Ashton Eaton

Ashton Eaton leads decathlon after first day; Trey Hardee withdraws

Leave a comment

Olympic decathlon champion Ashton Eaton quelled any doubts about his favorite status in the final event of the first day at the World Championships on Saturday.

Eaton, also the world record holder in the two-day, 10-event competition, had entered the fifth and final event of the first day in second place, trailing another American, Gunnar Nixon.

Eaton took that lead back in dominant fashion, clocking a 46.02 in the 400 meters, less than a half-second slower than his personal best. It was more than 1.5 seconds faster than anybody else in the decathlon field and the fastest decathlon 400 ever run at a World Championships.

Eaton scored 4,502 points on the first day, nine more than Nixon and 75 more than German Michael Schrader. Two-time defending world champion Trey Hardee of the U.S. withdrew with a hamstring injury after four events.

At the 2012 Olympics, Eaton had 4,728 points after the first day. Nixon, 20, the 2012 world junior champion, was the surprise of the first day and is a definite medal threat now.

Eaton took the lead after the first event with a season’s best of 10.35 in the 100 meters. He was still in the lead after a 7.73-meter long jump and a 14.39-meter shot put (12th best in the competition). He fell into third after the high jump, where Nixon cleared 2.14 meters to Eaton’s 1.93, before taking the lead back in the 400.

Hardee, the 2009 and 2011 world champion, failed to clear any height while suffering a hamstring injury in the high jump. That ended any hopes of medaling, and Hardee withdrew before the 400 meters.

“My hamstring grabbed and wouldn’t let go,” Hardee, who also had reconstructive elbow surgery in September 2011 and an Achilles injury going into June nationals, told Eurosport. “My body wouldn’t let me compete today. It was kind of frustrating.”

Hardee, the Olympic silver medalist, was attempting to become the third man to win three world titles in the decathlon. 1996 Olympic champion Dan O’Brien (’91, ’93, ’95) and former world record holder Tomas Dvorak (’97, ’99, ’01) were the others.

The fourth American, Jeremy Taiwo, also withdrew Saturday.

“I think Ashton is the man to beat,” Hardee told Eurosport. “But day two, a lot can happen.”

Farah wins 10,000; no medal for Rupp

Coco Gauff eliminated from French Open

Coco Gauff
Getty Images
1 Comment

PARIS (AP) — American teenager Coco Gauff’s French Open debut ended in the second round after she double-faulted 19 times in a 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 loss to 159th-ranked qualifier Martina Trevisan.

Gauff double-faulted twice in the last game of the 2-hour, 11-minute match.

The 16-year-old Gauff has reached at least the third round at the other three major tournaments.

For Trevisan, a 26-year-old from Italy, this was her first victory in a Grand Slam match played to its conclusion.

She lost in the first round at the Australian Open this year in her first appearance at a major, then advanced Sunday at Roland Garros when her opponent, Camila Giorgi, stopped playing in the second set because of an injury.

Against Gauff, Trevisan kept yelling, “Yes!” and “Let’s go!” in Italian between points, then let out a high-pitched scream when the match ended.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women | TV Schedule

Earlier, Defending champion Rafael Nadal reached the third round by beating American player Mackenzie McDonald 6-1, 6-0, 6-3.

The No. 2-seeded Spaniard is looking to win his record-extending 13th French Open title and equal Roger Federer’s men’s record of 20 major titles overall.

Nadal improved his record at Roland Garros to 95-2 when he sealed victory on his first match point. He next faces 74th-ranked Stefano Travaglia of Italy.

Sebastian Korda has now beaten two tour veterans in his first French Open.

After eliminating Andreas Seppi in his opening main draw match, the 20-year-old American qualifier took out 21st-seeded John Isner in the second round with a 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 win.

A former junior world No. 1 and winner of the boys title at the 2018 Australian Open — and the son of 1992 French Open finalist Petr Korda — Korda broke Isner’s normally dominant serve five times.

The No. 213-ranked Korda will next face either Mikhail Kukushkin or qualifier Pedro Martinez on Friday.

Also, No. 27-seeded American Taylor Fritz reached the third round by serving 16 aces in a straight-set victory over Radu Albot.

MORE: Serena Williams ‘struggling to walk’

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Figure skating’s Grand Prix Final postponed

Grand Prix Final
Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Grand Prix Final, the second-biggest annual international figure skating competition, will not take place as scheduled in December in Beijing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The International Skating Union announced Wednesday that the Final was postponed.

There were “a number of logistical points raised by potentially participating teams that meant that hosting the competitions on the scheduled dates (close to the end of year holidays and national championships) would have impacted on the number of participants, given the potential need to quarantine on returning to their home country,” according to the ISU.

The ISU is “evaluating the continuation” of the upcoming season and possible rescheduling of the competition in China, which doubles as a 2022 Beijing Olympic test event.

The Grand Prix Final, held every December after the six-event Grand Prix Series, is the biggest indicator of Olympic and world championships medal prospects.

The Grand Prix Series is still scheduled to start with Skate America in Las Vegas from Oct. 23-25.

Fields have not been announced, but skaters are restricted to compete at the event in their home nation or in or near their training location.

The ISU also announced that the remaining World Cup short track speed skating stops in 2020 were postponed or canceled — Seoul and Beijing, both in December.

Previously, the first short track World Cups in November were canceled. All four of the long-track speed skating World Cups scheduled this fall were also canceled.

The next scheduled World Cup short- or long-track events are in February.

MORE: Alysa Liu grows on the ice and adds inches, too

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!