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Brittany Bowe gives up Olympic speedskating spot to Erin Jackson

Erin Jackson is the world No. 1 in 500 meters. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Speedskater Brittany Bowe gave up her Olympics spot in the 500 meters on Sunday, allowing teammate Erin Jackson to take the second and final spot in her place.

Jackson, who is the world’s top-ranked skater in the event, slipped in the speedskating trials and finished third. Bowe and second-place finisher Kimi Goetz claimed the two spots for Beijing.

Under US Speedskating rules, Jackson wasn’t allowed a re-skate. Only a mechanical failure or a fall would enable a do-over.

“Erin has earned her right to be on this 500 meter team,” Bowe told NBC on Sunday. “No one is more deserving than her to bring Team USA home a medal. After that unfortunate slip, I knew in my mind before that night was even over that if it had to come down to a decision of mine, she could have my place.”

In November, Jackson became the first Black woman to win a World Cup event. On the World Cup circuit, she won four of eight 500 races, along with a second- and a third-place finish.

It will be her second Olympic appearance after finishing 24th in the 500 in 2018. At the time, it hadn’t been long after Jackson switched from inline skating to the ice.

“It’s hard to really put it into words. I’m beyond grateful,” Jackson said. “And humbled. And I’m happy.”

The duo’s relationship dates back to childhood, as they grew up skating together in the same hometown of Ocala, Florida.

On Sunday, Jackson called Bowe “an awesome mentor” and friend.

The three-time Olympian Bowe will still compete in Beijing in the 1,000 and 1,500. And there’s still a chance she could compete in the 500. Final quota allocations for the Olympics will be determined later this month, and the U.S. could pick up a third spot in the sprint.

Other Olympic teams have begun to take shape, including figure skating, which announced its team on Sunday.