Brianna Rollins

Brianna Rollins comes back to win 100-meter hurdles at World Championships

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American Brianna Rollins completed a rare triple by capturing the world title in the 100-meter hurdles at the World Track and Field Championships on Saturday.

Rollins, who turns 22 on Sunday, recovered from a poor start to pass defending world and Olympic champion Sally Pearson of Australia, recording her biggest career victory in 12.44 seconds. Pearson, hampered by injury most of the season, held on for silver in 12.50. Michigan-born Brit Tiffany Porter earned bronze in 12.55.

World Track and Field Championships broadcast schedule

Rollins’ reaction time was .263 of a second. Pearson was out in .154. Rollins, in a red, white and blue headband and high socks, had plenty of ground to make up and did so.

“I didn’t try to focus on my bad start,” Rollins told the BBC. “I just tried to focus on my own 10 hurdles and just try to finish the race strong.”

2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper was fourth in 12.59, and another American, Queen Harrison, was fifth in 12.73.

Rollins added the first world title by an American since 2007 (Michelle Perry) to her NCAA and U.S. championships from earlier this year.

Rollins won the U.S. title in 12.26 seconds, beating Gail Devers‘ American record of 12.33 and the fastest time in the world since 1992.

Rollins reportedly dropped out of a meet earlier this summer to avoid facing Pearson head to head before worlds.

“I don’t think about my competitors,” Rollins told the BBC. “I love the competition of course, but it’s about focusing on your own 10 hurdles.”

Next up for Rollins would seemingly be a goal of breaking the world record of 12.21 held by Bulgarian Yordanko Dornkova.

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Kobe Bryant announces retirement but remains in contention for Rio team

Kobe Bryant
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Veteran basketball player and 2008 and 2012 Olympic gold medalist Kobe Bryant has announced he will retire from professional basketball after the end of this season. However, ESPN reported that the chairman of USA Basketball, Jerry Colangelo, said that Bryant “remains in contention for Team USA spot for Rio 2016.”

In the form of a poem titled “Dear Basketball” on the Player’s Tribune, Bryant wrote:

This season is all I have left to give.
My heart can take the pounding
My mind can handle the grind
But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.

Bryant played on the U.S. national team from 2007 to 2012. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics he scored 20 points in the gold medal game to win gold over Spain. He helped the U.S. men to gold again in 2012, then said that it would be his last Olympics.

But he’s changed his tune in recent months. Bryant told the Associated Press in November that he’d like a shot at another Olympics.

“I would like to play,” Bryant said. “I think it’d be awesome. A beautiful experience.”

If he were selected and won again, Bryant, LeBron James, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony would become the first U.S. male basketball players to win three gold Olympic medals.

In the AP interview Bryant spoke glowingly of his Olympic teammates. “It would mean the world to me to be around those guys,” he said. “I think to be able to have a chance to continue the relationship that I already have with most of those guys, talking and just kind of being around each other and understanding that this is it, it’s just us being together, that would be fun.”

He also said he believes he’d be an asset to the team, stating, “I feel like I can add value from a leadership perspective and a defensive perspective. I can still move extremely well defensively.”

Bryant’s age will likely be a concern, as his 38th birthday is just two days after the gold-medal game on August 21st, 2016.

Colangelo said that they will be looking at “all of our players” this season, and Bryant’s retirement announcement “doesn’t have any bearing” on whether he’d be selected for the 2016 Olympic team.

The 12 player team will be selected in June 2016.

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Mikaela Shiffrin wins back-to-back slalom races at Aspen World Cup

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“I think there’s something special about Aspen,” Mikaela Shiffrin told NBC after winning two slalom races in as many days.

After Saturday’s history-making win, when Shiffrin won her first World Cup race in the U.S. and was the first American woman to win a slalom race at the Aspen World Cup stop, the twenty-year-old won again by a large margin. After winning by 3:07 seconds on Saturday, Shiffrin told reporters, “I don’t think [my competitors] are going to let me get away with three seconds ever again.”

But on Sunday her lead over the second place finisher, Frida Hansdotter of Sweden, wasn’t much shorter: 2:65 seconds. And this was with an early mistake that left her off balance for a moment in her final run.

In third place was Sarka Strachova of the Czech Republic.

Watch Shiffrin’s final run:

This weekend also saw a podium finish for American Travis Ganong. Racing the downhill event at Lake Louise yesterday, Ganong finished third behind Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway, who is recovering from an Achilles injury that prevented him from competing the majority of the last season, and Peter Fill of Norway. Ganong cAksel Lund Svindal of Norwayouldn’t quite repeat his success in the Super G event on Sunday, finishing fourth.

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