Meb Keflezighi

Meb Keflezighi eighth after stopping, throwing up, crying at Boston Marathon

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Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa captured his second Boston Marathon, while Kenyan Caroline Rotich won her first major marathon on Monday.

The top U.S. finishers were Olympians Desi Linden (fourth) and Shalane Flanagan (ninth) in the women’s race. In the men’s, Dathan Ritzenhein was seventh, and the 2014 champion Meb Keflezighi was eighth, holding and raising the hand of near the finish.

“Last year was an epic race, epic moment for Boston, for the United States and for the world,” Keflezighi, who turns 40 on May 5, said on Universal Sports. “I was hoping to defend it, but as soon as I got to … mile 21, 22, just tough going. I took a drink. It didn’t go down. They made a big move. The separation happened.”

Keflezighi said he stopped and threw up five times with the liquid not sitting well. He also said he cried on the final stretch on Boylston Street, site of his emotional triumph last year.

“I was hurting pretty bad,” he said in an interview on Boston’s CBS station. “I was very emotional.”

Keflezighi said he next plans to go on a tour for his book, “Meb For Mortals.” He has said he wants to run a fall marathon, perhaps New York City on Nov. 1, before the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials on Feb. 13 in Los Angeles.

Full results can be found here.

Desisa, who won the 2013 Boston Marathon before twin bombings rocked the world’s oldest annual 26.2-mile race later that day, pulled away from countryman Yemane Tsegay in the final two miles Monday. Desisa’s time was 2:09:17, 31 seconds faster than Tsegay in damp, windy conditions. In 2013, Desisa gave his winner’s medal back to the city.

Desisa, 25, has been first or second in every major race he’s finished in the last two years. He did not finish the 2014 Boston Marathon won by Keflezighi, hampered by an ankle injury picked up in training.

“Boston is my second home,” Desisa said on Universal Sports.

Ritzenhein and Keflezighi took turns at the front of the men’s lead group in the latter half of the race but were dropped as the pace quickened. They finished more than two minutes back.

Rotich, 30, battled Ethiopians Mare Dibaba and Buzunesh Deba in the final two miles, after dropping Linden. She outsprinted Dibaba by four seconds on the Boylston Street finish. Her time was 2:24:55.

Rotich had never before finished better than fourth in a major marathon.

“I have been waiting for this and training and training,” Rotich said on Universal Sports. “When we came through this last stretch, corner, I feel like, yeah I want to do this, and I could let it go.”

U.S. Olympians Linden, Flanagan and Amy Cragg were part of a 12-woman lead group at the half marathon mark, but all three were shed as the group thinned.

“I could just tell the pounding, the typical Boston course, my legs felt it,” Flanagan, who finished seventh in 2014 and fourth in 2013, said on Universal Sports. “I tried to talk them [my legs] out of slowing down, but they didn’t want to listen.”

No U.S. woman has won Boston since Lisa Larsen Weidenbach in 1985.

Tatyana McFadden, an 11-time Paralympic medalist, won her third straight women’s wheelchair race in Boston in 1:52:54.

Swiss Paralympic marathon silver medalist Marcel Hug took the men’s wheelchair in 1:29:53.

The next World Marathon Major is the London Marathon on Sunday, featuring the last two men’s world-record holders, from Kenya, and world-record holder Paula Radcliffe in her competitive 26.2-mile farewell.

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Tokyo Paralympic triathlon test event cancels swim due to water bacteria

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TOKYO (AP) — High levels of bacteria forced the swimming portion of a triathlon test event for the Tokyo Paralympics to be canceled Saturday.

It’s the second setback in the triathlon for organizers of next year’s Olympics and Paralympics. An Olympic triathlon running event was shortened from 10km to 5km on Thursday because of what the International Triathlon Union (ITU) called “extreme levels” of heat.

Tokyo’s hot and humid summers are a major worry for Olympic organizers. The water issues are a reminder of the Rio Games, when high bacteria and virus levels were found in waters for sailing, rowing and open-water swimming.

In a statement, the ITU said E-coli levels were “more than two times over the ITU limits.” It said the water was at Level 4, the highest risk level.

E-coli bacteria, which normally live in the intestines of animals and people, can produce intestinal pain, diarrhea and a fever.

The venue in Tokyo Bay, called Odaiba, has been a concern for organizers, who have experimented with different measures to clean the water in the area, located in an urban part of central Tokyo.

The ITU is scheduled to hold it final test event on Sunday “depending on the latest water quality tests”, it said in a statement.

A few days ago the ITU described water quality conditions at the venue as “very good.” However, swimmers at a recent distance swimming event at the same venue complained of foul-smelling water.

The water temperature at the venue on Saturday was 84 degrees Fahrenheit, with the air temperature hovering above 90.

Tokyo spokesman Masa Takaya said “we are set to conduct a comprehensive review with the international federation.”

He said a triple-layer underwater screen will be installed for next year’s Olympics, replacing a single-layer.

“Based on the results of multiple research in the past, we believe that the multiple layer screen will assure the successful delivery of the competitions,” he said.

Filthy water plagued the Rio Olympics. The South American city lacks a functioning sanitation system for much of its population. Open water there tested high for bacteria and viruses, which confronted athletes in rowing, sailing and triathlon.

