Quad Queen Trusova does just one but still easily rules at Skate America

ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating - Skate America
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It must have felt like a day off for Aleksandra Trusova.

The 17-year-old Quad Queen from Russia was a runaway winner Sunday at Skate America in Las Vegas despite limiting herself to just one free skate quadruple jump, a lutz, because of an unspecified foot injury.

“It was like a day of rest,” Trusova said. “We wanted to skate here with three quads but couldn’t. With the injury, I lost a lot of practice time.”

It was the first time Trusova has attempted fewer than three quads at international competition in 11 events dating to the fall of 2018. She did five clean quads in a national event last month.

The third Grand Prix triumph of Trusova’s career came with a total of 232.37 points, more than 15 ahead of compatriot Daria Usacheva, 15, who was making her senior Grand Prix debut.

Young You, 17, of South Korea, a one-time phenom trying to recapture her mojo, took bronze with a free skate full of powerful jumps.

The third Russian, Kseniia Sinitsyna, dropped from third after the short program to fifth overall.

Trusova’s victory was the eighth straight by a Russian woman in the Grand Prix. They won every event in the Grand Prix season before the pandemic turned the series into domestic competitions last year.

The leading U.S. finisher Sunday, sixth-place Amber Glenn, did a strong free skate that re-established her as a solid contender for one of the three women’s singles places on the 2022 U.S. Olympic team.

Yet even with personal bests by substantial margins in both the free and total (201.02), Glenn was nearly 17 points behind You and nearly 16 behind fourth finisher Kaori Sakamoto of Japan on a day when skater after skater drew big ovations for the quality of their performances.

Glenn’s unexpected second place at last season’s U.S. Championships suddenly put her into the Olympic team picture after a career that had stagnated for several years after she won the national junior title in 2014.

She was not picked for the 2021 World Championships team because inconsistency made her “body of work” results less impressive. Karen Chen, the third finisher at last year’s nationals, got that second world spot and delivered a performance at worlds that was critical to Team USA earning the third Olympic spot.

“I haven’t thought about the Olympics as much as I thought I would,” Glenn said. “For a while there, I never thought I would make a team. During the pandemic, I thought, ‘I’m going to go for it.’ I’m hugely focused on consistency.”

A foot injury forced her to withdraw after the short program at August’s Cranberry Cup International and affected her at last month’s Finlandia Trophy, where she finished 10th after taking a hard fall in the short program. She looked at Skate America as her first big event of the season.

“This was good but still not where I want to be,” she said. “Knowing I was able to put out two stable programs gives me a lot of confidence for the rest of the season.”

Trusova, reigning world bronze medalist, may need her whole free skate quad arsenal and a triple axel in the short to earn one of the three spots on the Russian Olympic team. The contenders also include the gold and silver medalists from the 2021 worlds, Anna Shcherbakova and Yelizaveta Tuktamysheva, and the first-year senior sensation, Kamila Valiyeva…and a host of others.

Trusova’s technical element score in Sunday’s free skate was 85.68, a number she has topped seven times internationally with five TES scores in the 90s and a best of 100.2.

While some of that drop here owes to differences in grades of execution on the 12 elements, including 11 jumps, most owes to the lower base value with only the lone quad. Trusova’s score for just that quad lutz (13.8) accounted for 16 percent of her TES total.

Thanks to her best-ever free skate component scores, Trusova’s overall and free skate scores were the fifth highest of her international career.

“Obviously I want to have a higher degree of difficulty in both my short and free programs,” Trusova said.

Trusova, who trains in Moscow, will have a few days off to help the foot heal before preparing for her next event, the NHK Trophy Nov. 12-14 in Tokyo.

Knowing she was going to do so few quads at Skate America did not lighten the pressure.

“It added more because I was not so well prepared,” Trusova said.

Philip Hersh, who has covered figure skating at the last 11 Winter Olympics, is a special contributor to NBCSports.com/figure-skating.

