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Usain Bolt turned musician released his first album, Country Yutes, on September third

After Usain Bolt retired from track and field, fans everywhere wondered what the eight-time Olympic gold medalist would do next. Would he coach? Become a professional soccer player? Ride off into the sunset and enjoy retirement? Instead, he did what few people expected: he turned his focus to music.

Last Friday Bolt finally released his debut album, Country Yutes, giving his fans a chance to hear what he’s been up to over the last few years.

“If you have followed my career over the years, you would see me always dancing and listening to music,” Bolt said in a press release. “It’s no secret to the world that I love music. Music has just always been a part of my DNA.”

This is not the first time we’ve gotten a taste of Usain Bolt the musician. You may remember in 2019 he produced three dancehall EPs, Olympe Rosé Riddim, Immortal Riddim and Clockwork Riddim, which featured Jamaican artists. The first song on his new album, Living the Dream, which he produced with his close friend and vocalist, NJ Walker, was released earlier this year.

The rest of the album includes 14 tracks that feature Walker, along with Jamaican artists. You can stream Country Yutes on most streaming platforms, including Spotify and Apple Music.

(09/07/2021) Views: 65 ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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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: 109 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo Olympian runs fast 400m time in a baggy, oversized T-shirt

As the Olympics have transitioned into track and field from road cycling and swimming, there is a debate on Twitter on why all track athletes do not wear aerodynamic suits, as cyclists and swimmers do.

Bahamian 400m sprinter Steven Gardiner won the 400m semifinals in a speedy time of 44.14, which put him into Thursday’s final. 44 seconds for 400m is spectacular, but fans on Twitter were more impressed he ran that time while wearing an oversized Bahamas training T-shirt. Our sources did not confirm if he actually forgot his race singlet in the Athletes’ Village, or if he just prefers his sleeves flapping in the wind. Gardiner was the inspiration for the Twitter debate about the aerodynamics of sprinters’ racing kit. (Spoiler alert: we published this story the day before the 400m final, which Gardiner would go on to win in 43.85, wearing appropriate racing attire, but still an untucked shirt, not unlike many others.)

Aerodynamics refers to the concept of forces resulting in the motion of objects through air. The study of the motion of air around an object allows us to measure how gravity and resistance work while the object travels through it.

As we’ve seen, aerodynamics are very important to cyclists. Any stray fabric flapping in the breeze is potentially slowing them down. On a flat road, aerodynamics are by far the greatest barrier to a cyclist’s speed, accounting for 70 to 90 per cent of the resistance riders experience when pedalling. The only greater obstacle is climbing up a hill, as gravity far outweighs the effect of wind resistance. Over the past five years, there has been a major development in more stretchy, lighter and breathable fabrics for cyclists to slice through the air while competing at high speeds.

Technology is constantly evolving to benefit the athlete and allows them to operate at a high level of performance. At these Olympic Games, male and female athletes are given a choice on what they can wear during competition. In certain events such as the 10,000m, where you have to run 25 laps around the track, a majority of distance athletes will wear the classic singlet and shorts, due to their loose-fitting and comfortable feel for 30 minutes of high-intensity running. During a 10,000m race, speed does help, but cutting the air is less important, as most runners will reach a top speed of 25 km/h and will remain tucked into a pack for most of the race.

When Eliud Kipchoge broke the 2-hour marathon barrier at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Austria, scientists at Eindhoven University in the Netherlands analyzed wind formations when running at 21.2 km/h. They ended up proposing a special arrangement of runners who would pace around Kipchoge in order to lower his output of power against resistance, which ultimately allowed him to perform at a higher level. This formation is very similar to those in a bike peloton at the Tour de France. The athlete who takes the wind has to work harder than the athlete tucked in behind him.

Unfortunately, sprinting events do not have the luxury of pack-aided performance. When Usain Bolt set the 100m and 200m world records, he achieved his top speed of 45 km/h in a singlet and half tights. According to scientists, when a human reaches a speed faster than 40 km/h, 80 per cent of the human’s power output goes into overcoming air resistance and gravity. During his six gold medal performances in the 100m and 200m, Bolt never used the aerodynamic speed suit. Who knows what he could’ve run wearing 400mH champion Karsten Warholm’s Puma speed suit?

A few of the world’s top track athletes are beginning to transition to the speed suit to gain any aerodynamic benefits they can. Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Mohammed Katir of Spain, two of the fastest men on earth over the 1,500m and 5,000m distances this year, were both wearing one-piece speed suits during their Olympic heats. Newly crowned 800m gold medallist Athing Mu has been racing in wind-cutting suits since turning pro earlier this year. Clearly, science has proven wind-cutting technology can make a difference, but World Athletics, the governing body of track and field, gives each athlete a strict guideline on what can be worn during competition at the Olympic Games and World Championships:

According the World Athletes under rule 143 section 5 of World Athletics – competition and technical rules:

In short, this means that all athletes competing have to abide by the competition rules of their countries’ athletic governing body, which must abide by the rules and regulations set by World Athletics.

At these Games, men and women are given the choice of three options for competition; a singlet and short shorts, one-piece aero-speed suit, or (a combination of speed and comfort) a singlet and half tights – the best of both worlds. Women are offered one more option, with the crop top and short shorts.

As technology advances, the world’s best athletes continue to chase world records. The athletes will always lean towards wearing the lightest or fastest gear to give their performance a slight edge over competition. Who knows? Maybe the Sydney Olympics gold medallist, Cathy Freeman, was ahead of her time when she won the 400m in a head-to-toe speed suit.

(08/07/2021) Views: 69 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Canada's Andre de Grasse wins 200-meter gold

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(08/05/2021) Views: 93 ⚡AMP
by ESPN News Services
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To the former, Benjamin concurred.

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

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

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

(08/03/2021) Views: 123 ⚡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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Jacobs stuns with Olympic 100m win as no one saw this coming

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(08/01/2021) Views: 161 ⚡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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Without Jamaican Usain Bolt the 100m is suddenly a race again

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(07/29/2021) Views: 152 ⚡AMP
by Omar Mohammed
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Jamaican Usain Bolt slams unfair, laughable advances in spike technology

Usain Bolt has said advances in spike technology that could help wipe out his world records are laughable and that the new shoes also give an unfair advantage over any athletes not wearing them.

After athletes ripped through the record books in distance running with carbon-plated, thick-soled shoes, the technology has now moved into sprint spikes, where -- although there is less time in a race for the advantage to make an impact -- it is still enough to make a difference.

"When I was told about it I couldn't believe that this is what we have gone to, you know what I mean, that we are really adjusting the spikes to a level where it's now giving athletes an advantage to run even faster," Bolt told Reuters in an interview from Kingston.

The 100m and 200m world record holder competed in Puma spikes throughout his career.

"It's weird and unfair for a lot of athletes because I know that in the past they [shoe companies] actually tried and the governing body said 'No, you can't change the spikes,' so to know that now they are actually doing it, it's laughable," the eight-time Olympic Champion added.

American Trayvon Bromell is favourite to take Bolt's 100m title in Tokyo. He is the fastest in the world over the distance this year with 9.77 secs, but the 2015 world 100m bronze medallist is less convinced about the impact of the shoes.

"I don't think there's a lot of data to show that they're having such a big improvement," Bromell, who runs for New Balance, told reporters last week.

"I know we [New Balance] are constantly building onto what we have to make the perfect spike, but for me personally as a runner I still feel like it's not enough data to really show."

While other companies now have similar shoe models, Nike looks set to dominate and is priding itself on being a leader in the technology.

"We're just smarter about how we engineer and assemble them," Nike said in an email to Reuters.

The company added that it works to keep its athletes on the cutting edge while staying within the rules.

Weighing in on developments in shoe technology, World Athletics said: "The current regulations [July 2020] were designed to give certainty to athletes preparing for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, to preserve the integrity of elite competition and to limit technological development to the current level until after the Olympic Games in Tokyo, across all events."

It said a working group on shoes aimed to set parameters to achieve a balance between innovation, competitive advantage and availability of the products.

Performing in the Nike Air Zoom Maxfly, Jamaican two-time Olympic gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce clocked the fastest 100m time in 33 years on June 5 in Kingston with a career-best 10.63 seconds.

Only American world record holder Florence Griffith-Joyner has gone faster, with 10.49 seconds in Indianapolis in 1988.

But Fraser-Pryce was unwilling to discount the work she has done to become the fastest woman alive, even as she trains and competes in the spike.

"You can give the spikes to somebody else and they'll probably not do the same things that I've done, so I'm not counting myself out of the hard work me and my coach has put in," the four-time 100m world champion told Reuters.

"Maybe the combination of both -- having good products and good runners combined -- makes for a very good end-product. So for me, I can't single-handedly point to the spikes."

Veteran Jamaican sprint coach Stephen Francis admitted that faster times are being run in Nike's new sprint spikes.

