Justin Gatlin: I’m the guy to beat right now

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Justin Gatlin didn’t lack confidence at his first meet of the season Saturday.

“This year is all about medals. I want to win when it counts,” Gatlin said at the Texas Relays, according to The Associated Press. “I’d say I’m the guy to beat right now.”

Would Usain Bolt agree?

Gatlin, who debuted in a relay at the Texas meet, has not raced Bolt since September 2013. In August 2013, Bolt won the World Championships 100m final, 9.77 seconds to Gatlin’s 9.85.

In 2014, Gatlin posted five of the six fastest 100m times, including a best of 9.77. Bolt ran a total of 400 meters in competition for the year, half in relays, and cut his campaign short due to March foot surgery.

Yohan Blake, the 2012 Olympic 100m and 200m silver medalist behind Bolt, said in January, “You could say he’s [Gatlin] the man.”

Bolt said in August that he didn’t think he would have beaten Gatlin if they raced against each other last year.

Asked of Gatlin again in February, Bolt chuckled softly and chose his words carefully. Bolt has said he’s in favor of lifetime bans for athletes who purposely cheat. Gatlin is five years removed from a four-year doping ban.

“I try to be a nice person here, not say anything rude,” Bolt said in February, pausing to continue his thought. “He did well last season. So that’s good.”

Gatlin recently made headlines by re-signing with Nike, which had dropped him after his initial drug ban in 2006.

This season, Gatlin, 33, hopes to become the oldest man to win an Olympic or World Championships 100m. He’s not expected to go head-to-head with Bolt before then, though Bolt will race individually in the U.S. for the first time in seven years.

Domestically, Gatlin’s biggest threat may be a man he hugged at the Texas Relays on Saturday. That’s Baylor sophomore Trayvon Bromell, the World junior 100m champion in a junior record 9.97 seconds last June. Bromell is 14 years younger and four inches shorter than Gatlin.

Only Gatlin, Tyson Gay and Mike Rodgers ran faster than Bromell last year, among Americans.

“The sky’s the limit,” Gatlin said of Bromell, according to The Associated Press. “Some people question his height and his size, but he’s able to use his body to his advantage. [Last year] was a year when short striders were the fastest sprinters. It hasn’t hurt anybody else.”

Bromell, who ran a wind-aided 9.90 on Saturday, also impressed Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles.

Charles, a former NCAA Championships 100m finalist for the University of Texas, introduced himself to Bromell, but Bromell did not recognize him, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

“I knew it had to be a football player,” Bromell said, according to the report. “He looks like a football player. But I only study track.”

Usain Bolt details retirement plan for 2017

*Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin last raced at the 2013 World Championships. They last raced at a Diamond League meet in Brussels in September 2013.

Ukraine Olympic champion auctions gold medals to support his country

Yuriy Cheban
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Sprint canoeist Yuriy Cheban, Ukraine’s most decorated male Olympian, is auctioning his two gold medals and one bronze medal to support his country’s defense and recovery efforts amid the war with Russia.

“It was one of the best moments of my life that can be compared only with the birth of my child,” Cheban posted specifically about his repeat 200m gold at his last Olympics in Rio in 2016. “This Olympic finish left a great memory forever in the world history and in the hearts of Ukraine.

“Time to move on, I would like these medals to benefit Ukrainians once again.”

Cheban, a 36-year-old who coached Ukraine canoeists at the Tokyo Games, took 500m bronze in 2008 before his 200m golds in 2012 and 2016, all in individual races.

He and boxer Vasiliy Lomachenko are the only men to win two Olympic gold medals for Ukraine, which began competing independently in 1994. Cheban is the only man to win three total Olympic medals for Ukraine, according to Olympedia.org.

Swimmer Yana Klochkova won the most medals for Ukraine — four golds and five total.

All proceeds from the sales will go to Ukraine’s Olympic Circle charity, according to SCP Auctions.

Olympic Circle was created by sportsmen to help Mykolaiv, a city in southern Ukraine, fight Russian occupants, according to SCP.

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Alpine skiing TV, live stream schedule for 2022-23 World Cup season

Mikaela Shiffrin, Marco Odermatt
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NBC Sports and Peacock combine to air live coverage of the 2022-23 Alpine skiing season, including races on the World Cup, which starts this weekend.

Coverage begins with the traditional season-opening giant slaloms in Soelden, Austria, this Saturday and Sunday, streaming live on Peacock.

The first of four stops in the U.S. — the most in 26 years — is Thanksgiving weekend with a women’s giant slalom and slalom in Killington, Vermont. The men’s tour visits Beaver Creek, Colorado the following week, as well as Palisades Tahoe, California, and Aspen, Colorado after worlds in Courchevel and Meribel, France.

NBC Sports platforms will broadcast all four U.S. stops in the Alpine World Cup season, plus four more World Cups in other ski and snowboard disciplines. All Alpine World Cups in Austria will stream live on Peacock.

Mikaela Shiffrin, who last year won her fourth World Cup overall title, is the headliner. Shiffrin, who has 74 career World Cup race victories, will try to close the gap on the only Alpine skiers with more: Lindsey Vonn (82) and Ingemar Stenmark (86). Shiffrin won an average of five times per season the last three years and is hopeful of racing more often this season.

On the men’s side, 25-year-old Swiss Marco Odermatt returns after becoming the youngest man to win the overall, the biggest annual prize in ski racing, since Marcel Hirscher won the second of his record eight in a row in 2013.

2022-23 Alpine Skiing World Cup Broadcast Schedule
Schedule will be added to as the season progresses. All NBC Sports TV coverage also streams live on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

Date Coverage Network/Platform Time (ET)
Sat., Oct. 22 Women’s GS (Run 1) – Soelden (PPD) Peacock 4 a.m.
Women’s GS (Run 2) – Soelden (PPD) Peacock 7:05 a.m.
Sun., Oct. 23 Men’s GS (Run 1) — Soelden Peacock 4 a.m.
Men’s GS (Run 2) – Soelden Peacock 7 a.m.
Sat., Nov. 12 Women’s Parallel (Qualifying) — Lech (PPD) Peacock 6 a.m.
Women’s Parallel (Finals) — Lech (PPD) Peacock 12 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 13 Men’s Parallel (Qualifying) — Lech (PPD) Peacock 4 a.m.
Men’s Parallel (Finals) — Lech (PPD) Peacock 10 a.m.
Sat., Nov. 19 Women’s SL (Run 1) — Levi Skiandsnowboard.live 4 a.m.
Women’s SL (Run 2) — Levi Skiandsnowboard.live 7 a.m.
Sun., Nov. 20 Women’s SL (Run 1) — Levi Skiandsnowboard.live 4:15 a.m.
Women’s SL (Run 2) — Levi Skiandsnowboard.live 7:15 a.m.
Fri., Nov. 25 Men’s DH — Lake Louise (PPD) Skiandsnowboard.live 2:30 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 26 Women’s GS (Run 2) — Killington NBC, Peacock 12:30 p.m.
Men’s DH — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 2:30 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 27 Women’s SL (Run 2) — Killington NBC, Peacock 12:30 p.m.
Men’s SG — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 2:15 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 2 Women’s DH — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 2 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 3 Women’s DH — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 2:30 p.m.
Men’s DH — Beaver Creek CNBC, Peacock 4 p.m.*
Men’s DH — Beaver Creek NBC, Peacock 5 p.m.*
Sun., Dec. 4 Women’s SG — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 1 p.m.
Men’s SG — Beaver Creek NBC, Peacock 5 p.m.*

*Delayed broadcast.

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