Roman Sebrle

Decathlon champion Roman Sebrle eyes Olympics in golf

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How versatile are the world’s greatest athletes?

Ashton Eaton and, now, Roman Sebrle want to find out.

Last month, the 2012 Olympic decathlon champion Eaton said he would train for the 400m hurdles next year.

2004 Olympic decathlon champion Roman Sebrle is going off the track altogether. The Czech, recently retired from 10-event training, has taken up golf and would like to return to the Olympics in 2020, according to reports from his home nation.

In 2009, Sebrle told Spikes magazine that he wanted Olympic gold in golf and believed he could “come close to PGA level.”

Could Sebrle possibly become an Olympic golfer at age 45 in 2020?

Sebrle is a three handicap, according to a Czech report. A reader poll on the Czech website sport.cz revealed 52 percent of voters believed he would not make the Olympics in golf.

The current qualification system for Olympic golf favors athletes from nations without many high-ranked golfers. The Olympic golf tournament, in 2016 at least, will include 60 men.

The top 15 players in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) automatically go as long as there isn’t more than four per nation.

The rest of the field is filled by the OWGR of players from countries that do not already have two golfers.

If the Olympics used today’s rankings, the lowest-ranked golfer to qualify would be around No. 400. There are no Czech golfers in the OWGR, which ranks more than 1,500 golfers.

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No Zika cases from Olympics, WHO says

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 12:  An aerial view of the Christ The Redeemer statue (F) and the Maracana Stadium (B) on November 12, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
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There have been zero Zika virus cases stemming from the Rio Olympics, the World Health Organization said Thursday.

“From the reports WHO received from national health authorities, there have so far been no laboratory confirmed cases of Zika virus in anyone associated with the Olympics,” the organization said in an online update Thursday.

Earlier this summer, several athletes cited Zika concerns in skipping the Olympics.

The World Health Organization said before the Rio Games that the Olympics posed “a very low risk” of accelerating the Zika virus spread around the world.

Thousands of athletes will come to Rio for the Paralympics that run from Sept. 7-18, which is still during Brazil’s winter, lessening the Zika risk.

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Devon Allen weighs turning pro in track and field

Devon Allen
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University of Oregon hurdler and wide receiver Devon Allen said he “thinks” he’s turning pro in track, but also said he hasn’t really decided if his NCAA track career is finished Thursday.

“There’s not really much more I can do in college track other than break the collegiate record,” Allen said.

Allen, a University of Oregon junior, finished fifth in the Rio Olympic 110m hurdles on Aug. 16 after winning the Olympic Trials on July 9.

Allen can turn pro in track and field and still play football for the Ducks, so long as he keeps his track and field profits to prize money and not endorsement deals.

He’s definitely planning on playing for Oregon’s football team this season, perhaps even in the season opener Sept. 3.

As for track season next winter and spring, that’s looking unlikely. Allen noted that he has won NCAA individual and team titles.

The only missing piece is the NCAA record of 13.00 set by former world-record holder Renaldo Nehemiah. Allen’s personal best is 13.03.

It’s clear that Allen would like to be a professional in both track and football.

“The NFL is something I’ve been dreaming about doing, just like I dreamed about running in the Olympics,” said Allen, who caught nine passes for 94 yards last season, coming back from tearing knee ligaments in the Rose Bowl. “I kind of accomplished that Olympic dream, obviously, in four years, I want to win a gold medal, so that’s one more step to that dream. Now my next dream is to play in the NFL.”

VIDEO: Top track and field moments from Rio Olympics