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Articles tagged #Dina Asher-Smith
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Dina Asher-Smith out of the Commonwealth Games

Sprinter forced to withdraw due to minor hamstring strain sustained at the World Championships in Eugene.

Dina Asher-Smith has pulled out of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham after pulling her left hamstring in the 4x100m at the World Championships in Eugene on Saturday.

Asher-Smith equalled her British 100m record in Eugene before winning bronze in the 200m at the championships but she pulled up during the third leg of the sprint relay and after arriving back in Britain she has been advised to take a few days off running.

In Eugene she walked off the track without limping or seeking immediate medical help after the injury occurred. But after medics have examined her it means she will miss the big Birmingham event but is likely to return to defend her European titles in Munich later in August.

She won 4x100m gold and 200m bronze at the last Games on the Gold Coast in 2018. She said: “Unfortunately, I’ve got a slight hamstring strain and won’t be ready to race next week at the Commonwealth Games.

“I love racing in front of a British crowd and was so excited to return to Birmingham, so I’m sad that I won’t be there, but I know that the athletes will put on a great show. Wishing the best of luck to all my team-mates!”

Kelly Sotherton, Team England’s team leader for athletics at Birmingham 2022, said: “It’s obviously really sad to lose Dina through injury, given her stature and standing as one of the best female athletes in the world.

“We know just how much she was looking forward to being part of Team England at a home Games in Birmingham. We wish Dina well with her recovery and hope to see her back on the track very soon, doing what she does best.”

(07/28/2022) Views: 86 ⚡AMP
by Jason Henderson
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The Commonwealth Games

The Commonwealth Games

One of the youngest cities in Europe, Birmingham is vibrant and richly diverse. It is well known for always offering a warm welcome to visitors from around the world. The Birming ham 2022 Commonwealth Games will demonstrate the very best of Global Britain to the world, showcasing the region’s strengths of: being connected and accessible; youth and...

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Abby Steiner Delivers a Solid Debut at the World Championships

Last night in Eugene, Oregon, Abby Steiner placed fifth in the world in the 200 meters, with a time of 22.26. She was the top American. Her 21.77 at U.S. championships a few weeks ago was the second-fastest time in the world this year coming into the World Championships. She’s the sixth fastest American ever in the event. 

“It was just such a great learning experience,” she said. “I got to compete against some of the people I have looked up to for so long in this sport.”

Nearly every time she’s raced a 200 so far this year (and she’s been in a lot of races), Steiner is clearly in the front. She usually gets out of the blocks well and comes off the turn leading. This was the first time this year the lanes around her were filled by women who are just as fast as her, or faster. 

The 200m Final at the World Athletics Championships

Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson won the race in 21.45, a championship record. She’s the second fastest woman ever in the event after Florence Griffth-Joyner, who ran 21.34 in 1988. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, also of Jamaica, finished second in 21.81, after winning the 100 meters a few days ago. Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith finished third in 22.02, after setting a national record in the 100 final a few days ago, where she finished fourth. 

The very American crowd in Hayward Field had their eyes on Steiner. Nobody really knows anything about her; her Instagram page doesn’t provide anything substantial about her—other than the fact that she’s very, very fast. But we already knew that. 

Sports have always been a huge part of her life; Steiner even played soccer at Kentucky in addition to running track when she first got to college. Her degree is in exercise science, and if she weren’t a track athlete, she’d want to be a physical therapist. She’s passionate about the mechanical, physiological lens of running, even though she has unconventional form. She has a dramatic left arm swing that makes her form recognizable from across the stadium. 

What the Future Holds for Abby Steiner

Steiner has deferred an acceptance into a Masters program in physical therapy for the foreseeable future while she does pro running full time. “It’s been a dream of mine for a very long time,” she said. “I want to give back the way those people gave back to me. As an athlete I know that injury is inevitable.” She pulled her ACL playing soccer in high school, and that was a pivotal moment for her: Sports are all she knows, and what she loves was momentarily taken away from her. 

Beyond sports, she’s “really into crossword puzzles right now.” I double-taxed and told her she can’t be serious and she laughed. “I also do jigsaw puzzles,” she said. Strenuous hobbies are not for her, as her career is already strenuous and she wants to take the time to decompress and chill out very seriously. She said she spends a good amount of time alone and is trying to read 25 books this year. She’s already 14 deep, and currently reading The Invitation by Lucy Foley. 

She’s also interested in bringing fashion to track and field. She signed with Puma this week and the new Puma uniform only has one shoulder. “I love that fashion is coming back into track and field. Bold uniforms, bold hairstyles, makeup, I love it,” she said. “I honestly feel like when I look good I run good. I feel like my confidence exudes itself on the track.” During our interview, her entire outfit was the same color blue and she had matching blue nails—a nod to her alma mater, the University of Kentucky, where she just graduated but plans to continue living and training. 

Steiner really likes and trusts her college coach and doesn’t want to part with him. “My coach is one of the main reasons I’m in this position. He completely developed me from freshman year until now.” Lexington is also not far from her hometown of Columbus, Ohio, which is where her family lives. 

Steiner was fifth in the world, but she’s just turned 22. Fraser-Pryce is 35. Jackson is 28. Steiner’s got time. We’ll be hearing her name for a while. 

(07/23/2022) Views: 90 ⚡AMP
by Abby Steiner
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World Athletics Championships Oregon22

World Athletics Championships Oregon22

The World Athletics Championships was held in the United States for the first time ever. WCH Oregon22 was an unmissable global experience, and it took place in the United States for the very first time. The best track and field athletes in the world came together in a celebration of diversity, human potential, and athletic achievement. This extraordinary showcase took...

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Jamaica's Shericka Jackson edges Fraser-Pryce to win world 200m gold

Jamaica's Shericka Jackson outgunned compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce on the back straight to win 200m gold at the World Athletics Championships on Thursday.

Jackson set a championship record of 21.45 seconds, the second fastest time ever run over the distance, for a first individual world title at Hayward Field, Eugene.

Newly-crowned 100m gold medalist Fraser-Pryce took silver in 21.81sec, with defending champion Dina Asher-Smith of Britain claiming bronze (22.02).

All eyes had been on Fraser-Pryce, sporting a long mane of dyed purple hair, in her bid for a second sprint double after having achieved the feat at the 2013 Moscow worlds.

Fast out of the blocks in lane six, Fraser-Pryce rocketed past Niger's Aminatou Seyni in no time, running a great bend to hit the back stretch neck-and-neck with Jackson, in four.

As the two Jamaicans went head-to-head, Jackson put on the afterburners and pulled away in impressive style, not giving up until she thundered through the line.

Fraser-Pryce swept through on her coattails, with Asher-Smith holding off Seyni for bronze.

Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah, the third part of Jamaica's cleansweep of the 100m along with Fraser-Pryce and Jackson, eventually came in seventh in 22.39sec.

(07/22/2022) Views: 78 ⚡AMP
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World Athletics Championships Oregon22

World Athletics Championships Oregon22

The World Athletics Championships was held in the United States for the first time ever. WCH Oregon22 was an unmissable global experience, and it took place in the United States for the very first time. The best track and field athletes in the world came together in a celebration of diversity, human potential, and athletic achievement. This extraordinary showcase took...

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Noah Lyles storms to 200-meter gold at World Championships, leading U.S. sweep clocking the third fastest time ever

Thursday night was for the sprinters at the World Athletics Championships, as the men's and women's 200 meter finals took center stage in the only medal races of the session in Eugene, Oregon.

American Noah Lyles ran the third-fastest time in history and broke Michael Johnson's American record, crossing the line in 19.31 seconds and winning the men's race in dominant fashion. Not known for running a great curve, Lyles had a tremendous start and took all of the suspense out of the finish before it was halfway over.

Just as they did in the 100 meters, the United States swept the medals in the 200: behind Lyles was Kenny Bednarek in 19.77 seconds, and 18-year-old sensation Erriyon Knighton in 19.80 seconds.

The 25-year-old Lyles was the defending World champion but at the Tokyo Olympics last summer was disappointed to finish as bronze medalist; he has since revealed that he ran with a swelling in his knee, bad enough to affect him but not so bad that he couldn't race.

A Virginia native — he and his brother Josephus starred at T.C. Williams High, immortalized in "Remember the Titans" — Lyles is beloved for his playful spirit and candor. After the medal ceremony he joyously jumped on the back of the Championships. Fluffy yellow mascot, Legend, and got a piggy-back for a few seconds, jumping off and immediately going to the stands for autographs and selfies. Lyles' long coils are currently dyed a light brown, but in the past he's colored it silver, an homage to Goku of "Dragon Ball Z," and he's always open about his mental health journey.

Bednarek, who is 23, matched the silver he'd won in Tokyo in the 200, while Knighton became the youngest man to win a sprint medal in Worlds history.

After a poor showing from the American men at the Olympics last summer when they only won two gold medals — in shot put and the 4x400m relay — they have certainly bounced back this year at Worlds; Lyles' win is the fourth gold for the U.S. men, with a strong chance for three more in the closing days of the meet.

The thrilling men's race matched the women's race, which had been contested just minutes earlier.

Jamaica's women again asserted their short-distance dominance, with Shericka Jackson winning gold in a stunning 21.45 seconds and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce silver in 21.81 in the women's 200; Great Britain's Dina Asher-Smith, the defending champion, ran to bronze in 22.02.

Jackson's time makes her the fastest living woman on Earth — only the late Florence Griffith-Joyner, who ran a 21.34 in 1988, has ever run faster.

Fraser-Pryce, as is her way, was stellar out of the blocks but couldn't sustain it; Jackson passed her with around 90 meters to go and just kept pulling away, her arms driving her to the finish line. A veteran of several global championship meets, Jackson has multiple 400-meter bronze medals, from the 2015 and 2019 World Championships and the 2016 Rio Olympics as well as relay golds, but has since dropped down to the 200 and 100.

Earlier this week, she won silver in the 100m behind Fraser-Pryce, but Thursday was finally her night to get an individual gold.

(Third photo taken by Jivko at the USATF National Championships.)

(07/21/2022) Views: 90 ⚡AMP
by Shalise Manza Young
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World Athletics Championships Oregon22

World Athletics Championships Oregon22

The World Athletics Championships was held in the United States for the first time ever. WCH Oregon22 was an unmissable global experience, and it took place in the United States for the very first time. The best track and field athletes in the world came together in a celebration of diversity, human potential, and athletic achievement. This extraordinary showcase took...

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Record-breaker Fraser-Pryce wins her fifth world 100m title in Oregon

It might be a familiar sight – witnessing Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce flowing towards the finish line on her way to yet another global gold – but the awe it inspires doesn’t diminish.

In front of a packed passionate Hayward Field crowd on day three of the World Athletics Championships Oregon22, the Jamaican sprint star secured a record-extending fifth world 100m title, leading a Jamaican sweep of the medals in a championship record of 10.67 (0.8m/s).

It's almost 14 years since her first global title – 100m gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics – but Fraser-Pryce continues to make history. With her run in Oregon on Sunday (17), the 35-year-old becomes the first athlete to win five world titles in a single individual running event, leading the first ever sweep of the medals in this discipline at the World Championships.

Behind her, Shericka Jackson continued to demonstrate her impressive versatility, running a PB of 10.73 to add world 100m silver to the two 400m bronze medals she won in 2015 and 2019, while five-time Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah claimed her first world 100m medal with a 10.81 run.

In the deepest ever women’s World Championships 100m final, seven of the eight finalists dipped under 11 seconds, with best ever marks for fourth, sixth and seventh. In fourth was Britain’s reigning world 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith, who equalled her British record of 10.83. Switzerland’s world indoor 60m champion Mujinga Kambundji finished fifth in 10.91, while USA’s Aleia Hobbs was sixth in 10.92, Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou seventh in 10.93 and USA’s Melissa Jefferson eighth in 11.03.

Fraser-Pryce sits third on the world 100m all-time list with the 10.60 she ran in Lausanne last August, putting her behind only USA’s Florence Griffith-Joyner with her 10.49 world record from 1988 and Thompson-Herah with her 10.54 at Hayward Field almost a year ago. On Sunday evening it was all about the win, though the fierce competition meant it took a championship record to achieve it.

Showing superb consistency, it is Fraser-Pryce’s third 10.67 of the season, each mark having been achieved in a different continent.

She is now a 20-time global medallist – with 13 of those being gold – and she has the chance to add even more to that tally in Oregon as she is also entered for the 200m and 4x100m.

The first of Fraser-Pryce’s world 100m title wins came in Berlin in 2009, when she ran 10.73 as the Olympic champion to lead a Jamaican top two ahead of Kerron Stewart. She then claimed a sprint double in Moscow in 2013, regaining her 100m title and winning her first global 200m gold. She retained her world 100m title in Beijing two years later and returned to World Championships action in Doha in 2019 as a mother – her son Zyon arrived in 2017, with Fraser-Pryce having gone into labour while watching the world 100m final that year. In Doha she won 100m gold for the fourth time and again formed part of the victorious Jamaican 4x100m team to claim her fourth world relay win.

Added to this, Fraser-Pryce secured world 4x100m silver medals in 2007 and 2011 and then of course there are her three Olympic titles, four Olympic silver medals and one Olympic bronze.

The first to achieve five world titles in a single individual running event, only three other athletes in World Championships history – Sergey Bubka (pole vault), Pawel Fajdek (hammer) and Lars Riedel (discus) – have also won the same single disciple five or more times.

"I feel blessed to have this talent and to continue to do it at 35, (after) having a baby, still going, and hopefully inspiring women that they can make their own journey," added Fraser-Pryce.

Now she will prepare for the 200m, for which the heats take place on Monday. Jackson, Thompson-Herah, Asher-Smith, Kambundji and Ta Lou will be among those joining her.

“I'm just grateful. Last year when I switched to the 100m I was scared, but I took my time and here I am today," said Jackson, who improved her 200m PB to 21.55 – the third-fastest ever time behind Griffith-Joyner’s 21.34 world record and Thompson-Herah’s 21.53 from Tokyo last year – when winning the Jamaican title. "Feeling good to be part of history and coming for more."

After her four individual Olympic gold medal wins, Thompson-Herah remains on the hunt for her first individual world title.

