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Jamaican Usain Bolt thinks he could have won 100m gold at Tokyo Olympics

Sprint legend Usain Bolt said he could have emerged from retirement to win a fourth straight Olympic 100m title in Tokyo this year, insisting the winning time was within his reach.

Bolt, 35, told AFP that it was frustrating to watch the delayed 2020 Games from his home in Jamaica as his male countrymen flopped and Italy's Lamont Jacobs claimed a shock victory.

"I really missed it. I was like, I wish I was there," he said in an interview at the Dubai offices of his sponsor PepsiCo on Sunday.

"Because for me, I live for those moments. So it was hard to watch."

Bolt dominated sprinting for a generation, winning eight Olympic gold medals and only losing a ninth when his 2008 4x100m relay team-mate Nesta Carter failed a retrospective drugs test.

The first Olympic 100m final since the great showman's departure was a subdued affair, with Jacobs clocking 9.80sec at a Covid-emptied Tokyo National Stadium.

"My coach said something to me at the end of my career. He said, 'People are not getting faster. I was getting slower.' I never looked at it that way," said Bolt.

"And it's the facts because a lot of guys don't really get faster. Because I have pushed the barrier so far and then I started going backwards time-wise, so for me 9.80 was possible to get done."

But Bolt, who has dabbled in football and music since retiring, said it was "all about motivation" when he was considering a potential comeback in Tokyo.

"For the Olympics, it was gonna be different," said the father of three.

"I always show up ready because I think this is the highest level, but I've already done everything in the sport so it was all about motivation."

'Lightning Bolt' loses sparkle

With a rueful shake of the head, Bolt said it was "not looking good" for Jamaica's men's sprinters after they failed to reach the Tokyo 100m final and were fifth in the 4x100m relay.

And he said none of the current athletes looked capable of beating his 100m and 200m world records of 9.58 and 19.19, rarely threatened since he set them in 2009.

"I don't think I've seen anybody in this generation right now which I personally feel will break the records," he said.

"So I think I have a couple more years before somebody will actually break my world records."

Bolt, instantly recognisable worldwide, said he'd "love" to help World Athletics promote the sport and had approached its leader, Sebastian Coe, about a formal role.

But he said he had no designs on the presidency.

"No, I don't want that job. That's a lot of stress and a lot of work," he said.

He added that he would "definitely" have taken the knee to protest against racism on the Tokyo podium, where it was banned under International Olympic Committee rules.

"I understand what it's about. Racism, we've been through it so I understand the necessary aspect of it and what is needed," he said.

But he revealed that after years of striking the 'Lightning Bolt', his signature pose was beginning to grate.

"Sometimes it gets a little bit, I wouldn't say annoying. But I understand that I've done it to myself," he said with a chuckle.

"People really enjoy it and it's for the fans, you know. I mean, it's a picture that they will treasure forever.

"So for me, I'm not always happy doing it, but I do it anyways because it's for them and it makes them happy."

(11/16/2021) Views: 315 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir has vowed never to betray her motherland for any cash incentives

Amidst the rising cases of Kenyan athletes seeking solace abroad after missing out on opportunities back home, the 2020 Olympic Games star insists her allegiance to her motherland remains firm.

“I'm loyal to my country. I can't be convinced to change my citizenship with money. We have so many Kenyans who represented other countries but never made it at the Olympics,” said Jepchirchir, who arrived in the country on Saturday morning before being accorded a rapturous welcome in her home in Eldoret.

“Some people change their citizenship to other countries so that they can get a chance to participate in the Olympics because, as you know, Kenya is highly competitive,” she said.

The 27-year-old withstood sweltering heat and humidity as she cruised through the streets of Sapporo – some 800km north of Tokyo – on her way to the historic conquest.

Jepchirchir led a 1-2 Kenyan sweep in the women's marathon. Her compatriot, Brigid Kosgei, emerged second while American Molly Seidel bagged the bronze medal.

“It had always been my dream to compete at the Olympics. It was unbelievable. I wasn't expecting (to perform) because this was my first time. I didn't expect to be the one to win gold,” said Jepchirchir.

“My time wasn't good enough because the weather affected my speed. I wish to improve on my personal time to 2 hours, 15 minutes because the current record is at 2 hours, 14 minutes.”

Jepchirchir clocked 2 hours, 27 minutes, 20 seconds, 10 minutes off her personal best.

“Because I had already run 2 hours, 23 minutes, my prayer was to run 2 hours, 17 minutes and then 2 hours, 15 minutes,” she said.

“I will not quit marathon because it helps me with speed. I wish to relax and see how the body will respond before I can think of something else."

“I wish to be among those representing the country at the next Olympics,” she added.

In response to murmurs reverberating across the country that the government gave the medalists a cold shoulder on arrival, Jepchirchir chose her words carefully.

“Let's not compare ourselves with other countries in terms of how we were received. We don't know about Uganda, it's another country it's another home," she said.

“Our home is Kenya and we have our own styles of doing things. The government gave us enough support during the Games. I believe they are planning to do something good to appreciate our efforts.”

She asked Kenyans to appreciate the athletes for their efforts even if they fell short of replicating the feats attained at previous events.

“We should thank God we actually even managed to clinch the ten medals, there are other countries that didn't get anything. We are proud of ourselves and we will work on our shortcomings,” she observed.

(08/16/2021) Views: 464 ⚡AMP
by Tommy Mbalia
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Tokyo Olympics 100m champion Lamont Marcell Jacobs won't run again until 2022

Olympic 100m champion Lamont Marcell Jacobs has said he will not compete again until next year.

In response to a question on social media about when he would next race, the 26-year-old responded with "2022".

Jacobs followed up his shock 100m victory in Tokyo with another gold as part of Italy's 4x100m relay team.

His manager Marcello Magnani said injury was not a factor in the decision to take a break, but the time off is a preventative measure.

"It is simply that Marcell has given so much this year, all he had, so to insist [on competing] would only mean risking an injury," Magnani added.

European indoor 60m champion Jacobs, who only switched away from long jump in 2018, produced one of the biggest surprises in Tokyo when he won 100m gold in in 9.80 seconds.

It was only in May that he broke the 10-second barrier for the first time.

He was next scheduled to run on August 21 at the Eugene Diamond League meet in the United States.

After that, Jacobs was to appear on September 3 in Brussels and then anticipated to compete on  September 9 in Zurich for the season-ending Diamond League Finals.

(08/13/2021) Views: 328 ⚡AMP
by BBC News
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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What's next for Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge after Olympics?

Retirement is the last thing in the mind of Olympic marathon men's champion Eliud Kipchoge.

This came out clearly on Wednesday when the world record marathon holder arrived at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi from Tokyo, Japan, where he had successfully defended his Olympic maratthon crown. 

In the race held last Sunday on the streets of Sapporo, Kipchoge claimed gold after timing two hours, eight minutes and 38 seconds to become only the third man to win consecutive marathon titles. 

Dutchman Abdi Nageeye bagged silver in 2:09.58, while Belgian Bashir Abdi settled for bronze in 2:10.00. 

Responding to questions from journalists moments after landing at JKIA, alongside 1500m silver medalists Timothy Cheruyot and marathoner Ruth Chepngetich, the 36-year-old remained non-committal on whether he would hang his boots after the triumph in Japan.

He gave the analogy of how parents who are blessed with a baby never plan for the next one immediately, saying he will announce his next plans in one-month's time. 

“I think it is good not to ask about retirement…When your wife delivered the first child, did you plan for the next one immediately?" Posed Kipchoge to a journalist, who responded in negation. 

Government officials who welcomed the athletes at the airport said the event was low key due to Covid-19 containment protocols which prohibit large gatherings. They said a ceremony will be held at a later day to celebrate all the athletes who made Kenya proud in Tokyo.

Kipchoge, who has earned the title G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time) from his supporters due his unmatched success in athletics, said he is not bothered by the time he posted in Tokyo, noting that winning in the Olympics is to inspire people that everything is possible.

“We trained very well, participated in a good way and got the best results…To run in the Olympics is about humanity. It is about winning and showing the world that we as human beings can do it. It is not about how fast or slow you are,” said the father of three. 

The victory at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics was Kipchoge’s 13th success in the 15 marathons he has raced in since 2013. He broke the world record in 2018 when he timed 2:01.39 in the Berlin Marathon.

About his future plans, Kipchoge reiterated that he will be nurturing talents. 

“I have a huge plan to inspire the youth and everybody in this world. I want to make running a Kenyan lifestyle. I want to make the young people to respect the sport, treat it like a real profession," he said.

(08/11/2021) Views: 381 ⚡AMP
by Victor Otieno
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Belarus sprinter Krystina Timanovskaya did not go home from Tokyo but to Poland

Krystina Timanovskaya was being forced to return home early after publically criticizing her coaches. Fearing for her safety, she cried out for help.

While the last athletes left in the Olympic village have now returned to their home countries, Belarusian sprinter Krystina Timanovskaya has instead gone to Poland, after she was nearly forced home early for criticizing her coaches. Fearing for her safety, she called out for help from the IOC and from Japanese police, and on Wednesday she flew to Warsaw instead of returning home.

The situation began to unfold on Sunday, Aug. 1, one day before Timanovskaya was due to compete in the women’s 200m. After a couple of Belarusian athletes were deemed ineligible to compete, her coaches entered her in the 4 x 400m relay, an event the 24-year-old had no experience in. She complained about the situation in a video on social media, which led to criticism by the Belarus media, which claimed she lacked team spirit.

A report by the BBC says it wasn’t long after that that Belarusian officials arrived at the sprinter’s room, telling her to pack her bags. Reportedly, the order to send her home had come from “high up” in Belarus. In a news conference in Warsaw, Timanovskaya said her grandmother warned her not to return home “because on TV, they say a lot of bad words about you, that you have some mental problems.” Her parents also warned her not to return, telling her the citizens were being encouraged to write hateful messages about her on social media.

Fearing she may face punishment back home, she managed to use Google Translate to get help from Japanese officials at the airport and has now fled to Poland, where she has been granted a visa. Her husband has also fled to Ukraine and is expected to join her in Poland shortly. According to the BBC, Timanovskaya’s main concern now is the safety and well-being of her family, who are still in Belarus.

In an interview with Reuters, the sprinter said her coaches did not expect that she’d be able to approach police at the airport. “They think that we are scared to make a move, that we are afraid to speak, afraid to tell the truth to the whole world. But I am not afraid,” she said. “I am not of those people who are scared.”

She would, however, like to go home. “I would want to return to Belarus. I love my country. I did not betray it and I hope I will be able to return,” she said.

There were a few other Belarusian Olympians who had already been prosecuted or jailed, or who fled for publicly voicing their opposition to the country’s leader, Alexander Lukashenko, but Timanovskaya was not among them. According to the BBC, the IOC has started an investigation into the case, and already two Belarusian coaches have lost their Olympic accreditations for attempting to force Timanovskaya to leave the Games. The investigation is still ongoing.

(08/09/2021) Views: 324 ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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French runner Morhad Amdouni defends himself after water bottle knocking over controversy in men´s marathon

There was a hugely controversial moment during the men's marathon at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games as France's Morhad Amdouni knocked over a row of water bottles and then picked up the last one. Amdouni was criticised on social media for his actions, but he has released a statement to defend himself.

French marathon runner Morhad Amdouni has defended himself after knocking over a row of water bottles at a rehydration station during the men’s marathon at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, saying they were too “slippery” for him to pick up.

Amdouni sparked controversy when he appeared to deliberately knock over every bottle at the station before grabbing the last one for himself.

Amdouni, who finished 17th in the race, six minutes behind winner Eliud Kipchoge, was criticized on social media for unsportsmanlike behavior.

But he has released a statement defending his actions, along with a close-up video of him knocking over the bottles.

“To put an end to all the controversy from the video, I show this video to actually understand what happened.

“To guarantee freshness to the bottles, they are soaked in water, which makes them slippery. However, it is clear that I am trying to get one from the beginning of the row but they slip as soon as we touch them.”

The marathon was run in temperatures of 27 degrees and 30 athletes dropped out over the course of the race.

Kipchoge defended his marathon gold medal with an imperious display.

The 36-year-old Kenyan pulled clear with 10 kilometres to go to finish a full 80 seconds ahead of the Netherlands’ Abdi Nageeye, crossing the line in 2:08:38.

Kipchoge is just the third man in history to win consecutive Olympic marathon titles, adding yet another record to a glittering career.

(08/09/2021) Views: 445 ⚡AMP
by James Walker-Roberts
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Eliud Kipchoge Wins Olympic Marathon Again, This Time In Tokyo

Eliud Kipchoge delivered a dominating performance in the Tokyo Olympics men’s marathon, pulling away from his competition after the halfway point and finishing 1 minute, 20 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Abdi Nageeye of the Netherlands on a steamy day in Sapporo, Japan.

Kipchoge of Kenya, the world record holder in the marathon, is the first men’s repeat Olympic winner since Waldemar Cierpinski of the former East Germany in 1976 and 1980. Kipchoge finished in 2 hours, eight minutes, 38 seconds.

Nageeye clocked in at 2:09:58, and Bashir Abdi of Belgium finished third, in 2:10:00.

American Galen Rupp, who won bronze in the marathon at the Rio 2016 Games, finished eighth, more than three minutes back in 2:11:41.

Galen Rupp of the U.S. finished eighth in the Olympic marathon. 

After the 15-mile mark, Kipchoge, in front of the lead pack, turned and looked over his shoulder at Rupp and said something to him. Shortly after that, Kipchoge took off and began building his insurmountable lead.

NBC commentators said that Kipchoge seemed irritated with Rupp in the encounter.

“We saw Kipchoge get annoyed, which is so, so rare,” NBC commentator Kara Goucher said.

Rupp won the U.S. Olympic marathon trials in February 2020 and had targeted gold in Sunday’s race. He won silver in the 10,000 meters in London 2012 and bronze in the Rio 2016 marathon.

American Jacob Riley finished 29th, in 2:16:26, and American Abdi Abdirahman 41st in 2:18:27. Abdirahman, 44 years old and competing in his fifth Games, is the oldest U.S. runner to ever make the U.S. Olympic team.

The 36-year-old Kipchoge, competing in his fourth Olympics, entered the race with three medals: a bronze in the 5,000 meters in Athens 2004, silver in the 5,000 in Beijing 2008 and gold in the marathon in Rio 2016. He failed to qualify for Kenya’s team for London 2012.

