Carl Lewis

Carl Lewis airmails first pitch at Astros game (video)

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Carl Lewis‘ arm strength has improved drastically over the last 10 years. The nine-time Olympic champion went just a bit high on his ceremonial first pitch at a Houston Astros game Tuesday night.

After, Lewis, who went to the University of Houston, was asked what time he would run the 100 meters in today.

“The time wouldn’t be the issue,” Lewis, 52, said. “The issue would be how many body parts would cross the line with me.”

Houston was also the site of Lewis’ retirement in 1997, in quite unusual fashion. He ran an unopposed anchor leg of a 4×100-meter relay exhibition during halftime of a Houston-Pitt college football game.

“I wanted to run fast enough to look good and slow enough so it didn’t end so fast,” Lewis, then in dreadlocks, told Sports Illustrated in 1997.

Lewis remembered that during his interview Tuesday.

“The greatest thing about my career is that probably one of the three greatest moments of my career was the day I retired,” he said. “Because I did it on the track I trained on every day. All my teammates were there, I knew that I was never going to get better again. I’ve never wanted to run a second since. I hear people all the time say, ‘God I retired too early,’ and I did not. I retired at the exact right time.”

Lewis also said the 100 meters, where he won back-to-back Olympic titles in 1984 and 1988, was his No. 3 event behind the long jump and the 200.

Back to the first pitch. It’s at least the third time Lewis has thrown a first pitch (with video evidence).

In 2003, his throw didn’t make it halfway to home plate at Safeco Field.

Earlier this year, Lewis gave up entirely and sprinted the ball from the mound to home plate.

We’ve also seen Lewis perform less than stellar in another pregame ceremony:

(h/t @chrisnickinson)

World Track and Field Championships broadcast schedule

Eliud Kipchoge wins Berlin Marathon; no world record

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Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge won the Berlin Marathon but missed the world record by 35 seconds, slowed by rain and humidity.

The Kenyan clocked 2:03:32, just missing the three-year-old record of 2:02:57. Countryman Dennis Kimetto set that mark at the 2014 Berlin Marathon.

Kipchoge, who has won nine of his 10 career marathons, said Sunday marked the toughest conditions under which he has run 26.2 miles.

“My mind was to run at least a world record,” the 32-year-old said. “Next time. Tomorrow is a [new] day. … I still have a world record in my legs.”

The two other men chasing the record — Kenenisa Bekele and Wilson Kipsang — dropped out after 18 miles.

Instead, the runner-up was surprise Ethiopian Guye Adola, who ran the fastest debut marathon ever on a record-eligible course in an unofficial 2:03:46.

Adola stuck with Kipchoge until the last mile as both men trailed off Kimetto’s world-record pace.

Kenyan Gladys Cherono won the women’s race by 18 seconds in 2:00:23. It’s her second Berlin win in three years.

Many expected to see a men’s world record Sunday. Kipchoge, Bekele and Kipsang had all run within 16 seconds of the mark in the last two years but had never raced together in the German capital.

Berlin is the world’s fastest marathon. The men’s world record has been lowered six times since 2003, each time in the shadow of the Brandenburg Gate.

Kipchoge was the pre-race favorite.

On May 6, he ran 2:00:25 in Nike’s staged sub-two-hour marathon attempt on an Italian Formula One track. It was contested under special conditions that made it ineligible for record purposes with pacers entering mid-race.

Kipchoge won Berlin in 2015 in 2:04:00 despite insoles flopping out the back of his shoes the last half of the race.

Bekele and Kipsang teased the world record in a memorable Berlin duel last year, with Bekele winning six seconds shy of it.

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MORE: Top Americans set for major marathon next month

Yuzuru Hanyu falters as Javier Fernández wins opener

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Even Yuzuru Hanyu can struggle in September.

The Olympic and world champion singled his first jump, doubled a few more and fell in the free skate of his opening event of the Olympic season on Saturday. Video is here.

He squandered an 11.52-point lead over two-time world champion Javier Fernández from Friday’s short program at the Autumn Classic in Montreal.

Hanyu ended up 10.83 points behind Fernández overall, even though the Spaniard also fell in his free skate.

Full scores are here.

It’s a familiar feeling for Hanyu, who saw Fernández pass him in the free skate at the 2015 and 2016 Worlds.

The Japanese megastar also been known to have clunker programs at fall events in past seasons. In every one of his senior seasons, Hanyu has been beaten in one of his first two competitions.

Hanyu came to Montreal with a sore knee, which reportedly led him to take the quadruple loop out of his repertoire for one weekend.

Still, Hanyu was marvelous in the short program. His score was the second-highest under the 13-year-old judging system.

Showdowns like Hanyu-Fernández are usually reserved for, at the earliest, the Grand Prix series in late October and November. The Autumn Classic is a lower-level event.

Hanyu, 22, next skates at the Rostelecom Cup in four weeks. He will face 18-year-old U.S. champion Nathan Chen, who beat Hanyu at the Four Continents Championships at the PyeongChang Olympic venue in February.

The figure skating season continues next weekend with Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany, the final Olympic qualifying competition. North Korea could clinch its first spots in any sport for the Olympics in the pairs event.

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