"I'm happy to get my first 100m medal and be on the podium for the first time," she said. "I've been working really hard, even though I had some struggles during the season."

The Jamaican trio had led the way in the semifinals, Thompson-Herah winning her race in 10.82 and Jackson taking hers in 10.84, while Fraser-Pryce eased to a 10.93 win in the third semifinal.

Asher-Smith went quickest in the heats the day before, running 10.84 for the second-fastest 100m heat time in World Championships history, just 0.01 off her own British record achieved when claiming silver in Doha. Fraser-Pryce won her heat in 10.87. The Oceania record also fell, New Zealand’s Zoe Hobbs advancing to the semifinals with 11.08.

"I can't even imagine the amount of times I've had setbacks and I've bounced back and I'm here again," said Fraser-Pryce. "I continue to remind myself that sometimes it's not because you don't have the ability, but it's the right time. Today was the right time."

(07/18/2022) Views: 98 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World Athletics Championships Oregon22

World Athletics Championships Oregon22

The World Athletics Championships was held in the United States for the first time ever. WCH Oregon22 was an unmissable global experience, and it took place in the United States for the very first time. The best track and field athletes in the world came together in a celebration of diversity, human potential, and athletic achievement. This extraordinary showcase took...

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GB boost team for World Champs

A number of athletes have been added to the British squad for the World Championships in Eugene following the publication of the “Road to Oregon 2022” qualification positions.

The athletes added are: high jumpers Emily Borthwick, Laura Zialor, Morgan Lake and Joel Clarke-Khan, long jumper Jazmin Sawyers, triple jumper Naomi Metzger, discus throwers Jade Lally and Nick Percy, shot putters Scott Lincoln and Amelia Strickler, sprint hurdler David King, 400m hurdler Chris McAlister, 400m runner Alex Haydock-Wilson, triple jumper Ben Williams and pole vaulter Molly Caudery.

Ellie Baker is also expected to be added to the team in the women’s 800m due to withdrawals from athletes ahead of her in the rankings.

However Callum Wilkinson has dropped out of the team in the 20km walk to focus instead on the Commonwealth Games.

The team is as follows:

Women:

100m: Dina Asher-Smith; Daryll Neita; Imani-Lara Lansiquot; 

200m: Dina Asher-Smith; Beth Dobbin; 

400m: Victoria Ohuruogu; Ama Pipi; Nicole Yeargin; 

800m: Alex Bell; Keely Hodgkinson; Jemma Reekie; Ellie Baker (subject to top 32 ranking); 

1500m: Melissa Courtney-Bryant; Laura Muir; Katie Snowden; 

5000m: Jessica Judd; Amy-Eloise Markovc; Eilish McColgan; 

10,000m: Jessica Judd; Eilish McColgan; 

3000m steeplechase: Lizzie Bird; Aimee Pratt; 

100m hurdles: Cindy Sember; 

400m Hurdles: Jessie Knight; Lina Nielsen; 

High jump: Emily Borthwick, Morgan Lake, Laura Zialor; 

Pole vault: Holly Bradshaw; Molly Caudery; 

Long jump: Lorraine Ugen; Jazmin Sawyers; 

Triple jump: Naomi Metzger; 

Shot put: Sophie McKinna; Amelia Strickler; 

Discus: Jade Lally; 

Heptathlon: Katarina Johnson-Thompson; 

4x100m: Dina Asher-Smith; Beth Dobbin; Imani-Lara Lansiquot; Daryll Neita; Ashleigh Nelson; Asha Philip; Bianca Williams; 

4x400m: Zoey Clark; Jessie Knight; Laviai Nielsen; Lina Nielsen; Victoria Ohuruogu; Ama Pipi; Nicole Yeargin; 

Marathon: Rose Harvey; Jess Piasecki; Charlotte Purdue.

Men:

100m: Zharnel Hughes; Reece Prescod; 

200m: Joe Ferguson; Adam Gemili; Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake; 

400m: Matthew Hudson-Smith; Alex Haydock-Wilson; 

800m: Max Burgin; Kyle Langford; Daniel Rowden; 

1500m: Neil Gourley; Josh Kerr; Jake Wightman; 

5000m: Sam Atkin; Andrew Butchart; Marc Scott; 

10,000m: Patrick Dever; 

110m hurdles: Andrew Pozzi; Josh Zeller; David King; 

400m hurdles: Alastair Chalmers; Chris McAlister; 

High jump: Joel Clarke-Khan; 

Pole vault: Harry Coppell; 

Triple jump: Ben Williams; 

Shot put: Scott Lincoln; 

Discus: Lawrence Okoye; Nick Percy; 

Hammer: Nick Miller; 

4x100m: Harry Aikines-Aryeetey; Jeremiah Azu; Jona Efoloko; Adam Gemili; Zharnel Hughes; Reece Prescod; Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake; 

Marathon: Josh Griffiths; Chris Thompson; 

Mixed 4x400m: Athletes already selected for the women’s 4x400m relay team will be available for selection for this event, plus: Joe Brier; Lewis Davey; Alex Haydock-Wilson.

(06/30/2022) Views: 126 ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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World Athletics Championships Oregon22

World Athletics Championships Oregon22

The World Athletics Championships was held in the United States for the first time ever. WCH Oregon22 was an unmissable global experience, and it took place in the United States for the very first time. The best track and field athletes in the world came together in a celebration of diversity, human potential, and athletic achievement. This extraordinary showcase took...

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Dina Asher-Smith will launch the defence of her 200m title at world championships

Dina Asher-Smith set for 200m defence as part of GB’s World Championships squad. 

The 26-year-old, Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Keely Hodgkinson headline the 64-strong team for the competition in Eugene, Oregon, in July.

Asher-Smith won gold in Doha three years ago, having collected 100m silver, before going on to also secure silver in the 4x100m relay, and will look to improve on that haul in the United States.

She is expected to run at the Stockholm Diamond League meet on Thursday in her final race before the World Championships, which were rescheduled from last year after the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Outgoing Olympic head coach Christian Malcolm said: “We’ve seen a number of athletes step up on the global circuit so far this season, which has been really encouraging.

“We are confident that we’ve selected a team that optimises medal success and that have the ability to progress through rounds to reach finals.

“The World Championships is the start of a very busy summer of Championships and Games, so there are a number of opportunities for athletes to represent their country this summer.

“For those who have been selected for the team for Oregon, I wish the athletes and their coaches the best over the next week or so and to keep focus to achieve your goals.”

Daryll Neita, who reached last year’s Olympic 100m final and beat Asher-Smith in Manchester at the weekend to become British 100m champion, is also included for the 100m and 4x100m.

Despite winning the 200m at the British Championships on Sunday, however, 25-year-old Neita does not have the time for 200m qualification, with Asher-Smith joined by Beth Dobbin.

Johnson-Thompson missed the Manchester championships at the weekend but will look to defend the heptathlon world title she won in 2019.

The 29-year-old has been dogged by injury for 18 months since rupturing her Achilles in late 2020 and pulled out of the Olympics having suffered a calf problem in the heptathlon’s 200m.

Hodgkinson, who is expected to challenge American Athing Mu for 800m gold, is included along with Laura Muir, with the Scot aiming for her first World Championships outdoor medal after claiming 1500m silver in Tokyo last year.

Hodgkinson is joined in the 800m by Alex Bell and Jemma Reekie while Holly Bradshaw, who won Olympic bronze last year, will contest the pole vault.

Zharnel Hughes and Reece Prescod are Britain’s hopes in the men’s 100m with Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake and Adam Gemili in the 200m.

Prescod ran 9.93 seconds in Ostrava last month to leave him 11th fastest in the world this year but he remains well behind world lead Fred Kerley, who posted 9.76 seconds at the US trials at the weekend.

All four are in the men’s 4x100m relay squad, with Hughes and Mitchell-Blake aiming to ease their heartbreak having been stripped of their Olympic relay silver after CJ Ujah’s positive drugs test.

They are joined by Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, new British 100m champion Jeremiah Azu and Jona Efoloko.

Asher-Smith, Dobbin, Neita, Imani-Lara Lansiquot, Ashleigh Nelson, Asha Philip and Bianca Williams make up the women’s 4x100m squad.

Max Burgin, the fastest man in the world over 800m this year, won the British title on Sunday to seal his place.

World Athletics will publish its final world rankings ahead of the Championships on Wednesday, meaning there are likely to be a number of additions to the squad based on rankings.

The World Championships sparks a frantic summer with the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham starting days after the end of competition in Eugene and then the European Championships in Munich in August.

(06/28/2022) Views: 126 ⚡AMP
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World Athletics Championships Oregon22

World Athletics Championships Oregon22

The World Athletics Championships was held in the United States for the first time ever. WCH Oregon22 was an unmissable global experience, and it took place in the United States for the very first time. The best track and field athletes in the world came together in a celebration of diversity, human potential, and athletic achievement. This extraordinary showcase took...

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Norman reigns in fierce 400m clash with record run in Eugene

USA’s Michael Norman produced the standout performance at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Eugene on Saturday (28), the 24-year-old setting a Diamond League 400m record of 43.60 to beat Grenada's Kirani James (44.02) and Matthew Hudson-Smith, who broke the British record with 44.35. 

On a cool, blustery afternoon at Hayward Field, with many outbreaks of heavy rain, Norman was one of many athletes who defied the conditions to make it another memorable edition of the Prefontaine Classic.

“I had zero expectation of what I could run today,” said Norman, who revealed he and coach Quincy Watts had gone “back to the basics” during their winter training. “Hard work and consistency with diet and training,” he said. “My motto this year has been that if it’s comfortable, it’s too easy – on the weight room or the track. Based on how I felt, there are a few areas I can improve on.”

Looking to next month’s US Championships and the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 on the same track in July, Norman said: “I’m going to train like I want to do something special, and when the time comes, the time comes.”

Kenya's Faith Kipyegon was equally peerless when taking the women’s 1500m in commanding fashion, the Olympic champion tracking chief rival Gudaf Tsegay until the final turn, at which point she blew by and came home a clear winner in a world lead and meeting record of 3:52.59. Tsegay got second in 3:54.21 with Canada’s Gabriela Debues-Stafford third in 3:58.62. “The race today gave me great morale that everything I’m doing is correct towards the World Championships – that’s my biggest fish and I hope for the best, for the gold medal,” said Kipyegon, who is “going to think about” a world record attempt at 1500m later in the summer. “I was not expecting (to run 3:52) when I saw the rain this morning, but I felt comfortable. It was good.”

USA's Ryan Crouser produced by far the standout performance in the field events, the Olympic shot put champion looking utterly peerless when launching a world-leading 23.02m effort in the second round. That left him well clear of long-time rivals Joe Kovacs (22.49m) and Tom Walsh (21.96m).

What made it more impressive is that Crouser did not use his full technique, but threw off a “static” starting position, which prior to today had never produced a 23-metre effort. Crouser said he usually throws 40-60cm farther when utilising his full technique. 

“I thought 23 was possible but I thought I’d have to get into my full (technique) to do it,” said Crouser. “My best static ever was in the 22.90s. To throw a static PR, under a heavy load, without a taper, is a really good indicator of where I can be seven or eight weeks from now.” Berihu Aregawi turned in a superb solo performance to take the men’s 5000m in a meeting record and world lead of 12:50.05, coming home well clear of fellow Ethiopians Samuel Tefera (13:06.86) and Selemon Barega (13:07.30). Aregawi swept to the front in the third kilometre after the pacers stepped aside and the Ethiopian broke clear of the field, powering through to the final laps to a rapturous reception from the crowd, which historically loves displays of fearless distance running. 

In the men’s 400m hurdles, Brazil’s Alison Dos Santos achieved another dominant performance, clocking a world-leading 47.23 to come home a distant winner ahead of USA’s Khalifah Rosser and Quincy Hall, who both clocked personal bests of 48.10. 

“I’m happy with this, but I want more, I want to go faster,” said Dos Santos. “Me and (Rai) Benjamin never win against (Karsten) Warholm, and nobody wants to lose, but it’ll be hard for us to come up against him at the World Championships and win. He is the boss, the guy to beat, and for winning the final you need to run 45 (seconds) – everyone is so strong.”

Sprint queen Elaine Thompson-Herah once again asserted her supremacy with a comfortable win in the 100m, clocking 10.79 (0.7m/s) to beat Sha’Carri Richardson, who bounced back to form with a 10.92 clocking to edge Shericka Jackson, who was third in 10.92. Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith was fourth with 10.98. 

“I’m happy to cross the line healthy and with the win,” said Thompson-Herah, who explained prior to the event that she’d been managing a niggle in training. “It got me ready for my championship in Jamaica next month.”USA’s Trayvon Bromell laid down a big marker ahead of next month’s US Championships by defeating his chief rivals in the 100m, pulling clear to take a comfortable win in 9.93 (-0.2m/s). Fred Kerley was next best with 9.98, while Christian Coleman faded from first at halfway to third at the finish, clocking 10.04 just ahead of Noah Lyles (10.05). 

"I really just wanted to come out with the win as I knew the wind was iffy today," said Bromell. "There were some technical things I wanted to do better with but I just have to go back to the drawing board and try to fix it."

Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn came from behind to score an impressive win in the 100m hurdles, a non-Diamond League event, the Puerto Rican clocking 12.45 into a slight headwind (-0.7m/s) with Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan second in 12.58 and USA’s Tonea Marshall third in 12.66. 

“It was a little sloppy,” said Camacho-Quinn. “I hit my trail leg a couple of times and that slowed me up, but I’ll take it. I went 12.4 in these conditions.”

Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was a clear winner of the women’s 200m in 22.41 (0.8m/s), with USA’s Brittany Brown second in 22.74 and Anthonique Strachan of Bahamas third in 22.76. 

Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen re-asserted his supremacy in the Bowerman Mile, the Olympic champion breaking clear with a lap to run and coming home a comfortable winner in a world lead of 3:49.76, with Australia’s Ollie Hoare second in a PB of 3:50.65 and world champion Timothy Cheruiyot third in 3:50.77. 