Kipchoge famously broke the two-hour marathon barrier on a closed-course race in Vienna in October 2019, part of a years-long effort by Nike that included a new type of shoes. The thick-soled shoes with superlight cushioning and a carbon-fiber plate have spawned copycats, lowered finishing times and taken over the sport.

Kipchoge was so in command of the race that more than 10 miles in, he appeared to fist-bump with Brazil’s Daniel Do Nascimento.

Do Nascimento, in fourth place at the half-marathon mark, soon dropped out then crumpled onto the road.  

It was over 80 degrees with humidity over 70%. Runners shoved bags of ice down the backs of their singlets or tucked cooling packs under hats. More than two dozen runners didn’t finish the race.

Runners move past the Susukino district while competing in the men’s marathon.

Frank Shorter was the last American man to win the Olympic marathon, in 1972.

Since then, the gold has been won twice by the East German, three times by Kenyans (including twice by Kipchoge), twice by Italians, and once by an Ethiopian, a South African, a Korean, a Portugese and a Ugandan.

U.S. runner Molly Seidel was a surprise medalist in the women’s Olympic marathon Saturday, finishing in third to take the bronze.

(08/08/2021) Views: 418 ⚡AMP
by Wall Street Journal
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Netherlands' Sifan Hassan won the 10,000m to seal her second gold and third medal of the Tokyo Olympics.

The 28-year-old, who had been seeking an unprecedented golden treble, had missed out on that feat when she took bronze in the 1500m but still takes home a hat-trick of medals after adding Saturday's gold to her 5,000m title.

Despite running three races in Tokyo's heat in the last few days, Hassan found an extra gear in the last lap.

She won in 29 minutes 55.32 seconds.

It had been a highly anticipated race with world champion Hassan pitted against Ethiopia's Letesenbet Gidey, who broke the Dutchwoman's world record in June, and it did not disappoint.

Hassan tucked in just behind the leaders and with about 3,000 metres remaining, she increased her pace to sit second behind Gidey.

On the final turn Hassan surged past the Ethiopian, who then faded further to take bronze after Bahrain's Kalkidan Gezahegne passed her to get the silver.

(08/07/2021) Views: 438 ⚡AMP
by BBC Sports
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen takes 1,500m gold in Olympic record

In the last individual final on the track at Olympic stadium, the young Norwegian, Jakob Ingebrigtsen, has taken the gold medal, outkicking his Kenyan rival, world champion Timothy Cheruiyot in a furious race over the final 200m. Ingebrigtsen crossed the line in 3:28.33, an Olympic record surpassing the one set just a few days ago by Abel Kipsang, who finished fourth.

Cheruiyot took silver in 3:29.01. Great Britain’s Josh Kerr unleashed a monster kick to take the bronze medal, only 0.04 seconds behind Cheruiyot.

The field looked on race favorite and world champion to take the race out swiftly, and he did. The Australian, Stewart McSweyn, looked strong in third place in the first few laps, with Ollie Hoare and Team GB’s Jake Wightman following closely behind but they fell off as they reached the bell. With one lap to go, Cheruiyot took off, with Ingebrigtsen right on his heel, but ultimately he didn’t have enough left in the tank to secure the race.

This is Ingebrigtsen’s first Olympic medal in his Games debut. The Norwegian, who is only 20, has a prolific resume over the European circuit, finishing fourth in this event at the world championships in Doha in 2019.

This is the final day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The final events are the men’s 4x400m final and the men’s marathon.

(08/07/2021) Views: 376 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Molly Seidel Shocks the World With Bronze Medal, as Kenya’s Peres Jepchirchir and Brigid Kogei Go 1-2 in 2020 Olympic Marathon

In one of the most remarkable and unlikely runs ever by an American distance runner, Wisconsin native Molly Seidel earned a bronze medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic marathon, running 2:27:46 in the heat of Sapporo on Saturday morning. Seidel established herself near the front of the race early, and remained there throughout. Late in the race, Seidel was in a battle for bronze with Israel’s Lonah Chemtai Salpeter, but with three miles to go, Salpeter stopped running, leaving Seidel in bronze-medal position, which she protected to the finish line.

Kenya’s Peres Jepchirchir, the world record holder in the women’s-only half marathon, pulled away from teammate Brigid Kosgei, the marathon world record holder, in the final two kilometers to take the gold in 2:27:20. Kosgei settled for the silver in 2:27:36, her first loss in her her last five marathons.

The story for American distance running fans was Seidel, running in only her third marathon of her life (her first was the Olympic Trials marathon in 2020 to get here). Seidel beat five sub-2:20 women. She entered the race with a 2:25:13 personal best and yet was in the conversation for the gold until the final 2k. She joined American running legends Joan Benoit Samuelson (gold in 1984) and Deena Kastor (silver in 2004), as the only American women to medal in the Olympic marathon.

The race

At race time, it was sunny and 76 degrees with 87% humidity, despite the race being moved up an hour because of the heat to start at 6 a.m. local.

As a result, the race went out slow, with 5K and 10K splits of 18:02 and 36:16 for the leaders (2:32:50 marathon pace at 10K). The lead pack remained about 40 or 50 women strong at the 10-kilometer split, but the effect of the heat was unmistakable, with women applying ice bags on themselves and running wide to get into the shade. By this point, US champion Aliphine Tuliamuk had fallen off the pace (she would eventually drop out).

From there, as the race advanced north on a slight downhill, it picked up. Honami Maeda of Japan took a few turns at the front, as did Americans Seidel and Sally Kipyego, but it was mostly shared. The next two 5K splits (17:31 and 17:41) were quicker and reduced the lead pack to less than 20 women by 20K. Zeineba Yimer, a 2:19 woman from Ethiopia, dropped out at the 17K mark.

The lead group went through halfway in 1:15:14, and the lead group was whittled down to 11 with Ethiopian contender Birhane Dibaba falling off the back.

Americans Seidel and Kipyego remained in the lead pack of 12 at 25K (Volha Mazuronak of Belarus rejoined the lead pack between halfway and 25k), which the women went through in 1:28:51 (2:29:47 pace). Ethiopian Roza Dereje Bekele (2:18:30 pb) and Salpeter (2:17:45 pb), along with the three Kenyans, were pushing the tempo slightly.

After that split, as the women continued to weave through the north Sapporo suburbs and Hokkaido University, racers started dropping off the lead pack like flies: first Kipyego, then Mazuronak and then a big casualty — Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya, the reigning world champ, falling back around the 29K mark.

Meanwhile at the front, Seidel led the entire 18th mile in around 5:26. The lead group of nine went through 30K in 1:46:03 (17:12 previous 5K, quickest of the race). The Japanese spectators pulled for their countrywoman Mao Ichiyama, who was still there.

The 30-35K split was the quickest of the race (16:54) and those five kilometers caused the biggest carnage: four women, including Ichiyama and Dereje, the final Ethiopian, dropped off the lead pack.

Now with the group down to five and less than five miles remaining, and Seidel continuing to run with confidence and share the lead with the two remaining Kenyans, the curiosity surrounding Seidel turned into a real possibility…could she snag a medal?

Bahrain’s Eunice Chumba dropped off just after the 35K mark, making it a four-woman race for three medals: Kosgei, Jepchirchir, Salpeter, and Seidel. Women with personal bests of 2:14, 2:17, 2:17, and 2:25. But in the summer Japan heat, the strongest women would win, not the fastest.

In the 24th mile, the Kenyans finally struck, Jepchirchir throwing in a surge and Kosgei covering it. They opened up a small gap on Salpeter and Seidel immediately, and Salpeter had a few meters on Seidel.Before one even had time to process whether Seidel’s fairytale quest for a medal was coming to an end, her fortunes changed drastically. At the 38-kilometer mark, Seidel caught Salpeter, who was still less than five seconds behind the leaders, but slowing slightly. Salpeter, however, was broken. Within a span of seconds she slowed to a walk and Seidel was into the bronze position, with the leaders still in her sights, Jepchirchir in front and Kosgei sitting on her.

At 40k, Jepchirchir and Kosgei were still together with Seidel only six seconds back, 31 seconds ahead of fourth place, comfortably in bronze position, barring a blowup. Seidel appeared to be closing on the leaders. Could she even get the silver or the gold?

Not quite. Jepchirchir had one final gold-medal move, dropping Kosgei just after the 40K split and quickly opening a 10-second gap. She would extend her winning margin to 16 seconds by running the final 2.195 kilometers at 5:23 pace.

Kosgei was fading slightly but so was Seidel. Both held their positions through the line, as Seidel could not quite summon the finish to get back to Kosgei and finished 10 seconds behind her in the bronze medal position.

Seidel yelled in delight as she crossed the finish line, while Kosgei looked slightly disappointed with the silver. The third American, Sally Kipyego, finished 17th in 2:32:53.

The temperature at the finish was 84 degrees with 67% humidity.

 

 

 

(08/07/2021) Views: 405 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Jamaican women win gold in womens 4x100m final

The Jamaican women brought out the big guns for the final of the 4x100m relay, and it paid off. Briana Williams ran the lead leg, handing off to Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce, then Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shericka Jackson (who also ran in the heats) for the win in a national record of 41.02. They edged out the USA, who took silver in a season’s best 41.45, anchored by Gabby Thomas (with a lot of ground being made up in the third leg by Jenna Prandini).

Great Britain came through for bronze in 41.88. It was the third time in four Olympics that these three nations have stood on the podium in this event, in various configurations of gold, silver and bronze.

There were a few moments of doubt over whether the Jamaicans might have been out of position in the first hand-off, but ultimately the result stood, and the team started celebrating. Switzerland ran well, with 100m finalists Ajla del Ponte and Mujinga Kambundji racing hard to put their team on the podium, but ultimately it wasn’t enough. Team Netherlands fumbled the handoff from lead Nadine Visser to Dafne Schippers, and their race was done.

Miller-Uibo gets gold in 400m final

The women’s 400m final netted another gold for defending gold medallist Shaunae Miller-Uibo, who also won five years ago in Rio, in a personal best and area record of 48.36, after some doubt about whether the schedule would allow her to double. (Miller-Uibo also ran the 200m, but didn’t make the final.) Marileidy Paulino took silver in a national-record-setting performance for the Dominican Republic of 49.20. Allyson Felix, who won silver in this event in Rio, earned the bronze in 49.46, her fastest time yet this year and an unbelievable 10th Olympic medal for the American.

Team USA redeems itself in the men’s 4x400m relay heats

The first heat of the men’s 4x400m was fast and furious, with Team USA running well after its disastrous 4x100m performance. Anchor Michael Norman crossed the line first, in 2:57.77, followed by Botswana (who ran their fastest man, Isaac Makwala, as their lead leg, a strategy that paid off for them) and Trinidad and Tobago as the last auto-qualifier from this heat. Italy and the Netherlands, in fourth and fifth, had to wait and see if they would advance, but both qualified through to the final in the end. All five saw times under three minutes, and this heat produced three national or area records – for Botswana, the Netherlands and Italy.

The second heat was almost as fast, producing two national records (but in the fourth and fifth finishers, India and Japan, who did not advance). Poland and Belgium dominated, with the Poles crossing the line first in 2:58.55. Jamaica finished third, all of them running under three minutes. Going through to Friday evening’s final are USA, Botswana, Trinidad and Tobago, Poland, Belgium and Jamaica.

(08/06/2021) Views: 236 ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Brigid Kosgei seeks Kenyan Olympic marathon redemption

World record holder Brigid Kosgei has the unenviable task at the Tokyo Olympics of restoring Kenya's image in the marathon, which suffered a huge dent after the 2016 Rio Games.

Compatriot Jemima Sumgong became the first Kenyan woman to win an Olympic marathon gold in Brazil, but she subsequently tested positive for the endurance booster EPO and was banned for eight years.

Kosgei, who ran the fastest women's marathon of all time, clocking 2hr 14min 04sec in Chicago in October 2019, is eyeing a medal on Saturday in Sapporo to spare Kenyan blushes.

Organizers moved the marathons from the capital to avoid Tokyo's punishing summer heat but temperatures in Sapporo are currently in the 30s, which will make the race a tough challenge for the entire field.

"I know it wouldn't be easy winning the gold medal... but I will go out there and take my chances since this is my first Olympics," Kosgei told AFP.

Like so many athletes, Kosgei traveled to the Olympics after 18 disrupted months due to the coronavirus crisis.

"It is unfortunate that we didn't have many competitions to help us prepare us for the Games since the Covid pandemic led to many race cancellations," she said.

A late starter in the sport, Kosgei -- a mother of eight-year-old twins -- had a difficult time growing up in a large family of seven children to a single peasant mother in Elgeyo Marakwet in Kenya's Rift Valley.

Like many of the girls in her village, Kosgei saw athletics as a vehicle to help her escape a life of destitution.

Her first marathon was in Porto, Portugal, in 2015 when the 27-year-old made a dream debut, winning the event in 2:47.59.

- 'Sharing the limelight' -

Kosgei credits her coach Erick Kimaiyo, a former winner of the Honolulu marathon and a runner-up in the 1997 Berlin marathon, for believing in her and helping to nurture her raw talent at his Kapsait training camp situated outside Nairobi at over 9,600 feet (2,900 meters) above sea level.

"I had grown up listening about the great marathon achievements of Catherine Ndereba and Tegla Loroupe, but I didn't expect that I could one day be sharing the same limelight with them," Kosgei said.

"But it was Kimaiyo’s belief in me that helped to propel me and see myself succeeding as a champion marathon runner."

The mentorship resulted in two contrasting victories at the 2016 and 2017 Honolulu marathons, with the difference in winning times between the two events -- 2:31:10 and then 2:22:15 -- further illustrating the power of the forged partnership.

She has won the London marathon twice and set a half-marathon course record of 64min 28sec at the Great North Run in northeast England in September 2019.

However, having missed the 2019 Doha world championships, Kosgei is hoping the Covid-affected Olympics will provide the big stage for her -- and redemption for Kenya.

(08/06/2021) Views: 367 ⚡AMP
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Kenyan Faith Kipyegon outkicks Hassan for Olympic 1,500m gold, sets Olympic record

On another hot, humid night in Tokyo, the match-up we’ve all been waiting for finally took place: defending Olympic 1,500m champion Faith Kipyegon of Kenya and the 5,000m gold medalist and world champion Sifan Hassan, who was attempting the 1,500m, 5,000m and 10,000m triple crown, went head-to-head over the metric mile, but it was the U.K.’s Laura Muir who got between them, setting a national record of 3:54.50, while Kipyegon took home the gold in a new Olympic record of 3:53.11. Hassan had to settle for bronze, in 3:55.86.

