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Headline results of noteworthy competitions around the world:
● Alpine Skiing ● Despite multiple changes due to weather, the U.S. Alpine nationals wrapped up on Friday at Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine, combined with the Nor-Am Cup.
After the Downhill a week earlier and the cancellation of the Super-G, the Slaloms were held on the 29th, with Jett Seymour leading a U.S. men’s sweep in 1:28.18, followed by Benjamin Ritchie (1:28.71) and George Steffey (1:28.98).
The Giant Slalom saw Steffey take the title (2:08.29), ahead of Brian McLaughlin (2:08.62) and Austria’s Tobias Kogler third (2:08.63).
American World Cup veteran Paula Moltzan led a U.S. 1-2-3 in the women’s Slalom, finishing with a time total of 1:32.28, with Katie Hensien a distant second (1:35.09) and A.J. Hurt in third (1:35.13).
Canada’s Britt Richardson won the women’s Giant Slalom (2:01.89), with Moltzan taking the U.S. title (2:02.04) and Hurt third (2:03.80).
● Archery ● The first USA Archery qualifier for 2022, the AAE Arizona Cup in Phoenix, saw U.S. Olympians Brady Ellison and Casey Kaufhold sail through to the finals in the men’s and women’s Recurve divisions.
In the men’s final, Ellison, the 2019 World Champion, got a challenge from sixth-seeded and 19-year-old Joonsuh Oh, seventh at the 2021 Junior Pan American Games, but triumphed 7-1 (28-27, 28-27, 29-29, 29-28).
Jackson Mirich won the men’s bronze medal over Dallas Jones, 6-5. Atlanta 1996 gold medalist Justin Huish, now 47, reached the quarterfinals, but was eliminated by Oh, 6-5.
Tokyo Olympian and 2021 World silver medalist Kaufhold, 18, was upset in the women’s final by Olympic alternate (and no. 6 seed) Catalina Noriega. Kaufhold took a 3-1 lead after the second end, but Noriega won three straight by 28-27, 27-24 and 28-26, to record a 7-3 win. Gabrielle Sasai took the third-place match by 6-4 against Savannah Vanderweir.
● Artistic Swimming ● The second leg of the FINA World Cup was in person, in Paris (FRA), with the home team finding a new star.
In the women’s Solo class, France’s 16-year-old Oriane Jaillardon won the Technical event, scoring 83.5476 to best Audrey Lamothe of Canada (age 17), who scored 83.3653. The women’s Solo Free was a win for Spain’s Iris Tio Casas (86.7333), ahead of Federica Sala (ITA: 85.8000).
Jaillardon took a second gold in the women’s Duet Technical, teaming with Romane Lunel to win at 83.7000, followed by Greece’s Eleni Fragkaki and Krystalenia Gialama (82.7753).
Americans Megumi Field and Natalia Vega won the Duet Free, scoring 85.7667 to 83.8000 for Shelly Bobritsky and Nicol Nahshonov (ISR).
The U.S. won the women’s Team Highlight event (87.8333); Israel was the only entry in the Team Free Combination (84.0667) and Spain took the women’s Team event (90.7000).
In the Mixed Duet Technical, Spain’s Emma Garcia and Pau Ribes won with 84.3804, followed by Ivy Davis and Ken Gaudet of the U.S. (79.0104). The same pairs went 1-2 in the Mixed Duet Free: 85.5667 for Garcia and Ribes and 83.0333 for Davis and Gaudet.
● Athletics ● Sharp racing at the Marathon de Paris, with Ethiopia’s Deso Gelmisa winning a tight battle from countryman Seifu Tura, 2:05:07-2:05:10 for the nos. 5-6 places on the 2022 world list.
Gelmisa set a lifetime best by nine seconds by winning the final sprint from Tura, the 2021 Chicago Marathon champion. France’s Morhad Amdouni was third in 2:05:22.
Kenyan Judith Korir Keptum won the women’s race in a lifetime best of 2:19:48, uncontested for most of the last half of the race. Ethiopia’s Fantu Jimma was second, also with a lifetime best, in 2:22.52.
● Boxing ● The AMBC Elite Championships in Guayaquil, Ecuador drew 197 contestants from 25 countries, including a record 75 in the women’s division. Brazil and the U.S. dominated, with the Brazilians taking wins in six divisions and the Americans in six.
