Justin Gatlin puts away Asafa Powell, Tyson Gay in Lausanne

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Justin Gatlin easily defeated Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay in a 100m in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Thursday, in what may have been a preview of the World Championships in August.

Gatlin, five years removed from a four-year doping ban, clocked 9.75 seconds for the victory. Gatlin, 33, is the only man to run 9.80 or better since Sept. 6, 2013, and he’s done it five times.

Powell and Gay both finished in 9.92 in Lausanne. Usain Bolt previously pulled out of the meet due to a leg injury. Bolt’s best time since the start of 2014 is 9.98, and he is in danger of relinquishing his World title to, most likely, the 2004 Olympic champion Gatlin.

Powell, who held the world record before Bolt first broke it in 2008, and Gay, the 2007 World champion, rank No. 2 and No. 6 in the world in the 100m this year. Gay said after the race he had a sore hip, according to the IAAF.

Athletes were competing in Lausanne in preparation for the World Championships in Beijing (Aug. 22-30, broadcast info here). Full results from Lausanne are here.

Also Thursday, Allyson Felix won a 200m in 22.09 seconds. Only one woman has run faster than that this year — Felix on May 15 (21.98). The Olympic champion reinforced her favorite status for Worlds, but she may run the 400m instead in Beijing and has said the Worlds schedule doesn’t allow for a 200m-400m double.

The Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller established herself in Lausanne as the top threat if Felix attempts the 400m at the World Championships. Miller, 21, clocked a personal-best 49.92, the best time in the world this year by a woman who is qualified for Worlds and better than any time by Felix since 2011. Miller beat a field Thursday that included Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross, who did not qualify for Worlds.

Miller is also second fastest in the world in the 200m this year behind Felix.

Great Britain’s Zharnel Hughes, a 19-year-old training partner of Bolt, won the 200m in a personal best 20.13 over a field that included neither the Worlds favorite Gatlin nor the world-record holder Bolt.

American English Gardner won an earlier 100m race in 10.76, which would be a personal best if not for the illegal tailwind of 5.4m/s.

Olympic champion Christian Taylor triple jumped a personal best 18.06m to win over Cuban Pedro Pablo Pichardo, matching the fourth-best jump of all time.

Botswana’s Nijel Amos took the 800m by passing Olympic champion and world record holder David Rudisha in the final straight. Amos ran 1:43.27 to Rudisha’s 1:43.76. Amos, who took 2012 Olympic silver behind Rudisha, had the fastest time in the world in 2014 and is No. 2 this year behind Djibouti’s Ayanleh Souleiman. Rudisha, coming off injuries since the 2012 Olympics, ranks fourth in the world this year.

Beijing Olympic champion Dawn Harper-Nelson took the 100m hurdles in 12.55, leading a U.S. sweep over Jasmin Stowers (12.58), Queen Harrison (12.63) and Sharika Nelvis (12.63). Stowers and Harrison failed to qualify for Worlds. Harper-Nelson’s biggest competition at Worlds should come from countrywomen Nelvis (fastest in the world this year), defending World champion Brianna Rollins and NCAA champion Keni Harrison.

Olympic and World champion Mo Farah won a 5000m in 13:11.77 over top Ethiopians and Kenyans.

Reigning Diamond League champion Jenny Simpson finished third in a 1500m by Ethiopian-born Netherlands runner Sifan Hassan. Hassan was the fastest woman in the world last year, while Simpson was No. 3. They’re both Worlds medal contenders.

Bershawn Jackson, the fastest 400m hurdler in the world this year, clocked 48.71 to beat a field that included the reignign World gold and silver medalists. Jackson, 32, appears the favorite to win the World Championship, 10 years after his previous title.

Two-time reigning World champion David Storl won the shot put with a 22.20m throw, his first time over 22 meters. American Joe Kovacs, the world No. 1 in 2014 and 2015, took second.

Kovacs has thrown 22.35m this year and seems headed for a showdown with the German Storl at Worlds. Storl and Kovacs have combined for the 10 farthest throws in the world this year.