"Based on anecdotal evidence and based on the fact that you have people who never would have run as fast as they are running, I suspect that there may be a point, but there is no scientific basis to make that point," Francis told Reuters from Kingston.

Whatever the advantage, he said, anyone can benefit from Nike's technology based on the rules set by World Athletics.

(07/20/2021) Views: 87 ⚡AMP
by Reuters
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A new generation of champions set to emerge in Tokyo

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

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

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

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

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

Selemon Barega, 10,000m

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

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

Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, 100m hurdles

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

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

Tara Davis, long jump

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

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

Alison Dos Santos, 400m hurdles

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

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

Mondo Duplantis, pole vault

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

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

JuVaughn Harrison, long jump and high jump

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

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

Erriyon Knighton, 200m

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

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

Nicola McDermott, high jump

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

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

Sydney McLaughlin, 400m hurdles

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

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

Athing Mu, 800m

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

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

Great experience

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

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

(07/17/2021) Views: 146 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Olympic champion Usain Bolt will be running 800m race as a promotion for CarMax

The reigning 100m and 200m Olympic champion is coming out of retirement for one race and one race only — not in either of his signature events, but in the 800m. Usain Bolt, who recently became the father of twins, will be making a brief comeback to run a promotional race for the used vehicle retailer, CarMax.

Bolt, whose 13-year reign as Olympic champion is set to come to an end this summer, said in an interview with NBC Sports that he’s enjoying being back on the track. “I definitely miss it a little bit,” he said. “I’m excited to be training and just running and seeing what I can do.”

To get ready for the race, Bolt has been riding his Peloton bike and hitting the track for some interval sessions. “Just to get my legs ready for the lactic acid and my lungs for the air that I need,” he explained. His best time over 800m is 2:05, but he says he did that without spikes. “If I put the spikes on, I can make it under 2 minutes,” he insisted.

The race is set to take place on July 13, and will be broadcast on his Facebook page. He won’t be racing against anyone, and instead, his opponent will be a CarMax customer who is getting an instant online offer for a vehicle on their phone while Bolt sprints around his home track. Much to his fans’ disappointment, he made it clear that no, this is not a sign of a future comeback.

“Definitely not,” he said. “This is just a one-off challenge to see if I still got it.”

(07/11/2021) Views: 134 ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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I would have run under 9.5 seconds with super spikes, says Usain Bolt

The fastest man in history is pondering just how much more destructive he could have been in the super spikes that have swung a wrecking ball at so many world records. Briefly, there is a battle between Usain Bolt the diplomat and Usain Bolt the competitor. The competitor wins. “Me and a friend were talking about this the other day,” he tells the Guardian. “And I was like, ‘should I be upset?’ Because I know over the years everyone has tried to make spikes different and better but …”

Bolt stresses he is not worried about the current crop shredding his 100m world record of 9.58sec or his 200m best of 19.19sec. Yet he sounds uneasy about where the arms race in shoe technology will lead. “How can I argue if World Athletics decide that it’s legal? I can’t do anything about it. The rules are the rules. I don’t think I’ll be fully happy, but it’s just one of those things.”

He wants to make one thing absolutely clear: he would have gone a whole lot faster in the new wave of super spikes – which feature a superlight, energy-returning foam and are said to be worth at least a tenth of a second over 100m. He is just not sure by how much. “We have guessed and we have talked about it, but I don’t know for sure,” he says. “But definitely much faster. Below 9.5 seconds for sure. Without a doubt.”

It is a punchy statement, but the greatest and most popular athlete of his generation is only just getting started. When asked about Britain’s Adam Gemili’s pledge to take a knee on the podium at the Olympics in support of Black Lives Matter he doesn’t procrastinate or play the politician. “If you believe in something, then you should do it. It’s something that we need to make the world aware of, what’s going on with racism.”

While the International Olympic Committee recently reiterated that protests on the field of play and the podium are banned Bolt suggests they are swimming against the tide. “I’ve seen it big in football now. If a track athlete decides to do it, they should be able to voice their opinion.”

It is rare for Bolt to grant an exclusive interview with a British newspaper and rarer still to hear him so reflective on so many subjects, including fame and falling short. Such sentiments are not usually associated with someone who won 134 of his 146 races between 2008 and 2017, winning eight Olympic gold medals and 11 world titles along the way. But when Bolt looks back at his career he believes he was capable of winning 200m gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics, when he was 17.

It may sound preposterous, but Bolt makes his case with the thoroughness of a Harvard law professor. He believes people forget that, as a 16-year-old, he ran 20.13sec to finish 2003 ranked ninth in the world. But after moving to Kingston, and discovering Burger King and nightclubs, he did not always want to train. That, and a subsequent injury, meant he didn’t emerge out of the heats in Athens.

“In 2003, I was running faster than almost everybody,” he says. “If I had run in the world championships that year I would have probably medalled. And if I’d continued on that road, I would have run 19 seconds earlier in my career, so for sure I could have won gold in Athens if I’d dedicated myself more.”

“But it was tough for me because even in high school I was famous. Everyone knew who I was in Jamaica. And I didn’t have somebody who had already been through it to say: ‘You have to take this seriously, because this is what you could do.’ It was just my coach telling me to train hard.

“That’s why I try to talk to the younger athletes now and explain to them ‘get serious early man’. Because the possibilities are endless.”

There is a second confession. After Bolt’s career ended with him tumbling to the track after tearing his hamstring during the 2017 world championships in London, he was twice tempted to make a comeback. “It was something I thought about in the first and second year after I retired,” he says. “I even went to my coach. But he was like, ‘It’s going to be harder than before – coming back is not going to be a cakewalk.’

“When I look back I have no regrets. I did extremely well in my career. True, it didn’t end on the greatest note but the legacy I left is wonderful.”

For years Bolt has been asked whether he will run again. Until now the answer has always been no. But on 13 July he will return to the track over 800m, a distance he has never run professionally, in a promotion for the US firm CarMax.

(07/06/2021) Views: 90 ⚡AMP
by Sean Ingle
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Some Veteran Pro Runners Are Making Less This Year, and They're Ditching the Sport

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are most pro runners broke?

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

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

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

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

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

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

What do contracts look like?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What role do agents play?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why is the market tricky right now?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Good news abounds, too

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

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

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

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

Why do brands have pro runners anyway?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(06/13/2021) Views: 249 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Why the first 10 minutes of running can be the worse for everyone

Ask anyone what the worse bit of their run is and chances are they will say the first 10 minutes or so.  We all know it. That feeling of having your worst enemy on your shoulder, cruelly whispering ‘you can’t do this’: your breathing is all over the place and you wonder if indeed you did lace into concrete shoes instead of trainers.

Whilst we might not get as far as loving it, there are lots of things we can do to make it better. Why does it happen: Basically, all those physical and mental responses we get early on in any run, are our body’s way of saying, ‘what the hell are you asking me to do! You have got to be joking! when you ask it to go from ‘I’m very happy just existing’ to running.  

To use the analogy of the car, you are asking your body to go from cold start, it’s not been used for a while, to 5th gear and speeding along the motorway without making any gear changes.  A little bit of very simplified background…. (feel free to skip this and go straight to ‘what to do’) Our bodies are fuelled by various different energy systems, some which require oxygen (aerobic) and others that don’t (anaerobic) and whilst they operate in parallel, each is suited to a particular intensity of effort.

At the very top of the spectrum is the ‘Usain Bolt’ intensity, fuelled by a system which only lasts for around 10 seconds. It is no coincidence that the 100 m record is around this time. When it runs out, sprinters are relying on slowing down the least, rather than running faster. Very few of us will ever take part in a 100m sprint but this same energy system is present when we set off on those first few steps of a run, in fact when we go from resting to any activity. When this ‘B of the Bang’ source diminishes we switch to an energy system which uses stored glucose/glycogen but still doesn’t need oxygen and lasts for around 60 – 120 seconds.

A by product of this is lactic acid: the stuff which makes our legs feel heavy, gives us shortness of breath (recognise any of these?). Beyond this we are left with the work horse, the aerobic energy system, which uses oxygen, carbohydrates, fats and proteins to create energy and if nurtured can go on indefinitely. So when we set off on that run our bodies use up the first 2 sources of energy in the first few minutes and then are left rapidly adjusting to use the 3rd. Pretty clever really. What we need to do is learn how to ease the transition.

What can you do to make it better WARM UP Getting your body and head ready for running is not a bolt on, nice to have. It does what it says on the tin and gets our heart, muscles and lungs ready and prepped for running.

Going back to the energy systems, warming up means we have already acclimatised the body to needing more oxygen and so it doesn’t spend the first few minutes bringing in huge lungs fulls and feeling generally pants. The warmer your joints and muscles are before your start the less effort and therefore the less energy, oxygen they need when you get going running. 

