Galen Rupp

Galen Rupp, Molly Huddle win 10,000m on U.S. Championships opening night

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Olympic medalist Galen Rupp and Molly Huddle won the 10,000m at the U.S. Championships in steamy Eugene, Ore., on Thursday night, leading qualifiers for August’s World Championships.

Athletes are aiming to finish in the top three of their events to make the U.S. team for the Worlds, Aug. 22-30 in Beijing. Full results from Thursday are here. The meet runs through Sunday.

Rupp, the Olympic 10,000m silver medalist, surged to the lead with less than three laps left and prevailed in 28 minutes, 11.61 seconds for his seventh straight U.S. title in the event (race video here). Temperatures were in the 90s at Hayward Field on Thursday night.

Rupp competed for the first time since ProPublica and BBC June 3 reports accusing his coach, Alberto Salazar, of violating medical and anti-doping rules, specifically with Rupp. Salazar responded to those reports with an 11,000-word open letter Wednesday.

Rupp and Salazar hugged shortly after the race.

“It’s definitely been hard with all that other stuff going on,” Rupp, a 29-year-old who has never failed a drug test and said three weeks ago that Salazar has never suggested he take banned substances, said in a post-race interview. “I really just try to keep focus on my track and always be professional. I still have a job to do here and can’t let it get in the way of that.”

“I think the truth will prevail,” Rupp later told media in Eugene. “I stand behind him [Salazar] 100 percent.”

Ben True finished second in 28:14.26 and Hassan Mead third in 28:16.54, both making their first Worlds teams.

In the women’s 10,000m, Huddle emerged from a three-woman pack at the start of the final lap to prevail in 31:39.20 for her first U.S. 10,000m title (race video here). The 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Shalane Flanagan was second (31:42.29), with Emily Infeld third (31:42.60).

Huddle, 30, made her third straight World Championships team and first in the 10,000m. Flanagan, 33, will go to Worlds for a sixth straight time. Infeld, 25, will make her Worlds debut.

Kenyan and Ethiopian women have won every Olympic and Worlds 10,000m medal since 2009.

In the U.S. men’s long jump final, Buffalo Bills wide receiver Marquise Goodwin placed fourth in his first competition since the London Olympics with a wind-aided 8.37m leap and will not go to the World Championships.

Every men’s and women’s 100m contender advanced out of the first round except for 2012 Olympic fifth-place finisher Ryan Bailey, who false started and was disqualified.

Baylor rising junior Trayvon Bromell clocked a personal-best 9.84 seconds to make him the fourth fastest U.S. man all time behind Tyson GayJustin Gatlin and Maurice Greene and tied for the 10th fastest man all time.

Bromell, 19, improved on his record for fastest time by a teenager by .06 despite slowing just before crossing the finish line to win his heat (race video here).

“I’m real surprised because when I slowed it down, I didn’t think I was going to run that fast,” Bromell, a shoe collector who has broken both knees and a forearm and cracked a hip, told media in Eugene. “I’m like, man, this is crazy, because I ain’t ever tried to run that fast in prelims.”

The women’s and men’s 100m semifinals start at 8 p.m. ET on Friday. The finals are at 10:21 p.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.

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UCI looks for new host for 2020 World Road Cycling Championships

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The International Cycling Union (UCI) is looking for a new host for the 2020 World Road Cycling Championships due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Switzerland can no longer host the week-long event in late September after a national decision to extend a ban on events with more than 1,000 people through next month.

Amid reports the competition has been canceled, the UCI clarified Wednesday that it still hopes to hold it in some form, perhaps without some of the junior or senior races.

It now seeks an “alternative project,” preferably still in Europe and on the same dates (Sept. 20-27).

Worlds were due to start in Switzerland on the same day that the rescheduled Tour de France ends, though the senior elite men’s races are typically not on the first three days.

The Tour de France is still scheduled to start Aug. 29.

Last year, American Chloe Dygert starred at road worlds, winning the time trial in dominant fashion. Other world champions in Olympic events: Annemiek van Vleuten (road race), Rohan Dennis (time trial) and Mads Pedersen (road race).

MORE: Chloe Dygert had the most dominant ride in history. It still drives her nuts.

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Michael Phelps qualifies for first Olympics at age 15 in 2000

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In the biggest race of his young life, a 15-year-old Michael Phelps turned for the last 50 meters in fourth place of the U.S. Olympic Trials 200m butterfly final on Aug. 12, 2000.

His mom, Debbie, couldn’t watch. She turned away from the Indianapolis Natatorium pool and stared at the scoreboard. Both Debbie and Phelps’ coach, Bob Bowman, mentally prepared their consolation speeches for the rising Towson High School sophomore outside Baltimore.

Then Phelps, fueled by nightly Adam’s Mark chicken sandwich-and-cheesecake room service and amped by pre-race DMX on his CD player, turned it on. He zoomed into second place, becoming the youngest U.S. male swimmer to qualify for an Olympics since 1932.

Phelps had “come out of nowhere in the last six months” to become an Olympic hopeful, NBC Sports swimming commentator Dan Hicks said on the broadcast. True, Phelps chopped five and a half seconds off his personal best that March.

“He doesn’t know what it means to go to the Olympics and how it’s going to change his life,” Tom Malchow, the 1996 Olympic silver medalist who held off Phelps in that trials final, said that night, according to The Associated Press. “He’s going to find out soon.”

Phelps, who did his trademark arm flaps before the trials final, made Bowman look like a prophet. Four years earlier, the coach sat Debbie down for a conversation she would not soon forget.

“Told me what he projected for Michael,” Debbie said, according to the Baltimore Sun‘s front-page story on a local 15-year-old qualifying for the Sydney Games. “He said that in 2004, he would definitely be a factor in the Olympics. He also said that he could be there in 2000, to watch out for him. At the time, he was only 11.”

The trials were bittersweet for the Phelps family. Whitney, one of Phelps’ older sisters, withdrew before the meet with herniated discs in her back that kept her from making an Olympics after competing in the 1994 World Championships at age 14.

After Phelps qualified for the Olympics, one of the first people to embrace him was Whitney on the pool deck.

The next week, Phelps, still with bottom-teeth braces, did his first live TV sitdown on CNN, swiveling in his chair the whole time, according to his autobiography, “Beneath the Surface.”

The next month, Phelps finished fifth in his Olympic debut, clocking a then-personal-best time that would have earned gold or silver at every previous Olympics.

Following the Olympic race, gold medalist Malchow patted Phelps on the back, according to “No Limits,” another Phelps autobiography. What did Malchow say?

“The best is ahead of you.”

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