Winston Watts

Jamaica Olympic Association says bobsled team qualifies for Olympics

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Jamaica’s Olympic Association said it has qualified a two-man bobsled for Sochi, which would mark the island nation’s first Winter Olympics bobsled berth since the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.

The International Bobsled Federation (FIBT) said it emailed National Olympic Committees that earned Olympic berths on Monday. The Jamaica Olympic Association said it received an email from FIBT saying that it had earned an Olympic two-man bobsled berth.

The sled is set to be driven by Winston Watts, 47, who competed in bobsled under the name Winston Watt at the 1994, 1998 and 2002 Olympics.

Watts came out of retirement in 2010 for one more shot at the Olympics.

“I’m very excited,” Watts said in a phone interview last week. “I knew if I got back in the sport, get a good brakeman and have the funding, we can still create history. That’s one of the things why I decided to come back.”

He attributed the name change to a previous passport mishap. Watts said last week his push athlete will be either Marvin Dixon or Wayne Blackwood, who would be first-time Olympians.

OlympicTalk profiled Watts’ unlikely path back to the Winter Olympics in August.

How did Watts qualify for Sochi? By competing exclusively in the lower-level North American Cup across three tracks this season — Calgary, Alberta; Park City, Utah; and Lake Placid, N.Y., and achieving his two best results in his final events two weeks ago (fifth and seventh).

A complicated ranking system sorted out after results in a World Cup race in Igls, Austria, on Saturday. Watts would have been one of the final sleds to get into the Olympics, and it was unclear whether he had qualified based on FIBT criteria.

Later Saturday, the Sochi 2014 Twitter account tweeted that Jamaica had qualified an Olympic two-man bobsled. The news spread, and then the tweet was deleted. Sochi organizers do not determine which bobsleds make up the Olympic field. FIBT does, and the organization said Friday it would not announce the Olympic field until Monday.

Watts said Saturday he’s trying to raise as much as $80,000 to get to Sochi, according to The Associated Press. Watts said earlier last week that regardless of finances, he expects to be able to make it to Sochi.

Jamaica bobsled gained widespread American fame with the 1993 Disney film “Cool Runnings,” which depicted the first Jamaican Olympic Bobsled Team from the 1988 Calgary Olympics.

In 1994, Watts and the four-man bobsled team beat both U.S. sleds and finished 14th in Lillehammer, Norway.

Watts now resides in Utah, though he spent the better part of last week staying at a friend’s house near John F. Kennedy Airport in New York because he said he could not afford an airplane ticket to Salt Lake City.

U.S. bobsledder competed for Liberia at 2000 Summer Olympics

Chloe Dygert crashes over guard rail at world championships, has surgery

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American Chloé Dygert crashed over a guard rail at the world road cycling championships time trial, where she appeared en route to a repeat title, and underwent leg surgery as a result.

Dygert, who last year won by the largest margin in history as the youngest-ever champion, lost control of her bike while approaching a curve to the right. Her front wheel bobbled, and she collided with the barricade, flipping over into an area with grass.

Dygert, who had a left leg laceration, was tended to by several people, put on a stretcher and taken to a hospital in Bologna, Italy, about 25 miles from the worlds host of Imola.

“We are relieved that this crash was not worse than what it could have been,” USA Cycling chief of sport performance Jim Miller said in a press release. “While this crash is distressing, Chloe is young and a fighter. With Chloe’s determination, we know she will be back riding before we know it. For now, we want her to focus on healing.”

About 10 minutes after the crash, Dutchwoman Anna van der Breggen won her first time trial title.

Van der Breggen took silver the last three years behind Dygert and countrywoman Annemiek van Vleuten, who missed this year’s race after breaking her wrist last week in the Giro Rosa.

Dygert, 23, had a 26-second lead at the 14-kilometer time check of the 31-kilometer race. Full results are here.

Dygert qualified for the Tokyo Olympics when she won last year’s world time trial title. She has been bidding to make the Olympics on the road and the track.

Worlds continue Friday with the men’s time trial airing on Olympic Channel and NBC Sports Gold for Cycling Pass subscribers at 8:15 a.m. ET. A full TV schedule is here.

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MORE: USA Cycling names Olympic team finalists

2020 French Open men’s singles draw, bracket

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Rafael Nadal was put into the same half of the French Open draw as fellow 2018 and 2019 finalist Dominic Thiem of Austria, with top-ranked Novak Djokovic catching a break.

Nadal, trying to tie Roger Federer‘s male record 20 Grand Slam singles titles, could play sixth-seeded German Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals before a potential clash with Thiem, who just won the U.S. Open.

Djokovic, who is undefeated in 2020 save being defaulted out of the U.S. Open, could play No. 7 seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy in the quarterfinals before a possible semifinal with Russian Daniil Medvedev.

Medvedev is the fourth seed but is 0-3 at the French Open. Another possible Djokovic semifinal opponent is fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, who reached the fourth round last year.

The most anticipated first-round matchup is between three-time major champion Andy Murray and 2015 French Open champion Stan Wawrinka. In Murray’s most recent French Open match, he lost in five sets to Wawrinka in the 2017 semifinals.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women | TV Schedule

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