START OFF SLOW Even with a good warm up it pays to start off at a slower pace and work up to the effort you want to be putting in for the majority of the run. And I use the term ‘effort’ deliberately, as using the less techy RPE (Rate of Perceived Effort) to gauge your run is far more effective and easier than heart rate or pace. Aim for a ‘chatty’ kind of running: you can pretty much hold a conversation rather than feeling really out of breath. If 1 is sitting down watching TV and 10 is maximum effort, you feel sick, then aim for around 4-6. Even though it may feel super slow, this level of effort produces the best results in terms of your overall fitness. You will speed up as you get fitter but your effort levels will feel the same. It is very common for runners and in particular new runners to start off too fast and then come unstuck.

​DISTRACTION Listen to music, podcast and give your brain something else to tune into for the first few km or minutes. Alternatively run somewhere that keeps your eyes and brain occupied. FUEL Make sure you eat and drink regularly during the week. Those 10 minutes are a lot worse when you are dehydrated. 

BREATHE Sounds obvious but take notice of your breathing. If it is short and shallow, try and focus on a calm, controlled out breathe and the in will follow. The more oxygen you take in the quicker the energy systems adapt. If after a few minutes you can't get it under control, then you are going too fast, slow down. You can do all these things but there will be times when the first 10 minutes really suck and so there is something about training your brain to tough it out and ignore the 'Stop!' voice in your head. Telling yourself that you know what is going on and that it will get better is a simple but useful technique. Kind of a, 'I have been here before and I have overcome it' type conversation with yourself. But equally importantly is listening to your body, stopping running and saving it for another day.So whilst you may never learn to love the first 10 minutes, there is plenty you can do to make the most of them.

(06/04/2021) Views: 123 ⚡AMP
by Run Surrey Hills
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17-year-old Erriyon Knighton breaks Bolt’s world U18 200m best with 20.11 in Jacksonville

After a string of 200m victories and some swift – albeit wind-assisted – times over 100m in the past two months, 17-year-old Erriyon Knighton finally entered the record books with his 20.11 200m win at the Duval County Challenge, a World Athletics Continental Tour Bronze meeting, in Jacksonville on Monday (31).

Knighton, who hails from Tampa in Florida, turned professional at the start of this year and has been mixing it with the world’s best during the outdoor season. He clocked a wind-assisted 9.99 over 100m in Clermont at the start of May and followed it with a 200m PB of 20.30 at the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting at Mt SAC. More recently, he won the future stars 100m race at the Continental Tour Gold meeting in Boston, clocking 10.16.

In Jacksonville, however, Knighton made another step up in class, taking on some of the world’s biggest sprint stars.

Drawn in lane three, Knighton got off to a solid start and trailed European champion Zharnel Hughes and 2016 world indoor 60m champion Trayvon Bromell as they entered the straight.

Bromell briefly edged in front while Hughes faded slightly, then Knighton held his form well to take the lead, crossing the line in 20.11 (1.6m/s) to take 0.02 from the world U18 best set by Usain Bolt back in 2003.

Bromell finished second in 20.20, his fastest time for five years, while Hughes was third in 20.30.

World silver medallist Brittany Brown won the women’s 200m in 22.43 (1.0m/s), beating Dezera Bryant (22.47) and Kyra Jefferson (22.63).

Shamier Little improved her own world-leading 400m hurdles mark by more than half a second, dominating the race to win in 53.12 – the second-fastest time of her career.

Jamaica’s Ronda Whyte was a distant second in 54.33. Dalilah Muhammad, competing in a separate heat, clocked 55.01 in what was her first hurdles race since breaking the world record to win the world title in 2019.

World champion Grant Holloway notched up another convincing 110m hurdles win, clocking 13.10 (1.1m/s) to finish ahead of Devon Allen (13.22) and Daniel Roberts (13.23).

Jamaica’s Brittany Anderson came out on top of a strong 100m hurdles field, winning in 12.59 (0.7m/s). World indoor silver medallist Christina Clemons was second in 12.64, just 0.01 ahead of 2015 world champion Danielle Williams.

Elsewhere, world U20 champion Brianna Williams won the women’s 100m in 10.98 (1.0m/s), from Mikiah Brisco (11.09). World indoor bronze medallist Ronnie Baker took the men’s race in 9.99 (1.3m/s) after clocking a wind-assisted 9.91 in the heats.

(06/01/2021) Views: 111 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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South Africa's Akani Simbine is focused on the fast road to Tokyo

Here’s the thing about Olympic year, something Akani Simbine knows will always be true.

“Everybody comes out fast,” he says. “Everybody runs fast, and we always talk about how everybody is just on form. Everyone is ready.”

The outdoor season may only be in its drive phase, but early evidence suggests that whoever is crowned men’s 100m champion in Tokyo on 1 August will need to ascend to a level he has never reached.

Thirteen different men have broken 10 seconds for 100m over the past seven weeks, and Simbine is one of them, running 9.99 into a stiff headwind (-3.0m/s) at altitude in Pretoria in late March before clocking a wind-aided 9.82 (+2.8m/s) at the South African Championships in April.

The race to the top of the world over 100m is as open as it’s ever been, and Simbine knows the fun is only just beginning. The 27-year-old South African has come oh-so-close to global 100m medals before, finishing fifth at the 2016 Olympics and 2017 World Championships and fourth at the 2019 World Championships – 0.03, 0.06 and 0.03 away from the medals.

The margins are fine, the competition cutthroat, but what does Simbine feel it will take to get on the podium in Tokyo?

“People are going to have to run their PBs, that’s for sure,” he says. “I’ll just speak for myself and say I’ll be ready, I’ll be at my best and making sure I run the best I can when it counts.”

Few events in world sport captivate the public quite like the Olympic 100m final, and in the first edition in 17 years not featuring Usain Bolt, a new name will be catapulted to global fame at the start of August. Simbine knows that back home in South Africa, millions will be tuning in, hoping it can be him.

“I don’t take it as pressure, something that weighs me down,” he says. “I take it more as motivation and belief. A lot of people believe in me and what I can do for the country, what I can do on the track.”

It’s taken time to re-wire his thoughts like that. Back in 2016 Simbine went to his first Olympics in Rio but the dizzying lights of the five-ringed circus threatened to blind his focus. What did he learn from that experience?

“To keep my head,” he says. “Keep my head on my shoulders and not to stress too much or put myself in a corner, thinking I’m not free. When I’m running, I should be running free and relaxed and that’s the one thing I didn’t do in Rio.”

The intervening years have taught him the value of composure: how a loose muscle is a fast muscle, how a calm mind functions with superior clarity.

In his first race in Europe this year, Simbine was coolness personified, anchoring the South African men’s 4x100m team to victory at the World Athletics Relays Silesia 21, clocking 38.71 on a wintry, windy night in Chorzow, Poland.

How was the race for him?

“Cold, very cold,” he laughs. “But it was a great race, and I’m really happy for the team, for the boys, for the country. We came with the goal of winning and I’m just happy we got that.”

It had taken Simbine 30 hours, door to door, to make it to his hotel in Poland, and though South Africa was already qualified for the Olympics in the 4x100m he felt it was a trek worth making.

“It was very important to come out here, put together a good relay, get the baton across and make sure that we get the confidence knowing we are running at international competitions with high-quality countries,” he says. “We’re so used to running for ourselves and not a team but here, we work together, we plan together and we make sure everything goes well and we can all win together.”

Simbine returned to Johannesburg following his Polish expedition and then relocated back to Italy where he will be based until the Olympics. He plans to try some 200m races early in the season to keep the door open for a sprint double in Tokyo. With 11 weeks until the Olympic 100m final, is there anything that still needs improving?

“There’s a lot,” he says. “The start, the middle of my running, the top end, the finish – the whole race. There’s a lot of things we need to fix and work on and that’s what’s exciting me even more, because I’m running well now and we’re not even at the point where we’re supposed to be.”

His wind-legal PB is the South African record of 9.89 he ran in Szekesfehervar a month before the 2016 Olympics, but Simbine knows that’s not his true limit, and he knows he has what it takes to become an Olympic medalist.

“I’m a 100m sprinter and if I don’t see myself being on a podium, then I shouldn’t be doing it,” he says. “I just need to make sure I’m able to get to Tokyo in the best shape I’ve ever been in and we’ll see what happens there.

“I’m really excited (with) the way I’ve started, but I’m keeping my head down and working. I have the confidence, I know what I can do and it’s just making sure I do it in Tokyo.”

(05/14/2021) Views: 164 ⚡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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World and British records fall at Centurion 100-miler

Aleksandr Sorokin sets world marks while Samantha Amend breaks national best at ultra-running track event at Ashford in Kent

Aleksandr Sorokin set a world record for 100 miles with 11:14:56 at the Centurion Running Track 100 in Ashford on Saturday (April 24) and then carried on to break another global mark for the furthest distance covered in 12 hours with 105.825 miles (170.3km).

