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Speedskating/Ironman triathlon

Ohno trains for new challenge

Apolo Anton Ohno of Seattle is used to riding a bike in training.

Back in his short-track speedskating days, he might pedal all out for 30 seconds and let his legs recover for a bit before repeating the interval. That is not great preparation for cycling for 5½ hours.

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The most decorated U.S. Winter Olympian in history is taking on a new athletic challenge: an Ironman triathlon.

Ohno plans to compete at the world championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, in October — swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, then run the marathon distance of 26.2 miles.

“I’m still not entirely sure I can grasp the difficulty of this,” the 31-year-old Ohno said in a recent phone interview with The Associated Press about six weeks into his training.

A winner of eight medals in three Olympics, he knows how to push himself in workouts. But he is not accustomed to the sort of pain that comes with endurance sports.

When Ohno goes for a run with one of his coaches, eight-time Ironman world champion Paula Newby-Fraser, his body is ready to stop after about an hour.

“Paula’s just getting warmed up,” he said.

Ohno’s speedskating training was all about performing at his peak for 80 seconds. The Ironman requires preparing his body to hold up over the steady grind of more than 11 hours.

Newby-Fraser keeps reminding him to slow down in training.

“It sounds easy, but it goes against the instinct and nature of an athlete that’s used to emptying the tank every day,” she said.

Along with biking as part of his speedskating training, Ohno swam competitively until he was 12. He ran the 2011 New York City Marathon, finishing in 3 hours, 25 minutes, 14 seconds.


Man U fires manager Moyes

Overwhelmed by the task of replacing Sir Alex Ferguson, manager David Moyes was fired by Manchester United on Tuesday after exhausting the patience and losing the support of the team’s American owners, the Glazer family.

The 50-year-old Scot was less than a season into a six-year, $40 million contract but the Glazers had seen enough. So, too, had most of United’s fans and most likely its sponsors, with the team languishing in seventh place in the English Premier League and guaranteed to miss out on UEFA Champions League qualification for the first time in 19 years.

That is unacceptable for a team that expects to win trophies year in and year out.

Exactly a year after clinching a record-extending 20th English championship, Manchester United dismissed Moyes during a meeting.

Ryan Giggs, who was on Moyes’ coaching staff and is a member of the playing squad at age 40, will take temporary control until a permanent replacement is found.

Louis van Gaal, who will leave his position as Netherlands coach after this year’s World Cup in Brazil and has coached Barcelona of Spain and Bayern Munich of Germany, is viewed as the favorite to succeed Moyes on a full-time basis.

Chelsea, Atletico play to 0-0 tie

Chelsea of England capitalized on its defensive strategy, playing to a 0-0 draw at Atletico Madrid of Spain in the first leg of their home-and-home, total-goals UEFA Champions League semifinal.

The return leg is next Wednesday and the winner will play either Real Madrid of Spain or Bayern Munich in the final.

Chelsea got a tie despite the early exit of injured goalkeeper Petr Cech in the 18th minute. Mark Schwarzer came on with Cech’s long-term replacement, Thibaut Courtois, playing in the opposite goal, on loan from Chelsea.

Organizers race against clock

FIFA’s top World Cup official, secretary general Jerome Valcke, visited the stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, that will host the tournament opener in less than two months and said there is “not a minute” to waste.

But Valcke stressed Itaquerao stadium will be ready for the Brazil-Croatia opener June 12.

He said local organizers are “running against time,” but they know there is “no choice” and understand they must finish all the work on time.


Florida men’s coach to retire

Buddy Alexander, University of Florida men’s coach, is retiring after 27 seasons that included national championships in 1993 and 2001 and eight Southeastern Conference titles.

The 61-year-old Alexander, who will exit June 30, said, “Coaching is a young man’s game and it is simply time for me to turn the reins over to someone else.”

Dawson to step down in 2015

Peter Dawson is to retire next year as chief executive of The R&A after 16 years with the governing body in charge of the Rules of Golf and organizing the British Open.

Officials from The R&A said Dawson will step down in September 2015. He also will be leaving his role as secretary of Royal and Ancient Golf Club, the 2,400-member club with headquarters overlooking the Old Course at St. Andrews.


• Former heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs disrupted a news conference ahead of Wladimir Klitschko’s title bout against Alex Leapai — demanding a fight of his own against the reigning champion. Briggs eventually left after being pushed back by security.

Klitschko will defend his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles against Leapai in Oberhausen, Germany, on Saturday.

Lance Armstrong’s longtime coach, Johan Bruyneel, was banned for 10 years for helping to organize massive doping on teams led by the disgraced cyclist. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency prosecuted Bruyneel.

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