Canadian track fans had their eyes on Toronto’s Gabriela DeBues-Stafford, who was competing in her first-ever Olympic final. She did not make it out of the heats five years ago in Rio, but this time around was a potential challenger for a medal. She ran a brave race, going out strong to lead the pack through the first 300m. Hassan took over, to bring the pack through the first lap in 62 seconds, while Stafford stuck with the lead group to stay in medal contention.

She looked strong coming into the bell lap, but in the last 300m Kipyegon kicked up the pace and DeBues-Stafford began losing touch with the top three runners, ending up in fifth in 3:58.93 behind Ethiopia’s Freweyni Gebreezibeher, a 20-place improvement from her Olympic debut.

While everyone was expecting the fight for gold to be between Kipyegon and Hassan, it was Muir who was the (delightful) surprise of the night. The U.K. runner ran the race of her life, passing Hassan in the final 200m to take the silver medal in a new personal best and national record.

Hassan’s third-place finish means she will not accomplish the unprecedented 1,500m, 5,000m and 10,000m triple crown, but she still has a chance of winning three medals of different colours, with the 10,000m final taking place on Saturday.

(08/06/2021) Views: 274 ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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World record holder Joshua Cheptegei wins 5000m gold for Uganda

Joshua Cheptegei added the Olympic 5000m title to his world record in a race which was just short of achieving a Games best time.

The Ugandan was forced to settle for silver in the 10,000m, but made amends by winning the shorter distance in 12:58.15, less than half a second slower than the Olympic record set by Kenenisa Bekele in 2008.

Cheptegei finished ahead of Canada's Mohammad Ahmed and American Paul Chelimo to succeed Mo Farah as champion.

Britain's Andy Butchart fell off the leading pack with around 1000m to go, finishing 11th.

Cheptegei, who revealed he had been struggling with a heel injury heading into the Games, made sure he was near the front of the field right from the start.

But he will be thankful to his team-mate Jacob Kiplimo, who did much of the heavy lifting early on, setting a pace which always looked like it would dip below 13 minutes.

It was easily the quickest 5000m Olympic final since Bekele’s victory in Beijing 13 years ago, and Cheptegei looked to ease to victory when he took full control on the final lap. Ahmed finished well, but never appeared likely to overhaul his rival.

The victory makes the Ugandan, whose world record stands at 12:35.36, an Olympic and world champion, adding to his 10,000m win at Doha 2019

(08/06/2021) Views: 476 ⚡AMP
by Richard Newman
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Dina Asher-Smith back to help 4x100m relay team set new British record at Tokyo Olympics

After tears and torment, Dina Asher-Smith could yet leave Tokyo with a gold medal after Britain’s 4x100m relay women ran the fastest heat at an Olympics, setting a national record in the process.

With Asha Philip, Imani-Lara Lansiquot and Daryll Neita also producing strong performances the British team crossed the line in 41.55sec – faster than the gold-medal-winning times at all but two editions of the Olympic Games. Asher-Smith, whose Olympic ambitions for the 100m and 200m were knocked off course by a hamstring tear in June, believes more is to come from her and the team.

“After the 100m I did say there was no way I wasn’t going to be here for the 4x100m girls,” she said. “I only had one day off then my coach, John Blackie, had me back on the training track. Essentially, all I need is a few more weeks and sessions.

“He was saying if I had a few more days it would have been the 100m final, another week and it would have been 10.8. It’s one of those things where I’m chasing times. Give me a few more training sessions and I’ll be closer to where I’m used to being. There was no way I wasn’t going to be here.“But it is about me getting back on the training track and making sure I bring my absolute A game to this race.

“It would mean incredible things to everybody. We are the bronze medalists in Rio. It would be amazing for us to get another medal again, for all of us, for all of our lives, for all of our individual dreams and aspirations.”

Britain’s men also offered a glimmer of hope in what has been a disappointing Olympics in track and field by qualifying in second in their heat behind Jamaica in 38.02. With the US and South Africa bombing out, the men’s team of CJ Ujah, Zharnel Hughes, Richard Kilty, and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake have set their sights high.

“We want nothing but gold,” said Kilty. “There is more in the tank. Easy, easy, no problem at all. We knew we were going to play it safe there.”

The US Olympic great Carl Lewis said the American team had done everything wrong as they came sixth in their heat in 38.10s.

“The passing system is wrong, athletes running the wrong legs and it was clear that there was no leadership,” said Lewis, who is now a coach at the University of Houston. “It was a total embarrassment, and completely unacceptable for a USA team to look worse than the Association of American University kids I saw.”

(08/05/2021) Views: 338 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Steven Gardiner won Olympic 400m gold to secure the Bahamas' first medal of the Tokyo 2020 Games

Gardiner, the current world champion over the distance, crossed the line in 43.85 seconds.

Colombia's Anthony Zambrano took silver, while 2012 champion Kirani James of Grenada won bronze, completing his full set of Olympic 400m medals, having finished second in Rio.

World record holder Wayde van Niekerk's reign as defending champion was over when the South African, who has struggled with injury over the past five years, finished fifth in the semi-finals on Monday.

In his absence, Gardiner produced a superbly balanced race, holding back as James and American Michael Norman went out hardest and then reaping the rewards as he stretched clear in the home straight.

"When the gun went off I stumbled a bit coming out but I recovered, I kept it moving, and with 200 meters to go I started to push a little bit. And 100 meters to go, I gave it all I've got," Gardiner said.

"I came across the line and saw my name on the big screen and I was in first place. I'm just happy."

(08/05/2021) Views: 377 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Canada's Andre de Grasse wins 200-meter gold

Andre de Grasse of Canada has won the Olympic gold medal in the men's 200 meters five years after finishing second to Usain Bolt, ending a string of close calls for the 26-year-old.

De Grasse won in a national-record time of 19.62 seconds, holding off two Americans for the medals.

Kenneth Bednarek won silver in a personal-best 19.68 seconds, and 2019 world champion and race favorite Noah Lyles took bronze in 19.74. Erriyon Knighton, the youngest member of the U.S. men's track team at 17, placed fourth in 19.93.

De Grasse has now filled out a medal collection that was missing only a gold. He won bronze four nights earlier in the 100 meters to go with the third-place medal he took in Rio de Janeiro. He also won a silver in the 200 in Rio, when he famously challenged Bolt in the semifinal -- drawing a playful finger wag -- before being blown away by the Jamaican champion in the final.

Given all he has been through, it was no surprise when De Grasse revealed that he had been crying behind the bronze-colored shades he wore for the race.

"It's my first time being so emotional on the track," said De Grasse, the first sprint gold medalist for Canada since Donovan Bailey won the 100 at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. "I always thought I came up short winning bronze and silver, so it's just good to have that gold medal. No one can take that away from me."

Lyles made a mistake the night before in the semifinals, slowing down too far before the line, getting edged out for the two automatic spots and being forced to wait to see if his time would earn him a qualifying spot.

It cost him in the final. Forced to start in Lane 3, Lyles pushed out too quickly. He had the lead heading into the homestretch but had nothing more to give.

(08/05/2021) Views: 352 ⚡AMP
by ESPN News Services
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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USA's Sydney McLaughlin breaks world record at Tokyo

Sydney McLaughlin broke her world record Wednesday and won the Olympic 400-meter hurdles gold, finishing in 51.46 seconds in yet another close victory over U.S. teammate Dalilah Muhammad.

McLaughlin came from behind after the last hurdle to top the defending Olympic champion. Muhammad's time of of 51.58 also beat McLaughlin's old record of 51.9, set at Olympic trials last month.

Femke Bol of the Netherlands finished third.

For McLaughlin, it was a muted celebration. She sat on the ground, gave a serious look toward the scoreboard, got up and sanitized her hands, then accepted a congratulatory hug from Muhammad.

Amazing as it was, this world record didn't really surprise anyone.

McLaughlin and Muhammad have been trading the record, and the wins, for two years. Muhammad first broke the mark at U.S. Nationals in 2019, then lowered it again. to 52.16, at the world championships in Doha.

McLaughlin broke that record earlier this summer at Olympic trials, running her 51.90 to become the first woman to crack 52 seconds.

It felt inevitable that the mark would go down again on a fast track in perfect, hot-and-humid running conditions in Tokyo.

The day before, Karsten Warholm crushed his old world record, finishing the men’s race in 45.94, and runner-up Rai Benjamin’s 46.17 also beat the old mark.

It was a lot to live up to for the women, whose race was even more eagerly anticipated. They lived up to the hype.

(08/04/2021) Views: 333 ⚡AMP
by Associated Press
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Peruth Chemutai became the first Ugandan woman to win an Olympic gold medal in any sport when she triumphed in the women's 3,000m steeplechase on Wednesday

The 22-year-old clocked a time of 9:01.45 to finish over three seconds ahead of American silver medalist Courtney Frerichs with Kenya's Hyvin Kiyeng taking the bronze.

"I'm so happy and proud of myself. It was a good race - I enjoyed myself and I enjoyed the weather," Chemutai said, referring to the heat in Tokyo.

Chemutai's triumph was only the third Olympic gold won by Uganda in any sport -- after John Akii-Bua's 400m hurdles win in 1972 and Stephen Kiprotich's victory in the 2012 marathon.

She moved in front early in the race before Frerichs took the initiative with three laps to go, pulling away from the field.

But Chemutai responded to the challenge and overtook the American on the last lap before crossing the line 3.34 seconds ahead of her.

Frerichs became the second American woman to win an Olympic steeplechase medal after Emma Coburn, who claimed bronze in Rio in 2016.

Coburn fell with two laps left and finished 14th before being disqualified but her team mate Frerichs was delighted with her silver after nearly missing the Games due to illness.

"I was prepared to have to take it early and make it a hard race. It's really difficult to put yourself out there like that and I definitely had some fear to overcome but I knew I'd walk away with no regrets if I really laid it all out there," she said.

Kenyan world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech finished seventh, leaving her country still without a gold medal in the women's event.

Kenyans have dominated the Olympic men's 3,000m steeplechase, winning nine gold medals in a row before losing their crown to Moroccan Soufiane El Bakkali in Tokyo.

Chepkoech said she was far from at her best physically.

"I have an injury and it was so tight. I didn't even react, it's painful," she said.

"My aim was to win the race, but because of the injury, my mind was not here. It was so painful.

"I have problems with two tendons and a hamstring, low back and the stomach. I got injured before our trials in Kenya and it has been so tight since, I tried to nurse it, but it couldn't respond," she added.

Bronze medalist Kiyeng had won silver in Rio.

(08/04/2021) Views: 373 ⚡AMP
by Ed Osmong
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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17-years old, Erriyon Knighton just became the youngest ever man to qualify for the 200m final at the Olympics

What’s more, the American stormed his heat, cruising to victory and inspiring hopes of a medal on Wednesday.

Having registered 19.84 in June, the teenager is officially the fourth-fastest man in the field, making a place on the podium a genuine possibility.

Bolt’s legendary world record time of 19.19 is probably safe at these Games – but for how much longer?

The Jamaican, who won an astonishing eight gold medals over three Olympics, has already seen one of his many records broken by Knighton.

Earlier this year, the American ran 19.88 in the Olympic trials, setting a new junior world record for an Under-18 – which he has since broken himself.

The previous mark had stood for 17 years, set by a 17-year-old Bolt in 2004, which means we can loosely say that Knighton is faster than the Jamaican was at this age.

Moreover, Knighton was barely trying as he crossed the line at the trials, begging the question of what the American might be capable of if he sprints through the finish.

And if it’s not this year, many expect the youngster to step into the big shoes of Bolt one day in the future.

Knighton certainly has the personality to match the larger-than-life character that went alongside the Jamaican’s incredible achievements on the track.

Don’t forget, Bolt was 21 when he arrived at Beijing 2008 – and Knighton is already ahead of that iconic curve.

(08/03/2021) Views: 347 ⚡AMP
by Sean O´Brien
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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The wild and crazy men’s1500m at Tokyo Olympics

In heat one Belgium’s Ismael Debjani won to be fastest overall in 3:36.00 with a 53.4 last lap, just ahead of world champion Timothy Cheruiyot (3:36.01), Oliver Hoare (3:36.09), US trials winner Cole Hocker (3:36.16), Abdelatif Sadiki (3:36.23) and Michal Rozmys (3:36.28) who qualified automatically.

Rozmys had been six tenths of a second behind Kerr as he hit the straight but ran a 12.9 last 100m to the Scot’s 13.5 to catch him on the line, meaning the British champion missed out on automatic qualification by one hundredth of a second as he struggled in the closing stages.

Kerr said: “I was really frustrated with my positioning and there was some shoving and I made a hard move at 500m to go. Then, at 200m to go, I felt I was going to pay for this in the home stretch. I was just trying to stay focused and push all the way, but it just wasn’t a good run for me. I am fit and ready and I have had no problems. There are just no excuses for that. I just raced it badly.”

Kerr must have been relieved as heat two was run at nowhere near the same pace. The field ambled through 400m in 62.4 and 800m in 2:02.9, only really coming to life on the last lap as Kenyan Abel Kipsang covered it in 52.8 to win in 3:40.68.

Second was defending champion Matt Centrowitz (3:41.12), just ahead of Wightman (3:41.18) who ran his last 400m in 53.2 and 200m in 26.3. Also qualifying easily were Azeddine Habz (3:41.24), Samuel Zeleke (3:41.63) and Charles Grethen (3:41.92).

Marcin Lewandowski fell on the last lap and he jogged home but was added to the qualifiers by the judges after the event.

Wightman said: “It’s the most nerve-racking round, isn’t it? You’re worried you’re going to be embarrassed. I’m glad I managed to stay on my feet and get through. I had a smooth enough ride. I think I got a spike wound, had a few pushes but there was the fall which I’m glad I didn’t even notice until the end.

“The heats are the worst, because you’ve come all this way and no-one wants to get knocked out in the heat or expects to get knocked out in the heat, so you just want to get past and know how you are running to get through to the semi-final.”