Brazil scored four golds in the men’s division, with Luiz Gabriel Oliveira winning at 57 kg, Wanderson Oliveira at 67 kg, Worlds silver medalist Keno Machado at 86 kg and Olympic bronze medalist Abner Teixeira da Silva at +92 kg. They also got victories from Olympic silver medalist Beatriz Ferreira in the women’s 60 kg class (over Worlds bronze medalist Rashida Ellis of the U.S.), by Beatriz Soares at 66 kg and Barbara Dos Santos at 70 kg.
The U.S. got wins from Worlds silver medalist Roscoe Hill in the men’s 51 kg class (beating Cuba’s Erislan Romero, 5:0), Obed Bartee-El at 75 kg, World Champion Robby Gonzales at 80 kg and Jamar Talley at 92 kg. Women’s winners started with the women’s 50 kg division with Jennifer Lozano and women’s 63 kg with Jajaira Gonzalez.
Silver medalists for the U.S. included 2021 World Champion Jahmal Harvey in the men’s 57 kg division, Arjan Iseni at 86 kg and Ellis in the women’s 60 kg class.
Canada scored two women’s golds from Scarlett Delgado at 54 kg and 2019 Worlds bronze medalist Tammara Thibeault at 75 kg, and the Dominican Republic won two men’s classes: Pan American Games champ Rodrigo Marte at 54 kg and Pan Am Games bronze winner Alexys de la Cruz at 60 kg.
● Cycling ● The spring “Cobbled Classics” season continued in Belgium with the 76th Dwars door Vlaanderen from Roeselare to Waregem in a hilly, 183.7 km loop course perfect for Dutch star Mathieu van der Poel.
He won his second title in this race – also in 2019 – in a two-man sprint to the line with Belgium’s home favorite Tiesj Benoot, in 4:05:39 and 4:05:40. They emerged from an eight-rider breakaway in the final 2 km and finished ahead of Tom Pidcock (GBR), Victor Campenaerts (BEL) and Mils Politt (GER), all five seconds behind the winner.
One of the major races of the spring season, the 106th Tour of Flanders – Ronde van Vlaaanderen – took place on Sunday, covering 272.5 km from Antwerp to Oudenaarde.
A lot of the interest pre-race was on two-time Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar (SLO), now competing in one-day races, and he was game for the challenge. He stormed into the lead multiple times during the race and was in front over the final climb – Paterberg – heading into the final 13 km.
He then got into a cat-and-mouse game with the favored van der Poel, which allowed chasers Dylan van Barrle (NED) and Valentin Madouas (FRA) to catch up with 300 m left. And on the final sprint, van der Poel got to the line first, with van Baarle and Madouas 2-3 and Pogacar a disappointed fourth, all in 6:18:30.
It’s the second career win for van der Poel in this race (also 2020) and his third straight podium after being runner-up in 2021.
The women’s Tour of Flanders – the 19th – was 158.6 km along much of the same route as the men, but with a Belgian winner for the first time since 2010 as Lotte Kopecky got her second major win of the year!
The race came down to a three-women finale over the last 10 km, as Kopecky dueled with Dutch superstar Annemiek van Vleuten – the defending champion – and Chantal van den Broek-Blaak, the 2020 winner. It came down to Kopecky and van Vleuten and the Belgian was fastest to the finish, winning in 4:11:21 to wild cheers from the home crowd and van den Broek-Blaak two seconds behind.
Kopecky, 26, had already won the Strade Bianche this season and finished third at the Ronde van Drenthe, but this was the biggest win of her career.
Good news for Italian star Sonny Colbrelli, who collapsed just past the finish of the first stage of the Volta Cyclista de Catalunya on 26 March. He was diagnosed with unstable cardiac arrhythmia and after treatment in Spain, was flown to the Padova University Hospital.
After tests, he had a successful subcutaneous defibrillator (ICD) implantation operation last Thursday and was discharged. While he continues to recover, his future in the sport is uncertain.
● Gymnastics ● The final leg of the 2022 FIG Artistic Gymnastics Apparatus World Cup was the AGF Trophy in Baku (AZE), with a gold-medal performance by Ukraine’s Worlds All-Around bronze medalist Ilia Kovtun.
