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Olympic champs Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica and Karsten Warholm of Norway have been named the World Athletes of the Year at the World Athletics Awards 2021

Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica and Karsten Warholm of Norway have been named the World Athletes of the Year at the World Athletics Awards 2021, a ceremony held virtually on Wednesday (1).

Thompson-Herah produced one of the finest sprint seasons in history this year, retaining her Olympic 100m and 200m titles in Tokyo and adding a third gold medal in the 4x100m relay. On top of her Olympic triple, she also clocked world-leading times of 10.54 and 21.53 over 100m and 200m respectively, moving to second on the world all-time lists and coming within touching distance of the long-standing world records.

“I just take it year by year,” said Thompson-Herah. “I went very close to the world record so you know, anything is possible. No spikes hanging up any time soon!

“The World Championships in Oregon is most definitely my next big target,” she added. “It is close to home, I hope friends and family can come out and watch. I hope I get some crowd as well. That couldn’t happen in Tokyo but hopefully in Eugene I can get my friends and family to come and cheer me on.”

Warholm uncorked one of the most remarkable performances in athletics history when he stormed to gold in the 400m hurdles at the Tokyo Olympics. Having already broken the world record with 46.70 in Oslo in the lead-up to the Games, Warholm exceeded all expectations in the Japanese capital to claim gold in a stunning world record of 45.94. In a race of incredible depth, the top three athletes finished inside the pre-2021 world record.

“I’m so happy for this,” said Warholm. “First when I saw the time (in Tokyo), I was like, ‘This must be a mistake!’ Because I didn’t see that one coming. And I didn’t see the victory coming before crossing the finish line.

“It was a very intense race, I knew the American and the Brazilian and all the other guys were really chasing me. I always go out hard and I never know what is going on behind me. I was just fighting all the way to the finish line. When I realised 45.94 was the reality, I was thinking: ‘This is not too bad. I’ll take it!’"

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe congratulated all of tonight’s winners and finalists on their extraordinary achievements this year.

"We have this year celebrated some jaw-dropping performances in Tokyo, at the World Athletics U20 Championships in Nairobi and through our one-day meeting circuits – the Wanda Diamond League and the Continental Tour. So we’re delighted to recognise some of our stars at tonight’s awards.

"As a sport, we are in an incredibly strong position. 2021 has been an excellent year. We cemented our position as the number 1 Olympic sport coming out of Tokyo, we have the most God given talented athletes on the planet and our sport is the most accessible of all sports. Thank you to all our athletes around the world. I am looking forward to watching what you can all do in 2022."

The other award winners were:

Female Rising Star

Athing Mu

The US teenager was undefeated at 800m all year, winning Olympic gold at the distance following a long but successful collegiate season. She broke the senior US 800m record with her triumph in Tokyo and then improved it to 1:55.04 just a few weeks later. She also excelled at 400m, clocking a North American U20 record of 49.57 for the distance.

“It means the world to know that my support goes beyond friends and families and extends worldwide,” said Mu. “This award shows all young girls that your dreams can, indeed, come true."

Male Rising Star

Erriyon Knighton

Throughout 2021 the 17-year-old took down several marks that had belonged to sprint legend Usain Bolt. Knighton first set world U18 bests of 20.11 and 20.04 over 200m, but his rapid rise continued and he broke Bolt’s world U20 record for the distance with 19.88 and 19.84. He went on to finish fourth in the Olympic final with 19.93.

“I’m really thankful for this award,” said Knighton. “One of my most memorable moments of this year was making it to the Olympic final in Tokyo and finishing fourth at the age of 17.”

Member Federations Award

Federacion Costarricense de Atletismo (Costa Rica)

In recognition for their outstanding training, competition and development programme roll-out over the past 12 months, for their consultative work on the World Athletics Kids’ Athletics programme, and for successfully staging a host of international events over the past year.

Inspiration Award

Mutaz Barshim and Gianmarco Tamberi

The shared high jump victory between Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi became one of the biggest talking points of the Olympic Games – not only for everything it represented in their own individual careers, having both battled serious injuries since the last Games, but mainly for the act of respect and sportsmanship between two friends.

“It is just crazy if I think about this story,” said Tamberi. “Thank you very much for this trophy.

“I now call Mutaz like five times a week because I need to speak with him. I feel that now we are not just friends, we are really like blood brothers.”

Barshim added: “I hope to inspire more people to love our sport and maybe share a gold one day!”

President’s Award

Peter Diamond, Executive Vice President of NBC Olympic programming

“Athletics owes Peter a massive debt of gratitude,” said World Athletics President Sebastian Coe. “Peter has worked alongside us for effectively 40 years and has been a constant source of great advice and wise counsel, and occasional humour that has softened the edges of any particular situation. And he has made athletics a lot better.”

Coaching Achievement Award

Bobby Kersee

The US coach has guided the careers of many legendary athletes over the years, but this year two of his charges made history. Allyson Felix became the most decorated female track and field Olympian in history after winning her 10th and 11th Olympic gold medals in Tokyo, while training partner Sydney McLaughlin broke two world records in the 400m hurdles and claimed Olympic gold in the discipline.

Woman of the Year Award

Anju Bobby George

The former international long jump star from India is still actively involved in the sport. In 2016 she opened a training academy for young girls, which has already helped to produce a world U20 medallist. A constant voice for gender equality in her role as Senior Vice President of the Indian Athletics Federation, Bobby George also mentors schoolgirls for future leadership positions within the sport.

Jean-Pierre Durand World Athletics Photograph of the Year

Ryan Pierse’s photograph of the women’s high jump qualifying at the Tokyo Olympic Games

This year’s award is dedicated to the memory of Jean-Pierre Durand, one of the sport’s most prolific photographers and photo chief for a number of World Athletics Series events, who died in October.

“This winning image was taken on one of the morning sessions in Tokyo and it was a hot one,” said Pierse, who is from Australia. “I wanted to illustrate the heat and how it was affecting the athletes. It is a picture that I worked on for a while, and it all came together. I am really happy with it.

“I think it’s incredibly fitting that this award is named in memory of Jean-Pierre Durand,” added Pierse. “I had the pleasure of working alongside him, most recently at the Tokyo Olympics.”

(12/01/2021) Views: 55 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Allyson Felix launches her own shoe company

Two years removed from a feud with Nike and just days after qualifying for her fifth trip to the Olympics, track star Allyson Felix is adding the title of "entrepreneur" to her list of accomplishments. 

Allyson Felix announced on Instagram on Wednesday that she is launching her own shoe brand called Saysh, a brand that she says "represents hope, acceptance, and the power to create change."

"When you see me run, know that I'm not running for medals. I'm running for change. I'm running for greater equity for each of us. I'm running for women. More than anything, I'm running toward a future where no woman or girl is ever told to know her place," Felix wrote on Instagram.

Felix, whose six Olympic gold medals are the most of any female track and field athlete, had a public fallout with Nike, her longtime sponsor, back in 2019. She wrote in an op-ed in the New York Times that she wanted to start a family in 2018 knowing that it could jeopardize her deal with Nike as she was trying to renew a deal that had expired in December 2017. Felix wrote that she felt like she needed to return to form as quickly as possible, even after an emergency C-section in November 2018 to deliver her daughter, Camryn. Felix said Nike offered to pay her 70 percent less than what she had been earning before she was pregnant. 

Felix did not re-sign with Nike after negotiations on a deal continued to go sour. Nike changed its maternity policies in 2019 as a result of public backlash and a congressional inquiry, according to the Washington Post. Felix later signed a deal with Gap's Athleta brand, according to CNBC.

Since the split with Nike, Felix has become an activist for maternal protection for female athletes and for inequities for Black mothers in the health care system. 

"No woman should have to choose between being a professional and being a Mother. Now, because of that fight, sponsorship contracts look different for a lot of athletes," Felix wrote on Instagram. 

She continued: "During my pregnancy, I had complications. And I realized I needed to use my voice to bring awareness to another injustice: a racial injustice in our healthcase system. I spoke to the United States Congress about my experience — and I continue to use my words for change."

Saysh is a shoe brand designed "for and by women," the website reads. The Saysh One sneaker is for sale at $150. 

(11/16/2021) Views: 65 ⚡AMP
by Edward Sutelan
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Sha'Carri Richardson to make track return at Prefontaine Classic

Sha'Carri Richardson will make her return to competitive athletics action on Saturday (August 21) at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting in Eugene, Oregon, USA.

The American is back after serving a one-month suspension handed to her when she tested positive for a cannabinoid at the U.S. Olympic Trials in June, where she had originally won the women's 100m race.

Her return will pit the world's third-fastest woman this year against the three Olympic medalists from Tokyo – Elaine Thompson-Herah, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and Shericka Jackson, all from Jamaica.

On July 1, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced that Richardson had accepted being suspended for "for an anti-doping rule violation for testing positive for a substance of abuse", having previously received a provisional ban on 28 June.

While competing at the Trials, Richardson provided a sample on 19 June that returned a positive test for a chemical found in marijuana, THC.

THC is a banned substance in-competition, although it is not prohibited out of competition, under World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules which classify it as a substance of abuse.

Although Richardson consumed the drug out of competition, she returned an in-competition positive and was therefore sanctioned under USADA's own regulations, which state: "If an athlete tests positive for a substance of abuse during an in-competition test, but the athlete can establish that they used the substance out-of-competition and that their use of the substance was unrelated to sport performance, then the athlete’s period of ineligibility will be reduced to three months with no need to further analyse the degree of fault."

USADA added in handing out a one-month suspension: "Richardson’s period of ineligibility was reduced to one month because her use of cannabis occurred out of competition and was unrelated to sport performance, and because she successfully completed a counselling program regarding her use of cannabis."

The sanction meant her qualifying results at the trials were expunged.

Her suspension ended before the start of the athletics program at Tokyo 2020, but as USA Track & Field (USATF) selects its Olympic team based solely on results at Trials, Richardson was not considered for selection in either the 100m or 4x100m relay.

In Eugene, which was also the site of the U.S. Trials where Richardson had run 10.86 in the final, she and the three Tokyo 2020 medallists headline a world-class field in the women's 100m.

That start-list includes Tokyo relay silver medallists Teahna Daniels and Javianne Oliver of the USA and two other 100m finalists Switzerland's Mujinga Kambundji (6th) and Marie-Josée Ta Lou (4th) of Côte d'Ivoire. Briana Williams, the fourth member of the Jamaican 4x100m gold-winning relay team, completes the lineup.

Richardson ran a 10.72 at the Miramar Invitational in Florida in April, a time that made the 21-year-old the sixth-fastest woman ever over 100m and, at the time the world leader in 2021.

Since then this year, only two other women have gone faster – Richardson is surpassed by Fraser-Pryce (10.63 in June) and Thompson-Herah's Olympic record 10.61.

The clash between the young American talent and the Olympic medallists is tantalising after they were unable to race each other in Tokyo.

Indeed, the five fastest women this year will all be competing in the race – Jackson and Ta Lou are fourth and fifth respectively.

Richardson's last international 100m race was at a rainy Gateshead Diamond League in England in May, when she finished second in 11.44 seconds into a very strong headwind (-3.1 m/s). Earlier that month, the Texan sprinter also overcame a headwind to clock a rapid 10.77 (-1.2 m/s) at the USATF Golden Games.

The American is also down to race the women's 200m against the likes of Kambundji, Ta Lou, Olympic bronze medallist Gabrielle Thomas, relay silver medallist Jenna Prandini, world champion Dina Asher-Smith, and American track legend Allyson Felix.

(08/20/2021) Views: 278 ⚡AMP
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

The Pre Classic, part of the Diamond League series of international meets featuring Olympic-level athletes, had been scheduled for August 20-21 at the new Hayward Field in Eugene. The Prefontaine Classicis the longest-running outdoor invitational track & field meet in America and is part of the elite Wanda Diamond League of meets held worldwide annually. The Pre Classic’s results score...

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Nike wasn't 'giving me really what I needed,' U.S. Olympian says about jumping to LuluLemon

When her contract with Nike (NKE) was up for renegotiation, American Olympian Colleen Quigley chose to leave the athletic apparel giant for a different type of deal with Lululemon (LULU).

"I've been with Nike since 2015 when I graduated from Florida State University... and joined the team out here in Portland, then had a great five-year run with them,” Quigley said on Yahoo Finance Live. “But I think when I got to the end of that, I just decided that they weren't giving me really what I needed off of the track and not really seeing me as anything more than just a runner.”

Quigley — a 2016 U.S. Olympic 3000m steeplechaser who withdrew from 2021 Olympic trials — joins a growing number of athletes who were dissatisfied with Nike endorsement deals. Other top runners that parted ways with footwear giant include Mary Cain and Allyson Felix, who respectively spoke out about the company's allegedly toxic culture and lack of maternity protections.

“I started to see myself as more than a runner, and I like to do a lot of different things," Quigley said. "I have different initiatives that I'm working on, really focusing on young athletes and young female athletes."

Lululemon "values me as that whole person," she added, "which is really what drew me to them."

Colleen Quigley places second in women's steeplechase heat in 9:53.48 to advance during the USATF Championships Jul 26, 2019; Des Moines, IA (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

"You don't have to be on top of the podium to really send a strong message”

Professional athletes in sports such as track and field seek sponsorship deals for compensation since there are few leagues — particularly for women — that pay viable salaries. For college stars like Quigley, signing with a major brand represents the dream of taking one's running career to the next level.

When describing her contract with Nike, Quigley stressed that it was a “transactional relationship.”

“So you run this time, you qualify for this team, you place top three, and you get paid this amount, and if you don't perform and you don't make the team and you don't get a medal, then you don't get paid,” she said. “All of the traditional brands really just see you as a results machine and what you can perform, and what you can give them on the track is really the only thing that they value.” Nike estimated that it will spend $1.33 billion in endorsement contracts in fiscal year 2021, according to company filings. That figure varies based on how well athletes perform and doesn't include the cost of athletic gear provided to endorsers.

Despite the massive marketing machine, top women athletes are increasingly looking for sponsorships that go beyond rewarding athletic accomplishments.

In 2019, Olympic sprinter Allyson Felix departed from Nike after she said she felt pressure from the company to return quickly after her pregnancy and accept a significant pay cut.

“If we have children, we risk pay cuts from our sponsors during pregnancy and afterward," she wrote in an op-ed at the time. "It’s one example of a sports industry where the rules are still mostly made for and by men." (Nike updated its maternity policy to guarantee pay for pregnant athletes after Felix, as well as runners Alysia Montaño and Kara Goucher, went public with their pregnancy stories.)

