Bowe takes silver, world record falls on final day of speed skating worlds

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Brittany Bowe closed out her ISU World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships run on Sunday in Heerenveen, Netherlands, with her best world championship result in the 1500m in six years, claiming the silver medal and proving she is a double medal threat heading into next year’s Beijing Winter Olympics.

Ragne Wiklund was the surprise winner in 1:54.613 to become the first Norwegian women’s world champion at any distance in the competition’s 25-year history. This is the 20-year-old’s first World Cup or world championship medal. Bowe, 32, was 0.42 seconds back in 1:55.034, followed closely by 2020 bronze medalist Russian Evgeniya Lalenkova (1:55.099).

Bowe secured her fourth career medal in the 1500m after winning the title in 2015 and bronze in 2016 and 2019, breaking her tie with Jennifer Rodriguez and Heather Bergsma for the most by a U.S. woman at that distance.

This is her 11th single distance world medal, furthering her stance as the most decorated U.S. woman that was reached on Saturday when she won her third 1000m world title. The two-time Olympian will enter the Olympic season as reigning world champion – and now world silver medalist in another event – for the first time in her career as she seeks her first individual medal at a Games.

In the final race of the day – and competition – the season’s sole world record was set by relative unknown Nils van der Poel, who ends a breakout season.

With no World Cup or world championship medals to his name one month ago, Van der Poel now has a World Cup silver in the 5000m and world titles in both the 5000m and 10,000m. His winning time in the 10,000m was 12:32.952, cutting 10 seconds off his previous personal best and nearly a second off the previous world record set by Canadian Graeme Fish exactly one year earlier. When Van der Poel, 24, won the 5000m on Thursday he became the first Swede to earn an individual medal at single distance worlds.

Bowe, meanwhile, entered worlds as a favorite after winning both of this season’s 1500m World Cup races, also held in the Thialf venue during speed skating’s bubble season, which marked her first wins at that distance in nearly two years and first consecutive wins of her career.

“Winning those first two puts a little pressure on you, but to have pressure is a privilege, so I’ll take that,” Bowe told Dutch broadcaster NOS after her 1000m win.

After only taking two bronze medals in last season’s five 1500m World Cup races, she worked hard in the offseason to return to the top in that event.

“I just wasn’t feeling strong in that race,” Bowe said leading into the season, “so this summer and fall and into the winter, I’m really, really focused on getting back to that competitive edge in the 1500m.”

Having also won all three of the season’s 1000m races, she is experiencing a string of multiple-distance success she last saw in 2016 before a concussion in July of that year halted her run.

Dutch skaters were victorious in Sunday’s remaining races, with Thomas Krol winning his second 1500m world title in 1:43.752 and Irene Schouten claiming her country’s first women’s 5000m gold in a personal best 6:48.537. Schouten leaves worlds as the most decorated skater at this year’s event, with gold in the 5000m and team pursuit, and bronze in the 3000m and mass start.

American Joey Mantia took fifth in the men’s 1500m, his best result of the season at that distance, one day after winning the mass start gold medal.

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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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Summer McIntosh, Canadian teen swimmer, caps record year with another historic time

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Summer McIntosh swam the fourth-fastest 400m individual medley in history on Friday, capping a year that already included world titles, Commonwealth Games titles and a victory over Katie Ledecky.

McIntosh, a 16-year-old Canadian whose mom swam at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, won the 400m IM in 4 minutes, 28.61 seconds at the U.S. Open in Greensboro, N.C. She prevailed by a Ledecky-like 13.24 seconds, breaking her own national record that was previously the fourth-fastest time in history.

“It’s still pretty early in the season, so I didn’t really know what to expect going into it,” she said on Peacock.

The only two women who ever went faster in the event known as the decathlon of swimming are Olympic gold medalists: Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu (world record 4:26.36 and 4:28.58) and China’s Ye Shiwen (4:28.43).

McIntosh has come a long way in a short time. Three years ago, she put all her eggs in the 1500m freestyle basket, thinking it was her best shot to merely qualify for the Tokyo Games in 2020. The one-year Olympic postponement was a blessing.

The rapidly improving McIntosh swam three individual events in Tokyo with a top finish of fourth in the 400m free, just missing becoming the youngest swimming medalist since 1996. She then told her coach she wanted to become an IMer.

At this past June’s world championships, McIntosh won two of the most grueling events — 400m IM and 200m butterfly — to become the youngest individual world champion since 2011. She also took silver to Ledecky in the 400m free, an event in which she later beat Ledecky in a short-course meet (25-meter pool rather than the 50-meter pool used for the Olympics).

A month after worlds, McIntosh swept the IMs at the Commonwealth Games, where she broke more world junior records and again took second in the 400m free (this time to Olympic champ and world record holder Ariarne Titmus of Australia).

McIntosh, who turned professional last year, now trains full-time in Sarasota, Florida, where she rents a house with her mom, Jill Horstead, who was ninth in the 200m fly at the 1984 Olympics (McIntosh, whose passions include the Kardashians and plants from Target, has seen video of her mom winning the B final at those Games). They’re a three-hour drive down Interstate 75 from Ledecky’s base in Gainesville.

Also Friday, Erin Gemmell celebrated her 18th birthday by nearly becoming the first American to beat Ledecky in a 200m freestyle in nearly nine years. Ledecky won by 42 hundredths of a second in 1:56.74 and said she had an off-day while also praising Gemmell, the daughter of her former coach.

NBC airs U.S. Open highlights on Dec. 10 at 4:30 p.m. ET.

U.S. OPEN SWIMMING: Full Results

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