Kovtun won in Baku on Parallel Bars, scoring 15.333 to beat Turkey’s Ferhat Arican and won the event at all four Apparatus World Cups to take the seasonal title, with Arican second.
Israel’s Olympic Floor Exercise winner Artem Dolgopyat won on Floor at 14.700m ahead of Milad Karimi (KAZ: 14.300), and won three of the four World Cups to take the season crown. On Rings, Italy’s Salvatore Maresca won with 14.800, ahead of Ibrahim Colak (TUR: 14.766), but Armenia’s Vahagn Davtyan – with two prior wins – was the seasonal champion. American Alex Diab finished fifth in Baku (14.333).
The men’s finals on Sunday saw Nariman Kurbanov (KAZ) win on the Pommel Horse (14.633), ahead of Albania’s Matvei Petrov (14.466). Ukraine’s Nazar Chepurnyi (15.016) took the Vault, with Andrey Medvedev (ISR: 14.500) second and Dolgopyat (14.450) third. Britain’s Joe Fraser was the Horizontal Bar winner at 14.000, ahead of Austria’s Mitchell Morgans (13.966) and Kovtun (13.866).
Kurbanov won the seasonal Pommel Horse title; Armenia’s Artur Davtyan won the seasonal Vault crown and the Horizontal Bar champ was Israel’s Alexander Myaknin.
The women finals saw France’s Lorette Charpy win on Uneven Bars (13.866), with Naomi Visser (NED: 13.100) second, and the amazing Oksana Chusovitina (UZB) – now 46 – won on Vault, scoring 13.266, but winning on degree-of-difficulty over Csenge Bacskay of Hungary (also 13.266). Ukraine’s Daniel Batrona won the seasonal Bars title and Chusovitina won the seasonal Vault competition.
On Beam, Germany’s Sarah Voss won at 13.733, well ahead of Charpy (12.966) and Ukraine’s Daniela Batrona (12.900). Brazil’s Julia Soares was the Floor winner, scoring 13.433, with Dorina Boeczoego second at 13.166.
Batrona won the seasonal Beam title as well, and Hungary’s Boeczoego was the seasonal Floor champion.
● Judo ● A major event on the IJF World Tour, the Antalya Grand Slam was held in Turkey, with 525 judoka in attendance from 63 countries!
France led all nations with seven total medals, including wins from 2019 World Champion Marie Eve Gahie in the women’s 70 kg division and Lea Fontaine at +78 kg, over Israel’s Raz Hershko.
Georgia also got two wins, taking the men’s 73 kg class with Giorgi Terashvili defeating Manuel Lombardo (ITA) in the final, and 2018 World Champion Guram Tushishvili winning at +100 kg over Alisher Yusupov (UZB).
Three current World Champions won their classes. Portugal’s Jorge Fonseca won the men’s 100 kg division, Canada’s Jessica Klimkait, the 2021 World 57 kg gold medalist, won her class, as did German Anna-Maria Wagner at 78 kg.
● Shooting ● The non-stop ISSF World Cup tour is in Lima (PER) for a Shotgun World Cup, with the U.S. sending a strong team.
Trap events were featured in the first week, with Alberto Fernandez (ESP) winning the men’s final in 2-1 shoot-off with Erminio Frasca (ITA), with American Derrick Mein third (20). Mein, Casey Wallace and Will Hinton won the men’s Team event, 7-6, in a shoot-off with Spain.
Italy’s Gaia Ragazzini, 21, was an upset winner of the women’s trap final, scoring a 30-27 win over Kayle Browning of the U.S., the 2020 Olympic silver medalist. Alessandra Della Valle (ITA) was third (20). Browning, Aeriel Skinner and Rachel Tozier took the women’s Team event for the U.S., 6-4, over Guatemala.
The Tokyo Olympic gold-medal team of Fernandez and Fatima Galvez won the Mixed Team event for Spain, 6-0, over Mexico in the final.
The shooting continues through the 7th.
● Swimming ● The Tyr Pro Swim Series in San Antonio was a warm-up for a major event for American swimmers: the Philips 66 International Team Trials from 26-30 April. Everything in San Antonio was about the racing to come in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Some stars – like five-time Olympic gold medalist Caeleb Dressel – are still in heavy training. Others are starting to sharpen.
