Jul 27, 2013, 12:23 PM EST
Usain Bolt wrapped up the London Anniversary Games with a no-doubt-about-it anchor leg on the 4×100-meter relay at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday.
Bolt and his Racers Track Club won the event in 37.75 seconds, easily beating France (38.45). The 4×100 world record set by Bolt and Jamaica at the 2012 Olympics is 36.84. This was Bolt’s first appearance at the Olympic Stadium since his triple gold performance at the 2012 Games.
An All-Star team of Americans Mike Rodgers, Wallace Spearmon, Tony McQuay and St. Kitts and Nevis’ Kim Collins could have given Bolt’s Racers quartet problems, but they botched the last handoff from Collins to McQuay.
Bolt was the star attraction, even in a team event. His teammates – Mario Forsythe, Kemar Bailey-Cole and Warren Weir – all wore yellow jerseys. Bolt was in a blue and red Puma uniform.
He took the orange baton from Weir for the final straight and breezed to win, keeping his eye on the clock the whole time. Mo Farah could be seen in the background watching Bolt cross the finish.
“I wanted to run a fast time to see where we’re at,” Bolt told the BBC, adding this foursome will pretty much be the Jamaican relay team in Moscow (though Forsythe didn’t make the Jamaican team in an individual event).
Bolt now goes into worlds with the fastest time in the world in the 100 (if you take out Tyson Gay) and the 200. His Jamaican team in the 4×100, even without the injured Yohan Blake, will fight with the U.S., without Gay, for gold as well.
“It wasn’t perfect early in the season, but it’s coming together at the right time,” Bolt said.
Women’s 100 meters: It was a strange afternoon in what was the deepest sprint field of the second day of the meet.
Reigning world champion Carmelita Jeter withdrew from the final with a quad injury, according to Flotrack, after running a season’s best 10.93 in her heat.
Jeter missed the U.S. championships in June due to a quad injury. With worlds just two weeks away, this is a situation to monitor.
Two-time Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce put up a very smooth world-leading 10.77 in her heat. But Fraser-Pryce was never a factor in the final, running a 10.94 for fourth place.
The winner of the final was Nigerian Blessing Okagbare, who broke Glory Alozie‘s 14-year-old African record in her heat (10.86) and again in the final (10.79).
Okagbare is also ranked fourth in the world this year in both the 200 and the long jump.
The fastest American on Saturday was a woman who didn’t make the world championships team – Barbara Pierre. Pierre matched her personal-best 10.85 in the final, the same time English Gardner clocked to win nationals in June.
Gardner, meanwhile, finished seventh and last in the final in 11.08 after going 11.10 in her heat. She’s yet to run sub-11 outside the U.S. this year and, at this point, can’t be considered a medal favorite in Moscow.
Women’s 100-meter hurdles: Olympic champion Sally Pearson notched a season’s best 12.65, while Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis came in fourth in 13.08. Both are coming off injuries.
Pearson, returning from two hamstring tears, crossed the finish line, bent down to the track, grinned and gave a thumbs-up.
That shows how tough the last few months have been, given the season’s best was merely .02 under her time in Ostrava, Czech Republic, last month and well slower than her personal best of 12.28.
“It still wasn’t perfect,” Pearson told the BBC. “Not 100 percent, but i’m happy with it. … Jess, I was nervous of her in the warm-up. You don’t know what she’s going to do. She’s a freak.”
Pearson is still nearly four tenths behind world leader and U.S. and NCAA champion Brianna Rollins, who skipped a potential race against Pearson in Monaco earlier this month.
Ennis, still not a definite for worlds due to an Achilles injury, was well off her personal best of 12.54 set at the Olympics and disappointed with her time Saturday.
“This was very nerve-racking,” said Ennis, who received a rousing ovation in introductions from the packed Olympic Stadium. “Having this injury, not been able to prepare as best as I could have.”
Ennis, who later placed last in the long jump, said she would talk with coach Toni Minichiello about her next move before worlds. Minichiello said on the BBC that Ennis needs at least one more race before heading to Moscow to potentially enter the heptathlon.
“We’ll take another two, three days after this to take a look how the injury reacts,” Minichiello said.
Women’s 200 meters: Olympic champion Allyson Felix had to work to cross the finish first in 22.41, edging fellow American Shalonda Solomon (22.50) in a shallow field.
“Final preparations,” said Felix, who ran her last race before worlds, which begin Aug. 10. “Last year was a long year. I’m taking it slow this year. A little more work to do.”
Felix, who won world bronze in 2011, is ranked seventh in the world this year at 22.36. The world leaders are Fraser-Pryce (22.13) and Murielle Ahoure of the Ivory Coast (22.24), both of whom chose to only run the 100 at the Anniversary Games.
