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

Salwa Eid Naser, world 400m champion, provisionally banned

Salwa Eid Naser
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Salwa Eid Naser, the world 400m champion of Bahrain, was provisionally suspended for missing three drug tests in a 12-month span.

“I’ve never been a cheat. I will never be,” Naser, 22, said in an Instagram live video. “I only missed three drug tests, which is normal. It happens. It can happen to anybody. I don’t want people to get confused in all this because I would never cheat.”

Naser said “the missed tests” came before last autumn’s world championships, where she ran the third-fastest time in history (48.14 seconds) and the fastest in 34 years.

“This year I have not been drug tested,” she said. “We are still talking about the ones of last season before the world championships.”

The Athletics Integrity Unit, which handles doping cases for track and field, did not announce whether Naser’s gold medal could be stripped.

“Hopefully, it’ll get resolved because I don’t really like the image, but it has happened,” she said. “It’s going to be fine. It’s very hard to have this little stain on my name.”

Naser, the 2017 World silver medalist, upset Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas for the world title in Doha on Oct. 3.

The only women who have run faster than Naser, who was born Ebelechukwu Agbapuonwu in Nigeria to a Nigerian mother who sprinted and a Bahraini father, were dubious — East German Marita Koch (47.60) and Czechoslovakia’s Jarmila Kratochvilova (47.99).

“I would never take performance-enhancing drugs,” Naser said. “I believe in talent, and I know I have the talent.”

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When Laurie Hernandez winked at the Olympics

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Blink, and you may have missed one of the social-media-sensation moments of the Rio Olympics.

Laurie Hernandez, then 16, was the youngest woman on the U.S. Olympic team across all sports. She was about to start arguably the most important floor exercise routine of her life.

So, she winked.

“The amazing thing about the Olympics is that you feel so many different emotions in the span of a few days, and they are all intense,” she wrote in her 2017 book, “I Got This,” a nod to what she told herself before her balance beam routine earlier that night. “So it was nice to have at least one totally playful moment.”

The U.S., on its fourth and final rotation, already had the team gold all but locked up. Knowing she was nervous, Hernandez’s teammates confirmed to her that they were a few points ahead.

Then Hernandez heard the beep, and it was time to go. She was in the view of an out-of-bounds judge at the Rio Olympic Arena.

“Well, I looked straight at her and suddenly felt this surge of confidence to wink,” she wrote. “Later, a woman came up to me while I was watching Simone [Biles] and Aly [Raisman] compete in their all-around finals and she said, ‘Wow, I just want you to know that when you winked at the judge, it really worked.’ I didn’t know how to respond, so I just said, ‘Thank you. That’s very nice of you to say.’ That’s when she told me she was the out-of-bounds judge! All I could say was ‘Oh my goodness.'”

Hernandez, a New Jersey native, finished the Olympics with a team gold and balance beam silver.

She took more than two years off before making a comeback in earnest last year, announcing she planned to return to competition this spring under new coaches in California. Now that’s on hold given the coronavirus pandemic, which pushed the Tokyo Olympics to 2021.

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