“It was a great race – I’m where I’m supposed to be,” said Ingebrigtsen, who will “for sure” double over 1500m and 5000m at the World Athletics Championships Oregon22. Looking towards the European Championships in Munich, he said he’d “love to do 800m, 1500m, steeplechase, 5km, 10km and marathon, but I don’t think that’s possible with the schedule.”

He will next race over 800m before competing at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Oslo on 16 June.  Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson utilised her typical sit-and-kick tactics to great effect to take the women’s 800m, the Olympic silver medallist powering clear of race leader Natoya Goule entering the home straight and holding off the late surge of world indoor champion Ajee Wilson to win in a world lead of 1:57.72, with Wilson second in 1:58.06 and Raevyn Rogers third in 1:58.44. 

Olympic champion Athing Mu was a late withdrawal after contracting Covid-19, but Hodgkinson is looking forward to renewing their rivalry in July. 

“It would have been good if she was here, but she’s going to be there at the World Champs and I’m sure we’ll have a good duel then –  I look forward to racing her,” said Hodgkinson. “I felt really good, it was a bit windy out there but there was good competition, it was a good run. I can’t complain.”

Sweden’s Khaddi Sagnia unleashed a PB of 6.95m (1.0m/s) to take victory in the women’s long jump, with Nigeria’s Ese Brume second with 6.82m and USA’s Tara Davis third with 6.73m. 

Norah Jeruto, the Kenyan-born athlete who now represents Kazakhstan, produced an impressive display to win the women’s 3000m steeplechase in 8:57.97, a world lead. Bahrain’s Winfred Mutile Yavi was close behind in second, clocking a PB of 8:58.71, while Ethiopia’s Mekides Abebe was third in 9:03.26. In the men’s 1500m, a non-Diamond League event, New Zealand’s Samuel Tanner took victory in a PB of 3:34.37 in front of Britain’s Neil Gourley, who clocked a PB of 3:34.85.

Italy’s Martina Caironi set a world record of 14.02 in the T63 women’s 100m, while in the men’s T62 400m, Germany’s Johannes Floors took the win in 48.13.  

(05/29/2022) Views: 210 ⚡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, is scheduled to be held 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 has...

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Prefontaine Classic promises world record attempts and rich competition despite late losses

It is a measure of Eugene’s Prefontaine Classic meeting - which tomorrow forms the third stop on the Wanda Diamond League tour - that it can lose four Olympic gold medalists at late notice and still remain packed with compelling competition and world record attempts.

The arrangement of all that athletics action was altered today following forecasts of rain and high winds - likely to be blowing into the faces of the sprinters - on Saturday.

Accordingly the men's pole vault, featuring Olympic gold and silver medalists Mondo Duplantis of Sweden and Chris Nilsen of the United States, the women's discus, featuring the US Olympic champion Valarie Allman, and the women's high jump, involving Ukraine's world indoor champion Yaroslava Mahuchikh, have been moved to Friday night's programme, where world record attempts are being made over two miles and 5,000 meters.

The news that the United States' Olympic women’s 800 meters champion Athing Mu will not now race against Britain’s Tokyo 2020 silver medalist Keely Hodgkinson, and that Italy’s men’s 100m champion Marcell Jacobs will not be in a field including the man he beat to gold in Japan, home sprinter Fred Kerley, was disappointing.

Also missing from the planned line-up at the new-look Hayward Field, which will stage this year’s World Athletics Championships, are home talents Matthew Centrowitz, the Rio 2016 1500m gold medalist, Tokyo 2020 and world 400m hurdles silver medalist Rai Benjamin and double world pole vault champion Sam Kendricks.

And South Africa’s double Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya, who had planned a first top-level race since 2019, has also withdrawn.

All this means the limelight will shine all the more intensely on stellar performers such as Jamaica’s double Olympic women’s 100 and 200m champion Elaine Thompson-Herah, who runs over the shorter sprint against a field including the American who missed last year’s Olympics because of a three-month suspension after testing positive for cannabis, Sha’Carri Richardson.

Britain’s world 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith, who last Saturday won the Birmingham Diamond League 100m from which Thompson-Herah had made a late withdrawal, is also in the mix, as is Switzerland’s world indoor 60m champion Mujinga Kambundji and Jamaica’s Tokyo 2020 bronze medalist Shericka Jackson.

Thompson-Herah chose to make a low-key start to her outdoor season, choosing to compete in Kingston, where she clocked 10.94sec despite a strong headwind of -1.8 meters per second.

It was on this track last year that she ran 10.54, putting her second on the all-time list.

The men’s 100m is also loaded given the presence of Kerley and his fellow Americans Trayvon Bromell, who will be keen to restore normal working after his early exit in Birmingham because of a false start, world champion Christian Coleman, world 200m champion Noah Lyles and Canada’s Olympic 200m champion Andre De Grasse.

And 18-year-old Erriyon Knighton, who last year became the youngest male athlete to represent the United States since middle distance runner Jim Ryun in 1964 and missed a 200m medal by one place, will seek to break 10sec for the first time.

Knighton already tops this year’s 200m world list with his startling 19.49sec in Baton Rouge last month, which put him fourth on the all-time list.

The women’s 200m will see double Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo taking on Jamaica’s 35-year-old Beijing 2008 and London 2012 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who won world gold at this distance in 2013 and took silver at the London 2012 Olympics.

The men’s 400m will see Kirani James of Grenada, the London 2012 champion and Tokyo 2020 bronze medalist, take on home athletes including Michael Cherry, Michael Norman – a major talent currently seeking a performance to do himself justice - Vernon Norwood and Kahmari Montgomery.

The absence of Benjamin from the 400m hurdles will offer Brazil’s Tokyo 2020 bronze medalist Alison Dos Santos - who beat Benjamin in the opening Diamond League meeting of the season in Doha – a perfect chance to shine,

In the women’s 100m hurdles, Puerto Rico’s Olympic champion takes on the American who took silver behind her in Tokyo, world record holder Kendra Harrison.

The traditional Friday evening distance racing in Eugene will include a women’s two miles and a women’s and men’s 5000m race.

At the latter, which will be followed by an official Diamond League 5,000m on Saturday, Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei is billed to make an attempt at breaking his own world record of 12min 35.36sec, which he ran in Monaco in August 2020.

On Saturday afternoon the majority of the rivals Cheptegei beat to win Olympic 5,000m gold in Tokyo last year will line up for the Diamond League 5.000m, where Olympic 10,000m champion Selemon Barega of Ethiopia, Olympic 10,000m bronze medalist Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda, Olympic 5,000m silver Mohammed Ahmed of Canada and two-time Olympic 5,000m medalist Paul Chelimo of the United States are the main contenders.

Friday night will also see Ethiopia’s 24-year-old Letesenbet Gidey aiming to lower the women’s 5000m world record of 14:06.62 that she set in Valencia in October 2020.

Gidey has since lowered the women’s 10,000m world record to 29min 01.03sec and the world half marathon record to 1hr 2min 52sec.

Elsewhere on Friday, the women’s two miles will see Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands, the Olympic 5,000 and 10,000m champion, facing Diamond League 5,000m champion Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi.

The latter, who was disqualified at the Tokyo 2020 Games, beat Kenya’s double Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon over 3,000m in Doha earlier this month.

The world best of 8:58.58, set by Ethiopia’s Meseret Defar in 2007, is sure to be under threat.

Saturday’s middle-distance action will be highlighted by the clash of Olympic 1500m champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen and world champion Timothy Cheruiyot, who renew their rivalry in the Bowerman Mile. 

Ingebrigtsen beat Cheruiyot for the first time in the Olympic final in Tokyo last year but the Kenyan beat his Norwegian rival a few weeks later to win over 1500m at the Diamond League final in Zurich.

Both men will need to be primed, however, to beat Kenya’s Abel Kipsang, who out-kicked Cheruiyot to win in Doha recently and who backed it up with 1500m victory in Birmingham last Sunday.

Kipyegon meanwhile will take on Britain’s Tokyo 2020 silver medalist Laura Muir and Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia in the women’s 1500m.

Hodgkinson faces an 800m field that includes home runner Ajee Wilson, who took the world indoor title earlier this year.

The men’s shot put will involve the respective Tokyo 2020 gold, silver and bronze medalists Ryan Crouser and Joe Kovacs of the United States and New Zealand’s Tom Walsh.

(05/27/2022) Views: 221 ⚡AMP
by Mike Rowbottom
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

The Pre Classic, part of the Diamond League series of international meets featuring Olympic-level athletes, is scheduled to be held 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 has...

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Elaine Thompson-Herah and Sha'Carri Richardson will headline 100 meters in Prefontaine Classic

Jamaica's Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah and American prodigy Sha'Carri Richardson will headline the 100 meters at Saturday's Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, organizers for the Diamond League event said on Monday.

Thompson-Herah returns to the venue where she nearly broke American Florence Griffith-Joyner's 100m record last year, weeks after leading a Jamaican podium sweep at the Tokyo Games.

She dropped out of the Birmingham Diamond League meet over the weekend citing discomfort in training. Thompson-Herah's management agency did not respond to a request for comment.

Richardson's memories of Hayward Field are more complicated.

She was the United States' brightest hope for a gold medal in Tokyo after winning the U.S. Olympic Trials in June but lost her spot at the Games after testing positive for cannabis.

Richardson, 22, returned to Eugene in August after serving a 30-day suspension, where she finished last in the 100m.

Rounding out the field on Saturday are Britain's 200 meters world champion Dina Asher-Smith and Shericka Jackson, who won gold in the 4x100m relay alongside Thompson-Herah in Tokyo.

(05/24/2022) Views: 170 ⚡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, is scheduled to be held 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 has...

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Olympic Champion Marcell Jacobs opens season with sub-10 run in Savona

The blue track of Savona’s Fontanassa Sports Center was the venue for Marcell Jacobs’ first 100m since his Olympic triumph in Tokyo last year. The Italian sprint star made a victorious return at the World Athletics Continental Tour Challenger meeting on Wednesday (18), winning the final in 10.04 (0.4m/s) after a wind-assisted 9.99 (2.3m/s) in the heats.

It was just shy of the 9.95 he ran on the same track last year when making his season debut, but was a solid return to action after an intestinal problem forced him to withdraw from the Continental Tour Gold meeting in Nairobi earlier this year.

“I struggled a bit,” said Jacobs, whose last race was his world indoor 60m victory in Belgrade in March. “I wanted to run faster in the final than I did in the heat. I thought that I could run better technically, especially in the second half of the race. I need some more work in training, but it’s just my first outdoor race of the season.

“I have time to reach my best form for the World Championships,” added Jacobs, who had originally been slated to contest the 200m in Savona. “But my next race, at the Prefontaine Classic, could be more difficult than at the World Championships, as I’ll face seven US sprinters.”

Arthur Cisse from Ivory Coast finished second in 10.10, beating former European record-holder Jimmy Vicaut (10.12). Sri Lanka’s YupunAbeykoon took fourth place in 10.16 ahead of Italy’s Chituru Ali, who improved his PB to 10.18.

Olympic 400m silver medallistMarileidyPaulino from Dominican Republic stepped down in distance to win the women’s 200m in a national record of 22.59 (2.0m/s). Paulino, who beat Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo over 400m at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Doha last Friday, missed Dina Asher-Smith’s meeting record by 0.03.

Paulino’s compatriot FiordalizaCofil achieved another victory for Dominican Republic by winning the 400m in 51.36.

Britain’s Olympic 4x100m bronze medallist Darryl Neita was fastest in the women’s 100m heats with 11.12, but she skipped the final to focus on the 200m, where she finished to Paulino in an equal PB of 22.81. Italy’s European U23 champion DaliaKhaddari was third in 22.83.

Two-time Italian 100m champion ZaynabDosso won the women’s 100m final in 11.21 after improving her PB to 11.19 in the heats, missing Manuela Levorato’s national record by 0.05.

“I am not completely happy with my performance,” said Dosso. “It was a good day at the office, but it is not the right time of the year for a super-fast time. It’s the start of the season. My goal is to come close to breaking the 11 seconds barrier and reach my best form for the World Championships in Eugene and the European Championships in Munich.”

World indoor finalist Nick Ponzio won the men’s shot put with 21.12m. Ponzio competed for the third time in just five days after throwing 20.53m in Ponce and 21.73m in Rovereto last Sunday. Olympic fifth-place finisher Zane Weir made it an Italian 1-2 with a best throw of 21.05m.

Dominica’s Thea Lafond, who finished fourth at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade, continued her good form by winning the women’s triple jump with 14.53m. Ana Lucia Jose Tima from Dominican Republic finished runner-up with 14.46m.

Elsewhere, Brazil’s Rafael Pereira won the men’s 110m hurdles in 13.36, missing the meeting record by 0.06, and double World University Games champion Ayomide Folorunso won the women’s 400m hurdles in a meeting record of 55.29.

(05/19/2022) Views: 204 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Montell Douglas becomes GB’s first female summer and winter Olympian

Former 100m sprinter makes history after bobsleigh selection for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing

 Montell Douglas has become the first woman to compete for Great Britain at both the summer and winter Olympics after she was chosen as a member of the upcoming bobsleigh squad for next month’s Games in Beijing.

The 35-year-old was a reserve four years ago in Pyeongchang but this time has been selected for the squad and will serve as Mica McNeill’s brakewoman.

McNeill has a wealth of experience in the sport having competed herself in Pyeongchang while she also won a silver medal at the 2012 Winter Youth Olympics.

This will be the first time Douglas has competed on the ice at such a significant event but has steadily progressed alongside McNeil since the former British sprinter took up bobsleigh six years ago.

Since then the pair came fourth in the 2020–21 Bobsleigh World Cup two-women event in Innsbruck while Douglas also finished in the top ten on her Bobsleigh World Cup debut in 2017.

“It’s such a strange feeling. Beforehand, I had thoughts of how it would feel, but I think it’s more of a relief,” Douglas told BBC Sport.

“I’m over the moon to be representing women. There have been many male summer and winter Olympians, so I’m more thrilled about leaving a legacy like that behind than anything else.

“To come full circle, after 14 years and at the end of my career, that blows my mind. You’re never too old, it’s never too late, you should always dream and dream big.”

