David Oliver

David Oliver rolls to 110-meter hurdles World Championship

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The U.S. went one-two in the 110-meter hurdles final at the World Championships, but the world record holder and the defending world champion did not medal.

David Oliver bounced back from missing the 2012 Olympic team, coming out strong, clearly leading most of the way and winning in 13.00 seconds, his first world title. Ryan Wilson, 32, in his first world or Olympic final, took silver in 13.13.

Oliver, beset by a pelvis injury in 2011 and calf problems in 2012, let out a scream after crossing the finish line.

“It’s about time,” Oliver told Universal Sports. “So many sacrifices. … I’ve been injured for so long, dealing with that, still running. Never giving up, believing in myself.”

Russian Sergey Shubenkov kept the U.S. from sweeping the podium. Shubenkov clocked 13.24 for bronze.

The defending world champion, Jason Richardson, and the reigning Olympic champion and world record holder, Aries Merritt, finished fourth (13.27) and sixth (13.31), respectively.

Merritt was a revelation in track and field last year, running sub-13 eight times, including the 12.80 world record after the Olympics. A hamstring injury affected his early season, and he never challenged Oliver on Monday.

Oliver’s time marked the fastest in the world this year. The last time a year went by without anybody running sub-13 was 2009.

He added the world gold to his Olympic bronze in 2008. Oliver, who also played football at Howard University and still has that physique, ran the world’s five fastest times in 2010. But he missed the 2009 World Championships with an injury and placed fourth at the 2011 World Championships.

He finished fifth at the 2012 Olympic trials, where only the top three earned trips to London.

“Not the way I wanted it to end, made a whole lot of changes,” Oliver said of last year. “After having the amazing 2010, ’11 started with the injuries. … Not being able to perform at your best, running like a donkey, it sucks.”

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Asbel Kiprop, Olympic 1500m champ, banned 4 years

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Kenyan Asbel Kiprop, the 2008 Olympic 1500m champion and a three-time world champ, was banned four years after testing positive for EPO in November 2017, according to track and field’s doping watchdog organization.

The ban is backdated to Feb. 3, 2018, when the 29-year-old was provisionally suspended after the failed test.

Kiprop repeatedly denied doping since last May, when he first acknowledged the positive test. Most recently, a 3,000-word defense from his lawyer was posted on Kiprop’s Facebook page.

Kiprop’s defenses included saying he was a victim of extortion and that he was offered “a reward” of becoming an anti-doping ambassador if he admitted guilt. The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), the IAAF’s independent organization to monitor doping and corruption, denied the latter last May.

A disciplinary panel dismissed six defenses from exonerating him, including the possibility his sample was spiked, in handing out the four-year ban.

Kiprop, the pre-eminent 1500m runner of the last decade, can appeal the ban.

At 19, he finished second in the Beijing Olympic 1500m but was upgraded to gold a year later after Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi failed a drug test. He is the youngest Olympic 1500m medalist of all time, according to the OlyMADMen.

Kiprop went on to earn three straight world titles in the 1500m in 2011, 2013 and 2015, matching the feats of retired legends Noureddine Morceli and Hicham El Guerrouj.

He struggled in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, finishing last in the London final with a hamstring injury and sixth in the Rio final won by American rival Matthew Centrowitz.

Kiprop has targeted El Guerrouj’s world record of 3:26:00, missing the mark by .69 of a second in 2015.

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Maggie Nichols is second woman in 20 years to repeat as NCAA all-around champ

Maggie Nichols
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Oklahoma junior and world champion gymnast Maggie Nichols became the first woman to repeat as NCAA all-around champion in 12 years, returning from a heel injury to compete on all four events for the first time since January on Friday.

Nichols, a Rio Olympic hopeful before being beset by a torn meniscus in 2016, joined 2004 Olympic silver medalist Courtney Kupets as the only women to win back-to-back NCAA all-arounds in the 2000s.

A junior, Nichols can next year join Jenny Hansen as the only women to three-peat in NCAA history.

Oklahoma goes for a third team title in four years on Saturday night against UCLA (featuring Olympic champions Madison Kocian and Kyla Ross), LSU and Denver.

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NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships Individual Results
All-Around
1. Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma) — 39.7125
2. Lexy Ramler (Minnesota) — 39.6625
2. Kyla Ross (UCLA) — 39.6625
4. Sarah Finnegan (LSU) — 39.65
5. Kennedi Edney (LSU) — 39.6

Vault
1. Kennedi Edney (LSU) — 9.95
1. Derrian Gobourne (Auburn)
1. Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma)
1. Kyla Ross (UCLA)

Uneven Bars
1. Sarah Finnegan (LSU) — 9.95

Balance Beam
1. Natalie Wojcik (Michigan) — 9.95

Floor Exercise
1. Alicia Boren (Florida) — 9.95
1. Lynnzee Brown (Denver)
1. Brenna Dowell (Oklahoma)
1. Kyla Ross (UCLA)