Reigning Olympic champ Evan Lysacek stopped by the set of TODAY earlier this week to discuss his goal of becoming the first American man since Dick Button in 1952 to win back-to-back Olympic gold, and to talk about his stiffest competition, newly crowned U.S. champ, Max Aaron.
BERLIN (AP) — Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia pulled away from Wilson Kipsang of Kenya late in the race to win the Berlin Marathon just outside the world record time on Sunday.
Bekele’s winning time of two hours, 3 minutes and 3 seconds was six seconds outside Dennis Kimetto‘s world record, also set in Berlin in 2014 and is the second best time.
“I wanted to set a personal best and it’s a fantastic time, but it’s a little disappointing to miss the world record by so little,” Bekele said after the race.
Bekele and Kipsang opened a considerable lead over the rest of the field and ran shoulder-to-shoulder until Bekele pulled away with about two kilometers to go.
Kipsang finished 10 seconds behind Bekele in 2:03:13, faster than the 2:03:23 he clocked in winning the race in 2013, in what was then a world record.
Evans Chebet of Kenya was third in 2:05:31.
Bekele is considered one of the greatest distance runners of all time. He won three Olympic titles and five world championship golds and is the world record holder over 5,000 and 10,000 meters.
But he had been slow getting into the marathon, with his previous best of 2:05.04 set in his debut in winning the Paris race in 2014. He was third in London in April, after battling an Achilles’ tendon injury.
Bekele broke the Ethiopian record for the marathon, previously held by the great Haile Gebrselassie, who won the Berlin Marathon and set a world record of 2:03.59 in 2008.
Aberu Kebede led an Ethiopian sweep in the women’s race in 2:20:45. Birhane Dibaba was second in 2:23:58 and Ruti Aga third in 2:24:41.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Tommie Smith and John Carlos, the American sprinters whose raised-fist salutes at the 1968 Olympics are an ageless sign of race-inspired protest, will join the U.S. Olympic team at the White House next week for its meeting with President Barack Obama.
Smith and Carlos were sent home from the Olympics after raising their black-gloved fists in a symbolic protest during the U.S. national anthem. They called it a “human rights salute.”
USOC CEO Scott Blackmun asked them to serve as ambassadors as the federation tries to bring more diversity to its own ranks. They will join the team at the White House next Wednesday, then later that evening at an awards celebration in Washington.
The sprinters have been referenced frequently in the recent protests, spurred by Colin Kaepernick, during national anthems at NFL games. One player, Marcus Peters of the Chiefs, raised his own black-gloved fist before Kansas City’s season opener.
“I think Tommie and John have played an important and positive role in the evolution of our attitudes about diversity and inclusion, not only in the United States but around the world,” Blackmun said Friday night at a dinner to celebrate the U.S. performance in Brazil this summer.