(08/18/2021) Views: 130 ⚡AMP
by Grace O’Donnell
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NIKE TOP BRAND MEDAL TABLE, BUT PUMA ON THE RISE

The swoosh has been everywhere on the track and in the field in Tokyo. Nike was the spike of choice for 11 out of the 12 middle distance medallists, on the chest of the top-three in the men’s 200m final, while also sponsoring the stand-out sprint star in Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah, who took down Flo-Jo’s 100m Olympic record with their latest shoe technology.

It will come as no surprise that Nike was again the most dominant brand in Olympic athletics. The global sports giant was on the vest of 53 medallists and was on the feet of 73—and remains in the top spot that it had in Rio in our brands medal table.

Nike’s totals, however, have declined. Its shoe share is down 16 medals (89 to 73)—while Puma has made a surge (4 to 16, or a 300% increase). Nike it seems decided not to extend or renew contracts for the delayed Olympics with Puma sweeping up some of that talent. Puma’s longer-term deals also came to fruition, most notably with Canada’s Andre De Grasse, who inked a multiyear deal back in 2015 reportedly worth as much as $30 million.

This may be a shift in strategy from Nike that has had an impact beyond track and field, a sport in which it has deep roots. In football, stars like Sergio Ramos and Thiago Alcantara took to blacking out their boots earlier this year. The suggestion then was that Nike was focusing on a smaller number of elite athletes that could be at the core of their campaigns.

Just because an athlete is wearing a brand in track and field doesn’t mean that they are actually sponsored at all, or in any meaningful way. Some could be “kit drops”, others might have bought a product themselves. New Zealand’s Tom Walsh wore blacked out Nikes for his shot put final, but has had “SPACE FOR RENT” emblazoned on his vest in the Diamond League this season. Others may be ensuring that they don’t miss out on carbon-plated “super spikes”. Britain’s Josh Kerr—Brooks sponsored—wore “whited-out” Nikes for his bronze-medal-winning performance.

There was also room for two new brands; Allyson Felix’s Saysh and fellow American Joe Kovacs wore Velaasa, a shoe brand founded by Lynden Reder that ran a successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2018. New Balance stepped up a notch with their sponsorship of Sydney McLaughlin, Gabby Thomas and Femke Bol.

Nike topped the vests chart through its sponsorship deals with federations, but this was down (71 to 53) and again Puma had the most dramatic boost (15 to 22). This included a shoe and vest double with Norwegian Karsten Warholm’s 400m hurdles world record. Asics, a Japanese company and an official Olympic gold partner, also saw a boost (8 to 13).

Puma may have had one more medal, but decided to cancel its $2.7m sponsorship of the Nigerian team. (Apparently, this delighted Nigerian officials). For its only medal in the women’s long jump, Ese Brume wore the lesser-known sporting brand AFA on her chest. Of these smaller brands, AF’s position is entirely down to Poland’s performance, while Belgian sponsor Vermarc can once more thank Nafissatou Thiam for making the medal table.

Charts show individual track and field events, no relays or road races. One athlete wore different brands across the heptathlon, so her final shoe brand in the 800m was counted here. For the vest count, it is the competing vest and not the podium tracksuit where the brands may differ. Javelin Olympic champion, India’s Neeraj Chopra had no discernible logo on his vest. It is categorised here as “other”.

(08/15/2021) Views: 168 ⚡AMP
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The Four Races That Still Need to Happen in 2021

The Tokyo Olympics may be over, but the track & field season most definitely is not. We’ve still got five Diamond Leagues to go, including the final in Zurich on September 8-9. And while Tokyo produced a number of amazing races, there were a few that we didn’t get to see. Here are the four races that still need to happen in 2021. Diamond League meet directors, pay attention (and have your checkbook handy…these races won’t be cheap to organize).

Women’s 100 meters: Elaine Thompson-Herah vs. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce vs. Sha’Carri Richardson

Of the six fastest women in history, three of them have run their personal bests this year: Thompson-Herah (10.61 in Tokyo), Fraser-Pryce (10.63 in Kingston), and Richardson (10.72 in Miramar). But we didn’t get to see the three of them in the same race at the Olympics because of Richardson’s positive test for marijuana at the US Olympic Trials.

There may be a bit of a rivalry brewing as well. Remember, after Fraser-Pryce ran 10.63 back in June, Richardson essentially took credit for pushing Fraser-Pryce to a pb (even though Richardson was not even in the race).

And when the Jamaicans were asked about Richardson following the Olympic final, they did not want to talk about her (though to be fair…they had just won Olympic gold and silver). But any mention of even the word marijuana quickly resulted in realizing they didn’t want to talk about Sha’Carri at all.

Chances that it happens: It’s already happening! The Pre Classic has announced its women’s 100m field and all three are entered.

Men’s 400: Karsten Warholm vs. Rai Benjamin vs. Steven Gardiner

Karsten Warholm’s mesmerizing 45.94 world record in the 400 hurdles generated a number of questions. One of the natural ones: how fast could he run without the hurdles? Warholm’s personal best in the flat 400 is 44.87, but that dates back to 2017, when his hurdles pb was 48.22. He’s over two seconds faster now in the hurdles, so it’s not unreasonable to think he’s in 43-second shape right now. Benjamin’s pb is 44.31 from 2019.

So let’s throw Warholm and Benjamin in against the Bahamas’ Steven Gardiner, who just ran 43.85 to win the flat 400 in Tokyo, and see how they really stack up.

Chances that it happens: 25%. Warholm has already committed to run the flat 400 in Lausanne on August 26. That’s a great start, but getting Benjamin and Gardiner as well could prove tricky.

Women’s 400: The “Dream Team” vs. Shaunae Miller-Uibo

It was a running joke for most of the 2021 season: America’s best 400-meter runners don’t even run the 400. I mean, just look at the “Dream Team” the US trotted out for its dominant victory in the 4×400 relay: Sydney McLaughlin, Allyson Felix, Dalilah Muhammad, Athing Mu. Only one of those women ran the open 400 in Tokyo.

As incredible as Felix was at the Olympics, taking bronze in the 400 in 49.46, she only had the third-fastest split on that relay (49.38), with Muhammad going 48.94 and Mu a ridiculous 48.32. What could be better than seeing all four Dream Teamers race each other head to head?

Well, how about throwing the two-time Olympic 400 champ into the mix in Shaunae Miller-Uibo? Assuming that field doesn’t collapse from the weight of its collective gold medals (all five of the women have won individual Olympic gold; their combined total is 15 career Olympic golds including relays), the race would be more stacked than the Olympic final we just witnessed.

Chances that it happens: 10%. This one seems like a pipe dream. With the Americans as the major draw, the Pre Classic would be the natural venue for this, but there are two problems. First, there is no women’s 400 at Pre this year (though it’s not too late to add one!). And second, the five athletes above are represented by four different shoe brands. It’s not as if Nike could just magically compel them all to run Pre.

Men’s 5,000: Jakob Ingebrigtsen vs. Joshua Cheptegei vs. Selemon Barega

We already saw Ingebrigtsen vs. Cheptegei in Florence in June, and it was no contest, with Ingebrigtsen pulling away to a world-leading 12:48 as Cheptegei faded late. But Cheptegei revealed in Tokyo that he has been battling a heel injury this year, and while he’s not completely over it, it’s definitely more manageable now (as evidenced by his gold and silver in Tokyo) than it was two months ago in Florence.

Then there’s Barega, who used a sick close (2:24 last 1k, 53 last lap) to win 10k gold but did not run the 5k in Tokyo. Let’s settle the title of best distance runner in the world and pit the Olympic 1500, 5k, and 10k champs together in a 5k on the circuit.

Chances that it happens: 30%. I could see Cheptegei and Barega racing each other in a 5,000 at the Diamond League final (or even the 2-mile at Pre). Getting Ingebrigtsen to join them could be more difficult, however. He’s running the Bowerman Mile at Pre and may opt for the 1500 at the DL final.

(08/14/2021) Views: 171 ⚡AMP
by Let’s Run
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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: 108 ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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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: 183 ⚡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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A new generation of champions set to emerge in Tokyo

While some reigning Olympic and world champions might be missing from the Games in Tokyo, the extra year as a result of the postponement in 2020 has allowed a number of new talents to emerge.

For some it means a debut Olympic experience which may not originally have been expected until at least 2024, while for others it is a realistic opportunity to win medals and titles.

Of the 43 individual events contested at the Rio 2016 Olympics, the winners from just 18 of those will defend their titles in Tokyo.

The likes of world 800m champion Donavan Brazier and Olympic 110m hurdles champion Omar McLeod missed out on being selected for their national team, while other stars, such as world and Olympic triple jump champion Christian Taylor, are currently sidelined with injury.

But while those global champions won't be able to contend for top honours in Tokyo, here are some of the new generation of stars who are set to emerge.

Selemon Barega, 10,000m

After winning world U18 and U20 titles in 2017 and 2016 respectively, Ethiopia’s Barega stepped up to secure senior 5000m silver at the World Athletics Championships in 2019. Still aged just 21, he is now preparing for his debut Olympics, where he will race the 10,000m.

Barega started the season with intent, running an Ethiopian all-comers’ record of 27:58.5 at altitude in Addis Ababa in January. He then went even faster at the Ethiopian Trials in Hengelo in June, clocking 26:49.51 on the same track on which he ran his 26:49.46 PB in 2019. That, together with the speed he demonstrated by running PBs of 3:32.97 for 1500m and 7:26.10 for 3000m during the indoor season, means he is set to be a strong force in Tokyo

Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, 100m hurdles

Medal success in Tokyo would see Camacho-Quinn become the first Puerto Rican woman to secure an Olympic podium place in athletics and this season she has certainly demonstrated her ability to achieve that feat.

The 24-year-old improved her own national 100m hurdles record to 12.32 to move to equal seventh on the world 100m hurdles all-time list in Eugene in April and hasn’t been beaten since. She clocked 12.38 to win at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Florence and 12.34 for success in Szekesfehervar, meaning she has the three fastest times in the world so far this year. “I'm looking forward to the Olympics this year - it will be like redemption from my fall in 2016,” she said after her Florence run as she reflected on missing out on the final in Rio. “I'm really excited. Training really hard, working really hard, but really looking forward to it.”

Tara Davis, long jump

Davis leapt into the seven-metre club in March, breaking the US collegiate long jump record with 7.14m at the Texas Relays. The longest jump in the world since the 2019 World Athletics Championships final, that mark moved the 22-year-old to fifth on the US all-time list.

The world U20 bronze medallist had also broken the collegiate indoor record with 6.93m at the NCAA Indoor Championships earlier in the year and finished second at the US Olympic Trials, going beyond seven metres again with a best of 7.04m. “I’m shocked still because seven metres as a jumper is the biggest thing ever. Hitting it in the Olympic Trials is unreal,” she said after her performance in Eugene, where she finished second to four-time world gold medallist and 2012 Olympic champion Brittney Reese. “I’m freaking jumping with my idol, Brittney Reese. Being with her and competing with her in 2016 I was so starstruck. I was like, ‘I see her on TV and now I’m jumping with her’.”

Alison Dos Santos, 400m hurdles

After running in the lane next to Karsten Warholm during his world record in Oslo, improving his South American record to 47.38 to finish second, Brazil’s Dos Santos went even quicker to win three days later in Stockholm, taking another 0.04 off that mark.

This season has seen the 21-year-old build on his 2019 breakthrough, having that year improved his PB and the South American U20 record seven times, eventually clocking 48.28 to finish seventh at the World Athletics Championships in Doha. Also a key member of Brazil’s relay team, he ran the fastest split of the mixed 4x400m final at the World Athletics Relays in Silesia, recording a 44.62 anchor leg. “I'm looking forward to the Olympics, and yes, I think I can get a medal,” he said with a smile after his run in Stockholm.

Mondo Duplantis, pole vault

While some may argue that a world record (or two) rules an athlete out from being considered part of a ‘new generation’, pole vault star Duplantis is still aged only 21 and has much more he hopes to accomplish during his career, including winning Olympic gold.

This season he has cleared six metres or higher in four competitions, capped by his 6.10m in Hengelo - a height only he, Renaud Lavillenie and Sergey Bubka have ever achieved. After winning 2019 world silver behind Sam Kendricks - who ended Duplantis’ 23-competition win streak in challenging conditions in Gateshead in May - Duplantis will be looking to go one better in Tokyo. He also believes he can go higher than his 6.18m world record this season and after attempting 6.19m in Oslo, he said: “I really think I can get that record soon. But for now I feel good, a month away from the most important meet of my life. I am in good shape, I am running well on the runway and keeping up the rhythm well.”

JuVaughn Harrison, long jump and high jump

Harrison secured his two Olympic spots in style at the US Trials, soaring over 2.33m and then leaping a PB of 8.47m to improve his own best-ever single-day high jump and long jump double. As a result, he will become the first male athlete to represent the USA in both events at the Olympics since Jim Thorpe in 1912. No other athlete has ever achieved both a 2.30m high jump and 8.40m-plus long jump.

The 22-year-old is no stranger to juggling both events on the same day and in March he cleared 2.30m and jumped 8.45m at the NCAA Indoor Championships. In Tokyo, the high jump final is on the evening of day three and the long jump final is on the morning of day four. He is expecting to rise to the challenge. “It will be harder competition which will make me push harder and jump farther,” he said.

Erriyon Knighton, 200m

Running 19.88 at the age of just 17, Knighton broke not one but two world 200m age-group bests which had previously been held by a certain Usain Bolt. At the US Olympic Trials, the former American football player ran 20.04 in the heats to improve Bolt’s world U18 best before taking 0.16 off that mark in the semifinals to break the world U20 record of 19.93 set by Bolt in 2004. In the final he went quicker still, clocking 19.84 to finish third and become the youngest man to represent the USA in athletics at the Olympics since Jim Ryun in 1964, also in Tokyo.

Racing outside of the USA for the first time, Knighton then placed third at the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting in Szekesfehervar, running 20.03. “It hasn't sunk in, it’ll probably sink in when I get home,” he said after claiming his Olympic place. “I'm happy. I feel it's a really big achievement.”

Nicola McDermott, high jump

As an eight-year-old, McDermott dreamt of becoming a consistent two-metre-plus international high jumper and having already achieved the latter, this year her two-metre aim was accomplished, too. Clearing 2.00m at the Australian Championships in April, the 24-year-old broke Eleanor Patterson’s Oceanian record and then added another centimetre to the mark in Stockholm earlier this month, despite not feeling 100 percent.

