Mo Farah

Mo Farah fine after being wheelchaired off following NYC Half (video)

Leave a comment

NEW YORK — Double Olympic champion Mo Farah said he “sort of” passed out after finishing second in the New York City half marathon Sunday, lying on the ground and then being wheelchaired off.

Farah sprinted through the finish for runner-up, 18 seconds behind Kenyan winner Geoffrey Mutai, and remained standing for several seconds after stopping.

Several minutes later, local TV showed footage of Farah lying on the ground, being tended to, and then being pushed in a wheelchair.

“I do remember sort of passing out,” Farah said about an hour after the race. “I tried so hard in the race, taking a fall and then going through. But, yeah, I’m all right. It’s fine. It’s not a big deal.”

Farah, the Olympic 5000m and 10,000m champion, fell earlier in the race. He got his legs or feet tangled with another runner between the fifth and sixth miles. Farah was in the lead group at the time and dropped 25 seconds behind Mutai at the 15-kilometer mark (9.3 miles).

“I’m not sure what happened,” Farah said. “I just remember sort of falling down and just hitting the ground quite hard. … I got caught on my hip, my ankle, the whole right-hand side.”

Mutai, the two-time reigning New York City Marathon champion, won in 1 hour, 50 seconds. Farah edged Kenyan Stephen Sambu for second place by one second.

“Last four miles I struggled a bit,” Farah said. “I was pretty much seeing stars.”

Farah ran the 13.1-mile race for the first time since winning in 2011. He used it as a warm-up for the London Marathon, his 26.2-mile debut, on April 13.

“Conditions today were very cold,” said Farah, who began the race at 7:30 a.m. in long sleeves, a hat and gloves. “London’s going to be different, but I felt good at that point, to the point I went down [during the race]. It happens in the race. You’ve just got to deal with it.

“It would have been nice to come out here and win the race, but Mutai’s a strong athlete. … I guess nothing changes, you just have to continue training.”

100-year-old man entered in USA Masters Track Championships

Claressa Shields congratulated by famous boxing actor (video)

Claressa Shields
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Claressa Shields may just be the most dominant female athlete on the planet. The Flint, Mich., native is now a two-time Olympic boxing champion with a 77-1 record and a four-year unbeaten streak.

Actor Mark Wahlberg, who played boxer Micky Ward in the 2010 film “The Fighter,” took notice.

He taped a video that Shields watched before a celebration in her hometown Thursday, according to the Flint Journal.

“You are the true definition of a champion,” Wahlberg said. “You continue to inspire so many people, not only in Flint, but all over the world. I’m so proud of you. Your performance was amazing. God bless you. I look forward to seeing you, and I look forward to doing lots of things with you.”

Now Shields must decide whether to turn professional, which would end her Olympic career.

“Professional women’s boxing is not nowhere near on the same attention level as the Olympics are,” the 21-year-old Shields said, according to the Flint Journal. “I get way more attention than any female boxer who is professional right now with me being an amateur.

“So the goal is to go professional but still have that same attention and same mainstream. Hopefully, if they have the rule changed that the women professionals can come back and fight the Olympics, I would go professional to fight on TV and make a bunch of money but then come back and defend my two gold medals in 2020.”

MORE: Shields becomes first U.S. fighter to win back-to-back golds

Russian Olympic medalists gifts include racehorse

Abdulrashid Sadulaev
AP
Leave a comment

MOSCOW (AP) — Luxury cars, apartments, even a racehorse — being an Olympic medalist in Russia can come with great material rewards but also controversy.

Under President Vladimir Putin, it’s become a tradition for Russia’s Olympic heroes to be showered with large cash sums and sometimes unwanted gifts.

On Friday, less than 24 hours after dozens of medalists were presented with BMW cars at the Kremlin by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, an advertisement appeared online offering one of them for sale, with photographs showing the car still covered in stickers celebrating Russia’s medal haul in Rio.

The advertisement offering the BMW X6 for 4.67 million rubles ($72,000) was anonymous and quickly withdrawn. It couldn’t be independently verified by The Associated Press, though Russian agency R-Sport claimed the seller was a Russian medalist who thought the car was too big and unwieldy.

Figure skater Maxim Trankov, who received a Mercedes-Benz SUV for his gold medal in 2014, said few Olympians could afford to own such cars.

“Has no one thought that these gift cars are not only liable for the tax on luxury items, but also aren’t cheap to run and earnings can’t cover it?” he wrote on Twitter. “I’d sell mine too if it came to it … Or does everyone think all sports pay as well as soccer, hockey or tennis?”

Gymnast Seda Tutkhalyan said she wouldn’t be able to drive her new BMW because at 17 years of age she was too young to have a license.

While online commenters mostly supported an athlete’s right to sell expensive Olympic gifts, many were critical of the government for a display of conspicuous consumption at the Kremlin at a time when Russia’s pension and healthcare systems are under financial strain.

It’s not fully clear how much the prizes have cost the Russian government.

State TV channel Rossiya 24 reported that the fleet of BMWs was provided by the Olympians’ Support Fund, which is backed by a group of Russia’s richest men, but that the accompanying cash prizes of tens of thousands of dollars per medalist came in part from the federal budget.

More awards are on offer from regional governments, many of which made public displays of generosity despite financial troubles of their own.

The Caucasus region of North Ossetia last month promised a free apartment for any medalists from the area, though it isn’t clear if this has happened yet.

In another grand gesture, the head of the restive Dagestan region gave Olympic wrestling champion Abdulrashid Sadulaev 6 million rubles ($93,000) in cash and a racehorse at a lavish welcoming ceremony featured on local TV.

Still, all may not be well for Sadulaev, who’s nicknamed the “Russian Tank” for his habit of crushing opponents on the wrestling mat. He’s already facing an allegation from a Moscow radio presenter of reckless driving in his eye-catching BMW.

MORE: Putin slams Russia’s Paralympic ban