U.S. champion Tianna Bartoletta won the long jump with 6.86m leap. Bartoletta was the only woman to jump seven meters last year and is again the only one so far this year. She’ll look to break Olympic champion Brittney Reese‘s streak of three straight World titles in August.

Emma Coburn, who wants to become the first American to win a Worlds 3000m steeplechase medal, finished third in the event in Lausanne behind a Kenyan and an Ethiopian. Coburn still has the second fastest time in the world this year.

Olympic champion and world-record holder Renaud Lavillenie finished third in the pole vault but remains the only man to clear six meters this year.

The Diamond League continues in Monaco on July 17.

Allyson Felix’s coach to voice opinion on Olympic track and field schedule

Teri McKeever fired by Cal as women’s swimming coach after investigation

Teri McKeever
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Teri McKeever, the first woman to serve as a U.S. Olympic swimming head coach, was fired by the University of California at Berkeley after an investigation into alleged verbal and emotional abuse of swimmers that she denied.

McKeever was put on paid administrative leave from her job as head women’s swimming coach in May after an Orange County Register report that 20 current or former Cal swimmers said McKeever verbally and emotionally bullied her swimmers.

Cal athletics director Jim Knowlton wrote in a letter to the Cal team and staff that a resulting independent law firm report detailed “verbally abusive conduct that is antithetical to our most important values.”

“I strongly believe this is in the best interests of our student-athletes, our swimming program and Cal Athletics as a whole,” Knowlton said of McKeever’s firing in a press release. “The report details numerous violations of university policies that prohibit race, national origin and disability discrimination.”

The Orange County Register first published what it says is the full independent report here.

“I deny and unequivocally refute all conclusions that I abused or bullied any athlete and deny any suggestion I discriminated against any athlete on the basis of race, disability or sexual orientation,” McKeever said in a statement Tuesday confirming her firing and expressing disappointment in how the investigation was conducted. “While I am disappointed in the way my CAL Career will conclude, I wish to thank and celebrate the many student-athletes and staff that made my time in Berkeley a true blessing and gift.”

McKeever’s lawyer wrote that McKeever “will be filing suit to expose the manner in which gender has affected not only the evaluation of her coaching but harmed and continues to harm both female and male athletes.”

McKeever led Cal women’s swimming and diving for nearly 30 years, winning four NCAA team titles and coaching Olympic champions including Missy FranklinNatalie Coughlin and Dana Vollmer.

In 2004, she became the first woman to be on a U.S. Olympic swim team coaching staff, as an assistant. In 2012, she became the first woman to be head coach of a U.S. Olympic swim team. She was an assistant again for the Tokyo Games.

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Diana Taurasi returns to U.S. national basketball team

Diana Taurasi
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Diana Taurasi is set to return to the U.S. national basketball team next week for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics, signaling a possible bid for a record-breaking sixth Olympic appearance in 2024 at age 42.

Taurasi is on the 15-player roster for next week’s training camp in Minnesota announced Tuesday.

Brittney Griner is not on the list but is expected to return to competitive basketball later this year with her WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury (also Taurasi’s longtime team, though she is currently a free agent), after being detained in Russia for 10 months in 2022.

Taurasi said as far back as the 2016 Rio Games that her Olympic career was likely over, but returned to the national team after Dawn Staley succeeded Geno Auriemma as head coach in 2017.

In Tokyo, Taurasi and longtime backcourt partner Sue Bird became the first basketball players to win five Olympic gold medals. Bird has since retired.

After beating Japan in the final, Taurasi said “see you in Paris,” smiling, as she left an NBC interview. That’s now looking less like a joke and more like a prediction.

Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve succeeded Staley as head coach last year. In early fall, she guided the U.S. to arguably the best FIBA World Cup performance ever, despite not having stalwarts Bird, Griner, Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles.

Taurasi was not in contention for the team after suffering a WNBA season-ending quad injury in the summer. Taurasi, who is 38-0 in Olympic games and started every game at the last four Olympics, wasn’t on a U.S. team for an Olympics or worlds for the first time since 2002.

Next year, Taurasi can become the oldest Olympic basketball player in history and the first to play in six Games, according to Olympedia.org. Spain’s Rudy Fernandez could also play in a sixth Olympics in 2024.

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