At the same event, Samantha Amend broke Eleanor Robinson’s long-standing UK record for 100 miles with 14:34:05.

Sorokin’s performances beat the previous records of 11:19:18 for 100 miles and 104.88 miles for 12 hours set by Zach Bitter in 2019 in Wisconsin. 

The Lithuanian, who won the IAU world 24-hour title in 2019 and who outside athletics works as a croupier in a casino, averaged 6:45 per mile (sub-3hr pace) for his 100-mile effort. This was despite having to finish his final preparations on a treadmill due to being quarantined in the UK on the eve of the race.

He celebrated by striking a Usain Bolt-esque lightning pose on the track and then watched Amend break a national record.

Robinson ran 14:43:40 at Milton Keynes in 1990 but Amend broke that mark by almost nine minutes as she finished under floodlights at the Julie Rose Stadium.

Amend, who works for an IT company and races for Belgrave Harriers, has clearly been building into good form after winning the Dorney Marathon in 2:52:36 at the start of April.

 

(04/25/2021) Views: 224 ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Usain Bolt says that, the best thing about his life is being able to give back, as he donates 150 laptops to schools

The Usain Bolt Foundation focuses on children at the basic and primary school level.

IN A bid to help Jamaican youngsters with their education during the pandemic, the greatest sprinter of all time – Usain Bolt – has shown his generosity once more.

The Usain Bolt Foundation has made a donation of 150 laptops to schools in rural Jamaica. Several schools will benefit from this initiative, valued at forty thousand USD (US$40,000).

The legend’s official website reports that the eight times Olympic champion said that these initiatives through the Usain Bolt Foundation are pivotal to honour his commitment in ensuring that the children of Jamaica benefit from his hard work.

Bolt said: “The best thing about my life is being able to give back, especially to the children.  The current global pandemic has forced many children to do only online classes and highlights the need for technology in schools.  We will keep working to provide much needed equipment and support the education of the next generation.”

The Usain Bolt Foundation focuses on children at the basic and primary school level.  It continues to impact children across the country and that its caring hands will continue to ignite hope and assist, where possible.  Last year, the Usain Bolt Foundation donated printers and other supplies to twenty-one (21) Early Childhood Institutions in rural Jamaica and seven schools in his home parish of Trelawny received computers or tablets.

Bolt became a father himself last summer when he and his girlfriend, Kasi J Bennett, welcomed their child. The couple named their baby, Olympia Lightning Bolt, her first and middle name a nod to the sprinter’s career, signature celebration and record-breaking speed.

Just after the new arrival, via a post on Instagram, Bolt, 33, said: “Now we have started a new chapter together with our daughter Olympia Lightning Bolt I look forward to what the future will bring for us but be reassured that I will be the rock for this family.”

Olympia shares her name with the daughter of another Olympic champion. Tennis player Serena Williams and her husband, Alexis Ohanian, officially named their daughter Alexis Olympia but refer to her simply as Olympia.

(03/19/2021) Views: 163 ⚡AMP
by Rodney Hinds
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Molly Seidel and Aisha Praught-Leer have signed with Puma

Two U.S. athletes recently announced they have signed sponsorship agreements with Puma heading into the 2021 Olympics: Olympic Marathon Trials second-place finisher Molly Seidel and Olympian and 2018 Commonwealth Games steeplechase gold medallist Aisha Praught-Leer.

Seidel surprised everyone with a second-place  finish in her debut marathon at the Olympic Marathon Trials last February. She completed the race a time of 2:27:31, earning her a spot Team USA for the Tokyo Olympics. The following October, she lowered her PB during the elite-only London Marathon, finishing in sixth place in a time of 2:25:13.

After her first sponsorship deal as a professional athlete with Saucony came to an end, she officially announced on January 22 via Instagram that she has signed a new contract with Puma. This new sponsorship comes on the heels of a fantastic year for the Turkey-Trotting runner, and should the Olympics go forward as planned, we look forward to seeing what Seidel can do.

Jamaican-American Praught-Leer competed for Jamaica in the steeplechase at the 2016 Olympics, won gold in the event at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and holds the national record at the distance. She had been sponsored by Under Armour since 2017 but announced via Instagram on January 1 that her partnership with the company had come to an end.

Since that day, runnin fans everywhere waited to see where she would be going next, and on January 18 she made the official announcement that she would be partnering with Puma for the next few years. She and Seidel will be joining other notable Puma-sponsored athletes, including Canadian sprinter Andre Degrasse, two-time world record-setter in the 100 metres Asafa Powell and of course nine-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt.

(01/23/2021) Views: 443 ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Usain Bolt Releases New Song “Living The Dream”

Usain Bolt might be hot on any track he touches worldwide, and he might have a career as a baller, but for now, the world’s fastest man seems to enjoy music as he released his second project – ‘Living the Dream’, on the second day of the new year (Jan 2, 2021)

Usain Bolt is a known fan of partying and music, and with best friends like Christopher Martin, it’s easy to see how he could fall into music production. Having made his debut in the world of music in 2019 with the release of Olympe Rose Riddim, a medley featuring the likes of Christopher Martin, Ding Dong, Dexta Daps, Munga Honorable, and others, his latest project also promises to be a banger.

The new song features his best friend and manager, Nugent Walker, who goes by the name ‘NJ’, and it is a motivational song that speaks to working hard and never giving up. “House on the hill with a nice city view, just a kid from the country living the dream.” It almost mirrors the story of Usain’s own childhood as he worked hard to get the opportunities he wanted and later reaped the rewards. In the video, he plays the little boy studying hard while also practicing his tennis skills and helping his mother only to return as a successful adult.

The song debuted on Apple Music and iTunes, as well as several local radio stations putting it on rotation, and it’s being distributed by Hapilos Entertainment.

On YouTube, the song received 13k views within the first six (6) hours of being released. While Usain did not sing in the song, he was only featured as the one who produced the song, many joked that he is becoming the “Jamaican DJ Khaled,” who is known for only appearing in songs and shouting his name/ label title at the intro of songs he produced.

Others joked that they waited for Usain to sing. “Usain’s verse flew by so fast that I didn’t even hear t,” one fan commented. Another said, “Usain Khaled we the fastest,” clearly joking. Meanwhile, the song seems to be drawing fans of Bolt from across the world, including India, Africa, and the Caribbean, with many wanting to hear Bolt sing.

https://youtu.be/sRrVeo8t3NM

(01/09/2021) Views: 512 ⚡AMP
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Usain Bolt says that he weighs up the possibility of technical role as fatherhood teaches him patience

World’s fastest man Usain Bolt says that he has not ruled out the possibility of becoming a coach in the near future.

Bolt was speaking on Thursday at the Digicel Business Masterclass Series, a virtual event aimed at giving an inside look at the experiences of business leaders on the island, imparting their knowledge and lessons learnt along their road to success.

Three years after his retirement from athletics, Bolt has pursued other business interests but when asked if coaching was something that he would consider doing, he said that he was wary of the prospect because of his lack of patience. However, he says that the lessons he has learnt in raising his first child, Olympia, has helped him to develop that quality and is not closing the door completely on the option.

PATIENCE NEEDED

“You have to have the patience to deal with athletes, and for me, I don’t have that patience,” Bolt said. “But now that I have a little one, I’m learning to have patience. So maybe in the near future I might get to the point where I can say maybe [I could be] a coach. But before Olympia, no.”

For the majority of his career, Bolt trained under Racers Track Club founder and head coach Glen Mills. The partnership yielded eight Olympic titles, 11 World Championship gold medals, and the world records in both the 100m and 200m.

Bolt says that he recognises the qualities that coaches must have in developing talent and appreciates the challenges that Mills had to deal with during their training sessions.

“As a coach, you have to be very patient,” he said. “You will get athletes and you will have to tell them the same things over and over and over again. I wasn’t one of those athletes, but it’s hard for a coach. I’m not going to say that I made it easy for my coach. He had to shout at me at times.”

Additionally, he spoke about the respect and trust that he had in Mills during his career and how that respect was important to his reaching the highest level of athletics.

“I always say to people, ‘If coach [Mills] tells me tomorrow you are going to wake up and run eight seconds, I’ll believe him’,” he said. “That’s how much I believe in my coach because he has proven himself to me.”

(12/17/2020) Views: 204 ⚡AMP
by Daniel Wheeler
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Jamaican Usain Bolt will be honored with statue in his city

The statue of the multi-time Olympic and world champion is scheduled to be erected by the end of the year.

According to a report from the Jamaica Observer, a town in Jamaica has plans to honor Usain Bolt by erecting a statue of him within the next couple of months. The city of Falmouth is in Bolt’s home parish (a term used to describe different regions in Jamaica) of Trelawny, although the multiple Olympic and world championship gold medalist was actually born in Sherwood Content, a small town half an hour south of the soon-to-be site of the statue. Bolt’s fellow Team Jamaica sprinter and Olympic champion Veronica Campbell–Brown — another native of Trelawny Parish — will also be celebrated, with a school set to be named after her. 

