U.S. Olympic short track speed skating trials preview, broadcast schedule

U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Short Track
Getty Images
0 Comments

The U.S. Olympic short track speed skating trials will produce seven Olympians, live on NBC Sports, NBCOlympics.com and Peacock this weekend at the Utah Olympic Oval outside Salt Lake City.

The U.S. qualified spots for five women and two men at the Beijing Winter Games.

Women and men will each contest all three individual Olympic distances (500m, 1000m, 1500m) twice from Friday through Sunday. Combined results will determine the Olympic team.

The top-ranked woman in each distance is guaranteed a spot, barring a successful injury petition. After that, it’s based on results and rankings for individual events and combined distances.

The American women outperformed the men in the recent World Cup season, qualifying a relay team for the Olympics for the first time since 2010 (the last time the U.S. earned a women’s short track medal in any event).

Kristen Santos was the standout, making three podiums, including the first individual win for a U.S. woman since 2012. The 27-year-old is ranked second in the world in the 1000m and fourth in the 1500m.

Santos was fourth overall at the 2018 Olympic Trials, where three women made the team. A month before those trials, she needed surgery after another skater’s blade sliced her hand and wrist at a World Cup.

Maame Biney is the lone woman in the trials field with Olympic experience. Born in Ghana, Biney moved to the U.S. at age 5 and was raised in Reston, Va., by a single father, Kweku. In 2018, she made the Olympic team at age 17, becoming the first Black woman to compete for the U.S. in Olympic short track.

Biney is favored to make the team again after qualifying for the national team for World Cups this past fall. She’s ranked 21st in the world in her best event, the 500m.

The U.S. will have its smallest contingent of male Olympic short track skaters since the sport’s medal-event debut in 1992. It failed to qualify a relay team for the Olympics for the first time since 1992.

No man in the trials field has competed at an Olympics. Past medalists J.R. Celski retired in 2018 and John-Henry Krueger switched to Hungary.

Enter Ryan Pivirotto. He made the 2018 Olympic team in the fifth and final spot, strictly in the relay pool. But since the relay is four men, there was always going to be a chance that he wasn’t selected to compete at the Olympics. That ended up being the case as the U.S. went with its top four in both the preliminary heats and consolation final in South Korea.

Pivirotto, 26, is the second-ranked U.S. man behind Brandon Kim. Kim, a 20-year-old who was accepted to Stanford, ranks 29th overall in the world.

U.S. Olympic Short Track Speed Skating Trials Broadcast Schedule

Day Time (ET) Event Platform
Friday 8:30 p.m. 1500m, 500m NBCSN | Peacock | STREAM LINK
Saturday 5:30 p.m. 1000m, 1500m NBCSN | Peacock | STREAM LINK
Sunday 4:30 p.m. 500m, 1000m NBC | Peacock | STREAM LINK

All coverage also streams on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Kenenisa Bekele still eyes Eliud Kipchoge’s marathon world record, but a duel must wait

Kenenisa Bekele
Getty
0 Comments

LONDON — Kenenisa Bekele made headlines last week by declaring “of course I am the best” long distance runner ever. But the Ethiopian was fifth-best at Sunday’s London Marathon, finishing 74 seconds behind Kenya’s Amos Kipruto.

Bekele, 40, clocked 2:05:53, the fastest-ever marathon by a runner 40 years or older. He was with the lead pack until being dropped in the 21st mile.

But Bekele estimated he could have run 90 to 120 seconds faster had he not missed parts of six weeks of training with hip and joint injuries.

“I expect better even if the preparation is short,” he said. “I know my talent and I know my capacity, but really I couldn’t achieve what I expect.”

Bekele is the second-fastest marathoner in history behind Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge, who broke his own world record by clocking 2:01:09 at the Berlin Marathon last week.

“I am happy when I see Eliud Kipchoge run that time,” Bekele said. “It motivates all athletes who really expect to do the same thing.”