The third heat was faster but, with six fastest loser spots, it did mean there would have to be 12 quicker than 3:36.29 for Kerr to exit and, in the end, there were only two.

The first lap was a slow 61.7 before Stewart McSweyn kicked on. The Australian completed the second lap in a lively 56.9 and the third in a top class 55.1, with only Heyward still in contact as the pair went through 1200m in 2:53.7 and 2:53.9, holding a big gap over the pack led by Robert Farken in 2:55.1.

Heyward passed McSweyn in the straight and won clearly in 3:36.14, having eased around his last lap in 55.9 and covered his last 1200m inside 2:50. Ethiopia’s Tedesse Lemi, who had been 12th at the bell, ran a 53.9 last lap to finish second in 3:36.26 and he had covered his last 1200m in 2:48.9.

McSweyn (3:36.39), Jakob Ingebrigtsen (an anonymous 3:36.49), Farken (3:36.71) and Adel Mechaal (3:36.74) completed the automatic qualifiers.

Double Olympic medallist Nick Willis (3:36.88), Andrew Coscoran (3:37.11), Ayanleh Souleiman (3:37.25) and Kenyan trials winner Charles Simotwo (3:37.26) qualified by time as they joined Kerr and Ignacio Fontes (3:36.95) as fastest losers.

Soufiane El Bakkali, who won the 3000m steeplechase title the previous day, was in contention until 200m to go but pulled out.

Heyward said: “I don’t think it could have gone much better. Safely through, that’s the main thing. You have to have a few scenarios, you have to be versatile. It could be fast, could be slow, so you’ve got to be ready for that. I think I always give my best performances in championships and I hope that showed a glimpse of what I can do.

“You can’t take anything for granted at the Olympics, you’ve got to be prepared for anything, and I was prepared to run super hard today, so that was my mindset going in. Luckily because I didn’t have to run that hard it felt quite comfortable, so it was good.”

(08/03/2021) Views: 422 ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Athing Mu wins gold for U.S. in women’s 800 meters

Athing Mu solidified herself as one of America’s brightest stars, winning gold in the Women’s 800 final on Tuesday.

Mu crossed the finish line in 1:55.21 seconds to capture the title. American Raevyn Rogers took bronze with a time of 1:56.81 Great Britain's Keely Hodgkinson took the silver medal with a time of 1:55.88.

The 19-year-old Trenton, N.J. native whose parents came to the U.S. from Sudan, became the youngest American woman to win an individual Olympic track and field gold medal since Wyomia Tyus in the 100m at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

Mu dominated the competition from the moment she stepped on the track in Tokyo. Mu posted a time of 2:01.10 in Round 1 and 1:58.07 in the semifinal, finishing first in both heats. 

She entered Tokyo as the gold medal favorite and set multiple collegiate indoor and outdoor records in the 800m, 400m and 4x400m relay as a freshman at Texas A&M and turned pro shortly before the Olympic trials in June.

Mu will now have her name written in the history books forever as an Olympic champion.

(08/03/2021) Views: 364 ⚡AMP
by James Belt
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Norway´s Karsten Warholm breaks the 400m hurdles world record at the Tokyo Olympic Games

Nearly two and a half hours have passed since Karsten Warholm blasted across the finish line of the Olympic 400m hurdles final and the sporting world is still trying to grasp what it had witnessed at Tokyo's National Stadium on Tuesday (3) afternoon.

Thirty-three days ago, the Norwegian broke the world record in the event which had stood for nearly 29 years, clocking 46.70. This morning he won the most anticipated face-off of the 2020 Olympic Games by obliterating that mark with an unfathomable 45.94* performance to rip another 0.76 from his own world record.

Adequate superlatives don't yet exist to describe the magnitude of what the 25-year-old has just accomplished – world records over one lap of the track simply don't get smashed by the margin that Warholm managed to concoct this morning. For now, calling this the finest race in athletics history will have to suffice.

Indeed, all the more astounding is that Warholm had Rai Benjamin, his chief rival, for company for nearly those entire 45.94 seconds. Benjamin crossed the line in 46.17, itself an extraordinary performance that would have shattered the previous world record. Illustrating the race’s extraordinary depth, Alison dos Santos of Brazil finished a well-beaten third in 46.72, a performance that would have broken the world record just over a month ago.

Nearly three decades had passed before someone managed to chip 0.08 from Kevin Young's legendary mark set at the 1992 Olympics. Today's performance eclipsed that by nearly a full second, blasting the record into sub-46 territory, something utterly incomprehensible – until today.

Even Warholm looked at the scoreboard in disbelief as he powered down after crossing the line, his jaw dropping, eyes popping. The only obvious reaction was to rip open his singlet and let out a series of roars.

“It's so crazy,” Warholm said. “This is by far the biggest moment of my life.”

To the former, Benjamin concurred.

“I don’t think Usain Bolt’s 9.5 was better than this,” he said, referring to Usain Bolt’s 9.58 100m world record set in 2009.

The pair – Benjamin in lane five, Warholm in six – set off on an aggressive pace, marking clear distance on the field by the second hurdle. Warholm chiseled together a visible advantage by the third barrier and carried a clear lead into the final bend. But Benjamin didn't panic.

Warholm led as the pair entered the final straight, but wasn't gaining ground as they approached hurdle nine. Benjamin managed to chip away at the lead and nearly caught Warholm at the final hurdle, but that surge cost him, leaving him drained as he landed, unable to respond as Warholm began to pull away.

(08/03/2021) Views: 359 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Kenya´s Olympic Steeple Streak Broken by Soufiane El Bakkali of Morroco

Two-time world medalist Soufiane El Bakkali of Morocco, fourth at the Rio Games, found an extra gear near the final water jump to claim men’s steeplechase gold, becoming the first non-Kenyan to win the event since 1980.

El-Bakkali won in 8 minutes, 8.90 seconds on a wet track at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo. He finished well clear of Lamecha Girma of Ethiopia, who took the silver.

Benjamin Kigen claimed a bronze for Kenya after Ethiopia’s Getnet Wale, who was third heading to the final straight, fell. Wale struggled back to his feet and clung on for fourth.

The 25-year-old el-Bakkali was fourth at the last Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and on the podium at the last two world championships, but this was his first major title.

Kenya’s Conseslus Kipruto, the leading star of the steeplechase, didn’t defend his Olympic title in Tokyo after failing to make the Kenyan team at the national trials.

(08/02/2021) Views: 408 ⚡AMP
by NBC Sports
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Siffan Hassan has won at the 5,000 meters and now looks to the 1,500 and 10,000

Six races in eight days on the Tokyo track? No problem, says Sifan Hassan, who overcame a Monday morning fall in the 1500m heats to win 5000m gold in the evening.

How about 24,500 meters of Olympic racing in the matter of eight days?

The Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan has said she’ll try it, competing in each of the 1500m, 5000m, and 10,000m races at Tokyo 2020, a line-up rarely seen – especially in the hot conditions athletics runners are facing at these Games.

“For me it is crucial to follow my heart,” said Hassan in a press release. “Doing that is far more important than gold medals. That keeps me motivated and it keeps me enjoying this beautiful sport.”

Having already run on Friday (July 30) to qualify for the 5000m final, Hassan fell with a lap to go in Monday morning's 1500m first round, but picked herself up to win the heat!

Just 12 hours later, Hassan produced her famed finishing kick to take her first global title over 5000m and her first Olympic medal.

That may have been the hardest of three with the mile world record holder completing a 1500m-10,000m double at the 2019 World Championships.

See her full schedule below – and find out what other similar feats have been attempted in athletics in Games past, as you get to know the distance running star.

Born in Ethiopia in 1993, Hassan arrived in the Netherlands as a 15-year-old refugee in 2008. She split her time between running and studying to become a nurse.

She became a Dutch citizen in late 2013, which allowed her to represent the Netherlands in competition.

As early as 2011, Hassan began making her mark on the international stage, winning the Eindhoven Half Marathon that year. In 2013, she won the 3000m at the Ostrava Golden Spike meeting in June.

At the 2014 European Championships in Zurich, Hassan took gold in the 1500m and a year later, she won bronze in the 1500m at the World Championships in Beijing, joining Dafne Schippers as the only Dutch athletes to win medals at the Worlds.

She had clearly established herself as one to watch ahead of Rio 2016, though injuries hampered her build-up to those Games, where she went out in the heats in the 800m but reached the final of the 1500m, where she finished fifth behind Kenya’s gold medalist Faith Kipyegon.

Has anyone tried such an Olympic programme before? Let’s compare it with two great long-distance feats at Olympic Games.

According to  The Guardian, Paavo Nurmi went for four at Paris 1924: Nurmi won the men's 1500m, 5000m, and 3000m team event – as well as two cross-country events – but “Finnish officials feared for his health and refused to let him race the 10,000m.”

The 1500, 3000 and 5000 happened over a span of just five days.

At Helsinki 1952, Czechoslovakia’s Emil Zatopek won the 5000m, 10,000m, and marathon (42km) – all in Olympic records. Those four races (a semi and a final for the 5000), took place over eight days.

After Rio, Hassan joined Alberto Salazar’s training group in Oregon, keeping her focus largely on the 1500m. She was fifth again (behind Kipyegon) in the 1500m at the 2017 World Championships in London and took bronze in the 5000m with another Kenyan, Hellen Obiri, winning gold.

In 2019, after a quiet season to start, she set a new mile world record at the Monaco Diamond League in 4:12.33.

At the World Championships in Doha, she entered the 10,000m having only ran the race competitively just once before. But Hassan closed down Letesenbet Gidey before sprinting clear on the last lap to take her first global title.

A week later, she showed her versatility by winning the 1500m to complete a unique double at Worlds.

After worlds, it was announced that her coach, Salazar, would be suspended from athletics due to doping allegations. Hassan denied any knowledge of wrongdoing.

She continued to perform at the top level after his suspension: She set the aforementioned mile world record in 2019, then ran the fourth fastest 10,000m ever before setting a new world record at that distance in June of 2021. (That record was broken two days later, by Gidey.)

Hassan will almost certainly fight it out with Gidey for gold in the 10,000, but the Dutch runner’s famed finishing kick gives her a great chance of adding the Olympic title to her world title.

Here’s a breakdown of Hassan’s potential schedule, having already advance through into the final of the 5000m on Monday night (Aug 2).

Fri 30 July 19:00 JST - 5000m semi-finals – Finished 1st, to reach final.

Mon 2 August 09:47 JST - 1500m round 1 - Finished 1st in heat despite falling, to reach semi-finals.

Mon 2 August 21:40 JST - 5000m final

Wed 4 August around 17:00 JST - 1500m semi-finals.

Fri 6 August 21:50 JST - 1500m final (if she qualifies)

Sat 7 August 19:45 JST - 10,000m final.

(08/02/2021) Views: 576 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Here's everything you need to know about the Tokyo Olympics marathon

The men's Olympics marathon is traditionally held on the very last day of competition, with the women's race staged a day earlier. 

Both events will be starting early in the morning to avoid the heat, with the women running on Saturday, August 7 and the men racing on Sunday, August 8. 

Here's everything you need to know about the Tokyo Olympics marathon.

WHEN IS THE TOKYO OLYMPICS MARATHON? 

The women's race will be held on Saturday, August 7.

The men's race will be run on Sunday, August 8.

WHO IS RUNNING THE OLYMPIC MARATHON? 

There are a number of high-profile runners who won't feature in Tokyo, with Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele topping that list. 

It is still a packed field though, with defending Olympic champion and current world record holder Eliud Kipchoge set to run. 

Kipchoge will be joined on a formidable Kenyan team by Lawrence Cherono and Amos Kipruto.

Ethiopia will be represented by Lelisa Desisa, Shura Kitata and Sisay Lemma, while Rio 2016 bronze medalist Galen Rupp is back representing America. 

In the women's race, it's hard to go past world record-holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya. 

Kosgei will be joined by 2019 marathon world champion Ruth Chepngetich and two-time world half-marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir in Kenyan colours. 

The Ethiopian trio of Birhane Dibaba, Roza Dereje and Zeineba Yimer will also be in the mix and are all capable of comfortably running under 2:20. 

RIO 2016 OLYMPICS MARATHON WINNER

Eliud Kipchoge stormed to a memorable victory in the rain in Rio, finishing ahead of Ethiopia's Feyisa Lelisa and American Galen Rupp. 

In the women's race, Kenyan Jemima Sumgong won gold in front of Eunice Kirwa and Mare Dibaba. 

(08/02/2021) Views: 673 ⚡AMP
by Brendand Brandford
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Jacobs stuns with Olympic 100m win as no one saw this coming

Italy’s Lamont Marcell Jacobs, a former long jumper appearing in his first Olympics, stunned the field on Sunday (1) to claim the first men’s 100m gold medal of the post-Usain Bolt era.

Overlooked as a serious medal contender, the 26-year-old Jacobs clocked a European record of 9.80 to win Italy’s first ever Olympic 100m gold and claim the unofficial title of the world’s fastest man.

The Italian pulled in front after 60 meters and glanced to his right as he crossed the line in front of the USA's Fred Kerley, who took silver in a personal best 9.84, and Canada’s Andre De Grasse, who earned his second consecutive bronze in a PB of 9.89.

Three other runners also ran sub-10 seconds in the final: South Africa’s Akani Simbine finished fourth in 9.93, the USA's Ronnie Baker was fifth in 9.95 and China’s Su Bingtian was sixth in 9.98.

The pre-Olympic favorite, US champion and world-leader Trayvon Bromell, failed to qualify for the final.

In a race with no obvious favourites, Jacobs was still a major surprise.

The bald-headed, barrel-chested Italian did not come completely out of nowhere. He is the European indoor 60m champion and broke the Italian 100m record in May with a time of 9.95. But he chose the right time and place to announce himself on the world’s biggest stage.

“It’s a dream, it’s fantastic,” Jacobs said. “Maybe tomorrow I can imagine what people are saying, but today it is incredible.”

It was the first time since 2004 that gold in the marque event was won by someone other than Bolt, the Jamaican great who swept three consecutive 100m titles in Beijing, London and Rio de Janeiro, as well as three straight 200m crowns.

Few would have predicted that the man to succeed Bolt on the top podium would be Jacobs, who became the first European to win the 100m at the Olympics since Britain’s Linford Christie in Barcelona in 1992.

Even his race rivals didn’t see Jacobs as much of a threat.

“I really didn’t know anything about him,” Kerley said.

