The U.S. women's cross-country skiing team took fourth in the world championships relay, missing a medal by eight tenths of a second.
Mirza, paired with Slovenian Andreja Klepac, reached the semi-finals in the women's doubles at the Qatar Open on Wednesday, her first tournament since Feb. 2020 when she played at the same Doha event. The 34-year-old, who recovered from COVID-19 in January, said she wanted to avenge the defeat she suffered in the Olympic bronze medal play-off match in 2016 when she lost 6-1 7-5 in mixed doubles with partner Rohan Bopanna. "The Tokyo Olympics was definitely one of the reasons (for my comeback)," six-time Grand Slam doubles champion Mirza said.
Ledecky wins 1500m free by 21.37sec at San Antonio meetOlympic hero will swim 200, 400, 800 and 1,500 in TokyoLochte entered in five events in bid to make fifth Olympics Katie Ledecky competes in the women’s 1500m freestyle final on Wednesday’s day one of the TYR Pro Swim Series at San Antonio. Photograph: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images Katie Ledecky made a winning return to national competition for the first time in a year on Wednesday, winning the 1500m freestyle by an eye-popping 21.37sec at the TYR Pro Swim Series meet in San Antonio, Texas. The five-time Olympic champion, who owns the 10 fastest times in history at the distance, touched in 15min, 42.92seec. She is the runaway favorite in the 1500m free at this summer’s Tokyo Games, which is on the Olympic program for the first time as a women’s event. She led by a half-pool length for most of the 30-lap race before touching in 15 minutes, 42.92 seconds. Ashley Twichell finished well back in second at 16:04.29. “I didn’t set too many expectations coming into this first race,” Ledecky said afterward. “I knew getting the first race out of the way would kind of be a milestone in this journey back into real racing.” Here's Katie Ledecky casually winning the 1500m freestyle by more than 21 seconds tonight in her first competitive race in a year. pic.twitter.com/8O99l4WXFE— Bryan Armen Graham (@BryanAGraham) March 4, 2021 Jordan Wilimovsky won the men’s 1,500 in 15:15.28. He’s already qualified for Tokyo in open-water competition. Ledecky is among several big names diving back in with three months to go until the US Olympic trials. Caeleb Dressel, Simone Manuel, double backstroke world-record holder Regan Smith, and Ryan Lochte will swim over four days in the first single-site American meet since the pandemic began. Aiming to make his fifth Olympic team, Lochte is entered in five events. Ledecky is entered in her usual events: 200-, 400-, 800- and 1,500-meter freestyles. She’s also set to swim the 50 and 100 free. Her Olympic schedule will focus on the 200, 400, 800 and 1,500, plus any relays. Last March, when it was announced the Tokyo Olympics were postponed, Ledecky resumed classes at Stanford. She had planned to take the year off from school leading up to the games; instead, she signed up for a full schedule of virtual classes in the spring and fall. She completed her psychology degree with a minor in political science. “That was a great silver lining,” she said. In the early days of the pandemic, Ledecky scrambled to find a pool to train in after Stanford shut down its facilities. She and Manuel worked out in a backyard pool. “The main focus for that period of time was just keeping a feel for the water,” she said. “We relied on each other and kept each other accountable and kept each other focused on our goals.” Last fall, Stanford and rival California staged small meets that Ledecky swam in. In January, she competed against training partners in a mock meet that included preliminaries and finals to make it resemble a real competition. “I feel like some of these experiences have built my confidence,” she said. “If I can swim fast in that kind of environment, I can swim fast at a big stage like Olympic trials or the games when maybe we won’t have spectators.” Ledecky is entered in her usual events at this week’s meet: the 200-, 400-, 800- and 1,500-meter freestyles. She’s also set to swim the 50 and 100 free. Photograph: Tom Pennington/Getty Images Ledecky isn’t sure what awaits in Tokyo. She wants to know more details on how frequently the athletes will be tested for coronavirus, where they’ll be tested, and what the swimming venue will look and feel like. “Of course, I want everyone to stay healthy,” she said. “I guess that would be my biggest fear, that there’s a huge outbreak at the games. I’m pretty confident in how Tokyo is managing it so far.” Then there’s drug testing. The US resumed its usual testing procedures last fall. However, in the initial stages of the pandemic’s national shutdown, Ledecky joined the US Anti-Doping Agency’s Project Believe 2020. It involved high-profile Olympians conducting urine and blood tests in their homes on their own while being observed virtually by Usada personnel. “I was able to still get tested throughout last year,” she said. But Ledecky wonders about the rest of the world. “I do have some concern,” she said. “There’s some uncertainty there, in that I haven’t really heard how much other countries are testing.” Ledecky is currently tested for Covid-19 multiple times weekly during training. She practices social distancing and wears a mask – all things she expects to do at a very unusual Olympics. “Just trying to do as much as I can to prepare for those different things that may happen, the different protocols,” she said. “Just trying to learn what that may look like, so that come Tokyo I’m not caught by surprise.” With her college degree in hand, Ledecky has spent time out of the pool visiting virtually with schools, club teams and children’s hospitals. She hasn’t seen most of her Maryland-based family since Christmas 2019. Ledecky turns 24 later this month, putting her in the prime of her career. She doesn’t feel cheated by losing precious time to a global pandemic, though. “I don’t feel like I missed out on some performances,” she said. “I had some good performances last year as we were leading into trials. I feel like I’m carrying that momentum to this year.”