McDermott didn’t manage to register a height when she made her World Athletics Championships debut in London and two years later the Commonwealth bronze medallist finished 15th in qualifying. This time, as she makes her Olympic debut, her mind is on medals. “I’m not going to say it’s impossible to get a medal,” she said. “I’ll be aiming and I think 2.01m will maybe get me in the medals so I am aiming and training for that and believing that I can do it.”

Sydney McLaughlin, 400m hurdles

Like Duplantis, McLaughlin is already a world record-breaker having taken the 400m hurdles to another level with her time of 51.90 at the US Olympic Trials. She also was no stranger to making history before that, with world U18 best and world U20 record times among her age-group accomplishments.

Now aged 21, she made her first Olympic team at just 16, finishing fifth in her semifinal nine days after her 17th birthday, and then secured silver at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, a race won by her compatriot Dalilah Muhammad in a world record of 52.16. It was that mark McLaughlin improved in Eugene. “So many amazing women have come before me and will come after me,” she said after her world record. “I'm excited for what the future holds. I just want to leave my mark and be part of such an amazing sport, because the glory isn't forever.”

Athing Mu, 800m

Mu is another athlete to have risen impressively through the ranks, having stormed into the spotlight in 2019 when as a 16-year-old she ran the second-fastest ever indoor 600m time of 1:23.57. This year she has broken the world U20 indoor 800m record with 1:58.40 and then dominated the two-lap final at the US Olympic Trials, running a world-leading 1:56.07 to improve her own North American U20 record.

The 19-year-old also ran an area U20 record in the 400m with 49.57 to win the NCAA title earlier in the month. “This is my first year coming out here running to my potential,” she said after her trials win. “I wouldn't want to say I'm dominant at it yet. My confidence takes a lot from it. In 2019, I wasn't confident, but I was good enough. Gaining confidence has contributed to my dominance thus far in the 800m. Being good at it, knowing it's my event.”

Great experience

While some reigning global champions may be missing out on Tokyo, there are a number of vastly experienced stars who will be adding another Olympics to their impressive tally of major events. The USA’s Allyson Felix has already won six Olympic gold medals and 13 world titles, while shot put star Valerie Adams has claimed two Olympic and four world titles for New Zealand, with Tokyo being a fifth Olympic Games for both athletes.

Spain’s 51-year-old Jesus Angel Garcia, meanwhile, will compete at his eighth Olympics – the most ever for a track and field athlete. Who knows whether some of this new generation of stars will still be in action come the Olympic Games in 2048!

(07/17/2021) Views: 211 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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The Weird and Wonderful Moments From the Olympic Trials That You May Have Missed

Want to run fast? Try wearing a pair of Doritos earrings, just like Christina Clemons.

During the 2021 Olympic Track and Field Trials, held at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, we watched as the nation’s best athletes competed for spots to race at the Tokyo Games—the pinnacle for these runners. But we also some wacky, weird, and wonderful moments, reminding us that no matter how fast these athletes can run, they’re still human.

Lewis Johnson goes for a dip in the steeplechase water pit

Before the first round of the women’s 3000-meter steeplechase on Sunday, June 20, NBC broadcaster Lewis Johnson was tasked with explaining exactly what the steeplechase race is. (Runners jump over 35 barriers, seven of which are over a water pit. It also started as a horse race. Read more here!) Not only did he show viewers on TV all around the barriers, he actually took his shoes and socks off and waded into the water pit to show how deep it was. Talk about dedication to his craft.

A short time later, Allyson Felix qualified for her fifth Olympic team, finishing second in the 400 meters—and when Johnson was interviewing her trackside, his shorts appeared to be dry. Did he bring an extra pair of shorts and change? Was it so hot that his shorts dried? I haven’t stopped thinking about this for over a week. — Bette Canter

Christina Clemons makes the Olympic team wearing Doritos earrings

Forget the Wheaties cereal box. Christina Clemons, who made her first Olympic team in the 100-meter hurdles during the opening weekend of the Trials, has her face on a bag of Doritos!

How did this happen? According to The Washington Post, Clemons was looking for new earrings before the meet and purchased a pair of Cool Ranch Doritos bling at a Hot Topic. We’re so thankful that eagle-eyed viewers and on-site photographers spotted the awesome earrings, helping the selection go viral and providing Clemons this unique opportunity. May I suggest for her Olympic run, she get mini earrings of her favorite high-end car? — Brian Dalek

New England Pride in the Women’s 1500

I’m not a “real” New Englander—I’ve lived in Maine for only 18 years, or about 200 years shy of many natives’ standards for sufficient family roots. But from the fan boy angle, close enough. So it was a treat to see Vermonter Elle Purrier St. Pierre and Heather MacLean of Massachusetts finish first and third, respectively, in the women’s 1500 final amid the usual west-of-the-Mississippi-based candidates.

The moment was made sweeter by MacLean nabbing the Olympic standard, her and Purrier St. Pierre’s modest college running achievements, and the fact that they’re New Balance Boston teammates and close friends. Or, as their coach, Mark Coogan, told Runner’s World in his best southern Massachusetts intonation, “A girl from UMass and a girl from UNH are going to the Olympics, in the mile. Top that!” — Scott Douglas

Michelle Obama congratulates Sha’Carri Richardson

After Sha’Carri Richardson dominated the women’s 100-meter final with a winning time of 10.86, her performance and reaction afterwards (she ran into the stands to hug her grandmother right after the victory) went viral. Even former First Lady Michelle Obama took notice and tweeted a message congratulating the national champion. Obama tweeted a video clip of Richardson’s post-race interview in which the sprinter shared that her biological mother passed away before the championship. Richardson also thanked her family, especially her grandmother who witnessed Richardson become an Olympian.

“Without my grandmother, there would be no Sha’Carri Richardson,” Richardson told Lewis Johnson on NBC. “My family is my everything, my everything until the day I’m done.”

Richardson responded to the Becoming author’s tweet with a message of her own.

“I am up right now losing my mind!” Richardson wrote at 2:41 a.m. PDT on June 23. — Taylor Dutch

Even the pros sometimes borrow gear from their significant other

She’d sketched out her race plan lap by lap and even traded out her pre-race coffee for caffeinated gum to stay cooler. But there was one minor detail Emily Sisson realized she forgot as she was stepping onto the track to dominate the women’s 10,000 meters Saturday morning: shades. Fortunately, her husband, Shane Quinn, had a pair he was willing to part with.

“I stole them off him as we were walking into the warm-up area,” she said post-race. Those red-and-black frames—which appeared to be from goodr—made her look even more like a boss as she lapped nearly everyone en route to a new meet record and her first Olympic spot. — Cindy Kuzma

Runners warming up ... around a cemetery

Eugene Pioneer Cemetery, on the National Register of Historic Places, is also a destination for U.S. elite distance runners, warming up and cooling down for the races in Hayward Field.

The cemetery, which has a dirt trail around its perimeter that’s roughly 0.6 miles long, saw plenty of use during the Olympic Trials. Before the semifinal round of the women’s 1500, Runner’s World spotted Jenny Simpson, Dani Jones, Amanda Eccleston, Sarah Lancaster and others jogging the loop before heading one block east to the athlete entrance to the track. After the semis of the men’s 800, Bryce Hoppel went over for a cooldown.

The cemetery isn’t affiliated with the University of Oregon, but it’s adjacent to the campus, and many Duck track athletes over the years have used it for their runs. It’s an easy target for, well, gallows humor—as athletes hope warming up their doesn’t signal the death knell of their careers.

(07/10/2021) Views: 155 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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130 athletes named on the team to represent the United States at the Tokyo Olympic Games

World outdoor record-holders Sydney McLaughlin, Ryan Crouser and Keni Harrison are among the 130 athletes named on the team to represent the United States at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

The squad includes 13 medalists from the 2016 Games in Rio and six defending world champions from Doha. Experienced headliners include five-time Olympians Allyson Felix in the 400m and Abdi Abdirahman in the marathon, while the youngest athlete on the team is 17-year-old Erriyon Knighton, who twice broke the world U20 200m record last month at the US Olympic Trials.

JuVaughn Harrison won both the long jump and high jump at the Trials in Eugene and he will be among the athletes contesting two events in Tokyo as he has been selected for both disciplines.

Other athletes announced on the team include world indoor 60m hurdles record-holder Grant Holloway, who was just 0.01 shy of breaking Aries Merritt’s world 110m hurdles record of 12.80 in Eugene, plus former world 400m hurdles record-holder Dalilah Muhammad, the second-fastest ever 200m sprinter Gabby Thomas and multiple global long jump gold medalist Brittney Reese.

USA team for Tokyo 

WOMEN

100m: Teahna Daniels, Javianne Oliver, Jenna Prandini

200m: Anavia  Battle, Jenna Prandini, Gabby Thomas

400m: Allyson Felix, Quanera Hayes, Wadeline Jonathas

800m: Athing Mu, Raevyn Rogers, Ajee' Wilson

1500m: Heather MacLean, Cory McGee, Elle Purrier

5000m: Elise Cranny, Rachel Schneider, Karissa Schweizer

10,000m: Alicia Monson, Karissa Schweizer, Emily Sisson

Marathon: Sally Kipyego, Molly Seidel, Aliphine Tuliamuk

3000m steeplechase: Emma Coburn, Val Constien, Courtney Frerichs

100m hurdles: Christina Clemons, Gabbi Cunningham, Keni Harrison

400m hurdles: Anna Cockrell, Sydney McLaughlin, Dalilah Muhammad

20km race walk: Robyn Stevens

High jump: Tynita Butts-Townsend, Vashti Cunningham, Rachel McCoy

Pole vault: Morgann LeLeux, Katie Nageotte, Sandi Morris

Long jump: Quanesha Burks, Tara Davis, Brittney Reese

Triple jump: Tori Franklin, Jasmine Moore, Keturah Orji

Shot put: Adelaide Aquilla, Jessica Ramsey, Raven Saunders

Discus: Valarie Allman, Kelsey Card, Rachel Dincoff

Hammer: Brooke Andersen, Gwen Berry, DeAnna Price

Javelin: Ariana Ince, Maggie Malone, Kara Winger

Heptathlon: Erica Bougard, Annie Kunz, Kendell Williams

4x100m: English Gardner, Aleia Hobbs, Gabby Thomas (plus others selected in individual events)

4x400m: Kendall Ellis, Lynna Irby, Kaylin Whitney (plus others selected in individual events)

MEN

100m: Ronnie Baker, Trayvon Bromell, Fred Kerley

200m: Kenny Bednarek, Erriyon Knighton, Noah Lyles

400m: Michael Cherry, Michael Norman, Randolph Ross

800m: Bryce Hoppel, Isaiah Jewett, Clayton Murphy

1500m: Matthew Centrowitz, Cole Hocker, Yared Nuguse

5000m: Paul Chelimo, Grant Fisher, Woody Kincaid

10,000m: Grant Fisher, Woody Kincaid, Joe Klecker

Marathon: Abdi Abdirahman, Jake Riley, Galen Rupp

3000m steeplechase: Hillary Bor, Mason Ferlic, Benard Keter

110m hurdles: Devon Allen, Grant Holloway, Daniel Roberts

400m hurdles: Rai Benjamin, David Kendziera, Kenny Selmon

20km race walk: Nick Christie

High jump: JuVaughn Harrison, Shelby McEwen, Darryl Sullivan

Pole vault: Sam Kendricks, KC Lightfoot, Chris Nilsen

Long jump: Marquis Dendy, JuVaughn Harrison, Steffin McCarter

Triple jump: Chris Benard, Will Claye, Donald Scott

Shot put: Ryan Crouser, Joe Kovacs, Payton Otterdahl

Discus: Mason Finley, Reggie Jagers, Sam Mattis

Hammer: Daniel Haugh, Rudy Winkler, Alex Young

Javelin: Michael Shuey, Curtis Thompson

Decathlon: Steven Bastien, Garrett Scantling, Zach Ziemek

4x100m: Kenny Bednarek, Cravon Gillespie, Micah Williams (plus others selected in individual events)

4x400m: Elija Godwin, Vernon Norwood, Trevor Stewart (plus others selected in individual events)

MIXED

4x400m: Shae Anderson, Bryce Deadmon, Wil London, Taylor Manson (plus others selected in individual events).

(07/07/2021) Views: 323 ⚡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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Breastfeeding mothers will be allowed to bring their children to the Olympics

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced Wednesday morning that breastfeeding mothers will now be allowed to bring their babies to the Tokyo Olympics. This is a huge relief to several athletes who are mothers, who before this change would have been forced to choose between not competing, or leaving their infant children at home.

Among these relieved athletes is Aliphine Tuliamuk, winner of the U.S. Olympic marathon trials. In May, Tuliamuk petitioned the Olympic organizing committee to allow her to bring her four-month-old daughter Zoe to the Games, but had not received word on the decision.

At the time, she had not given an ultimatum but was still unsure of what she would do. With the IOC’s announcement today, she no longer has to make the difficult choice.

“We very much welcome the fact that so many mothers are able to continue to compete at the highest level, including at the Olympic Games,” the IOC said in a statement. “We are very pleased to hear that the Tokyo 2020 organizing Committee has found a special solution regarding the entry to Japan for mothers who are breastfeeding and their young children.”

Previously, organizers had barred all international spectators, including athletes’ families, which included their children. Several athletes have spoken out about the issues facing mothers, particularly those who are breastfeeding, including nine-time Olympic medallist, Allyson Felix, who recently qualified for her 5th Games. “I would be most sensitive to moms who are breastfeeding,” she said. “I know for me, when I competed when Cammy was under a year old — you need to be near your child.”

The organizers have now eased the restrictions, so women in this situation do not have to make such a difficult choice.

“Given that the Tokyo 2020 Games will take place during a pandemic, overall we must unfortunately decline to permit athletes’ family members or other companions to accompany them to the Games,” organizers said. “However, after careful consideration of the unique situation facing athletes with nursing children, we are pleased to confirm that, when necessary, nursing children will be able to accompany athletes to Japan.”

According to Reuters, these children will be staying in approved hotels outside of the Olympic Village because that area is under strict restrictions due to the ongoing pandemic. Only athletes and Olympic officials will be permitted to enter that residential area.

(07/01/2021) Views: 168 ⚡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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Track star Allyson Felix launches her own shoe brand after breaking up with Nike

After breaking up with Nike in 2019 and landing a sponsorship deal with Gap’s Athleta, the brand’s first, track and field star Allyson Felix is launching her own shoe business.

