Leave it to the Americans to show up Usain Bolt and the Jamaicans early in the season:
After London fourth place finisher Tyson Gay sprinted to a world’s best 100m time of 9.86-seconds at the Kingston Invite last weekend, where he was a replacement for Bolt who pulled out of the race with a hamstring strain, Athens 100m champ Justin Gatlin ran 9.97-seconds to win the Diamond League meet in Doha despite suffering from an illness or two.
“I was feeling under the weather coming into the competition,” Gatlin told the AP. “I had a fever, found out I had a sinus infection. I still wanted to come here and thought I would be ready. I was ready at the last second.”
Meanwhile, Bolt opened his season with a 10.09 at the Cayman last week, his slowest finals time on the senior circuit, but had enough in the tank to edge out compatriot Kemar Bailey-Cole in a photo finish. Of course, as self-described “seasoned vet,” Gatlin, knows better than to put much stock in his time.
“It is going to be a long season,” Gatlin said. “It is about the person who can pace themselves who can have those fast times crossing the finish line at the finals.”
And for the last five years, that person has been from Jamaica.
Olympic triathlon champion Gwen Jorgensen is pregnant and will not compete this year.
“Just kind of take this year a little bit easier,” Jorgensen said in a video posted on Facebook on Thursday.
The baby is due Aug. 3, according to Jorgensen’s social media.
Jorgensen, 30, became the first U.S. Olympic triathlon champion in Rio after going in as the heavy favorite. She has said for months that she planned to take time off to have a baby before returning to defend her Olympic title at Tokyo 2020.
Swiss Nicola Spirig, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist and 2016 silver medalist, is reportedly expecting a child in May.
In Jorgensen and Spirig’s absences, the top triathletes going into the season are defending world champion Flora Duffy of Bermuda, U.S. Olympians Katie Zaferes and Sarah True and Britons Vicky Holland and Helen Jenkins.
Jorgensen’s last competition was the New York City Marathon on Nov. 6, when she finished 14th in her first running race longer than 10 miles.
The World Triathlon Series kicks off in Abu Dhabi the first weekend of March.
MORE: Triathlon federation boss wants Olympic races shortened
The PyeongChang Winter Olympics, the first Winter Games in South Korea, are a little more than one year away.
A number of U.S. stars are establishing themselves in this winter sports season as medal contenders.
NBC Sports takes a look at some of those names to watch, as the U.S. looks to return to the top of the medal standings.
Russia earned the most medals at home in Sochi in 2014 with 33 medals, with the U.S. coming in second with 28. Those standings could change if Russian results are stripped due to its ongoing doping scandal.
The U.S. has never topped the total medal standings at a Winter Olympics outside of North America. It led the way at Lake Placid 1932 and Vancouver 2010.
VIDEO: PyeongChang 2018 Olympic venue tour