Nathan Adrian gets first Pro Series swim meet win since cancer diagnosis


Nathan Adrian earned his first individual win in a full swim meet since announcing his testicular cancer diagnosis in January 2019.

Adrian, a 32-year-old with 15 gold medals between the Olympics and world championships, won the men’s 100m freestyle to close out a Pro Series stop in Mission Viejo, California, on Sunday.

Adrian clocked 48.74 seconds, prevailing by .31 of a second over a field that lacked the top sprint freestylers.

“Coming in here pretty beat up [from training[, going 48, that’s much more level with our expectations and where we want to be,” than the last meet in March, Adrian said”

Full meet results are here. The Pro Series has one more stop — in Indianapolis in May — before the Olympic Trials in June in Omaha.

On Jan. 24, 2019, Adrian announced he was diagnosed with testicular cancer and that the prognosis was good. He underwent two surgeries and returned to competition that May.

Adrian spent two weeks out of the pool after his inpatient surgery and said it was probably his longest break from swimming since he was 5, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

He said he felt a loss of explosiveness, especially on turns, according to FINA World Aquatics Magazine.

“I have to be much more cognizant about each and every movement to relearn it,” he said in 2019, according to the magazine.

Later in 2019, Adrian took silver medals in the 50m and 100m freestyles at the Pan American Games. He had failed in 2018 to make the team individually for the 2019 World Championships, ending a 10-year streak of racing individually at major international meets.

Adrian’s best chance at making a fourth consecutive Olympics will be in the 100m free, given the top six at trials in June are in line to make the team for relay purposes. The top two per individual event qualify for Tokyo.

This year, Adrian ranks second and sixth among Americans in the 100m and 50m frees, respectively. Since the start of 2019, he’s eighth in the 100m free and fifth in the 50m free.

“The 100m free has always been my baby,” said Adrian, the 2012 Olympic 100m free champ who became a father in February. “The 50m free just kind of comes along with the territory. I’ll probably focus on the 50m free a little bit more in the true twilight of my career because I think you can get away with a little less man hours in the pool.”

In other events Sunday, Katie Ledecky won the women’s 1500m freestyle in 15.40.55, prevailing by 26.13 seconds over Ashley Twichell, the U.S.’ second-ranked swimmer in the event. Ledecky, who owns the 10 fastest times in history, lapped a swimmer before the 1,200-meter mark. Her time would have placed third in the men’s 1500m free that lacked most of the top distance swimmers.

An hour later, Ledecky placed second in the 100m free behind the fastest American this year, Abbey Weitzeil. Ledecky ranks outside the top 10 in the U.S. in the event since the start of 2019 and is not expected to swim it at Olympic Trials.

University of Alabama junior Rhyan White had the breakout swim of the day, taking the women’s 200m backstroke in 2:07.24. White took 3.71 seconds off her personal best in Mission Viejo, moving to third in the U.S. since the start of 2019. Only world-record holder Regan Smith and former 100m back world-record holder Kathleen Baker have been faster in that period.

Madisyn Cox won the women’s 200m individual medley in 2:10.00, the fastest by an American this year. Cox, the 2017 World bronze medalist, beat a field that included Baker and Melanie Margalis, the two fastest Americans since the start of 2019.

Michael Andrew improved on his U.S.-leading men’s 200m IM time for 2021, prevailing in 1:57.98. Ryan Lochte, bidding to become the oldest U.S. man to swim in an Olympics at age 36, was third in the preliminary heats in 2:00.90, then scratched the final. Lochte ranks fourth in the U.S. this year and fifth since the start of 2019.

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Chloe Kim, Elana Meyers Taylor among Olympians to join presidential sports council

Elana Meyers Taylor, President Joe Biden

Chloe Kim and Elana Meyers Taylor are among the Olympic and Paralympic medalists set to join the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, & Nutrition.

President Joe Biden intends to appoint the snowboarder Kim, bobsledder Meyers Taylor, retired Olympic medalists Chaunté Lowe (track and field) and Tamika Catchings (basketball) and Paralympic medalist Melissa Stockwell (triathlon) to the council, among other athletes and people in the health and fitness fields, it was announced Friday.

Stephen and Ayesha Curry are also on the list.

The council “aims to promote healthy, accessible eating and physical activity for all Americans, regardless of background or ability.”

Last year, Biden appointed basketball gold medalist Elena Delle Donne a co-chair of the council.

Kim, the two-time reigning Olympic halfpipe champion, sat out this past season but is expected to return to competition for a third Olympic run in 2026.