On Wednesday, Felix debuted Saysh, which she pitches as a lifestyle brand designed with women in mind. Saysh’s first product, the Saysh One sneaker, retails for $150 and is currently available for preorder in three colors. Other products are in the works, according to the company’s website.

Customers are also able to buy membership to the “Saysh Collective,” which comes with workout videos and occasional interactions with Felix. An annual membership costs $150, while a monthly pass goes for $10.

The announcement comes after Felix finished second in the 400 meter at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field trials this past weekend, clinching her spot in the Tokyo Olympics. Felix is the most decorated female track and field star in U.S. history.

Time first reported on Felix’s shoe launch. In an interview with the magazine, Felix said the women’s footwear market is underserved, and that the mentality has often been to “shrink it and pink it.”

“It’s really about meeting women where they are,” Felix said. “It’s for that woman who has been overlooked, or feels like their voice hasn’t been heard.”

Felix departed a deal with Nike in 2019 after she said the company wanted to pay her 70% less following her pregnancy. She has since been invested in raising awareness around health-care inequities facing Black mothers.

Felix serves as Saysh president, while her brother and business partner Wes holds the CEO title. The company has raised $3 million in seed money from a broad range of venture investors, according to Time.

It’s unclear if Athleta, where Felix has a multiyear sponsorship deal to design clothing, will begin to carry the shoes in the future.

(06/23/2021) Views: 282 ⚡AMP
by Lauren Thomas
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Bromell back to his best while Felix and Winkler make history in Eugene

Three years ago, it seemed implausible that Trayvon Bromell and Allyson Felix would represent the United States at a 2020 Olympic Games. Bromell was coping with a debilitating sequence of injuries, and Felix was coming off a difficult childbirth.

Now that it is the 2021 Olympics, they will be running for medals in Tokyo.

Bromell won the 100m in 9.80 (0.8m/s), and Felix made her fifth Olympic team during the USA Olympic Trials on Sunday night (20) in Eugene, Oregon.

The 25-year-old Bromell once thought his end had come. He left the Rio Olympics in a wheelchair after aggravating a heel injury.

He has had two achilles surgeries over the past five years, and in a span of three-and-a-half years ran three races. He was effectively out of athletics. He credited religious faith for turning around his life, on and off the track.

“When I went down in 2016, I realised I didn't know what was going on,” he said. “In 2018, I wondered if I wanted to live anymore. What resource am I not going to for this change?

“My mom told me to try God. Since devoting myself, things have changed.”

In a high-quality final, the top four men finished inside 9.90, and 9.91 – recorded by teenager Micah Williams of host University of Oregon – was only sufficient for fifth place. It was the fastest first five in trials history.

Ronnie Baker and Fred Kerley, the latter dropping down from the 400m, claimed the two other Olympic spots, finishing second and third respectively in 9.85 and 9.86. 200m specialist Kenny Bednarek was fourth in 9.89. World 200m champion Noah Lyles started poorly and was seventh in 10.05.

Following this victory and his world-leading 9.77 from earlier this month, Bromell will head to Tokyo as a gold-medal favourite.

“I feel with confidence sometimes comes complacency. And for me, I don't like to get complacent,” he said. “For me, I'm still going to go home and train as if I'm not being talked about at all.”

On a day celebrated as Father’s Day, the top two in the women’s 400m were both mothers.

Quenara Hayes – who became a mother in October 2018 and has this year returned to sub-50-second form – finished first in 49.78, just 0.06 shy of the PB she set when winning the 2017 US title.

Felix closed rapidly to clock 50.02. Third spot was taken in 50.03 by Wadeline Jonathas, who was fourth at the 2019 World Championships. Kendall Ellis clocked 50.10 for fourth place, narrowly missing a team spot by just 0.07.

“When your body is out for eight to nine months, plenty of nights I would cry,” said Felix. “I was trying to rush the process.”

Felix made the team, 17 years removed from winning a 200m silver medal in Athens in 2004. She gave birth to a daughter in 2018, and she was at Hayward Field to see her mother race.

“There has been so much that has gone into this,” Felix said, “and there were many times where I didn't think I would get to this moment.”

She said she was “absolutely sure” she would not try for Paris 2024.

(06/21/2021) Views: 161 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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What to Watch For in the U.S.A. Track & Field Olympic Trials

For months, they have trained in relative isolation. They have triple jumped in empty stadiums and chased qualifying standards on high school tracks. You may have heard this before, but the pandemic created challenges for American track and field athletes.

For those who managed to push through the long delay, a meet five years in the making has finally arrived: The U.S. Olympic track and field trials are set to start on Friday afternoon at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field, a freshly renovated stadium that — barring something else unforeseen — will also host the world championships next year.

But first come the trials. As athletes from across the country bid to compete at the Tokyo Games this summer, here is a look at what to watch over the coming days:

What’s the schedule?

Glad you asked. It is a long meet — 10 days, with two rest days built in the middle — running from Friday through June 27. There are 40 events in all (20 for the women, 20 for the men), with preliminary rounds for most of them. On Friday, for example, there are preliminary rounds in events ranging from the women’s discus to the men’s 800 meters. There are also two finals scheduled for the first day, in the men’s shot put and the men’s 10,000. On Sunday, eight more champions will be crowned, including in the men’s 100. (More on that later.)

So who gets to go to the Olympics?

The top three finishers in each event qualify, provided they have reached the Olympic standard. If not, they have until July 1 to attain it.

Who are some of the most compelling athletes to watch?

Any list like this has to start with Allyson Felix, the nine-time Olympic medalist who is aiming to compete in her fifth and final Olympic Games. A onetime prodigy who is entered in the 200 and 400 meters, Felix, 35, long ago secured her place as one of the sport’s most revered and respected figures. She has advocated for gender equality since giving birth to her first child in 2018.

Felix’s retirement will leave a void among the American women, and Sha’Carri Richardsonseems prepared to help fill it. In April, she ran the sixth-fastest 100 in history. Richardson, just 21, is unapologetically brash while consistently coming through with fast times and big performances. She is easy to spot, too: Just look for her colorful hair.

In the women’s 1,500 meters, Elle Purrier St. Pierre is the favorite after a string of convincing victories this season. She grew up on a dairy farm in Vermont, where she would train by running to the Quebec border and back. Her sponsors include Cabot Cheese.

Donavan Brazier is the American record-holder and reigning world champion in the men’s 800. He seems determined after failing to qualify for the Olympics in 2016.

And Sam Kendricks, who has won back-to-back world men’s pole vault championships, is the heavy favorite in Oregon. His toughest competition figures to be in Tokyo, where Mondo Duplantis, who grew up in Louisianabut competes for Sweden, will be waiting. Duplantis, 21, already owns the world record but is seeking his first Olympic gold.

How about a few must-see events?

No, we didn’t forget about Noah Lyles, the world champion in the men’s 200 meters. Lyles wants to double in the 100 and 200 meters in Tokyo, and his 100-meter form has been coming along slowly. He will face a loaded 100-meter field in Eugene, Ore., headlined by the likes of Trayvon Bromell, who has run the fastest time in the world this year, and Justin Gatlin, the five-time Olympic medalist who has twice been suspended for doping. Americans have the six fastest 100-meter times in the world this year — and Lyles is not among them.

The field in the men’s 1,500 is also competitive. Matthew Centrowitz, the 2016 Olympic champion, was injured last year and benefited from the postponement. Craig Engels is the 2019 national champion, but he is equally renowned for his mullet. There is also a group of up-and-comers headlined by Cole Hocker, fresh off an N.C.A.A. title at Oregon, and Hobbs Kessler, the fastest high school miler ever.

The most anticipated showdown, though, could materialize in the women’s 400-meter hurdles. At the 2019 world championships, Dalilah Muhammad, 31, had to break her own world record to outrun Sydney McLaughlin, one of the sport’s rising stars. Muhammad, the Olympic champion in Rio, has been working in recent weeks to return to form after injuring her hamstring. McLaughlin, 21, spent much of the spring fine-tuning her speed and technique while competing in the 100-meter hurdles. If both athletes are healthy, their final — held on the final day of the meet — should be a highlight.

Who’s missing?

The trials got a harsh dose of reality this week when Shelby Houlihan, the American record-holder in the women’s 1,500 meters, was suspended from competing for four years after she had tested positive for an anabolic steroid. Houlihan has maintained her innocence, claiming she ate tainted pork from a food truck. For about eight hours Thursday, it seemed that Houlihan might still be able to run while she appealed the ban, but ultimately the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee stepped in and said that she could not participate in the trials.

Speaking of suspensions, that deep field in the men’s 100 meters is missing an important name: Christian Coleman, who won the 2019 world championship under a cloud of suspicion, and was subsequently suspended for missing a series of drug tests.

Also absent will be Christian Taylor, the two-time Olympic champion in the men’s triple jump. Taylor ruptured his Achilles’ tendon at a meet last month and underwent surgery. He has vowed to make a comeback in time for next year’s world championships.

On the bright side, several American runners will not be at the trials — but only because they have already punched their tickets for Tokyo. We are referring, of course, to the marathoners, whose trials were staged all the way back in the prepandemic era, in February 2020. Galen Rupp, Jacob Riley and the seemingly ageless Abdi Abdirahman, 44,qualified for the men, while Aliphine Tuliamuk, Molly Seidel and Sally Kipyegomade the women’s team. (Rupp, a two-time Olympic medalist, is expected to compete in the 10,000 on Friday, though he told OregonLive.com last month that he would treat the race as a rigorous training run and appears to have no intention of running the track event in Tokyo.)

Is it on television?

NBC and NBCSN will provide live daily coverage of the meet. 

(06/18/2021) Views: 135 ⚡AMP
by Scott Cacciola (NY Times)
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Some Veteran Pro Runners Are Making Less This Year, and They're Ditching the Sport

Many athletes are confronting a bleak financial reality. Some are quitting the sport entirely.

What do Noah Droddy, Ben True, and Andy Bayer have in common?

They’re all ranked among the top 10 Americans of all time in their events—Droddy in the marathon, True in the 10,000 meters, Bayer in the steeplechase.

How Much Do Pro Runners Make? For Some Veterans, It’s Less This Year

And they were all dropped by their sponsors at the end of 2020.

This news took a while to seep out—after all, athletes don’t tend to publicize it when their sponsors reduce their pay or stop supporting them altogether. But Droddy, 30, and True, 35, have been open about their status and confirmed it in calls with Runner’s World (both had been sponsored by Saucony), and Bayer told the Indy Star that Nike dropped him and he has left the sport, at age 31, for a job in software engineering.

Droddy—one of running’s most recognizable figures in races with his long hair, backward baseball cap, and habit of losing his lunch at marathon finish lines—summed up his situation in a tweet on February 19.

Is he right? Is it typical for top runners, at the height of their careers, to lose financial backing from shoe companies? Or is this an anomaly at the end of an unusual, pandemic-marred 15 months?

Runner’s World had conversations with eight athletes, four agents, two marketing employees at brands, and three coaches to get a sense of the current economics for athletes. They painted a complex picture.

Are most pro runners broke?

Many are just getting by. For years, America’s pro runners have been on shaky financial footing. With the exception of those who win global medals or major marathons, distance runners often struggle to earn enough money to pay for their essentials (rent and food), plus cover all their running-related expenses, such as coaching, travel to races and altitude camps, health care, gym membership, and massage.

Over the past year, the pandemic has erased lucrative racing opportunities. Additionally, shoe companies have been reevaluating their sports marketing budgets, from which runners are paid. Experts say that the result has been an increasing bifurcation between the sport’s haves and have nots.

The most successful, those destined for the Olympic team or starring on the roads, are earning generous base payments and bonuses for setting records or winning. Many of the rest are scraping by, with smaller contracts, if any, and they’re supplementing their shoe company earnings with jobs.

Running’s middle class, much like America’s, is shrinking.

The exception is runners who belong to a single-sponsor training group, like those in Flagstaff, Arizona (Hoka); Boston (New Balance); and Portland, Oregon (Nike). In those cases, coaching, travel, and training camp costs are absorbed by the club, easing the financial pressure on athletes and making it possible for them to pursue the dream.

Brands these days appear to be more eager to devote dollars to groups and the athletes who train with them, rather than individual athletes training on their own in different locations. That presents a quandary for midcareer runners who have achieved a level of success. Faced with the loss of a sponsorship, they aren’t always willing to pick up and move to a new town and a new coach.

What do contracts look like?

If you’re a top runner in the college ranks, and you’ve won multiple NCAA titles at the Division I level, shoe companies—Nike, Adidas, Brooks, Saucony, Hoka, and others—will usually come calling, offering more than $100,000 a year for multiple years, with a spot in a group or a stipend to pay your coach. Those companies are betting on those NCAA champions to be Olympians of the future.

Dani Jones, for instance, won three individual NCAA titles at the University of Colorado, and she signed with New Balance at the end of last year. Her agent, Hawi Keflezighi, said she entertained competing offers from other companies.

A midcareer athlete with a breakthrough performance—hitting the podium at a major marathon or making an Olympic team, for instance—might also be rewarded with a base contract worth $50,000 to $100,000.

The top sprinters earn even more (although their careers are typically shorter). Usain Bolt famously made millions, and Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse was 21 when he signed a deal worth $11.25 million—before bonuses—from Puma in 2015, the Toronto Star reported.

The payouts drop significantly after that. Let’s say you’re a distance runner, but you haven’t been able to get a big win in college, although you’ve come close. The lucky ones are looking at deals for about $30,000 to $75,000 per year.

Your agent takes a 15 percent cut of that. And this base salary most often comes without benefits: no health insurance, no 401(k). As independent contractors, pro runners are paying all their own taxes. (In contrast, traditional full-time employees have half of their Social Security and Medicare taxes paid by the employer.)

Many young runners out of college join pro groups, and they’re not making anything beyond free gear and coaching. Others might get a stipend worth $10,000 or $12,000 a year.

The contracts typically sync with the Olympic calendar. At the end of 2020, many athletes’ contracts were expiring—even though the Olympics didn’t happen. That’s how Droddy, True, and Bayer were dropped. Shannon Rowbury, a three-time Olympian, told Track & Field News her deal with Nike was extended for one year, two if she makes the Olympic team this summer.

If an athlete has a good Olympics, the sponsoring company often has an option to extend the deal for an additional year, which includes the world track & field championships. It’s at the company’s discretion—not the athlete’s.

