Justin Gatlin

Justin Gatlin runs fastest 100m of 2014 in Beijing

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Justin Gatlin clocked 9.87 seconds in a 100m in Beijing on Wednesday, improving on his world lead set three days ago.

Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic 100m champion and reigning world silver medalist, beat a field at the 2008 Olympic Stadium that included 2013 World Championships finalist Mike Rodgers and 2003 world champion Kim Collins. Rodgers and Collins were second and third in 10.03 and 10.11 into zero wind, respectively.

Gatlin’s victory came three days after he won a Diamond League 100m in Shanghai in 9.92 seconds.

Usain Bolt, whom Gatlin beat once last season, hasn’t raced yet this season and had a minor foot injury in March. He is next scheduled to compete in Ostrava, Czech Republic, on June 17.

The next Diamond League meet is the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore., on May 31.

In other Beijing sprints, seven-time Jamaican Olympic medalist Veronica Campbell-Brown won the women’s 100m in 11.14 seconds, .14 off the world lead for 2014. Campbell-Brown is back after missing most of last season after testing positive for a banned diuretic, though she was cleared of doping due to flaws in test collection procedures and possible contamination of her urine sample.

World champion Brianna Rollins equaled the best 100m hurdles time of 2014 with a win in 12.58 seconds. Rollins and Kristi Castlin also ran 12.58 at the Drake Relays on April 26. Rollins, 22, bettered 12.50 four times last year.

Usain Bolt, Missy Franklin lead Olympians on most marketable athletes list

NCAA runner dragged to finish line by opponents (video)

Madeline Adams
NC State Athletics
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Boston College’s Madeline Adams dropped to the ground during the final meters of the ACC Cross-Country Championships on Friday.

What happened next was reminiscent of one of the most memorable Rio Olympic track and field moments.

Clemson’s Evie Tate stopped and helped Adams up at the Cary, N.C., 6k race. Then, Louisville’s Rachel Pease did the same. Tate and Pease each took one of Adams’ arms and dragged her to the finish.

Pease would finish 127th and Tate 128th out of 131 finishers. Adams was disqualified. Full results are here.

Tate was running around 70th or 80th place when she stopped, according to the Asheville Citizen-Times, which means her aid ended up costing Clemson about 10 points in the team scores.

Clemson was sixth, 23 points behind fifth-place Syracuse, so Tate’s act of sportsmanship actually didn’t change the Tigers’ placing. NC State won, Louisville was fourth and Boston College 12th.

The scene  brought to mind the Rio Olympic women’s 5000m heats, when American Abbey D’Agostino and New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin fell and then crossed the finish line together.

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Tara Lipinski, Johnny Weir back Gracie Gold for discussing weight in figure skating

SPOKANE, WA - APRIL 23:  Gracie Gold of Team North America competes in the Ladie's Free Program on day 2 of the 2016 KOSE Team Challenge Cup at Spokane Arena on April 23, 2016 in Spokane, Washington.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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NBC Sports figure skating analysts Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir supported Gracie Gold‘s transparency in her comments about weight and figure skating.

“These are thoughts that every skater’s thinking about, but I think you don’t [see skaters] talk about it because in reality saying you need to lose weight when you’re already thin is a bit crazy,” Lipinski said. “In figure skating, gymnastics, ballet, there is always this pressure to be very thin, not only for aesthetics, but just for your actual sport and how you use your body. Weight definitely does play an issue. In skating, you’re three times your weight in the air, and you’re landing on one foot on a tiny blade.”

Lipinski and Weir said they struggled with weight issues while skating. They became too thin.

“Being a skater, I understand where Gracie was coming from,” Weir said. “To the masses, whenever you talk about diet and food and getting in shape physically, when you are an athlete on TV and you look like you are in shape compared to most of the country, it can be a little bit of a disconnect between the athletes appearing on TV and the audience.”

Weir lauded Gold for not only being open about not being at peak fitness — after taking much of the summer off — but also to compete at a top-level event like Skate America under those circumstances. (Gold said she considered skipping the Grand Prix season.)

“It’s all about telling the truth, saying, ‘I’m not in shape. I’m not there yet, but just wait, and I’ll give it to you,'” Weir said.

Weir said it could lead to more open discussions in the sport.

“You hope that, over time, you can start to look at the skaters that have been great champions and realize everyone has a different body type,” Lipinski said.

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