Lolo Jones

Lolo Jones ends track season for bobsled, set for Twitter date

1 Comment

How serious is Lolo Jones about bobsled?

She’s cutting her track season short to return to training for the Sochi Olympics.

Jones completed her abbreviated 100-meter hurdles campaign at the Diamond League meet in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Thursday, finishing third in 12.60 seconds as Americans swept the podium.

The two-time Olympian concluded her season as the fourth-fastest woman in the hurdles this year.

The 4×100 did not go well. Jones, running the leadoff leg, had a botched handoff that disqualified the Americans. Jones was not going to run at the world championships in Moscow, having placed fifth in the hurdles at nationals, where the top three earned worlds berths.

“I want to run more races, I was (scheduled) in more races, but I had to pull out of the last five because I talked to the bobsled coach after the USAs (nationals in Des Moines, Iowa), and he wanted me like the day after USAs, but I had obligations and I had to fill out my commitments,” Jones said in a video interview with Flotrack. “Bobsled I go.”

Jones said she’s donating her prize money from Lausanne to bobsled and skeleton teammates Jazmine Fenlator and Katie Uhlaender, which is $4,000 according to the Diamond League payouts. It comes off her controversial Vine video making light of a $741.84 bobsled paycheck last month and a USA Today story this week detailing the financial struggles of short-track speedskater Emily Scott.

“It’s just a shame because I really feel like I would have had a (personal best) this season had I stuck out the season,” Jones said. “I’m kind of sad about that, that I have to end so early. But, who knows, maybe I’ll have a gap in bobsled and I can convince the coach to let me come back over and run. But right now he wants to put the weight on me.”

What are Jones’ chances of making the Sochi Olympic team? Her first season on the ice as a push athlete was productive. She won a worlds gold as part of the mixed sliding team event and one silver medal in a World Cup race.

The U.S. sent three women’s bobsled teams to the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 and is likely to qualify three teams for Sochi. Jones was the No. 4 American push athlete last season, making the world championships roster but not among the three push athletes chosen for the two-woman event. Conceivably, she must pass one of Katie Eberling, Aja Evans or Emily Azevedo in the pecking order (and not get passed herself by somebody else) before the teams are named early in 2014.

“It’s funny, I just started off as like a distraction from track,” Jones told Flotrack about bobsledding. “I was like, ‘I’m not committing to anything. I just want to go out there and see if I like it.’ From there, I love it. The best part is putting on weight. Today, I’m going to go back to the hotel and eat a whole bunch of chocolate and double cheeseburgers.”

It also appears Jones will have to squeeze in at least one date before Sochi. Bubby Lyles, reportedly a journalism student at Georgia State in Atlanta, got Jones to agree to a date with him if he got 150,000 retweets. Lyles surpassed 150,000 this week.

https://twitter.com/harrylylesjr/status/347759212274794496

Told he was close to 150,000 by Flotrack, Jones responded by saying, “Oh, really? Are you serious?”

“Good for him,” Jones said. “I’ll go on a date with him.”

Paris Diamond League preview: Can Bolt take world lead from Gay?

‘Beautiful’ beach volleyball arena opens on Copacabana Beach

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 04:  Work continues at the Beach Volleyball Arena on Copacabana Beach in preparation for the 2016 Olympic Games on July 4, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

The beach volleyball venue on famed Copacabana Beach in Rio is open and ready to host the thousands of fans that are sure to make the arena among the most vibrant of the 2016 Olympics.

The temporary 12,000-seat stadium began allowing teams to train on Tuesday, after FIVB President Ary S. Graca toured the facilities on Monday.

“I have no doubt that this will be the most beautiful arena of the Olympics,” said Graca, a native Brazilian. “I’m impressed. It is very important to ensure the best conditions for athletes, officials, TV, press and public. All the training courts are inside the complex.”

The venue was the first of the Rio Olympics to be sold out. All four Brazilian teams – two men’s and two women’s pairs – are expected to contend for medals with stiff competition from Americans. Since the sport joined the Olympics at the 1996 Atlanta Games, Brazil has won the most medals, with 11 compared to nine for the U.S. Yet, Americans have captured six gold medals compared to two for Brazilians.

Beach volleyball typically boasts one of the most scenic venues at each Olympics – especially Sydney and London – and Rio might contend for the best ever.

Beach volleyball venue
(FIVB)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 25: Work continues on the Olympic Beach Volleyball Arena on Copacabana beach in preparation for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games on July 25, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 25: Work continues on the Olympic Beach Volleyball Arena on Copacabana beach in preparation for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games on July 25, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

MORE: Walsh Jennings, Ross Rio underdogs after another loss to Brazilians

Olympians added to New York City Marathon field

Dathan Ritzenhein
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Two Americans will go from the Rio Olympic track next month to the New York City Marathon on Nov. 6.

Kim Conley, who made her second Olympic 5000m team earlier this month, will debut in the marathon less than three months after her event final in Rio. The full American field for the race is here.

Conley joins fellow two-time Olympian Molly Huddle in making a 26.2-mile debut in New York. Huddle announced her entry June 9, following a trend of recent great U.S. distance runners, and one month later won the Olympic Trials 10,000m.

The New York field will also include Dathan Ritzenhein, a 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympian who failed to make the Rio team. Ritzenhein was the fastest American at the 2015 Boston Marathon in seventh place (2:11:20) but dropped out of the Olympic Trials marathon on Feb. 13 around mile 20.

Sara Hall, the wife of the retired Ryan Hall (fastest American marathoner of all time), will make her New York City Marathon debut on Nov. 6 as well. Sara Hall was the top American at the London Marathon on April 24 in 12th place.

More Rio Olympians could still be added to the New York City Marathon field.

MORE: The story behind Estonia’s Olympic marathon triplets