2022 U.S. Figure Skating Championships: What to watch on Friday

2022 U.S. Figure Skating Championships - Day 1
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The U.S. Figure Skating Championships, the last competition to determine the Olympic team, continues Friday with the rhythm dance and women’s free skate, live from Nashville on USA Network, NBCOlympics.com and Peacock.

In the rhythm dance (4:30 p.m. ET), the top couples begin their bids to lock up one of three Olympic ice dance spots, which will be announced after Saturday’s free dance.

Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue and Madison Chock and Evan Bates, who combined to win the last four national titles, are favorites to again go one-two this weekend. It’s the last national championships for Hubbell and Donohue, who hope to end their Olympic careers next month with a medal after finishing fourth in 2018.

Chock and Bates plan to continue beyond this season. Nonetheless, Bates can become the first U.S. figure skater to compete in four Olympics.

The battle for the third Olympic spot is expected to come down to Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker, who have been third at every nationals in this Olympic cycle, and the newer team of Caroline Green and Michael Parsons, who formerly skated with siblings.

Rhythm Dance (4:30 p.m. ET) — STREAM LINK | LIVE RESULTS
Kaitlin Hawayek/Jean-Luc Baker — 4:50 p.m.
Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue — 5:03 p.m.
Caroline Green/Michael Parsons — 5:23 p.m.
Christina Carreira/Anthony Ponomarenko — 5:30 p.m.
Madison Chock/Evan Bates — 5:43 p.m.

FIGURE SKATING NATIONALS PREVIEWS: MenIce Dance | Broadcast Schedule | Results

In the women’s free skate (8 p.m. ET), pre-event favorites Mariah BellKaren Chen and Alysa Liu made up the top three in the short program.

Liu then tested positive for the coronavirus Friday morning and withdrew, planning to petition for an Olympic spot. She has a strong case as the highest-ranked U.S. woman in the world this season.

Bell, the short program leader, can at age 25 became the oldest U.S. women’s champion in 95 years and the oldest U.S. Olympic women’s singles skater in 94 years, according to Olympedia.org. She bids for her first national title in her ninth senior nationals.

Chen, the lone 2018 Olympian in the field, is set to become the first U.S. women’s singles skater to compete in back-to-back Olympics since Sasha Cohen in 2002 and 2006.

They’re followed by Isabeau Levito, who at 14 is too young for this year’s Olympics, and Lindsay Thorngren, a 15-year-old who is Olympic eligible but has never competed on the top senior level.

Given the Olympic selection committee chooses the three-woman team based on the last year’s body of work, it might not be enough for Thorngren even if she moves past the more established Bell or Chen in the free skate. Same goes for 2014 Olympian Gracie Gold, who was sixth in the short program with her best skate in five years.

Women’s Free Skate (8 p.m. ET) — STREAM LINK | LIVE RESULTS
Isabeau Levito — 10:04 p.m.
Gracie Gold — 10:12 p.m.
Lindsay Thorngren — 10:20 p.m.
Mariah Bell — 10:28 p.m.
Alysa Liu — 10:36 p.m.
Karen Chen — 10:44 p.m.

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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 grew up on a farm in Kapsabet in Kenya’s Rift Valley, often hauling by bike several gallons of the family’s milk to sell at the local market. Raised by a nursery school teacher, he ran more than three miles to and from school. He saved for five months to get his first pair of running shoes.

At 18, he upset legends Hicham El Guerrouj and Kenenisa Bekele to win the 2003 World 5000m title on the track. He won Olympic 5000m medals (bronze in 2004 and silver in 2008), then 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