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Australian swimmer Chloe McCardel prepares to jump into the water as members of the media surround her in Havana. (Associated Press)
Australian swimmer Chloe McCardel prepares to jump into the water as members of the media surround her in Havana. (Associated Press)

Jellyfish bite ends Aussie’s Florida swim

Swimming: Australian endurance swimmer Chloe McCardel ended her attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida after 11 hours in the water when she was stung by a jellyfish Wednesday night.

It was the fifth failure involving three women swimmers who have tried to make the marathon swim since 2011. Jellyfish stings and strong currents have been the main impediments.

Her support team released a statement saying that McCardel stopped her effort to become the first person to swim across the Straits of Florida nonstop without a shark cage “due to a severe debilitating jellyfish sting.”

It said she had been taken on to one of her support vessels and was sailing to Key West. She would need 24 hours to recuperate, it said.

The 28-year-old from Melbourne had hoped to complete the swim in about 60 hours.

Before starting out from Cuba in the morning, a smiling, upbeat McCardel had arrived in a pink 1950s Chevy convertible at a rocky jetty in western Havana.

“As confident as I can be. I think it’s all going to work out well,” she said of her chances. “It’ll be tough, though.”

McCardel then jumped feet first into the water at 10 a.m. sharp.

Her goal, the Florida Keys, lay a little more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) to the northeast of Havana.

The sea off Havana was flat and glassy, precisely the ideal conditions that McCardel’s science team had forecast.

The strait has been busy the last three summers, with fellow marathon swimmers Diana Nyad and Penny Palfrey making four failed attempts at the crossing between them since 2011.

Australian Susie Maroney successfully made the swim in 1997, although she did it with the benefit of a shark cage.

Goodell defends Redskins nickname

NFL: Commissioner Roger Goodell says the Washington Redskins nickname is a “unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect.”

Goodell was responding to a letter from 10 members of Congress who want the name changed because it is offensive to many Native Americans.

He cited the nickname’s origins and polls that support its popularity. Goodell wrote that he understands the feelings surrounding it are complex and could change, but he also pointed to fan pride in the team’s heritage.

The name is the subject of a legal challenge from a group seeking to have the team lose its trademark protection.

Redskins keeping offense: Washington has no plans to change its offense despite Robert Griffin III’s surgically repaired right knee that kept the quarterback out all spring and might keep him sidelined through the start of training camp on July 25.

Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said after the Redskins’ final practice before training camp that “the zone read is something I feel in the long run helps a quarterback.” He says everyone’s accounted for and there aren’t many free hitters. Shanahan says “key to the zone read is just the threat of the zone read.”

Kelly returns home: Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly is described as being in good spirits, recovering at home after having surgery at a Buffalo hospital to remove cancerous cells from his upper jaw.

Kelly’s wife, Jill, posted a note on her Twitter account, saying “there’s a long road ahead,” but doctors are pleased with her husband’s recovery. She said the next step is awaiting results of bone tests.

Saints linebacker injured: A person familiar with the situation says an MRI indicates that New Orleans outside linebacker Victor Butler has a torn anterior cruciate ligament, but that it is too early to speculate on whether he will miss the whole season.

The Times-Picayune first reported the MRI results for Butler, who was injured during a non-contact offseason practice Tuesday.

Committee supports expanding replay

Miscellany: The league’s Competition Committee is recommending an expansion of instant replay to include block/charge calls in late-game situations. This marks the first time the league is considering using replay to examine judgment calls by the referees.

Current rules only allow officials to see if a player’s feet are in the restricted area under the basket or out of it in the final two minutes of the game or in overtime.

• Defending champs lose fourth straight : Tina Charles had 30 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Connecticut Sun to a 73-61 victory against the Indiana Fever at Indianapolis, handing the defending champions their fourth straight loss.

Kara Lawson added 12 points as the Sun snapped a three-game losing streak.

Sporting KC loses to third-division team: Long Tan scored in the second minute, and third-division Orlando City SC beat defending champion Sporting Kansas City 1-0 in Kansas City, Kan., to advance to the U.S Open Cup quarterfinals.

The Lions beat an MLS club in Cup play for the second straight time and will next face either Chicago or Columbus. It also marked the second time in three years for Sporting to be knocked out of the tournament by a USL PRO club.


 

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