Steven Holcomb

Steve Holcomb thinking repeat as he trains for Sochi

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Where do bobsledders train in August? Southern California, of course.

NBC 7 in San Diego caught up with 2010 Olympic champion Steve Holcomb, who’s preparing for Sochi Games on the sizzling track at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.

In Vancouver, Holcomb piloted the Night Train sled to the U.S.’ first men’s bobsled gold medal since 1948. In Sochi, he’ll try to become the first American to repeat at the Olympics since 1932.

“Going into Sochi, we’re all now experienced, we’ve all been there,” Holcomb, 33, said of his crew. “We know not only what it takes to be an Olympian, not only what it’s like to be in that pressure of the Olympics, but now we know what it’s like to win.”

Three of the four members of the Night Train are still there — Holcomb, Justin Olsen and Curt Tomasevicz. Steve Mesler, the fourth, has retired. He’s been replaced by Steve Langton, a part of the USA-2 sled in Vancouver.

The Night Train itself is a little different, too. Holcomb received a new version of the Bo-Dyn sled in March.

“It’s called the Night Train squared, not the Night Train two, because it’s exponentially better,” Holcomb said.

So, what are Holcomb’s chances of winning another Olympic gold? Well, he’ll have to break a four-year drought. Holcomb hasn’t won a World Cup or World Championship race outside of North America since 2009. The favorites, for now, are Russian, German and Latvian four-man teams.

Win or lose, Holcomb’s patented celebration, the Holcy Dance, may not make another appearance.

“I haven’t figured out what we’re going to do yet,” Holcomb said. “The Harlem Shake might be a little weird.”

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Qatar’s Barshim sets season’s best high jump record in Birmingham

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Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim, who astonished the track and field world with his non-traditional hurdling technique on his way to becoming the reigning world champion in high jump this August, one-upped himself in Birmingham when he soared over the bar set to 2.40 meters. That’s just a smidge over 7 feet, 10 inches!

The men’s outdoor high jump world record is currently 2.45m, set by Cuba’s Javier Sotomayor in 1993.

At the 2017 Worlds, the 6-foot-2 Barshim cleared the bar at about 6 feet, 4 inches with his now famous feet-first maneuver.

At Birmingham’s Diamond League event his technique may have been conventional, but his final leap was no less breathtaking.

After trading jumps with Syria’s Majed Aldin Ghazal up to 2.35m, Ghazal decided to bow out, but the Qatari continued on. With the meet already won, Barshim raised the bar to 2.40m.

“I knew I had that jump in me but I needed that pressure on my shoulders,” Barshim said. “I love it here. I had the [meet] record here from 2014 and I also won in Birmingham last year so it is a lucky place for me.”

The 2.40m final jump for Barshim registered as a meet and season record. After climbing down off the landing pad, Barshim’s fellow jumping competitors mobbed him in celebration.

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MORE: Great Britain’s Mo Farah races and wins final track race in home country

Great Britain’s Mo Farah races and wins final track race in home country

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Great Britain’s 4-time Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah raced his final race on a U.K. track surface in Birmingham, winning the 3000m, as he crossed the line in 7 minutes 38.64 seconds in the final Diamond League event of the day.

Spain’s Adel Mechaal nipped at Farah’s heels heading into the final 200m, but the Brit’s kick, and the ovation from the home crowd, propelled Farah to victory.

“[The fans] have been amazing. This is what it is all about. This is what we dream of,” Farah said after the race.

At 34, Farah’s plans are to leave the 400m loop behind to pursue road racing in 2018.

“I now have to see what I will do on the road. I don’t think I’ll have the same pressure so I’ll go and enjoy it,” Farah said. “Running was a hobby when I was younger but it has become a job and I love it. It can be hard when you get the pressure but the roads will be something completely different.”

Immediately preceding Farah’s win in Birmingham, Allyson Felix of the U.S. finished second in the women’s 400m final behind Salwa Eid Naser of Bahrain.

“It has been a long few weeks so I was feeling tired out there so I just wanted to come out here and try to get it done but I came up just short,” Felix said. “Everyone is tired from London but I came and gave it my best effort.

“I am not sure about any future races this season, I am going to see how I recover from this.”

Earlier this month, Felix finished behind Naser when she took bronze in the 400m at the 2017 IAAF World Championships, where Phyllis Francis of the U.S. won gold, running a personal best 49.92 seconds. Francis finished fourth in Birmingham behind another U.S. middle distance athlete, Courtney Okolo who got the bronze.

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