Justin Gatlin stays hot; Genzebe Dibaba breaks world record in Monaco

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Justin Gatlin continued his unbeaten streak, while Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba broke a 22-year-old world record in the women’s 1500m at a Diamond League meet in Monaco on Friday night.

Gatlin, the favorite to beat Usain Bolt for 100m and 200m World titles in August, won the 100m in 9.78 seconds, beating Tyson Gay by .19. Gatlin is the only man to run 9.80 or better since the start of 2014, and he’s done so six times. The 33-year-old, five years removed from a four-year doping ban, hasn’t lost an individual race since Sept. 6, 2013.

Dibaba, better known as a 5000m runner until now, clocked 3:50.07 in the 1500m to break the 3:50.46 world record set by China’s Qu Yunxia in 1993. In the same race Friday, Shannon Rowbury ran 3:56.29 to break the American record set by Mary Slaney in 1983 (3:57.12).

Dibaba’s world record is the first in an Olympic track event since Aries Merritt in the 110m hurdles on Sept. 7, 2012. It’s the first women’s Olympic track event world record since Russian Gulnara Samitova-Galkina in the 3000m steeplechase on Aug. 17, 2008. Dibaba’s older sister, Tirunesh Dibaba, holds the 5000m world record set June 6, 2008.

“I think Tirunesh will be happy, all Ethiopia will be happy,” Dibaba said, according to the Diamond League. “I knew from the beginning that I could break the record and am still able to improve, maybe under 3:50. But one thing is clear I will double at World Championships [1500m and 5000m]. And let’s try for 5000m world record after Beijing.”

In Monaco, athletes were preparing for the World Championships in Beijing (Aug. 22-30, broadcast info here). Here are full results from Monaco.

Asbel Kiprop, the two-time reigning World champion, ran the fifth fastest 1500m of all time in 3:26.69. The Kenyan was .69 off Hicham El Guerrouj‘s world record from 1998 and moved to third fastest all time in the event behind Kiprop and Bernard Lagat.

Kiprop relegated Olympic and World 5000m and 10,000m champion Mo Farah to fourth place, marking the Brit’s lowest finish in an outdoor track final since 2010, according to Tilastopaja. Afterward, Farah said he will run the 10,000m at Worlds but hadn’t decided whether to contest the 5000m.

American Matthew Centrowitz, who won medals behind Kiprop at the last two Worlds, clocked a personal-best 3:30.40 for 10th place, moving to third on the U.S. all-time list and ahead of Alan Webb. Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano was 13th in 3:36.16.

Two-time U.S. champion Joe Kovacs threw the farthest shot put in 12 years, 22.56m to win that contest and solidify favorite status going into his first World Championships.

Francena McCorory, who failed to qualify for the World Championships in the individual 400m, improved on her fastest time in the world this year by winning the 400m in 49.83. McCorory, who has the three fastest times in the world in 2015, could still run the 400m at Worlds, if Allyson Felix gives up her spot to focus on the 200m.

American Sharika Nelvis took the 100m hurdles in 12.46 in a Worlds preview. Nelvis, the world’s fastest woman this year in 12.34, beat a field that included the three other Americans going to Worlds plus the top non-American going to Worlds, Michigan-born Brit Tiffany Porter.

American Candyce McGrone won the women’s 200m in a personal-best 22.08, becoming the second fastest woman in the world this year behind Felix. The Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller, one of Felix’s biggest threats for Worlds in the 200m and 400m, slowed to a jog in the final 50 meters and was last in 28.28.

Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie won the pole vault with a 5.92m clearance.

Olympic champion Christian Taylor defeated Cuban rival Pedro Pablo Pichardo in the triple jump, 17.75m to 17.73m. Taylor and Pichardo are the only men to triple jump farther than 17.53m this year, which they’ve done a combined 13 times.

Bershawn Jackson, the 2005 World champion and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist, won the 400m hurdles in 48.23. Jackson, 32, has won at eight of his nine meets this season and holds the world’s fastest time this year of 48.09.

In the men’s 800m, Amel Tuka of Bosnia and Herzegovina ran the world’s fastest time of 2015, a 1:42.52 to beat a field that did not include Kenyan Olympic champion and world-record holder David Rudisha.

The Diamond League season continues in London next Friday and Saturday, with Bolt scheduled to race for the first time since June 13.

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2022 Ironman Kona World Championships results

Ironman Kona World Championships
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2022 Ironman Kona World Championship top-10 results and notables (full, searchable pro and age group results are here) …

Pro Women
1. Chelsea Sodaro (USA) — 8:33:46
2. Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR) — 8:41:37
3. Anne Haug (GER) — 8:42:22
4. Laura Philipp (GER) — 8:50:31
5. Lisa Norden (SWE) — 8:54:43
6. Fenella Langridge (GBR) — 8:56:26
7. Sarah Crowley (AUS) — 9:01:58
8. Daniela Ryf (SUI) — 9:02:26
9. Skye Moench (USA) — 9:04:31
10. Laura Siddall (GBR) — 9:07:49
16. Heather Jackson (USA) — 9:22:17
DNF. Sarah True (USA)

Pro Men
Race is on Saturday, live on Peacock at 12 p.m. ET.

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Chelsea Sodaro wins Ironman Kona World Championship, ends American drought

Chelsea Sodaro
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Chelsea Sodaro was the surprise winner of the Ironman Kona World Championships women’s race, ending the longest American victory drought in the event’s 44-year history.

Sodaro, a 33-year-old mom to an 18-month-old, prevailed in an unofficial 8 hours, 33 minutes, 46 seconds on Hawaii’s Big Island.

“My mind is a little bit blown right now,” she said in a finish area interview 25 minutes later, standing next to her daughter, Skylar. “This is the culmination of things being right in my life and having perspective. … This is freakin’ incredible, but the greatest gift at the end of the finish line is my little 18-month-old.”

Sodaro was in fifth place after the 2.6-mile swim and 112-mile bike, then recorded one of the fastest 26.2-mile marathon runs in event history (2:51:45) to win by 7 minutes, 50 seconds over Brit Lucy Charles-Barclay.

Swiss Daniela Ryf, who was eyeing her sixth Ironman world title, led after the bike but faded quickly on the run.

MORE: Ironman Kona Race Results

Sodaro, whose lone previous full Ironman was a second-place finish at June’s European Championships (reportedly in the second-fastest Ironman distance debut in history), became the first American to win in Kona since Tim DeBoom in 2002 and the first American to win the women’s race since Zimbabwean-turned-American Paula Newby-Fraser in 1996.

She is the first woman or man to win in their Kona debut since Brit Chrissie Wellington took the first of her four titles in 2007.

Sodaro (née Reilly) was an All-America runner at Cal, then placed 19th in the 10,000m at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials.

She turned to triathlon in 2017, made podiums on the World Cup circuit (just below the top-level World Series for Olympic hopefuls) and moved up to long-distance racing in 2018.

At the half Ironman distance, she was fourth at the 2019 World Championships, her last major championship start before the pandemic, pregnancy, childbirth and a move up to the full Ironman this year.

“I’m pretty stoked that I think I maybe get to take the rest of the year off and be a mom for a month or so,” Sodaro said.

The pro men’s race is Saturday, live on Peacock at 12 p.m. ET.

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