Douglas represented Great Britain on the track in Beijing 2008 and was the former British record holder over 100m with 11.05 after she ended what was then a 37-year-old record from Kathy Cook. Only Dina Asher-Smith and Daryll Neita have run faster than Douglas.

While it was joy for Douglas in being selected for next month’s Winter Olympics, the same could not be said for Greg Rutherford who missed out on selection in the men’s bobsleigh squad.

Rutherford, who famously won Olympic long jump gold on Super Saturday at London 2012, made his bobsleigh debut earlier this month.

 

 

(01/23/2022) Views: 366 ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare charged with three anti-doping offences

Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare has been charged with three offences by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).

She was suspended during the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for a human growth hormone following an out-of-competition test on 19 July.

 

The 32-year-old later tested positive for another banned substance, recombinant erythropoietin (EPO), which increases red blood cell count.

She has also been charged for not co-operating with the AIU's investigation.

The AIU alleges Okagbare "failed to comply with a formal requirement to produce relevant documents, records and electronic storage devices" to the investigation.

Okagbare - a rival to Great Britain's Dina Asher-Smith - had won her 100m heat in Tokyo before being pulled out of the Games.

Okagbare, Olympic long jump silver medalist in Beijing in 2008, denies all the charges.

(10/07/2021) Views: 305 ⚡AMP
by Athletics
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Duplantis, Hassan and Cherry break meeting records in Brussels

Meeting records are hard to come by in the Wanda Diamond League, given it’s the premier one-day meeting circuit in the world, but three such marks fell at the Memorial Van Damme in Brussels on Friday (3), thanks to Mondo Duplantis, Sifan Hassan and Michael Cherry.

When the men’s pole vault got underway, some 40 minutes before the first track event, the King Baudouin Stadium was still filling up. By the time the contest reached its climax three hours later, with all other disciplines having long finished, Duplantis commanded the attention of every single person inside the venue.

Though the world record once again evaded Duplantis tonight, the 28,000 spectators – the largest gathering for an athletics meeting since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic – were treated to a vaulting masterclass from a legend of the sport.

The Olympic champion opened at 5.50m, skipped 5.65m and then got over 5.75m and 5.85m on his first tries. Four other men were left in the competition at this point, but only two of them got over 5.85m; Olympic silver medallist Christopher Nilsen did it on his first try, while US compatriot KC Lightfoot scraped over on his third attempt.

The US duo couldn’t quite manage 5.91m tonight, though, but Duplantis once again went clear at the first time of asking to confirm his victory. The 21-year-old Swede then raised the bar to 6.05m in a bid to add some height to his own 6.00m meeting record from last year. He brought the bar down with his first two tries, but got over it on his third attempt.

The bar was then raised to the would-be world record height of 6.19m. Following a short wait while the technical officials ensured all was set for a record attempt, Duplantis took to the runway but wasn’t particularly close to clearing the bar on his first attempt. His second try was significantly closer, and his third attempt was also decent, but a world record wasn’t to be tonight.

Nevertheless, Duplantis wasn’t disappointed with his winning height of 6.05m. Only he, Sergey Bubka and two-time world champion Sam Kendricks have ever vaulted higher outdoors.

"I was really close to the world record," said Duplantis. "Everything was perfect, it was just up to me. I haven't had such an amazing atmosphere during a competition in a really long time."

Almost a month has passed since Sifan Hassan’s final race at the Olympic Games, where she won two gold medals and one bronze. Having raced just once during that time, the Dutch distance star arrived in Brussels well rested and ready to take on the mile.

She was the only athlete capable of sticking with the pacemakers as they led through the first 400m in 1:02.03. By the time the second pacemaker reached the 800m point in 2:04.97, with Hassan still in close attendance, the rest of the field was about 30 metres adrift.

With a lap to go, it was clear from the wavelight technology that an improvement on Hassan’s 4:12.33 world record was not on the cards in Brussels, though it never really seemed as though that was her ambition for the race anyway. By this stage, her lead had grown to 50 metres and she kicked for the final lap, going on to win by more than six seconds.

Her winning time of 4:14.74, the fifth-fastest performance in history, smashed Faith Kipyegon’s meeting record by two seconds. Ethiopia’s Axumawit Embaye was second in 4:21.08, closely followed by Australia’s Linden Hall, who broke her own Oceanian record with 4:21.38.

“Since the start of the pandemic, we haven’t had such a big crowd and I’m so happy to see them,” said Hassan. “We haven’t experienced it for nearly two years; it makes you feel special. It’s amazing, I really love it.”

In Tokyo last month, Michael Cherry was beaten to the 400m bronze medal by just 0.02 as Kirani James pipped the US sprinter at the line. Today’s race in Brussels was the first clash between the pair since the Olympic final, and Cherry ran like a man with a point to prove.

He went out hard, as did James, and by half way the duo had started to open up a clear gap on the likes of Isaac Makwala and Liemarvin Bonevacia.

James almost drew level with Cherry on the final bend, but Cherry had another gear left and forged ahead down the home straight, crossing the line in a lifetime best of 44.03 to take 0.03 off Michael Johnson’s meeting record from 1998.

James finished second in 44.51 with Makwala taking third place in 44.83.

The meeting record may have remained intact in the women’s high jump, but it proved to be one of the most enthralling contests of the night.

Olympic champion Mariya Lasitskene breezed through the first few heights and hadn’t recorded any failures up to and including 1.98m. World silver medallist Yaroslava Mahuchikh, who needed three attempts to clear 1.95m, also got over 1.98m on her first try, while Olympic silver medallist Nicola McDermott needed two jumps to clear it.

But McDermott was then the first to go clear at 2.00m, getting over on her first try, then Lasitskene did likewise. Mahuchikh succeeded on her second attempt at 2.00m, but then nailed 2.02m on her first attempt, taking the lead at a critical point of the competition.

Lasitskene missed once and then passed to 2.04m, while McDermott had two misses at 2.02m before registering a third failure at 2.04m. Neither of the trio managed to get over 2.04m, leaving Mahuchikh as the winner. It was just the second time in Diamond League history that three women have cleared 2.00m in the same competition.

With Lasitskene having won in Lausanne and McDermott winning in Paris, Mahuchikh’s triumph in Brussels means all three Olympic medallists have achieved Diamond League wins since the Tokyo Games.

Kerley makes Diamond League history

Olympic 100m silver medallist Fred Kerley won the short sprint, becoming the first man to win over 100m, 200m and 400m in the Wanda Diamond League.

World leader Trayvon Bromell blasted into an early lead and held his form well, but Kerley rallied and held off the additional challenge from Michael Norman in lane seven, dipping well on the line to take the victory in 9.94.

Bromell held on to take second place in 9.97, just 0.01 ahead of Michael Norman (9.98), completing a US sweep of the top three places.

Christine Mboma, also an Olympic silver medallist, won the women’s 200m. The Namibian teenager came through strongly in the closing stages to edge in front of Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson and world champion Dina Asher-Smith.

Mboma stopped the clock at 21.84 while Jackson took second place in 21.95. Asher-Smith recorded a season’s best of 22.04 in third, and US 100m champion Sha’Carri Richardson was a few strides adrift in fourth place (22.45).

Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba produced a similarly well-timed finish to win the 5000m.

Once the last of the pacemakers dropped out at 2000m, Niyonsaba took up the running at the front of the pack with two-time world champion Hellen Obiri close behind. The Kenyan led for a brief stint too, passing through 3000m in a swift 8:42.57.

Niyonsaba, who finished fifth over 10,000m at the Tokyo Olympics, led again for most of the final kilometre, but Obiri kicked into the lead when the bell sounded for the final lap. She appeared to be on her way to victory, but Ethiopia’s Ejgayehu Taye came back strongly and briefly led with about 90 metres to go, then a rejuvenated Niyonsaba came back to take the lead in the closing stages, crossing the line in a national record of 14:25.34.

Taye took second place in 14:25.63 with Obiri claiming third in 14:26.23. World silver medallist Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi set a PB of 14:27.12 in fourth as the top seven women finished inside 14:32 – unprecedented depth for a 5000m race.

Goule, Rotich and McSweyn take middle distances

Exactly one month since her eighth-place finish at the Tokyo Olympics, Jamaica’s Natoya Goule rebounded with a satisfying win over 800m, beating several women who finished ahead of her at the Games.

With the pacemaker passing through the first lap in 56.99, the field was still relatively tightly bunched with 300 metres to go. Goule held the lead, but Olympic silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson moved on to the Jamaican’s shoulder on the final bend and looked poised to strike.

Goule had saved something for the finish, though, and she held off the challenge from the British teenager, winning in 1:58.09. Hodgkinson was second in 1:58.16 from compatriot Jemma Reekie (1:58.77).

Stewart McSweyn led an Australian 1-2 in the men’s 1500m. The Oceanian record-holder overtook a fading Mohamed Katir on the home straight to win in 3:33.20 with compatriot Oliver Hoare taking second place (3:33.79). Poland’s Michal Rozmys was third in 3:33.96.

Olympic silver medallist Ferguson Cheruiyot Rotich was a comfortable winner of the non-scoring men’s 800m, crossing the line in 1:43.81 to win by more than a second from Belgium’s Eliott Crestan (1:45.24).

Hurdles victories for Dos Santos and Visser

Racing for the first time since taking Olympic bronze and moving to third on the world all-time list, Brazil’s Alison dos Santos won the men’s 400m hurdles with his trademark strong finish.

Kyron McMaster of the British Virgin Islands led for most of the race, making up the stagger on Dos Santos, drawn one lane outside him, by the half-way point. Dos Santos stuck with McMaster around the final bend and drew level with Jamaica’s Jaheel Hyde. McMaster hit the penultimate hurdle, throwing off his rhythm slightly as he went into the final barrier. Dos Santos, meanwhile, came off the 10th hurdle much better and went on to win in 48.23.

McMaster finished second in 48.31 and Yasmani Copello took third place in 48.45.

The closest finish of the day came in the women’s 100m hurdles, in which Nadine Visser won by just eight thousandths of a second from Tobi Amusan, both timed at 12.69 (0.7m/s). Olympic bronze medallist Megan Tapper was third in 12.77.

Elsewhere, Steffin McCarter saved his best for last to win the men’s long jump. His sixth-round leap of 7.99m was not only the best in the ‘final three’ contest; it was also the top mark of the entire competition. Ruswahl Samaai was second thanks to his last-round leap of 7.89m, having jumped 7.95m earlier in the competition.

(09/04/2021) Views: 315 ⚡AMP
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Sifan Hassan will headline classy Brussels Diamond League field

Dutch all-rounder Sifan Hassan, who won two golds and a bronze in an unprecedented effort at a distance treble at the Tokyo Olympics, heads up a talent-loaded field at the penultimate meeting of the 2021 Diamond League series in Brussels on Friday.

In the last event before the two-day Diamond League finals in Zurich on September 8-9, the men's 100m featuring Tokyo silver medallist Fred Kerley of the US will also be a highlight.

Kerley will be up against compatriots Trayvon Bromell, Michael Norman and Ronnie Baker, along with Canada's Olympic 200m champion Andre De Grasse.

Kerley, fresh from a personal best of 19.79sec in the 200m in Paris last week, said: "I've got a lot of confidence in my current form and want to show what I've got in the upcoming weeks.

"My goal is very clear: I want to be the fastest man in the 100m, 200m and the 400m."

Kerley joined an exclusive club this year of sprinters who have broken 10 seconds in the 100m, 20 seconds in the 200m and 44 seconds in the 400m. Only Norman and South African Wayde van Niekerk have also achieved the feat.

"I want to be the best at all three distances. What makes someone the best, maybe a world record? I know I have got the potential to break the 400m record.

"I want to be a legend, like Usain Bolt. I see him as a big brother. To me he will always have a spot on the podium of the greatest of all time, he is a big example."

Hassan will race the mile at the King Baudouin Stadium, a venue she knows well, having broken the one-hour world record there last year.

The Ethiopian-born Dutch runner is also the world record holder in the mile and, given her sparkling form, it would take a brave person to bet against her winning once again.

The women's 200m is packed full of quality, with Tokyo bronze medallist Shericka Jackson, Olympic finalist Marie-Josee Ta Lou and a handful of sprinters who have a point to prove after Olympic disappointment this summer.

Outspoken American Sha'Carri Richardson missed out on a trip to Tokyo after being handed a one-month ban after testing positive for cannabis while Britain's Dina Asher-Smith was forced to pull out through injury.

Christine Mboma, the 18-year-old Namibian who is barred from running events between 400m and the mile because of her high testosterone levels, won a surprise silver in the 200m in Tokyo and will likely be a strong contender in Brussels.

Having rebounded from a disappointing outing at Lausanne with an emphatic win in Paris, Olympic pole vault champion Armand "Mondo" Duplantis is likely to again attempt to better his own world record of 6.18m.

(09/02/2021) Views: 409 ⚡AMP
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Sha’Carri Richardson will return to the track in search of redemption after finishing last in Eugene

It has been confirmed that Sha’Carri Richardson is returning to the Diamond League to race the 200m this Friday in Brussels. After all the drama that unfolded after her race in Eugene, and missing the Olympic Games due to a suspension from USATF. Richardson returns to the track in search of redemption.

Richardson will go up against 200m specialist and 2019 World Champion Dina Asher-Smith and the Namibian duo of Beatrice Masilingi and Tokyo silver medallist Christine Mboma. She will once again go up against Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson, who won bronze in Tokyo and beat Richardson over the 100m distance in Eugene.

Richardson dropped out of the 200m race in Eugene after she failed to meet U.S. fan’s expectations in the 100m. This will be her third 200m race of the 2021 season, last running the event in Austria this past May (22.35s).

Brussels is the last stop on the Diamond League circuit before the two-day Diamond League finals in Zurich next week. Action from Brussels will kick off on Friday, Sept. 3 on CBC Sports.

 

(08/31/2021) Views: 331 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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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: 573 ⚡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, is scheduled to be held 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 has...

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Jamaican Olympic superstar Elaine Thompson-Herah confirmed for Lausanne and Paris

Fresh from her triple Olympic triumph in Tokyo, Jamaican superstar Elaine Thompson-Herah will take on Olympic silver medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Lausanne on  August 26.