Honoring the greats 

Bolt is the world record-holder in the 100m (9.58 seconds) and 200m (19.19 seconds), a 14-time world championship medalist (11 gold, two silver, one bronze) and eight-time Olympic champion. Like Bolt, Campbell-Brown had an unforgettable career, winning eight Olympic medals (three gold, three silver, two bronze) and 11 world championship medals (three gold, seven silver, one bronze), and she competed at five Olympic Games. These two sprinters are without a doubt a couple of the greatest athletes in their country’s history, and it’s no surprise they’re being honored back home.

Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s minister of sports, youth and culture, told the Observer that Bolt’s statue will be located in Falmouth’s Water Square, near the city’s downtown core, and she explained why the government decided on this instalment. “When we say Trelawny today, we think immediately of the honorable Usain Bolt, who hails from the quiet district of Sherwood Content and who has placed Jamaica on the world stage in a way unlike any other,” Grange said. 

The Jamaican minister of sports also touched on Campbell-Brown. “Very soon, Troy Primary [School] will be renamed the Veronica Campbell-Brown Primary School.” Troy is a small town on the southern border of Trelawny. 

A rollercoaster year 

This year has had its highs and lows for Bolt. In May, he and his partner, Kasi Bennett, became parents for the first time with the birth of their daughter, Olympia Lightning Bolt. Just a couple of months later, Bolt made headlines when he tested positive for COVID-19 after hosting a mask-free birthday party at his home in Jamaica. Many international celebrities and professional athletes reportedly attended Bolt’s party, which didn’t reflect well on the three-time Olympian. Now, two months after his party, his mistake appears to have been forgiven, and he will be honored back home at some point in December. 

(10/23/2020) Views: 262 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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'I must've got really fast and tall overnight:' Kevin Hart slams NBC for mistaking him for Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt

NBC admitted to a 'technical error' which posted a picture of Kevin Hart on a story about Olympic Gold Medallist Usain Bolt

Kevin Hart has ridiculed NBC for mistaking him for Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt.

On Tuesday, the media outlet incorrectly attached a photograph of Hart to a Facebook alert titled: 'Usain Bolt, the fastest man alive, tests positive for coronavirus.'

'No comment,' Hart wrote on Instagram on Tuesday, followed by a series of face palm emojis.

'I must of gotten really fast & tall overnight....I want to take advantage of this moment & race anybody in the world. We can bet whatever ... I am also no longer doing comedy due to my Olympic training schedule.'

The error has since been fixed, but Hart described it as 'disrespectful on so many levels'.

NBC News rectified the mistake and shared a message blaming a 'technical error'.

The network said: 'Due to a technical error, the social image on this post mistakenly featured a photo of comedian Kevin Hart.

'In the content management system, a social image was not selected, and the system reverted to an image of Hart from an unrelated video. The display image has been corrected.'

Jamaica's minister of health officially confirmed this week that eight-time Olympic gold medallist Bolt had tested positive for coronavirus and is isolating at home in Jamaica.

'It is now public knowledge that Mr. Bolt has tested positive,' Christopher Tufton told reporters.

'He has been formally notified, I'm told by the authorities. It triggers an approach to questioning, interrogation if you will, which we follow through with contact tracing.'

It came after he reportedly held a party to celebrate his 34th birthday.

Other Hollywood figures who have shared their coronavirus stories this year include Idris Elba, Antonio Banderas, Pink, Bryan Cranston, Lena Dunham, and many more.

(09/06/2020) Views: 524 ⚡AMP
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Jamaican Usain Bolt tests positive for covid, days after celebrating his 34th birthday

Usain Bolt has tested positive for coronavirus just days after partying with guests including England star Raheem Sterling for his 34th birthday in Jamaica, according to reports in the country.

Nationwide90fm, a radio station in Jamaica, reports that the greatest sprinter of all time has contracted the disease and will spend time in self-isolation as a result. 

The publication says Bolt took a test for the virus a few days ago following his party on Friday last week, and discovered on Sunday that he had tested positive. 

Today the sprint star posted a video on his Twitter page confirming he is in self-isolation at his home in Jamaica and took a Covid-19 test on Saturday, but is yet to get the results.

He said: 'Good morning everybody, just waking up. Like everybody, I've checked social media, social media's saying I'm confirmed [as having coronavirus]. I did a test on Saturday because I have work [abroad].

'I'm trying to be responsible so I'm going to stay in for me and my friends. Also, I have no symptoms. 

'I'm going to quarantine myself and wait to see what the protocol is. Until then, I'm quarantined by myself and just taking it easy. Be safe out there.'

(08/24/2020) Views: 270 ⚡AMP
by Ollie Lewis
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World Marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge wants Usain Bolt to visit Kenya

World Marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge has invited the fastest man on earth, Jamaican Usain Bolt to visit Kenya and witness the wildebeest migration, one of the wonders of the world.

“It’s good to invite my good friend Bolt to come and visit to see what is currently happening in Kenya now," Kipchoge said on Sunday during his tour of the Masai Mara Game Reserve.

“He is an all round guy, charming, a great sports ambassador to the world.”

Kipchoge said Bolt, who visited Kenya 11 years ago, is welcomed to come and find out how the baby cheetah he adopted in 2009 is doing. 

“We have the big five- Lions, Leopards, Rhinos, elephants and buffaloes, which are some of the fastest animals in the world then we have the cheetah that is the fastest animal,” said Kipchoge.

“Bolt is the fastest and I will be glad to host him in Nairobi to witness over 2.5 million wildebeest migrating.”

While Bolt holds the 100m and 200m world records of  9.58 and 19.19 seconds, Kipchoge holds the world marathon record of 2:01.39.

Kipchoge, who has been named Kenya tourism ambassador, on Sunday ran with Kenya's game rangers and Masai Morans at the Masai Mara Game Reserve, Narok County.

Kipchoge, who raced over 10km in the wild said he used the race to pay tribute to the game rangers for their efforts in safeguarding the wildlife besides their conservation efforts.

The world Marathon record holder also commended the Morans and their Masai community for being on the forefront not only to preserve their culture that has been a major world attraction, but also the wildlife and environment.

Kipchoge, who has a passion for environment conservation and wildlife said,  “I should have been in Japan to defend my Olympic title and I was ready for it, but Covid-19 happened.”

 “It was a good run that I also wanted to use to bring hope to 47 million Kenyans. I want to tell them that we can’t go down completely and that we can still rise and go up together as a country through running,” said Kipchoge, who will be defending his London Marathon.

(08/10/2020) Views: 375 ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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Noah Lyles’s world record tease

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

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

World record tease

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

De Grasse and Felix

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

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

2020, the year of off-distance racing

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

(07/11/2020) Views: 1,914 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Usain Bolt Is Officially the World’s Fastest Dad

Congratulations to the world-record holder and his longtime partner on the birth of a baby girl!

Usain Bolt is a “girl dad,” after it was announced that he and longtime partner Kasi Bennett had their first child.

The 33-year-old world-record holder, who won nine Olympic gold medals and 11 world championships in his career, retired from the sport in 2017.

Usain Bolt is officially the fastest dad in the world.

Kasi Bennett, the longtime partner of the 100- and 200-meter world-record holder, gave birth to the couple’s first child, a girl. The news was first announced by Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness and confirmed by CNN.

Bolt announced the pregnancy back in January, and he held a gender reveal party in March, where he announced that he would be a “girl dad” like the late NBA star Kobe Bryant, who died in January in a helicopter crash.

The 33-year-old Jamaican set his world records in the 100 meters (9.58 seconds) and 200 meters (19.19 seconds) at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin. His resume also includes 11 world championships and nine Olympic gold medals between the 2008, ’12, and ’16 Games.

The birth of his daughter comes less than three years into Bolt’s retirement from track and field, though he has been filling his time with other athletic pursuits. To name a few, Bolt joined an Australian professional soccer team, the Central Coast Mariners, in 2018, tied the 40-yard dash at the 2019 NFL Combine in 4.22 seconds , and ran a race in a zero-gravity plane.

(05/30/2020) Views: 569 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Bolt goes viral with cheeky 'social distancing' Olympic photo

Retired track star Usain Bolt showed he's still a few steps ahead when he posted a picture of him outstripping his rivals at the Beijing Olympics with the cheeky caption: "social distancing".

Bolt's post, featuring a picture of the 2008 Olympics 100m final, blew up on social media, drawing more than half a million likes and 90 000 retweets.

It showed the Jamaican crossing the finish line at the Bird's Nest stadium in a then-world record time of 9.69, glancing round from Lane 4 as his despairing competitors trail two paces behind.

"Savage", commented one Twitter user, while New York Times journalist Christopher Clarey posted another picture of Bolt out in front on his own, captioned "self isolation".

