Usain Bolt, Mike Rodgers

Usain Bolt shakes off Mike Rodgers’ comments about 4×100-meter relay


The U.S.-Jamaica sprint rivalry was one-sided at the World Championships, but that didn’t stop American Mike Rodgers from talking a big game after the 4×100-meter relay Sunday. Nor did it keep Usain Bolt from responding.

Bolt anchored Jamaica to gold in the final event of worlds, beating Justin Gatlin on the last leg despite beginning that final 100 slightly behind Gatlin. The U.S.’ final baton exchange from Rakieem Salaam to Gatlin was not nearly as clean as Jamaica’s final pass to Bolt though.

Jamaica won in 37.36 seconds, three tenths of a second ahead of the U.S.

“I think we would have won, they know it, I think we gave away a gold medal today,” Rodgers said, according to the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).

Bolt did not agree.

“They couldn’t have said that, they couldn’t have said that,” he repeated four times while shaking his head, according to the CMC. “They were like two meters in front of me. I have been in worst positions running from my blocks and won. I wasn’t worried any at all about USA beating us, because I was confident in my team and I know if my guys didn’t bring it to me leading, it would be close.”

Earlier at worlds, Rodgers made news by turning his head to look at Bolt near the finish of their 100-meter semifinal. Bolt, 6-foot-5, won the final. Rodgers, 5-foot-9, was sixth.

Bolt added that Gatlin, the silver medalist to Bolt in the 100, would have probably needed to be at least 10 meters ahead for the U.S. to beat Jamaica.

Judge for yourself below:

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Dan Hicks, Rowdy Gaines call backyard pool swim race

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Dan Hicks and Rowdy Gaines covered swimming together at the last six Olympics, including every one of Michael Phelps‘ finals, but they’ve never called a “race” quite like this.

“We heard you were looking for something to commentate during the down time….might this short short short course 100 IM help?” tweeted Cathleen Pruden, posting a video of younger sister Mary Pruden, a sophomore swimmer at Columbia University, taking individual medley strokes in what appeared to be an inflatable backyard pool.

“Hang on,” Gaines replied. “This race of the century deserves the right call. @DanHicksNBC and I are working some magic!”

Later, Hicks posted a revised video dubbed with commentary from he and Gaines.

They became the latest commentators to go beyond the booth to post calls on social media while sports are halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

NBC Sports hockey voice Doc Emrick (who has also called Olympic hockey and water polo) did play-by-play of a windshield wiper installation.

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Which athletes are qualified for the U.S. Olympic team?

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Soon after Tokyo Olympic qualifying events began getting postponed, the International Olympic Committee announced that all quota places already allocated to National Olympic Committees and athletes will remain with those NOCs and athletes.

The IOC repeated that position over the last week, after the Tokyo Games were postponed (now to open July 23, 2021). What does that mean for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee?

Well, 76 athletes qualified for the U.S. Olympic team before the Olympic postponement was announced. That full list is here.

Those 76 athletes can be separated into two categories.

  • Athletes who earned Olympic spots BY NAME via International Federation (i.e. International Surfing Association or International Aquatics Federation) selection procedures.
  • Athletes named to the U.S. Olympic team by their national governing body (i.e. USA Swimming or USA Track and Field) and confirmed by the USOPC using NGB selection procedures after the NGB earned a quota spot.

When the IOC says “all quota places already allocated to National Olympic Committees and athletes will remain with those NOCs and athletes,” it means just that. USA Softball still has 15 athlete quota spots from qualifying a full team via international results. Surfer Kolohe Andino still has his Olympic spot from qualifying BY NAME via the International Surfing Association selection procedures route.

USA Softball named its 15-player Olympic roster last fall. Those 15 athletes did not earn Olympic quota spots for themselves. Unlike Andino (and 13 other American qualifiers across all sports), the 15 softball players had to be nominated by USA Softball and confirmed by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

Unless and until the USOPC confirms that any of those other 62 athletes remain qualified, for now the list of U.S. Olympic qualifiers is these 14 who qualified BY NAME:

Karate (1)
Sakura Kokumai

Modern Pentathlon (2)
Samantha Achterberg
Amro Elgeziry

Swimming (3)
Haley Anderson
Ashley Twichell
Jordan Wilimovsky

Sport Climbing (4)
Kyra Condie
Brooke Raboutou
Nathaniel Coleman
Colin Duffy

Surfing (4)
Caroline Marks
Carissa Moore
Kolohe Andino
John John Florence

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MORE: Qualified athletes go into limbo with Tokyo postponement