Canadian Press

Usain Bolt wins easy in Oslo, makes statement

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After his loss to Justin Gatlin in Rome last week, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt was looking for redemption and looking to make a statement with his 200m race in Oslo Thursday. He didn’t disappoint, breaking the tape in a meet record and 2013 world’s best 19.79 seconds, well clear of the pack.

“I’m not in as bad shape as I thought I was,” Bolt told reporters. “Overall it was a good run, I can’t complain. It’s sub 20… I could have done better.”

Norway’s Jaysuma Ndure finished in second on his home soil, clocking 20.36, and Great Britain’s James Ellington was third, coming in at 20.55.

Bolt, who ran a 200m world record 19.19 at the 2009 World Championships, likely could have won with a lackluster performance in Oslo’s cold and wet conditions Thursday, especially after his stiffest competition, Churandy Martina of Netherlands Antilles, was DQ’d for a false start. But Bolt gritted his teeth all the way through the finish, offering a display of effort rarely seen by Bolt, who’s faced questions of motivation since last week’s loss.

“I’m always confident in whatever I am doing,” he explained to the press earlier this week. “As long as my coach is not worried, I’m not worried, and my coach is not worried. So I’m definitely confident that I’ll be up to standard, that I’ll be able to perform to defend my titles.”

And because Bolt is ever the showman, he arrived to the track in a Forumla 1 car, did the running man and robot while waiting for the race to start, and gave fans exactly what they wanted: a win.

Michael Phelps left with one meet before Olympic Trials

Michael Phelps
Getty Images
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Michael Phelps could face his lightest-ever competition run-up to an Olympic Trials after opting not to swim at a meet in Atlanta next week.

Last week, Phelps noted one other scheduled meet before the U.S. Olympic Trials (June 26-July 3). That’s in Austin, Texas, from June 3-5.

In his previous four Olympic cycles, Phelps swam at least two meets in the final two months before the Olympic Trials, according to USA Swimming statistics.

Phelps’ training plan in May and June will be impacted by the impending birth of his first child. Fiancée Nicole Johnson is 36 weeks pregnant, according to her Instagram.

Without Phelps, the Atlanta meet is expected to include five-time 2015 World champion Katie Ledecky, 12-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin, Olympic 100m free champion Nathan Adrian and rising sprint freestyler Caeleb Dressel.

VIDEO: Phelps’ interview with Matt Lauer

Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic chief quits

Pyeongchang 2018
Reuters
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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A former South Korean government minister was nominated to take over the organizing committee of the 2018 Winter Olympics on Tuesday, just hours after Cho Yang-ho quit amid escalating financial troubles at the business group his family controls.

Lee Hee-beom, a former minister of industry and energy, needs to be ratified by a vote of senior committee officials to officially become president of the organizing committee for the Pyeongchang Games.

Cho’s sudden resignation marked the second change in less than two years at the helm of the local organizing committee, which had struggled to get preparations back on track in the face of venue construction delays, disputes over the location of the Olympic Stadium and slow pace of domestic sponsorship.

Cho is chairman of the Hanjin Group, which controls Olympic sponsor Korean Air and a major shipping company struggling with heavy debt.

He said in a statement he couldn’t continue with the Olympic job because he needs to focus on stabilizing Hanjin Shipping, South Korea’s largest container carrier, which said last week that it will undergo a debt revamp program with creditors in its last-ditch efforts to stay in business.

Cho took over as president of Pyeongchang’s organizing committee in July 2014 after the sudden resignation of Kim Jin-sun, the former governor of the region that includes Pyeongchang.

“For the past two years, I have truly put forward my very best efforts to work with every member of the organizing committee to prepare a successful Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2018,” Cho said in the statement. “I can proudly say that POCOG has become a strong team, and the challenges we have overcome have allowed us to achieve success at our first official test events this past February.”

Pyeongchang organizers have faced a series of challenges in recent years, including the construction delays, local conflicts over venues and criticism about their financial planning, but preparations had seemed to turn a corner after the successful hosting of test events earlier this year in Olympic venues.

Gunilla Lindberg, head of the International Olympic Committee’s coordination commission for the 2018 Winter Games, said the IOC respected Cho’s decision and appreciated his cooperation in recent years.

“Under his leadership, the organizing committee has made great progress and has delivered very successful test events,” Lindberg said. “There remain a number of important steps to be taken ahead of the Games and the IOC remains confident that through our close cooperation with the Pyeongchang 2018 organizing committee these will be successfully addressed.”

The announcement of Cho’s resignation came on the same day the Olympic flame was set to land in Brazil, where problems in preparations have sometimes overshadowed the build up to the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro in August.

MORE: New events added for 2018 Olympics