Shani Davis asked if he might race team pursuit at Sochi Olympics

Shani Davis
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Shani Davis‘ relationship with the Olympic team pursuit has been a touchy topic since the 2006 Olympics, which is why it was surprising to find the two-time Olympic champion address it in a question-and-answer posted on his website.

Davis, 31, did not compete in the team pursuit at either the 2006 or 2010 Olympics. In 2006, U.S. teammate Chad Hedrick criticized Davis for not entering the U.S. pool for the event in a complicated controversy that also left US Speedskating with some explaining to do. The U.S. was eliminated in the quarterfinals.

In 2010, Davis did not compete in the team pursuit after he didn’t submit his name for the candidate pool by a Dec. 24, 2009 deadline. The team, led by Hedrick, won surprise silver without him, beating the favored Netherlands.

Of 2014, here’s what Davis said in the q and a published Tuesday:

Q: Is racing Team Pursuit in the Olympics a possibility?
SD: Yes, of course. Hopefully I can do what’s best for the team. If they need me, I will be ready. As in Vancouver, my primary focus remains on skating to the best possible results in the individual distances, but as long as i don’t have to compromise my preparation or performance at 1000 and 1500, I would love the opportunity to once again help the U.S. team do what we did in 2011, which was win the World Championships. We’ll see.

Davis would likely not have to compromise his preparation for the 1,000 or the 1,500 in Sochi. The team pursuit is the final event of the speedskating program, as it was in Vancouver, one week after Davis’ last individual race.

The U.S. entered the team pursuit at two World Cup stops last season. Davis was not a part of the team either time, though he didn’t race any individual events at one of the two World Cup stops, being injured at the start of the season.

Davis did, however, compete in all four World Cup team pursuits in 2011-12, when the U.S. made the podium twice, and the 2012 World Championships, where the U.S. won silver.

Colorful German Olympic uniforms cause stir

Diana Taurasi returns to U.S. national basketball team

Diana Taurasi
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Diana Taurasi’s USA Basketball career isn’t done just yet.

The five-time Olympic gold medalist will take part in a national team training camp in Minnesota next month. Taurasi told The Associated Press last summer that she would consider playing with USA Basketball if she was healthy enough. She injured her quad shortly after and didn’t participate in the FIBA World Cup that the Americans won in Australia.

While Taurasi will be at the camp, Brittney Griner won’t. She is still part of the pool that the 2024 Olympic team will be chosen from, but Griner hasn’t been out in public much since a prisoner swap in December brought her home from Russia after a 10-month ordeal that captivated world attention. Griner said she plans on playing in the WNBA this year.

Taurasi is a free agent right now, but is expected to return to the Phoenix Mercury — the only team she’s played for in her WNBA career. She turns 41 in June and would be 42 at the time of the Paris Olympics in 2024. The WNBA’s all-time leading scorer and her good friend Sue Bird hold the record with five Olympic gold medals. The pair helped the U.S. win a seventh consecutive gold at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. Bird retired from playing at the end of last season.

Other players expected at the training camp that will run from Feb. 7-9 include former Olympic or World Cup gold medalists: Ariel Atkins and Elena Delle Donne of Washington; Napheesa Collier of Minnesota; Allisha Gray of Dallas; Sabrina Ionescu and Betnijah Laney of New York; Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young of Las Vegas; Kahleah Copper of Chicago and free agent Angel McCoughtry.

Natasha Howard, Marina Mabrey and Arike Ogunbowale of Dallas will also be at the camp as well as Phoenix’s Brianna Turner.

National team head coach Cheryl Reeve will run the three-day camp with Curt Miller of Los Angeles, Mike Thibault of Washington and James Wade of Chicago helping out.

Mo Farah likely to retire this year

Mo Farah
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British track legend Mo Farah will likely retire by the end of this year.

“I’m not going to go to the Olympics, and I think 2023 will probably be my last year,” the 39-year-old Farah said, according to multiple British media reports.

Farah, who swept the 5000m and 10,000m golds at the Olympics in 2012 and 2016, was announced Tuesday as part of the field for the London Marathon on April 23.

Last May, Farah reportedly said he believed his career on the track was over, but not the roads.

London might not be his last marathon. Farah also said that if, toward the end of this year, he was capable of being picked to run for Britain again, he would “never turn that down,” according to Tuesday’s reports.

It’s not clear if Farah was referencing the world track and field championships, which include a marathon and are in Budapest in August. Or selection for the 2024 British Olympic marathon team.

The fastest British male marathoner last year ran 2:10:46, ranking outside the top 300 in the world. Farah broke 2:10 in all five marathons that he’s finished, but he hasn’t run one since October 2019 (aside from pacing the 2020 London Marathon).

Farah withdrew four days before the last London Marathon on Oct. 2, citing a right hip injury.

Farah switched from the track to the marathon after the 2017 World Championships and won the 2018 Chicago Marathon in a then-European record time of 2:05:11. Belgium’s Bashir Abdi now holds the record at 2:03:36.

Farah’s best London Marathon finish in four starts was third place in 2018.

Farah returned to the track in a failed bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, then shifted back to the roads.

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