Allyson Felix beats Tori Bowie in Stockholm

Allyson Felix
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Allyson Felix denied rising U.S. sprinter Tori Bowie from another statement win, edging her countrywoman in a 200m race at a Diamond League meet in Stockholm on Thursday.

The Olympic champion Felix prevailed in 22.85 seconds. Bowie, still the second-fastest woman in the 200m this year, was second in 22.91.

Felix, coming back this year from a torn hamstring at the 2013 World Championships, won her second Diamond League race of the season. She was well off her season’s best time of 22.34.

“I’m just trying to get back into top form and just working on some different aspects of my race,” Felix said in a Diamond League interview, adding that she benefited from the month-plus Diamond League break before Stockholm. She’ll race a 100m in Birmingham, England, on Sunday.

Bowie has clocked 10.80 in the 100m this year (fastest in the world for 2014) and 22.18 in the 200m (second-fastest behind a Dutchwoman).

In other events, Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie no-heighted in the pole vault, snapping a nine-event Diamond League winning streak dating to 2013.

Jamaican Nesta Carter won the 100m in 9.96. Justin Gatlin and Usain Bolt were not in the field. Bolt, who turned 28 on Thursday, is scheduled to race in Poland on Saturday.

Jamaican Novlene Williams-Mills upset Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross and U.S. champion Francena McCorory, taking the 400m in 50.09.

Olympic and World silver medalist Michael Tinsley overtook Javier Culson after the final barrier in the 400m hurdles. Tinsley won in 49.60 seconds, well off Culson’s world-leading 48.03 from June 14. He also passed Culson in the Diamond League standings.

The 2011 World champion Jenny Simpson won the 1500m in 4:00.38 with a late surge. She defeated a field that included World 1500m champion Abeba Aregawi, World Indoor 3000m champion Genzebe Dibaba and European 1500m champion Sifan Hassan.

Olympic bronze medalist Reese Hoffa won the shot put with a 21.06, throw, beating a field that included the reigning Olympic, World and U.S. champions.

American Tianna Bartoletta prevailed in the long jump at 6.98m. Olympic and World champion Brittney Reese was fourth and is still looking for her first Diamond League win of the year.

American Queen Harrison won the 100m hurdles in 12.66 after Australian Olympic champion Sally Pearson was disqualified before the race. Beijing Olympic champion Dawn Harper-Nelson hit two hurdles en route to third place.

Ethiopian Muktar Edris ran the fastest 5000m this year, 12:54.83. American Galen Rupp was fourth.

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Kendall Gretsch wins six gold medals at Para Nordic Ski Worlds

Kendall Gretsch
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Kendall Gretsch, who won Paralympic titles at the last Summer and Winter Games, added another six gold medals at the World Para Nordic Skiing Championships in Sweden last week.

Gretsch, 30, earned seven total medals in seven days between biathlon and cross-country skiing.

Gretsch won gold medals in three different sports across the last three Paralympics: biathlon and cross-country skiing in 2018 (two years after taking up the sports), triathlon in 2021 and biathlon in 2022.

She plans to shift her focus back to triathlon after this winter for 2024 Paris Games qualification.

Gretsch, born with spina bifida, was the 2014 USA Triathlon Female Para Triathlete of the Year. Though triathlon was added to the Paralympics for the 2016 Rio Games, her classification was not added until Tokyo.

Also at last week’s worlds, six-time Paralympian Aaron Pike earned his first Paralympic or world championships gold medal in his decade-plus career, winning a 12.5km biathlon event.

Oksana Masters, who won seven medals in seven events at last year’s Paralympics to break the career U.S. Winter Paralympics medals record, missed worlds due to hand surgery.

The U.S. also picked up five medals at last week’s World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in Spain — three silvers for five-time Paralympian Laurie Stephens and two bronzes for 17-year-old Saylor O’Brien.

Stephens now has 18 career medals from world championships, plus seven at the Paralympics.

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World champion skier Kyle Smaine dies in avalanche at age 31

Kyle Smaine
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Kyle Smaine, a retired world champion halfpipe skier, died in an avalanche in Japan on Sunday, according to NBC News, citing Smaine’s father. He was 31.

Smaine, a 2015 World champion in ski halfpipe, had been doing ski filming in Japan, sharing videos on his Instagram account over the past week.

The native of South Lake Tahoe, California, finished ninth in ski halfpipe at the 2016 Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado.

In 2018, Smaine won the fifth and final U.S. Olympic qualifying series event in ski halfpipe but did not make the four-man team for PyeongChang. His last sanctioned international competition was in February 2018.

Late Sunday, two-time Olympic champion David Wise won the X Games men’s ski halfpipe and dedicated it to Smaine.

“We all did this for Kyle tonight,” Wise said on the broadcast. “It’s a little bit of an emotional day for us. We lost a friend.”