Yohan Blake ends Glasgow Diamond League wheeled off in chair (video)

Yohan Blake
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Yohan Blake fell behind and then fell to the track about halfway through a Diamond League 100m race in Glasgow, Scotland, on Friday.

Blake, the Olympic 100m and 200m silver medalist who missed most of last season with hamstring problems, was wheeled off in a chair. He said he did not finish the race due to a cramp, according to the BBC.

Jamaican Nickel Ashmeade won in 9.97 seconds against a field that did not include Usain Bolt, who hasn’t competed yet this season due to injury, nor top Americans Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay.

It may end a poor, shortened season for Blake. The man who beat Bolt at the 2012 Jamaican Olympic Trials stumbled out of the blocks in his only other Diamond League 100m this season, in New York on June 14 where he ran 10.21.

He also finished sixth in a 200m in Lausanne, Switzerland, on July 3.

In other events, Olympic decathlon champion Ashton Eaton thanked a group of 400m hurdles runners before racing with them. Then he went out and finished second, beating the Olympic gold and silver medalists in the event.

Eaton, who has focused on the non-decathlon 400m hurdles this season since there are no Olympics or World Outdoor Championships, clocked a personal best 48.69.

The decathlon world record holder beat the top two 400m hurdles runners from the London Olympics, the Dominican Republic’s Felix Sanchez and American Michael Tinsley.

“I can’t even believe that,” Eaton told the BBC on the track after the race. “I knew I had Tinsley on my inside, and I was like this guy is Olympic silver/World silver [medalist], I’m like this guy is just going to run up on me and take me out. When he came up on me, I was like, just use him to compete. Just compete. That’s what I did.”

Eaton said before and after the event that it was likely his last 400m hurdles race. He shaved .25 off his personal best.

“I told the [400m hurdlers] in the call room, I was like, you know what, it’s been fun, I thank you for treating me like an athlete, not a decathlete, because I’ve gotten a lot of respect, and I respect them a lot,” Eaton told the BBC. “My very last one, I wanted to go out well. So, I think I did.”

The only man to top Eaton was Olympic bronze medalist Javier Culson, who cruised in 48.35.

How good is Eaton in the 400m hurdles? He’s the sixth-fastest man in the world this year. His 48.69 would not have made the 2012 Olympic final, however.

Eaton may be done with the 400m hurdles, but he may also end his season by contesting another one-off event, the long jump, at a Diamond League meet in London on July 20.

He has his eyes on others, too.

“I’d love to try the triple jump,” he said before the meet, according to the IAAF. “I just don’t have the time, and I don’t have the greatest knees. There are a lot of events that are appealing. I think that’s why I’m a decathlete because I have a genuine curiosity about all the events. I just like to test them out.”

Francena McCorory passed Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross on the final straightaway to take the 400m in 49.93. McCorory also edged Richards-Ross at the U.S. Championships on June 28.

Panama’s Alonso Edward edged reigning World silver medalist Warren Weir in the 200m, 20.25 to 20.3. Americans Curtis Mitchell and Wallace Spearmon were third and fourth. Weir remains the fastest man in the world this year at 19.82, with Bolt and Blake’s mentioned setbacks.

American Tianna Bartoletta, an Olympic champion in the 4x100m relay as Tianna Madison, won the long jump with a leap of 6.98m. She beat rising British heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson, who jumped a personal-best 6.92m. Olympic and World champion Brittney Reese was not in the field.

In the 110m hurdles, Brit William Sharman upset the fastest man in the world this year, Jamaican Hansle Parchment. Sharman clocked 13.21 and Parchment was fifth in 13.31 and reportedly limped and touched his hamstring after. Olympic champion Aries Merritt and World champions Jason Richardson and David Oliver were not in the field.

American Gia Lewis-Smallwood, 35, won the discus with a personal-best throw of 67.59 meters. She handed Croatian Olympic champion Sandra Perkovic her first Diamond League defeat since before the London Games.

Ethiopian-born Dutch runner Sifan Hassan edged Ethiopian-born Swede Abeba Aregawi by .27 to win the women’s 1500m. Hagos Gebrhiwet, who was born in and competes for Ethiopia, took the men’s 5000m. Kenyan-born American Bernard Lagat was 12th.

The Glasgow Diamond League meet concludes Saturday with headliners Allyson FelixShelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and David Rudisha.

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South Korea’s first gold medalist of 2018 PyeongChang Olympics to compete for China

Lim Hyo-Jun
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Lim Hyo-Jun, a short track speed skater who won South Korea’s first gold medal of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, has been cleared to skate for China and was reportedly named to the national team Monday.

Lim, who won the 1500m on the first day of medal competition at the PyeongChang Games, began the process of switching to China after a June 2019 incident where he pulled down a teammate’s trousers, leaving him standing, exposed, in front of female teammates.

Lim, the 2019 World overall champion, was banned from the team for a year and later found guilty of sexual harassment before the verdict was overturned on appeal.

It was reported in March 2021 that Lim was in the process of trying to gain Chinese nationality to compete at the Beijing Winter Olympics, but Lim was not cleared to switch by the International Skating Union until this July. His Chinese name is Lin Xiaojun.

Another star South Korean skater, triple 2006 Olympic gold medalist Ahn Hyun-Soo, switched to Russia after not making the 2010 Olympic team. He then won three golds for the host nation as Viktor Ahn at the 2014 Sochi Games.

China’s national team for the upcoming season reportedly does not include veterans Wu Dajing, the nation’s lone gold medalist across all sports at the 2018 Olympics, and Fan Kexin, a three-time Olympic medalist.

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Brigid Kosgei, world record holder, to miss London Marathon

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World record holder Brigid Kosgei withdrew before Sunday’s London Marathon due to a right hamstring injury that has bothered her for the last month.

“My training has been up and down and not the way I would like to prepare to be in top condition,” was posted on Kosgei’s social media. “We’ve decided it’s best I withdraw from this year’s race and get further treatment on my injuries in order to enter 2023 stronger than ever.”

Kosgei, a 28-year-old Kenyan mother of twins, shattered the world record by 81 seconds at the 2019 Chicago Marathon. She clocked 2:14:04 to smash Brit Paula Radcliffe‘s record from 2003.

Since, Kosgei won the 2020 London Marathon, took silver at the Tokyo Olympics, placed fourth at the 2021 London Marathon and won this past March’s Tokyo Marathon in what was then the third-fastest time in history (2:16:02).

Ethiopian Tigist Assefa moved into the top three by winning the Berlin Marathon last Sunday in 2:15:37.

The London Marathon women’s field includes Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei, a winner in New York City (2019) and London (2021), and Yalemzerf Yehualaw, who was the Ethiopian record holder until Assefa won in Berlin.

The men’s field is headlined by Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest male marathoner in history, and Brit Mo Farah, a four-time Olympic champion on the track.

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