Meyers Taylor, the most decorated U.S. Olympic bobsledder in history with medals in all five of her Olympic events, sat out this past season due to pregnancy. She took her first bobsled run in 13 months this past week in Lake Placid, New York.

There is a long history of Olympians and Paralympians serving on the council, which was created in 1956.

In 2017, Barack Obama appointed medalists including gymnast Gabby Douglas, soccer player Carli Lloyd and fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad.

Others to previously be on the council include sprinter Allyson Felix, figure skater Michelle Kwan and swimmer and triathlete Brad Snyder.

Members serve for two years and can be reappointed.

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Kaori Sakamoto wins figure skating worlds; top American places fourth


Kaori Sakamoto overcame a late error in her free skate to become the first Japanese figure skater to win back-to-back world titles and the oldest women’s world champion since 2014.

Sakamoto, 22, totaled 224.61 points on home ice in Saitama to prevail by 3.67 over Lee Hae-In of South Korea in the closest women’s finish at worlds since 2011.

Belgium’s Loena Hendrickx took bronze, edging 16-year-old American Isabeau Levito for a medal by 2.77 points.

Sakamoto is the oldest women’s singles world champion since Mao Asada (2014), who is now the only Japanese skater with more world titles than Sakamoto.

She appeared en route to an easier victory until singling a planned triple flip late in her free skate, which put the gold in doubt. She can be thankful for pulling off the second jump of that planned combination — a triple toe loop — and her 5.62-point lead from Wednesday’s short program.

“I feel so pathetic and thought, what was all that hard work I put into my training?” Sakamoto said of her mistake, according to the International Skating Union (ISU). “But I was able to refocus and do my best till the end.

“Because I have this feeling of regret at the biggest event of the season, I want to make sure I don’t have this feeling next season. So I want to practice even harder, and I want to make sure to do clean, perfect performances at every competition.”

Lee, who had the top free skate, became the second South Korean to win a world medal in any discipline after six-time medalist Yuna Kim.

Hendrickx followed her silver from last year, when she became the first Belgian women’s singles skater to win a world medal.

FIGURE SKATING WORLDS: Results | Broadcast Schedule

Levito, last year’s world junior champion, had a chance to become the youngest senior world medalist since 2014.

After a solid short program, she fell on her opening triple Lutz in the free skate and left points on the table by performing two jump combinations rather than three. The Lutz was planned to be the first half of a combination with a triple loop.

“I am severely disappointed because I’ve been nailing my Lutz-loop for a really long time, and this is the first time I’ve messed it up in a while, and of course it had to be when it actually counted,” Levito said, according to the ISU. “But I’m pretty happy with myself for just trying to move past it and focusing on making the most out of the rest of the program.”

Levito entered worlds ranked fourth in the field by best score this season. She matched the best finish for a U.S. woman in her senior global championships debut (Olympics and worlds) since Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan took silver and bronze at the 1991 Worlds. Sasha Cohen, to whom Levito is often compared, also placed fourth in her Olympic and world debuts in 2002.

“I feel very proud for myself and grateful for my coaching team for helping me get this far so far in my skating career, and I’m just very proud to be where I am,” Levito said on USA Network.

American Amber Glenn was 12th in her world debut. Two-time U.S. champion Bradie Tennell was 15th. They had been 10th and eighth, respectively, in the short program.

The U.S. qualified two women’s spots for next year’s worlds rather than the maximum three because the top two Americans’ results added up to more than 13 (Levito’s fourth plus Glenn’s 12th equaled 16). The U.S. was in position to qualify three spots after the short program.

Glenn said after the short program that she had a very difficult two weeks before worlds, including “out-of-nowhere accidents and coincidences that could have prevented me from being here,” and boot problems that affected her triple Axel. She attempted a triple Axel in the free skate, spinning out of an under-rotated, two-footed landing.

Tennell, who went 19 months between competitions due to foot and ankle injuries in 2021 and 2022, had several jumping errors in the free skate.

“This season has been like one thing after another,” said the 25-year-old Tennell, who plans to compete through the 2026 Winter Games. “I’m really excited to get back and work on some stuff for the new season.”

Earlier, Americans Madison Chock and Evan Bates topped the rhythm dance, starting their bid for a first world title in their 12th season together and after three prior world silver or bronze medals.

“We skated as best we possibly could today,” Bates said, according to the ISU, after they tallied the world’s top score this season.

Meryl Davis and Charlie White are the lone U.S. ice dancers to win a world title, doing so in 2011 and 2013.

Worlds continue Friday night (U.S. time) with the free dance, followed Saturday morning with the men’s free skate, live on Peacock and USA Network.

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