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

Leanne Smith leads U.S. gold medalists at para swim worlds

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Leanne Smith has never competed at a Paralympics. Came into this week’s world championships with zero world medals. But she leaves London with three individual golds, most for any American, one year before the Tokyo Games.

Smith, 21, won the 150m individual medley, 50m breaststroke and 100m freestyle in her classification, all in American record times. The last two titles came on the final day of the seven-day meet on Sunday.

Smith, diagnosed with a rare neurological muscle disease called dystonia in January 2012, began swimming in 2013. By 2017, she broke a world record and then debuted at the world championships with a best individual finish of sixth.

The U.S. finished with 35 total medals and 14 golds, ranking sixth in the overall standings. Ukraine, usually strong at the Paralympics, led the way with 55 medals. Full results are here.

Jessica Long, the second-most-decorated U.S. Paralympian in history with 23 medals, earned six this week — five silvers and a bronze — to give her 52 career world championships medals.

Two-time Paralympian Mallory Weggemann earned two golds this week, giving her 15 world titles in three appearances (her others being in 2009 and 2010).

She won 50m titles in the butterfly and freestyle. Weggemann won a 2012 Paralympic 50m free title but was fortunate just to make it back for Rio after a 2014 accident that she said was harder to come back from than her teenage paralysis. She left Rio with no medals but a resolve to return for a third Games in Tokyo.

“I’m two seconds away from bursting into tears,” Weggemann said after winning the first of her two golds in the 50m fly, according to U.S. Paralympics. “I had a really rough go these past three years since Rio, so to finally be back after busting my butt to be here, and to be here in London of all places, is absolutely incredible.”

Fellow Rio Paralympians McKenzie Coan and Robert Griswold added two golds a piece.

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Heimana Reynolds wins skateboard world title, nears an Olympic goal from age 10

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In February 2009, a 10-year-old Heimana Reynolds was profiled by his local NBC TV station on Oahu.

“My goal is to become a professional skateboarder and compete in the X Games and the Olympics,” he said, according to the report.

Skateboarding would not be added to the Olympics for another seven years. But here Reynolds is, age 21, having just won the world title in park, one of two skateboarding events that debut at the Games in Tokyo.

Reynolds, who wasn’t named to the four-man U.S. national team in March, consolidated his lead in the Olympic qualification rankings by prevailing over a pair of Brazilians in Sao Paulo on Sunday.

A shirtless Reynolds scored 88 points in the final, beating Luis Francisco (85.50) and Pedro Quintas (85).

No more than three Americans can make the Olympic team in the event, which will make it difficult if three-time Olympic halfpipe snowboarding champion Shaun White decides to continue his skateboarding pursuit. White was the sixth-best American, bowing out in the semifinals in 13th place on Saturday in just his second contest since returning to competitive skating last year.

Back to Reynolds. He grew up on the North Shore and attended the Punahou School, where Barack Obama is the most famous alum. His first name is Tahitian, reportedly referring to the power of Jesus’ crown of thorns.

Reynolds, the son of a surfer, proved a natural on land. After pre-teen media profiles, he blossomed into a world silver medalist last year. He won an Olympic qualifier in China in July to take the top spot in the Olympic rankings despite a best career X Games finish of sixth.

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