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MORE: Double DQ caps bizarre Tokyo Olympic triathlon test event

Women’s hurdlers take center stage as Diamond League hits crunch time; how to watch

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A showdown between world record holder Kendra Harrison (U.S.), reigning Olympic champion Brianna McNeal (U.S.) and 2019 world leader Danielle Williams (Jamaica) in the women’s 100-meter hurdles is the marquee event of the Diamond League meet Sunday in Birmingham, England.

With the track and field world championships not starting this year until Sept. 28, the Diamond League gets an uninterrupted run to its season finales Aug. 29 in Zurich and Sept. 6 in Brussels. The 32 Diamond League events are split between the two finales, with a $50,000 prize awaiting the winner of each final.

The last two meets before those finales — Sunday’s meet and the Aug. 24 meet in Paris — are all about qualifying for a shot at those final jackpots.

Birmingham will be the last chance to win points in the men’s 400m, women’s long jump, women’s 1,500m/mile, men’s javelin, women’s 100m hurdles, men’s 100m and women’s 200m. It’s the second-to-last chance in the women’s discus, women’s pole vault, men’s 400m hurdles, men’s high jump, women’s 3000m steeplechase and women’s 800m.

NBC Sports Gold streams live and commercial-free on Sunday, starting with field events at 7:15 a.m. Eastern and track events kicking off at 9 a.m. Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA airs coverage Monday at 4 p.m.

The women’s 100m hurdles also features two Americans who need points to reach the final — Nia Ali and Queen Claye.

Other American athletes aiming to improve solid chances of qualifying include Raevyn Rogers (women’s 800m), Jenn Suhr (women’s pole vault), Mike Rodgers (men’s 100m), Valarie Allman (women’s discus), Michael Cherry (men’s 400m), Kahmari Montgomery (men’s 400m), Vernon Norwood (men’s 400m), David Kendziera (men’s 400m hurdles), Jeron Robinson (men’s high jump) and Courtney Frerichs (women’s 3,000m steeplechase)

Americans who have already qualified in these events include Ajee Wilson (women’s 800m) and Brittney Reese (women’s long jump), both of whom will be competing in Birmingham,

U.S. qualifiers Jenna Prandini (women’s 200m), Emma Coburn (women’s 3,000m steeplechase) and Sandi Morris (women’s pole vault) will not be in Birmingham. Christian Coleman (100m) withdrew from the meet on Friday, spoiling a showdown with Canada’s Andre De Graase and leaving the potential qualification of Jamaica’s Yohan Blake as the most interesting question.

Americans who may qualify in absentia, pending other results, include Justin Gatlin (100m), Noah Lyles (100m), Jenny Simpson (1,500m), Rai Benjamin (400m hurdles), TJ Holmes (400m hurdles), Michael Norman (men’s 400m), Nathan Strother (men’s 400m) and Fred Kerley (men’s 400m).

In a non-Diamond League event, U.S. champion Craig Engels brings his famous mullet to Birmingham in the 1,500 meters.

Here are the Birmingham entry lists and the current Diamond League standings. The schedule (all times Eastern, x-event not counted toward Diamond League standings):

7:45 a.m. — Women’s Discus
8:02 a.m. — Women’s 100m Hurdles Heat A
8:07 a.m. — Women’s Pole Vault
8:14 a.m. — Women’s 100m Hurdles Heat B
8:26 a.m. — x-Men’s 110m Hurdles
8:46 a.m. — Men’s 100m Heat A
8:55 a.m. — Men’s 100m Heat B
9:03 a.m. — Men’s 400m
9:10 a.m. — Women’s Long Jump
9:13 a.m. — Men’s 400m Hurdles
9:19 a.m. — Men’s High Jump
9:23 a.m. — Women’s Mile
9:33 a.m. — x-Women’s 100m
9:38 a.m. — Men’s Javelin
9:43 a.m. — x-Men’s 1,500m
9:55 a.m. — Women’s 3,000m Steeplechase
10:12 a.m. — x-Men’s 800m
10:22 a.m. — Women’s 100m Hurdles Final
10:32 a.m. — Men’s 100m Final
10:41 a.m. — Women’s 800m
10:52 a.m. — Women’s 200m

Here are five events to watch:

Women’s Pole Vault — 8:07 a.m.
Suhr has no Diamond League points but has the world lead at 4.91 meters. Perennial contenders Katerina Stefanidi (Greece) and Yarisley Silva (Cuba) are also competing.

Men’s 400m — 9:03 a.m.
No one has clinched qualification yet, but Cherry is set to compete in Birmingham and should get through. Americans have the top four spots in the standings — Norman, Cherry, Strother and Kerley.

Women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase — 9:55 a.m.
World record holder Beatrice Chepkoech and three fellow Kenyans who have all qualified alongside Coburn will have their eyes on records.

Women’s 100m Hurdles — 10:22 a.m. final; 8:02 a.m. heats
Most of the top 12 on the world list this year and most of the hurdles who have clinched spots in the final will be here, including Williams and the American trio of Harrison, Sharika Nelvis and Christina Clemons. McNeal, who will run in the world championships with Harrison and Ali, will not qualify.

Women’s 200m — 10:52 a.m.
Dutch sprinter Dafne Schippers, who’s aiming for her third straight world championship, has qualified but will race in Birmingham against equally accomplished sprinters Shaunae Miller-Uibo (Bahamas), who has won the last two Diamond League titles at this distance and the 2016 Olympic 400-meter gold, and Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, whose list of international honors is lengthy.

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