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Olympic Sports Scene for February 17, 2008

Feb. 17, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)

WEEKEND HIGHLIGHTS TRACK AND FIELD The most decorated shot putter in World Outdoor Championships history, Adam Nelson (Charlottesville, Va.) continued a streak of strong performances to win the Visa men's shot put Friday night, Feb. 15, in front of 4,519 screaming fans at the 2008 Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark. Nelson's world-leading throw of 22.40 meters/73 feet 6 inches in the Visa men's shot put is the third-best performance of all time in the shot. For his efforts, the four-time World Outdoor medalist was named the Team USA Athlete of the Meet, presented by Visa. It was the second straight meet record and personal-best performance for Nelson, who threw 22.07/72-5 at the 101st Millrose Games on Feb. 1. CYCLING Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif.) had a solid weekend at the Coppenhagen Track World Cup in Ballerup, Denmark, as she took bronze in the 3km individual pursuit, Friday, Feb. 15, while her American teammate Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Cedar Springs, Mich.) took bronze in the 10km scratch race. Cliff-Ryan also added another bronze, Saturday, Feb. 16, in the women's 20km points race. Jennie Reed (Kirkland, Wash.) and the U.S. madison pairing of Colby Pearce (Boulder, Colo.) and Bobby Lea (Mertztown, Pa.) raised the final U.S. medal count at the Copenhagen Track World Cup to five with a pair of silver-medal performances on Sunday, Feb. 17. Reed's second-place finish in the women's keirin yielded her fourth World Cup medal of the season. With earlier keirin medals in Sydney (silver) and Los Angeles (gold), Reed finished second in the overall World Cup standings to Willy Kanis of the Netherlands. JUDO Sunday marked the final leg of the European Tour for World silver medalist Ronda Rousey (Wakefield, Mass.) and the 21-year-old made the best of it, winning the gold medal in the 70kg division at the Budapest World Cup in Hungary. The win marks the third career World Cup gold medal for Rousey as she continues to establish herself as a player to watch with less than six months remaining before the Beijing Olympic Games. Rousey won her first four matches all by ippon (instant win) to advance to the final against Cecilia Blanco of Spain, the No. 2-ranked player in the world who won a silver medal at last week's Paris Super World Cup. SAILING Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis.), Carrie Howe (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) and Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.) are going to the Olympic Games. After earning a fourth overall finish at the Yngling Women's World Championship earlier today in Miami, Fla., the trio - also referred to as Team 7 - successfully completed qualification for the U.S. Olympic Team for Sailing. US SAILING's Olympic Sailing Committee will now officially nominate the Team to the U.S. Olympic Committee. SKIING Freestyle Olympian Ryan St. Onge (Winter Park, Colo.) shook off a nasty headwind to put down a perfect landing on his final jump, Sunday, Feb. 17, to earn his first World Cup aerial podium in 14 months in Inawashior, Japan. St. Onge was third, less than a point out of second place on the 2009 FIS Freestyle World Championships venue. Moguls veterans Emiko Torito (Denver, Colo.) and Dave Babic (Washington, Vt.) each finished third Saturday, Feb. 16, in the Inawashiro World Cup moguls contest. SNOWBOARDING Gregory Bretz (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) stomped out a tight run to finish second, and Lindsey Jacobellis (Stratton Mountain, Vt.) competed in her second event of the weekend to finish third in a World Cup halfpipe competition, Feb. 16, at the Sungwoo Resort, Korea - the site of next year's FIS Snowboard World Championships. SWIMMING With one day remaining, two World records have fallen in the pool at the Missouri Grand Prix in Columbia, Mo. American gold medalist Natalie Coughlin (Vallejo, Calif.) shocked the crowd and herself with her 100m back world-record breaking swim Sunday night. She lowered her previous world record in the event by more than two tenths with a time of 59.21. Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry broke a world record in the 200m backstroke as well. Katie Hoff (Baltimore, Md.) erased the longest-standing American record in the 400m freestyle with a time of 4:02.20 during the first morning of competition, Feb. 15, in Columbia, Mo. Hoff scored her second gold medal of the morning in the 100m free, touching in at 54.28 to edge the American-record holder Natalie Coughlin. Hoff then broke her second American record of the meet with her standout swim in the women's 200m free during the Feb. 17 morning finals. Hoff's gold-medal winning time of 1:56.08 lowered the previous 200m free American record set by Coughlin at the 2007 FINA World Championships. Two-time Olympian Michael Phelps (Baltimore, Md.) lowered his own U.S. Open record from 1:53.71 to 1:53.31 to win the men's 200m butterfly. The Missouri Grand Prix concludes Monday with 12 events. The competition will start at 9 a.m. and will include the men's and women's 100m fly, 100m back, 100m breast, 200m I.M, 400m medley relay, the men's 1500m free, and the women's 800m free. Check usaswimming.org for results and highlights. WEEKEND PREVIEW (FEB. 22-24) BOBSLED/SKELETON The 2008 bobsled and skeleton World Championships will continue in Altenberg, Germany through Sunday, Feb. 24. CURLING Action heats up from the 2008 USA Curling National Championships in Hibbing, Minn. Action continues throughout the week and the women's bracket begins Monday. The winning teams at the 2008 Nationals will represent the U.S. at the 2008 World Championships. The women's event is scheduled March 22-30 in Vernon, British Columbia. The 2008 Men's World Championship is slated April 4-13 at the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, N.D. CYCLING As the third-annual Amgen Tour of California brings professional bike racing to the United States this week, nine UCI ProTour teams representing 27 nations will be on hand to illustrate the growing interest in American cycling. A strong American contingent - 18 of which are products of USA Cycling's European-based National Development Team - is among the world-class field. DIVING The Good Luck Beijing/FINA Diving World Cup is set for February 19-24 at the "Water Cube", and the competition is the final opportunity for federations to qualify for this summer's Olympic Games. The U.S. World Cup team includes 2007 World Championship bronze medalists David Boudia (Noblesville, Ind.) and Thomas Finchum (Indianapolis), 2000 Olympic gold medalist Laura Wilkinson (Spring, Texas) and two-time Olympian Troy Dumais (Ventura, Calif.). The United States has already secured six Olympic spots but can still qualify for an additional six. Team USA is looking for spots in both women's synchronized events as well as two spots individually on men's 10-meter and one spot each on men's 3-meter and women's 10-meter. SKIING Alpine: The women's alpine team will participate in the Vancouver World Cup, Feb 21 - 23, in Vancouver, Canada. The men's alpine team will also be in Vancouver competing in the super G and giant slalom events. The 2008 FIS Junior World Championships will be contested from Formigal, Spain. Freestyle: Freestyle World Cup action moves to Sierra Nevada, Spain where the American team will hope to build on its success in Inawashior, Japan. Cross Country: Cross Country's World Cup continues in Falun, Sweden, Feb. 23. Nordic Combined: The Nordic Combined World Cup moves to Zakopane, Poland, Feb. 23-24, where Bill Demong (Vermontville, N.Y.) will hope to maintain his second-place standing in the overall rankings. Disabled: Chris Devlin-Young (sit-ski; Campton, N.H.) leades a strong American team to the Disabled Alpine World Cup Finals in Hackuba, Japan, Feb. 23-26. SPEEDSKATING The long track World Cup Finals for all distances kicks off in Heerenveen, Netherlands Feb. 22-24. Also the World Junior Championships will take place in Chancun, China, Feb. 22-24. TRACK AND FIELD The AT,T USA Indoor Track and Field Championships will be held Feb. 23-24 in Boston, Mass.