Parts of the sponsorship model appear to be changing, but slowly. When NAZ Elite announced a new deal with Hoka last fall, it included health insurance for the runners. Similarly, members of Hansons-Brooks in Rochester, Michigan, get health insurance if they work in the Hansons running specialty stores. And last May, Tracksmith brought Mary Cain and Nick Willis on as employees at the company—Cain in community engagement, Willis as athlete experience manager—with the plan that both would continue to train and race at an elite level.

Why doesn’t anyone know exactly how much runners are making?

As part of these deals, athletes have to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), promising to keep the terms quiet. If an athlete violates the NDA, the sponsor can void the contract—or sue for breach of contract.

This is, in fact, similar to other sports. In basketball, LeBron James is being paid $39.2 million this season by the Los Angeles Lakers. But he also has an endorsement deal with Nike, and the exact structure of that is unknown.

In running, prize purses are publicized—$150,000 for winning the Boston Marathon, $25,000 for being the top American at New York in 2019, $75,000 for winning the Olympic Marathon Trials.

But as in other sports, the terms of the sponsor deals are kept mum. And appearance fees at major races, as well as time bonuses within those appearance fees, which represent a major source of income for road runners (mainly marathoners), are also mostly unknown.

Athletes feel that the silence around sponsor contracts and appearance fees puts them at a disadvantage—it’s hard to know their market value. Yes, they can—and do—have quiet conversations with peers about it. But lacking broad knowledge, they lack power.

And as a result, the industry is rife with rumors and assumptions. Athletes’ values are often inflated through the grapevine.

“I think it is very similar to the dynamic that would occur if no one knew the price of home sales,” Ian Dobson—a 2008 Olympian who ran for Adidas and Nike during his pro career, which ended in 2012—told Runner’s World. “How could you ever be confident in a sale price if you didn’t know what any other homes in your neighborhood were selling for? Granted, we don’t know every detail of every home sale in the neighborhood, but it’s certainly helpful to know in general terms the dollar amount that these are going for so that we can all understand what value our home might have.”

Also, athletes keep quiet when their circumstances change. They feel embarrassed. One athlete told Runner’s World, “No one in track wants to be the one to say, ‘I got dropped,’ or ‘I got reduced.’ It's all taboo.”

Even so, $30,000 is nothing to sneeze at—especially for a job that’s about pursuing individual goals.

No, it’s not. But not every contract is structured the same way.

Some pay that base amount, no matter what. Other contracts penalize athletes with reductions if, for instance, they don’t finish in the top three in the country in Track & Field News rankings, or if they get injured and can’t race a certain number of times per year.

That’s why numerous Nike athletes seemed to be eagerly seeking racing opportunities of any kind last summer amid the pandemic. Marathoner Amy Cragg raced a 400 meters at an intrasquad meet on July 31, and finished in 90.15 seconds—6:00 pace—presumably to check a box on her contract. On August 7, she ran 800 meters in 3:03.85. The record of those races are in her World Athletics profile.

A Nike spokeswoman, when asked about athletes racing in 2020 to meet contractual obligations, responded: “We do not comment on athlete contracts.”

Time bonuses, once seen as a reliable way to beef up athletes’ base payments, are also becoming less frequent or harder to hit, as shoe technology improves and fast times become more common, according to one agent.

What role do agents play?

For athletes who have never previously had a sponsorship deal, it’s almost impossible to secure one without the help of an agent, who can get in the door at all the major brands.

For American distance runners, there are nine main agents—all men—negotiating the deals (Keflezighi, Josh Cox, Paul Doyle, Ray Flynn, Chris Layne, Dan Lilot, Tom Ratcliffe, Ricky Simms, and Mark Wetmore). Karen Locke, one of the few female agents in track and field, represents a few distance runners among her roster of clients in field events.

Of course, all the prominent agents—who have multiple clients across multiple brands and at various stages of their athletic careers—have data about what athletes are worth. But they have a duty to each one to maintain confidentiality about the specifics of that deal.

Agents bring to their athletes a broad picture of the market and what each might command, providing advice to those considering offers: Yes, this a fair offer, a solid deal. Or no, you can do better.

They also help get athletes into competitive track races like the Diamond League and elsewhere, or into the World Marathon Majors. They can handle travel arrangements to meets and help to make sure records get ratified. Generally, their role is to go to bat for athletes, no matter what they need.

For their services, they take 15 percent of everything an athlete earns: sponsor deals, appearance fees, and prize money, no matter how small the race or winnings.

Agents are supposed to negotiate on behalf of each client individually, but athletes have no idea if that’s happening. Are they being used as part of a package deal? Thrown in at a minimal rate as a thank you to a brand for giving a generous deal to a superstar? Or, on the upside, getting a small appearance fee from a major marathon that they wouldn’t be able to get into on their own, because they have the same agent as a mega-star?

“Agents want to bring in the most money for their combined athletes—if they manage 20 athletes, they’re trying to bring in the maximum money they can across 20 athletes,” one athlete told Runner’s World. “That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re trying to maximize for each individual. The difference between earning $20,000 a year and $30,000 a year is profound in terms of your ability to actually train as a professional. But it translates into a small amount [$1,500] for the agent.”

Why is the market tricky right now?

The pandemic caused upheaval in marketing budgets. Also, the people who work in marketing at shoe brands can be inexperienced in the running industry, and turnover often runs high at those positions, jeopardizing relationships between athletes and brands that have lasted years.

The marketing budget questions are not limited to running, said Matt Powell, a sports business analyst and vice president for NPD.

“I think brands are taking a more circumspect view of endorsement contracts in general—whether it’s teams, leagues, or individual athletes,” he said. “They’re [questioning whether] they’re getting the return on that investment.”

Nike is rumored to have cut its marketing budget for running, amid layoffs at the company. Nike did not return an email from Runner’s World seeking clarification on the budget or the numbers of runners it currently sponsors.

Although Nike’s superstars are said to be fine and not facing any reductions in their deals, one Nike athlete, a 2016 Olympian, told Runner’s World, “It’s pretty much assumed that everyone is getting less.”

And it’s believed that several of these contracts are for shorter periods of time than they might have otherwise been: through the world championships in 2022 in Eugene, Oregon, instead of through the next Olympics in 2024.

In answer to questions from Runner’s World about True and Droddy—as well as rumors about a new Saucony-sponsored training group—Saucony responded with an emailed statement from Fábio Tambosi, Saucony’s chief marketing officer:

“At Saucony we believe you cannot have a sports brand without the inclusion and authentic connection with athletes. We are excited about the evolution of Sports Marketing as a brand pillar for years to come, and remain committed to building an athlete strategy that aligns with this goal.” 


Good news abounds, too

On the positive side for distance runners, Puma has re-entered the distance running market. Molly Seidel was lured from Saucony to Puma, and Aisha Praught Leer told Women’s Running she signed a “big girl contract” with Puma. Additionally, the company started a group in North Carolina, coached by Alistair Cragg and with three athletes so far.

The shoe company On has also invested heavily, starting a new team in Boulder, Colorado, coached by Dathan Ritzenhein and with athletes like Joe Klecker and Leah Falland.

Keira D’Amato, 36, signed her first pro contract, with Nike, after a string of impressive performances during the pandemic on the track and roads. She has kept her job as a realtor.

Keflezighi sees an opening for apparel brands that don’t have footwear to sponsor more athletes. Women’s apparel company Oiselle has done this for years, and Athleta is now sponsoring Allyson Felix. Could a menswear company be far behind? These arrangements leave athletes free to choose their own running shoes, which can be advantageous as shoe technology advances so quickly.

Why do brands have pro runners anyway?

Beyond the individual dollar amounts in contracts, brands seem to be rethinking what the role of a professional athlete is. Is it to inspire with performances, and hope those performances translate into shoe sales? Or is it to connect with fans on social media and promote product sales that way?

“You have to kind of look at it big picture,” True told Runner’s World. “These companies aren’t giving athletes money for charity; they’re doing it for a marketing investment and they’re looking for a return on their investment. And currently—and this is not ideal, in my mind—you look at the rise of social media and influencers. They are very inexpensive for marketers to go after and they get their products in front of a lot of eyeballs.”

A 2:20 male marathoner who also has a drone and a great Instagram account or YouTube channel might be gaining followers, True said, while a 2:05 marathoner is training hard and devoting his craft toward the next race.

“The average person, they don’t understand that 15-minute difference,” he said. “One historically will cost that company a lot of money. The other does not cost much at all and will get a whole lot more eyeballs on the product. You have to understand that.”

In his nine years with Saucony, True, training on his own in Hanover, New Hampshire, was part of only one ad campaign the company ran. The company preferred to use models for its ads and catalogs.

In February, True ran 27:14 for 10,000 meters, a personal best and faster than the Olympic standard. He wore Nike spikes and a plain yellow singlet. If all goes according to plan, he’ll race the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in June and try to make his first team. His wife, professional triathlete Sarah True, is pregnant and due in July. And after that, he’ll run a fall marathon. True intended to debut at the marathon last fall, before the pandemic canceled all the races.

He’s moving ahead and training hard, despite the financial uncertainty. “I would have loved to have spent my entire career with Saucony,” he said. “I very much enjoyed working with them. I’ve been fortunate enough that I have had probably a lot more support than many other people in my position. That’s been nice.”

At this point, he is hoping another company will pick him up to take him through the next few years. “If a company just gave me a bonus structure that is fair for the result, I’d be happy with that,” he said. “It’s not like we’re looking for huge amounts of money. I’m very pragmatic and very realistic. I don’t think you should be paid for potential; I think you should be paid for results.”

(06/13/2021) Views: 347 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials winner, Tuliamuk Has Petitioned to Have Her Daughter Accompany Her to the Tokyo Olympics

Aliphine Tuliamuk, the winner of the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, has petitioned organizers of the Tokyo Olympics to allow her four-month old baby to come to the Games with her, according to The Washington Post.

Tuliamuk, who secured her Olympic berth on February 29, 2020, and her fiancé Tim Gannon were planning to start a family after the Summer Games. But when the Games were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, they moved their timeline up, and Tuliamuk gave birth to their daughter Zoe on January 13.

In March, the International Olympic Committee announced that no foreign spectators would be allowed at the Games in August. At the moment, this means that Zoe and Gannon wouldn’t be allowed to travel to the event.

“If I’m going to perform my best, she’s going to have to be there with me—and I hope she will be,” Tuliamuk said to The Washington Post.

Tuliamuk added that Zoe is still breastfeeding and has spent very little time away from her.

In a statement to the Washington Post, the IOC said, “National Olympic Committees [NOCs] are responsible for the composition of their delegations at Games time and the IOC is aware that a small number of them have been dealing with requests from athletes to bring their children on a case-by-case basis.”

The way things are set up now, Team USA is allowed to being around 600 persons to the Games, which includes athletes, trainers, coaches, and more. If Zoe and Gannon attended, two people would have to be removed from the current roster, according to The Washington Post. No family or visitors are allowed to attend as the local government stipulations state.

The USOPC said in a statement to the Washington Post that it is handling the case, but not decision has been made yet.

Tuliamuk likely isn’t the only athlete in this situation. Other mothers in sports—such as tennis star Serena Williams, soccer star Alex Morgan, and nine-time Olympic medalist Allyson Felix—have raised similar concerns.

Tuliamuk will wait until a decision is rendered to decide what to do.

“I’m grateful to know everyone is working really hard to help make this work,” Tuliamuk said. “I’m just not ready to leave her behind.”

(05/24/2021) Views: 329 ⚡AMP
by Andrew Dawson
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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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COVID-19 restrictions for Tokyo Olympics shouldn't apply to female athletes' infants, toddlers

A few days shy of her first birthday, Alex Morgan’s daughter Charlie is already more well-traveled than most adults.

There were the two-plus months in England, when Morgan was playing for Tottenham. The week in the Netherlands, followed by a few days in France, for U.S. women’s matches. There’s likely to be another trip in June for pre-Olympic warm-up games.

“It’s important to allow mothers that option, to have their kids with them while they compete. I’ve been lucky to be able to do that with every single camp and matches with Charlie,” Morgan said last month. “It’s incredibly important to feel supported as a mom. I hope I continue to feel that way leading into the Olympics and in the Olympics.”

But COVID-19 restrictions for the Tokyo Games could force Morgan and a small number of other athletes who are mothers of small children to choose between their dreams of competing at the Olympics and their families.

At previous Olympics, children of competing athletes would come to the Games like any other family member. Visas, if necessary, would be arranged, and they would travel with their other parent, another family member or caregiver. The family would either stay together outside the Olympic village, or moms would arrange to see their children between training and competitions.

That won’t be possible this summer. Japan is desperately trying to keep the Olympics and Paralympics from turning into a superspreader event, and the International Olympic Committee and Tokyo organizers have already said foreign fans won’t be allowed at the Games.

Japan also currently bars entry to residents of 152 countries “unless special exceptional circumstances are found,” meaning someone from the United States – and pretty much every other country sending athletes to the Games – can’t simply get on a plane and go to Tokyo.

But if allowing female athletes to bring their infants and toddlers to the Tokyo Games doesn’t qualify as a “special exceptional circumstance,” I don’t know what would.

“I would be most sensitive to moms that are breast-feeding, new moms, moms with very small babies,” sprinter Allyson Felix, whose daughter Camryn turned 2 in November, said last month. “I know how crucial that is. I know for me, when I competed when Cammy was under a year old, you need to be near your child. That needs to be taken into consideration for those mothers.”

Tokyo organizers did not respond to questions about whether female athletes will be allowed to bring their young children. IOC spokesman Christian Klaue said women athletes who want to bring their children to Tokyo will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, without pr

Of course it will be crushing for partners, parents and siblings to miss what is, for many athletes, a once-in-a-lifetime event, and if any family members are allowed, no doubt everyone will be clamoring to go. But prohibiting babies and toddlers from accompanying their mothers to the Games is not remotely the same, and the IOC and Tokyo organizers need to acknowledge that.

This isn’t a matter of, “Oh, I want to have a selfie with my baby at the finish line.” For female athletes with an infant or a toddler, not having them in Tokyo can have a direct impact on their child-rearing decisions.

And their children’s health.

Breastfeeding benefits a child’s physical and cognitive development, and the World Health Organization – which the IOC relies on for medical advice – recommends children be breastfed “up to 2 years and beyond.” Research also indicates that mothers who have been vaccinated are passing COVID antibodies to their babies through breast milk, but that immunity only lasts so long as the child is nursing.

