Ryan Lochte’s last shot at Tokyo Olympics – at age 36 – has arrived

2021 U.S. Olympic Trials - Swimming - Day 5
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Ryan Lochte faces his final and best chance at a piece of Olympic history on Friday night in Omaha.

The 12-time Olympic medalist, who turns 37 during the Tokyo Olympics on Aug. 3, would become the oldest U.S. Olympic male swimmer in history if he wins the 200m individual medley final at the U.S. Olympic Trials.

The second-place finisher will likely qualify as well, but that is not guaranteed until enough men make the team in multiple events; the U.S. Olympic pool swimming team cannot exceed 26 men.

The 200m IM is the only individual event Lochte has raced at all four of his Olympic appearances, taking two silvers and a bronze.

Lochte, who won this race at four consecutive world championships from 2009-2015, has held the world record for 12 years but was seeded fifth entering this week’s meet with a time nearly four seconds off his world record.

Though this is Lochte’s best chance at a record-tying fifth Olympic team, he is still an underdog and will race from Lane 7 in the final. See below for more on the stacked finals field.

With his kids Caiden, 4, and Liv, 2, watching in the crowd with wife Kayla, Lochte was fourth in his semifinal heat Thursday night – on Liv’s birthday – and made it into the final with the sixth best time. He told NBC reporter Michele Tafoya that he is confident he has a faster swim in him for the final after some rest, noting he made several mistakes in his semifinal. Earlier on Thursday, Lochte had the second-best time in the preliminary round at 1:58.48.

He is the only one of the eight finalists who did improve his time from prelims to semis.

Earlier in the week, Lochte was 25th of 50 swimmers in the 200m freestyle prelims. He made the Trials cut in five races but has only contested the 200m free and 200m IM.

SWIM TRIALS: Results | TV Schedule | Women’s Event Previews | Men’s Event Previews

A look at tonight’s races …

Women’s 200m Breaststroke FINAL — 9:03 p.m. ET
Will Lilly King qualify for both breaststroke events for the second straight Olympics? Could Micah Sumrall (née Lawrence) return to the Olympics? King was fastest in the semifinals and is favored to qualify in yet another event after winning the 100m breast earlier in the week. Sumrall, a 2012 Olympian who won two World medals in this event between London and Rio, was fourth at the 2016 Trials. Challenging them for an Olympic debut are Annie Lazor and Emily Escobedo. King’s training partner, Lazor was third in the 100m breaststroke.

Men’s 200m Backstroke FINAL — 9:13 p.m. ET
Ryan Murphy is eager to defend his 2016 Olympic gold in this event, but who will join him in Tokyo? Austin Katz, the 2018 NCAA champion as a freshman, is seeded second with Bryce Mefford, who graduated from Cal this year, in third. Shaine Casas, who just missed the team by taking third in the 100m backstroke, has another shot at his first Olympics but was the final qualifier into the final.

Women’s 200m Backstroke Semifinals — 9:22 p.m. ET
World record holder and reigning World champion Regan Smith, still just 19, leads the qualifiers, followed by 18-year-old Phoebe Bacon. Smith and Rhyan White, seeded third, were the top finishers in the 100m backstroke. This is the last chance for Olympic and World medalist Kathleen Baker to make a final at Trials; Baker fractured a bone in her foot in early May.

Men’s 200m Individual Medley FINAL — 9:41 p.m. ET
In Lochte’s bid for a fifth Olympic Games at 36 years old, he will face stiff competition from Michael Andrew. Andrew, who already qualified for Tokyo by winning the 100m breaststroke, had the fastest time in both previous rounds and was under Lochte’s world record pace for some of his semifinal. Chase Kalisz, second in the semis, is the 2017 World champion and 2019 World bronze medalist in this event; he won the 400m IM on the first day of Trials. Third-seed Kieran Smith has had himself a week after winning the 200m and 400m free finals to make his first Olympic team. Carson Foster was third fastest in the prelims and is hungry for a top-two finish after placing third in the 400m IM.

Women’s 100m Freestyle FINAL — 9:52 p.m. ET
Known for her backstroke, will Olivia Smoliga make her Olympic return in freestyle? The 26-year-old who won a record eight gold medals at short course world championships in 2018 has yet to secure a spot on this year’s Olympic team but tied for fastest in the semifinals with Natalie Hinds, who believed she was done with the sport after the 2016 Trials but returned in the fall of 2018. Challengers include Abbey Weitzeil, a two-time relay medalist in Rio, and Allison Schmitt, who qualified for her fourth Olympic team by placing second in the 200m free but has never swam an individual 100m free at the Olympics. Reigning Olympic and two-time World champion Simone Manuel was ninth in the semis, missing the final by one spot, later explaining her overtraining syndrome diagnosis in a press conference.

Men’s 100m Butterfly Semifinals — 9:57 p.m. ET
Two-time reigning World champion and world record holder Caeleb Dressel was the top qualifier by 1.54 seconds, setting a U.S. Open record of 50.17 seconds in the prelims. Cal senior Trenton Julian and Tom Shields, who made the Olympic final in this event in Rio, tied for the second-best time. Nineteen-year-old Luca Urlando will try to make another final after finishing third in the 200m fly by nine hundredths of a second.

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Eliud Kipchoge breaks marathon world record in Berlin

Eliud Kipchoge Berlin Marathon
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Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge broke his own world record in winning the Berlin Marathon, clocking 2:01:09 to lower the previous record time of 2:01:39 he set in the German capital in 2018.

