U.S. could sweep men’s 110-meter hurdles at World Championships

Aries Merritt
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History may be in order, specifically a one-two-three-four order, in the men’s 110-meter hurdles at the World Track and Field Championships on Monday.

The U.S. sent all four of its men into the semifinals (11:05 a.m., Universal Sports), and all four are expected to make the final (1:30 p.m.) as well. The last time the U.S. swept the medals in an event at the World Championships came in 2007, when Jeremy WarinerLaShawn Merritt and Angelo Taylor led the 400 meters.

Once before, the U.S. went one-two-three-four in an event, the 200 meters at the 2005 World Championships (Justin GatlinWallace SpearmonJohn CapelTyson Gay). Usually, nations are allowed a maximum of three entries per event, but in recent years defending world champions and Diamond League winners have received byes, adding to that maximum in some cases.

Americans qualified first (David Oliver), fourth (Aries Merritt), fifth (Jason Richardson) and eighth (Ryan Wilson) into the semifinals. The top three from the two semifinal heats and the next two fastest overall will make the final.

“If all the Americans run like they’re capable, we’ll have four Americans in the final,” Merritt said in a phone interview before the World Championships. “I don’t know if we’ll be able to pull off the sweep, but we can show we’re the most dominant hurdles country.”

Merritt is the most recognizable of the four U.S. hurdlers. He was one of the most impressive athletes in the sport last year, winning the Olympic title and then breaking the world record. He broke 13 seconds eight times in 2012, but he hasn’t done it once this year. Nobody has.

A hamstring injury has slowed Merritt this season. He finished third at nationals behind Wilson and Oliver in 13.23 seconds and improved on that in July (13.09, 13.14). He’s confident going into the biggest meet of the year.

“The only title I’m missing,” Merritt said. “If I can gain this title, my medal count would be complete. I’m really excited to have the opportunity to try for the trifecta (Olympic title, world record, world title).”

Richardson is the defending champion, though he crossed the finish line second in 2011. In that race, 2008 Olympic champion Dayron Robles finished first, but he was disqualified for hitting 2004 Olympic champion Liu Xiang with his arm following each of the last two hurdles. Liu lost momentum but still finished third.

When Robles was disqualified, Richardson moved up to gold and Liu to silver. Richardson was in third place coming off the final hurdle.

“It was almost like a Christmas miracle how I definitely thought I had gotten third in the race,” Richardson said. “Then it was turned into silver, then turned into gold. The 2011 hurdles race kind of shows you what’s amazing about athletics.”

Oliver, the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist, shockingly failed to make the Olympic team last year. He bounced back to post the fastest time in the world this year (13.03) and the top time in the first round Sunday (13.05).

Wilson, the oldest of the quartet at age 32, made his first world or Olympic team by winning the national title in June.

The U.S. chances of a sweep are boosted by the absences of Liu (injury), Robles (dispute with Cuba) and Orlando Ortega, the second fastest non-American this year who failed to advance into the semifinals.

The major threat to the Americans is Jamaican Hansle Parchment, who won Olympic bronze in London. But Parchment suffered an ankle injury in late June and competed Sunday for the first time since June 1. His qualifying time, 13.43, was 13th best and behind the U.S. foursome.

Medal Picks
Gold: Oliver
Silver: Merritt
Bronze: Wilson

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Paris 2024 Olympic marathon route unveiled

Paris 2024 Olympic Marathon
Paris 2024
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The 2024 Olympic marathon route will take runners from Paris to Versailles and back.

The route announcement was made on the 233rd anniversary of one of the early, significant events of the French Revolution: the Women’s March on Versailles — “to pay tribute to the thousands of women who started their march at city hall to Versailles to take up their grievances to the king and ask for bread,” Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet said.

Last December, organizers announced the marathons will start at Hôtel de Ville (city hall, opposite Notre-Dame off the Seine River) and end at Les Invalides, a complex of museums and monuments one mile southeast of the Eiffel Tower.

On Wednesday, the rest of the route was unveiled — traversing the banks of the Seine west to the Palace of Versailles and then back east, passing the Eiffel Tower before the finish.

The men’s and women’s marathons will be on the last two days of the Games at 8 a.m. local time (2 a.m. ET). It will be the first time that the women’s marathon is held on the last day of the Games after the men’s marathon traditionally occupied that slot.

A mass public marathon will also be held on the Olympic marathon route. The date has not been announced.

The full list of highlights among the marathon course:

• Hôtel de ville de Paris (start)
• Bourse de commerce
• Palais Brongniart
• Opéra Garnier
• Place Vendôme
• Jardin des Tuileries
• The Louvre
• Place de la Concorde
• The bridges of Paris
(Pont de l’Alma; Alexandre III;
Iéna; and more)
• Grand Palais
• Palais de Tokyo
• Jardins du Trocadéro
• Maison de la Radio
• Manufacture et Musées
nationaux de Sèvres
• Forêt domaniale
des Fausses-Reposes
• Monuments Pershing –
Lafayette
• Château de Versailles
• Forêt domaniale de Meudon
• Parc André Citroën
• Eiffel Tower
• Musée Rodin
• Esplanade des Invalides (finish)

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International Boxing Association lifts ban on Russia, Belarus

Boxing gloves
Getty
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The International Boxing Association (IBA) lifted its ban on amateur boxers from Russia and Belarus over the war in Ukraine that had been in place since early March.

“The IBA strongly believes that politics shouldn’t have any influence on sports,” the federation said in a press release. “Hence, all athletes should be given equal conditions.”

Most international sports federations banned athletes from Russia and Belarus indefinitely seven months ago, acting after an IOC recommendation. It is believed that the IBA is the first international federation in an Olympic sport to lift its ban.

The IOC has not officially changed its recommendation from last winter to exclude Russia and Belarus athletes “to protect the integrity of the events and the safety of the other participants.”

Last week, IOC President Thomas Bach said in an interview with an Italian newspaper that Russian athletes who do not endorse their country’s war in Ukraine could at some point be accepted back into international sports, competing under a neutral flag.

IBA, in lifting its ban, will also allow Russia and Belarus flags and national anthems.

“The time has now come to allow all the rest of the athletes of Russia and Belarus to participate in all the official competitions of their sports representing their countries,” IBA President Umar Kremlev, a Russian, said in a press release last week. “Both the IOC and the International Federations must protect all athletes, and there should be no discrimination based on nationality. It is the duty of all of us to keep sports and athletes away from politics.”

In 2019, the IOC stripped the IBA — then known as AIBA — of its Olympic recognition following an inquiry committee report into finance, governance, refereeing and judging. The IOC ran the Tokyo Olympic boxing competition.

The IBA will not run qualifying events for the 2024 Paris Games, but it does still hold world championships, the next being a men’s event in Uzbekistan next year.

Boxing, introduced on the Olympic program in 1904, was not included on the initial program for the 2028 Los Angeles Games but can still be added. The IBA must address concerns “around its governance, its financial transparency and sustainability and the integrity of its refereeing and judging processes,” Bach said last December.

On Sept. 23, the IBA suspended Ukraine’s boxing federation, citing “government interference.” Ukraine boxers are still allowed to compete with their flag and anthem.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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