Report: Yohan Blake’s camp to give status update Tuesday

Leave a comment

The Jamaican newspaper that reported Sunday that Yohan Blake will miss the track world championships wrote on Monday that Blake’s handlers will say “whether or not from their perspective he has any chance” of competing at worlds on Tuesday.

The initial report from the Jamaica Observer quoted an unnamed Jamaica athletics official saying, “He is definitely out of the world championship,” and that Blake would have unspecified surgery soon.

That report was quickly denied by Blake’s manager, Cubie Seegobin, who told Reuters and the Jamaica Gleaner, “There is absolutely no discussions or plans for any surgery and I don’t know where that information is coming from. The coach has not yet decided on pulling him from the World Championships.”

At the time, Seegobin did not detail Blake’s chances of competing at worlds in Moscow in August.

The Observer’s Monday report cited Seegobin saying Blake flew to Germany on Wednesday to see a doctor about a “bothersome hamstring.” It”s the same hamstring Blake reportedly tore in April. He missed two months, ran in early June but then pulled out of Jamaica’s trials later last month.

Blake, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist in the 100 and 200 meters, missed his chance to qualify in the 200 for the world championships, but, as reigning world champion, has a wild card into the 100 meters.

If Blake can’t make it to Moscow, Usain Bolt‘s biggest competition will be narrowed to Americans Tyson Gay (100 and 200) and Justin Gatlin (100) and Jamaican Warren Weir (200). The Jamaica 4×100-meter relay team, world champs in 2009 and 2011, would also take a hit, having already lost Asafa Powell, who did not make the worlds roster.

Nick Symmonds backs gambling at track and field meets

Teddy Riner, dominant judoka, to skip 2018, 2019 Worlds

Getty Images
Leave a comment

French judoka Teddy Riner, arguably the world’s most dominant athlete, will reportedly skip the next two world championships before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

French coach Franck Chambily said Riner will compete a light international schedule the next two years ahead of what would be his fourth Olympics, according to Agence France-Presse.

Riner, a 29-year-old, 6-foot-8-inch native of Guadeloupe, is undefeated since 2010 with a reported 144-match winning streak. That includes Olympic titles in 2012 and 2016 and world titles in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

Before the streak, Riner also earned world titles in 2007, 2009 and 2010, plus an Olympic bronze at age 19 in 2008.

He could compete through the 2024 Paris Games.

“When I am invincible, I will stop,” Riner said in 2013, according to The Associated Press.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Lance Armstrong settles $100M lawsuit with U.S. government

Maggie Nichols wins NCAA all-around title with perfect 10

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Even after a perfect 10 in the last rotation, Maggie Nichols didn’t know that she had won the NCAA all-around title. Her coach at Oklahoma, K.J. Kindler, had to tell her.

The reaction?

“Excitement,” Nichols said Friday night on ESPNU. “I just wanted to go out there and feel out the equipment, staying calm and doing my routines that I have been doing in training.”

Nichols, a 2015 World team champion who retired from elite gymnastics after missing the 2016 Olympic team (set back by a torn meniscus that year), became the first Sooner to win the NCAA all-around in 30 years.

The sophomore tallied 39.8125 points and topped Olympic alternate MyKayla Skinner of Utah by .0875 for the title in St. Louis. It came one year after Nichols was 29th in the all-around with a balance beam fall.

Oklahoma and Utah will be joined in Saturday night’s Super Six team finals by UCLA, LSU, Florida and Nebraska. The Sooners eye their third straight national title.

Nichols capped her night with one of two perfect scores between the two semifinal sessions, matching 2012 Olympic alternate Elizabeth Price‘s 10 on uneven bars. It gave Nichols a second career gym slam, a perfect score on every apparatus for the season.

On Jan. 9, Nichols came forward as “Athlete A,” who first reported to USA Gymnastics that she was sexually abused by Larry Nassar in summer 2015.

“She has had a really unique year probably like no one else, and her strength showed through,” Kindler said Friday, according to the University of Oklahoma. “It was tough, and to come out on this side this year is really special.”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Nastia Liukin among gymnastics Hall of Fame inductees