Galen Rupp

Galen Rupp cruises to 10,000m title at U.S. Championships; Thursday recap

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Olympic silver medalist Galen Rupp won his sixth straight U.S. title in the 10,000m in Sacramento, Calif., on Thursday night.

Rupp eased pass Chris Derrick with about 500m to go and crossed the finish line in what appeared a comfortable 28 minutes, 12.07 seconds. Derrick ended up 6.11 seconds behind for second.

Rupp, who broke his own American record in the 25-lap race with a 26:44.36 on May 30, said after his race Thursday that he would not contest the 5000m on Friday.

Kim Conley, a 2012 Olympian in the 5000m, won the women’s 10,000m despite pacing Jordan Hasay for the final two miles. Hasay finally made a pass on the final lap, but Conley summoned a final surge to retake the lead and finish in 32:02.07. Hasay followed in 32:03.28, and then 2012 Olympic finalist Amy Hastings.

Beijing Olympic bronze medalist Shalane Flanagan withdrew earlier Thursday but said she was healthy and preparing for a fall marathon on Twitter.

Alysia Montano runs 800m while 34 months pregnant

In other action, Olympic silver medalist Trey Hardee scored 4,441 points in the first five decathlon events. He leads by 368 points going into the final five events Friday. Olympic champion and world record holder Ashton Eaton was not entered, rather focusing on the 400m hurdles this season.

Olympic champions Allyson FelixLaShawn Merritt and Sanya Richards-Ross all advanced to the semifinals of their sprints.

Felix tied for 14th overall in the 100m preliminary heats at 11.53 to be among 16 women advancing. Defending champion English Gardner was fastest at 11.3, followed by world 200m leader Tori Bowie in 11.33.

Merritt easily qualified second into the 400m semis at 45.19, behind Gil Roberts (45.16). Merritt is the only American capable of bettering 44 seconds.

“The 400’s always tough,” Merritt said in a video interview posted by RunnerSpace. “For me sometimes, the slower I run, the more tired I am.”

[WATCH LIVEU.S. Championships, Friday at 10 pm ET]

Richards-Ross finished second in her heat in 52.39 to advance in the women’s 400m. She still feels pain in her right big toe, which she had surgery on last year and delayed her training to start this season. World Indoor champion Francena McCorory is the favorite.

“This is the best I’ve felt all year,” Richards-Ross said, according to The Associated Press. “I’m actually in more pain most of the time, but I’m getting through.”

Dentarius Locke, the third fastest American in the 100m this year, pulled up with an injury in his preliminary heat. The two faster Americans, World silver medalist Justin Gatlin and NCAA champion Trayvon Bromell, are not racing in Sacramento.

That leaves Olympic and World relay medalists Mike RodgersCharles Silmon and Ryan Bailey as the top men going into the semifinals and final Friday.

USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships broadcast schedule

Blake Griffin will miss Olympics, report says

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For the second straight Olympics, Blake Griffin will not be able to join Team USA due to injury, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Los Angeles Clippers power forward will be out several months due to his left quad injury, according to the newspaper.

Griffin was originally chosen for the 2012 U.S. Olympic team but withdrew due to a torn meniscus, opening a spot for Anthony Davis.

Davis is also expected to miss the Rio Games due to injury.

Other power forwards on the U.S. finalist list released in January are LaMarcus Aldridge, Kenneth Faried, Draymond Green and Kevin Love.

Love is the only name from that list of healthy players with Olympic experience. Faried is the only player from that list who suited up at the 2014 World Cup, starting all nine games.

At London 2012, the U.S. started NBA small forwards LeBron James and Kevin Durant at the forward spots in all eight games, with another small forward, Carmelo Anthony, bringing similar versatility off the bench.

MORE: Why Candace Parker was left off Olympic team

Rio Olympic cauldron likely to be located near Plaza Maua

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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Mayor Eduardo Paes says he wants the Olympic cauldron to burn in Rio de Janeiro’s revitalized port area.

The cauldron will be lit at Maracana Stadium during the Opening Ceremony on Aug. 5, and will spend the night there before traveling to a permanent home.

Mario Andrada, spokesman for the Rio organizing committee, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the cauldron will be placed in the port area, but not in the heart of the renovated port area known as Plaza Maua.

“It will be close to Plaza Maua, but not exactly in Plaza Maua,” Andrada said. He said it was likely to be located near the Candelaria Church, which is near the plaza.

“Don’t get me into a fight with the mayor,” Andrada added.

Paes said he hoped the new plaza would be a center for outdoor entertainment during the Games, including performance stages, musical attractions, and large-screen televisions.

“It seems that the Maracana Stadium has limitations,” Paes said, adding that moving out of the Maracana “is good because it democratizes the access to the cauldron.”

The new plaza and downtown Rio are far from the heart of the Games in suburban Barra da Tijuca. It is also an area not usually visited by tourists.

The Olympic flame arrives from Greece and Switzerland on Tuesday in the capital Brasilia, to be carried off the plane by IOC member Carlos Nuzman, the head of the Rio organizing committee.

The flame then goes to the Planalto presidential palace where it is expected to be greeted by President Dilma Rousseff.

Andrada said IOC President Thomas Bach and other top IOC officials would not be at the ceremony.

Rousseff is facing impeachment charges and could be suspended from office as early as May 11, turning over authority to Vice President Michel Temer.

Temer, himself, could also face impeachment proceedings and has a scandal-tainted career.

PHOTOS: Olympic flame visits Acropolis, 1896 Olympic Stadium