Felix was beaten at the U.S. championships by Kimberlyn Duncan (22.35), who was also not in the field Saturday.
Men’s 3,000 meters: Mo Farah is now three for three on Saturdays at London’s Olympic Stadium.
Farah, who won Olympic gold at the same track on the second and third Saturdays of the 2012 Games, prevailed with ease in the non-Olympic distance in 7:36.85. Nobody was within five seconds.
“Coming here, I felt really emotional about it,” Farah told the BBC. “It was close in noise to the Olympics.”
The Somali-born, Oregon-trained Farah will attempt to repeat his Olympic 5,000-10,000 double in Moscow. He’s already set the British record in the 1,500 meters this season.
Farah heads back to St. Moritz, Switzerland, for more high-altitude training Sunday.
Men’s 110-meter hurdles: Olympic champion and world-record holder Aries Merritt hit the fifth hurdle with his trail leg and ran through the sixth hurdle but told the BBC he’s not injured.
“I was able to catch myself because of my cat-like reflexes,” he joked.
American David Oliver, who owns the world lead of 13.03 and was second at nationals, went on to win in 13.20.
Merritt, third at nationals behind Ryan Wilson and Oliver, went under 13 seconds eight times last year, including that world-record run of 12.80. He has yet to go under 13 this year, opening up the gold-medal picture a little bit going into worlds.
Notable: Brit favorite Christine Ohuruogu did one better than she did at the Olympics, winning the women’s 400 in 50 flat, a season’s best, over the top two from the U.S. championships, Francena McCorory (50.13) and Natasha Hastings (50.68). Reigning world champion Amantle Montsho, not in the field, remains the world leader at 49.33. Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross did not make the U.S. team for the world championships. … Olympic silver medalist and U.S. champion Michael Tinsley won the 400 hurdles in 47.98. Tinsley is the only man to go under 48 seconds this year, and he’s now done it twice. He’s the favorite in Moscow. …. Two-time reigning Olympic champion and three-time reigning world champion Valerie Adams of New Zealand won the women’s shot put with a world-leading throw of 20.90 meters. Adams, who originally won silver in London but was upgraded to gold after the Belarusian champion failed drug tests, is the only woman to throw farther than 20.24 this year.
Dec 5, 2013, 1:46 PM EST
Curling officials want a mixed-gender event in the 2018 Olympics. “Mixed doubles is part of our sport that has taken off around the world,” World Curling Federation president Kate Caithness said, according to The Associated Press. Mixed doubles curling includes teams of one man and one woman, as opposed to the traditional four-person teams in the…
Dec 5, 2013, 1:00 PM EST
Ryan Lochte is swimming again, a little over one month after tearing an MCL and spraining an ACL when he said a fan ran into him. He plans to be “back in full swing” after Christmas, according to NBC Charlotte. A November report said he would resume training in February. “I feel like a little kid…
Dec 5, 2013, 12:43 PM EST
Lindsey Vonn will ski competitively for the first time in 10 months on Friday, less than three weeks after partially tearing her ACL in a training crash. The Olympic downhill champion said Thursday she’s “confident and excited” about racing in a World Cup downhill in Lake Louise, Alberta, according to The Associated Press. Vonn took her first…
Dec 5, 2013, 12:03 PM EST
Ron Burgundy is a connoisseur of the Winter Olympics. The Anchorman proved that on the “Dan Patrick Show” on Thursday, four days after commentating the Canadian Olympic Curling Trials. In the video above, Burgundy re-enacted Al Michaels‘ famous finishing lines from the “Miracle on Ice” game at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics. For comparison’s sake, here’s Michaels’ call…
Dec 5, 2013, 11:29 AM EST
The first Olympic women’s ski jumping competition figures to be won by either Sara Takanashi or Sarah Hendrickson on Feb. 11. Japan’s Takanashi, 17, is the reigning World Cup champion. The American Hendrickson, 19, is the reigning world champion. Hendrickson is not a sure bet to compete in Sochi due to her knee injury, but when healthy they seem…
Dec 5, 2013, 10:24 AM EST
Tam Chua Puh, a 43-year-old pastry chef, turned in one of the more remarkable distance-running performances of the year when he was the first Singaporean to finish the Singapore Marathon on Sunday. Turns out, it was too good to be true. On Wednesday, Tam said he ran barely six kilometers of the 42-kilometer (26.2-mile) route,…
Dec 5, 2013, 9:58 AM EST
The Sochi Olympic torch relay, among other exploits, has included sled dogs and reindeer (and, it is expected, a dolphin). Add a camel to the list. A two-humped camel will carry an Olympic torch in the city of Chelyabinsk, the site above which a meteor exploded on Feb. 15. The Olympic torch relay is scheduled…
