Ukraine hangs on, wins women’s biathlon relay

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Ukraine’s quartet of Vita Semerenko, Juliya Dzhmya, Valj Semerenko and Olena Pidhrushna built up a big lead and held on as the biathlon women’s relay tightened up late to claim a gold medal – and perhaps provide a momentary lift for their troubled country.

Their countryman – former Olympic gold medalist pole vaulter Sergey Bubka – cheered the victory:

Valj Semerenko missed three shots on the Ukrainians’ third leg but was able to hold onto the lead before making way for Pidhrushna, the 2013 world sprint champion.

Pidhrushna went 9-for-10 in the shooting and went on to win by 26.4 seconds over Olga Vilukhina, who brought home the silver for Russia’s team (Yana Romanova, Olga Zaitseva, Ekaterina Shumilova).

It marks Ukraine’s second Sochi medal in biathlon after Vita Semerenko’s bronze in the sprint.

Tora Berger, unable to reel in Vilukhina on the final leg, finished third to give Norway the bronze.

As for the U.S., it achieved its best-ever finish in this event with a seventh-place result. Competing for the U.S. tonight were Susan Dunklee, Hannah Dreissigacker, Sara Studebaker, and Annalies Cook.

Tonight’s race also marked the first ever non-podium finish for the Germans in this event, which went onto the Olympic program in the 1992 Albertville Games. Their team finished 11th.

MORE: U.S. speedskaters finish Sochi with no medals

1. Ukraine, 1:10:02.5
2. Russia, +26.4 seconds
3. Norway, +37.6 seconds

7. United States, 2:11.7

Bobby Joe Morrow, triple Olympic sprint champion, dies at 84

Bobby Joe Morrow
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Bobby Joe Morrow, one of four men to win the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at one Olympics, died at age 84 on Saturday.

Morrow’s family said he died of natural causes.

Morrow swept the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, joining Jesse Owens as the only men to accomplish the feat. Later, Carl Lewis and Usain Bolt did the same.

Morrow, raised on a farm in San Benito, Texas, set 11 world records in a short career, according to World Athletics.

He competed in one Olympics, and that year was named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year while a student at Abilene Christian. He beat out Mickey Mantle and Floyd Patterson.

“Bobby had a fluidity of motion like nothing I’d ever seen,” Oliver Jackson, the Abilene Christian coach, said, according to Sports Illustrated in 2000. “He could run a 220 with a root beer float on his head and never spill a drop. I made an adjustment to his start when Bobby was a freshman. After that, my only advice to him was to change his major from sciences to speech, because he’d be destined to make a bunch of them.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Johnny Gregorek runs fastest blue jeans mile in history

Johnny Gregorek
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Johnny Gregorek, a U.S. Olympic hopeful runner, clocked what is believed to be the fastest mile in history for somebody wearing jeans.

Gregorek recorded a reported 4 minutes, 6.25 seconds, on Saturday to break the record by more than five seconds (with a pacer for the first two-plus laps). Gregorek, after the record run streamed live on his Instagram, said he wore a pair of 100 percent cotton Levi’s.

Gregorek, the 28-year-old son of a 1980 and 1984 U.S. Olympic steeplechaser, finished 10th in the 2017 World Championships 1500m. He was sixth at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.

He ranked No. 1 in the country for the indoor mile in 2019, clocking 3:49.98. His outdoor mile personal best is 3:52.94, ranking him 30th in American history.

Before the attempt, a fundraiser was started for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, garnering more than $29,000. Gregorek ran in memory of younger brother Patrick, who died suddenly in March 2019.

“Paddy was a fan of anything silly,” Gregorek posted. “I think an all out mile in jeans would tickle him sufficiently!”

MORE: Seb Coe: Track and field needs more U.S. meets

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