Bolt's chest-thumping celebration in Beijing added to a legend that grew further when he won the 200m in another world-record time. He retired in 2017 with eight Olympic gold medals and the current 100m mark of 9.58, set in 2009.

Bolt, 33, has been encouraging Jamaicans to self-isolate during the coronavirus pandemic, posting videos of himself exercising at home and juggling footballs with a friend. He also helped promote a major fundraiser, Telethon Jamaica.

After retiring from athletics, Bolt, a Manchester United fan, attempted to launch a career in football, and had a trial with Australia's Central Coast Mariners before contract talks failed.

(04/19/2020) Views: 436 ⚡AMP
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The reigning 800m world champion Donavan Brazier sees an NFL career in his future

For most people, winning a world championship and racing for an Olympic medal would be enough to satisfy them. Donavan Brazier wants to try for more, but not in running. He wants to take a shot at making it in the NFL.

The 22-year-old 800m world champ and American record-holder has his sights set on Olympic gold, and he is the obvious favourite to win in Tokyo. At the 2019 world championships in Doha, Brazier won in an American record time of 1:42.34, which was over a second ahead of silver.

In an interview with Reuters before his win at the Millrose Games this past weekend, Brazier expressed his interest in an NFL career.

“When I’m in practice and I’m going through a lot of pain and training, I start thinking about anything else I’m good at so that I don’t have to do track,” he said. “The first thing I think of is NFL wide receiver.” Apparently this is not just a dream—he might really act on it, saying that he will consider trying out for an NFL team in the next couple of years.

This wouldn’t be the first time that a track star has transitioned into another sport. In 2018, Usain Bolt joined the Central Coast Mariners, a professional soccer team in Australia. He played for the club for two months (he even scored two goals in a friendly match) but ultimately walked away from the sport in November 2018.

It will be interesting to see if Brazier follows through with these plans, and if he does, to see how far he can go. If he does make it in the NFL, it will be a tall order for him to match the success of his track career. On Saturday at the Millrose Games, he took the win in the 800m in 1:44.22, a new U.S. men’s indoor record.

Brazier told Reuters that he sometimes get “too ahead of myself” in competitions. Hopefully he doesn’t look too far ahead to his NFL goals until he reaches a few more of his dreams on the track first.

(02/11/2020) Views: 542 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Track and field stars, led by the legendary Usain Bolt, praised tribute to basketball hero Kobe Bryant

Bryant, a legendary player for the Los Angeles Lakers, is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, died in a helicopter crash on Sunday, 26 January. He was 41-years-old.

Usain Bolt, who shared a photo of him and Kobe, wrote: “Still can’t believe @kobebryant 🙏🏿🙏🏿#RIP.”

Jamaica’s 2011 World 100m champion, Yohan Blake, also expressed shock at the news. 

“Still can’t believe this news,” said Yohan Blake.

Former American athlete Sanya Richards-Ross also commented on Kobe’s death. “I’ve taken an intentional break from social media, but this warrants all our love and prayers…The world has lost a legend, an icon, but Bryant’s loss is unimaginable. Praying for his family and the families of the other lives that were lost in this terrifying accident. #RIPKobe”

American triple jumper, Will Claye, said: “I’m broken.”

“You are a superhero to me. It’s not fair, and I don’t want to believe it. My heart goes out to Vanessa, your girls and your parents. You’ve been getting me through a lot of days lately, and I thank you because only you could really understand the battle I’m in right now. I appreciate you Bean 🙏🏾 Rest easy,” said Claye.

Former American 100m hurdles champion Lolo Jones was at a loss for words.

“I don’t even know what to say, man,” she started out saying.

“The words won’t do justice. I can only pray for the comfort of your friends and loved ones. A lot of people looked up to you for your accomplishments as an athlete, but I was inspired by what you were doing after your career… writing books, directing movies, businesses. You showed that athletes can continue to do great things after retirement. I was honored to have you as a teammate,” said Jones, who shared a photo of herself and Kobe at the Olympic Games.

Wallace Spearmon wrote “#RIP to a legend @kobebryant . Life is short, live it… True Love is eternal; embrace it… Tomorrow isn’t promised, don’t wait… RIP mamba.”

Nike Running posted “Mamba forever."

Our condolences to Kobe and Gianna’s family and everyone involved in today’s tragedy.

(01/27/2020) Views: 1,037 ⚡AMP
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Nike Vaporfly running shoes will most likely be banned

The running shoe used by Kenya's Brigid Kosgei to smash Paula Radcliffe's marathon record is set to be banned.

There is no decision yet on whether the new women's marathon mark — which Kosgei set wearing the Nike Vaporfly — will be allowed to stand.

The 25-year-old recorded a time of 2hr 14min 4sec in Chicago, well inside Radcliffe's mark of 2:15:25 set at the London Marathon in 2003.

It is also understood shoes which sources at World Athletics believe to be a hybrid of the Vaporfly — and in which Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge ran an unofficial sub-two-hour marathon in Vienna last year — will also be outlawed.

The contentious issue is the foam and carbon-fibre composition of the sole, which acts like a spring to help runners get the most forward push from each stride. A technical body looking into the Nike shoes are set to deliver their findings at the end of this month.

A moratorium is being considered by World Athletics, which may see records stand despite likely bans for the shoes.

Also set to be outlawed are the revolutionary running spikes developed for sprinters. These have sparked fears that inferior athletes at this year's Tokyo Olympics will break Usain Bolt's 100metres best of 9.58sec.

The shoes worn by Laura Muir to set a British record for the women's indoor mile (4min 18.75sec) in Glasgow last year are also likely to be axed.

 

(01/15/2020) Views: 775 ⚡AMP
by Mike Keegan
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INEOS 1:59 Challenge

INEOS 1:59 Challenge

Mankind have constantly sought to reach new frontiers and to achieve the impossible. From Edmund Hillary reaching the summit of Mount Everest to Roger Bannister’s four-minute mile to Felix Baumgartner jumping from space we have frequently redefined the limits of human achievement and broken new barriers previously seen as simply impossible. After the four-minute mile and the ten second 100m...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(01/14/2020) Views: 951 ⚡AMP
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NYRR Millrose Games

NYRR Millrose Games

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

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Usain Bolt said he was heartened to see the support that turned out for the inauguration of the National Stadium in Tokyo

“I know that Tokyo is going to be exciting, it is going to be extremely big because you can see the number of people in the stadium now,” said Bolt.

Usain Bolt ran a lap at the new Olympic Stadium with one of the Olympic rings in his hand, marking the facility’s opening, saying it was an honour to be given the opportunity.

“I was happy and excited because I won’t get to compete so the fact that I got to run on the track was an experience in itself and as was said earlier it was wonderful that everybody could come together and compete. It’s for a great cause, it’s to show the world that we need to unite as one. So I was very honoured and very happy,” said Bolt.

The lap, done at a jog with other former Olympians carrying rings as well, reminded Bolt that coming out of retirement was not on.   

“Iwon’t be competing. No. I’m actually in pain right now from the little run I just did,” he said.

Still, Bolt is an excited man because these Olympics will mark the first he has attended as a fan.

“I will be here watching them [Jamaican team to the Olympics] and cheering them on. This will be my first Olympics where I’m just here to watch, so I’m gonna really try to see everything and just try to enjoy it.”

(12/23/2019) Views: 751 ⚡AMP
by Paul-Andre Walker
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Eliud Kipchoge, has told Reuters he will defend his Olympic title in Tokyo next year, if he is selected

Eliud Kipchoge, the greatest marathon runner in history, the world record holder and only man to go under two hours for the distance, has told Reuters he will defend his Olympic title in Tokyo next year – if selected.

It should be reasonably safe to assume, even taking into account the often chaotic and inexplicable selection procedures that have long dogged Kenyan athletics, that Kipchoge will be given the chance to run next August.

“If selected I will be there.” he told Reuters in an exclusive interview in Nairobi on Tuesday. “It (Tokyo) is at the front of my mind, and I trust and believe that when the time comes I will be on the starting line.”

That line will now be in the northern city of Sapporo, where the marathons and walking events have been moved by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in a bid to avoid the worst of the debilitating heat and humidity of the Tokyo area.

But Kipchoge, as ever, was careful not to voice a strong opinion on the issue.

“I think the medals are the same,” he said. “I will be among the competitors, I don’t complain, I’m in the hands of the IOC and anywhere they decide, I will go with it.”

That will be music to the ears of the organisers, especially in marathon-mad Japan, where the 35-year-old will be treated to the sort of adulation last seen when sprinter Usain Bolt was sweeping all before him.

Kipchoge has won 11 of his 12 official marathons, including the 2016 Rio Olympics, and with the world record and the sub-two hour mark under his belt, along with a string of lucrative big-city races he is a colossus of his sport.

