Watch Matthew Centrowitz outkick Mo Farah for 1500m win

Leave a comment

Matthew Centrowitz notched his first win over Mo Farah on Thursday night, then looked ahead to an American record attempt this summer.

Centrowitz, who in Rio became the first U.S. Olympic 1500m champion in 108 years, ran away from his training partner Farah in the final 200 meters of a 1500m heat at the USA Track and Field Distance Classic in Los Angeles.

Centrowitz clocked 3 minutes, 33.41 seconds, his best time since July 2015, in his first 1500m since Rio. Farah crossed in second in 3:34.19 in the opener for the final outdoor track season before he converts to marathon running.

“I just asked [Farah before the race] if you’re going for the win, or are you going for a fast time,” Centrowitz told media afterward. “He said, I’m going for a fast time. That’s all I needed to hear. I was like, I’m just going to sit on him.”

Farah, who swept the Olympic 5000m and 10,000m in 2012 and 2016, still owns a faster 1500m personal best than Centrowitz — 3:28.81 to 3:30.40. Farah beat Centrowitz in their two previous head-to-heads, both 1500m, in 2013 and 2015.

Centrowitz has stated his eyes are on the American record in the 1500m — 3:29.30 held by Bernard Lagat. Centrowitz currently ranks third behind Lagat and 1980s runner Sydney Maree (3:29.77).

The U.S. record in the mile is a bit more ambitious, given nobody has come within three and a half seconds of Alan Webb‘s 3:46.91 since he set it in 2007.

“I’m probably focused and eyeing more the 15 because we have more opportunities at it,” Centrowitz said Thursday, according to the Orange County Register, which added that he specifically listed a Diamond League meet in Monaco on July 21. “I think that 3:46, there’s a reason no one’s run faster in the last 10 years. It’s a hard time to beat and, there’s not really many opportunities.”

Centrowitz headlines the field for the Bowerman Mile at next weekend’s Pre Classic, which will air live on NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: WADA eyes fast-tracked power to sanction cheating countries, sports

Michael Phelps still has ‘no desire’ to come back

AP
Leave a comment

Michael Phelps says he has “no desire” to return to competitive swimming, but he is eager to stay involved with the sport and cheer on those who follow in his enormous wake.

In an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press while promoting a healthy pet food campaign, Phelps said he is excited about the birth of his second child and numerous opportunities away from the pool.

It was around this time four years ago when Phelps got serious about ending his first retirement, but he now seems content with his decision to step away again after the Rio Olympics.

His wife, Nicole, is about four months pregnant. The couple already has a 16-month-old son, Boomer.

“I’ve got no desire, no desire to come back,” the 32-year-old Phelps said flatly.

Phelps has attended a handful of swimming meets since the Rio Games, where the winningest athlete in Olympic history added to his already massive career haul by claiming five gold medals plus a silver. A few months ago, he conceded to the AP that he was eager to see how he would feel about a possible comeback after this year’s world championships in Budapest, Hungary.

Turns out, it had no impact.

Phelps said watching others compete “truly didn’t kick anything off or spike any more interest in coming out of retirement again.”

He is eager to follow the development of his heir apparent, Caeleb Dressel, who emerged as the sport’s newest star by winning seven gold medals at Budapest. The 21-year-old Floridian joined Phelps and Mark Spitz as the only swimmers to accomplish that feat at a major international meet.

“I’m happy Caeleb decided to go off this year instead of last year,” Phelps joked. “I’m kind of happy to see him swimming so well when I’m not there.”

With Dressel and Katie Ledecky now leading the American team, the U.S. is expected to remain the world’s dominant swimming country heading into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Even without Phelps.

“It’s time to kind of move on,” he said, “and watch other people come into their own.”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Michael Phelps: I’d give Conor McGregor a head start

Dutch cyclist returns from horrific Rio crash to win world title

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Dutch road cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten came back from this dramatic Rio Olympic crash to win her first world title on Tuesday, taking the time trial in Bergen, Norway.

“This one is really beautiful without the crash in Rio, but this makes the story really, really special,” an emotional van Vleuten said. “Actually, I still cannot believe it. … This season I’m surprising myself what I can do. To be world champion in the time trial, I never thought I’d be able of this.”

Van Vleuten, 34, covered the 13-mile course in 28 minutes, 50.35 seconds, topping countrywoman Anna ven der Breggen by 12 seconds.

Australian Katrin Garfoot took bronze, 19.02 seconds ahead of Chloe Dygert, a U.S. Olympic silver medalist in track cycling. American Amber Neben, the defending champion, was 11th.

Full results are here.

In Rio, van Vleuten suffered three small spine fractures and a concussion when her brakes appeared to lock, and she flipped over into a ditch during the road race. Van Vleuten was alone in the lead at the time with about seven miles to go of the 87-mile course.

She was eventually hospitalized in intensive care.

Van der Breggen went on to win the Olympic title.

Van Vleuten wasn’t out long. She raced at last October’s world championships, placing a career-high fifth in the time trial. She then won La Course in France, a two-day race, in July.

“To be an athlete is to have really ups and downs,” van Vleuten said Tuesday. “Sometimes really downs, but the downs make the ups even more beautiful, I think.”

Van Vleuten’s first celebratory act Tuesday was to climb past two barriers and into her mother’s arms.

“Last year my mum watched the Rio race on television, it was her birthday and she was with lots of my family, so it was a really hard day for her,” Van Vleuten said in a news conference, according to Cyclingnews.com. “My father died in 2008, and so it was really special to have her here and celebrate the good things of cycling together. We’ve dealt with bad things together in the past, so it’s important to be really happy and proud to celebrate and to also remember my father.”

The world championships continue Wednesday with the men’s time trial at 7 a.m. ET on the Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA and streaming on NBCSports.com/live.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: World Road Cycling Championships broadcast schedule