World record Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt has finally confirmed that he’ll race at the London Grand Prix in July at the Olympic Stadium, where last year he became the first man ever to win the 100m and 200m double at consecutive Games.
“I’m looking forward to coming back to the UK, especially with it being a year since winning three golds in the Olympic Stadium,” Bolt said. “The crowd were amazing at the Games and I hope they will be out again… I haven’t competed at the London Diamond League since 2009, but it has always been a great meet with lots of Jamaican support. It almost feels like running at home.”
The reason Bolt hadn’t raced in London since 2009, save for the Olympics, was because he’s typically forced to pay taxes on his appearance fees (now $300,000 per event) and endorsements. But now they’ve created an exemption specifically for “non-resident athletes” to bring back the talent.
All-told, the London field will include 29 Olympic medalists, 12 world champions, and four world record holders. Besides Bolt, familiar faces will include Brits Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis, and Greg Rutherford, as well as Sally Pearson of Australia, Carmelita Jeter of the U.S., and Kirani James of Grenada.
We already knew Katie Ledecky can beat the boys in practice, even an Olympic champion.
One of the many takeaways from this week’s Sports Illustrated profile of Ledecky is that she has beaten 11-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte in practice.
Ledecky and Lochte may rep different swim clubs — Ledecky in Washington, D.C., and Lochte in Charlotte — but they both take trips to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., for altitude training.
“She swims like a guy,” Lochte said after training with Ledecky in Colorado Springs in March, according to SI. “I’ve never seen a female swimmer like that. … Her times are becoming good for a guy. She’s beating me now, and I’m like, What’s going on?”
When Ledecky broke the women’s 1500m freestyle world record for the third time at the August 2014 Pan Pacific Championships, her time of 15:28.36 was .01 faster than Lochte’s 1500m free time at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials (one of the rare instances Lochte swam a 1500m free).
Ledecky has since re-broken the women’s 1500m free world record twice more, bringing it down to 15:25.48.
“I trained with her in Colorado once, and she made me look like I was stopping,” Lochte reportedly told media on his 31st birthday, Aug. 3 at the World Championships in Kazan, Russia. “She flew by me.”
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Athens Olympic softball champion Jennie Finch will manage the Bridgeport Bluefish, an independent minor-league baseball team on Sunday and, reportedly, become the first woman to manage a men’s pro baseball team.
Finch, a pitcher, retired from softball in 2010, two years after her sport’s Olympic farewell in Beijing, where she and the U.S. took silver behind Japan.
Finch has been an advocate for softball’s return to the Olympics, which could happen in Tokyo 2020.
The International Olympic Committee is expected to decide in August if baseball and softball, among four other sports, will be added for the Tokyo Games.
Finch, who is married to former MLB pitcher Casey Daigle, is also known for having struck out Albert Pujols.
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