(12/04/2019) Views: 732 ⚡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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Tokyo’s new National Stadium is ready for action

Eight months before the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo begin on July 24, construction on the new 60,000-seat stadium for the Games is complete, and it is an impressive sight. Several organizations tweeted photos of the facility yesterday where the Games’ opening and closing ceremonies, track and field events, soccer and the Paralympic Games will take place.

The stadium, which is to be called simply National Stadium, is located in Shinjuku City, one of the busiest and most densely populated parts of Tokyo. The structure, which began construction in December 2016, is said to have cost close to CAD $2 billion. It will be owned and operated by Japan Sport Council.

The building, which replaces the previous National Stadium, which was built for the 1964 Olympics, was designed by architect Kengo Kuma and design firm Azusa Sekkei Co. and built by Taisei Corp.

The facility’s 60,000 seats (fewer when the stadium is configured for the Paralympics, which will replace some seating with space for wheelchairs) are in a random pattern of greens and earth tones. According to a story in The Japan Times, it’s designed to resemble “a mosaic representing sunbeams filtering through a forest.”

To mitigate the extreme heat and humidity expected next summer, 185 fans will cool athletes and spectators in the stadium, along with eight mist-cooling devices.

The stadium is just one of numerous venues that will be used for the Olympics. The Ariaki Gymnastics Center and the Olympic Aquatics Center are both still under construction. The men’s and women’s Olympic marathon and 50K race walk will be held in Sapporo, 800 kilometers north of Tokyo.

Stay tuned for the grand opening ceremony of the stadium on December 21, at which Usain Bolt is expected to appear. The final game of Japan’s national soccer cup tournament, the Emperor’s Cup, will take place on January 1.

 

(12/03/2019) Views: 734 ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Eliud Kipchoge and Dalilah Muhammad named World Athletes of the year

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

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

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

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

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

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

(11/24/2019) Views: 560 ⚡AMP
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Eight-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world, declared that he's willing to join the New England Patriots

If he joins the Patriots, Bolt believes he could win championships with Tom Brady. 

Eight-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world, declared that he's willing to join the New England Patriots if they need another speedy wide receiver. In an interview with TMZ Sports, Bolt said he’s ready to suit up if either the Patriots or the Green Bay Packers call. “If they call me, I'm ready!" said the 33-year-old Bolt, who holds the world record in the 100-meter and 200-meter dash with a time of 9.58 seconds and 19.19 seconds, respectively, which he both recorded at the 2009 Berlin World Athletics Championships.

Last month, Bolt told Arash Markazi of the Los Angeles Times that several NFL teams offered him a spot on their team after his impressive performance during the 2008 and 2012 Olympics when he was just 22 and 26 years old, respectively. Bolt, a known Packers fan, explained that he declined the offers because he’s afraid of his safety back then.

“If it was like it is now, I think I would probably transition and try to play in the NFL,” Bolt told Markazi.

In last season’s NFL Super Bowl Experience in Atlanta, Bolt unofficially tied the 4.22-second record in the 40-yard dash set by John Ross in the 2017 Combine while wearing sweatpants and flat shoes.

Bolt, who retired from competition in 2017, said he’s now willing to play in the NFL if the Patriots or the Packers call. If he joins the Patriots, Bolt believes he could win championships with veteran Tom Brady as his quarterback.

However, when asked if Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is better than Brady, Bolt gave a safe answer, replying “it’s tight.”

As of now, Bolt said Rodgers is doing well despite the Packers’ lack of manpower at wide receiver.

“He’s doing great with what he has,” said Bolt of Rodgers, who has led the Packers to a 6-1 record this season, best in the NFC North. The Patriots, for their part, recently acquired Mohamed Sanu from the Atlanta Falcons for a 2020 second-round pick.

(10/28/2019) Views: 655 ⚡AMP
by ZeeGee Cecilio
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The World's fastest man Christian Coleman has missed three drugs tests

Christian Coleman, the world's fastest man for the last three years, is fighting for his reputation over an alleged series of missed drugs tests.

Top level sources have told Sportsmail that the 23-year-old American sprinter, who was given a seven-figure sponsorship deal by Nike in 2017 after emerging as the successor to Usain Bolt, is disputing one of three whereabouts failures in the last 12 months.

But if Coleman is unsuccessful in having one of the three strikes cancelled he could face a lengthy ban that not only rules him out of next month's World Championships in Qatar but next year's Olympic Games.

According to the United States Anti-Doping Agency website, 'any cumulation of three Missed Tests or Filing Failures in a 12-month period can result in a potential ADRV and a period of ineligibility of up to two years for a first violation'.

It is understood there are high level ongoing discussions between WADA, USADA and the IAAF's Athletics Integrity Unit about the case, with Coleman's own legal team disputing at least one of the alleged whereabouts violations.

There appears to be an issue because while all tests fall under WADA's Anti-Doping Administration Management System, at least two different testing bodies are thought to be involved.

Coleman, who was beaten to gold at the World Championships in London two years ago by convicted drug cheat Justin Gatlin, is favourite for gold in Qatar and Tokyo next year.

He has already set a new world record over 60m indoors and became the seventh fastest man in history last year when he clocked 9.79 seconds for 100m.

Athletes have proved successful in contesting whereabouts failures in the past. As Sportsmail revealed at the time, British Cyclist Lizzie Deignan - then Armitstead – was facing a ban before the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016 but won a case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland shortly before the Games and had one of her three strikes erased from her record.

USADA, the IAAF and the AIU have declined to comment.

(08/24/2019) Views: 918 ⚡AMP
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Yukon Artic ultra 300 miler

Yukon Artic ultra 300 miler

The Yukon Arctic Ultra is the world's coldest and toughest ultra! Quite simply the world's coldest and toughest ultra. 430 miles of snow, ice, temperatures as low as -40°C and relentless wilderness, the YUA is an incredible undertaking. The Montane® Yukon Arctic Ultra (MYAU) follows the Yukon Quest trail, the trail of the world's toughest Sled Dog Race. Where dog...

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Usain Bolt claims next generation of Jamaican sprinters are ‘spoiled’ and have lost motivation

Olympic sprint great Usain Bolt sees struggle ahead for Jamaica’s men at the world championships, claiming the Caribbean nation’s “spoiled” young sprinters lack the discipline to train and the hunger for success.

Bolt, who won eight Olympic gold medals and led Jamaica through a golden era in sprinting, said he felt motivation levels had fallen since his retirement after the London world championships in 2017.

“I don’t think it is going to get any better because I think these youngsters are a little bit spoiled,” the 32-year-old told Reuters from his home in Kingston on Tuesday, pointing to their attitude to training.

“I must say yes about that when it comes to sprinting in Jamaica right now on the male side.

“When I was around I think the motivation was there and we worked hard and the level was high, but now that I have left the sport, I feel like it has dropped.

“Not that I’m saying [it’s] because I left the sport, but now that I have left, it has dropped for me and Glen Mills, who is a top coach that I look up to.”

The 100 and 200 metres world record holder’s comments echoed sentiments put forward by Jamaican sprint coaches Mills and Stephen Francis, who feel the nation’s male sprinters are not cutting it at the highest level.

Bolt bowed out of London with a bronze in the 100m and suffered a hamstring injury during the 4x100 relay as Jamaica’s men’s team missed out on a medal for the first time since 2005 in Helsinki.

The Jamaican men also had a disappointing Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast last year, picking up bronzes in both the 100m individual and relay events despite the relatively weak fields.

Bolt was more positive about Jamaica’s hopes in the women’s events at the Sept. 28-Oct. 6 world championships in Doha, with Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson jointly holding the year’s best time of 10.73 seconds in the 100m.

“Again I think that the females will do well,” said Bolt.

“If we are going to fail, it will be on the male side, but I feel like the females will hold up their end and will do well, but we’ll see what happens.”

Bolt said Jamaica’s women simply had more ambition and drive than their male counterparts.

“It’s the fact the females, I must say, are smarter,” he added.

“I personally believe that because they want to be rich ... They want to be great, they want to accomplish things in life so they work towards certain things.

“They want to develop and go on to do big things. I don’t think that the males are there.”

(07/14/2019) Views: 728 ⚡AMP
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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: 1,240 ⚡AMP
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

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

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Sprint superstar Usain Bolt jumps into Paris scooter mania business

Usain Boolt ambition for a career as a footballer may not have worked out but retired sprint superstar announced Wednesday an unlikely new outlet for his energies -- the Paris scooter market.

Electric scooters have become wildly popular but also controversial in Paris over the last year, helping commuters navigate traffic but also seen as a nuisance and a danger by others.

The athletics icon's brand Bolt Mobility, which he co-founded, joins an already crowded market for scooters, which users pick up and park anywhere in the city via an app.

"I travelled all around the world for all these years, saw so much traffic and the need for our scooters to help," the eight-time Olympic champion said at the launch of the sturdy-looking contraption.

“I have been in Paris so many times, I saw the traffic here and for me it helps to get everybody around on time," he added.

Some 450 scooters emblazoned with his name are due to be deployed on the streets of Paris in the next days.