De Grasse added: “I didn't expect that. I thought my main competition would have been the Americans, but definitely he came to play. He executed. He did his thing so congrats to him."

Jacobs is the first Italian to win a sprint event since Pietro Mennea took gold in the men’s 200m in 1980. And his time? The fastest in the men’s 100m by an athlete not from the US or Jamaica.

Jacobs’ victory capped a golden night for Italy, coming minutes after another Italian, Gianmarco Tamberi, shared gold in the men’s high jump with Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim. The two Italians embraced and celebrated together on the track.

“Being here together is something spectacular," Jacobs said. “I believe in him and I believed in myself.”

Jacobs’ story may not be known by the general public: He was born in El Paso, Texas, to an American father and Italian mother. He moved to Italy with his mother when he was one-year-old. Jacobs started out as a long jumper but, after a series of injuries, he changed to the sprints.

Signs that something special was about to happen in the final came earlier during the semifinals, which produced some stunning results, including a record-breaking heat in which three men ran under 9.85.

Su blazed to victory in the third heat in an Asian record 9.83 to become the first Chinese sprinter to reach an Olympic 100m final. Baker finished second with a personal best 9.83 and Jacobs was third in a European record 9.84. For good measure, Simbine clocked 9.90 to finish fourth in that heat.

Only twice previously had three men gone inside 9.85 in the same 100m race – the Olympic final in 2012 and the 2009 World Championships final in 2009.

Kerley (9.96) and Britain’s Zharnel Hughes (9.98) won the other two semifinals. Hughes was disqualified from the final after a false start.

Bromell missed out after finishing third in his heat in 10 seconds flat. He got off to a quick start and took the early lead but never found a second gear and was passed in the final metres by Nigeria’s Enoch Adegoke and Hughes.

There were signs that Bromell was not in medal-winning form a day earlier when he finished only fourth in his first-round heat in 10.05.

It was a stunning fall for Bromell, who had made a remarkable comeback to the top of the sport after tearing his achilles during the 4x100m relay at the 2016 Rio Games and being carried off the track in a wheelchair.

After two years out of the sport, Bromell worked his way back and established himself as the world’s top 100m sprinter. He clocked a world-leading 9.77 in June, the seventh-fastest time in history, then sealed his spot in Tokyo by winning the 100m at the US Olympic Trials in 9.80.

But since then he has not been his dominant self. Bromell’s 14-race winning streak was snapped when he finished fifth in Monaco in June in 10.01, his first race in Europe since 2016. He bounced back four days later with a victory in Gateshead, England, in 9.98 but still looked far from his best.

“I want to say thank you to everyone who's been with me on this journey,” Bromell said on Twitter on Sunday after failing to reach the Olympic final. “Lord knows how much I wanted to be in that final. BUT I walk away with a smile because I know I showed many that after four years out, you can still fight and make dreams come true.”

The day also marked the end of the Olympic career of Jamaica’s 31-year-old Yohan Blake, the 2011 world 100m champion who won silver at the 2012 Olympics and is a two-time Olympic relay gold medallist. Blake finished sixth in his semi-final in 10.14.

“Definitely my last Olympics,” Blake said. “You know track is not easy. I won't be ungrateful. I've gained a lot. I'm still the second fastest man in history, no one can take that away from me.”

(08/01/2021) Views: 442 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Poland makes history with Olympic mixed 4x400m win

Poland’s first gold medal of the Tokyo Games came with a special bonus: a place in the Olympic history books.

Kajetan Duszynski raced to the front down the final straight and powered across the line to give his country the first gold medal in the inaugural Olympic mixed 4x400 relay on Saturday (31).

The Polish quartet of Karol Zalewski, Natalia Kaczmarek, Justyna Swiety-Ersetic and Duszynski clocked a European – and now Olympic – record of 3:09.87 to claim the title ahead of the Dominican Republic and the United States.

It was also Poland’s second Olympic gold in an athletics relay, coming 56 years after the Poles won the women’s 4x400m relay at the 1964 Games, which also happened to be held in Tokyo.

“We all believed we could manage to win the medal,” Zalewski said. “We were not sure if it was going to be gold or something else, but we knew that we could win something. We all left our hearts on the track.”

Duszynski, who ran the final leg in 44.38, held his arms outsretched wide as he crossed the line, then pulled his singlet over his head in celebration before being mobbed by his teammates.

"In the last 150 metres I felt I had a lot of strength still,” Dusynski said. “I'm that type of endurance athlete. It is my strength to run the first 200 metres slowly and then to attack towards the finish line. So I knew that I could make it. It's my strategy and it worked for me."

The Dominican Republic quartet of Lidio Andres Feliz, Marileidy Paulino, Anabel Medina Ventura and Alexander Oganda claimed the silver, with Paulino clocking a 48.7 split for her second leg. The bronze went to the US team of Trevor Stewart, Kendall Ellis, Kaylin Whitney and Vernon Norwood.

Oganda outleaned Norwood at the line to clinch the silver in 3:10.21, just 0.1 ahead of the US.

“It is so exciting to come here and run the first mixed relay at the Olympic Games, and to come out with a medal feels great,” Ellis said. “It feels like a win for us."

The race capped an eventful 24 hours for the US and Dominican teams. They had been disqualified after the qualifying rounds on Friday but were reinstated on appeal in time for the final.

The USA replaced their lineup from the heats, which was made up of Lynna Irby, Taylor Manson, Bryce Deadmon and Elija Godwin. The members of Saturday’s team said the controversy over the disqualification and reinstatement should not take away from their bronze-medal performance.

“It was events outside our control and we as a team stand behind our teammates and the United States, who we are proud to represent and bring home a medal for us,” Whitney said.

The mixed relay made its Olympic debut two years after being contested at the World Athletics Championships for the first time in Doha.

While teams can choose any order they want for the relay, all teams in Tokyo opted for the conventional order of man-woman-woman-man.

The Dominicans built up a large lead on the third lap until 21-year-old Dutch 400m and 400m hurdles star Femke Bol reeled them in going into the anchor leg.

Duszynski timed his kick perfectly, surging to the front after the final turn and pulling away down the home stretch. Norwood moved into second place and seemed poised to secure the silver for the US but was edged out by Oganda on the lean.

The US team did not include Allyson Felix, who had helped the USA win the mixed relay in Doha and was eligible to run the event in Tokyo.

It means that Felix, competing in her fifth Olympics at the age of 35, will have to wait a bit longer to bid for her 10th career medal. That would make her the most decorated woman in Olympic athletics history and equal Carl Lewis for the most medals by a US track and field athlete.

Felix, who holds six gold and three bronze medals, will run in the 400m and possibly the women's 4x400m relay.

(08/01/2021) Views: 392 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Jamaican Elaine Thompson-Herah takes stunning Olympic gold in women’s 100m

Elaine Thompson-Herah produced a stunning sprinting performance to take gold in the women’s 100m at the Tokyo Olympics.

The Jamaican, who won the blue riband event at Rio in 2016, held off her compatriots Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who took silver, and Shericka Jackson, who won bronze, to take victory in 10.61sec, breaking Florence Griffith Joyner’s 33-year-old Olympic record.

Fraser-Pryce was quickest out of the blocks but could not hold off her compatriot in the second half of the race, with Thompson-Herah powering through and creating enough of a gap to her rivals that she was able to celebrate before crossing the line.

“I’ve been injured so much. I’m grateful I could get back on the track, and get back out on the track this year to retain the title,” said Thompson-Herah. “I knew I had it in me but obviously I’ve had my ups and downs with injuries. I’ve been keeping faith all this time. It is amazing.”

In all, six women ran under 11 seconds, making the race one of the fastest in history. Marie-Josée Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast was fourth behind the three Jamaican sprinters, with the Swiss duo of Ajla Del Ponte and Mujinga Kambundji fifth and sixth.

“I had a stumble and I never recovered from it,” Fraser-Pryce, the champion in 2008 and 2012, told the BBC. “As a mother, in my fourth Olympic Games, to be able to stand again on the podium is a tremendous honor.”

(07/31/2021) Views: 387 ⚡AMP
by The Guardian Sport
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Less than three seconds was the difference between America’s Grant Fisher winning an Olympic medal in the 10000m in Tokyo

USA's Grant Fisher finished fifth in the 10,000 meters Friday with a time of 27:46.39. Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda won the bronze medal in 27:43.88.

Selemon Barega of Ethiopa won the gold medal with a time of 27:43.22, running the final lap in 53.94 seconds to nip Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda, who clocked 27:43.63.

"We did what we could to prepare,” Fisher, a former NCAA champion at Stanford, said, “but nothing prepares you like being out there. It’s physical, it’s choppy, guys are making moves.”

It was also hot, not to mention humid.

Fisher, competing in just his third official 10K, was able to stay within striking distance of the top runners going into the last lap, then unleashed a strong finishing kick to move up to fifth in 27:46.39. Cheptegei (27:43.63) and Kiplimo (27:43.88) took the silver and bronze medals, while Kincaid was 15th in 28:11.01, followed one spot later by Klecker in 28:14.18.

"I was just trying to race without fear, put myself in there and give myself a shot at the end,” Fisher, 24, said. “I was really happy with it. That whole thing, it never felt good. I bet even the guys that were 1-2-3 didn’t feel good in that race. I hope, because I felt that way.”

Despite the fifth-place finish, Fisher’s medal hopes are not over.

He’ll be competing in the 5,000 meters – his signature event – next week in Tokyo. The preliminaries are Tuesday, Aug. 3 and the final is Friday, Aug. 6.

Fisher, 24, is a 2015 graduate of Grand Blanc High School, where he was a two-time state and national cross country champion. In track and field, he became the seventh high school runner to break the four-minute barrier in the mile when he recorded a time of 3:59.38 in his final mile race as a senior.

At Stanford, he was a 2017 NCAA outdoor champion in the 5,000 meters. He was a 12-time college All-American.

(07/30/2021) Views: 720 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Ten track and field nigerians banned from Olympics for missed doping tests protest in Tokyo

Nigerian athletes protested in Tokyo on Friday after they were disqualified from the Olympics for failing to meet anti-doping testing requirements, reports said.

Ten would-be Olympians were banned from competing in the track and field competition after Nigerian sports officials allegedly failed to properly register them for three mandatory out-of-competition tests, Nigeria’s Premium Times reported.

The Ministry of Sports and the Athletics Federation of Nigeria said the athletes’ tests did not meet collection and analysis standards and the Athletics Integrity Unit, which handles the anti-doping program for the sport, said the athletes didn’t meet the testing requirements, the outlet reported.

“The AFN bears responsibility for any lapses that may have occurred during the process and reassures Nigerians that our performances will not be negatively impacted,” the AFN said in response.

“All our athletes resident in Nigeria and who qualified for the Olympic Games completed the three mandatory tests. Most of our top athletes resident in the USA also completed their tests. However, a few athletes in the American collegiate system were tested but those tests were deemed not to have complied with… sample collection and analysis standards.”

But the star runners claim the snafu wasn’t their fault and held signs with messages like “Why should we suffer for someone else’s negligence” and “We are not just alternates but potential medalists.”

The 2020 Olympics is the first time since 2012 that Nigerians have two athletes competing in the semifinals of the 100m women’s race after runners Blessing Okagbare and Nzubechi Grace Nwokocha made the cut in pre-qualifying events.

The AFN noted no Nigerian athlete tested positive for prohibited substances.

(07/30/2021) Views: 399 ⚡AMP
by Gabrielle Fonrouge
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Sydney McLaughlin wants gold at Olympics

Given its unique demands on technique, endurance, and speed, many consider the 400m hurdles one of the most challenging track and field events. After exploding out of the starting blocks, athletes must sprint 400m while propelling themselves up and over 10 hurdles positioned evenly around the track.

At 21 years old, Sydney McLaughlin is already the fastest woman in the history of the event as she begins her Olympic campaign on Saturday morning in Tokyo.

McLaughlin earned the world record at the US Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon in June. Blazing hot temperatures (topping off at nearly 110 degrees Fahrenheit) resulted in a five-hour delay to one of the most anticipated races of the meet, where McLaughlin faced 2016 Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad, the previous record-holder. But the wait was worth it for McLaughlin. She crossed the finish line in 51.90 seconds, bettering Muhammad’s record (set at the 2019 World Championships) by 0.26 seconds. Realizing her momentous accomplishment, McLaughlin’s mouth gaped as she crouched on her knees.

“I felt immediate excitement and overall gratefulness,” she said. “I owe it all to God, my family and my team. I’m still in disbelief, but it’s truly just faith, trusting the process, and seeing my hard work along with the gift of God being put into action.”

McLaughlin, who also holds numerous age group world records and was a two-time recipient of the Gatorade’s National Female Athlete of the Year award, will now attempt to secure another title: Olympic gold medalist. She will have the opportunity to do so in a rematch with Muhammad scheduled for 4 August. It’s a race both athletes are eagerly awaiting.

After congratulating McLaughlin on her record-breaking win, Muhammad said: “It’s going to be a battle in Tokyo for sure.”

The Tokyo Games mark McLaughlin’s second Olympic appearance. In 2016, at 16 years old, she became the youngest athlete to make the US Track and Field Olympic team since 1972.

“It’s an honor in and of itself to be able to go to the Olympics for a second time. I am so excited and grateful, and I’m definitely going to continue to focus on training and being the best I can be,” said McLaughlin, who comes from an athletic family. Her mother ran in high school, her father was a semi-finalist at the 1984 Olympic trials in the 400m, and her brother, Taylor, finished second at the 2016 Under-20 World Championships in the 400m hurdles.

In Rio de Janeiro, McLaughlin’s Olympic journey stopped in the semi-finals, where she placed fifth. This year, she is five years older, stronger and wiser, and the pandemic helped her gain a renewed focus.

“Those first couple of months being stuck in the house, I was like, ‘Who am I doing this for?’” she said.

Her outlook shifted, however, as she became more involved in her faith.

“My goals are different now,” she said. “A lot of my life was trying to prove something, which is an endless cycle that will never fulfill you. My gifts are not to glorify myself. When I stand on the podium, I give the glory to God.”

Even with this newfound meaning, training in Los Angeles during the pandemic presented its own challenges. When the city shut down, McLaughlin was forced to get creative with her workouts, which meant sneaking onto tracks and running on highway medians. She also traveled with her team to Arizona to get a month’s worth of consistent training. Despite this unconventional approach, the delayed Olympic games worked in her favor.

