Usain Bolt wasn’t dressed to race, but he took up a challenge from an unlikely opponent at The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Tuesday.
The six-time Olympic champion went on the show as part of a Los Angeles visit, three days after he partied at Oktoberfest in Munich for a third straight year. Also Tuesday, Bolt met with USC sprinter Andre De Grasse, who shared bronze in the World Championships 100m behind the gold medalist Bolt in Beijing on Aug. 23.
On Ellen, Demarjay Smith, an 8-year-old YouTube sensation for his videos as a personal trainer, said he could beat Bolt in a race. Watch the segment here.
“100 percent,” the Bronx boy said. “Trust me.”
Then Ellen brought Bolt out from off stage, all three of them did push-ups together and then headed to a parking lot for a race.
“Come on, Usain, don’t be scared of me,” the kid said.
Bolt, wearing jeans, did not back down, even though the starting blocks were positioned backwards. Smith clearly false-started, but Bolt didn’t call it back.
They sprinted for about 15 seconds, with Bolt unable to catch Smith and pulling up before the finish line, holding the back of his right leg.
“I got cramps,” Bolt said. “You got lucky, man. I want a rematch, though.”
Also on Ellen, Bolt talked about training for his last Olympics and that he’s considered moving into acting after his planned 2017 retirement. Watch part of that interview here.
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Olympic champion Gregorio Paltrinieri swam the second-fastest 1500m freestyle in history, clocking 14:33.10 in his native Italy on Thursday.
Paltrinieri, 25, missed Chinese Sun Yang‘s world record from the 2012 Olympics by 2.08 seconds.
The Italian now owns the second- and third-fastest times in history, including his 14:34.10 from the 2016 European Championships, also held at the 2012 Olympic pool in London.
Paltrinieri is a versatile distance swimmer. At last year’s world championships, he finished sixth in the open-water 10km to qualify for the Olympics, then won the 800m free in the pool in a European record time and finished with 1500m bronze, just missing a third straight world title in that event.
German Florian Wellbrock won the 1500m in 14:36.54 at worlds, with Paltrinieri finishing 2.21 seconds back.
Sun, 28, was in February banned eight years stemming from destroying a drug-test sample with a hammer in September 2018. Sun, who focused more on the 200m and 400m frees in recent years, did not race the 1500m at the 2017 or 2019 Worlds.
Top-level swim meets in the U.S. are scheduled to resume in November with the Tyr Pro Series.
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Bianca Andreescu withdrew from the U.S. Open, citing “unforeseen challenges, including the Covid pandemic” compromising her ability to prepare to defend her Grand Slam title.
“I have taken this step in order to focus on my match fitness and ensure that I return ready to play at my highest level,” Andreescu, a 20-year-old Canadian, posted on social media. “The US Open victory last year has been the high point of my career thus far and I will miss not being there. However, I realize that the unforeseen challenges, including the Covid pandemic, have compromised my ability to prepare and compete to the degree necessary to play at my highest level.”
Andreescu’s absence means the U.S. Open, the first Grand Slam tournament since tennis resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic, will be without both 2019 male and female singles champions.
Rafael Nadal previously announced he would not defend his title, saying he would rather not travel given the global situation. Roger Federer is also out after knee surgery. Women’s No. 1 Ash Barty didn’t enter, either, citing travel concerns.
Last year, Andreescu made her U.S. Open title run as the 15th seed, sweeping Serena Williams in the final. Ranked 208th a year earlier, she became the first player born in the 2000s to win a Slam and the first teen Slam winner since Maria Sharapova at the 2006 U.S. Open.
Andreescu then missed the Australian Open in January due to rehab from a knee injury that forced her to retire during a match at the WTA Finals on Oct. 30. She also missed the French Open and Wimbledon in 2019 following a rotator cuff tear.
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