Ashton Eaton

Ashton Eaton makes history at Oslo Diamond League

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source: Getty ImagesAshton Eaton became the first decathlete to win a Diamond League event ever, while Allyson Felix notched her first race victory of the Diamond League season in Oslo on Wednesday.

Eaton, the Olympic and World decathlon champion, captured the non-decathlon event of 400m hurdles in 49.16 seconds.

It was .09 of a second slower than his personal best from Sunday, but Eaton beat an Oslo field that included 2011 World bronze medalist LJ Van Zyl.

Eaton is focusing on the 400m hurdles this season since there are no Olympics or World Championships to defend his decathlon titles.

He is the 10th fastest 400m hurdles man this year and said he would like to break 49 seconds in his next meet, Tuesday in the Czech Republic.

Felix took the 200m in 22.73, continuing her comeback from a torn hamstring at the 2013 World Championships.

The six-time Olympic medalist actually ran .29 faster in Eugene, Ore., two weeks ago, when she finished third against a stronger field.

The Diamond League moves to New York for the Adidas Grand Prix on Saturday.

In other Oslo events, Galen Rupp followed up his 10,000m American record from Eugene with a third-place finish in the 5000m. Rupp clocked 13:03.35, 10 seconds slower than Bernard Lagat‘s American record. Ethiopian Yenew Alamirew won in 13:01.57.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Richard Thompson won the 100m in 10.02, .02 faster than France’s Jimmy Vicaut. The event was missing stars Usain BoltYohan BlakeJustin Gatlin and Tyson Gay.

Djibouti’s Ayanleh Souleiman edged New Zealand’s Nick Willis in the Dream Mile, 3:49.49 to 3:49.83. American Matthew Centrowitz was eighth in 3:52.23.

Olympic champion and world record holder Renaud Lavillenie stayed perfect on the Diamond League season with a 5.77m pole-vault clearance.

Olympic silver medalist Will Claye won his third straight triple jump competition (17.41m), topping Olympic champion Christian Taylor (17.15m). Brit Phillips Idowu, on the comeback trail after winning medals at every global championship from 2008 through 2011, was eighth and last at 16.30m.

American Joe Kovacs upset Olympic and World shot put medalists David StorlReese HoffaTomasz Majewski and Christian Cantwell with a 21.14m throw.

Olympic and World high jump champions Anna Chicherova and Blanka Vlasic were beaten by Russian World Indoor champion Mariya Kuchina, who leaped 1.98m.

Jamaican Novlene Williams-Mills, a breast cancer survivor, won the women’s 400m in 50.06, ahead of American Natasha Hastings (50.6) and 2011 World champion Amantle Montsho of Botswana (51.05).

Kenyan Eunice Sum took the 800m in 1:59.02, ahead of American World bronze medalist Brenda Martinez (1:59.68). South African Caster Semenya was 12th out of 12 finishers in 2:03.68.

France’s Pascal Martinot-Lagarde took the 110m hurdles in 13.12, the fastest time in the world this year. He smashed a field that included the four reigning Olympic and World silver and bronze medalists by .24.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce out of Adidas Grand Prix

Yevgenia Medvedeva wins season opener in rout

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Olympic figure skating favorite Yevgenia Medvedeva, imperfect by her standards, still won her first international competition of the season by a whopping 36.74 points on Saturday.

The Russian tallied 146.72 points in her free skate at Nepela Trophy in Slovakia — lower than her median score over her two-year winning streak — and 226.72 points overall. 

Video is here. Full scores are here.

Medvedeva had a wrong edge call on her triple Lutz, stepping out of the landing. 

Judges gave her a negative grade of execution for it, snapping a streak of more than 60 straight jumps with positive grades dating to December.

No matter, the 17-year-old still had the highest free skate by 23.23 points.

It was 13.72 points shy of her world record set at the last competition of the 2016-17 season.

She distanced Japanese Rika Hongo and countrywoman Yelena Radionova, the only woman to beat Medvedeva in senior international competition in November 2015.

Medvedeva entered the free skate with a 13.51-point lead in the low-level event. That was via recording the second-highest short program tally under a 13-year-old judging system on Thursday.

Her flawed free skate still earned more points than any of her rivals racked up last season. 

All of her jumps except a double Axel were in the second half of her program to earn bonus points.

However, another Russian posted a higher free skate score last week.

That’s 15-year-old training partner Alina Zagitova, who was .45 better at a low-level event in Italy. 

It’s not entirely fair to compare scores from different judging panels at these early season competitions, though.

The first of six Grand Prix series events is Rostelecom Cup in Moscow in four weeks, featuring Medvedeva and Radionova.

Medvedeva and Zagitova could go head-to-head at the Grand Prix Final in December and should definitely both be at the Russian Championships later that month.

The figure skating season continues next week with Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany, the final Olympic qualifying competition. 

North Korea could clinch its first spots in any sport for the Olympics in the pairs event.

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VIDEO: Nathan Chen makes more history at season opener

Yuzuru Hanyu opens Olympic season with record score

Yuzuru Hanyu
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A sore knee didn’t hold Yuzuru Hanyu back. A record score to open his Olympic season.

The Olympic and world champion from Japan hit a pair of quadruple jumps in his short program at the Autumn Classic, a lower-level event in Montreal.

He was rewarded with 112.72 points, the highest short program score recorded under the 13-year-old judging system. Video is here.

It looked like a home competition for Hanyu.

Upon finishing, he bowed toward one set of bleachers (maybe a dozen rows) at the Sportsplexe Pierrefonds. More than two dozen Japanese flags made it hard to see most of the faces.

He bettered Javier Fernández, a two-time world champion and training partner, by 11.52 points. Fernández also landed two quadruple jumps to tally 101.2.

Full scores will be here upon the conclusion of the short program. The free skate is Saturday at 8 p.m. ET. A live stream is here.

Hanyu now owns the three highest short program scores under the 13-year-old system. The other two were set in the 2015-16 season.

Showdowns like Hanyu-Fernández are usually reserved for, at the earliest, the Grand Prix series in late October and November.

Hanyu and Fernández are very familiar with each other, having shared a coach in Canadian Brian Orser, the 1988 Olympic silver medalist, since 2012. They train in Toronto.

In that time, Hanyu became the first Japanese man to win an Olympic title (and the second teen from any nation to do it). He followed it up with world titles later in 2014 and this year.

Fernández achieved unfathomable success for a Spanish skater — world titles in 2015 and 2016, overtaking Hanyu in the free skate both times.

In PyeongChang, Hanyu can become the first man to repeat as Olympic champion since Dick Button in 1952. Fernández can become the third Spaniard to earn a Winter Olympic medal of any color in any sport, and the first since 1992.

The figure skating season continues next week with Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany, the final Olympic qualifying competition. North Korea could clinch its first spots in any sport for the Olympics in the pairs event.

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