Sunday, July 22, 2018
Sports

Winter Olympics: U.S. women end speed-skating medal drought

GANGNEUNG, South Korea — Mia Manganello crossed the finish line, glanced at the video board and yelled. She then grabbed hands with American teammates Heather Bergsma and Brittany Bowe, and the trio thrust their arms in the air.

The Americans had reason to celebrate Wednesday. They finally won a long-track speed-skating medal at the Olympics, ending a U.S. drought for the women dating to the 2002 Games. "It was just an uproar of emotions of screaming and cheering," said Manganello, from Crestview.

She, Ocala native Bowe and Bergsma earned bronze in the women’s team pursuit, beating Canada by 0.45 seconds with a time of 2 minutes, 59.27 seconds. Japan won gold, the Netherlands silver.

"It’s kind of a perfect ending for the Olympics for myself personally, taking a team to get me to the podium," said Bowe, who a year ago was dealing with post-concussion syndrome and had top-five finishes in each of her three individual races.

Hope for U.S. women’s figure skating?

When national champion Bradie Tennell fell on her opening jump in the short program, it was a harbinger of another bad day for the U.S. figure skating team. Teammate Mirai Nagasu also fell on her opening jump. Karen Chen followed suit. Their performance was the worst for the U.S. women’s team in the Olympic short program, which started in 1976. Nagasu finished ninth, Chen 10th and Tennell 11th. Entering tonight’s long program, Nagasu is nearly 16 points — a canyon of a gap — behind the leader, Russian Alina Zagitova, whose 82.92 points in the program is a world record.

The last time an American woman won an Olympic medal was in 2006, when Sasha Cohen took silver. In the 10 Winter Games before that, the United States had at least one female medalist; five won gold. Samuel Auxier, president of U.S. Figure Skating, says one reason American skaters lately haven’t been as technically strong as skaters from other countries is because U.S. Figure Skating used to have a rule prohibiting young athletes from even trying triple jumps, partly because of the possibility of injury. So they haven’t had the time to fine-tune their triples.

That rule, Auxier says, was rescinded several years ago under his watch. "It’s possible that we’ll get back on the podium in the next couple of years, but sometimes life and puberty get in the way," he says.

Number of the day

3 Bobsled medals for Elana Meyers Taylor after her silver with brakeman Lauren Gibbs, tying her for most U.S. medals in the sport. She has a bronze and two silvers to join Pat Martin (gold and two silvers ,1948-52) and Steve Holcomb (gold and two silvers, 2010-14). Holcomb, who died unexpectedly in May at 37, was a mentor and unofficial coach to Meyers Taylor. "His legacy lives on," she said. "It’s the least I could do."

Quotable

"It was a team that was built to represent our country … Play hard, compete, leave it all on the ice. We did that. So we have a lot to be proud of."

U.S. men’s hockey coach Tony Granato, after losing in the quarterfinals to the Czech Republic 3-2 in a shootout

Comments
Thomas Bassinger’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Marlins game

Thomas Bassinger’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Marlins game

ST. PETERSBURG — Takeaways from the Rays' 6-4 walkoff win Sunday over the Marlins at Tropicana Field:1. In six innings, Chris Archer had a season-high 13 strikeouts, but I wouldn't call his outing dominant. The Marlins scored four runs in the s...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Tiger Woods was in British Open hunt. Now another major win doesn’t seem so improbable.

Tiger Woods was in British Open hunt. Now another major win doesn’t seem so improbable.

He was in the hunt. For real.False alarm?Did you care?For what seemed like days (it wasn't even an hour), Tiger Woods sat atop a leaderboard at a golf major Sunday.With everyone fading, he was 7 under and all alone at the British Open at Carnoustie w...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Francesco Molinari wins British Open on crazy day at Carnoustie

Francesco Molinari wins British Open on crazy day at Carnoustie

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland — Francesco Molinari played a steady hand amid the cheers for Tiger Woods and another crazy ending at Carnoustie to win the British Open on Sunday and become Italy's first major champion.Woods brought pandemonium by chargin...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Reactions vary to new USF football uniforms

Reactions vary to new USF football uniforms

Public sentiment remained mixed late Sunday afternoon on the new USF football uniforms unveiled earlier in the day.A brief video of Bulls TE Mitch Wilcox modeling an all-forest green version of the uniforms was released on the football program's offi...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Daniel Robertson hits pinch-hit walkoff grand slam to lift Rays over Marlins

Daniel Robertson hits pinch-hit walkoff grand slam to lift Rays over Marlins

ST. PETERSBURG — Daniel Robertson hit a pinch-hit walkoff grand slam, and the Rays rallied to beat the Marlins 6-4 Sunday at Tropicana Field.It's the first walkoff grand slam in Rays history and the second walkoff hit of Robertson's major-leagu...
Updated: 4 hours ago
South Tampa softball all-stars head to Southeast Regional

South Tampa softball all-stars head to Southeast Regional

TAMPA — Emilee Mezrah could have been on vacation in the Bahamas playing in the surf.Instead she’s on vacation in Georgia playing softball in the dirt.Beach vs. softball …"I chose softball," said Mezrah, a seventh grader at Coleman Middle School. "Ri...
Updated: 6 hours ago
For starters: Amid trade rumors, Chris Archer will start in Rays-Marlins finale

For starters: Amid trade rumors, Chris Archer will start in Rays-Marlins finale

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays (49-49), losers of three straight and five of their last six, will look to avoid a sweep today against the Marlins (43-57) at Tropicana Field. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. In what might be a trade audition, r...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Rays journal: New faces, same old loss

Rays journal: New faces, same old loss

ST. PETERSBURG — To get a sense of how things are going for the Rays right now, consider that opening day starter Chris Archer was wearing a promotional DJ Kitty head in the dugout and veteran OF Carlos Gomez was playing second base during Satu...
Published: 07/21/18
Kevin Kiermaier frustrated as injuries continue

Kevin Kiermaier frustrated as injuries continue

ST. PETERSBURG — This season has been quite a pain for Rays centerfielder and centerpiece Kevin Kiermaier.A cold bat, a nagging illness, a searing foul ball we'll come back to shortly and a torn thumb ligament that required surgery, all in the ...
Published: 07/21/18
Rowdies gain needed victory

Rowdies gain needed victory

ST. PETERSBURG — Georgi Hristov, the Rowdies' all-time goals leader, extended that mark with his 59th and Junior Flemmings had a goal and two assists to lead a revamped lineup in Saturday's 3-1 win over Indy Eleven at Al Lang Stadium in front o...
Published: 07/21/18