In a mouth-watering clash of the titans, the top six finishers from the Olympic 100m final will be in action at Lausanne’s Athletissima meeting as Thompson-Herah and Fraser-Pryce line up against fellow Jamaican Shericka Jackson, the bronze medalist in Tokyo, as well as Ivorian star Marie-Josée Ta Lou and Swiss duo Ajla Del Ponte and Mujinga Kambundji.

Thompson-Herah and Jackson will also clash over 100m at the Meeting de Paris on August 28 when they’ll also take on world 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith.

They are three of several Olympic medalists who’ll be in action at the Charlety Stadium later this month.

All three podium finishers in the women’s high jump will reunite in the French capital as Maria Lasitskene takes on Australia’s Nicola McDermott and Ukraine’s Yaroslava Mahuchikh.

Olympic pole vault champion Mondo Duplantis takes on USA’s Chris Nilsen, the silver medalist in Tokyo, as well as two-time world champion Sam Kendricks – who was unable to compete in Tokyo – and former world record-holder Renaud Lavillenie.

Olympic steeplechase champion Soufiane El Bakkali and world champion Conseslus Kipruto – another duo that was unable to clash in Tokyo – will be in action in Paris, as will Olympic bronze medalist Benjamin Kigen.

Puerto Rican sprint hurdler Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, Jamaican sprint hurdler Hansle Parchment and US discus thrower Valerie Allman are four more Olympic champions who’ll be heading to the French capital later this month. Allman will face two-time Olympic champion Sandra Perkovic and French veteran Melina Robert-Michon, while Parchment will be up against Olympic finalists Pascal Martinot-Lagarde and Aurel Manga.

Laura Muir and Kalkidan Gezahegne, who earned Olympic silver over 1500m and 10,000m respectively, will meet in the middle over 3000m in Paris. Meanwhile, Olympic 100m bronze medalist Fred Kerley and Olympic 200m bronze medalist Kenny Bednarek will square off over the half-lap distance.

(08/16/2021) Views: 362 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Dina Asher-Smith back to help 4x100m relay team set new British record at Tokyo Olympics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(08/05/2021) Views: 375 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Here are Reasons why the women's 100m will light up Olympics

Sprint events are one of the highlights at any Olympics.

Tokyo 2020 will be no different, but this year the women's 100m stands out as one of the most hotly-anticipated race of the Games.

Here are the reasons why the sprint queens will light up Japan's capital and provide one of the standout events of the summer.

From a British perspective, BBC athletics commentator Steve Cram says "we've got a real contender" in Dina Asher-Smith.

"We haven't always had somebody with a chance of if not winning it, certainly winning a medal," said Cram. "Dina knows that she's going to have to be at her best, but she's in my top three."

GB have not had a woman in an Olympic 100m final since 2008. Jeanette Kwakye, who finished sixth in Beijing, is confident the fastest British woman of all time can win a medal.

"We know, as a 200m world champion, what Dina is capable of, but she's also exciting as a 100m runner. She is going to have to be at her absolute best to challenge for medals," she said.

"What we love about Dina and why we are so confident about her medal chances is that she's a championship performer and a competitor and she knows how to do it."

"We all know Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, we all know Elaine Thompson. Dina is becoming a big name," said the 1984 1,500m Olympic silver medallist.

"On the men's side it is an open race. Anyone who makes the men's 100m final can probably genuinely line up and think .. 'I could maybe win a medal here'. That's nice in some respects but in terms of bringing attention to the event, it's not Bolt and it's not (Justin) Gatlin or even (Yohan) Blake.

"It's missing some of the characters we've got to know over the last 10 years. The women though have got the characters, they've got the well-known people."

Even better, the top contenders are all in the shape of their lives, says former British 100m champion Kwakye."We all know Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, we all know Elaine Thompson. Dina is becoming a big name," said the 1984 1,500m Olympic silver medallist.

"On the men's side it is an open race. Anyone who makes the men's 100m final can probably genuinely line up and think .. 'I could maybe win a medal here'. That's nice in some respects but in terms of bringing attention to the event, it's not Bolt and it's not (Justin) Gatlin or even (Yohan) Blake.

"It's missing some of the characters we've got to know over the last 10 years. The women though have got the characters, they've got the well-known people."

Even better, the top contenders are all in the shape of their lives, says former British 100m champion Kwakye.

(07/16/2021) Views: 434 ⚡AMP
by Ellie Thomason
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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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With the Tokyo Olympics less than two weeks away Bromell, Thompson-Herah and Vetter headline last Diamond League

With the Tokyo Olympics less than two weeks away, many of the world’s top athletes will get a last chance to test their competitive form when they line up in the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Gateshead, England, on Tuesday (13).

US sprinter Trayvon Bromell, German javelin thrower Johannes Vetter, Jamaican sprint star Elaine Thompson-Herah and British heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson are among the top names entered in the Muller Grand Prix.

Despite the late withdrawals of British world 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith and Dutch middle-distance star Sifan Hassan, the meet features an array of world and Olympic champions and will serve as a crucial tune-up ahead of Tokyo.

The seventh Diamond League meeting of the season – and second in Gateshead – comes just 10 days before the 23 July opening of the Tokyo Games and 17 days before the start of the Olympic athletics competition on 30 July.

Many athletes are returning to the venue in northeast England for the second time this season. Gateshead hosted the Diamond League opener in May after the meeting was moved from Rabat, Morocco. Tuesday’s meeting was originally scheduled to take place at the Olympic Stadium in London but was switched to Gateshead due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

World 100m leader Bromell will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing performance in last Friday’s Herculis EBS Diamond League meeting in Monaco, where he clocked 10.01 and finished fifth in a race won by American teammate Ronnie Baker in 9.91. It was Bromell’s first 100m defeat since 2019, having won four races in 2020 and 10 this year.

Bromell, who ran 9.77 in June for the fastest time in the world this year and won the 100m in 9.80 at the US Olympic Trials in Eugene last month, will be determined to regain the form that made him the favourite for gold in Tokyo.

Bromell will go up against Fred Kerley, who qualified for Tokyo by finishing third in 9.86 at the US trials, and Canada’s Andre De Grasse, the Olympic and world 100m bronze medallist. Isiah Young, who has clocked 9.89 this season, is also in the 100m line-up, along with British sprinters Adam Gemili and Chijindu Ujah.

About 40 members of Team GB’s athletics team for Tokyo – more than half the entire squad – will be in action in Gateshead. Missing, however, will be Asher-Smith, who pulled out citing a tight hamstring. She opted not to take any risks ahead of the Olympics.

“As you all know, I love running in front of a home crowd but I have to make smart decisions for myself and my body ahead of Tokyo,’’ Asher-Smith said in a statement on Twitter. “I’m sorry to those who were hoping to see me run this week but I’m looking forward to making you all proud in a few weeks’ time.”

Asher-Smith had been scheduled to run the 200m in a marquee matchup against Thompson-Herah, the reigning Olympic 100m and 200m champion. The Jamaican will now be the favourite in a field that also includes American Tamara Clark, who finished fourth in the US Olympic Trials in a personal best of 21.98.

Hassan, the women’s world champion at 1500m and 10,000m, also withdrew due to a tight hamstring and preferring not to take any chances before Tokyo, where she looks set to contest the 5000m-10,000m double. Hasan had been scheduled to run the mile, in which she holds the world record of 4:12.33. Winnie Nanyondo of Uganda, who has a season’s best of 4:00.84 in the 1500m, and American Kate Grace, who clocked 1:57.36 for the 800m in Stockholm, now start as favourites.

The men’s mile has past winner Jake Wightman of Britain in the field along with European indoor 800m record-breaker Elliot Giles, who will be running the 800m in Tokyo.

If conditions are good, Vetter could challenge Jan Zelezny’s 25-year-old javelin world record of 98.48m. The German came close last year with a throw of 97.76m and threw 96.29m to win his event at the European Team Championships in May. Vetter has been successful competing in Britain, winning the world title in London in 2017.

Javelin records have been set in the UK before, with Zelezny throwing 95.66m in Sheffield in 1993 and Britain’s Steve Backley setting a mark of 90.98m at London’s Crystal Palace in 1990. Also in the javelin field in Gateshead are world champion Anderson Peters of Grenada and 2012 Olympic gold medallist Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad & Tobago.

Still making her way back to full fitness after an Achilles injury, Johnson-Thompson is entered in the women’s long jump, where she will take on world champion Malaika Mihambo of Germany. In Stockholm, Mihambo produced the best jump of 7.02m in the third round but settled for second place in the new final-three format when her final effort of 6.77m was bettered by the 6.88m of Ivana Spanovic of Serbia.

In the women’s 400m hurdles, 21-year-old Dutch star Femke Bol will resume her rivalry with US athlete Shamier Little for the third time this season.

(07/12/2021) Views: 361 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Laura Muir will attempt the 800m and 1500m double in Tokyo after being selected for both events in the British Olympic team

Muir, 28, has finished in the top five in the last three world 1500m finals without getting a medal and is 13th fastest in the world over 800m in 2021.

"To be going to another Olympics, hopefully in two events, is quite hard," she said.

"Looking at times and rankings I think I'm capable of making that 800m final."

Dina Asher-Smith, who finished fifth in the 200m in Rio aged 20, returns to the event in Tokyo as the world champion. Asher-Smith will also contest a hotly-anticipated 100m against a raft of in-form international rivals.

Heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson is included in the 72-strong squad "subject to fitness" with the world champion and one of Britain's principal medal hopes struggling with an Achilles tendon injury.

The 28-year-old hopes to demonstrate her fitness by competing in July, just a few weeks before the start of the heptathlon in Tokyo on 4 August.

Elsewhere, Zharnel Hughes, a possible 200m threat, is picked only in the 100m. Reece Prescod, who finished fifth in 10.33 seconds in the trials as he continued his comeback from a hamstring tear, is also picked in the 100m alongside British champion CJ Ujah.

Scotland's Eilish McColgan will also double up, running the 5,000m and 10,000m, however Jodie Williams, who qualified for both the 200m and 400m, has opted to focus only on the longer distance.

Daniel Rowden, Andrew Pozzi and Jessie Knight, who finished third and out of the automatic selection spots in the 800m, 110m hurdles and 400m hurdles respectively at the British Championships, have also done enough to convince the selectors of their form.

Lawrence Okoye, who threw discus at the London 2012 before a seven-year stint in American football, was one of those to earn his place in the trials over the weekend.

"Every athlete and their support network should be incredibly proud of their achievement during a challenging last 18 months," said head coach Christian Malcolm.

"My message to those athletes nominated is enjoy this moment and keep your focus in these last few weeks as we count down to the Games."

(06/29/2021) Views: 401 ⚡AMP
by 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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Dina Asher-Smith aims for new peak in Tokyo

Dina Asher-Smith had just reached the peak of the mountain when she was plunged into the unknown.

Fresh from her triumph in the 200m, and a silver medal in the 100m, at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, where she was confirmed as one of the fastest women in the world, Asher-Smith had just begun her run into the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020 when the whole world came to a screeching halt, her and her sport included.

The 25-year-old Londoner could never have imagined voluntarily sitting out a year of international competition before the pandemic hit but that is what she elected to do when the world changed in March last year.

"We were in a situation that nobody around the world has been in before and I know that I was no different from anyone else," she reflected, after a triumphant return to the 200m in the Wanda Diamond League in Florence on Thursday (10).

"Every day I was worried for my parents’ health, my grandparents’ health. With that in mind, I was thinking, is it right for me to be bouncing around the world and doing that? I don’t know. That was my emotional frame.

"But also, from a more athletic point of view, we just saw it as: Okay, the Olympics have been postponed. If you had been given, or were forced, to have an extra year (of preparation), what would you do? For us, it was to get stronger, it was to improve my technique, it was to improve my mentality, my nutrition, my sleep, everything. So we really used the time to go up another level and I really hope that I can perform and show that’s what I was doing."

Asher-Smith admits it felt more like a risk than an unexpected gift at the time, stepping away from the known path to glory, sitting out while her rivals returned to racing in the latter part of last year. But she and her coach John Blackie believed it was the right approach for her and she trusts that the benefits will show when she finally arrives in Tokyo next month.

So far, it looks like a good decision.

Asher-Smith returned to the international scene last month, running, and winning, the 100m at the Gateshead Diamond League meeting against a stacked field that included the new American threat Sha’Carri Richardson and the dual Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and in appalling weather.

"You have to take the good performances when they come, so I was really happy to do well and do well in front of a home crowd," she said afterwards.

"I think psychologically it was good that I was able to focus in the circumstances - the fact that it was my first 100m, the fact that it was at home. It was suddenly a very big race for my first 100m against some incredibly talented women with some incredibly fast PBs, some incredibly fast times already run in the season and then the weather. I was just happy that despite all of those things happening in the background I was just able to focus on me and perform the way that I wanted to, at the end of the day."

She found better conditions at the FBK Games in Hengelo, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting, last week, where she registered her first sub-11 second clocking (10.92) of the season, before turning her attention to the 200m in Florence.

At the press conference before this meeting, she confessed she still felt a little race rusty, but it didn’t show as she dominated an international field to win in 22.06, just a touch slower than Shaunae Miller-Uibo’s world-leading time of 22.03 for this year.

"My team and I know I’m in good shape and I’m happy to come out and run that today but I know I can go quicker so I’m excited to be able to go again," she said.

What is already clear is that she will need to be better than ever to triumph in Tokyo. Richardson set the early season pace with a 10.72 clocking in April, then Fraser-Pryce blasted to 10.63 in Jamaica last week, the fastest time in the world for more than 30 years.

The British Championships and Olympic trials (June 25-27) are next on Asher-Smith’s agenda and then she has more international racing lined up, finishing with the second Diamond League meeting to be held in Gateshead on July 13, to bring her to a new peak in Tokyo.

(06/12/2021) Views: 284 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World record-holders ready to clash in Hengelo

Five world champions, four Olympic gold medallists and two world record-holders are set to compete at the FBK Games – a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting – in Hengelo on Sunday (6).

Pole vault world record-holder Mondo Duplantis will be raring to go after his 23-meet winning streak came to an end at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Gateshead at the end of last month. Battling tough conditions, the 21-year-old from Sweden gave the bar a slight nudge on his final attempt at 5.80m – what would have been a winning height – and it came down, meaning victory went to two-time world champion Sam Kendricks.