Dec 5, 2013, 9:23 AM EST
David Rudisha believes he can expand from the 800m, but not in the distance he’s talked about before. The Kenyan, both Olympic champion and world record holder in the two-lap race, is considering racing the 1500m before he retires. “I used to run 400m and through encouragement from my coach and friends, I committed myself to…
Dec 5, 2013, 8:17 AM EST
Lindsey Vonn is working her way back for Sochi, but it’s still unknown if Tiger Woods will be there in February. Woods was asked if he’s “making plans to be in Sochi” on Wednesday. “I think that’s just day to day,” Woods said at the Northwestern Mutual Challenge in Sherwood Oaks, Calif. “We just don’t know how her…
Dec 5, 2013, 7:20 AM EST
Mao Asada and Yuzuru Hanyu thrilled their home crowd Thursday in Fukuoka, Japan, the two Japanese skaters jumping out to healthy leads following their respective short programs at the Grand Prix Final. Hanyu, 18, delivered a world-record performance in his short, registering a score of 99.84 to build a healthy 12-point lead over Patrick Chan,…
Dec 4, 2013, 2:46 PM EST
Lindsey Vonn is one step closer to skiing competitively for the first time in 10 months. The Olympic downhill champion took an official downhill training run in near-zero-degree temperatures in Lake Louise, Alberta, on Wednesday afternoon, site of World Cup races this weekend. She completed the course in 1 minute, 59.53 seconds, the 22nd fastest of…
Dec 4, 2013, 12:57 PM EST
Burton revealed its patchwork designs for the U.S. Olympic Snowboard Team on Tuesday. “We’re really proud that the 2014 uniform builds on Burton’s legacy of creating fun, unconventional designs that stray from the formal, traditional look of most uniforms,” said Greg Dacyshyn, Chief Creative Officer at Burton Snowboards, in a press release. “The vintage quilt and…
Dec 4, 2013, 12:26 PM EST
The biggest international event from now until the Olympics is missing three active Olympic champions, but it will still provide a strong look at Sochi medal prospects. The Grand Prix Final takes the top six from each discipline over six qualifying events, which began with Skate America in October. If the Olympics are the most…
Dec 4, 2013, 10:33 AM EST
NBC Olympics added Ato Boldon, Mary Carillo and Cris Collinsworth as correspondents for its Sochi 2014 coverage, joining Maria Sharapova. Boldon, a four-time Olympic medalist sprinter for Trinidad and Tobago, will make his Winter Olympic broadcast debut. Boldon, 39, covered track and field for NBC Olympics at the 2008 and 2012 Games. Carillo, working her 12th Olympics, will be the host and…
Dec 4, 2013, 9:45 AM EST
A likely U.S. bid for the 2024 Olympics might be rivaled north of the border, but a leading Canadian Olympic official believes a North American city would have a better chance in 2028. “The way IOC does it, the games go to Europe, the Americas and then somewhere else,” Paul Henderson, former International Olympic Committee…
Dec 3, 2013, 9:21 PM EST
The U.S. Bobsled team made one change to its three women’s bobsled pairings for the second World Cup of the season in Park City, Utah, this weekend. The top two sleds from last week’s opener in Calgary, Alberta, remain the same – Elana Meyers and Aja Evans and Jamie Greubel and Katie Eberling. The third sled will again by driven by Jazmine Fenlator,…
Dec 3, 2013, 6:50 PM EST
Lindsey Vonn‘s status for this weekend’s races will be determined Thursday. The Olympic downhill champion is expected to take an official downhill training run Wednesday in Lake Louise, Alberta, two days before the first official World Cup race there. A decision on her participation in downhills Friday and Saturday and a super-G on Sunday will…
Dec 3, 2013, 6:38 PM EST
The U.S. Olympic Committee won’t narrow down its list of candidate cities for a 2024 Olympic bid until after the Sochi Games. A USOC group scheduled visits to potential bid cities including Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and San Francisco, Around the Rings reported in November. City visits will continue into December and January, USOC CEO Scott…
Dec 3, 2013, 3:16 PM EST
NBC Olympics swimming analyst Rowdy Gaines earned plenty of attention for his wild Iron Bowl finish reaction on Saturday night, but he might get a little heat from his fellow Auburn alums now. First, Gaines’ recollection of that crazy Tigers victory. His wife, Judy, was filming Gaines watching Alabama kicker Adam Griffith line up to attempt a hail-mary, 57-yard, time-expiring,…
Dec 3, 2013, 1:58 PM EST
Showers of praise keep raining on U.S. skier Mikaela Shiffrin, but perhaps comparisons to Lindsey Vonn are not the way to go. “When they say I’m the next Lindsey Vonn, they are shooing her out the door, and I don’t think that’s fair,” Shiffrin told TODAY.com. “Imagine being her, reading that someone is the next Lindsey Vonn…
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