But his entry into the market comes at a delicate time after Paris authorities warned operators of the thousands of electric scooters that have inundated the city to keep them off pavements or face a temporary ban.

On Monday, the ten competitors who have launched services in Paris all signed a "code of good conduct" with the mayor's office, which says the city is now "saturated" with the devices.

Bolt denied that he was too late out of blocks, saying his brand it worked with the Paris authorities. 

"It's not about late, it's about doing it right," the Jamaican 100m and 200m world record holder said.

"We took our time to do the right thing and talk to authorities and get everything right to be sure that when we launch everything is perfect".

He was due to sign the code of conduct later Wednesday.

Since retiring, Bolt had attempted to become a professional footballer but a trial with an Australian club ended late last year without success.

(06/15/2019) Views: 764 ⚡AMP
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Eight-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt competed against a tuk-tuk in the Peruvian capital Lima on Tuesday, and won

The vehicle never stood a chance, as the aptly named Bolt jogged ahead of it at a leisurely pace.

The Jamaican athlete won gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relays in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, although he later lost his gold in the 2008 relays after a team mate was disqualified for failing an anti-doping test.

Bolt, 32, retired after the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London.

He greeted the hundreds of cheering fans who turned out for the Lima event with his signature lightning bolt pose, saying: "I didn't know there was going to be so much people, but I'm excited and it's awesome to see so much people coming out."

(04/04/2019) Views: 801 ⚡AMP
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Ralph the Blaze Ingram is one fast Seven Year old and has been called the next Usain Bolt

He already has a nickname: Blaze the Great. He has been called "the next Usain Bolt," and it may not be hyperbole. He has a growing Instagram following that just topped 300,000 and viral videos all over the place. He has football skills, too, and has drawn the attention of LeBron James and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, among others.

Oh, and he's 7 years old.

It was his return to the track last weekend that drew the latest round of attention to Rudolph Ingram Jr. The Tampa, Florida, youngster, who said he began training when he was 4, left the competition in his wake, winning the 100-meter dash in 13.48 seconds - which would be a U.S. record for his age group. He appears to be picking up where he left off last summer, when he won the 100 and finished second in the 200 in his age group at the AAU championships.

“I can give him all the tools to be great, but his drive and work ethic and competitive mentality, it sets the bar so much higher," his father, Ralph Sr., told Tampa’s ABC affiliate. “I have seen him [losing] midrace and just take off and get faster. He does not like to feel like a loser. He wants to win,” his father added.

Wide receiver Mike Evans was among those impressed when Ingram visited the Buccaneers last summer. "I see you cuttin' up out there," Evans told him.

And James couldn't help but pass judgment on one of his videos: "Sheesh!!" James wrote. "Man he shifty as hell and the fact he was switching the ball to his other hand on the right side away from the defender is even more impressive."

Blaze's father runs his Instagram account and supervises his workouts, and he said he is trying to ensure that his son has a normal life.

"I have never missed a practice, never missed a game, and I do all his training sessions," Ingram Sr. told Tampa's Fox affiliate. "He's a superstar to everyone else. He's my baby. I'm the manager, videographer, trainer, Uber driver . . . without the tip. The tip is just seeing him happy and loving what he does."

If that includes the NFL or the Olympics, great. If not, that's great, too.

(02/16/2019) Views: 1,206 ⚡AMP
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Bolt Champagne - Jamaican Sprint Legend Partners With South Africa's Mumm To Create Own Champagne Brand

While Jamaica’s icon of track and field, Usain Bolt, is leaving his career in sport behind and delving into the field of business, the glitz and glamour that followed him through each successful stage of his record-breaking path as an athlete shows no sign of abating. This was evident in South Africa where he launched his new signature champagne Mumm Olympe Rosé last Thursday at a press conference in South Africa.

Bolt was in South Africa as one of the co-hosts of Sun Met, an illustrious and acclaimed horse-racing event known as Africa’s richest race day. The famous show is not just focused on horse racing but has become a gathering place for socialites, popular personalities and fashionistas. This was the perfect occasion to unveil this new champagne.

Mumm’s brand manager Etienne Cassuto, said, "We are excited to unveil the fruit of a two-year collaboration with nine time Olympic gold medalists Usain Bolt, a champagne embodying the excellence of our craftsmanship and values of our chief entertainment officer. Mumm Olympe Rosé is a unique and innovative champagne created for your daring celebrations."

 “In Jamaica we do this naturally,” Bolt said, “we mix cognac with champagne, and it’s something that I enjoy. So when we sat down in the first meeting and we were trying to figure out what direction we wanted to go with the bottle and with the drink I mentioned it and asked ‘is it possible?’ and they said ‘yes’. So for me that was something I was happy about and when you taste it you’ll taste the cognac and together it’s very nice, trust me.”

Created by the renowned English designer Ross Lovegrove for Mumm Grand Cordon, the bottle of Mumm Olympe Rosé is described as a technical feat.

"Its slender neck lends to the aromatic development of the wine, and its harmonious lines are accentuated by the iconic red sash set directly in the glass," the champagne producer said in a media release.

Together with Bolt, Mumm said it is "dedicated to exploring unprecedented ways of celebrating with their fans and Mumm Olympe Rosé is on its way to becoming emblematic".

(02/03/2019) Views: 932 ⚡AMP
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A eight-time Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt scored the Mariners’ third and fourth goals for Central Coast Mariners

Usain Bolt marked his first start in professional football (soccer) with two goals for Central Coast Mariners to beat Macarthur South West 4-0 in a preseason friendly. Bolt, a eight-time Olympic sprint champion scored the Mariners’ third and fourth goals for Central Coast Mariners. He celebrated with his trademark lightning bolt celebration. “My first start and scoring two goals, it’s a good feeling,” the 32-year-old Bolt said after the game. “I’m happy I could come here and show the world I’m improving,” he added. (10/12/2018) Views: 1,490 ⚡AMP
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Usain Bolt is set to make his soccer debut, despite saying he is struggling with the physical demands of professional soccer

Jamaica's Usain Bolt is set to make his debut for Central Coast Mariners, despite saying he is struggling with the physical demands of professional soccer. The Jamaican eight-time Olympic sprint champion, 31, joined the Australian A-League side for an "indefinite training period" earlier this month. Coach Mike Mulvey said Bolt has "rudimentary skills", adding: "I imagine he'll get some minutes." Mulvey said the 100m and 200m world record holder was "doing OK" but would take some time "to adjust."  He said, "The things we are asking him to do are things that he hasn't done for quite some years. "He has played soccer as an athlete in between athletic meets so he has rudimentary skills. It's about being able to do it at the speed that we do it." The 11-time world sprint champion has been playing as a left winger in training but said he still needs to "get up to pace" with the stop-start nature of football matches. "Because I'm not used to picking up speed, going back down, up and down, up and down, back and forth, that's the most challenging," he said. (08/28/2018) Views: 1,066 ⚡AMP
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Usain Bolt is making a run at professional soccer in Australia

The Olympic sprint great has long expressed his love of the game. Since his retirement from track, he has tested himself with Germany’s Borussia Dortmund and the Norwegian club Stromsgodset. Now, at 31, he will try out for six weeks with the Central Coast Mariners starting next month. If all goes well, he could play for a season in Australia’s A-League. Australian agent Tony Rallis said Monday the Mariners and Bolt have a deal in principle, "subject to a couple of benchmarks." Rallis said the eight-time Olympic gold medallist would have to go through a tryout, and the Football Federation Australia would have to support his salary. "Once the FFA comes back and says that they’ll be part of the process, we’re going to the trial," Rallis said. (07/18/2018) Views: 1,221 ⚡AMP
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Mo Farah and Usain Bolt will go head-to-head in the charity football match this weekend

Mo Farah, who broke the British marathon record in April at the London Marathon, will be part of the England team this Sunday (June 10) at Old Trafford in Manchester, UK.  The Soccer Aid for Unicef football match will face eight-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt and his World XI team. “When I got the call from Robbie to play for the England team, I immediately said yes,” said 10-time major track gold medalist Farah. “Everyone knows that I’m absolutely mad about football and to top it off, this event is for such a good cause. Helping children around the world make it something I definitely want to support. “My instant ‘yes’ was even easier in the knowledge that I would finally be going head-to-head with my friend Usain Bolt. People have long suggested we should compete against each other, so on Sunday at Old Trafford, you will see us trade our spikes for boots. “Usain has the speed but I have the stamina so we’ll see who comes out on top at the end of 90 mins.” Soccer Aid for Unicef is the original England V Soccer Aid World XI charity match. It was launched and co-founded in 2006 by Unicef UK Ambassador Robbie Williams and Jonathan Wilkes. 100% of all public donations to Soccer Aid for Unicef will go towards supporting the vital work protecting children in the UK and globally. (06/07/2018) Views: 1,486 ⚡AMP
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