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.
Japan dressage rider Hiroshi Hoketsu, who abandoned his bid to become the oldest Olympian ever in Rio, could see his career come full circle in four years.
Hoketsu, whose Olympic debut came at the Tokyo 1964 Games, is not ruling out attempting to make the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at age 79.
“If I can do it and be in Tokyo, that would be marvelous,” Hoketsu said, according to Reuters. “I have to see if it will still be physically possible.”
The oldest Olympian is Swede Oscar Swahn, who earned 1920 Olympic shooting silver at age 72.
Hoketsu, 75 and the oldest Olympian at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Games, sought to make his fourth Olympic team this year. It was derailed due to his horse’s illness.
After debuting at Tokyo 1964, Hoketsu went 44 years between Games appearances. He finished 41st out of 50 competitors in individual dressage at London 2012, according to sports-reference.com.
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Russia’s new track and field federation president said he thinks his nation’s track and field athletes have “between 50 and 60 percent” of a chance of competing in the Rio Olympics, according to Reuters.
The IAAF is expected to rule June 17 whether Russia’s ban from international track and field competition will be lifted before the Rio Olympics.
Russia’s track and field athletes were banned indefinitely in November by the IAAF, after an independent World Anti-Doping Agency report alleged widespread doping issues.
Russia was given criteria to earn reinstatement, and Dmitry Shlyakhtin, elected new Russian track and field chief in January, believes the situation has improved.
“A mouse would not be able to slip past us now!” Shlyakhtin said, according to Reuters.
Russia has recently come under more scrutiny following reports of widespread winter sports doping leading up to the Sochi Olympics and cheating during those Winter Games to avoid positive drug tests.
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