Brittany Bowe enters new era of excellence with fourth World Cup win in two weeks


Speed skater Brittany Bowe began a new 1000m World Cup win streak on Sunday, and reached a feat not seen in the sport in more than four years.

Winning both the 1500m and 1000m on Jan. 23-24 and again Jan. 30-31 in Heerenveen, Netherlands, Bowe won two distances at back-to-back World Cups for the first time in her already impressive career. She is also the first woman to win those two distances at consecutive World Cups since former teammate Heather Bergsma did so on straight weekends in November 2016; Bergsma’s were on two different tracks in Harbin, China, and Nagano, Japan, while Bowe’s were all at the Thialf venue as a result of the pandemic.

Bowe’s latest 1000m victory came in a time of 1:13.960 for her 30th career World Cup gold medal. Russia’s Angelina Golikova was second in 1:14.054, followed by the Netherlands’ Femke Kok at 1:14.475.

After winning seven consecutive 1000m World Cup races from Dec. 7, 2018-Dec. 14, 2019 – the most by a U.S. woman – before finishing sixth at a race almost two months later, Bowe has a new streak going that she will hope to continue when the 2021-2022 Olympic season begins in the fall.

Bowe finished the World Cup season with her fifth career 1000m season title – having won it in 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2020 – and is now tied with Germany’s Monique Garbrecht-Enfeldt (1998-2001, 2003) for the most at that distance.

Russian Natalia Voronina set a new track record in the women’s 3000m of 3:56.853, besting the record set by Irene Schouten a week ago (3:57.15).

Kok won her fourth 500m World Cup in two weeks on Sunday, in 37.333 seconds, taking the season title. She scored six World Cup medals total, more than any other skater.

The Netherlands’ Kai Verbij won the men’s 1000m in 1:07.355 and Patrick Roest the men’s 5000m in 6:05.959. Verbij was 0.22 seconds ahead of countryman Thomas Krol, who had won the 1000m and 1500m in World Cup 1 as well as Saturday’s 1500m.

Skaters will have a rest weekend before the 2021 World Championships are held at the same venue Feb. 11-14.

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


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.

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

Eliud Kipchoge Berlin Marathon

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.

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