Usain Bolt

Report: Bolt to play for Manchester United in testimonial match

1 Comment

It appears Usain Bolt is getting his wish to suit up for Manchester United.

Bolt has been picked for the Premier League power’s squad in a special match to honor longtime United defender Rio Ferdinand against Spanish club Sevilla on Aug. 9 at Old Trafford, according to The Sun.

The match, dubbed a “testimonial,” is not an official league match but more like an exhibition.

“Usain has finally got his wish and he’ll be lining up alongside Rio,” a source told the newspaper. “It should be quite a game. It will be fascinating to see if Usain’s speed will be matched by his passing and ball control.”

In September, then-United manager Sir Alex Ferguson told Inside United magazine that Bolt wanted to play in a charity match for his favorite soccer team. Bolt has often said — perhaps jokingly — he would like to give soccer a try after he’s done with sprinting.

The slight problem with Bolt’s potential United debut comes with scheduling. The match takes place one day before the heats of the 100 meters at the world championships in Moscow.

Bolt follows in the steps of fellow London Olympic champion Mo Farah, who suited up for Arsenal in a legends charity match in June.

Video: Bolt wins 200 meters in Paris in world-leading time

U.S. sprinters past, present trade relay barbs

Justin Gatlin
Getty Images
Leave a comment

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The only loss for the Americans at the Penn Relays came in the men’s 4x100m, as the U.S. team bobbled its victory away on a bad baton handoff between Tyson Gay and Isiah Young for the final leg, which led to a disqualification.

Mike Rodgers and Justin Gatlin gave the Americans an early lead in the race, and things were moving along well during Gay’s third leg. But the muffed handoff for the final leg cost the Americans. Both the winning Jamaican squad and the second American team surpassed them.

Young finished third, but the team was disqualified because the handoff occurred outside the pass zone. The second U.S. team of Sean McLean, Wallace Spearman, Calesio Newman and Remontay McLain finished in 39.02.

The mistake led to some inflammatory comments from U.S. great Leroy Burrell about continued problems with handoffs by U.S. relay teams.

“Well, I think we’ve got to put our team together a little earlier, possibly,” Burrell said in a television interview. “I think, we’ve had the same coaches working with these guys for many years, and we’ve had failure after failure. So it’s possible that, you know, it might be time for a bit of a regime change with the leadership.

“I think the athletes have to be the catalysts that make that happen. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to get the stick around. I saw thousands of relay teams yesterday — maybe not thousands, but hundreds of relay teams get it around. But the professionals can’t. That’s just not good for our sport.”

Rodgers didn’t take kindly to those remarks.

“People keep pointing their fingers and downing us, but nobody has ever tried to come out there and help us,” he said. “Nobody from the past. Not Carl [Lewis] or Leroy. They haven’t been out there. I can’t really respect their opinions because they’re supposed to be leaders in our sport and in the USA, and they’re not coming out there to drop some knowledge on us, so I don’t care what they have to say.”

Lewis criticized U.S. relays in March.

Gatlin was equally critical of Burrell.

“I’m tired of people who have been part of Team USA take shots at Team USA,” Gatlin said. “To put us in the same boat as high schoolers is insulting.”

Bob Costas’ report 100 days out from Rio (video)

Bob Costas
NBC News
Leave a comment

Bob Costas reported from Rio de Janeiro for NBC News on Wednesday, 100 days out from the Opening Ceremony.

In the clip below, Michael PhelpsSimone Biles and even Brazil soccer legend Pelé comment on preparing for the first Games in South America.

Costas finished the clip with a stand-up from Copacabana Beach, where beach volleyball will take place in August.

VIDEO: Bob Costas picks biggest storyline of Rio Olympics