Getty Images

Usain Bolt did not exclude Andre De Grasse from race, meet boss says

Leave a comment

Usain Bolt did not exclude rival Andre De Grasse from racing him in a 100m in Monaco on Friday, the meet director reportedly said.

De Grasse’s coach was quoted in Canadian media saying that De Grasse — a Rio Olympic 100m and 200m medalist — was “booted out” of the Diamond League race and instead put into a separate 4x100m relay, per Bolt’s wishes.

NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold will air live Monaco coverage Friday at 2 p.m. ET, with Bolt’s race at 3:35. It’s Bolt’s last meet before August’s world championships, after which he is to retire.

Meet director Jean-Pierre Schoebel denied the claims from De Grasse’s camp, according to the Times of London.

“I am surprised because we discussed with the agent, and it was a discussion about money,” Schoebel said, according to the newspaper. “We don’t have the budget, and we stopped the discussion because we couldn’t find the money, so I don’t see why now there is a problem. [Bolt] explained that he was ready to face every athlete. But we are not able to pay every athlete.”

Bolt’s team also denied playing a role in De Grasse’s exclusion, according to British media. De Grasse refuted his coach’s reported claim on Friday, too.

“That was not true,” De Grasse said, according to the Telegraph. “I was never supposed to race Usain here. My focus was on the worlds. I just came here to run the relay with my teammates. Usain would never try to not run against someone. He’s a legend in the sport.”

Bolt, who is on a four-year winning streak, is known for rarely facing his chief rivals outside of major meets.

In 2012, London Olympic 100m and 200m silver medalist Yohan Blake cited “big money” for why he and Bolt didn’t race each other more often.

Appearance fees and sponsors can complicate top sprinters from facing each other. Bolt and De Grasse both wear Puma.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Bolt: Nobody is running fast this year

World downhill champion Ilka Stuhec tears ACL

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Lindsey Vonn’s top rival for downhill gold is in danger of missing the upcoming Olympics.

Ilka Stuhec, a world champion Alpine skier from Slovenia, suffered a torn ACL after a practice crash in Austria this weekend.

Stuhec had become a strong medal favorite for PyeongChang after winning FIS World Cup titles in downhill and Alpine combined last season. She also won a gold medal in downhill at the 2017 World Championships, where Vonn placed third.

According to a post on the FIS website, surgery is set for this Wednesday, with more information to come after that. But preliminary reports suggest that she is likely to miss the Olympics.

“For now it looks like Ilka Stuhec will have to miss a large part or maybe the whole World Cup season, including the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea,” a spokesperson for Struhec told Reuters.

In a tweet, Struhec acknowledged that she would be sidelined “for a few months.”

The Olympics start in less than four months.

 

U.S. Ski & Snowboard mourns after 17-year-old aerials skier found dead

U.S. Ski & Snowboard
Leave a comment

Mikey Lillis, a 17-year-old aerials skier, died in his sleep at his home in East Rochester, N.Y., overnight Saturday, according to U.S. Ski & Snowboard.

“We are a family, and as a family our entire team grieves for Mikey, his own family and his teammates,” U.S. Ski & Snowboard President and CEO Tiger Shaw said in a statement. “We’ll remember him for the pathway he was following and the goals he was beginning to achieve. Our condolences go out to his parents Bernie and Jamie and the entire Lillis family.”

Lillis was working his way to join his two older brothers at the elite international level. He made three podiums on the Nor-Am Cup tour between the last two seasons.

Jon Lillis, 23, is the reigning world champion in aerials. Chris Lillis, 19, won the FIS Rookie of the Year award last season with four top-10 finishes on the World Cup.