Kendricks won’t be in Hengelo, but Duplantis will have one eye on the US vaulter’s meeting record and Dutch all-comers’ record of 5.91m.

Olympic champion Thiago Braz and Dutch vaulter Menno Vloon, who set a national indoor record of 5.96m earlier this year, are also in the line-up.

Double world champion Sifan Hassan will return to the track on which she set a European 10,000m record of 29:36.67 last year and will again contest the 25-lap discpline. The Dutch distance runner has tested her form over a range of distances this year, clocking 8:33.62 for 3000m indoors, followed by 14:35.34 for 5000m and 2:01.54 for 800m outdoors.

Kenya’s Daisy Cherotich, New Zealand’s world finalist Camille Buscomb and Canada’s Andrea Seccafien will all be hoping to emerge from the race with lifetime bests.

World 800m champion Halimah Nakaayi will open her 2021 campaign over her specialist distance. The Ugandan middle-distance runner takes on a quartet of Britons – Laura Muir, Kelly Hodgkinson, Jemma Reekie and Adelle Tracey – as well as Norway’s Hedda Hynne and France’s Renelle Lamote.

In the men’s event, indoor sensation Elliot Giles lines up for his first outdoor 800m of the year, taking on fellow Brits Max Burgin – who set a European U20 record of 1:44.14 in Ostrava last month – and Daniel Rowden. Tony van Diepen, one of the Netherlands’ top performers at the World Athletics Relays Silesia 21, is also in the field.

Recent Montreuil winner Abel Kipsang goes in the men’s 1500m where he’ll take on Uganda’s Ronald Musagala and Britain’s sub-3:30 performer Jake Wightman.

Asher-Smith, Kerley and McLeod set to produce sprint highlights

Although she has raced there only once before, world 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith has fond memories of racing in Hengelo.

It is where, as a teenager back in 2015, she set her first senior national record over 100m, clocking 11.02. Six years on from that performance, and having bagged many more records and medals, the world 200m champion will be hoping for a sub-11-second clocking to improve on the 11.35 season’s best she recorded when winning in Gateshead, running in heavy rain and into a -3.1m/s headwind.

Nigeria’s world and Olympic medallist Blessing Okagbare, who has a season’s best of 10.90, and two-time world 200m champion Dafne Schippers are also in the line-up.

World 4x400m champion Fred Kerley has so far this year produced his most impressive performances at 100m, clocking 9.91 and 9.96 in recent weeks. In Hengelo, however, he’ll step back up to his specialist 400m discipline and will aim to improve on the 44.60 season’s best he recorded in Doha last week.

(06/04/2021) Views: 348 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith returns as Diamond League goes back to Gateshead

Asher-Smith will fine-tune her preparations for the Olympic Games when she races in Gateshead on 13 July, following confirmation that the Wanda Diamond League series will be returning to the North East of England for the Muller British Grand Prix.

The Diamond League season opener had been scheduled for Rabat on 23 May but moved to the Gateshead International Stadium due to ongoing coronavirus restrictions. At that meeting Asher-Smith battled the rain and wind to win the 100m and in July she will contest the 200m on that same track.

“My first 100m of 2021 last weekend was against some tough opposition and I’m expecting it to be another exciting race when I go back there in a few weeks’ time,” said Asher-Smith, who triumphed ahead of Sha’Carri Richardson, Marie-Josee Ta Lou and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

“Hopefully we will be allowed to have more fans in the stadium and the athletes will get a great send off before they go to the Olympic Games in Tokyo.”

The event on 13 July was originally due to be held at the London Stadium but has been moved to Gateshead due to the repercussions of the pandemic and after an agreement was reached between UK Athletics and the London Legacy Development Corporation.

After successfully welcoming back 2,000 spectators at the Muller Grand Prix Gateshead, British Athletics hopes that more fans will be able to safely return to the stadium for the Muller British Grand Prix.

(05/29/2021) Views: 296 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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British sprinter Dina Asher-Smith lays down Tokyo marker with 200m win

Seb Coe, who knows a thing or two about winning Olympic titles, is convinced that Dina Asher-Smith will be Team GB’s poster girl in Tokyo. Her rivals in the 100m and 200m will have something to say about that, but there were encouraging signs as Asher-Smith blitzed her way to victory in her first outdoor race of the season in Savona.

Asher-Smith has not competed in the 200m since winning world championship gold in Doha in October 2019. But in a low-key meeting in Italy all her familiar traits – including a lightning start and a bend so exquisite that the Italian commentator shouted “mamma mia!” as she powered round it – were evident as she came home in 22.56sec.

The 25-year-old would have perhaps wanted to go a touch faster, given the Olympics are scheduled to start in 10 weeks. But her dominance was clear with her closest challenger, Britain’s Beth Dobbin, more than half a second back at 23.06sec.

“It’s good to be back on track and it’s good to be back doing the 200m,” Asher-Smith said. “It has been a year-and-a-half since the world championships in Qatar and since I was doing my last 200m, so it’s nice to be back over that distance again.”

However she knows bigger tests await, starting in 10 days when she races in Gateshead against the reigning 200m Olympic champion, Elaine Thompson-Herah, the double Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and the new American sensation Sha’Carri Richardson. “My next race is the Diamond League in Gateshead,” said Asher-Smith. “I am really excited to be running at home. It will be nice.”

Another Briton, Andrew Pozzi, opened his summer with victory in the 110m hurdles with 13.42sec. But the performance of the night came from the Italian Marcell Jacobs, who set the national record in the 100m with a storming 9.95sec run.

(05/19/2021) Views: 483 ⚡AMP
by Sean Ingle
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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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Jakob Ingebrigtsen will be among the athletes looking to test their form when he races over 1500m at the Muller Grand Prix in Gateshead, UK, on Sunday May 23

The first Wanda Diamond League meeting of 2021 – in Gateshead,  International Stadium will be able to welcome up to 2000 spectators for the meeting.

Norwegian 20-year-old Ingebrigtsen won European indoor 1500m and 3000m titles in Torun in March, emulating the success he achieved in Glasgow two years earlier when he claimed 3000m gold and 1500m silver. He returned to the UK in the July to finish second in the London Diamond League 5000m, breaking the Norwegian record with 13:02.03.

The European 1500m record-holder with 3:28.68 set in Monaco last year, Ingebrigtsen is also the reigning European outdoor champion at 1500m and 5000m.

“I had a great time racing in Glasgow at the European Indoor Championships a couple of years ago and I’ve also run a few times at the Olympic Stadium in London. So I’m hoping for another good experience in Britain at the Diamond League in Gateshead next week,” he said.

“I’ve been training hard lately but I enjoy testing myself in competition and this meeting will be a good race to see where I am in the run-up to the Olympics.”

Joining him in Gateshead will be Britain’s Elliot Giles, who ran 1:43.63 in February to move to second on the world indoor 800m all-time list, plus Australian 1500m record-holder Stewart McSweyn and his compatriots Ollie Hoare, Matthew Ramsden and Ryan Gregson.

Other British athletes on the entry list include national 1500m champion George Mills, Piers Copeland and Archie Davis.

As previously announced, the women’s 100m in Gateshead will feature a world-class line-up including Dina Asher-Smith, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Elaine Thompson-Herah and Sha’Carri Richardson, while the men’s pole vault sees a clash between Mondo Duplantis, Sam Kendricks and Piotr Lisek.

The women’s 1500m will see European champion Laura Muir in action and she will be joined by fellow British athletes Melissa Courtney-Bryant, Eilish McColgan, Adelle Tracey and Holly Archer.

(05/14/2021) Views: 353 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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British sprint star Asha Philip backs Olympic records to fall at Tokyo

Sprint star Asha Philip predicts records will fall at Tokyo 2020 despite the disruption caused by COVID-19.

The 30-year-old's hopes of adding to her 4x100m bronze in Rio were put on ice for 12 months with the postponed Games finally opening in July.

And hunger for success at an all-time high across the planet the Leyton native - who was ruled out of contention for Beijing 2008 and London 2012 through injury - is expecting a feast of world records and box-office battles.

The pandemic has definitely done something to us athletes - we'll be twice as good as we were before," said Philip, who is working with Purplebricks to encourage the nation to get behind Team GB on their journey to Tokyo.

"It's going to be different without our families and fans there, but I do think it is going to be one of the best Olympics ever in terms of the sport that's actually on show.

"I think the opportunity to take a break, spend time with loved ones and do all the things we've missed out on during lockdown was really refreshing. From my point of view I was able to watch my nieces and nephews grow up, which was good for the soul.

"I'm feeling good now - I think I'm in the strongest shape I've ever been. The gold medal is looking very shiny in the relay, and getting to the final of the individual 100m is also one of my big targets."

While unable to count on trackside support from mum Sharon and aunties Alric and Fay in Japan, Philip believes the ‘ping' of supportive social media messages will prove key.

And with the likes of relay partners Dina Asher-Smith there to lean on, she is confident the team can utilise their strong bond and yield medal success once again.

She added: "My family came with me to Rio, and it is a bit upsetting knowing that after a tough Olympic cycle I won't be able to get my hug from my mum.

"I do think it's going to be quite tough for a lot of the athletes, but we have to try and stay as safe as possible. My family love a WhatsApp group - I'll just be calling at random times and hoping someone answers!

"Having the relay girls will help. It's quite relaxed and there's a lot of banter between us, so we know we have each other as well as the staff and the wider team."

(05/13/2021) Views: 427 ⚡AMP
by Sport Beat
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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World Champs timetable for 2022 season

Athletes will find tackling two events more straightforward with a spectator-friendly schedule that attempts to tick many boxes

Doubling up at the World Championships will be easier next year after the organisers in Oregon released their competition timetable for the 2022 event at Hayward Field.

The 100m and 200m, 200m and 400m, 800m and 1500m, 1500m and 5000m, 5000m and 10,000m will all now be possible without athletes having to contest more than one discipline on any given day. Other possible doubles include long jump and triple jump, plus the 20km and 35km race walks – although the race walks fraternity is unhappy the 50km distance has gone.

The 10-day schedule from July 15-24 finishes four days before the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham begin, whereas the European Championships in Munich start on August 15.

Medals will be decided in all evening sessions and some morning sessions too. Hammer throwers and 10,000m runners, for example, will have to start their warm-up early in the day for their finals.

The first day also ends with a 4x400m mixed relay final but there are heats on the same day a few hours earlier.

Another break with tradition will see 1500m finals during the first half of the championships. The blue riband 100m finals, however, are still on the first weekend.

There are no morning sessions from July 19-22, while July 18 looks like a big day for British interest with the climax of the heptathlon, Laura Muir potentially in the women’s 1500m and Dina Asher-Smith opening her 200m campaign. For Katarina Johnson-Thompson, a heptathlon and high jump or long jump double is also possible.

The final individual event of the entire championships will be the decathlon 1500m, which organisers say is in tribute to Oregon’s home-grown Olympic and world decathlon champion Ashton Eaton.

For the first time, the championships will end with the women’s 4x400m, honouring a pledge to greater gender equality that World Athletics made on International Women’s Day last month.

“The design of our world championships timetable is both an art and a science, with a lot of moving parts to fit together,’’ World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said.

“We’ve strived to create every opportunity for our athletes to shine, in the stadium, on the road and on screens around the world, and we’re looking forward to watching them do that in Oregon, as our flagship event is held in the United States for the first time.

“You won’t want to miss it,” added Coe, who frequently tackled the 800m and 1500m double during his competitive days.

(04/23/2021) Views: 336 ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Scheduling casts doubt over Miller-Uibo's bid for 200-400m Olympic double

Bahama’s Shaunae Miller-Uibo has hit out at athletics chiefs over the scheduling of races that could derail her hopes of becoming the first runner to claim a 200-400 metres Olympic double in 25 years.

The women’s 400m semi-finals at this year’s Tokyo Games are scheduled to take place two days before the final, as compared to the men’s event, which has an extra day’s gap.

An overlap of the 200m and 400m races also mean Miller-Uibo, who won gold in the 400m at the Rio Olympics five years ago, will have to run twice on successive days if she wants to secure the double, while the men will only have to do so once.

The 26-year-old, who aims to emulate Michael Johnson, Marie-Jose Perec and Valerie Brisco-Hooks, said the Bahamas Olympic Committee’s request to amend the schedule had been rejected.

“As much as I wanted a new title in the 200 metres, I also wanted to defend my Olympic one,” Miller-Uibo told The Times. “The guys have an opportunity where their events don’t clash and so all we were asking for was an opportunity to double.

“With the guys they had a two-day break between the 400m semis and final. Had they opened that up for the girls then it would have been fine.”

Miller-Uibo said she was almost certain to ignore the 400m, shifting her focus to the shorter distance and a potential battle with Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith.

“She’s a great competitor,” Miller-Uibo said. “I think we’ll bring the best out of each other.”

Miller-Uibo’s comments come days after World Athletics announced a series of pledges to “further advance the role of girls and women” in the sport.

(03/21/2021) Views: 570 ⚡AMP
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Dina Asher-Smith back on track and could go to European Indoor Champs

Dina Asher-Smith will return to competition next week for the first time since becoming world 200 meters champion more than a year ago.

On the day the British Indoor Athletics Championships were cancelled for the first time since 1961, the nation's fastest ever woman was confirmed for the Gold Series meet in the German city of Karlsruhe.

Asher-Smith will contest her first 60m for three years on Friday in a race also featuring Poland's European indoor champion Ewa Swoboda.

Pandemic-permitting she will then move on to Dusseldorf and another indoor race two days later.

Given the limited opportunities for competition ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, Asher-Smith could even take part in the European Indoor Championships in Poland on the first weekend of March. Her management have not ruled out the possibility.

Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee and Japanese government have categorically denied a report that this summer's Olympics and Paralympics are to be cancelled.

“This is exhausting,” Paralympic star Stef Reid said in response to the ever-changing speculation.

Five-time Paralympic champion Hannah Cockroft agreed: “This is our livelihoods being played with.

"We’re all aware there’s a chance the Games might not go ahead, but until an official decision is announced, please leave us to work and dream!”

