Mo Farah

Mo Farah prevails, Galen Rupp beaten at Prefontaine Classic

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Mo Farah was unhappy after he won the 10,000m, while training partner Galen Rupp finished third in the 5000m, getting passed with 300 meters left at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore., on Friday night.

Farah, the British Olympic and World 5000m and 10,000m champion, pulled away from Kenyans Paul Tanui and Geoffrey Kamworor in the last 100 meters to conclude the first of two days of action at the Diamond League meet at Hayward Field.

Farah clocked 26 minutes, 50.97 seconds, which was 4.40 seconds slower than his personal best from 2011. He won by .89 (race video here) but was discouraged with both the pacemaking and not having a pacemaker for the final half of the race.

“I wasn’t so happy,” Farah told media in Eugene. “With the pacemaking, it was tough to be able to just go alone all the way [the last 5,000m].”

Earlier, Ethiopian Yomif Kejelcha, 17, won the 5000m in 13:10.54, on the final lap passing Rupp, who was third in 13:12.36. Two-time Olympic medalist Bernard Lagat, 40, was fourth in 13:14.97. Kejelcha, the World Junior champion, chopped 14.65 seconds off his personal best (race video here).

“It’s May, so I know what I need to do, gives me some good information moving forward the rest of the summer,” Rupp, whom Farah called his greatest challenger in the 10,000m, told media in Eugene. “I really wanted to see how I stacked up.”

U.S. champion Joe Kovacs won the shot put with a 22.12m throw, the farthest in the world this year. Kovacs, who also had the farthest throw in the world in 2014, defeated a field that included all three 2012 Olympic medalists.

Tianna Bartoletta, the U.S. 100m champion, won the long jump with a wind-aided 7.11m leap. Olympic and World champion Brittney Reese was fifth (6.69m).

The Prefontaine Classic concludes Saturday. NBCSN will have live coverage from 3:30-4:30 p.m. ET, followed by NBC from 4:30-6. NBC Sports Live Extra will stream the entire broadcast window. The full schedule and entry lists can be found here.

Prefontaine Classic preview of Saturday’s action

Mark Spitz takes on Katie Ledecky’s challenge

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Swimmers around the world took on Katie Ledecky‘s milk-glass challenge since it became a social media sensation, including one of the few Americans with more Olympic gold medals.

Mark Spitz, who won seven golds at the 1972 Munich Games, took 10 strokes in an at-home pool while perfectly balancing a glass of what appeared to be water on his head.

“Would’ve been faster with the ‘stache, @markspitzusa, but I still give this 7 out of 7 gold medals,” Ledecky tweeted.

Spitz joined fellow Olympic champions Susie O’Neill of Australia and American Matt Grevers in posting similar videos to what Ledecky first shared Monday.

In Tokyo next year, Ledecky can pass Spitz’s career gold-medal count of nine if she wins all of her expected events — 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyles and the 4x200m free relay.

Then she would trail one athlete from any country in any sport — Michael Phelps, the 23-time gold medalist who has yet to post video of swimming while balancing a glass on his head.

MORE: Spitz puts Michael Phelps’ career in perspective

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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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