Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt ‘will not be ready to race’ upcoming meets

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Usain Bolt will miss his first scheduled meets this year on June 17 and July 5, saying he hasn’t had enough training after a foot injury in late March and early April.

“Thankfully my foot is 100% healthy now and I am back in full training,” read a statement on Bolt’s website. “Unfortunately due to the training that I missed I am behind where I am at normally at this time of year and will not be ready to race.”

The six-time Olympic champion is skipping meets in Ostrava, Czech Republic, on June 17 and Paris on July 5. His last race was against a bus in Buenos Aires on Dec. 14.

It was revealed in March that Bolt suffered a foot injury and went to Munich for treatment. Bolt called it a setback in April but said it was nothing serious.

His next scheduled meets are in Warsaw, Poland, on Aug. 23, and Zurich, Switzerland, on Aug. 28.

This will be the latest Bolt, 27, has gone before making his season debut in his senior international career. There are no Olympics or World Championships this year for the only time in the Olympic cycle.

“I hope to be back in competition soon but how soon will depend on my training in the next few weeks,” Bolt said in his website statement. “It is important for me to take my time this year as I have three tough years ahead in 2015, 2016 and 2017 as I attempt to defend my World and Olympic titles.  I definitely plan to compete this season.”

The fastest man in Bolt’s absence this year, Justin Gatlin, will replace Bolt in the Ostrava meet, according to The Associated Press.

Justin Gatlin stays perfect for 2014 in Rome

Coaches to receive medals at World Track and Field Championships

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Coaches will receive medals at the World Track and Field Championships for the first time this summer.

London will host the 16th edition of the event in 100 days.

Coaches’ medals will be based on similar themes to athlete medals but will look different.

“The medals, gifted to successful athletes once they return from their ceremony, will be for them to hand to their coach or significant advisor in recognition of the unique and valued working relationship between athlete and coach,” the IAAF said in a press release.

Coaches do not receive Olympic medals.

The U.S. Olympic Committee established the Order of Ikkos medals starting with the 2008 Beijing Games, allowing medal-winning athletes to acknowledge one coach.

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MORE: What to watch at Drake Relays, Penn Relays

What to watch at Drake Relays, Penn Relays

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Olympic gold medalists ramp up their track and field seasons at the Penn Relays and Drake Relays, live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold this weekend.

Athletes are working toward the U.S. Championships in June and the world championships in August.

First, the historic Penn Relays will air on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold on Friday (5:30-6:30 p.m. ET) and Saturday (12:30-3 p.m. ET).

USA vs. The World in men’s and women’s 4x100m, 4x400m and sprint medley relays will air live on Saturday from Franklin Field in Philadelphia. A full schedule is here.

The U.S. teams are led by Olympic relay champions English Gardner and Natasha Hastings. The full roster is here.

Rio Olympic rematches highlight the individual-event fields at the Drake Relays in Des Moines on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold from 3-5 p.m ET on Saturday. A full schedule is here.

Perhaps no field is deeper than the 100m hurdles. World-record holder Keni Harrison takes on Rio silver and bronze medalists Kristi Castlin and Nia Ali, plus 2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper-Nelson.

The 110m hurdles contingent is strong as well. It features the last two Olympic champions, Jamaican Omar McLeod and American Aries Merritt, plus 2013 World champion David Oliver.

Grenada’s Kirani James and American LaShawn Merritt, who earned silver and bronze in Rio, go head-to-head again in the 400m at Drake.

The men’s 1500m is headlined by Rio Olympic 800m bronze medalist Clayton Murphy and London Olympic 1500m silver medalist Leo Manzano.

Rio bronze medalist Jenny Simpson races individually for the first time this year in the women’s 1500m.

That field also includes New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin, who gained fame of her own in Rio. Hamblin and American Abbey D’Agostino fell in an Olympic 5000m heat and helped each other make it to the finish line. Both were praised for their sportsmanship.

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