Allyson Felix edged out by Blessing Okagbare at Paris Diamond League

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Reigning Olympic champion Allyson Felix took second place in the 200m event  at the Paris Diamond League. A week earlier, Felix withdrew from the U.S. championships after placing 14th in the 100m prelims. Felix, who tore her hamstring at the 2013 World Championships, was run down by Blessing Okagbare and finished just two-hundredths of a second behind the Nigerian. Felix’s time of 22.34s was her best this season.

The other Olympic star in the race, Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, came in fifth. Fraser-Pryce took silver in the 200m in London.

American Mike Rodgers, who took third place behind Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay on Friday’s 100m race in Lausanne, returned to the Diamond League to take first. He clocked a time of 10.00s; Gatlin, who did not compete in Paris, won two days earlier with world-leading time of 9.80s.

Also noteworthy were two runners who didn’t cross the finish line. Former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell was anticipated to return to the track in Paris after being granted a temporary reprieve from his suspension for a failed drug test. However, he withdrew due to a reported hamstring injury. Powell will appeal having to serve the rest of his ban, which was set to end in December, to the Court of Arbitration for Sport on July 7-8.

Another Jamaican, Nickel Ashmeade, false-started and delayed the race for several minutes as he vehemently protested his disqualification. Arguing with officials and sitting on the track, Ashmeade had to be convinced to leave before the remaining runners could compete.

Americans swept the podium in the women’s 100m hurdles, with Dawn Harper-Nelson finishing in 12.44s, the fastest time in the world this season. Harper-Nelson also won this event at the U.S. Championships. Queen Harrison and Lolo Jones, returning to the track after competing in two-woman bobsled at the Sochi Olympics, came in second and third, respectively.

Olympic gold medalist Sally Pearson finished sixth.

American Michael Tinsley lost to Puerto Rico’s Javier Culson in the men’s 400m hurdles in Lausanne two days ago, but was victorious in Paris. Culson, who previously tied Tinsley for top of the standings in this event, finished third. Olympic decathalon champion Ashton Eaton came in sixth.

Five-time Olympic medalist Sanya Richards-Ross took first place in the women’s 400m, followed by Jamaicans Stephenie Ann McPherson and Novlene Williams-Mills.

Three other events saw season’s best times: Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop in the men’s 800m with 1:43:34, the Netherland’s Sifan Hassan in the women’s 1,500m with 3:57:00, and Kenya’s Edwin Cheruiyot Soi in the men’s 5,000m with 12:59.82.

The next Diamond League meet will be held in Glasgow on July 11-12.

Gatlins wins 100m over Gay at Lausanne Diamond League

IOC gives more time to pick 2030 Olympic host, studies rotating Winter Games

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The 2030 Winter Olympic host, expected to be Salt Lake City or Sapporo, Japan, is no longer targeted to be decided before next fall, the IOC said in announcing wider discussions into the future of the Winter Games, including the possibility of rotating the Games within a pool of hosts.

The IOC Future Host Commission was granted more time to study factors, including climate change, that could impact which cities and regions host future Winter Olympics and Paralympics. The 2030 Winter Games host is not expected to be decided before or at an IOC session next September or October.

Hosts have traditionally been chosen by IOC members vote seven years before the Games, though recent reforms allow flexibility on the process and timeline. For example, the 2024 and 2028 Games were awarded to Paris and Los Angeles in a historic double award in 2017. The 2032 Summer Games were awarded to Brisbane last year without a traditional bid race.

Italy hosts the 2026 Winter Games in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo.

There are three interested parties for the 2030 Winter Olympics, the IOC said Tuesday without naming them. Previously, Salt Lake City, Sapporo and Vancouver were confirmed as bids. Then in October, the British Columbia government said it would not support a Vancouver bid, a major setback, though organizers did not say that decision ended the bid. All three cities are attractive as past Winter Games hosts with existing venues.

U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee officials have said Salt Lake City is a likelier candidate for 2034 than 2030, but could step in for 2030 if asked.

The future host commission outlined proposals for future Winter Olympics, which included rotating hosts within a pool of cities or regions and a requirement that hosts have an average minimum temperature below freezing (32 degrees) for snow competition venues at the time of the Games over a 10-year period.

The IOC Executive Board gave the commission more time to study the proposals and other factors impacting winter sports.

The IOC board also discussed and will continue to explore a potential double awarding of the 2030 and 2034 Winter Olympic hosts.

Also Tuesday, the IOC board said that Afghanistan participation in the 2024 Olympics will depend on making progress in safe access to sports for women and young girls in the country.

On Monday, Human Rights Watch urged the IOC to suspend Afghanistan until women and girls can play sport in the country.

In a press release, the IOC board expressed “serious concern and strongly condemned the latest restrictions imposed by the Afghan authorities on women and young girls in Afghanistan, which prevent them from practicing sport in the country.” It urged Afghanistan authorities to “take immediate action at the highest level to reverse such restrictions and ensure safe access to sport for women and young girls.”

The IOC board also announced that North Korea’s National Olympic Committee will be reinstated when its suspension is up at the end of the year.

In September 2021, the IOC banned the North Korean NOC through the end of 2022, including banning a North Korean delegation from participating in the Beijing Winter Games, after it chose not to participate in the Tokyo Games.

North Korea, formally known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, was the only one of 206 National Olympic Committees to withdraw from Tokyo. The country made its choice in late March 2021, citing a desire “to protect our athletes from the global health crisis caused by the malicious virus infection.”

The IOC said in September 2021 that it “provided reassurances for the holding of safe Games and offered constructive proposals to find an appropriate and tailor-made solution until the very last minute (including the provision of vaccines), which were systematically rejected by the PRK NOC.”

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Olympic champion Justine Dufour-Lapointe leaves moguls for another skiing discipline

Justine Dufour-Lapointe
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Justine Dufour-Lapointe, the 2014 Olympic moguls champion, is leaving the event to compete in freeriding, a non-Olympic skiing discipline.

“After three Olympic cycles and 12 years on the World Cup circuit, I felt that I needed to find a new source of motivation and had to push my limits even more so I can reach my full potential as a skier,” the 28-year-old Montreal native said in a social media video, according to a translation from French. “Today, I am starting a new chapter in my career. … I want to perfect myself in another discipline. I want to connect with the mountain differently. Above all, I want to get out of my comfort zone in a way I’ve never done before.”

Dufour-Lapointe said she will compete on the Freeride World Tour, a series of judged competitions described as:

There‘s a start gate at the summit and a finish gate at the bottom. That’s it. Best run down wins. It truly is that simple. Think skiers and snowboarders choosing impossible-looking lines through cornices and cliff-faces and nasty couloirs. Think progressive: big jumps, mach-speed turns and full-on attack. Think entertaining.

Dufour-Lapointe has retired from moguls skiing, according to a Freeride World Tour press release, though she did not explicitly say that in social media posts Tuesday.

At the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, Dufour-Lapointe denied American Hannah Kearney‘s bid to become the first freestyle skier to repeat as Olympic champion. Older sister Chloé took silver in a Canadian one-two.

Dufour-Lapointe also won the world title in 2015, then Olympic silver in 2018 behind Frenchwoman Perrine Laffont.

Chloé announced her retirement in September. A third Dufour-Lapointe Olympic moguls skier, Maxime, retired in 2018.

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