Canadian Press

Usain Bolt wins Jamaican 100m title; still lagging behind U.S. sprinters

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The world track and field championships in Moscow are just seven weeks away now, and six-time Olympics champ and “fastest man alive” Usain Bolt wants to be a factor, he’s going to have to start picking up the pace a little bit.

Bolt ran a respectable 9.94 seconds in the 100m to win the Jamaican nationals in Kingston Friday, but his time would have only been good enough for third in Des Moines, as Tyson Gay ran a worlds best of 9.75 and Justin Gatlin, who beat Bolt in Rome a few weeks back, ran 9.89 on Friday.

“It’s all about getting through and getting it done and that’s what I did,” Bolt explained to reporters after the finals Friday night. “I’ve got a lot more work to do. As long as the coach is not worried, I’m not worried.”

Bolt rarely gets out of the blocks very quickly, and once again said his “execution wasn’t the best.” But he also didn’t have a whole lot pushing him after national teammate and defending world champ Yohan Blake sat out the race with a hamstring injury. Blake, who beat Bolt in both the 100m and 200m last year at nationals, will be back in time for Moscow, though, as he gets an automatic bid for worlds.

Blake Griffin will miss Olympics, report says

Blake Griffin
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For the second straight Olympics, Blake Griffin will not be able to join Team USA due to injury, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Los Angeles Clippers power forward will be out several months due to his left quad injury, according to the newspaper.

Griffin was originally chosen for the 2012 U.S. Olympic team but withdrew due to a torn meniscus, opening a spot for Anthony Davis.

Davis is also expected to miss the Rio Games due to injury.

Other power forwards on the U.S. finalist list released in January include LaMarcus Aldridge, Kenneth Faried, Draymond Green and Kevin Love.

Rio Olympic cauldron likely to be located near Plaza Maua

Candelaria Church
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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Mayor Eduardo Paes says he wants the Olympic cauldron to burn in Rio de Janeiro’s revitalized port area.

The cauldron will be lit at Maracana Stadium during the Opening Ceremony on Aug. 5, and will spend the night there before traveling to a permanent home.

Mario Andrada, spokesman for the Rio organizing committee, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the cauldron will be placed in the port area, but not in the heart of the renovated port area known as Plaza Maua.

“It will be close to Plaza Maua, but not exactly in Plaza Maua,” Andrada said. He said it was likely to be located near the Candelaria Church, which is near the plaza.

“Don’t get me into a fight with the mayor,” Andrada added.

Paes said he hoped the new plaza would be a center for outdoor entertainment during the Games, including performance stages, musical attractions, and large-screen televisions.

“It seems that the Maracana Stadium has limitations,” Paes said, adding that moving out of the Maracana “is good because it democratizes the access to the cauldron.”

The new plaza and downtown Rio are far from the heart of the Games in suburban Barra da Tijuca. It is also an area not usually visited by tourists.

The Olympic flame arrives from Greece and Switzerland on Tuesday in the capital Brasilia, to be carried off the plane by IOC member Carlos Nuzman, the head of the Rio organizing committee.

The flame then goes to the Planalto presidential palace where it is expected to be greeted by President Dilma Rousseff.

Andrada said IOC President Thomas Bach and other top IOC officials would not be at the ceremony.

Rousseff is facing impeachment charges and could be suspended from office as early as May 11, turning over authority to Vice President Michel Temer.

Temer, himself, could also face impeachment proceedings and has a scandal-tainted career.

PHOTOS: Olympic flame visits Acropolis, 1896 Olympic Stadium