Yohan Blake

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

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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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Eliud Kipchoge sets next marathon

Eliud Kipchoge
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Eliud Kipchoge will race the London Marathon on April 26 before he is expected to defend his Olympic title in Japan on Aug. 9, which would mark the shortest break between marathons of his career.

Kipchoge, who in his last 26.2-mile effort became the first person to break two hours at the distance, won all four of his London Marathon starts, including breaking the course record in 2016 and 2019.

His time this past April 28 — 2:02:37 — is the third-fastest time in history. Kipchoge has the world record of 2:01:39 set at the 2018 Berlin Marathon. His sub-two-hour marathon in Vienna on Oct. 12 was not in a record-eligible race.

Kipchoge’s previous shortest break between marathons came in 2016, when he also ran London and the Olympics. The Olympics will be two weeks earlier in 2020 than in 2016.

Kipchoge, 35, has won 11 of 12 marathons since moving to road racing after failing to make Kenya’s 2012 Olympic track team.

He has yet to race the two most prestigious marathons in the U.S. — Boston and New York City — but has said they are on his bucket list.

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Canadians become first female doubles luge team in World Cup

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WHISTLER, British Columbia (AP) — Caitlin Nash and Natalie Corless made luge history Saturday, becoming the first female team to compete in a World Cup doubles race.

The 16-year-olds from Whistler combined to finish 22nd in a field of 23 sleds, though that seemed largely irrelevant. There have been four-woman teams in what is typically called four-man bobsledding, but luge has never seen a pairing like this until now.

The German sled of Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken won the race in 1 minute, 16.644 seconds. Germany’s Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt finished second and the Russian team of Vsevolod Kashkin and Konstantin Korshunov placed third for their first medal of the season.

The U.S. team of Chris Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman placed 11th.

But the story was the Canadian teens, who qualified for the World Cup event on Thursday. They were nearly a half-second behind any other finisher and almost 2.7 seconds back of Eggert and Benecken. But they’ll forever be able to say that they were winning the race at one point — a technicality because they were the first ones down the hill at the Whistler Sliding Center, but accurate nonetheless.

The only sled they beat was the Italian team of Ivan Nagler and Fabian Malleier, who crashed in the second heat.

There are women’s singles and men’s singles races on the World Cup luge circuit, but there is no rule saying doubles teams must be composed of two men. There have been more female doubles racers at the junior level in recent years, and it was generally considered to be just a matter of time before it happened at the World Cup level.

That time became Saturday.

Canada had the chance to qualify a second sled into the doubles field because some teams typically on the circuit chose to skip this weekend’s stop, and Nash and Corless got into by successfully finishing a Nations Cup qualifying race on Thursday.

They were 11th in that race out of 11 sleds, more than a full second behind the winner and nearly a half-second behind the closest finisher. But all they had to do was cross the line without crashing to get into Saturday’s competition, and earned their spot in the luge history books as a result.

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