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2023 French Open men’s singles draw

Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz
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The French Open men’s singles draw is missing injured 14-time champion Rafael Nadal for the first time since 2004, leaving the Coupe des Mousquetaires ripe for the taking.

The tournament airs live on NBC Sports, Peacock and Tennis Channel through championship points in Paris.

Novak Djokovic is not only bidding for a third crown at Roland Garros, but also to lift a 23rd Grand Slam singles trophy to break his tie with Nadal for the most in men’s history.

FRENCH OPEN: Broadcast Schedule | Women’s Draw

But the No. 1 seed is Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, who won last year’s U.S. Open to become, at 19, the youngest man to win a major since Nadal’s first French Open title in 2005.

Now Alcaraz looks to become the second-youngest man to win at Roland Garros since 1989, after Nadal of course.

Alcaraz missed the Australian Open in January due to a right leg injury, but since went 30-3 with four titles. Notably, he has not faced Djokovic this year. They meet in Friday’s semifinals.

Russian Daniil Medvedev, the No. 2 seed, was upset in the first round by 172nd-ranked Brazilian qualifier Thiago Seyboth Wild. It marked the first time a men’s top-two seed lost in the first round of any major since 2003 Wimbledon (Ivo Karlovic d. Lleyton Hewitt).

All of the American men lost before the fourth round. The last U.S. man to make the French Open quarterfinals was Andre Agassi in 2003.

MORE: All you need to know for 2023 French Open

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2023 French Open Men’s Singles Draw

French Open Men's Singles Draw French Open Men's Singles Draw French Open Men's Singles Draw French Open Men's Singles Draw

IOC board recommends withdrawing International Boxing Association’s recognition

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Boxing

The IOC finally ran out of patience with the International Boxing Federation on Wednesday and set a date to terminate its Olympic status this month.

While boxing will still be on the program at the 2024 Paris Games, the International Olympic Committee said its executive board has asked the full membership to withdraw its recognition of the IBA at a special meeting on June 22.

IOC members rarely vote against recommendations from their 15-member board and the IBA’s ouster is likely a formality.

The IOC had already suspended the IBA’s recognition in 2019 over long-standing financial, sports integrity and governance issues. The Olympic body oversaw the boxing competitions itself at the Tokyo Olympics held in 2021 and will do so again for Paris.

An IOC statement said the boxing body “has failed to fulfil the conditions set by the IOC … for lifting the suspension of the IBA’s recognition.”

The IBA criticized what it called a “truly abhorrent and purely political” decision by the IOC and warned of “retaliatory measures.”

“Now, we are left with no chance but to demand a fair assessment from a competent court,” the boxing body’s Russian president Umar Kremlev said in a statement.

The IOC-IBA standoff has also put boxing’s place at the 2028 Los Angeles Games at risk, though that should now be resolved.

The IOC previously stressed it has no problem with the sport or its athletes — just the IBA and its current president Kremlev, plus financial dependence on Russian state energy firm Gazprom.

In a 24-page report on IBA issues published Wednesday, the IOC concluded “the accumulation of all of these points, and the constant lack of drastic evolution throughout the many years, creates a situation of no-return.”

Olympic boxing’s reputation has been in question for decades. Tensions heightened after boxing officials worldwide ousted long-time IOC member C.K. Wu as their president in 2017 when the organization was known by its French acronym AIBA.

“From a disreputable organization named AIBA governed by someone from the IOC’s upper echelon, we committed to and executed a change in the toxic and corrupt culture that was allowed to fester under the IOC for far too long,” Kremlev said Wednesday in a statement.

National federations then defied IOC warnings in 2018 by electing as their president Gafur Rakhimov, a businessman from Uzbekistan with alleged ties to organized crime and heroin trafficking.

Kremlev’s election to replace Rakhimov in 2020 followed another round of IOC warnings that went unheeded.

Amid the IBA turmoil, a rival organization called World Boxing has attracted initial support from officials in the United States, Switzerland and Britain.

The IBA can still continue to organize its own events and held the men’s world championships last month in the Uzbek capital Tashkent.

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