Tyson Gay wins Lausanne 100 in 9.79; Diamond League recap

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Tyson Gay continued his world-best form by winning the 100 meters in 9.79 seconds at the Diamond League meet in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Thursday.

Gay now owns the three fastest times in the world this season — adding the 9.79 (with a barely legal 2.0 wind) to a 9.75 and a 9.86 — after beating former world-record holder Asafa Powell, who clocked a season’s best 9.88 for second place. American Mike Rodgers was third in 9.96.

Another impressive performance from Gay puts more scrutiny on Usain Bolt, who runs a 200 in Paris on Saturday. Bolt’s best 100 time this season is a pedestrian (for him) 9.94 at Jamaican nationals. Bolt was beaten by American Justin Gatlin in Rome on June 6.

Is Gay the current favorite for the world championships, which begin Aug. 10 in Moscow? You could make a strong argument, but even Gay expects better out of Bolt in Russia.

“It’s no secret that this guy is a championship performer and you have to bring your ‘A’ game to beat him, or better than your ‘A’ game,” he said before the Lausanne meet, according to The Associated Press.

The women’s 100 hurdles saw a shock in Australian Olympic champion Sally Pearson finishing seventh out of eight in 12.69 seconds. Pearson is coming back from a hamstring injury, but in three races since June 27 hasn’t run within four tenths of U.S. champion Brianna Rollins’ world lead.

2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper won the hurdles in a season’s best 12.53, leading a U.S. sweep with Kellie Wells (12.58) and Lolo Jones (12.60). Jones later led off the U.S. 4×100 relay, which was disqualified on Jones’ handoff to the second runner.

In the women’s 200, U.S. champion Kimberlyn Duncan placed third in 22.73 in her first individual race in Europe. Olympic bronze medalist Carmelita Jeter, coming back from a quad injury, was fifth in 22.77, a season’s best. The world lead is held by Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce — 22.13.

David Oliver, who surprisingly missed the 2012 Olympic team, ran a world-leading 13.03 to win the 110 hurdles over fellow Americans Jason Richardson (13.20), Ryan Wilson (13.27) and David Payne (13.30). Oliver had finished second to Wilson at the U.S. Championships.

American Francena McCorory edged reigning world champion Amantle Montsho of Botswana in the 400, 50.36 to 50.37. Jamaican Novlene Williams-Mills, who competed in the London Olympics a month after learning she had breast cancer, was third in 50.87.

Nigerian Blessing Okagbare showed her versatility by beating Olympic champion Brittney Reese in the long jump with a 6.98-meter jump. Okagbare won the 200 in Birmingham on Sunday, an event where she holds the second-fastest time in the world this year.

Gracie Gold to miss U.S. Championships, Olympics

Gracie Gold
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Figure skater Gracie Gold will miss the rest of the season — including the Olympics — as she continues to undergo treatment for an eating disorder, depression and anxiety.

“I have not had adequate training time in order to perform at the level at which I want to,” Gold said in a statement Friday. “It pains me to not compete in this Olympic season, but I know it’s for the best. I wish everyone the best of luck and will be cheering you all on. I want to thank everyone for the ongoing love and support. It means the world to me.”

Gold, a Sochi Olympic team bronze medalist and two-time U.S. champion, announced Sept. 1 that she was taking time away from figure skating to seek unspecified professional help.

On Oct. 13, she announced she was in treatment for an eating disorder, depression and anxiety and would skip the fall Grand Prix season.

The 22-year-old last competed at the U.S. Championships in January, placing a disastrous sixth.

Gold, the top American woman at the Sochi Olympics in fourth place, has not been the same skater since dropping from first after the 2016 World Championships short program to finish fourth, again just missing her first individual global medal.

She considered skipping the fall 2016 Grand Prix season, talking openly about physical struggles and even depression in that offseason.

She split from coach Frank Carroll after that sixth-place nationals. Gold then announced in February that she moved to Michigan to train under new coaches Marina Zoueva and Oleg Epstein.

Then on Sept. 1, Gold announced she was taking a leave.

“My passion for skating and training remains strong,” Gold said in the reported Sept. 1 statement. “However, after recent struggles on and off the ice, I realize I need to seek some professional help and will be taking some time off while preparing for my Grand Prix assignments. This time will help me become a stronger person, which I believe will be reflected in my skating performances as well.”

The favorites for three U.S. Olympic women’s spots are 2014 Olympian Ashley Wagner, 2010 Olympian Mirai Nagasu, reigning U.S. champion Karen Chen and U.S. bronze medalist Mariah Bell.

The Olympic team will be named after nationals in San Jose in January.

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Javier Fernandez rebounds to lead Grand Prix France (video)

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Spain’s Javier Fernandez was back at his best, landing two quadruple jumps to top the Grand Prix France short program on Friday.

Fernandez, who was sixth at his opening Grand Prix two weeks ago with a reported stomach bug, tallied 107.86 points in Grenoble. It’s the second-best score of his career.

The 2015 and 2016 World champion goes into Saturday’s free skate with a 13.94-point lead over Shoma Uno of Japan. Uno fell on his opening quad flip attempt.

Uno went into France as the clear favorite, the only man to break 300 total points this season. He did it at both of his competitions this fall.

Earlier Friday, Canadian Kaetlyn Osmond led a group of favorites who topped the short programs for the women, pairs and ice dance. All of the free skates are Saturday.

GP FRANCE: Full Results | TV Schedule

Both U.S. men fell Friday, not helping their cases for the three-man Olympic team.

Max Aaron, the 2013 U.S. champion, fell on his opening jump combination. He failed to build on his personal-best free skate from his last competition, where he landed three quads to claim bronze at Cup of China.

U.S. silver medalist Vincent Zhou crashed on both quadruple jump attempts, two weeks after falling three times between two programs at his Grand Prix debut.

Zhou, 17 and the world junior champion, has the jumps to easily make the three-man U.S. Olympic team. But those big mistakes allow the likes of Jason Brown and Adam Rippon to pass him.

“To say the least, my performance was dismal,” was posted on Zhou’s Instagram. “It was not a representation of how I train or who I am. Smiling and waving while my heart is breaking is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I have been following my Olympic dream for as long as I can remember, fighting, being set back, conquering obstacles, and experiencing the ups and downs of striving to better myself every single day. I am capable of so much more. I am a fighter. I fully believe that I can and will draw on my spirit, inner strength, and faith to my words to perform much better in the future.”

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Internationaux de France
Men’s Short Program
1. Javier Fernandez (ESP) — 107.86
2. Shoma Uno (JPN) — 93.92
3. Alexander Samarin (RUS) — 91.51
8. Max Aaron (USA) — 78.64
10. Vincent Zhou (USA) — 66.12