“The extra time for me was a blessing,” McLaughlin said.

The additional year enabled McLaughlin to make key changes, including switching to coach Bobby Kersee, the husband and former coach of Olympic gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee. Kersee also trained McLaughlin’s previous coach, Olympic gold medalist Joanna Hayes, and Florence Griffith Joyner, who holds world records in the 200m and 100m races and is touted as the fastest woman of all time.

(07/30/2021) Views: 558 ⚡AMP
by Stephanie Hoppe
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Ethiopia’s Selemon Barega wins gold at 10,000m in Tokyo

Selemon Barega captured gold in an exciting men’s 10,000m final today in Tokyo in 27.43.22, followed by race favourite Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo, both of Uganda, for silver and bronze – the first medals ever won by Ugandans in this event. Canadian record holder Mohammed Ahmed threw in a surge near the end, briefly leading the tightly bunched pack, but ended up finishing sixth in the 25-lap spectacle, with a season’s best time of 27:47.76. 

Ahmed managed to stay in contention and out of trouble early on in the race, going with Cheptegei, who took over the lead with four laps to go. With two laps to go, Ahmed took the lead, but in the end was out-kicked.

Ahmed also finished sixth in the 10,000m at the 2019 World Championships in Doha. Despite finishing off the podium, this is an incredible achievement for Canadian distance running. Ahmed grew up in St. Catharines, Ont., and ran at the University of Wisconsin. Since then, he has been training with the Bowerman Track Club in Portland, Ore., and his teammate, Woody Kincaid, finished 15th.

The 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medallist in 5,000m and 10,000m will be on the track again looking to reach the podium in the 5,000m heats on Tuesday, Aug. 3 at 7 a.m ET.

(07/30/2021) Views: 421 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Without Jamaican Usain Bolt the 100m is suddenly a race again

The post-Usain Bolt era in the Olympic 100 meters begins this weekend as the United States seek to regain supremacy in the event they dominated for more than a century.

Jamaican Bolt won the last of three straight titles in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro and since his retirement the following year nobody has really stepped up to stamp their authority on the sport's most-watched race.

The U.S have won more golds in the event than all other nations combined, having taken 16 of the 28 Olympic titles contested, but their last success came via Justin Gatlin in 2004.

This year, though, they are back gunning to top the podium, even without the presence of banned world champion Christian Coleman.

Seven out of the eight sprinters with the fastest times in 2021 have been Americans, led by Trayvon Bromell whose 9.77 second run in Florida last month is the fastest of the year and marks him as the race favorite.

He won the U.S. trials in 9.80 to put a long and troublesome injury history behind him, but the self-described "silent killer" is not happy with the favorite tag.

"When you put yourself into that bubble, into that box, a lot of expectations come into it," he said recently. "When you start living in other people's world then you get off of your own plan."

Bromell's closest challenger is probably his compatriot Ronnie Baker, who came second to him at the U.S. trials with a time of 9.85.

Baker beat Bromell in Monaco, his second successive Diamond League win, and has run an impressive wind-aided 9.78s seconds in the past.

Unlike his compatriot, Baker is happy to blow his own trumpet. "I am one of the best runners in the world, hands down. I have been, since 2018," he said after his win in Monaco, a race that included his rivals in Tokyo.

He has also had to overcome injuries over the last few years, but he said that he was feeling confident heading into Tokyo.

"This year is probably the most technically sound I have been," he said. "I know I can run way faster than anyone."

While the U.S. sprinters, that include Fred Kerley, the 2019 400m world bronze medalist, are definitely contenders for all three medals, there are other runners coming to Tokyo with a mission, though unusually Jamaica look a touch off the pace.

Another non-American who can make some noise in Tokyo is the South African sprinter Akani Simbine who finished fifth five years ago and boasts the second fastest time of the year.

(07/29/2021) Views: 417 ⚡AMP
by Omar Mohammed
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Olympic Sprinter Switzerland's Alex Wilson Banned From Tokyo 2020 Denies Doping, Blames U.S. Meat

A Swiss sprinter who blamed failing an anti-doping test on meat he ate in the U.S. will not compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) reinstated his ban on Wednesday.

Jamaica-born Alex Wilson, who was scheduled to race in the 100m and 200m, was suspended in April by the Swiss anti-doping agency after testing positive to trenbolone—a banned steroid—in an out-of-competition test back in March.

Wilson maintained he was clean and attributed the positive test to contaminated meat he ate in a Jamaican restaurant in the U.S. and successfully appealed the ban, which was lifted earlier this month by Swiss Olympic—the umbrella organization that covers Swiss sports and the Swiss Olympic Committee.

World Athletics, however, appealed the decision to CAS, which reinstated the ban.

"The Panel concluded that the provisional suspension imposed on the athlete on April 28 2021 should not have been lifted by the Disciplinary Chamber of Swiss Olympic," CAS said in a statement.

"It follows that the decision of the disciplinary chamber of Swiss Olympic dated July 2 2021 is set aside and the provisional suspension shall be reinstated with immediate effect.

"The present CAS decision does not prejudge in any way the decision which will be rendered by Swiss Olympic later on, once the disciplinary proceedings will have been completed."

In an official response following the ruling by CAS, Swiss Olympic said it regretted the incident.

"Swiss Olympic very much regrets this case and would be very disappointed if the offense was confirmed," the statement read.

"Swiss Olympic is convinced that the fight against doping must be conducted with all consistency."

The bronze medalist in the 200m at the European Championships in 2018, Wilson broke the European record in the 100m with a time of 9.84 earlier this month at a meeting in Marietta, Georgia.

While the record was not ratified it marked a significant improvement from Wilson's previous six performances over the distance this year, where he had never clocked a time below 10.38.

Wilson isn't the only athlete due to compete in Tokyo to have been suspended over alleged anti-doping violations.

On July 14, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) announced two swimmers due to represent the Russia Olympic Committee at the 2020 Olympics had been provisionally suspended.

(07/28/2021) Views: 380 ⚡AMP
by Dan Cancian
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Athletics Kenya (AK) have named World 2019 bronze medalist Rhonex Kipruto as Geoffrey Kamworor's replacement in Kenya's 10,000 meters team for the Tokyo

Geoffrey Kamworor, who sustained an ankle injury in training this week, was a big medal prospect in the team that also has national cross country champion Rodgers Kwemoi and Weldon Kipkirui. 

The two left the country last Friday and will be competing in the final on July 30 where Kenya is expected to bag its first medal in athletics.

Kipruto, World Under-20 10,000m champion, withdrew from the Kenyan trials with five laps to go.

General Team Manager for the Tokyo Olympic Games Barnaba Korir said Kipruto has officially joined the team after clearance from World Athletics and necessary paperwork is ongoing.

“We are pleased to announce that Rhonex Kipruto is the latest inclusion to our athletics team for the Tokyo Olympics. He has already reported at Kasarani Stadium where the remaining part of team Kenya are in residential training in a bubble camp.

"The decision was arrived at after AK sought clearance from the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) on his anti-doping testing status, which I am pleased to say he has been given the green light,” Korir said via his official Facebook page.

Kipruto told Nation Sport that he is happy to get a chance to represent Kenya in what will be his first appearance at the Olympics. 

“I’m really sorry for my good friend Kamworor and I want to wish him quick recovery so that he can continue with his career. On my part I’m delighted becaue I will be able to represent my country once again and we will work hard to win something good for our country,” said Kipruto.

He also revealed to Nation Sport that his first Covid-19 test came out negative and he was going to be tested for the second time, a requirement before jetting out for the Games in Tokyo.

“I got the results and they are negative. We are doing another test just to be sure because this is now a requirement before travelling,” said Kipruto. 

Kipruto is currently the fastest man in 10km on the road having clocked world record time of 26:24 after lowering Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei’s time of 26:38 in Valencia, Spain in 2020.

The two will clash again when they line up for the 10,000m final on Friday after Cheptegei floored Kipruto during the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar winning gold ahead of Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha who took silver with KIpruto settling for bronze.

“We shall be battling out again with Cheptegei whom we have met in various races. He is a good athlete but I don’t want to say much for now but just to give my best, teamwork will be paramount,” he added.

(07/28/2021) Views: 436 ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Kenyan Faith Chepng’etich ready for Sifa Hassan duel in Tokyo

Olympic 1,500m women's champion Faith Chepng’etich is optimistic that she will retain her title at the Tokyo Games.

The 1,500m race will see the Kenyan rekindle her rivalry with Dutch’s Sifan Hassan, who is looking to make history in Tokyo by winning gold in the 1500m, 5000m and 10,000m.

Chepngetich is the first Kenyan woman to win gold in the 1500m race at a World Championship, achieving the feat at the 2017 Worlds in London, before bagging silver medal in the Doha games in 2019.

Nation Sport caught up with the four-lap race queen at her training base in Kaptagat, Elgeyo Marakwet during her speed work session where she said that her preparations are complete.

“I have done good preparations and I know the race will be competitive and my target is to get into the finals where I know my friend Sifan will also be eyeing victory. For me it’s a matter of winning and defending the title I won in 2016,” said Chepng’etich.

The two met during the Monaco Diamond League race and Faith came out on top, narrowly missing the world record after timing a new national record of 3:51.07, which was also a world lead time.

Sifan clocked 3:53.60 to finish second, while Ethiopia’s Hailu Freweyni was third in 3:56.28.

Chepng’etich said that she is aware that Sifan will be out to dethrone her, but remains confident of holding her off in Tokyo.

“I ran in Monaco and clocked my personal best and I wanted to gauge my performance ahead of the Olympic Games. I managed to identify some few areas which I have worked on and will give my best in Tokyo,” said the mother of one.

The 1500m heats will be held on August 2, before the semi-finals take center stage on August 4. The final is due on August 6.

(07/28/2021) Views: 359 ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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World record holder Eliud Kipchoge is ready to defend his Olympic crown

World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge cannot wait to defend his Olympic crown at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Eliud won gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016 and is favorite to bag gold at the Summer Games. 

"I have completed my training and I am really excited to race in Sapporo. For me, there is no greater race than competing for an Olympic medal. In Japan, I will defend my title from Rio, to win a second Olympic medal in the marathon would mean the world to me," he posted on his Twitter handle Monday.

Kipchoge became the first man to ever run a full marathon, 42.195km, under two hours when he clocked 1:59:40 in Vienna, Austria in 2019. He also holds the world record over the distance at 2:01:39. 

Eliud is in the marathon team that also has Lawrence Cherono and Amos Kipruto. The women's team has record holder Brigid Kosgei, Ruth Chepngetich and Peres Jepchirchir.

The marathon teams will leave for Japan on August 1 and 2. The women's race will be held on August 7, while the men's race is on August 8 in Sapporo.

(07/26/2021) Views: 422 ⚡AMP
by Brian Yoga
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Women that have been barred from Olympics for being manly

One day, Annet Negesa was pushing her body to endure and make her the champion she believed she was born to be. On another day, her Olympics dreams were crushed because she was faster, stronger.

Annet Negesa reportedly still harbours intentions to run for her country. She runs every day, with the hope of returning to international competitions one day. 

Hers is a case of unfinished business, a dream that was cut short in June 2012 when she received a call from a doctor from track and field’s world governing body telling her, according to the New York Times newspaper - that “she would no longer be competing in the London Olympics because her testosterone levels were too high for competition,” thereby giving her an unfair advantage over other female athletes.

Negesa, 20 then, was one of Uganda’s top athletes. On the back of her London preparations, she set a national record for 800 metres earlier that year at a meet in Netherlands.

She was a three-time national champion and brought home a gold medal at the 2011 All-Africa Games.

She identifies as female and was born with external female genitalia but also with internal male genitalia that produce levels of testosterone that men do.

Most women, including elite female athletes, have natural testosterone levels of 0.12 to 1.79 nanomoles per litre, according to World Athletics. The typical male range after puberty is reportedly much higher, at 7.7 to 29.4 nanomoles per litre.

After years of litigation, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in 2019 upheld World Athletics’ testosterone restrictions for female athletes in races with distances from 400 meters to the mile after renowned athlete Caster Semenya (we shall get to her later in the article), filed an appeal.

The court ruled by a 2-to-1 vote that the restrictions were indeed discriminatory but also a “necessary, reasonable and proportionate” means of achieving the World Athletics goal of preserving a level playing field in women’s track events.

Therefore intersex athletes (these are said to be roughly one in every 2,000 births), who want to participate in middle-distance women’s track events must take hormone-suppressing drugs and reduce testosterone levels to below five nanomoles per litre (5 nmol/L) for six months before competing, then maintain those lowered levels.

Unfortunately, the intervention seems to have come seven years late for Negesa, who claims World Athletics physician Dr Stéphane Bermon gave her surgery as her first option to reduce testosterone levels in 2012. 

But Negesa has since battled persistent headaches and achy joints that have not allowed her to pursue her career. Her postoperative care, which according to documents seen at the Kampala Hospital by the New York Times should have been recommended in further discussions with Dr Bermon, did not include the kind of hormone treatment that might have helped her body adjust to the change.

After Negesa appeared in a ‘break the silence’ documentary on German television’s ARD network in October 2019, World Athletics issued a statement denying that it participated in or recommended a specific treatment to Negesa.

Third category

Nine years after Negesa’s predicament, another recommendation to World Athletics; to introduce a third category of events in order to allow competitors with high testosterone levels to compete in their preferred disciplines, seems to be gathering steam after Kenyan 800m runner Margaret Wambui was ruled out of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

“It would be good if a third category for athletes with high testosterone was introduced; because it is wrong to stop people from using their talents,” Wambui told BBC Sport Africa.

The sport’s governing body, World Athletics, says it has no plans to introduce such a category and will stick to its current classifications of men’s and women’s events.

The idea of a third category in athletics has been floated before, but Wambui is the first athlete to express outright support for the suggestion.

“We would be the first people to compete in that category - so we can motivate others who are hiding their condition,” she said.

Since World Athletics introduced its latest rules governing DSD (disorders of sex development) athletes in 2018, not one of the three athletes who stood on the 800m podium in Rio has contested the distance at a global international championship.

At the 2016 Games, Wambui was beaten to gold by Semenya and silver by Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba.

“It is sad to see that the whole podium won’t be there.”  “They cut short our careers, because that wasn’t our plan. I feel bad that I won’t be in the Olympics because of World Athletics rules,” says Wambui.

