Camille Muffat

Camille Muffat, Olympic swim champion, retires at 24

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France’s Camille Muffat, a rival to U.S. stars Missy Franklin and Katie Ledecky, has abruptly retired due to a dispute with her coach, according to L’Equipe.

“I have taken a big decision to stop swimming,” she said, according to L’Equipe, translated by Agence France-Presse. “[The disagreement with coach Fabrice Pellerin] will stay between us like many other things, good or bad, but I mention that because that was what started things off.”

Muffat won gold in the 2012 Olympic 400m freestyle, silver in the 2012 Olympic 200m free and bronze in the 2013 World Championships 200m free.

She did not rule out a return to the sport, citing the cases of Michael PhelpsIan Thorpe and 2004 French Olympic champion Laure Manaudou, according to AFP.

Muffat’s absence from the 2015 World Championships and 2016 Olympics would boost medal hopes of Franklin and Ledecky.

Muffat was the only woman to win a medal in the 200m free at both the 2012 Olympics and 2013 World Championships. Franklin is the reigning World champion in the event, while Ledecky has been improving and is the fastest American this year.

Ledecky won the 400m free at the 2013 World Championships, where Muffat was seventh in trying to follow up her Olympic title. Ledecky has been the fastest woman in the event the last two years.

Ledecky’s personal best is 3:59.82, making her the second fastest active woman behind world-record holder Federica Pellegrini. With Muffat’s retirement, the only other woman to go sub-4:02 is Olympic silver medalist Allison Schmitt.

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Ida Keeling, 100 years old, sets world record at Penn Relays (video)

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Ida Keeling electrified the Penn Relays crowd with her 100-meter dash in 1 minute, 17.33 seconds on Saturday afternoon.

Keeling set a world record for fastest 100m by a woman 100 years and older. There is no data on USA Track and Field and masters athletics websites for a previous record holder.

“I’ll be 101 in a couple of weeks,” Keeling pointed out to NBC Sports’ Carolyn Manno after the race, a mixed-gender event for athletes 80 and older. “I’ve never seen nothing like this crowd. Maybe that’s what the excitement was.”

Keeling’s advice?

“Love yourself, do what you have to do and what you want to do,” she said. “Eat for nutrition, not for taste. And exercise at least once a day.”

More on Keeling is here.

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U.S. sprinters past, present trade relay barbs

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The only loss for the Americans at the Penn Relays came in the men’s 4x100m, as the U.S. team bobbled its victory away on a bad baton handoff between Tyson Gay and Isiah Young for the final leg, which led to a disqualification.

Mike Rodgers and Justin Gatlin gave the Americans an early lead in the race, and things were moving along well during Gay’s third leg. But the muffed handoff for the final leg cost the Americans. Both the winning Jamaican squad and the second American team surpassed them.

Young finished third, but the team was disqualified because the handoff occurred outside the pass zone. The second U.S. team of Sean McLean, Wallace Spearman, Calesio Newman and Remontay McLain finished in 39.02.

The mistake led to some inflammatory comments from U.S. great Leroy Burrell about continued problems with handoffs by U.S. relay teams.

“Well, I think we’ve got to put our team together a little earlier, possibly,” Burrell said in a television interview. “I think, we’ve had the same coaches working with these guys for many years, and we’ve had failure after failure. So it’s possible that, you know, it might be time for a bit of a regime change with the leadership.

“I think the athletes have to be the catalysts that make that happen. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to get the stick around. I saw thousands of relay teams yesterday — maybe not thousands, but hundreds of relay teams get it around. But the professionals can’t. That’s just not good for our sport.”

Rodgers didn’t take kindly to those remarks.

“People keep pointing their fingers and downing us, but nobody has ever tried to come out there and help us,” he said. “Nobody from the past. Not Carl [Lewis] or Leroy. They haven’t been out there. I can’t really respect their opinions because they’re supposed to be leaders in our sport and in the USA, and they’re not coming out there to drop some knowledge on us, so I don’t care what they have to say.”

Lewis criticized U.S. relays in March.

Gatlin was equally critical of Burrell.

“I’m tired of people who have been part of Team USA take shots at Team USA,” Gatlin said. “To put us in the same boat as high schoolers is insulting.”

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