It’s possible athletes who are nursing and want to continue to do so could pump at the Games. But depending on the age of the child, that could require several hours each day.

“I am still nursing Zoe and cannot imagine her not being with me,” marathoner Aliphine Tuliamuk, whose daughter was born in January, told USA TODAY Sports in a statement. “There are many more challenges than usual at this Olympic Games, but I do hope that the needs of mothers, families and children are given full consideration and support."

Everyone is sympathetic to the challenges of holding an Olympics during a pandemic, as well as the concerns of the Japanese people. But allowing women athletes to bring their infants and toddlers to Tokyo, along with a caregiver, would not add a significant number of people.

The United States typically has the largest team at the Olympics, 500-plus for a Summer Games, and this affects only a handful of its athletes. So at most we’re talking, what, a few dozen additional people?

It’s not a large number, but the impact is.

The IOC has made a big show in recent years of elevating women and promoting gender equity, and will proudly tout its statistics on female representation at the Games and in its leadership roles. In March, Tamayo Marukawa, Japan’s minister in charge of the Tokyo Games, said in a statement that the “active participation of women will lead to the creation of a prosperous, vibrant and sustainable society and the realization of a society in which everyone can live comfortably.”

By telling female athletes to leave their young children behind, however, the IOC and Tokyo organizers show how empty those words are. You cannot claim to value and respect women if you are not supporting and empowering them to make choices that are in the best interest of their families.

(05/09/2021) Views: 185 ⚡AMP
by USA Today
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Shaunae Miller-Uibo smashes stadium record in Eugene

World-leading marks achieved at this stage of the season don’t tend to leave too much of an imprint on the world all-time lists, but Shaunae Miller-Uibo’s 49.08 to win the 400m at the USATF Grand Prix in Eugene – the first World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting of 2021 – broke the stadium record for an iconic venue.

The Bahamian Olympic champion ran a well-timed race. She held a slight lead at half way and still had USA’s Lynna Irby for company on the final bend, but she opened up a clear margin on the rest of the field down the home straight to cross the line in 49.08, the fourth-fastest time of her career.

It also chopped 0.26 from the previous stadium record, set in 2003 by Ana Guevara. Global champions Sanya Richards-Ross, Allyson Felix and Tonique Williams-Darling are among the other past winners on the Hayward Field track, so Miller-Uibo will gain a boost in confidence knowing that she has out-performed such legendary athletes at this venue.

“The 400 is my favorite event, so I love coming in and trying to figure it out and having some fun with unravelling the secrets of it,” said the world silver medalist. “We’ve been really working on getting our strength up and now that we are in the middle of the season we are going to work on speed and getting ready to put down some great performances in the 200s.”

Irby finished second in 50.28, holding off Jessica Beard (50.38).

(04/26/2021) Views: 153 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Athletes have reacted to Nike's pregnancy announcement

Decorated Olympic sprinter Allyson Felix calls it "beautiful and heartbreaking".

Nike’s latest advertisement is receiving mixed reactions from athletes and sports fans on social media. The ad, which includes the caption, “To every mother, everywhere: you are the toughest athlete,” features several clips of pregnant women and mothers participating in sports, and appears to be the company’s way of showing their support to pregnant athletes.

While the ad is a step in the right direction for the company, many athletes, including Allyson Felix, Kara Goucher and Alysia Montaño, are criticizing Nike for not acknowledging their past treatment of pregnant female athletes.

In 2019, Felix, Goucher and Montaño publicly criticized Nike for its treatment of sponsored athletes during and after pregnancy, and they called the company out for having no pregnancy protections in their contracts. Since then, Nike has announced a new pregnancy policy that protects female athletes from pay reductions for 18 months surrounding pregnancy. This new ad showing support for pregnant women is a welcome change and a step in the right direction, and while many athletes are supportive of it, they are pointing out one thing it’s missing: an apology.

Felix was among the first to express her opinion, which she shared in a Twitter thread. She began by praising the ad for its content, calling it powerful and saying it celebrates mothers and reminds them that they are athletes. She goes on to encourage her followers to watch the ad, but for a different reason.

“I agree with every word in this ad,” she said in a Tweet. “I also think you should watch this ad so that you will hold Nike accountable for it.”

She continues by saying that the ad was hard to watch, given her personal experience as a formerly Nike-sponsored athlete. She points out that it was she, along with several other athletes, who pushed Nike to support athletes’ maternity — a fact the ad fails to mention. Felix calls the ad “beautiful and heartbreaking,” saying that while it celebrates all the right things, it ignores the struggle it took to get to this point.

Goucher echoed Felix’s statements in a response to her thread, saying she appreciates the ad’s sentiment, but this level of support was not a reality for her or dozens of other mother runners.

“Acknowledging the way we were treated and receiving an apology (let alone the money withheld from us) would go so far,” she added.

Montaño added her comments in an Instagram post, saying while she is grateful for all the positive changes happening in the world of women’s sports, it is infuriating to watch Nike seemingly dismiss the past and fail to apologize for the experiences of past athletes.

“Yes. We want Nike to sponsor athletes and support them through pregnancy, and thereafter, but we want them to acknowledge the fight and the struggle that it took to get them to make a change,” she said. “We DO NOT WANT them to use our women to make money and while doing so forcing their athletes that have been mistreated to post advertisements as a way of sweeping their struggles under the rug.”

She goes on to highlight the work of other companies, organizations and brands who have a history of supporting women, including her own nonprofit, &Mother, and her partner brand, Cadenshae. Montaño concludes by saying that she and other athletes welcome Nike’s desire to support female athletes, but says they must rectify their former actions if they wish to do that.

Many others on Twitter and Instagram are commenting with support for the athletes, while also acknowledging the beauty and the power of the ad. This new ad by Nike is exactly the type of imagery we need to see, but coming on the heels of controversy over their treatment of pregnant athletes, it comes across as disingenuous to those who are familiar with the backstory.

(03/17/2021) Views: 213 ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Amy Hunt looks forward to the Olympics in Tokyo

The delay of the Games to sprinter Amy Hunt and the teenage sprinter’s eyes light up and she smiles. “We’ve been given this extra year and it’s a year to get fitter and faster before trying to make our first Olympic team. So I think it’s worked out really well for me.

“There are no negatives for young athletes like me when it comes to having the Olympics pushed back because we’ll have a better chance of being selected when those trials come around.”

In 2019 Hunt won the European under-20 200m title and set world under-18 and British under-20 records at the distance. This year another great sequence of results has led to her being named AW readers’ junior female athlete of the year again in 2020.

In February she won the British indoor 60m title in 7.39 before improving to 7.36 for fourth at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix in Glasgow. Then, when outdoor track meets started, she raced exclusively at 100m instead of 200m at events ranging from the British Champs in Manchester, where she was fourth, to her first Diamond League in Doha, where she placed sixth.

“I can’t describe how good it was to go to my first Diamond League in Doha,” she says. “To experience the hype and energy there was really fun.”

She turns 19 in May and is looking forward to returning to her specialist distance of 200m after spending 2020 working on her ability get out the blocks quickly. “We also felt the biggest gains were to be made over 100m and we treated it almost as a freebie year,” she explains.

“We stripped back and focused on that start again and it definitely really helped and I saw an improvement in my start. At the British Champs I felt really confident and able to put together a first 20m.”

She adds: “It was interesting to have the focus on the 100m because going into an event knowing it’s not your favorite event and to be one of the slowest was an interesting process for me to learn. It was good to head into a race not being too star-struck and to just focus on my lane.”

She has also stepped up her training on the track and in the gym. “Heading into next year I’m in a really good position,” she says.”I have more confidence in my technical abilities and during what has been effectively a free year I’ve upped the amount of time I’ve done in the gym. Now three a week and I’m seeing a lot of gains from that.”

She adds: “This winter increased track sessions and gym so I now train six days a week. It was rough for my body to deal with for the first two weeks but I’m not getting used to that kind of exertions and I’m discovering recovery techniques that work for me.

“I really do enjoy winter training in a bit of a sadistic way. I’ve liked being back on the track and in the gym this winter. If you want to get to a certain level, you have to love what you’re doing. My coach Joe is always cracking jokes and creates a really good environment to be in.”

So what really motivates her to put on her kit and start training? Is it the Olympics or World Under-20 Championships next year? Or the idea of improving her PBs?

“I think it’s a combination,” she says. “But the most important to me is putting the work in so my idols become my rivals. That’s what gets me out of bed in the morning. I want to be the best that I can be and be up there with those people who I used to idolize and now want to race.”

As for those idols, she says: “A younger me definitely looked up to Allyson Felix a lot. I’ve always looked up to Dina (Asher-Smith) because she’s always such an amazing role model for the sport. She encompasses a lot of values that I hold dear to myself too.

“Shaunae Miller-Uibo is an amazing athlete and people like Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce have gone away and had a baby and returned to run well so there are lots of amazing female role models out there.”

So far she has not spent much time with any of them. The only time she has bumped into Asher-Smith, for example, was the Great CityGames in 2017. But she adds: “Hopefully I’ll be meeting most of them next year in Tokyo!”

(12/26/2020) Views: 295 ⚡AMP
by Jason Henderson
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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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No Millrose Games in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic

The iconic meet had been scheduled to take place on February 13.

The 2021 Millrose Games has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 114th edition of the iconic meeting, which was first held in 1908, had been scheduled to take place on Saturday February 13 at The Armory in New York City.

But the event will now return on February 12, 2022.

“The Armory Foundation has decided after extensive consultations with health experts that, due to rising cases nationally of Covid-19, it is advisable to cancel the 114th Millrose Games, previously scheduled for February 13, 2021 at The Armory in New York City,” reads a press release.

“First run in 1908, the Millrose Games has featured legends such as Paavo Nurmi, Eamonn Coghlan, Allyson Felix, Joetta Clark, Carl Lewis, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Bernard Lagat and many others.  However, given the health situation in New York and across the country, the prudent thing to do is to abstain this coming year.”

Britain’s Chris O’Hare (pictured) is a Millrose Games regular, with the multiple European medallist having won the famous Wanamaker Mile in both 2018, when he became the first British man to win the prestigious indoor race since John Whetton in 1965, and in 2020.

Meet director Ray Flynn said: “Canceling the iconic Millrose Games was a very difficult decision, but with all the health concerns surrounding an event of this complexity, rather than risking the athletes, officials, meet personnel, media and others, we have decided to wait until February 12, 2022, for the next edition of the Millrose Games."

(12/24/2020) Views: 338 ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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NYRR Millrose Games

NYRR Millrose Games

The NYRR Millrose Games,which began in 1908 as a small event sponsored by a local track club, has grown to become the most prestigious indoor track and field event in the United States. The NYRR Millrose Games meet is held in Manhattan’s Washington Heights at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armony, which boasts a state-of-the-art six-lane,...

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Shannon Rowbury just might make her fourth US Olympic Team post-pregnancy

Shannon Rowbury proved she can run elite times post-pregnancy. Next year, she hopes to be the latest example that an Olympic career doesn’t end with motherhood.

“Having a child isn’t a death sentence,” she told fellow Olympic runner and mom Alysia Montaño in a recent On Her Turf interview. “You can come back even better.”

Rowbury, a 35-year-old, three-time Olympian, raced this month on the Diamond League circuit for the first time in three years and since having daughter Sienna in June 2018.

It went pretty well. She clocked her second-fastest 5000m ever, a 14:45.11 to place fifth in Monaco.

Only four other Americans have ever gone faster. One is retired (Shalane Flanagan). It’s very possible that two of the others could focus on other distances next summer (Shelby Houlihan and Molly Huddle).

Rowbury is right in the mix to make a fourth straight Olympics, given three U.S. women qualify per event. She can become the oldest U.S. woman to race on an Olympic track since Gail Devers in 2004, and one of the few moms to do so.

Rowbury is the former American record holder at 1500m and 5000m with a pair of fourth-place finishes from racing the former at the last three Olympics.

In 2018, she returned to training eight weeks after having Sienna. Ramping up too quickly led to a stress fracture in early 2019. She felt fatigued from sleep deprivation and breastfeeding and struggled with her identity.

Will I ever be the same? How much do I have left? Who am I without sport? 

“I love my daughter,” she said last year, “but I loved my life before as well.”

She kept running. Rowbury placed sixth in the 5000m at the 2019 USATF Outdoor Championships, racing on a lack of training due to the injury. She missed an Olympic or world championships team for the first time since 2007, when she graduated from Duke.

Then in November, she won the U.S. 5km title on the roads in New York City. Rowbury raced for the first time this year in July and is still in Europe, torn while spending three weeks away from Sienna and husband Pablo Solares, a former middle-distance runner from Mexico.

“I felt very strongly that I would never prioritize my career over my family and over my daughter,” she said. “My performance right now is testament to the fact that you can have a healthy, natural weaning process, and you can still compete at a very high level.”

Rowbury partly dismissed motherhood earlier in her career because she was afraid of potential consequences. In more recent years, runners including Rowbury, Montaño and Allyson Felix fought for maternity protection in the sport, such as with health insurance through USA Track and Field and in sponsor contracts.

“I don’t think that any woman should be told she needs to do something in order to compete as an athlete or to pursue her dreams,” Rowbury said.

(08/26/2020) Views: 492 ⚡AMP
by Yahoo Sports OlympicTalk
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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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Noah Lyles’s world record tease

It looked like Noah Lyles had set a 200m world record, but it turned out he ran a little short

The second modified event of the 2020 Diamond League schedule, the Inspiration Games, was held on Thursday, and the penultimate event of the day, the men’s 200m, produced a lot of drama. Current 200m world champion Noah Lyles was one of three competitors lining up for the race, and he dominated, crossing the line in 18.91 seconds, absolutely smashing Usain Bolt‘s world record of 19.19. Except… it turned out that he’d run in the wrong lane and only covered 185m. For a few minutes, though, Lyles set the track world on fire.

World record tease

When Lyles first crossed the line and everyone still believed he had broken the world record, there was talk on track Twitter that it had been a wind-aided run and wouldn’t count as an official record. Even if it had been wind-aided, that would still be an incredible run. He wouldn’t have just beaten Bolt’s record, he would have obliterated it. Unfortunately for everyone (Lyles, the track world and whoever put him in the wrong lane), there was a mistake and he ran 15m short. Once everything was sorted out, Lyles tweeted, “You can’t be playing with my emotions like this … Got me in the wrong lane.” We think it’s safe to assume that he was not amused by the error.

