Meb Keflezighi
AP

Meb Keflezighi: I didn’t want to put all my eggs in Olympic trials basket

Leave a comment

Meb Keflezighi never questioned whether to race a fall marathon before February’s Olympic trials, despite the short turnaround between 26.2-mile races.

“The only question that was on the table was should I do New York, or Chicago to give me more recovery time [for the Olympic trials]?” Keflezighi said in a phone interview Wednesday. “Things didn’t work out with Chicago. I have a great relationship with New York.”

Keflezighi, 40, will run his 10th New York City Marathon on Nov. 1, which is 104 days before he plans to run the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials marathon in Los Angeles on Feb. 13.

If Keflezighi had chosen to race the Chicago Marathon last Sunday instead of New York, he would have gained three weeks of recovery time for the Olympic trials. Most of the other U.S. Olympic marathon hopefuls are not racing fall marathons.

“It would’ve been nice to have that recovery [from racing Chicago],” Keflezighi said. “But for me, my record speaks pretty well for my recovery. Yeah I’m 40, but I also have 100,000 miles under my belt. I’m not starting from zero, and I didn’t want to put all my eggs in the Olympic trials basket.

“If I get sick or I get food poisoning or all that stuff [at the Olympic trials], you’d be like, you should’ve done a fall marathon.”

The turnaround from New York to the Olympic trials would be Keflezighi’s third shortest span between competitive marathons, according to the track and field statistics website Tilastopaja.

In 69 days, Keflezighi finished sixth in the 2011 New York City Marathon and won the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in Houston.

In 70 days, Keflezighi finished second in both the Athens 2004 Olympic marathon and the 2004 New York City Marathon.

Keflezighi is arguably the favorite going into the Olympic marathon trials, given his consistent record and that he ran the second fastest U.S. marathon since the 2012 Olympics in winning Boston in 2014. Only Dathan Ritzenhein, who was fourth at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials won by Keflezighi, has been faster in the last three years.

If three men beat Keflezighi at the marathon trials, he does not expect to enter the Olympic track and field trials 10,000m in Eugene, Ore., in a last-gasp Olympic bid in July.

For Beijing 2008, Keflezighi finished eighth at the Olympic marathon trials and did enter the track and field trials 10,000m, placing 13th and missing the Olympic team.

“If I was in my 20s or 30s … I would consider it,” said Keflezighi, who in 2016 will be older than any previous U.S. Olympic runner, according to sports-reference.com. “As of right now, if you ask me, absolutely not, but only time will tell.”

The biggest marathon news this fall came in Berlin on Sept. 27, when Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge prevailed in a time 63 seconds slower than the world record despite traversing most of the 26.2 miles with his insoles flopping out from the back of his shoes.

The incident brought to mind other famous shoe malfunctions, such as when Keflezighi left his nasal strip in his left shoe before the 2011 New York City Marathon, finished sixth as it rubbed against the foot and developed an infection that cost him three weeks of training ahead of the 2012 Olympic trials 69 days later, which he won in a then-personal-best time.

“To this day, even though four years later, there’s a scar still there,” Keflezighi said. “I still have to watch it.”

MORE TRACK AND FIELD: Fall marathons lack U.S. Olympic women’s contenders, too

Chloe Dygert crashes over guard rail at world championships, has surgery

Leave a comment

American Chloé Dygert crashed over a guard rail at the world road cycling championships time trial, where she appeared en route to a repeat title, and underwent leg surgery as a result.

Dygert, who last year won by the largest margin in history as the youngest-ever champion, lost control of her bike while approaching a curve to the right. Her front wheel bobbled, and she collided with the barricade, flipping over into an area with grass.

Dygert, who had a left leg laceration, was tended to by several people, put on a stretcher and taken to a hospital in Bologna, Italy, about 25 miles from the worlds host of Imola.

“We are relieved that this crash was not worse than what it could have been,” USA Cycling chief of sport performance Jim Miller said in a press release. “While this crash is distressing, Chloe is young and a fighter. With Chloe’s determination, we know she will be back riding before we know it. For now, we want her to focus on healing.”

About 10 minutes after the crash, Dutchwoman Anna van der Breggen won her first time trial title.

Van der Breggen took silver the last three years behind Dygert and countrywoman Annemiek van Vleuten, who missed this year’s race after breaking her wrist last week in the Giro Rosa.

Dygert, 23, had a 26-second lead at the 14-kilometer time check of the 31-kilometer race. Full results are here.

Dygert qualified for the Tokyo Olympics when she won last year’s world time trial title. She has been bidding to make the Olympics on the road and the track.

Worlds continue Friday with the men’s time trial airing on Olympic Channel and NBC Sports Gold for Cycling Pass subscribers at 8:15 a.m. ET. A full TV schedule is here.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: USA Cycling names Olympic team finalists

2020 French Open men’s singles draw, bracket

Leave a comment

Rafael Nadal was put into the same half of the French Open draw as fellow 2018 and 2019 finalist Dominic Thiem of Austria, with top-ranked Novak Djokovic catching a break.

Nadal, trying to tie Roger Federer‘s male record 20 Grand Slam singles titles, could play sixth-seeded German Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals before a potential clash with Thiem, who just won the U.S. Open.

Djokovic, who is undefeated in 2020 save being defaulted out of the U.S. Open, could play No. 7 seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy in the quarterfinals before a possible semifinal with Russian Daniil Medvedev.

Medvedev is the fourth seed but is 0-3 at the French Open. Another possible Djokovic semifinal opponent is fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, who reached the fourth round last year.

The most anticipated first-round matchup is between three-time major champion Andy Murray and 2015 French Open champion Stan Wawrinka. In Murray’s most recent French Open match, he lost in five sets to Wawrinka in the 2017 semifinals.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women | TV Schedule

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

French Open Men's Draw French Open Men's Draw French Open Men's Draw French Open Men's Draw