January 16, 2012

Shalane Flanagan     Photo: Erik van Leeuwen/Wikimedia

Flanagan, Keflezighi Win Marathon Trials

Veterans win Olympic qualifier in fast times

Shalane Flanagan and Meb Keflezighi won the women's and men's Olympic marathon trials on Saturday in Houston, Texas, in what were the most competitive Olympic selection races in U.S. history. Flanagan, 30, will compete in her third Olympic games after running 2:25:38 to defeat pre-race co-favorite Desiree Davila by 17 seconds. Kara Goucher took the third qualifying position in 2:26:06. Flanagan's time bettered the existing Olympic trials marathon record by more than three minutes. Keflezighi, 36, also qualified for his third Olympic team in an upset victory over defending trials champion Ryan Hall (2:09:30) and Abdi Abdirahman (2:09:42). Keflezighi won a silver medal in the 2004 Olympic marathon but failed to qualify for the 2008 games. Twenty men finished faster than the Olympic "A" standard of 2:15, the most ever in the history of the trials.

Read more at The Denver Post

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Alex Honnold on El Capitan     Photo: Tom Evans/ El Cap Reports

Honnold Climbs 45-Foot Boulder Problem

34 pads used in new testpiece

Alex Honnold made the first ascent of a 45-foot-tall boulder problem in Bishop, California this weekend, adding a dangerous new climb to one of the United States' most popular bouldering areas. The V9 problem, Too Big to Flail, climbs the sheer side of the granite Luminance Block in Bishop's Buttermilks on small, polished holds. "I was shaking a bit up there," Honnold said afterwards. "It's f***ing scary." Friends and fellow climbers stacked a total of 34 pads at the base of the climb to help protect Honnold in a fall, though the pads would have been of limited use had he fallen from the top. Honnold also made the first flash of Kevin Jorgeson's Flight of the Bumblebee (V7), a 35-foot problem over a bad landing.

Read more at Bishop Bouldering Blog

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Stuary O'Grady     Photo: Paul Coster/Flickr

Stuart O'Grady Denies Assault Allegation

Driver accuses cyclist of throwing glass

South Australian Police are investigating allegations that cyclist Stuart O'Grady assaulted a chauffeur on January 10 in Adeliade in an argument over a seatbelt. The driver claims that O'Grady physically and verbally assaulted him on the way home from a cycling dinner, including throwing a glass in the vehicle. O'Grady denies the allegation and says that three other passengers in the car, including his wife, will corroborate his story. "I think it's pretty outrageous and I'm very disappointed," O'Grady said. Although the incident occurred on January 10, the news did not become public until January 15. The driver reportedly first approached a tabloid television show before going to police.

Read more at Cycling News

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Lindsey Vonn     Photo: (c) 2010 U.S. Ski Team

Vonn Skis Back on Top World Cup Podium

In Italy, Vonn takes first win in five weeks

Lindsey Vonn became the third-winning-est women's skier in World Cup history on Sunday with a comfortable victory in super-G in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, the 47th title of her career. Vonn had struggled with a stomach illness earlier this month and had missed the podium in both downhill and super-G last weekend in Austria. Now healthy, she beat Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch by .61 seconds on Sunday. She now trails only retired Austrian skier Annemarie Moser-Proell and Swiss legend Vreni Schneider, who have 67 and 55 wins, respectively, for all-time World Cup titles. Vonn was also second in downhill on Saturday, extending her lead in overall World Cup standings to 291 points.

Read more at The Globe and Mail

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Costa Concordia, 2009     Photo: Cyr0z/flickr

Cruise Ship CEO Blames Captain for Crash

Six confirmed dead in Italy, 16 still missing

The CEO of Costa Cruises said on Monday that "human error" by Captain Francesco Schettino was responsible for grounding a cruise ship that capsized near the port of Giglio, Italy on Friday, killing at least six of the 4,200 people aboard. Pier Luigi Foschi said that Captain Schettino disabled the programmed route for the 114,500-ton Costa Concordia cruise ship, making an unauthorized and "reckless" maneuver through a narrow and rocky channel. Schettino was arrested and jailed early Saturday on charges of manslaughter and abandoning ship. Prosecutors charge that Schettino was attempting to bring the ship close to port to greet a friend on shore and that he escaped the ship by lifeboat, covered in a blanket, well before passengers were evacuated. Rescuers continue to search for 16 missing passengers.

Read more at the Associated Press

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