Keni Harrison, Elaine Thompson star at Drake, Penn Relays

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Hurdler Keni Harrison responded to the disappointment of not making the U.S. Olympic team by breaking a world record a few weeks later.

Now she wants to prove that was no fluke, and she’s off to some start.

Harrison cruised to victory in the 100m hurdles Saturday at the Drake Relays. She won in a world-leading 12.56 seconds despite rain, cold and wind and a field featuring six other hurdlers ranked in the world’s top 10.

Harrison ran a 12.54 two weeks earlier, but that was wind-aided.

“My coach just told me, ‘You know, you missed the Olympic finals. So treat each race this year as an Olympic final,'” Harrison said. “So I just want to come out and really see how far I can go and prove to myself and everyone else that I can run in big meets.”

Jasmin Stowers of the U.S. was second in 12.76. Dawn Harper-Nelson, an American who won gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and silver four years later, was third in 12.79.

Full Drake Relays results are here.

At the Penn Relays, Olympic 100m and 200m champion Elaine Thompson came from behind to anchor Jamaica to win the 4x100m over the U.S., 42.25 to 42.42. The American quartet was headlined by English Gardner, who was seventh in the 100m in Rio but helped the U.S. to 4x100m relay gold at her first Games.

Harrison, a former star at Kentucky, finished sixth with a trip to the Rio Games on the line last year. But last July she broke a record that stood for 28 years, running a 12.20 in a Diamond League event in London.

The track world has been watching Harrison since. On her agenda for 2017 is a return to London, site of this year’s world championships, and a shot at the world title that eluded her in Rio.

“It builds my confidence. I just tell myself ‘You’re the world record holder. You’re really blessed in this event,'” Harrison said. “That’s my number one goal, to go get gold in London.”

Because of the miserable conditions — temperatures were in the low 40s with strong gusts and rain that at times fell sideways — just a single meet record fell in the elite races.

That mark went to Jamaica’s Omar McLeod, who ran a Drake-best 13.04 to win the 110m hurdles.

“It’s cold. But once you come out here and see the crowd … it takes away from that,” McLeod said.

In the women’s 400m hurdles, Rio bronze medalist Ashley Spencer stumbled into the fifth hurdle after her hip locked. Spencer fell and failed to finish, and fellow American Georganne Moline won in a world-leading 54.66.

Spencer said she lost feeling in her feet and hands after 150 meters, just before taking her tumble.

“I was running on a whim and a prayer,” Spencer said.

Clayton Murphy won the men’s 1500m in 3:41.75 — his third victory in a week. Murphy also won in the 4x800m at the World Relays in the Bahamas last weekend and the USA Track and Field mile road track title in Des Moines on Tuesday.

Canada’s Derek Drouin, the Olympic high jump champion, won in 7-feet-6 ½ inches. Lorriane Ugen won the women’s long jump in 21-3 ½.

Sam Hendricks of the U.S., who won Rio pole vault bronze, took first at 19-0 ¼.

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Yulia Efimova wags finger as Lilly King rivalry heats up (video)

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The Lilly KingYulia Efimova rivalry is back on, but this time the Russian is wagging her finger.

Efimova missed the 100m breaststroke world record by .01 in the semifinals at the world swimming championships in Budapest on Monday.

Efimova celebrated her time by finger wagging, an homage to King’s famous move in the ready room at the Rio Olympics.  She and King will go head to head in the final as the top two seeds on Tuesday after King won her later semifinal in a personal-best time .17 slower than Efimova.

“I’m always looking at the results from the heat before,” King told media in Budapest, adding that she wasn’t shaved for Monday’s semifinals. “I saw a little finger wag. I saw it. It’s just motivating me more, so that’s OK.”

King, who criticized Efimova’s presence in Rio after serving a doping ban, beat the Russian in the Olympic 100m breaststroke final last year.

Efimova served a 16-month ban for testing positive for the banned steroid DHEA in 2013. She again tested positive in February 2016 for meldonium, though she said she stopped taking it before it became a banned substance Jan. 1 and was absolved along with other athletes.

“You’ve been caught for drug cheating, I’m just not a fan,” King memorably said in Rio, adding last fall, “[Doping] was on all of our minds. We had team meetings talking about what it was going to be like. We were going to be racing dopers, and we all knew it.”

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Katinka Hosszu wins 200m IM as swimmer leaves pool mid-race (video)

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Hungarian Katinka Hosszu delivered the gold-medal performance a raucous Budapest crowd hoped for at the world swimming championships.

Canadian Sydney Pickrem, a medal favorite, appeared to get out of the pool after 50 meters. Swimming Canada later said she “took on water” approaching the first wall.

“Unfortunately it inhibited her to the point where she wasn’t able to continue in the race,” a press release said.

Hosszu won her third straight world title in the 200m individual medley, clocking 2:07.00 at the Danube Arena. The Olympic champion and world-record holder was followed by Japan’s Yui Ohashi (2:07.91) and American Madisyn Cox (2:09.71).

Hosszu was the overwhelming favorite, given she held the three fastest times in the world this year going into Monday’s final. She became the first woman to win 10 individual world championships medals, a mark that Sarah SjostromKatie Ledecky and Yulia Efimova can surpass later in the meet. Retired Australian Leisel Jones won nine, all in breaststroke.

Hosszu scratched her other event Monday night, the 100m backstroke, one of three events she won at the Rio Olympics. Hosszu could earn medals in the 200m backstroke and 400m individual medley later this week.

Pickrem ranked No. 3 in the world this year and had the third-fastest time in the semifinals behind Hosszu and American Melanie Margalis, who finished fourth.

“Just another stepping stone,” said Cox, who finished her University of Texas career this year and made her major international debut in Budapest. “Of course, I want to be better. That time will come.”

Women’s 200m Individual Medley Results
Gold: Katinka Hosszu (HUN) — 2:07.00
Silver: Yui Ohashi (JPN) — 2:07.91
Bronze: Madisyn Cox (USA) — 2:09.71
4. Melanie Margalis (USA) — 2:09.82
5. Runa Imai (JPN) — 2:09.99
6. Kim Seoyeong (KOR) — 2:10.40
7. Siobhan-Marie O’Connor (GBR) — 2:10.41
DQ. Sydney Pickrem (CAN)

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