Brittany Bowe starts World Cups with first 1500m win in two years

0 Comments

Brittany Bowe started the abbreviated international speed skating season with a significant win in the 1500m at the first of two World Cups in Heerenveen, Netherlands. The consecutive World Cups are being held in a bubble atmosphere at the Thialf venue leading up to the World Single Distances Championships in mid-February.

Bowe, whose best distance is the 1000m, last won a 1500m World Cup race on Feb. 3, 2019. She took two bronze medals in the 2019-20 season. This is her eighth career World Cup win in the 1500m and 27th overall.

“I just wasn’t feeling strong in that race,” Bowe told NBCSports.com of her 1500m performance last season. “I’m really, really focused on getting back to that competitive edge in the 1500m.”

The 32-year-old called this victory a surprise.

Her time of 1:53.881 was 0.69 of a second faster than the Netherlands’ Ireen Wüst, the most decorated active Winter Olympian with 11 medals. Antoinette de Jong, also of the Netherlands, was third in 1:54.710.

Wüst won the 1500m Olympic gold medal in 2010 and 2018, and has five world titles at that distance.

“She’s the queen of the 1500 and I’m always coming after her,” Bowe told Dutch broadcaster NOS. “I have nothing but respect for her. She’s one of the best, if not the best, female skaters of all time, so to be able to compete against her and the rest of the world is an honor and to be able to come out No. 1 today is awesome.”

Dutch skaters won every other race contested Saturday, including a sweep in the men’s 1500m, led by 2019 world champion Thomas Krol in 1:43.243.

Femke Kok won the women’s 500m in 37.089 seconds for her first World Cup win and a personal best; Bowe was 14th in that event. Dai Dai Ntab took the men’s 500m in 34.550 seconds.

Irene Schouten and Arjan Stroetinga claimed the mass start wins.

Competition concludes Sunday with another set of 500m races, the women’s 3000m and men’s 5000m, plus the men’s and women’s 1000m. Bowe won three of five 1000m World Cups last season and was second in another.

Katie Ledecky out-touches new rival at swimming’s U.S. Open, extends streak

0 Comments

It was a rare sight: Katie Ledecky being matched stroke for stroke in a distance race in an American pool. She was up for the challenge.

Ledecky out-touched emerging 16-year-old Canadian Summer McIntosh by eight hundredths of a second in the 400m freestyle at the U.S. Open in Greensboro, N.C., on Thursday night.

Ledecky and McIntosh were tied at the 300-meter mark. Ledecky ended up clocking 3:59.71 to McIntosh’s 3:59.79 to extend a decade-long win streak in freestyle races of 400 meters or longer in U.S. pools.

“I know we’ll have a lot more races ahead of us,” Ledecky said on Peacock. “We bring the best out of each other.”

The U.S. Open continues Friday with live finals coverage on Peacock at 6 p.m. ET.

U.S. OPEN SWIMMING: Full Results

At the Tokyo Olympics, McIntosh placed fourth in the 400m free at age 14.

She accelerated this year, taking silver behind Ledecky at the world championships and silver behind Tokyo gold medalist Ariarne Titmus of Australia at the Commonwealth Games.

Then in October, McIntosh outdueled Ledecky in a 400m free — also by eight hundredths — in a short-course, 25-meter pool at a FINA World Cup meet in Toronto. Long-course meets like the Olympics and the U.S. Open are held in 50-meter pools.

McIntosh also won world titles in the 200m butterfly and 400m individual medley, becoming the youngest individual world champion since 2011.

A potential showdown among Ledecky, Titmus and McIntosh at the 2024 Paris Games is already being compared to the “Race of the Century,” the 2004 Olympic men’s 200m free where Australian Ian Thorpe edged Dutchman Pieter van den Hoogenband and Michael Phelps.

In other events Thursday, Regan Smith, an Olympic and world medalist in the backstroke and butterfly, won a 200m individual medley in a personal best 2:10.40, a time that would have placed fifth at June’s world championships. She beat 16-year-old Leah Hayes, who took bronze in the event at worlds.

Olympic 400m IM champ Chase Kalisz won the men’s 200m IM in 1:56.52, his best time ever outside of major summer meets. Frenchman Léon Marchand won the world title in 1:55.22 in June, when Kalisz was fourth.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Eliud Kipchoge, two races shy of his target, to make Boston Marathon debut

Eliud Kipchoge Berlin Marathon
Getty
0 Comments

World record holder Eliud Kipchoge will race the Boston Marathon for the first time on April 17.

Kipchoge, who at September’s Berlin Marathon lowered his world record by 30 seconds to 2:01:09, has won four of the six annual major marathons — Berlin, Tokyo, London and Chicago.

The 38-year-old Kenyan has never raced Boston, the world’s oldest annual marathon dating to 1897, nor New York City but has repeated in recent years a desire to enter both of them.

Typically, he has run the London Marathon in the spring and the Berlin Marathon in the fall.

Kipchoge’s last race in the U.S. was the 2014 Chicago Marathon, his second of 10 consecutive marathon victories from 2014 through 2019.

He can become the first reigning men’s marathon world record holder to finish the Boston Marathon since South Korean Suh Yun-Bok set a world record of 2:25:39 in Boston in 1947, according to the Boston Athletic Association.

In 2024 in Paris, Kipchoge is expected to race the Olympic marathon and bid to become the first person to win three gold medals in that event.

The Boston Marathon field also includes arguably the second- and third-best men in the world right now — Kipchoge’s Kenyan training partners Evans Chebet and Benson Kipruto. Chebet won Boston and New York City this year. Kipruto won Boston last year and Chicago this year.

American Des Linden, who won Boston in 2018, headlines the women’s field.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!