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

Hayato Sakamoto, Japanese baseball MVP, tests positive for coronavirus

Hayato Sakamoto
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Hayato Sakamoto, an MVP of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) league, is one of two players from the Yomiuri Giants to test positive for the coronavirus, according to several Japanese media reports.

Sakamoto, a 31-year-old shortstop, and catcher Takumi Oshiro tested positive ahead of the NPB’s planned June 19 start to the season that had been delayed to the coronavirus.

The tests showed traces of the coronavirus, according to Kyodo News.

The Giants canceled Wednesday’s practice game with the Seibu Lions to limit the spread of the virus.

Sakamoto is the reigning Central League MVP. He has been called the Derek Jeter of Japan for playing the same position as the Yankee great and being the veteran captain of Japan’s equivalent club, the Giants, which own a record 22 Japan Series titles.

Sakamoto, who played in the last two World Baseball Classics, has been considered a lock for Japan’s baseball team at the Tokyo Games in 2021 as the most well known active player who hasn’t left for Major League Baseball. MLB is not expected to allow its top players to participate in the Olympics, which would keep the likes of Shohei Ohtani and Masahiro Tanaka off the Olympic roster.

The sport returns to the Olympic program for the first time since 2008, though it is not on the 2024 Olympic program nor guaranteed a place at the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

Japan reached the semifinals of all five Olympic baseball tournaments when the sport was previously on the medal program but never took gold.

In a 2018 survey, Sakamoto was ranked as Japan’s eighth-most popular athlete across all sports, foreign or domestic, active or retired.

Sky Brown, 11-year-old Olympic skateboard hopeful, suffers serious injuries in fall

Sky Brown Skateboard Fall
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Sky Brown, an 11-year-old British Olympic skateboarding hopeful, recently suffered her worst fall, requiring surgery, she said in a video posted from a hospital bed.

Brown suffered skull fractures and broke her left wrist and hand and was at first unresponsive upon arrival to a hospital, according to the BBC, which quoted her father.

Video of the fall from a skateboarding ramp was posted on her social media. She appeared to be wearing a helmet in the video.

“I don’t usually post my falls or talk about them because I want people to see the fun in what I do,” Brown said. “But this was my worst fall, and I just want everyone to know that, it’s OK, don’t worry. I’m OK. It’s OK to fall sometimes. I’m just going to get back up and push even harder. I know there’s a lot of things going on in the world right now. I want everyone to know that whatever we do, we’ve just go to do it with love and happiness.”

Brown is the 2019 World bronze medalist in the new Olympic sport’s park discipline.

Later Tuesday, Brown reposted an Instagram post from what appeared to be her father’s account. The caption of that post said Brown fell 15 feet to flat concrete.

“I held her in my arms and she bled helplessly moaning in and out of consciousness waiting for the helicopter to take her to the Hospital,” the caption read. “We spent the night sick and terrified not knowing if Sky was going to make it through the night, as the ICU team tried to get her conscious and kept her alive.

“4 days later Sky sits across from me with her full memory back, smiling, watching TikTok while Eating her favorite bad snacks.”

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Last week the worst thing I could ever ever imagined happened to @skybrown . She fell about 15ft off the side of a vert ramp to flat concrete. I held her in my arms and she bled helplessly moaning in and out of consciousness waiting for the helicopter to take her to the Hospital. We spent the night sick and terrified not knowing if Sky was going to make it through the night, as the ICU team tried to get her conscious and kept her alive. We prayed and begged God to give Sky another chance. Word came back while she was still unconscious, multiple fractures to her skull, a broken left arm, which she broke into pieces because she used it to break her fall, broken right fingers and lacerations to her heart and lungs. 4 days later Sky sits across from me with her full memory back, smiling, watching TikTok while Eating her favorite bad snacks. More importantly her Doctors and the trauma team say it’s a miracle how well she is dealing with the pain and recovering incredibly fast. They said it’s shocking and believe it’s because of her grit, positivity and attitude. Skys brother @oceanbrown has been so brave. He saw his sister fall to the ground lying in a pool of blood and was screaming in tears that night outside of the hospital. He has still not allowed into the hospital to see her. They miss each-other dearly, but no siblings are allowed to enter the hospital because of coronavirus. They’ve been spending hours a day on FaceTime with each other making funny faces to one another in fits of giggles and laughter. Sky promises Ocean daily that she will make a fast recovery so they can be together again. Sky is constantly joking and smiling and it’s hurts my heart to even imagine for a second a world without Sky; extremely thankful that I don’t have to. Thank you to the heroes that are the doctors, nurses and hospital staff that have tirelessly worked on her and helped her get to this point.

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