The big winners in San Antonio were 17-year-old Tokyo Olympian Claire Curzan and emerging star – and 2021 World Short-Course 100 m Back gold medalist – Shaine Casas.
Curzan was everywhere, winning the women’s 50-100 m Freestyles, the 100 m Backstroke and the 100 m Fly. Her times were solid: 24.43, no. 3 on the world list for 2022; 53.68 (equal-3rd), 58.73 in the 100 Back (no. 2) and 57.02 in the Fly, where she is already the world leader.
Casas won three events: the men’s 100 m Back (53.54), 100 m Fly (51.09, no. 2 in 2022) and 200 m Medley, with a world-leading 1:56.70, ahead of French star Leon Marchard, 2017 World Champion Chase Kalisz of the U.S. and do-everything star Michael Andrew.
Andrew logged two wins, in the 50 m Free (21.73, no. 2 in 2022), ahead of Dressel (21.86), and in the 100 m Breaststroke (59.02, no. 2), beating Nic Fink (59.32, no. 4). He said afterwards that he’s targeting the 50 m Free, 100 m Breast and 100 m Fly at the International Team Trials.
French distance specialist Tommy-lee Camblong also won twice, in the men’s 800 m and 1,500 m Freestyles (7:59.08 and 15:23.33). Marchard got the other world leader in the meet, winning the 400 m Medley in 4:10.38; he was initially disqualified for an improper stroke, but was reinstated.
Dressel tied for the win in the 100 m free with Slovenian Andrej Barna in 49.13, was second in the 50 m Free and the 200 m Free (1:49.12) and second in the 100 m Fly to Casas.
The women’s distance Freestyles, of course, belonged to superstar Katie Ledecky, who won the 200 m Free in 1:55.66 and the 400 m Free in 4:03.84. She also finished fourth in the 100 m Free in 54.93, behind Curzan.
Five-time Olympic medalist Lilly King doubled in the 100 m and 200 m Breast events, winning in 1:05.32 (no. 2 for 2022) and 2:23.69 (no. 3). Two-time Olympic bronze medalist Hali Flickinger won her specialties: the 200 m Fly (2:08.57) and the 400 m Medley, in 4:40.62.
Rio 2016 Olympic champ Ryan Murphy of the U.S. lowered his own world-leading time in the men’s 200 m Back at the Fran Crippen Swim Meet of Champions in Mission Viejo, timing 1:56.43. He had already swum 1:56.78 earlier this season.
Tokyo Olympian and sprinter Abbey Weitzeil won the women’s 100 m Free in 54.01, second only to Curzan on the 2022 world list. The meet concludes late Sunday afternoon.
The USA Swimming National Open Water Championships were held off Ft. Myers Beach, Florida in windy and difficult conditions, but ultimately produced 10 km wins for France’s Axel Reymond and American teen Katie Grimes.
Reymond – a two-time world 25 km Champion – overtook American Brennan Gravely on the final lap to win in 2:02:49 to 2:02:53. Brennan’s younger brother, Dylan Gravely, moved up on the final lap to finish third in 2:03:13, ahead of Joe Tepper (USA: 2:03:39).
Grimes, 16, fourth in the Tokyo Olympic 800 m final in the pool, won the women’s 10 km national title in 2:16:40, swimming away from Marian Denigan (2:17:50) for a U.S. 1-2, with France’s Caroline Jouisse third (2:18:34).
Early leader – and fellow Tokyo Olympian – Erica Sullivan was passed by Grimes heading in the fourth lap, then faded and did not finish.
It was Grimes’ first national title; she said afterwards, “I really had a good time out there today; the conditions were a little rough but I’m learning to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. …
“The tide was really strong and the wind was making it really choppy, but like I said, it is just about being comfortable with being uncomfortable, learning to adjust your stroke and adapting each lap to the new challenges.”
Sunday had the men’s and women’s 5 km racing, with Gravley winning the men’s race, ahead of Reymond and Marcel Schouten (NED).
The women’s event was a French 1-2, with 2015 and 2017 10 km World Champion Aurelie Muller and Caroline Jouisse, and Bella Sims of the U.S. third.
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