Elle Purrier runs second-fastest indoor mile in history

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NEW YORK — Elle Purrier ran the second-fastest women’s indoor mile in history, breaking a 37-year-old American record with an eight-second personal best at the Millrose Games on Saturday.

Purrier came from third place going into the final lap to win in 4:16.85, taking seven tenths of a second off Mary Slaney‘s national record. Only Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba‘s world record was faster — 4:13.31 from 2016.

She had no idea of the history she made until her trackside TV interview with NBC Sports’ Lewis Johnson.

“I held on for dear life, kicked as hard as I could,” Purrier said after winning the Wanamaker Mile at the Armory in Manhattan’s Washington Heights. “I’m still trying to grasp it. I’m just so surprised.”

Purrier, 24, came into the meet expecting to lower her personal best of 4:24.88 from last year. The 2018 NCAA indoor mile champion for the University of New Hampshire made her first world championships team last year in the 5000m, finishing 11th in Doha.

“I don’t know if I’m a miler or 5000m runner,” she said before Millrose. “At heart I’m a miler but really enjoying the training for the 5k.”

Purrier, who grew up milking cows on her family’s century-old Vermont dairy farm, set one of three American records at Millrose. The others came in the 800m from world champion Donavan Brazier and world bronze medalist Ajee Wilson.

The indoor season wraps up with the USA Track and Field Indoor Championships in Albuquerque next weekend, airing on NBC Sports.

The world indoor championships, traditionally in early March, were postponed due to the coronavirus in host nation China.

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Finn Christian Jagge, 1992 Olympic slalom champion, dies at 54

Finn Christian Jagge
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Finn Christian Jagge, the surprise 1992 Olympic slalom champion, has died at age 54, according to Norway’s Olympic Committee.

Jagge’s wife, Trine-Lise Jagge, posted on Facebook that he died of an acute illness.

Jagge, then 25, won the slalom at the Albertville Games in Savoie, France, stunning defending champion Alberto Tomba of Italy. Jagge had the fastest first run by 1.07 seconds and relegated Tomba to silver by .28 of a second after the second run. Tomba was going for his fourth straight Olympic gold medal.

Jagge’s father won a Norwegian record 42 national tennis championships. His mother competed in Alpine skiing at the 1960 and 1964 Olympics, according to Olympedia.org.

Jagge won his first Norwegian national title at age 18. After knee and back injuries, he won seven World Cup slaloms in the 1990s, retiring in 2000.

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Posted by Trine-Lise Jagge on Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin, Olympian, world champion snowboarder, drowns in spearfishing accident

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Alex “Chumpy” Pullin, an Olympian and world champion snowboarder, drowned while spearfishing on Australia’s Gold Coast on Wednesday.

A police spokesperson said a 32-year-old man, later identified as Pullin, was unresponsive when taken from the water and died despite receiving CPR from lifeguards and emergency treatment from paramedics.

The accident happened at Palm Beach around 10:40 a.m. local time. Pullin had been diving on an artificial reef when he was found by a snorkeler.

“Another diver was out there and located him on the sea floor and raised the attention of nearby surfers who sought lifeguards to bring him in,” police said. “He didn’t have an oxygen mask. We understand he was free diving and spearfishing out on the reef.”

Pullin competed in Olympic snowboard cross in 2010, 2014 and 2018 with a best finish of sixth. He won back-to-back world titles in 2011 and 2013. He carried Australia’s flag at the Sochi Olympic Opening Ceremony in 2014.

“We are all in shock today as one of the most beloved members of our close snow sport community, Chumpy, has sadly lost his life in what appears to be a tragic accident,” Snow Australia CEO Michael Kennedy said in a statement. “He was a mentor to so many of our younger snowboarders, giving up his time to coach and provide advice to our future Olympians. His loss will be felt right across our community.

“We know it won’t just be here in Australia that Chumpy’s legacy will be remembered, but throughout the international snowboarding community. It wasn’t just his ability to deliver results that will be missed, but his leadership and the path that he laid for so many.”

His parents owned a ski and snowboard shop in the Australian Alps, where Pullin began riding at age 8. Older friends gave him the nickname “Chumpy,” and it stuck.

Pullin, who spent time as a frontman for the surf-reggae band love Charli, often brought a guitar with him while traveling for competitions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.