David Rudisha

David Rudisha equals world lead in Glasgow; Felix, Fraser-Pryce beaten (video)

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David Rudisha is rounding into form quite nicely in his return from injury, while Allyson Felix and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce have more competition as they get back to full strength.

The Kenyan Rudisha won an 800m race in 1 minute 43.34 seconds at a Diamond League meet in Glasgow, Scotland, on Saturday. The Olympic champion and world-record holder prevailed by 2.31 seconds, less than two months into his competitive return from a knee injury that sidelined him for more than one year.

“I was expecting to run the fastest time this year in the 800 meters,” Rudisha told the BBC. “I’m glad I accomplished that.”

His time matched the world lead by countryman Asbel Kiprop, who may eye the 1500m world record at the next Diamond League stop in Monaco on Friday.

Rudisha’s world record, set at the 2012 Olympics, is 1:40.91.

Two other London Olympic champions, recently beset by injuries, were run down in sprints Saturday.

Felix was edged by .01 by Dutchwoman Dafne Schippers in the 200m. Schippers broke the Dutch national record after breaking the national record in the 100m earlier in the day.

Felix, working her way back from a torn hamstring at last year’s World Championships, lost by .02 in a 200m in Paris one week earlier and is the fourth-fastest American this year.

Fraser-Pryce fell behind Trinidad and Tobago’s Michelle-Lee Ahye, who won in 11.01 to stay undefeated this season, according to the BBC. Fraser-Pryce won 2012 Olympic and 2013 Worlds 100m gold. Ahye, who didn’t advance past the Olympic or Worlds semifinals, is the fastest woman this year.

Still, Fraser-Pryce’s time on Saturday was her best this year, moving to No. 18 in the world after a left leg injury hampered her early season.

“It has been a rough two months for me, but I’m really pleased today that I executed,” Fraser-Pryce told the BBC.

Queen Harrison won the 100m hurdles in 12.58, followed by Lolo Jones (12.68) and Olympic champion Sally Pearson (12.87). World leader Dawn Harper-Nelson and World champion Brianna Rollins were not in the field.

Fabiana Murer continues to look like Brazil’s top track and field athlete as the Rio 2016 Olympics approach 750 days to go. She won her second straight Diamond League pole vault, clearing 4.65m and beating Olympic gold and silver medalists Jenn Suhr and Yarisley Silva.

Emma Coburn broke the American record in the 3000m steeplechase with her second-place 9:11.42, making her the third-fastest woman this year and 11th all time.

Olympic champion Christian Taylor got the better of Will Claye in their ongoing triple jump rivalry, 17.36m to 17.27m.

Video: Yohan Blake falls in 100m, ends Glasgow Diamond League wheeled off in chair

Serena Williams, reclusive amid pandemic, returns to tennis eyeing Grand Slam record

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Serena Williams travels with “like 50 masks” and has been a little bit of a recluse since early March and the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I don’t have full lung capacity, so I’m not sure what would happen to me,” Williams said Saturday, two days before the start of the WTA’s Top Seed Open in Lexington, Ky., her first tournament since playing Fed Cup in early February. “I’m sure I’ll be OK, but I don’t want to find out.”

Williams, 38, has a history of blood clots and pulmonary embolisms. She faced life-threatening complications following her Sept. 1, 2017, childbirth that confined her to a bed for six weeks. She said her daily routine was surgery and that she lost count after the first four.

More recently, Williams enjoyed “every part” of the last six months at home in Florida, her longest time grounded since her teens.

“I’ve been a little neurotic, to an extent,” on health and safety, she said. “Everyone in the Serena bubble is really protected.”

Williams is entered to play next week in Lexington and at consecutive tournaments in New York City later this month — the Western & Southern Open and U.S. Open, the latter starting Aug. 31.

Williams is the highest-ranked player in the Lexington field at No. 9. Others include 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens, older sister Venus Williams and 16-year-old Coco Gauff.

She has been bidding ever since having daughter Olympia to tie Margaret Court‘s record 24 Grand Slam singles titles, albeit many of Court’s crowns came before the Open Era and, notably at the Australian Open, against small fields lacking the world’s best players. Williams reached the last two Wimbledon and U.S. Open finals, losing all of them.

She showed her seriousness in committing early to this year’s U.S. Open by installing a court at home with the same surface. Three of the top 10 female singles players already said they will skip the U.S. Open due to travel and/or virus concerns, including No. 1 Ash Barty.

“Tennis is naturally a socially distanced sport, so it was kind of easy to go back and just walk on my side of the court and have my hitter walk on his side of the court,” Williams said.

The French Open starts two weeks after the U.S. Open ends. Williams was asked if she will fly to Europe for tournaments this autumn.

“I see myself doing it all, if it happens,” she said.

The Tokyo Olympics are too far away to make plans.

“We’ll have to kind of wait to see what happens in the fall,” she said. “One thing I have learned with this pandemic is don’t plan.”

MORE: Past U.S. Open champions get wild cards

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Conseslus Kipruto tests positive for coronavirus, canceling world-record bid

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Conseslus Kipruto, the Olympic and world 3000m steeplechase champion, tested positive for the coronavirus without symptoms, which will keep him from a world-record chase on Friday, according to his social media.

The Kenyan was to race in the first in-person Diamond League meet of the year in Monaco on Friday.

“Our World is going through a challenging period and we all have to take our responsibilities,” was posted. “Unfortunately my covid-19 test, as part of the Monaco-protocol, came back positive and therefore I can’t be part of the Monaco Diamond League.

“I don’t have any symptoms and I was actually in great shape. I was planning to go for the WR: it has stayed too long outside Kenya. As the World & Olympic Champion I feel strongly its something I should go for as well.”

Kipruto, 25, is the 14th-fastest steepler in history with a personal best of 8:00.12. The world record is 7:53.63, set by Kenyan-born Qatari Saif Saaeed Shaheen in 2004.

Last year, Kipruto won the world title by .01, extending a streak of a Kenyan or Kenyan-born man winning every Olympic or world title in the event since the 1988 Seoul Games. He was sidelined by a stress fracture in his left foot until opening his season extremely late on Aug. 24.

MORE: Trayvon Bromell’s road back through destruction, death

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Our World is going through a challenging period and we all have to take our responsibilities. Unfortunately my covid-19 test, as part of the Monaco-protocol, came back positive and therefore I can’t be part of the Monaco Diamond League on August 14th. I don’t have any symptoms and I was actually in great shape. I was planning to go for the WR: it has stayed too long outside Kenya. As the World & Olympic Champion I feel strongly its something I should go for as well. Wish to thank Monaco for all the work they have done and I wish them and my colleagues a wonderful competition. Athletics is back and I will be back as well. Anyone willing to organise a steeple once I can be cleared? @diamondleaguemonaco #nike #quarantine #WR #Kenya

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