(01/23/2021) Views: 548 ⚡AMP
by Alex Spink
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European Athletics Indoor Championships

European Athletics Indoor Championships

Witness six sessions of action-packed sport over three days of intense competition as some of the best athletes in the world compete for prestigious European titles. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness this thrilling event and get closer to the action. ...

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British sprints coach Lloyd Cowan died at the age of 58

During his 20-year coaching career, Cowan guided many leading British sprinters, including 2008 Olympic 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu, 2010 European 110m hurdles champion Andy Turner and his son Dwayne Cowan, part of Britain’s bronze medal-winning 4x400m quartet at the 2017 World Championships.

A talented athlete in his own right, Cowan was selected for the 1984 Olympics in the 110m hurdles but was unable to take his place on the team due to illness. Ten years later, he represented England at the Commonwealth Games in Victoria and narrowly missed out on making the final.

After retiring from competitive athletics in his late 30s, he moved into coaching and soon made a name for himself as one of the leading sprints coaches in the UK.

Ohuruogu was one of Cowan’s first major successes. She won the Commonwealth title in 2006, world titles in 2007 and 2013, and the Olympic title in 2008.

Turner, under Cowan’s guidance, also became a frequent medallist at major championships. He won European bronze in 2006, European gold in 2010 and world bronze in 2011.

Cowan also coached several national champions and international relay medallists, including European 4x100m champion Bianca Williams, 2008 Olympic 100m hurdles finalist Sarah Claxton, 2012 world indoor 4x400m champion Shana Cox, 2009 world 4x100m bronze medallist Simeon Williamson, European indoor 4x400m silver medallist Amber Anning, and sub-10-second 100m sprinter James Dasaolu.

In 2013 Cowan was appointed lead sprints coach at UK Athletics. Later that year, he was awarded the prestigious Ron Pickering Memorial Award for Services to Athletics, and in 2015 he was appointed MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire).

But it was the success of his son, Dwayne, which made Cowan most proud. A relative latecomer to the sport, Dwayne established himself as one of the top 400m runners in the UK in 2017. He won the 400m at the European Team Championships, clocked a PB of 45.34, and reached the semifinals at the World Championships in London before helping Britain to bronze in the 4x400m, recording the team’s fastest split (44.2).

“There will never be another Lloyd Cowan,” said Turner. “He knew me better than anyone. We had some amazing times and even better stories along the way. He made such a huge impact on my life. I owe him everything. I hope he realised how many lives he changed and how loved he was.”

World 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith paid tribute to the larger-than-life character. “Rest in power, Lloyd,” she said. “He was one of the pillars of our community and always had words of calm, wisdom and care for everyone. He knew when to make you laugh, when to be serious and most of all knew how to make you believe in yourself.”

“A really sad start to the athletics year,” added World Athletics President Sebastian Coe. “He was a great coach, mentor and teammate. A massive loss to the sport.”

(01/12/2021) Views: 477 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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U.K.’s Dina Asher-Smith has said the stakes are a bit too high for her to jump back into racing

While the track community celebrated a return to elite and high-profile racing over the weekend at the Monaco Diamond League, not every athlete is ready to get back into competitions just yet. According to an Athletics Weekly report, British 200m world champion Dina Asher-Smith has said she might skip the entire 2020 track season if the global pandemic doesn’t improve. She said it “comes down to how safe the races are,” and that she isn’t “in the mood for racing for racing’s sake this year.”

Not worth the risk

After her world championship win in Doha in 2019, Asher-Smith showed the world that she’s a threat for gold at the Tokyo Olympics. Her immediate focus is working toward the 2021 Games, but that isn’t her only goal. She said she will be eyeing Tokyo, the Commonwealth Games, two European Championships and the Paris Games, all in the next four years. At just 24 years old, Asher-Smith will likely be a force to be reckoned with for at least the next two Summer Olympics, and while she would of course like to race this year, it’s hardly a priority for her.

“We’re going to have a very intense four years,” she said. “So it’s better to build that foundation. That’s what I’d prefer to do.” She added that since COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, she doesn’t “fancy running any risk” and that “it’s about making smart decisions at the moment.”

Asher-Smith won’t miss too much if she skips the 2020 season as a whole. Even if she wanted, she couldn’t qualify for Tokyo 2021 right now since Olympic qualification won’t be open for track athletes until December 1. She will miss out on minor racing opportunities, but that doesn’t appear to be a big concern of hers.

“I don’t fancy catching coronavirus at an event,” she said. She also noted that she has spent the pandemic working “on the things that you don’t normally get the luxury or the time to be able to do,” such as taking extensive looks into her psychology, nutrition and even her personal marketing as an athlete. 

“In elite sport, you’re always chasing the next thing and the next. You never get a time to sit back and reflect.” Whether she races or not this year, Asher-Smith appears to be confident that she will be ready to compete at next summer’s Olympics, and if her pandemic training has gone as well as she says, then the rest of the sprinting world better be on high alert come Tokyo.

(08/18/2020) Views: 505 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Athletes will not be punished at Commonwealth Games 2022 who take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement

Commonwealth Games authorities have promised not to ban or punish any athlete at Birmingham 2022 who takes a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

That decision, which has been revealed by the Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive, David Grevemberg, is in direct contrast to the International Olympic Committee, which has warned athletes they will be thrown out if they protest on the field of play or the podium during the Tokyo Games.

Grevemberg said it is especially vital athletes are given a platform in such turbulent times. “People say are we opening Pandora’s box but no, we are respecting people’s rights to voice opinions,” he said.

“The Black Lives movement is challenging all institutions to really look introspectively at what we can do to be more fair, more free, have better equality and have better systems of justice that look after people. Sport is no different.

“We are comfortable with the uncomfortable conversation and we need to embrace it. We maybe have more responsibility because of the shared history of the Commonwealth so we need to find solutions that don’t build walls but rather build bridges.”

Grevemberg said the Commonwealth Games Federation had been working on many of the problems raised by Black Lives Matter since 2015 as part of its Transformation 2022 project. He also pointed out that athlete activism had long been part of the Games.

“You go back to Cathy Freeman,” he said. “The reason her moment was so powerful at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 was because of what she did at the Commonwealth Games in Victoria in 1994 when she wrapped herself in the Aboriginal flag after the 200 and 400 metres. That had a profound impact.”

Grevemberg also confirmed the start of the 2022 Commonwealth Games has been pushed back 24 hours to 28 July to help athletes recover from the rearranged world championships in Eugene that month.

The athletics programme will also be held later in the competition and run over five days and not seven in an effort to persuade Dina Asher-Smith and Katarina Johnson-Thompson to try to win gold medals in Birmingham as well as Eugene and at the European championships in Munich during that summer.

“It’s a challenge and athletes like a challenge,” Grevemberg said. “You could almost create it as a grand slam in terms of hitting all three golds in particular events in three major championships. I think it’s a wonderful challenge – to do the unprecedented.”

(06/14/2020) Views: 548 ⚡AMP
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Double Olympic and three-time world 800m champion Caster Semenya is currently unable to contest her favored event unless she takes medication

Caster Semenya has announced she will compete over 200 meters this year in a bid to make the Tokyo Olympics.

Semenya, 29, is currently unable to compete internationally at distances from 400m to the mile under World Athletics regulations requiring women in those events who have naturally occurring high levels of testosterone – termed athletes of different sexual development [DSD] – to take medication.

The South African double Olympic and triple world 800m champion has repeatedly refused to take the required medication and did not defend her world title in Doha last year. Instead, she has now decided to turn her attention to a distance that does not fall under the regulations.

"As you are all aware, I am unable to compete in the 800m and defend my title at the Tokyo Olympic Games later this year," said Semenya on Friday.

"My dream has always been, and will continue to be, to compete at the highest level of sport, and so in order to pursue my goals and dreams, I have decided to change events, and compete in the 200m.

"This decision has not been an easy one, but as always, I look forward to the challenge, and will work hard, doing all I can to qualify for Tokyo and compete to the best of my ability for South Africa."

Having operated predominantly in middle-distance events during her career, Semenya has few 200m races under her belt prior to this year. Her official personal best of 24.26sec was set last month, although she clocked an unratified 23.49sec at a low-key South African event on Friday.

She would still need to improve significantly on that to secure her place in Tokyo by meeting the Olympic qualifying standard of 22.80sec.

By way of reference, even the 23.49sec she recorded on Friday would have placed her just 18th in the British rankings last year. Dina Asher-Smith's winning time in claiming world gold was 21.88sec.

Semenya's legal challenge against World Athletics' testosterone regulations remains ongoing as she challenges a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport which found in favor of the governing body.

(03/17/2020) Views: 611 ⚡AMP
by Ben Bloom
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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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Four-time 100m world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce says she believes she can keep the younger generation at bay to win Olympic gold in Tokyo

The 33-year-old became the oldest women to win a world or Olympic 100m title with victory in Doha in September.

She only came back to competition early last year after spending two years away from the sport to have her son Zyon.

"I definitely believe it's possible, considering the year I had and the room to improve," the Jamaican said.

"There are things that I do personally that I missed out on and have gone light on.

"That time out actually gave me the time to just mentally refocus on the goals that I want to achieve and I'm going to soldier on and I'm definitely looking forward to making it to my fourth Olympic Games."

Fraser-Pryce won 100m gold at Beijing 2008 and London 2012, before taking bronze behind compatriot Elaine Thompson and American Tori Bowie at Rio 2016.

She also confirmed that she intends to double up by competing in the 200m, the event in which 24-year-old Briton Dina Asher-Smith won gold in Doha.

"The plan last year was to do the double, and my coach decided he didn't want me doing the double, considering I just came back off a break," added Fraser-Pryce, who is a nominee for the World Sportswoman of the Year at the Laureus Awards in Berlin on 17 February.

"So, this year we are attempting to do the 100 and the 200, and my programme has been geared towards that."

Fraser-Pryce began training ten weeks after Zyon's birth in 2017, but had to run with a special band stabilising her stomach following a caesarean section.

Zyon accompanied her on a lap of honour after her 100m triumph in Doha.

(02/07/2020) Views: 768 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Dina Asher-Smith, four-time European gold medallist will race in front of the London Stadium for the final time before going for a first solo Olympic sprint title at Tokyo 2020

Asher-Smith will take on a world class field at the Diamond League event in London, where British fans will get a chance to give their heroes a rousing send-off before they board the plane for Japan.

The news follows the recent announcement that Asher-Smith’s British teammate and fellow world champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson will also compete at the Müller Anniversary Games, along with the Müller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow (February 15) and Müller Grand Prix Gateshead (August 16).

“I’ve always been vocal about my love of competing in front of a home crowd, so to finish my Olympic preparations by competing at the London Stadium will be special and truly is the best send-off I could ask for,” said Asher-Smith.

“2019 has been a whirlwind of a year – the best of my career so far. I hope 2020 can be even better, and to put in a great performance at the Müller Anniversary Games would be a huge boost for me ahead of Tokyo.”

(12/11/2019) Views: 1,041 ⚡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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The IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha attendances were a disaster and will impact Qatar's chances of ever hosting an Olympic Games

The empty Doha stadium at the World Athletics Championships has scuppered Qatar's chances of landing an Olympic Games for at least 20 years, bidding experts believe.

The tiny Middle East nation was previously beaten by Tokyo to next summer's games, and has hinted it could launch renewed bids for either 2032 or 2036.

However, one source close to the International Olympic Committee said dismal attendances for the athletics is seen a "disaster" for any potential application.

Michael R Payne, the former marketing director of the IOC, also told the Daily Telegraph that poor local interest would be a "red line".

"In terms of the Olympics, I'd go straight back to the drawing board," he said. "Clearly the first question is going to be 'why would the hosting of our championship be any different'. It's such a fundamental red line to cross. There is an issue of respect for the athletes. How do they feel having trained all their lives for this? Clearly something has gone very wrong. For an Olympics, expectation would probably be now that you would see one or other Middle East country coming forward before Qatar."

The athletics had sent a "very negative signal as to Doha's ability to host any major event", Payne added. Qatar was controversially awarded football's 2022 World Cup, but FIFA insists there is enough local interest across the region to ensure any local allocations of tickets sell out.

On Sunday night Denise Lewis was among leading figures in athletics to criticise organisers after eventual silver medalist Dina Asher-Smith ran sprint finals in front of rows of empty seats in the 40,000-capacity stadium. Payne, who now works as a consultant strategic adviser, said the athletics had illustrated the dangers of building "empty cathedrals". 

He added. "You can build the greatest stadiums, you can have unlimited budgets to do incredible ceremonies and make it all work, but you do need to have to people in the stadium," he said. "I think it is incomprehensible for athletes in any sport to compete in their world championships in front of an empty stadium.

"It sends a terrible image and I'm sure the television ratings will be negatively impacted. At the end of the day, what's the point of building big stadiums for the people in the country - it's an empty cathedral."

Speaking on the BBC,  2000 Olympic heptathlon champion Lewis said the IAAF has "let down" the athletes competing in the Qatar capital city. "I can't deny, I walked into the stadium and thought 'is this the World Championships?'' Lewis said.

(10/06/2019) Views: 1,113 ⚡AMP
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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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Dina Asher-Smith wins gold in national record of 21.88, at world 200m making history for Great Britain

Not so long ago Dina Asher-Smith studied history. Now, with each thunderous stride on the track, she makes it. And on a balmy desert night she summoned up a performance of shock and awe to become the first British female sprinter to win a world championship title.

This was not so much a race as a 91-step exhibition of Asher-Smith’s staggering athletic talents. The usual rocketing start. Then a bend so geometrically perfect it could have been drawn by a compass. And, finally, grace and power right to the finish. Long before she crossed the line in 21.88 sec – a time that lowered her own national record – gold was in the bag.

Then, after a little jig of joy, the scale of her accomplishment began to hit, and her eyes began to water. “Normally I am so chatty and full of energy, but I am lost for words,” she said. “Everybody keeps saying world champion, world title, but it hasn’t sunk in and honestly I don’t think it ever will. I have dreamed of this and now it’s real.”

