What to Watch: New York Diamond League Track Meet

Leave a comment

Dozens of Olympic gold medalists, record holders, and world champions are descending on New York’s Randall Island this weekend to square-off at the adidas Grand Prix Diamond League Meet. You can catch all the action Saturday afternoon live on NBC starting at 1pm EST. Here’s a list of marquee match-ups you won’t want to miss:

Men’s 100m: 2007 world champ Tyson Gay already holds the American record in this event, and earned the season’s fastest time with his 9.86 seconds bolt down in Jamaica. He’s the favorite, but fellow Olympian Ryan Bailey, who finished fifth in London 100m, will be right on Gay’s heels, as will Nesta Carter of Jamaica, the only other man in the field to break 10 seconds this season.

Women’s 200m: Veronica Campbell-Brown has won medals at the last four Olympics in this event, including back-to-back golds in Athens and Beijing. She’ll face two-time gold medalist DeeDee Trotter and American up-n’-comer Bianca Knight, who’s already clocked one of the season’s best times.

Men’s 800m: London gold medalist and world record holder David Rudisha of Kenya doesn’t usually come up against much opposition. He’ll prove why some consider him the true “World’s Fastest Man” against the likes of 2009 world champ Mbulaeni Mulaudzi of South Africa, and Boaz Kiplagat Lalang of Kenya, the only two men in the field within three seconds of Rudisha’s record.

Women’s Long Jump: London gold medalist and two-time world champ Brittney Reese already broke a personal best with 7.25 meters at Doha a couple weeks ago and should dominate the event. But she’s got her sights set on an Cold War era world record that has stood for nearly 25 years.

Men’s 5000m: Not a whole lot of Americans in this field, but London silver medalist Dejen Gebremeskel of Kenya headlines and impressive group that also includes 10000m world champ Ibrahim Jeilan and junior record holder Hagos Gebrhiwet, both of Ethiopia. Three of these men have run under 12:50 in the 5000m, which is seven seconds quicker than the fastest time ever run on American soil.

Women’s 1500m: Former world No. 1 Morgan Uceny of the U.S. believed she had a shot at gold in London before being tripped entering the final lap last summer. She’ll look for a little bit of redemption Saturday against an impressive field that includes Beijing gold medalist Nancy Langat of Kenya and Abeba Aregawi of Sweden, who already broke four minutes this year.

U.S. skier Laurenne Ross out months with knee injury

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Laurenne Ross, the second-best U.S. speed racer behind Lindsey Vonn the last two years, suffered a right knee injury in a U.S. Championships crash on Monday and won’t be able to ski for at least two months, according to her social media.

“Further analysis is required to figure out exactly what is wrong, but I will not be skiing for at least the next couple months,” was posted on Ross’ Instagram. “I will keep you all updated when the time comes.”

Ross, 28, had a promising season, with seven World Cup top-10 finishes. She was fifth in the world championships downhill and fourth in the Olympic test event downhill in South Korea.

Ross has come back from injury before — a fractured pelvis in December 2006, a torn left ACL in 2008, at least five left shoulder dislocations and multiple broken fingers.

She made her first Olympic team in Sochi, where she was 11th in the downhill.

“I had many ups and downs, but am so thankful to have made it this far in my career with all the love and support that surrounds me,” was posted on Ross’ Instagram. “I will tack this on to my list of injuries, move on, and come back stronger.”

Ross is the second U.S. speed racer to suffer major injury in a crash this month. Breezy Johnson suffered a tibial plateau fracture in her left leg in the World Cup Finals downhill.

Ross, Vonn and Johnson, plus four-time Olympic medalist Julia Mancuso and World Cup podium finishers Stacey Cook and Jacqueline Wiles will likely all be vying for Olympic downhill places next season. Mikaela Shiffrin could try, too.

A nation can enter no more than four women per race at the Olympics.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Mikaela Shiffrin eyes speed events in 2018

After a fun and wonderful season I am so sad to announce that yesterday, at US Nationals, I sustained an injury to my right knee. Further analysis is required to figure out exactly what is wrong, but I will not be skiing for at least the next couple months. I will keep you all updated when the time comes. I crossed so many finish lines this year — some with a smile and some without — but as I look back I can breathe deeply, because I have no regrets. It was a season for learning, for friendship, and for ambition. I had many ups and downs, but am so thankful to have made it this far in my career with all the love and support that surrounds me. I will tack this on to my list of injuries, move on, and come back stronger. I can't wait to step up to the challenges that lay ahead of me, and I couldn't do it without all of your support. Thank-you so much for being there, through thick and through thin, through the wins, the losses, the injuries, and the joy 🙏 I will be back 👊

A post shared by Laurenne Ross (@lalalaurenne) on

U.S. gymnasts give emotional testimony about sexual abuse

Getty Images
Leave a comment

WASHINGTON (AP) — Retired star gymnasts testified before Congress on Tuesday that they were sexually abused by USA Gymnastics officials.

Jamie Dantzscher, a 2000 Olympic bronze medalist, and three-time national champion rhythmic gymnast Jessica Howard recounted their experiences before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“USA Gymnastics failed its most basic responsibility to protect the athletes under its care,” Dantzscher said through tears.

Dominique Moceanu, a 1996 gold medalist, described a “culture of fear, intimidation and humiliation, established by Bela and Martha Karolyi,” the legendary coaches who are named in a civil lawsuit for physical abuse.

U.S. Olympic Committee official Rick Adams and Stafford County (Va.) Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Olsen also testified. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the committee chairman, criticized USA Gymnastics for declining to testify.

The hearing concerns a bill that could reshape sex-abuse reporting guidelines in Olympic sports. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California is co-sponsoring a bill that calls on organizations overseeing Olympic sports to immediately report sex-abuse allegations to law enforcement or child-welfare authorities.

The bill and proposed changes to the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act come in the aftermath of the sex abuse scandal that led to the resignation of USA Gymnastics President Steve Penny.

Dantzscher and Howard told the committee of their abuses by Dr. Larry Nassar, who is in prison in Michigan and faces charges in the state and federal systems.

“They failed to take action against coaches, trainers and other adults who abused children,” Dantzscher said. “And they allowed Dr. Nassar to abuse young women and girls for more than 20 years.”

Howard said, “It has become glaringly obvious that USA Gymnastics has not done nearly enough to protect athletes from any form of abuse.”

Moceanu, now an advocate, spoke about her emotional and verbal abuse during her time with USA Gymnastics. She said there is an “urgent need” to change the culture of the organization.

Feinstein, who has been critical of USA Gymnastics’ handling of the sex-abuse scandal, said she met two months ago with former gymnasts who were abused as teenagers and carried the trauma with them as adults. Dantzscher and Howard said they didn’t realize until last year that Nassar had abused them.

As part of the proposed legislation, governing bodies under the USOC umbrella would be required to report allegations of sexual abuse to law enforcement and train employees on how to handle situations. The statute of limitations for victims to sue their abusers would also be extended.

“Young athletes should not have to fear victimization from coaches doctors and other officials,” Feinstein said at a news conference after the hearing.

Retired gymnast Jeanette Antolin also said at the news conference she was sexually abused by her first coach and praised the proposed legislation, saying “for so long we felt like we had no voice.”

Mattie Larson, a 2010 World Championships team member, also attended the news conference but did not speak.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: John Orozco retires, reflects on gymnastics career