Debbie Phelps

Michael Phelps’ mom hopes for one more Olympics

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Michael Phelps is training again, but he hasn’t committed to another Olympic run. That doesn’t mean his mother, Debbie Phelps, can’t dream of Rio 2016.

She was asked about Phelps returning to the North Baltimore Aquatic Club pool by a Baltimore radio station in a story about a fundraiser she’s spearheading to benefit area moms.

“I don’t if we’re going to Rio, but I know that, according to the Baltimore Sun and out there in social media, Michael did make an announcement about being back in the pool,” she told WBAL News. “Where that leads him, I don’t know, I’m hoping it does lead us to Brazil.

“But, you know, athletes, children, composers, artists have to love what they do. Michael has a love for his sport, a passion for his sport. I know when he went to Barcelona for world champs last year [July 2013], I watched his face. He has such eagerness about where the sport of swimming is going to go. I’m supporting him all the way as his mom.

“I would love to go Rio.”

Debbie Phelps, the education foundation director for Baltimore County Public Schools, has been hoping her son would go to Rio since before the London Olympics.

“I want to go to Rio in 2016,” she said on “60 Minutes” in May 2012. “I do. He told me he’d send me there on vacation, he told me. But you know, I was like, I’m like, ‘Come on, Michael just a 50 freestyle.’

“What happens if your mom, you know, after London, after 12 months goes by and says, ‘You know, I’ve always wanted to go to Rio?'”

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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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