Ulm German Athletics Championships

German long jump champion, a Paralympian, left off European Championships roster

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Markus Rehm won the German long jump title last weekend. Rehm was not selected to compete for Germany at the biggest meet of the year, the European Championships in Zurich, Switzerland, in two weeks.

It’s news because Rehm jumps off a prosthetic leg, which the German track and field federation deemed may give him a competitive advantage.

The federation’s president, Clemens Prokop, said Rehm’s prosthetic leg might give him a “catapult effect” for longer jumps, according to The Associated Press.

Tests were performed before the German team was named to determine if Rehm gained a competitive advantage from running with and jumping off a prosthetic leg.

Rehm is the 2012 Paralympic long jump champion. Rehm jumped a career best 8.24m to win the German championship on Saturday, making him the No. 9 man in the world this year.

How good is 8.24m in the long jump? That distance placed fifth at the 2013 World Championships and would have won a silver medal at the 2012 Olympics.

Germany’s biggest track and field star, Olympic discus champion Robert Harting, reportedly proposed that Rehm jump off his sound left leg instead of his right prosthetic one.

The story is reminiscent of South African 400m runner and Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius, who fought to be able to compete at able-bodied World Championships and the Olympics.

Here’s Rehm’s winning jump from the German National Championships.

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U.S. sprinters past, present trade relay barbs

Justin Gatlin
Getty Images
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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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Bob Costas’ report 100 days out from Rio (video)

Bob Costas
NBC News
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Bob Costas reported from Rio de Janeiro for NBC News on Wednesday, 100 days out from the Opening Ceremony.

In the clip below, Michael PhelpsSimone Biles and even Brazil soccer legend Pelé comment on preparing for the first Games in South America.

Costas finished the clip with a stand-up from Copacabana Beach, where beach volleyball will take place in August.

VIDEO: Bob Costas picks biggest storyline of Rio Olympics