Alistair Brownlee makes Olympic triathlon three-peat bid official

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In Olympic history, Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt are the only men to three-peat in the same individual event in swimming, cycling or running. Come July 27 in Tokyo, Brit Alistair Brownlee aims to become the first athlete to win the triathlon — swimming, cycling and running — three straight times.

Brownlee, 31, at last decided whether to pursue another Olympics. It’s a yes this summer.

“A year ago I wouldn’t be doing this, because I knew I couldn’t cope with another bad injury,” Brownlee said, according to the BBC, conjuring setbacks in this Olympic cycle including hip surgery and a calf issue. “But in the past year I haven’t been injured. I’ve really enjoyed training and I’ve really enjoyed competing, and preparing to compete.

“And so the decision crept up on me a bit: I want to go to another Olympics, and I want to see what I might be able to do.”

Brownlee, who moved up to the Ironman last year, said in 2018 that he was “50-50” on a Tokyo Olympic run. But after finishing 21st at the Ironman Kona World Championships on Oct. 12, he moved the meter to “definitely swinging towards” moving back down to the Olympic distance.

Brownlee said he would ultimately decide after one more Ironman in Australia on Dec. 1, which he won by 10 minutes in 7 hours, 45 minutes, 20 seconds.

“The 12-year-old me dreamed of going to one Olympics,” Brownlee said, according to the BBC. “So to pass up the chance of just seeing where it leads me this year would be a bit mad.”

Other Olympic triathletes transitioned to the Ironman and never went back, such as 2008 Olympic champion Jan Frodeno of Germany and two-time U.S. Olympian Sarah True.

One other triathlete won an Olympic title after completing the Kona Ironman — Austrian Kate Allen, who was seventh in Kona in 2002, then took gold at the 2004 Athens Games.

Brownlee has completed one Olympic-distance triathlon on the top-level ITU World Series since June 2017, finishing 44th at an event in Great Britain last June.

Last season, Frenchman Vincent Luis ended Spain’s six-year streak of world championships, relegating Mario Mola and Javier Gomez to second and third in the season-long standings.

“The perfect scenario is that I’m in a position where I’m stood on the start line, and I think I can win the race,” Brownlee said, according to the BBC. “But if I’m instead thinking I can scrape a third here, or I’m thinking, I could help another British athlete win a medal here — I would be happy with that.”

MORE: 2019 Kona Ironman World Championships Results

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Valencia Marathon produces historic times in men’s, women’s races

2022 Valencia Marathon
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Kenyan Kelvin Kiptum and Ethiopian Amane Beriso won the Valencia Marathon and became the third-fastest man and woman in history, respectively.

Kiptum, a 23-year-old in his marathon debut, won the men’s race in 2 hours, 1 minute, 53 seconds. The only men to ever run faster over 26.2 miles are legends: Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge (2:01:09 world record, plus a 2:01:39) and Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele (2:01:41).

Kipchoge made his marathon debut at age 28, and Bekele at 31.

Beriso, a 31-year-old whose personal best was 2:20:48 from January 2016, stunned the women’s field Sunday by running 2:14:58. The only women to have run faster: Kenyans Brigid Kosgei (2:14:04) and Ruth Chepngetich (2:14:18).

Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey finished second in 2:16:49, the fastest-ever time for a woman in her marathon debut. Gidey is the world record holder at 5000m and 10,000m.

Valencia is arguably the top annual marathon outside of the six World Marathon Majors. The next major marathon is Tokyo on March 5.

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Aleksander Aamodt Kilde wins Beaver Creek downhill

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BEAVER CREEK, Colo. — Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde won his second straight World Cup downhill race to start the season, despite feeling under the weather.

Although dealing with an illness all week in training, Kilde powered through the challenging Birds of Prey course Saturday in a time of 1 minute, 42.09 seconds. It was enough to hold off Marco Odermatt of Switzerland by 0.06 seconds. James Crawford of Canada was third to earn his second career World Cup podium finish.

Kilde also won the opening downhill last weekend in Lake Louise, Alberta.

“It’s been a tough week,” Kilde said after the race. “I caught the flu in Lake Louise after a very, very nice weekend. It really hit me hard. Then I got a couple of days to rest and take it easy. … I felt OK. Still feeling it a little bit in my system.”

The Beaver Creek crew members had the course in solid shape a day after a downhill race was canceled due to high wind and snowfall.

ALPINE SKIING: Results | Broadcast Schedule

Kilde reached speeds around 75 mph in picking up his eighth World Cup downhill victory. That tied him with Kjetil Jansrud for the third-most downhill wins in the World Cup discipline among Norwegian men. The total trails only Aksel Lund Svindal (14) and Lasse Kjus (10).

“I found a really, really good set-up with my equipment and also with my skiing,” Kilde explained. “I believe in myself. I trust in myself. I have a good game plan. When I stand on the start, I don’t dwell on anything. I know that this plan is what I do and when I do that it’s going to be fast.”

Odermatt has been on the podium in all four World Cup races this season as he tries to defend his overall World Cup title. The 25-year-old finished third in the opening downhill of the season last weekend. He’s also won a giant slalom race and a super-G.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle wound up in seventh place for the top American finish. He was ninth in the downhill in Lake Louise.

“It’s been solid,” Cochran-Siegle said of his strides in the discipline. “A couple of little things here and there that pushed me off that top three. You have to ski with a lot of intensity and ski without abandon, in a sense. Today was a good step.”

Switzerland’s Beat Feuz, who won the Olympic downhill gold medal at the Beijing Games last February, tied for ninth.

The Beaver Creek stop on the circuit comes to a close Sunday with a super-G race. Odermatt will be the favorite after holding off Kilde in the opening super-G last weekend.

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