Kipchoge, 37 and a two-time Olympic champion, earned his 15th win in 17 career marathons to bolster his claim as the greatest runner in history over 26.2 miles.

His pacing was not ideal. Kipchoge slowed in the final miles, running 61:18 for the second half after going out in an unprecedented 59:51 for the first 13.1 miles. He still won by 4:49 over Kenyan Mark Korir.

“I was planning to go through it [the halfway mark] 60:50, 60:40,” Kipchoge said. “My legs were running actually very fast. I thought, let me just try to run two hours flat, but all in all, I am happy with the performance.

“We went too fast [in the first half]. It takes energy from the muscles. … There’s still more in my legs [to possibly lower the record again].”

MORE: Berlin Marathon Results

Ethiopian Tigist Assefa won the women’s race in 2:15:37, the third-fastest time in history for somebody who ran one prior marathon in 2:34:01. Only Brigid Kosgei (2:14:14 in Chicago in 2019) and Paula Radcliffe (2:15:25 in London in 2003) have gone faster.

American record holder Keira D’Amato, who entered as the top seed, was sixth in 2:21:48. D’Amato, who went nearly a decade between competitive races after college, owns the American record of 2:19:12 and now also the 10th-best time in U.S. history.

“Today wasn’t my best day ever, but it was the best I could do today,” she said in a text message, according to Race Results Weekly, adding that she briefly stopped and walked late in the race.

The last eight instances the men’s marathon world record has been broken, it has come on the pancake-flat roads of Berlin. It began in 2003, when Kenyan Paul Tergat became the first man to break 2:05.

The world record was 2:02:57 — set by Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in 2014 — until Kipchoge broke it for the first time four years ago.

The following year, Kipchoge became the first person to cover 26.2 miles in under two hours, clocking 1:59:40 in a non-record-eligible showcase rather than a race.

Kipchoge’s focus going forward is trying to become the first runner to win three Olympic marathon titles in Paris in 2024. He also wants to win all six annual World Marathon Majors. He’s checked off four of them, only missing Boston (run in April) and New York City (run every November).

Kipchoge, the 2003 World 5000m champion at age 18, moved to the marathon after failing to make the 2012 Olympic team on the track.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup schedule, results

FIBA Women's World Cup
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The U.S. goes for its fourth consecutive title at the FIBA World Cup in Sydney — and eighth global gold in a row overall when including the Olympics.

A’ja Wilson, a two-time WNBA MVP, and Breanna Stewart, the Tokyo Olympic MVP, headline a U.S. roster that, for the first time since 2000, includes neither Sue Bird (retired) nor Diana Taurasi (injured).

The new-look team includes nobody over the age of 30 for the first time since 1994, before the U.S. began its dynasty at the 1996 Atlanta Games. The Americans have won 52 consecutive games between worlds and the Olympics dating to the 2006 Worlds bronze-medal game.

The field also includes host Australia, the U.S.’ former primary rival, and Olympic silver medalist Japan.

Nigeria, which played the U.S. the closest of any foe in Tokyo (losing by nine points), isn’t present after its federation withdrew the team over governance issues. Spain, ranked second in the world, failed to qualify.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Round
Wed., Sept. 21 8:30 p.m. Puerto Rico 82, Bosnia and Herzegovina 58 Group A
9:30 p.m. USA 87, Belgium 72 Group A
11 p.m. Canada 67, Serbia 60 Group B
Thurs., Sept. 22 12 a.m. Japan 89, Mali 56 Group B
3:30 a.m. China 107, South Korea 44 Group A
6:30 a.m. France 70, Australia 57 Group B
8:30 p.m. USA 106, Puerto Rico 42 Group A
10 p.m. Serbia 69, Japan 64 Group B
11 p.m. Belgium 84, South Korea 61 Group A
Fri., Sept. 23 12:30 a.m. China 98, Bosnia and Herzegovina 51 Group A
4 a.m. Canada 59, France 45 Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia 118, Mali 58 Group B
Sat., Sept. 24 12:30 a.m. USA 77, China 63 Group A
4 a.m. South Korea 99, Bosnia and Herzegovina 66 Group A
6:30 a.m. Belgium 68, Puerto Rico 65 Group A
Sun., Sept. 25 12:30 a.m. France 74, Mali 59 Group B
4 a.m. Australia 69, Serbia 54 Group B
6:30 a.m. Canada 70, Japan 56 Group B
9:30 p.m. Belgium vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
11:30 p.m. Mali vs. Serbia Group B
Mon., Sept. 26 12 a.m. USA vs. South Korea Group A
2 a.m. France vs. Japan Group B
3:30 a.m. China vs. Puerto Rico Group A
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Canada Group B
9:30 p.m. Puerto Rico vs. South Korea Group A
11:30 p.m. Belgium vs. China Group A
Tues., Sept. 27 12 a.m. USA vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
2 a.m. Canada vs. Mali Group B
3:30 a.m. France vs. Serbia Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Japan Group B
Wed., Sept. 28 10 p.m. Quarterfinal
Thurs., Sept. 29 12:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
4 a.m. Quarterfinal
6:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
Fri., Sept. 30 3 .m. Semifinal
5:30 a.m. Semifinal
11 p.m. Third-Place Game
Sat., Oct. 1 2 a.m. Final