LONDON MARATHON: Results

Bekele’s best time was within two seconds of Kipchoge’s previous world record (2:01:39). He described breaking Kipchoge’s new mark as the “main goal” for the rest of his career.

“Yes, I hope, one day it will happen, of course,” Bekele said. “With good preparation, I don’t know when, but we will see one more time.”

Nobody has won more London Marathons than Kipchoge, a four-time champion who set the course record (2:02:37) in 2019. But the two-time Olympic marathon champion did not run this year in London, as elite marathoners typically choose to enter one race each spring and fall.

Bekele does not know which race he will enter in the spring. But it will not be against Kipchoge.

“I need to show something first,” Bekele said. “I need to run a fast time. I have to check myself. This is not enough.”

Kipchoge will try to become the first runner to win three Olympic marathon titles at the Paris Games. Bekele, who will be 42 in 2024, has not committed to trying to qualify for the Ethiopian team.

“There’s a long time to go before Paris,” Bekele said. “At this moment I am not decided. I have to show something.”

So who is the greatest long distance runner ever?

Bekele can make a strong case on the track:

Bekele
Four Olympic medals (three gold)
Six World Championship medals (five gold)
Former 5000m and 10,000m world-record holder

Kipchoge
Two Olympic medals
Two World Championship medals (one gold)

But Kipchoge can make a strong case on the pavement:

Bekele
Second-fastest marathoner in history
Two World Marathon Major victories

Kipchoge
Four of the five best marathon times in history
Two-time Olympic marathon champion
12 World Marathon Major victories

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Yalemzerf Yehualaw, Amos Kipruto win London Marathon

Yalemzerf Yehualaw
Getty
0 Comments

Ethiopian Yalemzerf Yehualaw became the youngest female runner to win the London Marathon, while Kenyan Amos Kipruto earned the biggest victory of his career in the men’s race.

Yehualaw, 23, clocked 2:17:26, prevailing by 41 seconds over 2021 London champ Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya.

Yehualaw tripped and fell over a speed bump around the 20-mile mark. She quickly rejoined the lead pack, then pulled away from Jepkosgei by running the 24th mile in a reported 4:43, which converts to 2:03:30 marathon pace; the women’s world record is 2:14:04.

Yehualaw and Jepkosgei were pre-race favorites after world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya withdrew Monday with a right hamstring injury.

On April 24, Yehualaw ran the fastest women’s debut marathon in history, a 2:17:23 to win in Hamburg, Germany.

She has joined the elite tier of female marathoners, a group led by Kenyan Peres Jepchirchir, the reigning Olympic, New York City and Boston champion. Another Ethiopian staked a claim last week when Tigist Assefa won Berlin in 2:15:37, shattering Yehualaw’s national record.

Joan Benoit Samuelson, the first Olympic women’s marathon champion in 1984, finished Sunday’s race in 3:20:20 at age 65.

LONDON MARATHON: Results

Kipruto, 30, won the men’s race in 2:04:39. He broke free from the leading group in the 25th mile and crossed the finish line 33 seconds ahead of Ethiopian Leul Gebresilase, who said he had hamstring problems.

Kipruto, one of the pre-race favorites, had never won a major marathon but did finish second behind world record holder Eliud Kipchoge in Tokyo (2022) and Berlin (2018) and third at the world championships (2019) and Tokyo (2018).

Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest marathoner in history, was fifth after being dropped in the 21st mile. His 2:05:53 was the fastest-ever marathon by a runner 40 years or older. Bekele ran his personal best at the 2019 Berlin Marathon — 2:01:41 — and has not run within four minutes of that time since.

The major marathon season continues next Sunday with the Chicago Marathon, headlined by a women’s field that includes Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich and American Emily Sisson.

London returns next year to its traditional April place after being pushed to October the last three years due to the pandemic.

MORE: Bekele looks ahead to Kipchoge chase after London Marathon

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!