Mike Rodgers

Rodgers, Bartoletta take 100m titles at U.S. Championships

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World and Olympic relay medalists Mike Rodgers and Tianna Bartoletta captured individual 100m titles at the U.S. Championships in Sacramento, Calif., on Friday night.

Rodgers, part of the silver medal 4x100m relay team at the 2013 World Championships, clocked 10.09 seconds into a 1.7 m/s headwind. Ryan Bailey, who was fifth at the London Olympics, took second in 10.23.

Rodgers now looks forward to facing top U.S. sprinters Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay at the next Diamond League meet in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Thursday. Gatlin has run 9.86 this year. The American record holder Gay’s presence in Lausanne will be his return race from a yearlong doping suspension.

Bartoletta, fourth in the 2012 Olympic 100m running as Tianna Madison, prevailed in 11.15 seconds into a 2.1 m/s headwind in Friday’s final. Defending U.S. champion English Gardner stumbled out of the blocks and finished fourth.

“I really believe that track and field is a metaphor for life, and last year I got hurt,” Bartoletta, who dabbled in bobsledding after the London Olympics but didn’t make it to Sochi, told Lewis Johnson on NBCSN. “Just like a lot of people, there are setbacks, but you find out what you’re made of and what the people around you are made of, and you just keep pushing. I feel like that’s what made me a success so far this year and throughout the whole trajectory of my career.”

The fastest woman Friday withdrew from the final. Tori Bowie ran a personal best 10.91 in the semifinals (with a 2.0 m/s tailwind) and appeared to suffer a left leg injury.

The U.S. Championships continue Saturday with finals including the men’s and women’s 400m and women’s 100m hurdles.

[WATCH LIVEU.S. Championships, Saturday at 4 p.m. ET]

In other Friday events, Olympic silver medalist Trey Hardee won the decathlon with 8,599 points, the highest total in the world this year.

Hardee, set back by injuries last year, had not completed a decathlon since the London Games until posting 8,518 points in Gotzis, Austria, four weeks ago.

He won the 2009 and 2011 World Championships before Ashton Eaton took over as the world’s greatest athlete. Eaton is focusing on the 400m hurdles this year and expected to return to decathlons in 2015.

“I haven’t lost a step, I’m still in it,” said Hardee, 30. “I’m going to love it [the decathlon] ’til I die.”

Olympic champion Jenn Suhr won the U.S. pole vault title for the eighth time, matching 2000 Olympic champion Stacy Dragila‘s record number of titles in the event.

Will Claye beat Christian Taylor in the triple jump, reversing their one-two finish from the London Olympics. Claye leaped a personal best 17.75m on his final jump, having already topped Taylor’s 17.37m. Claye, in a backwards hat, climbed into the stands immediately after his final jump and began hugging and kissing spectators.

Bernard Lagat recorded his seventh U.S. 5000m title, passing Andrew Bumbalough with 100m to go and crossing in 13:31.41. Molly Huddle captured her second 5000m title in 15:01.56.

Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross matched the fastest 400m time in the world this year, 50.03, to reach Saturday’s final. Richards-Ross, plagued by toe problems last year, chopped 1.16 seconds off her previous best time of 2014.

“To be back, close to my old self, I feel so blessed,” said Richards-Ross, who won the Olympic title in 49.55.

World champion LaShawn Merritt scratched out of the 400m semifinals, leaving Gil Roberts as the fastest qualifier for Saturday’s final.

World champion Brianna Rollins, 2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper-Nelson and three-time Olympian Lolo Jones were among 16 qualifiers into the 100m hurdles semifinals Saturday.

The 2011 World champion Jenny Simpson and 2013 Worlds finalist Mary Cain, 18, advanced to Sunday’s 1500m final.

Olympic and World silver medalist Michael Tinsley shockingly failed to advance out of the first round of the 400m hurdles.

USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships broadcast schedule

Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir retire from ice dance competition

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Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, the most decorated Olympic figure skaters in history, announced their retirement late Tuesday. They’re done competing in ice dance, and their upcoming Canadian tour will be their last together.

“After 22 years, it feels like the right time to step away from the sport,” Virtue said in a video. “This is so personal and emotional for both of us.”

