’s preparations to compete in next year’s Olympics.

“Undoubtedly, this (situation) requires attention from the sports authorities, and I’m sure they’re dealing with it,” said Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin. “But I don’t see a direct connection with Russia’s participation in the Olympics here.”

With Shlyakhtin suspended, the federation is set to select an interim president at a board meeting on Saturday.

Russia is also facing a World Anti-Doping Agency ruling next month on whether it manipulated data from a lab in Moscow.

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