De Grasse and Felix

Lyles’s run and all of the confusion that came with it stole the show on Thursday, but there were some other great (and legit) race results before that mishap occurred. Canada’s Andre De Grasse raced the 100-yard dash against Jimmy Vicaut of France and Olympic 110m hurdles champion Omar McLeod of Jamaica, grabbing the win in 9.68. This time equates to about a 10.59 100m run, which is far off his personal best at the distance. Still, a win is a win, and De Grasse continues to show he’s in good shape as the world creeps back toward a regular racing schedule.

Another big result came from U.S. Olympic champion Allyson Felix, who won the 150m race and set her PB at the distance with a time of 16.81. She upset pre-race favourite Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas for the win. Felix ran alone in Walnut, Calif., while Miller-Uibo raced in Florida and the third competitor, Swiss world championship 200m bronze medallist Mujinga Kambundji, raced in Zurich. After the race, Felix said it was “very strange” racing alone on the track. “It feels sort of like practice, but not even that, because there are no teammates.”

2020, the year of off-distance racing

Since races slowly began to return, there have been a lot of irregular, off-distance events being contested. At the Impossible Games in June, Karsten Warholm set the 300m hurdle world record and the Ingebrigtsen brothers ran a 2,000m race. Thursday saw the men’s 100-yard and women’s 150m races, as well as a women’s 300m hurdle event. Who knows, maybe the Diamond League will end up adopting some of these rare events and using them in the official 2021 schedule.

(07/11/2020) Views: 1,960 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Allyson Felix notched a pair of impressive victories to highlight the Inspiration Games

The Zurich Diamond League organisers' entertaining and innovative answer to the global coronavirus pandemic that brought together 30 athletes competing in seven venues across two continents on Thursday (9).

Felix, competing in Walnut, California, near Los Angeles, kicked off the meeting with a solid victory in the 150m and brought it to its conclusion with her anchor leg on the victorious squad in the closing 3x100m relay. All without another competitor on the track.

Felix’s immediate reaction to this first in her storied career?

"Very strange,” she said, with a wide smile. “It’s kind of like practice but not really, with no teammates.”

Running alone, she said, “It's hard to challenge yourself. But I love this sport so any chance to get out here and run. I'm all about that.”

Action on the tracks kicked off with the women's 150m, with Swiss star Mujinga Kambundji competing in Zurich, Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo in Bradenton, Florida, 8000 kilometres and six time zones west, and Felix, another 4000 kilometres to her west.

With track configurations and the camera angles on the synchronized stream varying slightly, it was difficult to follow who was leading until moments before the three approached the finish line. Felix crossed hers first in 16.81, well clear of Miller-Uibo who stopped the clock in 17.15. Kambundji clocked 17.28.

Oddly enough, even as they raced from tracks on opposite coasts of the United States, the winds in their respective races were nearly identical. Felix battled a 2.6 m/s headwind and Miller-Uibo a 2.5.

Felix returned to the track to team with Candace Hill and Tianna Bartoletta to collect another dominant victory in the meet-capping 3x100m relay, the trio clocking 32.25 ahead of a Swiss team that clocked 32.50 in Zurich and a Dutch squad that clocked 32.94 in Papendal.

"This is fun," Felix said. "I can't wait until we can do it in person."

Conversely, the men's 100yd was the day’s only on-site face-off, with Jimmy Vicaut of France, Canadian Andre de Grasse and Olympic 110m hurdles champion Omar McLeod meeting on the Bradenton track where they faced a 3.4m/s headwind. For the first half, it was an evenly matched affair until de Grasse, running in the middle of the track, and Vicaut, running on the inside, broke away. De Grasse closed best to nab the narrow victory in 9.68, 0.04 ahead of Vicaut. McLeod was a distant third in 9.87.

(07/10/2020) Views: 485 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World-class athletics at Weltklasse – and across the globe – at Zurich’s Inspiration Games

With Weltklasse Zurich unable to go ahead as planned this year, innovation-driven meeting organisers have instead launched the 'Inspiration Games', a border-spanning Wanda Diamond League exhibition event to be held on 9 July.

The 'Weltklasse Zurich Inspiration Games' will see 30 track and field superstars compete across eight disciplines in an innovative team event spanning seven stadiums and three continents. The aim is not only to provide live sport for athletics fans across the world, but also to inspire the next generation.

As host of the Wanda Diamond League Final, Weltklasse had expected to welcome the world's biggest athletics stars to Zurich this year. But with this year's edition cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, Swiss fans will now have to wait until 2021 and 2022 for the three-day series finale to return to the city.

Instead, Zurich plans to take itself to the world on 9 July, by hosting an innovative new live team event, with dozens of athletes competing simultaneously in different venues across the globe.

"We want to offer fans what they have long been yearning for: a world class live athletics event," said meeting director Christoph Joho.

Three-way clashes

The innovative format will see the world's best athletes line up in a series of three-way clashes between Europe, the USA and the rest of the world. In the 150m, for example, Bahamian Olympic 400m champion and 200m Diamond League champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo will take on US star and six-time Olympic champion Allyson Felix and Switzerland's world bronze medallist Mujinga Kambundi. While Kambundji will burst out of the blocks in Zurich, Felix will compete in Walnut, California, and Miller-Uibo in Miramar, Florida.

Innovative broadcasting

The format, developed in co-peration with World Athletics, the Wanda Diamond League, Swiss Timing and broadcaster SRG SSR, will also showcase traditional athletics from a completely new angle thanks to a unique, specially designed broadcast to be produced by SRG SSR and beamed out across the world.

"To simultaneously broadcast three different venues in each discipline will certainly be a technical challenge," said Karin Nussbaumer, SRG SSR's national coordinator. "Time delays will have to be corrected so that everything is synchronised for the viewer. It is highly demanding to organise such a broadcast."

Inspiration

Yet overcoming challenges is precisely what the Inspiration Games are about, says meeting director Andreas Hediger. The event will be the second part of Weltklasse's 'Inspiration Series', which began with the nationwide 'OneMillionRun' event involving 80,000 Swiss residents in May.

"Both projects are about giving a positive signal and overcoming hurdles," said Hediger. "National and international stars such as Kambundji, Miller-Uibo and Felix are important role models in this respect. They can show the youngsters just how far you can go if you never stop improving, dreaming and believing in yourself."

(06/13/2020) Views: 559 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World 200m champion Noah Lyles and multi-medal winning fellow American Allyson Felix will headline an ambitious track and field meet on July 9

Organizers of the Zurich Diamond League, cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, will host the televised 90-minute live event.

World 200m champion Noah Lyles and multi-medal winning fellow American Allyson Felix will headline an ambitious track and field meet on July 9 that sees athletes competing in eight disciplines at seven venues across the globe.

"We would like to present a live event at Weltklasse Zurich level even this year. Therefore, we have been looking for creative ideas and working on new formats," said co-meeting director Christoph Joho.

There will be eight three-way competitions, four for men and four for women, pitching Europe against the United States and the rest of the world.

There is a women's 150m race featuring six-time Olympic champion Felix, Bahamian Olympic 400m gold medallist Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Switzerland's 200m world bronze medallist Mujinga Kambundji. Kambundji will run in Zurich, Felix in California and Miller-Uibo in Florida.

"This new format will hopefully give the fans something fun to look forward to during a time that has been really difficult for everyone," said Felix.

Lyles is slated to run the 200m, while a rarely-run 100 yards sees Canada's multi-world and Olympic medal-winning sprinter Andre de Grasse up against Jamaica's Olympic 110m hurdles champion Omar McLeod and Frenchman Jimmy Vicaut.

American world record holder and current world 400m hurdles champion Dalilah Muhammad will compete in a hurdles race over 300m, while Greece's Ekaterini Stefanidi goes up against American Sandi Morris in the women's pole vault.

The men's triple jump features American world champion Christian Taylor and Pedro Pablo Pichardo, the Cuban-born two-time world silver medallist competing for Portugal.

(06/09/2020) Views: 373 ⚡AMP
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Shalane Flanagan Adopts a newborn Baby Boy Jack Dean Edwards

She’s a four-time Olympian for Team USA, and now Shalane Flanagan is a mom.

The former track and field and marathon star announced she and husband Steve Edwards became parents after adopting a newborn son this week.

“By far, the greatest gift we have ever been given. Jack Dean Edwards,” she captioned an Instagram slideshow of the swaddled baby. “On April 28th, Steven and I welcomed Jack with full hearts and open arms into our family through adoption.

“I was not prepared for a love like this."

Jack arrived Thursday at 8:56 a.m., weighing 6 pounds 10 ounces, Flanagan wrote.

The couple previously fostered teenage sisters, and soon after began looking into adoption. Flanagan opened up about the process in a March 2019 article with Women’s Running, saying they had applied for an infant adoption but were also exploring foster adoption.

“There’s such a need and my heart goes out to these kids,” she said. “I feel like Steve and I are in such a fortunate position to be able to give kids care and a home. …

“We may adopt an infant. We may adopt toddlers. We don’t know, but we’re putting ourselves in a position for whatever kids are in need. It’s scary but exciting. It’s a totally different life, but it’ll be fun.”

Flanagan, a native of Marblehead, Massachusetts, who now lives in Portland, Oregon, made her Olympic debut in 2004 on the track, and four years later won a bronze medal that was later upgraded to silver in the 10,000-meter in Beijing. She switched to marathon after that, finishing 10th in London and sixth in Rio.

Along with Des Linden and Kara Goucher, Flanagan helped usher in a new generation of U.S. women’s marathoners, and in 2017 her win at the New York City Marathon ended a four-decade drought for U.S. women’s runners.

She retired from elite racing in October 2019 to pursue a career as a coach. NBC also hired her as an analyst.

Several fellow Team USA stars were quick to congratulate Flanagan on Instagram, including Goucher and Allyson Felix, both of whom are also mothers.

“Congrats Shalane!” Felix wrote. “So happy for you"

(05/01/2020) Views: 503 ⚡AMP
by Chros McDougall
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Allyson Felix will headline the 113th NYRR Millrose Games for this weekend

Allyson Felix leads a host of Olympic medalists at the world’s top annual international indoor track and field meet, the NYRR Millrose Games, live on NBC Sports on Saturday.

Felix, the most decorated female track and field Olympian with nine medals, competes in the 60m at the Armory in New York City. She takes on a field including U.S. 100m champion Teahna Daniels and 17-year-old Jamaican phenom Briana Williams.

NBC and NBC Sports Gold air live coverage of the Millrose Games on Saturday from 4-6 p.m. ET. Full start lists are here.

Athletes are preparing for the USA Track and Field Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, N.M., the following weekend, and the Olympic trials in Eugene, Ore., in June. The world indoor championships, traditionally held in even years, have been postponed due to host nation China’s coronavirus.

Felix is racing indoors this season for the first time since 2016. She missed the last indoor season following the birth of daughter Camryn. Though Felix is predominantly a 400m sprinter, she said in the fall that she plans to be ready to race the 200m at the Olympic trials. The 200m comes after the 400m at trials, so it could be a safety net if Felix is unable to make the team in the 400m.

In other Millrose Games events, the 60m hurdles features Olympic 110m hurdles champion Omar McLeod of Jamaica, plus the two fastest men from last year — world champion Grant Holloway and Daniel Roberts, both Americans.

World champion Nia Ali and world-record holder Keni Harrison are entered in the women’s 60m hurdles.

Another world champion, Donavan Brazier, leads an 800m field that includes fellow U.S. Olympic team contenders Bryce Hoppel, Brannon Kidder and Isaiah Harris.

In field events, Olympic champion Ryan Crouser takes on world champion Joe Kovacs in the shot put. Olympic silver medalist Sandi Morris headlines the women’s pole vault.

Action concludes with the Wanamaker Men’s Mile. Two-time Olympic 1500m medalist Nick Willis of New Zealand aims to win that race for the first time.

(02/06/2020) Views: 645 ⚡AMP
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NYRR Millrose Games

NYRR Millrose Games

The NYRR Millrose Games,which began in 1908 as a small event sponsored by a local track club, has grown to become the most prestigious indoor track and field event in the United States. The NYRR Millrose Games meet is held in Manhattan’s Washington Heights at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armony, which boasts a state-of-the-art six-lane,...

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The 113th NYRR Millrose Games will host the greatest array of talent ever assembled

The 113th NYRR Millrose Games will host many of the world’s best track & field men and women to perform on centre stage on February 8 at The Armory New Balance Track & Field Center in Washington Heights in New York City. 

This year’s NYRR Millrose Games field is arguably the most talented overall since the meet moved to The Armory in 2012.

NYRR Millrose Games Meet Director Ray Flynn takes it one step further: “This year’s Millrose Games features probably the greatest array of talent ever assembled in its 113-year history.”

Moreover, 16 women and 15 men are Olympians in the 113th NYRR Millrose Games.

Allyson Felix headlines the women’s side. Felix is a six-time Olympic gold medalist and is the most decorated athlete in the history of track & field. She is entered in the Women’s 60m and has her sights set on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics this summer.

Joining Felix as the top women track & field athletes in this year’s NYRR Millrose Games are: Ajeé Wilson (competing in the Jack and Lewis Rudin Women’s 800m), the American Indoor and Outdoor record-holder in the 800m, two-time World Championships bronze medalist and two-time World Indoor silver medalist, Laura Muir (Jack and Lewis Rudin Women’s 800m), a four-time European Indoor champion and 2018 European 1,500m champion. 

Sandi Morris (Women’s pole vault), the World Indoor champion in 2018 and 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist, Kenni Harrison (Women’s 60m hurdles), the 100m hurdles world record holder, 2018 World Indoor champion and 2019 World silver medalist, Nia Ali (60m hurdles), 2019 World gold medalist in 100m hurdles and 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist, Wadeline Jonathas (Women’s 400m), 2019 World Championships gold medalist in 4x400m Relay.

Konstanze Klosterhalfen (Women’s Wanamaker Mile), the defending Women’s Wanamaker Mile champion and 2019 World Championships bronze medalist in the 5,000m, Nikki Hiltz (Women’s Wanamaker Mile), 2019 World Championships 1,500m finalist and last weekend turned in a PR 4:29.39 to win the mile at the Dr Sander Invitational Columbia Challenge at The Armory, Elinor Purrier (Women’s Wanamaker Mile), the 2018 NCAA Indoor Mile champion, runner-up in the 2019 New Balance 5thAvenue Mile Presented by NYRR with a time of 4:16.2 on the heels of winner Jenny Simpson’s 4:16.1 and this past weekend set a personal-best 9:29.19 to win the two-mile race at the New Balance Grand Prix, Brittany Brown(Women’s 400m), 2019 World Outdoor Championships 200m silver medalist.