“It just feels for us like it’s the right time to say goodbye while we’re still loving and enjoying the sport as much as we always have been,” Moir said. “This is my first selfie video, and I’m not going to cry. What a beautiful ride it’s been.”

The news was expected.

Virtue and Moir last competed in PyeongChang, earning golds in ice dance and the team event to bring their total to five medals (three golds) and break the record for most Olympic medals in the sport (buoyed by the addition of the team event in 2014).

“It definitely feels like [this is our last Olympics],” Moir said on TODAY in PyeongChang, hours after their ice dance gold. “If it is, this is a great way for us to go out. … It feels right. It feels like a good end.”

Virtue, 30, and Moir 32, teamed in elementary school. Moir, a hockey player, followed brother Danny into dance, pairing with his first partner at 8 and then with Virtue and 9.

Virtue hit the ice at age 6 because she didn’t want to be the only one in her class who couldn’t skate during a field trip. When she was 7, she was paired with Moir through Moir’s aunt Carol, who coached both as singles skaters. Two years in, Virtue attended Canada’s National Ballet School for a summer before choosing to stick with skating.

That decision ultimately led to one of the greatest careers in Canadian sports history.

They earned a junior world title in 2006, the first of eight Canadian titles in 2008 and, in 2010, the biggest of all — home gold at the Vancouver Winter Games despite Moir messing up the steps at the end of their free dance. They faced the wrong way in their final pose.

“Scott just said thank you to me and just said look around us, take this in,” Virtue said on NBC as the final couples skated.

“I had to be positive because I messed up,” Moir later joked.

Virtue and Moir developed a rivalry with American training partners Meryl Davis and Charlie White, with whom they traded world titles in the Sochi Olympic cycle. In Russia, the Americans edged the Canadians for the title by 4.53 points.

Moir waited until the arena emptied, returned to the rink and kissed the ice. Many thought it was a goodbye to the Olympics.

Two years later, they announced a comeback, saying they still had the fire and wanted to take advantage of one more chance to go to the Games. They won all but one of their competitions in those last two seasons, including the Olympics by a slim .79 of a point over French Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron.

Now they join the other Canadian champions of their generation — Patrick ChanKaetlyn Osmond and Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford — in leaving the competitive arena for good.

“We spent 22 years coasting around the outside of the rink, hanging out together, making programs, trying to just soak up our sporting experiences,” Virtue said. “We still can’t believe people care.”

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MORE: Keegan Messing explains decision to hold up Japanese flag

Keegan Messing ‘glad’ to have held Japanese flag for Yuzuru Hanyu

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Yuzuru Hanyu heard Japan’s national anthem at the medal ceremony for his season-debut event on Saturday. But didn’t see a flag.

That’s when the bronze medalist, Keegan Messing of Canada, “took initiative” and unfurled the Japanese flag so Hanyu could honor it at the Autumn Classic in Ontario.

While there were plenty of fans of the Japanese skater in the crowd holding their own flags, none were hoisted above the ice like in some competitions.

Messing took it upon himself to hold up the Japanese flag that was hanging from a flagpole behind the medal podium.

Messing explained his decision following the interaction:

That was just actually instinct, honestly. When they said that we’re gonna play the anthem for the winner, I looked out and I realized there was no flag ready. A couple of the spectators had a flag but so I decided to hold up a flag because if I were in that place, I would’ve liked to have a flag presented at that time. That’s why I did it. I felt like that’s what I would’ve wanted so I went ahead and took initiative and I did it. I’m very happy I did. It felt good to do. I’m glad.

Hanyu is next expected to compete on the Grand Prix circuit, again in Canada in October and at NHK Trophy in Japan in November.

Messing’s assignments are Skate America in October and Cup of China in November.

The next time Hanyu’s and Messing’s paths could cross is at December’s Grand Prix Final, should they both qualify.

MORE: Yuzuru Hanyu wins Autumn Classic

As a reminder, you can watch the events from the 2019-20 figure skating season live and on-demand with the ‘Figure Skating Pass’ on NBC Sports Gold. Go to NBCsports.com/gold/figure-skating to sign up for access to every ISU Grand Prix and championship event, as well as domestic U.S. Figure Skating events throughout the season. NBC Sports Gold gives subscribers an unprecedented level of access on more platforms and devices than ever before.

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