Mo Farah prevails, Galen Rupp beaten at Prefontaine Classic

Mo Farah
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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

Brigid Kosgei, world record holder, to miss London Marathon

Brigid Kosgei
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World record holder Brigid Kosgei withdrew before Sunday’s London Marathon due to a right hamstring injury that has bothered her for the last month.

“My training has been up and down and not the way I would like to prepare to be in top condition,” was posted on Kosgei’s social media. “We’ve decided it’s best I withdraw from this year’s race and get further treatment on my injuries in order to enter 2023 stronger than ever.”

Kosgei, a 28-year-old Kenyan mother of twins, shattered the world record by 81 seconds at the 2019 Chicago Marathon. She clocked 2:14:04 to smash Brit Paula Radcliffe‘s record from 2003.

Since, Kosgei won the 2020 London Marathon, took silver at the Tokyo Olympics, placed fourth at the 2021 London Marathon and won this past March’s Tokyo Marathon in what was then the third-fastest time in history (2:16:02).

Ethiopian Tigist Assefa moved into the top three by winning the Berlin Marathon last Sunday in 2:15:37.

The London Marathon women’s field includes Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei, a winner in New York City (2019) and London (2021), and Yalemzerf Yehualaw, who was the Ethiopian record holder until Assefa won in Berlin.

The men’s field is headlined by Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest male marathoner in history, and Brit Mo Farah, a four-time Olympic champion on the track.

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Dmitriy Balandin, surprise Olympic swimming champion, retires

Dmitriy Balandin
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Dmitriy Balandin, the Kazakh swimmer who pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the 2016 Rio Olympics, retired at age 27.

“Today I would like to announce the end of my sports career,” Balandin said last week, according to Kazakhstan’s Olympic Committee. “I am still inspired. A new phase of my life begins. I have a lot of cool projects in my head that will soon be implemented.”

Balandin reportedly has coaching aspirations.

In 2016, he won the Olympic men’s 200m breaststroke out of lane eight as the last qualifier into the final. He edged American Josh Prenot by seven hundredths of a second and became Kazakhstan’s first Olympic swimming medalist.

He followed that up with 11th- and 17th-place finishes in the breaststrokes in Tokyo last year.

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