Ashton Eaton

Ashton Eaton makes history at Oslo Diamond League

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source: Getty ImagesAshton Eaton became the first decathlete to win a Diamond League event ever, while Allyson Felix notched her first race victory of the Diamond League season in Oslo on Wednesday.

Eaton, the Olympic and World decathlon champion, captured the non-decathlon event of 400m hurdles in 49.16 seconds.

It was .09 of a second slower than his personal best from Sunday, but Eaton beat an Oslo field that included 2011 World bronze medalist LJ Van Zyl.

Eaton is focusing on the 400m hurdles this season since there are no Olympics or World Championships to defend his decathlon titles.

He is the 10th fastest 400m hurdles man this year and said he would like to break 49 seconds in his next meet, Tuesday in the Czech Republic.

Felix took the 200m in 22.73, continuing her comeback from a torn hamstring at the 2013 World Championships.

The six-time Olympic medalist actually ran .29 faster in Eugene, Ore., two weeks ago, when she finished third against a stronger field.

The Diamond League moves to New York for the Adidas Grand Prix on Saturday.

In other Oslo events, Galen Rupp followed up his 10,000m American record from Eugene with a third-place finish in the 5000m. Rupp clocked 13:03.35, 10 seconds slower than Bernard Lagat‘s American record. Ethiopian Yenew Alamirew won in 13:01.57.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Richard Thompson won the 100m in 10.02, .02 faster than France’s Jimmy Vicaut. The event was missing stars Usain BoltYohan BlakeJustin Gatlin and Tyson Gay.

Djibouti’s Ayanleh Souleiman edged New Zealand’s Nick Willis in the Dream Mile, 3:49.49 to 3:49.83. American Matthew Centrowitz was eighth in 3:52.23.

Olympic champion and world record holder Renaud Lavillenie stayed perfect on the Diamond League season with a 5.77m pole-vault clearance.

Olympic silver medalist Will Claye won his third straight triple jump competition (17.41m), topping Olympic champion Christian Taylor (17.15m). Brit Phillips Idowu, on the comeback trail after winning medals at every global championship from 2008 through 2011, was eighth and last at 16.30m.

American Joe Kovacs upset Olympic and World shot put medalists David StorlReese HoffaTomasz Majewski and Christian Cantwell with a 21.14m throw.

Olympic and World high jump champions Anna Chicherova and Blanka Vlasic were beaten by Russian World Indoor champion Mariya Kuchina, who leaped 1.98m.

Jamaican Novlene Williams-Mills, a breast cancer survivor, won the women’s 400m in 50.06, ahead of American Natasha Hastings (50.6) and 2011 World champion Amantle Montsho of Botswana (51.05).

Kenyan Eunice Sum took the 800m in 1:59.02, ahead of American World bronze medalist Brenda Martinez (1:59.68). South African Caster Semenya was 12th out of 12 finishers in 2:03.68.

France’s Pascal Martinot-Lagarde took the 110m hurdles in 13.12, the fastest time in the world this year. He smashed a field that included the four reigning Olympic and World silver and bronze medalists by .24.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce out of Adidas Grand Prix

Shelby Houlihan shatters American 5000m record

Shelby Houlihan
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Shelby Houlihan chopped 10.52 seconds off her own American 5000m record, clocking 14:23.92 at a Bowerman Track Club intrasquad meet in Portland, Ore., on Friday night.

Houlihan, who was 11th in the Rio Olympic 5000m, has in this Olympic cycle improved to become one of the greatest female distance runners in U.S. history.

She first broke Shannon Rowbury‘s American record in the 5000m by 4.47 seconds in 2018. In 2019, she broke Rowbury’s American record in the 1500m by 1.3 seconds in finishing fourth at the world championships in 3:54.99.

On Friday, Houlihan and second-place Karissa Schweizer both went under the American record. Schweizer, 24 and three years younger than Houlihan, clocked 14:26.34, staying with Houlihan until the winner’s 61-second final lap.