The top men competing for feature Ryan Crouser and Joe Kovacs, who will reprise last year’s duel in the men’s shot put from the centre of the infield. Crouser is the 2016 Olympic champion and 2019 World silver medalist, while Kovacs is the 2015 and 2019 World champion and the 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist.

Other top men competing in the 113th NYRR Millrose Games include, Omar McLeod (Men’s 60m hurdles), 2016 Rio Olympics gold medalist, Grant Holloway (Men’s 60m hurdles), the 2019 World Championships gold medalist in the 110 hurdles, Ronnie Baker (Men’s 60m), 2018 World Indoor Championships bronze medalist in 60m and third fastest 60m in history. 

Donavan Brazier (Men’s 800m) 2019 World Championship gold medalist and American indoor and outdoor record-holder in 800m; and in 2019 he broke the Indoor world record in 600m at USATF Championships, Michael Saruni (Men’s 800m), NYRR Millrose Games champion, NCAA record-holder and Kenyan Indoor 800m record-holder, Isaiah Harris (Men’s 800m), 2018 NCAA champion, Bryce Hoppel (Men’s 800m), 2019 NCAA champion and World Championships finalist, Rai Benjamin (Men’s 300m), 2019 World Championships silver medalist in 400 hurdles and 2019 U.S. Champion 400m hurdles.

Filip Ingebrigtsen (Men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile), Norwegian National record holder in both the 1,500m and mile, and 2017 World Championships bronze medalist in 1,500m, Nick Willis (Men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile), two-time Olympic 1,500m medalist, silver (2008) and bronze (2016). When Willis ran a 3:59.89 last weekend in the New Balance Grand Prix it marked the 18th consecutive year he ran a sub-4-minute mile, tying John Walker’s record. Willis won a record-breaking fifth title at the Fifth Avenue Mile last September, Chris O’Hare, (Men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile), 2018 NYRR Wanamaker Mile champion, Eric Jenkins (Men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile), 2017 NYRR Wanamaker Mile champion, Paul Tanui (Men’s 3,000m), 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist in 10,000m.

(02/04/2020) Views: 834 ⚡AMP
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NYRR Millrose Games

NYRR Millrose Games

The NYRR Millrose Games,which began in 1908 as a small event sponsored by a local track club, has grown to become the most prestigious indoor track and field event in the United States. The NYRR Millrose Games meet is held in Manhattan’s Washington Heights at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armony, which boasts a state-of-the-art six-lane,...

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Jamaica's 17-year-old Briana Williams will face Allyson Felix at Millrose Games

Jamaica's 17-year-old sprint sensation Briana Williams is listed to compete in the women's 60m at the 113th NYRR Millrose Games, scheduled for Saturday, February 8 at the Armory Track & Field Center in New York.

Williams, who is based in Florida, will take on a strong field with five Olympians led by  American Allyson Felix, arguably the most accomplished athlete in track and field. Felix is a six-time Olympic gold medalist and 13-time world champion.

After giving birth to her daughter in November 2018, Felix returned to competition this past season, winning a gold medal on the mixed 4x400m relay at the Doha World Championships to surpass Usain Bolt as the most decorated athlete in the history of the sport.

The Millrose Games will be the third meet that Williams is confirmed for since being found of 'no-fault' from the Independent Anti-Doping Panel in September following a positive drug test.

She took an over-the-counter flu remedy at the Jamaican trial in June which had the banned diuretic Hydrochlorothiazide in its components. The young sprinter then decided in September to withdraw from the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, a competition she had qualified for at the Jamaican trials.

At the trials, Williams had the best race of her young career, finishing third at 100m in a wind-legal time of 10.94 (+0.6) seconds, which broke the national junior record -- though World Athletics did not ratify the effort, nullifying a potential World U18 record. Still, she became just the second high school athlete to ever break the elusive 11-second mark. 

Williams will also face Teahna Daniels, the 2019 USA champion in the 100 m. Daniels had a breakout season in 2019, dipping under the 11-second barrier with a personal best of 10.99, before making the final in Doha where she finished seventh. Also joining the field is Morolake Akinosun, a former four-time NCAA champion. Akinosun also won an Olympic gold medal on the Rio 4x100m relay, competing alongside Felix for Team USA.

Defending Millrose champion English Gardner and Deajah Stevens, a former NCAA champion who competed in the 200m at the Rio Olympics are also in the field.

Williams will open her season on January 11 in South Carolina, USA followed by the Queen's School/Grace Jackson Invitational in Kingston, Jamaica on January 25, both also over 60m.

(01/14/2020) Views: 1,023 ⚡AMP
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NYRR Millrose Games

NYRR Millrose Games

The NYRR Millrose Games,which began in 1908 as a small event sponsored by a local track club, has grown to become the most prestigious indoor track and field event in the United States. The NYRR Millrose Games meet is held in Manhattan’s Washington Heights at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armony, which boasts a state-of-the-art six-lane,...

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Eliud Kipchoge and Dalilah Muhammad named World Athletes of the year

Record-breakers Dalilah Muhammad and Eliud Kipchoge were named the World Athletics athletes of the year on Saturday.

Muhammad, who twice lowered the 400m hurdles world record last season, became the first athlete in her event to take the honor since Brit Sally Gunnell in 1993. And the first American woman to earn it from any event since Allyson Felix in 2012.

The Kenyan Kipchoge became the first repeat athlete of the year since Usain Bolt in 2012 and 2013. Kipchoge, who lowered the marathon world record by 78 seconds in 2018, became the first person to break two hours in a marathon on Oct. 12 in a non-record-eligible event.

The other female finalists were Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Dutch distance runner Sifan Hassan, Kenyan marathoner Brigid Kosgei and Venezuelan triple jumper Yulimar Rojas.

The other male finalists were Ugandan distance runner Joshua Cheptegei, American pole vaulter Sam Kendricks and sprinter Noah Lyles and Norwegian hurdler Karsten Warholm.

World Athletics is track and field’s international governing body, rebranded from IAAF this year. 

(11/24/2019) Views: 600 ⚡AMP
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Under fire, Nike expands protections for pregnant athletes

Having faced increased scrutiny for its treatment of pregnant athletes, Nike is changing its policy to guarantee a pregnant athlete’s pay and bonuses cannot be cut over the 18-month period covering eight months before the athlete’s due date and 10 months after. Under Nike’s previous policy, which had been updated in 2018, according to a spokesman, that period lasted 12 months.

“Female athletes and their representatives will begin receiving written confirmation reaffirming Nike’s official pregnancy policy for elite athletes,” a Nike spokesperson wrote in an email. “In addition to our 2018 policy standardizing our approach across all sports to ensure no female athlete is adversely impacted financially for pregnancy, the policy has now been expanded to cover 18 months.”

In a form letter intended for athletes and agents dated Aug. 12 that circulated on social media, John Slusher, Nike’s executive vice president of global sports marketing, said the company’s new policy also will apply to current contracts.

Nike came under fire this spring after several high-profile athletes denounced how it and other apparel companies treated them financially after becoming pregnant. Tennis star Serena Williams said Nike supported her during and after her pregnancy, but multiple track and field athletes described problems.

In a New York Times op-ed in May, sprinter Allyson Felix wrote that contract renewal talks broke down after Nike offered to pay 70 percent of her previous salary and refused to guarantee she wouldn’t be financially punished for performing below her standard in the months before and after childbirth. In another Times op-ed, distance runner Kara Goucher said she felt forced to train, owing to financial pressure, rather than care for her newborn.

Felix, 33, gave birth in November after an emergency Caesarean section, the complications of which threatened her and daughter Camryn. She returned to competition in July at the U.S. outdoor championships, then announced she had signed a new sponsorship contract with Athleta, a deal that includes a partnership for initiatives that empower women.

“I can’t tell you the number of women who have reached out, who have encouraged me, who have been through a similar experience, who have been scared to let their employer know that they started a family,” Felix said this summer. “I was just blown away with those different stories, the different people coming to me. I think there’s definitely a shared experience there, and I think there’s power in coming together, power of the collective. I think the more voices that come out, you know, change is happening.”

(08/18/2019) Views: 916 ⚡AMP
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Allyson Felix has signed a multi-year contract with athletic apparel brand Athleta

Felix, who’s one of the most decorated athletes in American history, has upwards of 10 Olympic and World Championship medals.

Felix ran for Nike starting in 2010, a contract which ended in December of 2017. She was in negotiations with the company when she openly criticized her sponsor for not supporting women athletes who choose to start a family.

She followed that up with testifying before the US House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee on the maternal mortality crisis.

Though she had excellent healthcare and was in top physical condition, Felix suffered serious complications during her pregnancy and underwent an emergency C-section at 32 weeks. She spent the next few months with her baby in the NICU before going public with her story in December 2018.

Felix raced in an unbranded black kit at this past weekend’s USATF National Championships, where she placed sixth in the 400m final and made her 13th World Championship team in the relay pool for the 4x400m. She gave birth last November to her daughter Camryn.

Felix’s contract with Athleta includes full pregnancy protections. Nike has since changed their pregnancy policy to better accommodate their female athletes.

(08/02/2019) Views: 2,352 ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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New mom Allyson Felix qualifies for her 13th world championships at Doha

Allyson Felix, the most decorated track runner in world championship history with 16 career medals, made a very respectable comeback yesterday at the USATF Outdoor Championships yesterday, finishing sixth in the 400m final, qualifying her for the 4x400m relay pool for the 2019 world championships at Doha. It will be her 13th world championships.

Felix ran 51.94s in her first race back since having her baby last November. She made headlines a few months ago when she openly criticized her sponsor, Nike, for not supporting women athletes who choose to start a family, and followed that up with testifying before the US House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee on the maternal mortality crisis.

Though she had excellent healthcare and was in top physical condition, Felix suffered serious complications during her pregnancy and underwent an emergency C-section at 32 weeks.

She spent the next few months with her baby in the NICU before going public with her story in December 2018. Felix is still without a contract, and raced unattached this weekend.

Felix wasn’t the only mom commanding attention on the track this weekend. Nia Ali, who had her second baby last year, took second place in the women’s 100m hurdles, securing herself a berth on the American world championship team with a season’s best 12.55s. (The baby’s father is Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse, who finished second in the 100m at the Canadian nationals this weekend.)

(07/29/2019) Views: 984 ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

The seventeenth edition of the IAAF World Championships is scheduled to be held between 27 September and 6 October 2019 in Doha, Qatar at the renovated multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium. Doha overcame bids from Eugene, USA, and Barcelona, Spain to be granted the rights to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics. Having hosted the IAAF Diamond League, formerly...

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Allyson Felix, the most decorated woman in Olympic track and field history, spoke out in support of Caster Semenya

Felix reacted to the IAAF rule change capping testosterone levels for athletes in women’s events between the 400m and mile, conversing with Julie Foudy on the Olympic soccer champion’s podcast, Laughter Permitted.

Semenya, the two-time Olympic 800m champion on a three-year win streak, has said she is being specifically targeted by the rule change.

The South African challenged the new rules but lost a decision, nearly a decade since word leaked that track officials mandated she undergo gender-verification testing after she won the world 800m title by 2.45 seconds at age 18.

“I’ve been disappointed from the beginning, of just how everything has been handled,” Felix said of her fellow Nike-sponsored runner. “I just think that it’s not OK. I stand with Caster. She’s a friend of mine. I just think that no one should have to go through what she’s had to go through. Not just in this moment. From the beginning of when she started competing. So I think it’s a very, very complex issue. … But I just think that it has been mishandled from the start.”

Barring another appeal, and one that is successful, it’s unknown if or when Semenya will be able to compete in her best races again.

Felix is glad that she’s not making the decision in a case that has been fiercely debated for years.

“There has to be something, or there should have already been something in place when you’re dealing with athletes with differences or intersex athletes. I don’t know. It’s challenging,” she said. “We’re talking about human beings. This is a person. To have all of this play out the way that it has, it makes me cringe to think of her dealing with this. This has been for 10 years now. I just feel like there is a better way.”

Felix also reiterated that she’s going for what would be her fifth Olympics in 2020 — “this last one and enjoy the whole ride.” Her daughter, Camryn, is now five months old after being born eight weeks premature and spending her first month in the NICU.

(05/21/2019) Views: 1,558 ⚡AMP
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

The Pre Classic, part of the Diamond League series of international meets featuring Olympic-level athletes, had been scheduled for August 20-21 at the new Hayward Field in Eugene. The Prefontaine Classicis the longest-running outdoor invitational track & field meet in America and is part of the elite Wanda Diamond League of meets held worldwide annually. The Pre Classic’s results score...

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US Olympic star Allyson Felix gave birth to her daughter November 28 who is now doing fine

Allyson Felix is the most decorated woman track and field star in U.S. Olympic history, sprinting to three medals (two golds, one silver) at the 2016 Games in Rio to bring her total Olympic medal count to nine.

Allyson Felix has shared her birth story with ESPN-W. The runner kept her pregnancy a secret for several months, continuing to compete when she was four months pregnant. The baby was due in January 2019, but at a routine checkup late last month, Felix was found to have high blood pressure and the baby’s heartbeat was alarmingly slow. Felix gave birth by C-section on November 28, and though baby Camryn is still in the neonatal intensive care unit, Felix says she is going to be OK. Felix lives in Santa Clarita, California.

Felix describes what a shock it was when everything didn’t go the way she thought it would. And she describes the NICU as being “like this whole other world that you never knew existed of people being fighters and dealing with incredible circumstances and somehow managing.”

“Every day I sit with my daughter in the NICU and watch her fight. Every day she gets stronger and more beautiful".

“If I come back and I’m just not the same, if I can’t make a fifth Olympic team, I’m gonna know that I fought, that I was determined, and that I gave it my absolute all. And if it doesn’t end up the way I imagined in my head, it’ll be OK. I just have to go for it, because that’s just simply who we are now.”

(12/22/2018) Views: 1,262 ⚡AMP
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Farah, Semenya and Felix among 2018 Laueus Nominees

World champions Mo Farah of Great Britain, South African Caster Semenya and Allyson Felix of the US are among the nominees for the 2018 Laureus world sportsman and sportswoman of the year awards. Other athletics stars among to receive nominations include Australia's 100m hurdles world champion Sally Pearson and 100m gold medallist Justin Gatlin of the US, both in the World comeback of the year category. (01/17/2018) Views: 996 ⚡AMP
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