(07/26/2021) Views: 411 ⚡AMP
by Daily Monitor
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Aisha Praught-Leer will race in Tokyo despite serious knee injury

Aisha Praught-Leer, who trains with Team Bosshard in Boulder, Colo. alongside reigning steeplechase world champion Emma Coburn but who races for Jamaica, announced on Instagram today that she has sustained a meniscus tear to her left knee, which will require surgery as soon as she is finished competing in the 1,500m in Tokyo.

The athlete says felt the injury when it happened on Sunday while she was training near St. Moritz, Switzerland, in preparation for the Tokyo Games. She completed the workout, and had an MRI on Wednesday, which revealed a complete tear requiring surgery.

Praught-Leer says she will still travel to Tokyo to compete in the 1,500m on Sunday, and will have a couple of (entirely legal) procedures, including having fluid drained from her knee and a cortisone injection, to allow her to compete. But she acknowledges that she will not be able to perform as well as she hoped, given her situation.

The meniscus is a C-shaped piece of cartilage that cushions the knee joint. Tears are relatively common in athletes. 

Praught-Leer, 31, qualified for Tokyo 2020 on the basis of her world ranking (43rd), and this will be her second Olympics; she made the final of the 3,000m steeplechase in Rio in 2016, finishing 14th, and won gold in the event at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Praught-Leer signed a sponsorship deal with Puma earlier this year.

(07/24/2021) Views: 407 ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Ankle injury rules out Kenya's Geoffrey Kamworor at Olympics

Kenyan 10,000 meters runner and 2019 New York Marathon winner Geoffrey Kamworor has pulled out of the Tokyo Olympics due to an ankle injury, he told BBC Sport Africa on Thursday.

The 28-year-old is a three times world Half Marathon champion, and previous world record holder, and had hopes of a medal in the 10,000m after winning the national trials.

He won silver at the 2015 world championships in Beijing, behind Britain's Mo Farah.

The injury comes after he was hit by a motorcycle while training near his home in June last year, suffering a fractured tibia.

"These are obstacles which can come on your way when you come back from a tough injury earlier on. It's only now extremely bad timing," the BBC quoted his manager Valentijn Trouw as saying.

(07/23/2021) Views: 427 ⚡AMP
by CNA Sports
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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All eyes were on the Tokyo's Olympic Stadium, 69 athletes from the sport of athletics were among the flag bearers when the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 got under way

For the first time, each nation can be represented by two flag bearers, with 38 women and 31 men leading their nations before going on to compete in athletics at the Games.

A number of these athletes could also make history for their country when athletics action begins on 30 July and here are some of the stars to watch out for. 

Hugues Fabrice Zango, triple jump - Burkina Faso

Zango became the first athlete from his nation to win a World Championships medal thanks to his third place in Doha and now he could become the first person from Burkina Faso to win an Olympic medal in any sport. The 27-year-old broke the world indoor triple jump record of 18.07m in Aubiere in January and has also leapt a PB of 17.82m outdoors this year.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, 100m, 200m and 4x100m - Jamaica

Sprint star Fraser-Pryce will be looking to regain the 100m title after her wins in 2008 and 2012 and add further medals to a collection which also includes two 4x100m silvers, a 200m silver and a 200m bronze. The 10.63 she ran in Kingston in June puts her second on the world 100m all-time list.

Joseph Fahnbulleh, 200m - Liberia

No athlete from Liberia has ever finished in the top eight in their event at the Olympics, let alone won a medal, and sprinter Fahnbulleh will be looking to change that when he takes to the track for the 200m. The 19-year-old ran a PB of 19.91 to win the NCAA title in June.

Thea LaFond, triple jump - Dominica 

Dominica hasn’t yet won a medal in any Olympic sport but if she progresses beyond the qualifying round then triple jumper LaFond – who holds the national records of 14.54m indoors and 14.38m outdoors – will make further history for her nation, as no athlete from Dominica has ever competed in an Olympic final.

Alex Rose, discus - Samoa

Rose competed at the Rio Olympics in 2016, placing 29th in discus qualifying, but he’s keen to become the first Samoan athlete ever to reach an Olympic final. He improved his national record to 67.48m in May. 

Athletics flag bearers at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Afghanistan (AFG) - Kimia Yousofi (women’s 100m)

Albania (ALB) - Luiza Gega (women’s 3000m steeplechase)

Andorra (AND) - Pol Moya (men’s 800m)

Antigua and Barbuda (ANT) - Cejhae Greene(men’s 100m)

Bahamas (BAH) - Donald Thomas (men’s high jump)

Belize (BIZ) - Samantha Dirks (women’s 400m) and Shaun Gill (men’s 100m)

Belgium (BEL) - Nafissatou Thiam (heptathlon) 

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH) - Amel Tuka (men’s 800m)

Botswana (BOT) - Amantle Montsho (women’s 400m)

Burkina Faso (BUR) - Hugues Fabrice Zango (men’s triple jump)

British Virgin Islands (IVB) - Kyron McMaster (men’s 400m hurdles)

Cambodia (CAM) - Sokong Pen (men’s 100m)

Cape Verde (CPV) - Jordin Andrade (men’s 400m hurdles)

Central African Republic (CAF) - Francky Mbotto (men’s 800m)

Colombia (COL) - Caterine Ibarguen (women’s triple jump)

Comoros (COM) - Amed Elna (women’s 100m) and Fadane Hamadi (men’s 110m hurdles)

Congo (CGO) - Natacha Ngoye Akamabi (women’s 100m)

Costa Rica (CRC) - Andrea Vargas (100m hurdles)

Croatia (CRO) - Sandra Perkovic (women’s discus)

Cuba (CUB) - Yaime Perez (women’s discus)

Cyprus (CYP) - Milan Trajkovic (110m hurdles)

Denmark (DEN) - Sara Peterson (women’s 400m hurdles)

Dominica (DMA) - Thea Lafond (women’s triple jump) and Dennick Luke (men’s 800m)

Equatorial Guinea (GEQ) - Alba Mbo Nchama (women’s 100m) and Benjamin Enzema (men’s 1500m)

Eritrea (ERI) - Nazret Weldu (women’s marathon)

Gambia (GAM) - Gina Bass (women’s 100m and 200m) and Ebrima Camara (men’s 100m)

Ghana (GHA) - Nadia Eke (women’s triple jump)

Guam (GUM) - Regine Kate Tugade (women’s 100m)

Israel (ISR) - Hanna Minenko (women’s triple jump)

Ivory Coast (CIV) - Marie-Josee Ta Lou (women’s 100m and 200m)

Jamaica (JAM) - Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (women's 100m, 200m and 4x100m)

Kazakhstan (KAZ) - Olga Rypakova (women’s triple jump)

Lao People's Democratic Republic (LAO) - Silina Pha Aphay (women’s 100m)

Liberia (LBR) - Ebony Morrison (women’s 100m hurdles) and Joseph Fahnbulleh (men’s 200m)

Mauritania (MTN) - Houleye Ba (women’s 100m) and Abidine Abidine (men’s 5000m)

Micronesia (FSM) - Scott James Fiti (men’s 100m)

Nauru (NRU) - Jonah Harris (men’s 100m)

Netherlands (NED) - Churandy Martina (men’s 4x100m)

Palau (PLW) - Adrian Justin Jimena Ililau (men’s 100m)

Panama (PAN) - Alonso Edward (men’s 200m)

Portugal (POR) - Nelson Evora (men’s triple jump)Refugee Olympic Team (EOR) - Tachlowini

Gabriyesos (marathon)

Rwanda (RWA) - John Hakizimana (men’s marathon)

Saint Kitts and Nevis (SKN) - Amya Clarke (women’s 100m) and Jason Rogers (men’s 100m)

Saint Lucia (LCA) - Levern Spencer (women’s high jump)

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (VIN) - Shafiqua Maloney (women’s 800m)

Samoa (SAM) - Alex Rose (men’s discus)Sao Tome and Principe (STP) - D'Jamila Tavares (women’s 800m)

Saudi Arabia (KSA) - Yasmeen Al Dabbagh (women's 100m)

Sierra Leone (SLE) - Maggie Barrie (women’s 100m)

Solomon Islands (SOL) - Sharon Firisua (women’s marathon)

Somalia (SOM) - Ali Idow Hassan (men’s 1500m)

South Sudan (SSD) - Lucia Moris (women’s 200m) and Abraham Guem (men’s 1500m)

Switzerland (SUI) - Mujinga Kambundji (women's 100m, 200m and 4x100m)

Timor Leste (TLS) - Felisberto de Deus (men’s 1500m)

Trinidad and Tobago (TTO) - Kelly-Ann Baptiste (women’s 100m and 4x100m)

Tuvalu (TUV) - Matie Stanley (women’s 100m) and Karalo Hepoiteloto Maibuca (men’s 100m)

Uruguay (URU) - Deborah Rodriguez (women’s 800m)

Vietnam (VIE) - Thi Lan Quach (women’s 400m hurdles)

(07/23/2021) Views: 424 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Tokyo Olympics Track and Field, marathon and Race Walking schedule

Here is the Tokyo Olympic track and field events scheduled. These events will take place July 30-Aug. 8 at Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium. Sapporo Odori Park will host the race walks and marathon. All times are Eastern Times.

Full schedule (events in chronological order)

July 29

8-8:15 p.m. ET: Men’s 400m hurdles round 1; women’s 800m round 1; men’s steeplechase round 1; women’s 100 m round 1; men’s high jump qualifying; men’s discus qualifying

July 30

6-7:30 a.m. ET: Women’s 5000m round 1; women’s triple jump qualifying; women’s shot put qualifying; mixed 4x400m relay round 1; men’s 10,000m final; 8-10:35 p.m. ET —Women’s 400m hurdles round 1; women’s discus throw qualifying; men’s pole vault qualifying; men’s 800m round 1; women’s 100m hurdles round 1; men’s 100m preliminary round

July 31

6:10-8:50 a.m. ET: Men’s long jump qualifying; women’s 100m semifinals; men’s 100m round 1; men’s discus throw final; women’s 800m semifinals; mixed 4x400m relay final; women’s 100m final

8:10-9:45 p.m. ET: Women’s hammer throw qualifying; women’s 3,000m steeplechase round 1; women’s long jump qualifying; women’s shot put final; men’s 400m round 1

Aug. 1

6:10-8:50 a.m. ET: Men’s high jump final; men’s 100m semifinals; women’s 100m hurdles semifinals; women’s triple jump final; men’s 800m semifinals; men’s 400m hurdles semifinals; men’s 100m final

8-10:50 p.m. ET: Men’s hammer throw qualifying; women’s 1500m round 1; men’s long jump final; women’s 200m round 1; women’s 100m hurdles final

Aug. 2

6:20-8:40 a.m. ET: Women’s pole vault qualifying; women’s 200m semifinals; women’s discus throw final; men’s 400m semifinals; women’s 400m hurdles semifinals; men’s 3000m steeplechase final; women’s 5,000m final

8-11:20 p.m. ET: Men’s triple jump qualifying; men’s 1500m round 1; women’s javelin throw qualifying; women’s 400m round 1; women’s long jump final; men’s 200m round 1; men’s 400m hurdles final

Aug. 3

6:10-8:50 a.m. ET: Men’s 110m hurdles round 1; men’s shot put qualifying; men’s pole vault final; men’s 5,000m round 1; women’s hammer throw final; men’s 200m semifinals; women’s 800m final; women’s 200m final

8-10:40 p.m. ET: Men’s decathlon (100m); men’s javelin throw qualifying; women’s heptathlon (100m hurdles); men’s decathlon (long jump); women’s heptathlon (high jump); men’s 110m hurdles semifinals; women’s 400m hurdles final; men’s decathlon shot put

Aug. 4

5:30-8:55 a.m. ET: Men’s decathlon (high jump); women’s 1,500m semifinals; women’s heptathlon (shot put); women’s 400m semifinals; women’s 3000m steeplechase final; men’s hammer throw final; women’s heptathlon (200m); men’s 800m final; men’s decathlon (400m); men’s 200m final

8-11:45 p.m. ET: Men’s decathlon (110m hurdles); women’s high jump qualifying; women’s heptathlon (long jump); men’s decathlon (discus throw); women’s 4x100m relay round 1; men’s triple jump final; men’s shot put final; men’s 4x100m relay round 1; men’s 110m hurdles final; women’s heptathlon (javelin throw); men’s decathlon (pole vault)

Aug. 5

3:30 a.m. ET: Men’s 20km race walk

6:15-8:40 a.m. ET: Men’s decathlon (javelin throw); women’s pole vault final; women’s 4x400m relay round 1; men’s 1500m semifinals; men’s 400m final; women’s heptathlon (800m); men’s decathlon (1,500m)

4:30 p.m. ET: Men’s 50km race walk

Aug. 6

3:30 a.m. ET: Women’s 20km race walk

7:25-9:50 a.m. ET: Men’s 4x100m relay round 1; women’s javelin throw final; men’s 5,000m final; women’s 400m final; women’s 1,500m final; women’s 4x100m relay final; men’s 4x100m relay final

6 p.m. ET: Women’s marathon

Aug. 7

6:35-8:50 a.m. ET: Women’s high jump final; women’s 10,000m; men’s javelin throw final; men’s 1,500m final; men’s 1500m final; women’s 4x400m relay final; men’s 4x400m relay final

6 p.m. ET: Men’s marathon

(07/22/2021) Views: 421 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Olympics ceremony director fired over Holocaust joke

The Tokyo Olympic organizing committee fired the director of the opening ceremony on Thursday because of a Holocaust joke he made during a comedy show in 1998.

Organizing committee president Seiko Hashimoto said a day ahead of the opening ceremony that director Kentaro Kobayashi has been dismissed. He was accused of using a joke about the Holocaust in his comedy act, including the phrase “Let’s play Holocaust.”

“We found out that Mr. Kobayashi, in his own performance, has used a phrase ridiculing a historical tragedy,” Hashimoto said. “We deeply apologize for causing such a development the day before the opening ceremony and for causing troubles and concerns to many involved parties as well as the people in Tokyo and the rest of the country.”

Tokyo has been plagued with scandals since being awarded the Games in 2013. French investigators are looking into alleged bribes paid to International Olympic Committee members to influence the vote for Tokyo. The fallout forced the resignation two years ago of Tsunekazu Takeda, who headed the Japanese Olympic Committee and was an IOC member.