“I knew Karissa was going to try to come up on me and take the lead. She does that every time,” Houlihan told USATF.tv. “I had decided I was not going to let that happen.”

Houlihan improved from 41st to 12th on the world’s all-time 5000m list, 12.77 seconds behind Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba‘s world record.

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Can T.J. Oshie, other established Olympic hockey stars hold on for 2022?

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T.J. Oshie will be 35 years old during the next Winter Olympics. Jonathan Quick will be 36. Now that the NHL is one key step closer to returning to the Winter Games, the question surfaces: which 2014 Olympians will have a difficult time returning to rosters in 2022?

Oshie was the last of the 14 forwards chosen for the U.S. Olympic team for Sochi, beating out Bobby Ryan and Brandon Saad, in part for his shootout prowess.

In group play against Russia, Oshie was memorably tapped by U.S. head coach Dan Bylsma six times in a shootout, including all five in the sudden-death rounds. Oshie beat Sergei Bobrovsky four times, including the game winner.

“After I went out for my third attempt, I figured I was going to keep going,” Oshie said, according to USA Hockey. “Each time I would look up to see what [Bylsma] had to say, and he would just give me a nod every time. I kind of started laughing toward shot five and six because it was getting kind of ridiculous.”

Oshie became known as “T.J. Sochi” on social media. President Barack Obama congratulated him on Twitter. The U.S. eventually lost to Canada in the semifinals and Finland in the bronze-medal game.

When the NHL chose not to send its players to the PyeongChang Winter Games, it may have spelled the end of Oshie’s Olympic career.

Consider that the oldest forward on the 2014 U.S. Olympic team was 29, six years younger than Oshie will be come 2022. A recent Olympic roster prediction from The Hockey Writers put Oshie in the “Just Missed Out” list.

NBC Sports NHL analyst Pierre McGuire has Oshie among the finalists for the last forward spots in his early U.S. roster prediction.

“I wouldn’t discount T.J. Oshie because shootout is still part of it,” McGuire said. “He still has his shootout moves, even though he’s not getting any younger.”

Quick, the unused third goalie in 2010, played 305 out of 365 minutes in net for the U.S. in Sochi. He was coming off a Stanley Cup in 2012 and en route to another one in 2014.

Since, he was sidelined by a knee injury that required surgery. He remains the Los Angeles Kings’ No. 1 goalie, which almost automatically puts an American in the Olympic roster discussion these days.

“Somebody like Jonathan definitely merits consideration just because of his achievement level over time, but I think he’d be the first person to tell you injuries have definitely affected him,” McGuire said of Quick, looking to become the second-oldest U.S. goalie to play in the Olympics after Tom Barrasso in 2002. “It’s not going to be easy for him.”

The U.S. could bypass Quick for three Olympic rookies in 2022. Connor Hellebuyck, John Gibson and Ben Bishop have superior save percentages and goals-against averages and more games played than Quick since the start of the 2018-19 season.

A wild card is Spencer Knight, the 19-year-old No. 1 from the world junior championships who last year became the highest-drafted goalie since 2010 (No. 13 to the Florida Panthers). Knight would break defenseman Bryan Berard‘s record as the youngest U.S. Olympic hockey player in the NHL era.

The Canadian roster has traditionally been deeper than the U.S. The talent is overwhelming at center, led by Sidney CrosbyConnor McDavidPatrice Bergeron and Nathan MacKinnon. The Canadians must get creative if the likes of veterans Jonathan Toews and John Tavares will join them in Beijing.

Toews, then 21, was the best forward at the 2010 Vancouver Games and Canada’s only one on the all-tournament team. While Toews’ last NHL All-Star selection was in 2017, his last two seasons have been his best in terms of points per game since 2011.

“The one thing that Canada is very good at, they do it extremely well, they select players that fit roles,” McGuire said, noting Mike Richards shifting to the wing during the 2010 Olympics. “When you look at the overwhelming depth that Canada has, that’s going to be the thing that’s going that’s going to be very interesting to watch to see how it plays out at center.”

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