Such was Asher-Smith’s symphony of destruction that her nearest rivals, the US silver medallist Brittany Brown, who ran 22.22sec, and the Swiss athlete Mujinga Kambundji, who claimed bronze in 22.51, were barely in her slipstream. The champagne, however, will be put on ice until after the 4x100m relay final on Saturday.

It is 15 years since Asher-Smith was persuaded to do her first cross-country race at primary school and hated it. Halfway round she nearly stopped – only for her parents to promise her an ice cream if she kept going. She ended up finishing fifth out of 400 and a glorious track and field career was born.

After Wednesday night’s win she paid tribute to her coach, John Blackie, who has known her since she was eight – and knew, even then, that she was a little bit special. “I wasn’t the fastest when I was younger, but I worked so hard with my coach John,” she said, smiling. “That we’re champions together means so much to me.”

There were also the warmest of words for her father, Winston, and her mother, Julie, who have proudly followed her journey through windswept local athletics tracks to arenas around the world. “My mum and dad have been to every single one. English schools. National athletics league. Junior competitions. All the way through to the world championships and Olympics.”

She knows that next year’s Olympics will be tougher – especially as the world’s best 200m runner, Shaunae Miller-Uibo, was unable to compete here because of scheduling clashes with her favourite event, the 400m. But Asher-Smith’s achievements in Doha should not be played down. Her 200m time was so fast it would have won 13 of the 17 world championships.

“Obviously you want to run in front of a stacked field but at the same time a world title is a world title,” said Asher-Smith, who looked back to her first moment on the world stage when she won 200m and 4x100m relay golds at the European Junior Championships in 2013.

(10/03/2019) Views: 1,228 ⚡AMP
by Sean Ingle
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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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Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce unstoppable taking fourth world title

Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce completed a quartet of 100m titles.

This very special athlete once again demonstrated her outrageous gift on another unforgettable night of athletics excellence inside the state-of-the-art Khalifa International Stadium.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce added title number four, a decade after winning her maiden crown – and coming just 13 months after giving birth to her son, it is surely her finest world title date.

The double Olympic champion made he characteristic bullet-like start and had already established a clear advantage on the seven-strong field by 30 metres.

The 32-year-old Jamaican superstar then simply accelerated from the opposition to stop the clock in 10.71 – exactly the same time she ran to win her second world title in Moscow and within 0.01 of her lifetime best.

Behind, Great Britain earned their first medal in this event in World Championship history as Dina Asher-Smith chipped 0.02 from her national record to claim silver in 10.83. Marie Josee Ta-Lou of Ivory Coast added the bronze in 10.90 to the silver medal she grabbed at the 2017 edition.

(09/30/2019) Views: 1,320 ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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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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A British team of 72 athletes has been named for the IAAF World Championships in Doha

A 72-strong squad has been announced for the global event in Qatar, taking place from Sept 27 to Oct 6.

Dina Asher-Smith, Zharnel Hughes and Adam Gemili have all been confirmed for sprint doubles, with Gemili also joined on the 4x100m squad by his fellow reigning world relay champions Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake and CJ Ujah.

In total, 44 athletes return to the world stage after having earned selection for London two years ago, including British 1500m champion Laura Muir and world indoor hurdles champion Andrew Pozzi, while 24 athletes will make a World Championships debut for GB & NI in Doha, including European indoor silver medallists Jamie Webb and Tim Duckworth and British champions Ojie Edoburun, Neil Gourley, Harry Coppell and Ben Williams.

Kyle Langford has been handed the third men’s 800m spot, while Jake Wightman has secured a 1500m place.

Mo Farah has not yet confirmed whether he will race as the defending 10,000m champion and the team does not currently feature any male athletes in that event, but Eilish McColgan and Steph Twell have been named for the 25-lap discipline, with McColgan set to double up in the 5000m where she will be joined by Jessica Judd and Laura Weightman.

A first wave of athlete selections was announced in May, with Callum Hawkins confirmed for the men’s marathon, although Dewi Griffiths has withdrawn through injury.

Charlotte Purdue and Tish Jones will run the women’s marathon.

British Athletics states that any invites for the championships will be considered “in line with the British Athletics selection policy”.

The governing body adds: “Given the timelines outlined by the IAAF as to when these invites will be received, appeals will not be considered.”

British Athletics performance director Neil Black said: “It gives me great pleasure to name the 72 athletes selected to compete for Great Britain & Northern Ireland at the IAAF World Championships in Doha, starting later this month. Given the standard of performances from British athletes this season, and the strength in depth we possess in several events, finalizing the team was far from easy and there were some tough decisions to make.

“In the 72 athletes, I truly believe we have selected the strongest team possible to compete for medals on the global stage. The team is full of world-class athletes who over the past two years since we were hosts in London have proven that they belong on the global stage.

“It is great to see so many athletes return having competed in London and also see so many make the step up to the world level for the first time. We have selected more women than men once again for a major championships and special mention needs to go to Martyn Rooney, who is competing at his eighth world championships, a truly remarkable feat for a great athlete.

“The championships are going to be held in a challenging climate at the end of what has been a long season already but what pleases me the most is how our athletes have approached the challenge and are ensuring that they peak when it matters most. The next three and a half weeks are key in preparing for the championships and I look forward to watching our athletes flourish in Doha.”

(09/03/2019) Views: 1,279 ⚡AMP
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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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Reece Prescod and Laura Muir, two of Britain’s leading medal hopes, will both be absent from the world Championships for Doha

Britain have suffered a worrying double injury blow ahead of next month’s World Championships, with Reece Prescod on the verge of missing the event and Laura Muir facing a race against time to regain full fitness.

With that latter event serving as the national trials for the Doha World Championships, any athlete who does not compete will have to rely on the selectors to be given the sole discretionary spot available per event.

That should be a given in the 1500m for Muir, who injured her calf when triumphing at the London Anniversary Games last month but has finished in the top three at all five Diamond League races she has contested this summer.

She is hoping to return to racing at the start of September, although a six-week absence from competition is far from ideal preparation for the four-time European champion, who has her sights firmly set on making the podium in Doha.

Prescod’s situation is more serious, with the double reigning national 100m champion and European silver medalist looking unlikely to recover from a hamstring problem in time to gain selection for the World Championships.

Prescod opened his season by running 9.97 seconds in Shanghai in May, but hobbled over the line when picking up the injury during only his second outdoor race at June’s Oslo Diamond League.

With the British selectors meeting just eight days after the national trials in Birmingham, Prescod has little chance of proving his form and fitness following two and a half months out.

Selecting someone who has completed just one race at full speed all summer would be a major risk and it is understood Prescod does not want to be considered for the team if he is not in good enough shape to make the world final in Doha.

His absence would be a significant blow to a British team short of genuine individual medal contenders. Dina Asher-Smith (100m and 200m), Katarina Johnson-Thompson (heptathlon) and Muir are all expected to make the World Championships podium, while Prescod’s fellow 100m sprinter Zharnel Hughes has strong claims after winning European gold last year.

The rest of the British contingent head to Doha with varying levels of aspiration, rather than expectation, of winning a medal.

Muir has repeatedly come within touching distance of a first global outdoor medal, having finished fifth and fourth over 1500m the last two World Championships and seventh at the Olympics.

(08/14/2019) Views: 1,412 ⚡AMP
by Ben Bloom
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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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Your guide to this year's Prefontaine Classic

The Prefontaine Classic relocated, temporarily, and it brought the best fields of the Diamond League season with it to Stanford, California on Sunday June 30.

That includes the world’s fastest man and woman this year (Christian Coleman and Elaine Thompson), the athlete who has made the most worldwide headlines this season (Caster Semenya) and a bevy of other reigning Olympic and world champions.

Notably, Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia and Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon will compete for the first time since 2017. World 100m champions Justin Gatlin and Tori Bowie are in their first Diamond League meets in more than one year. It’s the first Diamond League in two years for 2008 Olympic 400m champ LaShawn Merritt. It’s also the first race of 2019 for Olympic 1500m champion Matthew Centrowitz.

NBC and NBC Sports Gold air live coverage Sunday from 1-3 p.m. Pacific.

The Pre Classic has been held annually since 1975 in Eugene, Ore. But Hayward Field’s reconstruction ahead of the 2020 Olympic Trials forced a move to Cobb Track and Angell Field at Stanford.

Here are the Pre Classic entry lists. Here’s the schedule of events (all times Pacific):

Here are 10 events to watch:

Men’s Pole Vault — 12:43 p.m.The Big Three of the event meet for the first time this season: 2012 Olympic champion and world-record holder Renaud Lavillenie of France, 2017 World champion Sam Kendricksand 2018 and 2019 world leader Mondo Duplantis of Sweden, who just turned pro after his freshman year at LSU. Lavillenie has competed just once this season due to injury. Duplantis was beaten at NCAAs by Chris Nilsen (also in the Pre field). But Kendricks has been hot, winning the first three Diamond League pole vaults this season (though Lavillenie and Nilsen weren’t in any of those fields and Duplantis just one).

Women’s High Jump — 1:08 p.m.U.S. champion Vashti Cunningham takes another crack at Russian Mariya Lasitskene, who has just two losses in the last three years. Cunningham is 0-7 versus Lasitskene but has this spring already bettered her top clearance of 2018. Lasitskene, though, appears in top form after taking three attempts at a world record 2.10 meters in Ostrava last week.

Women’s 3000m Steeplechase — 1:11 p.m.Six of the eight fastest in history, headlined by world gold and silver medalists Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs. The only time either Coburn or Frerichs won a steeple that included any of the four fastest Kenyans in history was at those 2017 Worlds. Another chance Sunday.

Women’s 100m — 1:27 p.m.NCAA champion Sha’Carri Richardson would have been the favorite here in her pro debut if not for what happened Friday. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, a two-time Olympic 100m champion, clocked her fastest time in six years (10.73 seconds) to become the fastest mom in history and No. 2 in the world this year behind Rio gold medalist Elaine Thompson. Also watch reigning world champ Tori Bowie, who is coming back from a quad tear and coaching change.

Women’s 800m — 1:47 p.m.Caster Semenya races her trademark event for the first time since a Swiss Supreme Court ruled her eligible while it deliberates on her appeal against a Court of Arbitration for Sport decision to uphold an IAAF rule capping testosterone in women’s events from the 400m through the mile. The Swiss court ruling applies only to Semenya and not the other Rio Olympic medalists, Francine Niyonsaba and Margaret Wambui, who are also affected by the new rule. So Semenya’s closest threat at Pre is American record holder Ajeé Wilson, but Semenya has won 30 straight 800m races dating to 2015.

Men’s Shot Put — 2:01 p.m.Olympic champion Ryan Crouser had a sterling record at Hayward Field, taking NCAA, Pre Classic and Olympic Trials titles. He’s pretty strong in California, too, recording his personal best (22.74 meters) in Long Beach in April. Nobody has been within a foot and a half of that this season, but the last two world champions (New Zealand’s Tom Walsh and American Joe Kovacs) will try to snap his undefeated 2019 on Sunday.

Men’s 400m — 2:19 p.m.Lost some sizzle with the withdrawal of 2012 Olympic champion Kirani James, who has missed time with Graves’ disease and, more recently, his mother’s death. Instead, the three fastest Americans of the last decade line up — 2018 and 2019 world leader Michael Norman (43.45 from April 20), 2017 world No. 2 Fred Kerley and 2008 Olympic championLaShawn Merritt.

Women’s 200m — 2:25 p.m.Strongest sprint field of the meet: 2016 Olympic champion Elaine Thompson, 2015 and 2017 World champion Dafne Schippers and 2018 world leader Dina Asher-Smith. Should produce the fastest time in the world this year, which is currently 22.16, and the favorite for world champs.

Men’s 100m — 2:39 p.m.Justin Gatlin and Christian Coleman go head-to-head for the first time since the 2017 Worlds, where Gatlin took gold, Usain Bolt silver and Coleman bronze. Coleman is the world’s fastest man this Olympic cycle (9.79) and this year (9.85). Gatlin, 37, hasn’t broken 10 seconds since beating Bolt but has a bye to defend his title in Doha in September.

Men’s Mile — 2:51 p.m.Olympic 1500m champ Matthew Centrowitz races on the track for the first time since July 22, eyeing his first win in the Pre mile in his sixth try. The foes are formidable, including the top two milers since Rio — Kenyans Timothy Cheruiyot and Elijah Manangoi — Norwegian brothers Filip and Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Ethiopian Yomif Kejelcha, who on March 3 broke the 22-year-old indoor mile world record. Nobody has been within four seconds of the outdoor mile word record (Hicham El Guerrouj‘s 3:43.13 in 1999) since 2007.

(06/29/2019) Views: 1,597 ⚡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, is scheduled to be held 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 has...

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Paula Radcliffe is the first major client of a new PR firm that uses Nick Davies

Paula Radcliffe has made the curious decision to join a PR company that uses former IAAF communications chief Nick Davies. Last year Davies was fired after 24 years at the world governing body of athletics for lying to investigators about receiving secret payments totalling €30,000 ($40,000US) from the disgraced former IAAF marketing executive Papa Massata Diack. But Radcliffe, who serves as vice-chair of the IAAF athletes commission, has become the first major client of the new sports division at London-based Pagefield PR. Parker insisted that is not the case and that he heads the sports division, which also lists Dina Asher-Smith as a client. He said Davies does not work on Radcliffe's or any other account. He was also keen to stress that Davies was cleared of corruption, was not banned from working in athletics and insisted he 'deserves a second chance'. Davies was cleared of corruption after he was suspended by the IAAF in June 2016 following allegations that he was one of three officials who took money to delay naming Russian drug cheats ahead of the World Championships in Moscow in 2013. But he was fired. Having initially denied it to the IAAF ethics board, Davies eventually admitted receiving payments of €25,000 and then €5,000 in cash from Papa Diack, the son of similarly disgraced former IAAF president Lamine Diack, in envelopes. On Wednesday night Radcliffe said she was 'really happy' with Pagefield. 'I don't see what the issue is,' she said. 'Nick is a genuinely decent guy who made a mistake. He's admitted it, paid for it and I don't think he should have to pay for it for the rest of his life.'     (05/31/2018) Views: 1,257 ⚡AMP
by Matt Lawton/ Daily Mail
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