The opening ceremony of the pandemic-delayed Games is scheduled for Friday. The ceremony will be held without spectators as a measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus infections, although some officials, guests and media will attend.

“We are going to have the opening ceremony tomorrow and, yes, I am sure there are a lot of people who are not feeling easy about the opening of the Games,” Hashimoto said. “But we are going to open the Games tomorrow under this difficult situation.”

Earlier this week, composer Keigo Oyamada, whose music was to be used at the ceremony, was forced to resign because of past bullying of his classmates, which he boasted about in magazine interviews. The segment of his music will not be used.

Soon after a video clip and script of Kobayashi’s performance were revealed, criticism flooded social media.

“Any person, no matter how creative, does not have the right to mock the victims of the Nazi genocide,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean and global social action director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Los Angeles-based human rights group.

He also noted that the Nazis gassed Germans with disabilities.

“Any association of this person to the Tokyo Olympics would insult the memory of 6 million Jews and make a cruel mockery of the Paralympics,” he said.

Kobayashi is a former member of a popular comedy duo Rahmens and known overseas for comedy series including “The Japanese Tradition.”

Japan is pushing ahead with the Olympics against the advice of most of its medical experts. This is partially due to pressure from the IOC, which is estimated to face losses of $3 billion to $4 billion in television rights income if the Games were not held.

The official cost of the Olympics is $15.4 billion, but government audits suggest it’s much more. All but $6.7 billion is public money.

“We have been preparing for the last year to send a positive message,” Hashimoto said. “Toward the very end now there are so many incidents that give a negative image toward Tokyo 2020.”

Toshiro Muto, the CEO of the Tokyo organizing committee, also acknowledged the reputational damage.

“Maybe these negative incidents will impact the positive message we wanted to deliver to the world,” he said.

(07/22/2021) Views: 448 ⚡AMP
by Mari Yamaguchi
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Sifan Hassan eyes unprecedented Olympic track treble

Sifan Hassan may have raised eyebrows when she announced an unprecedented bid for triple Olympic gold in the 1500m, 5000m and 10,000m, but on previous form she looks tailor-made to make history in Tokyo.

The 28-year-old, born in Ethiopia but now a long-time naturalised Dutchwoman, became the first athlete to achieve the 1500 and 10,000m world double in Doha in 2019.

It was a remarkable show of running, especially as it came after the news that her coach Alberto Salazar, the head of the Nike-funded Oregon Project, had been banned for four years over doping-related issues.

"The hardest moment and pressure in my life was in Doha and I handled it," she said earlier this month.

"Tokyo will not be hard."

Hassan certainly did handle it, meeting the furore head-on after she had completed the double.

"If they want to test me they can test me every single day. Every single day," she said.

"I believe in clean sport, I'm always clean, I will always be clean.

"I believe in the Oregon Project (since disbanded by Nike). I've seen Alberto. He's worked really hard and that is what I know."

Hassan failed to bow down to more potential criticism from detractors when she selected former Salazar assistant Tim Rowberry as her new coach.

"Three years ago I made the choice to go to America," she said in 2020 after choosing Rowberry.

"I now have a familiar situation where I feel very much at home.

"I have considered several options and met new people to find the right click, but I believe that my current training situation is the best way to successfully prepare for the Tokyo Olympics."

'I am crazy'

Hassan's treble bid echoes that of the 'Czech Locomotive', Emile Zatopek, who won 5,000m, 10,000m and marathon golds at the 1952 Olympics.

For Hassan it may be more of a challenge in terms of the scheduling with the toughest day on August 2.

She runs the 1500m heats in the morning and then, provided there has not been an upset in qualifying, the 5,000m final in the evening session.  

She would then need to come through the 1500m semi-finals on August 4 with the final two days later.

If it is two from two after that, a sleepless night might beckon ahead of a history-making attempt at the third, the 10,000m final, on August 7.

(07/22/2021) Views: 437 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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When is Laura Muir in action at Tokyo Olympics

Is this the year that Laura Muir ends her wait for a global medal?

The European 1500m champion is yet to step on the podium at either the World Championships or Olympics but will again be in the mix in Tokyo.

Despite running the second-fastest 800m by a British woman earlier this month she has decided not to double up in Japan.

What events is Laura Muir competing in?

Muir is focusing solely on her favoured event - the 1500m.

When is Laura Muir in action?

All times BST

Monday, August 2

Women’s 1500m heats - 1.35am-1.51am

Wednesday, August 4

Women’s 1500m semi-finals - 11am-11.12am

Friday, August 6

Women’s 1500m final - 1.50pm.

(07/21/2021) Views: 261 ⚡AMP
by Evening Standard
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Olympics Face Cancellation As COVID Cases Rise

The opening ceremony for the Tokyo Olympics is just three days away, but there's a chance that the Games could be canceled altogether — and that's coming from the organizing committee's chief.

Tokyo is under its fourth state of emergency until Aug. 22, and 71 people in the Olympics Village have tested positive for COVID-19 so far.

Committee chief Toshiro Muto said it will "continue discussions" about canceling if there is a spike in cases. IOC president Thomas Bach, however, said canceling was never an option.

The Olympics are already expecting an estimated $25 billion bill.

Delaying the games for a year cost organizers $3 billion. The total insurance coverage for the games is estimated to be around $2.5 billion.

Roughly 60 Japanese companies spent $3 billion for 2020 sponsorship rights — and another $200 million for contract extensions when the games were delayed, according to Reuters.

Toyota, which became a global Olympics sponsor in a nearly $1 billion deal, pulled Olympic-related ads from Japanese TV on Monday.

Before banning spectators, Japan expected ticket revenue to reach $815 million.

The biggest loser from a cancellation could be NBC, which agreed to a $7.75 billion media rights deal with the IOC in 2014 that runs through 2032. The network expects the Games to drive a 30% jump in Peacock users.

(07/20/2021) Views: 401 ⚡AMP
by Front Office Sports
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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The chief of the Games has stated that a last-minute cancelation of the Olympics remains an option

When the Tokyo 2020 Olympics were originally postponed, organizers were hopeful that by 2021 the COVID-19 pandemic would be well in our rearview mirror. As the virus continued to affect countries around the world, the Olympics became the centrepiece of a global debate: should the Games be canceled? Organizers have been adamant that the Games will go forward as planned, and months of planning have gone into putting rules and protocols in place to prevent them from becoming a super-spreader event. As athletes and officials have begun arriving in the Olympic Village, it appears as though the fears held by many are coming true, and the first cases of COVID-19 in the Village have officially been reported.

The first case was confirmed on Saturday (July 17). The affected individual was not an athlete, but an official connected to the Games. According to Inside the Games, they had not tested positive upon arrival in the Tokyo airport, but a test taken during the screening process at the Village returned the positive result. The official is now in a 14-day quarantine.

“We are making sure to do everything possible to ensure that there is no COVID-19 outbreak,” Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto said. “We are sparing no efforts. We are doing everything we can to prevent any outbreaks.”

Hashimoto added that should there be an outbreak, they will have a plan in place to contain it. Still, this case comes as a significant concern to organizers and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), who have promised the Olympic Village will be the safest place in the city. As of Saturday, there had been 14 more positive cases connected with the Games since July 1 for a total of 44 during that period, although those cases did not occur in the athletes’ Village. Four of them were reportedly from “Games connected personnel”, while seven others came from contractors working on the Olympics and two more from members of the foreign media.

Unfortunately, the positive results have not stopped there. As athletes have begun arriving at the Village ahead of the first day of the Games this Friday, 10 more positive tests were reported on Sunday, including two South African soccer players and one other athlete, who tested positive upon arrival at the Tokyo airport. This brings the total number of positive cases associated with the Games up to 55 since July 1.

Several teams from other countries have now been forced into isolation due to issues with COVID-19, including members of the Athletics (track and field) team from the U.K. Six athletes and two staff members have been forced into isolation after a passenger on their flight to Japan tested positive, and they were identified as close contacts.

“This was identified through Tokyo 2020’s reporting service and the group have since started a period of self-isolation in their rooms at the BOA’s preparation camp, in line with Tokyo 2020’s Playbook protocols,” the British Olympic Association (BOA) said. “The group all tested negative at the airport and have continued to test negative upon arrival into the country. They are under the supervision of the Team GB medical team, led by chief medical officer Dr. Niall Elliott.”

These positive tests are alarming and call into question how issues surrounding the virus will affect the athletes’ ability to prepare for competition, even those who don’t produce a negative test. The IOC has stated that at least 85 per cent of the athletes and staff who will be staying in the Village have been vaccinated, but as more athletes continue to arrive in Tokyo, the risks for spreading the virus will only get higher. As of the Tuesday, the total positive case count has reached 65, and the chief of the Games has reportedly not ruled out a last-minute cancelation should the situation continue to worsen.

(07/20/2021) Views: 585 ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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All about the marathon at the Tokyo Olympics

While the men’s marathon has been a staple of the Olympics since the first modern Games in 1896, women were not allowed to run the 26.2-mile race until the 1984 Summer Games, which were held in Los Angeles. Now both the men’s and women’s races are among the most anticipated events on the Olympic calendar.

When is the Olympic marathon?

The women’s race is scheduled for Aug. 7, and the men will run on Aug. 8, the final day of Olympic competition.

Where will the Olympic marathon take place?

While the bulk of the Olympic competition takes place in Tokyo, the marathon races will be staged in Sapporo, which is located 500 miles north of the host city. Local Olympic organizers were eager to keep the race in Tokyo, but the International Olympic Committee pushed to relocate both marathons and the racewalking events in October 2019 due to concerns about high temperatures in Tokyo.

Who will represent the United States in marathon?

The United States staged its Olympic trials in February 2020, so the top American runners have had nearly one and a half years to prepare for the Sapporo course.

Galen Rupp, 35, was the top men’s qualifier, posting a first-place time of 2 hours 9 minutes 20 seconds at trials and earning a spot in his fourth Olympic Games. Rupp won silver in the men’s 10,000 meters at the 2012 Games before tackling the marathon four years later. He took bronze in the 2016 Olympic marathon with a time of 2:10:05, even though it was only the second time in his life that he tackled a 26.2-mile course.

He’ll be joined in Tokyo by fellow Americans Jake Riley and Abdi Abdirahman. Riley, 32, was 42 seconds behind Rupp at trials and was also the top American finisher at the 2019 Chicago Marathon. The Somali-born Abdirahman will be competing in his fifth Olympics and at 44 years old will be the oldest American runner to ever compete in a Summer Games.

Kenyan-born Aliphine Tuliamuk won the women’s marathon trials with a time of 2:27:23, and will be making her Olympic debut at age 32. Before the Tokyo Games were postponed due to covid-19, Tuliamuk had planned on starting a family immediately following the 2020 Olympics. The year-long delay changed her timeline and she gave birth to her daughter, Zoe, in January.

She’ll be joined at trials by Molly Seidel, who finished the trials just eight seconds behind Tuliamuk, and Sally Kipyego. The 27-year old Seidel will be making her Olympic debut. She was also the second American woman finisher at the 2020 London Marathon.

Kipyego, 35, is a decorated long-distance runner who will be competing in her second Olympics. Running for her native Kenya in 2012, she took silver in the 10,000-meter race.

(07/20/2021) Views: 449 ⚡AMP
by Rick Maese
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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New Zealand has confirmed a record 211-strong team for Tokyo 2020

The New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) has confirmed a record 211 athletes will represent the nation at delayed Olympic Games here in the Japanese capital.

The team is New Zealand’s largest at the Games, surpassing the 199-athlete delegation that travelled to Rio 2016.

The NZOC revealed that the team includes 110 men and 101 women, with the country having representatives in 22 sports at the Games.

This includes the sports of karate and surfing, due to make their Olympic debuts at Tokyo 2020.

A total of 33 athletes are of Māori descent.

Most of the New Zealand team will be competing at their first Olympics with 118 having previously never participated at the Games.

The remaining 93 have already been to one or more Games, including two-time Olympic shot put gold medallist Dame Valerie Adams.

Dame Valerie is set to become the second female athlete to represent New Zealand at five Olympic Games, matching windsurfer Barbara Kendall.

Nick Willis, winner of the Beijing 2008 Olympic silver and Rio 2016 bronze in the men’s 1500 metres, will also compete at a fifth Olympic Games.

Swimmer Erika Fairweather is the youngest member of the team aged 17, with equestrian jumping athlete Bruce Goodin the oldest at 51.

Controversial weightlifter Laurel Hubbard features among the delegation and is set to be the first transgender athlete to compete at the Games as their associated gender.

Women’s rugby sevens captain Sarah Hirini and two-time Olympic rowing champion Hamish Bond were confirmed as New Zealand’s flagbearers Opening Ceremony earlier this month.

The Games is largely set to take place behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to the Japanese Government introducing tighter restrictions on the host city.

New Zealand’s Chef de Mission Rob Waddell praised the resilience of the Olympic team amid the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to a one-year postponement of the Games last year.

"This Olympic build-up has been extremely challenging and unique," Waddell, an Olympic rowing gold medallist in the single sculls at Sydney 2000, said.

"I’d like to thank all 211 athletes for the grit and determination they’ve shown to make it to these postponed Games.

"We’re extremely proud of the team and the way they’ve handled all the uncertainty.

"It’s now time to focus on wearing the fern and representing New Zealand to the best of our abilities in Tokyo."

Waddell and an advance team arrived here last week.

The advance team are setting up New Zealand’s area in the Athletes’ Village prior to their arrival for competitions.

Participants are required to follow restrictions outlined in playbooks produced by Tokyo 2020 and the International Olympic Committee.

This includes quarantine periods and movements being restricted to activity plan for the first 14 days.

"We’re working really hard to create a strong performance environment in our section of the Village which allows the athletes to perform to their peak," Waddell said.

"We’re setting up our own high-performance gym, kitchen and health areas.

"We also have two shipping containers to offload which contain things like sporting equipment, hand sanitiser and cooling fans.

"We’ve been working really closely with our performance delivery partners High Performance Sport New Zealand to prepare our team for the heat.

"We've had athletes training in heat chambers and holding heat camps in hot and humid locations.

"We've also got specialist ice vests, slushy machines and heat protocols in place."

(07/19/2021) Views: 424 ⚡AMP
by Michael Pavitt
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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