Galen Rupp will race U.S. Olympic marathon trials

Galen Rupp
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Olympic 10,000m silver medalist Galen Rupp will make his marathon debut at the U.S. Olympic marathon trials on Feb. 13.

“It came up a little sooner than I would have thought,” Rupp said of his marathon debut in a USATF.TV interview. “For a long time, it was always … after the Olympics this summer, then I would really start to look at [the marathon] more. After this last summer, it kind of came up in conversations with [coach] Alberto [Salazar].”

Rupp, 29, qualified for the Olympic trials at a half marathon Dec. 13, his first time racing that long of a distance in more than four years. NBC Sports will have live coverage of the trials in Los Angeles.

He said he still plans to race the 10,000 meters this spring with the potential of contesting both the 10,000m and the marathon at the Rio Olympics.

“I would say that the 10k is still my primary focus,” said Rupp, who would have to make the Olympic track team at those trials in Eugene, Ore., from July 1-10. “Really, it just comes down to what I think I have a better chance in as a second event, whether that’s the 5k or the marathon.”

At the Olympics, the 10,000m is Aug. 13. The 5000m is Aug. 17 (heats) and Aug. 20 (final). The marathon is Aug. 21, the final day of the Games.

Rupp’s 1:01:20 half marathon Dec. 13 ranked second among U.S. men for 2015, behind U.S. champion Diego Estrada, who is expected to make his 26.2-mile debut at the marathon trials.

“Galen wants to keep all his options open,” Salazar said in December, according to Runner’s World. “No commitments one way or the other.”

Rupp previously signed up for the 2012 U.S. Olympic marathon trials — also, reportedly, because he wanted to keep his options open — with a qualifying time from the March 2011 New York City half marathon (1:00:30).

But Rupp withdrew one week before the Jan. 14, 2012, marathon trials.

Many have wondered when Rupp would make his marathon debut. And how he would fare.

“It’s a little daunting,” Rupp said in the USATF.TV interview published Thursday. “It obviously is a little risky. I’ve always been a 5k/10k guy.”

He’s long been best at the 10,000m, making the Beijing 2008 team in the second-longest running event on the Olympic program, breaking the American record in 2011 (and again in 2014) and taking that 2012 Olympic silver medal.

The Olympic marathon trials favorite is Meb Keflezighi, a 40-year-old who owns an Olympic silver medal and Boston and New York marathon victories.

The other top contender, three-time Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein, dealt with a hip injury in the fall and didn’t contest a Dec. 13 relay race with other men’s and women’s marathon hopefuls.

The top three at the trials will make the Rio Olympic team.

“Guys that certainly have a lot more experience than I do in running a marathon,” Rupp said, not about specific runners but the field. “They’ve been so great for so long. They’re there for a reason. They’re going to make it tough.”

Rupp’s goal is Olympic gold, and his best shot to do so may still be in the 10,000m.

Rupp followed the Olympic 10,000m silver by finishing fourth at the 2013 World Championships and fifth at this past summer’s Worlds. Training partner Mo Farah won all of those races and appears an overwhelming favorite to repeat in Rio.

“I was really disappointed to finish fifth,” Rupp said in November of his 27:08.91 time in Beijing on Aug. 22. “If that had been six years ago, I would’ve broken the American record in 90-degree heat, basically. So I ran really, really solidly, I thought, but sometimes you can’t control what place you get.”

He’s focused offseason training on paying more attention to his diet, yoga and upper-body stretches.

“Say I had gotten second or third, gotten my medal in Beijing, I would’ve maybe been a little disappointed, but we would’ve been, hey, we’re still right there,” Rupp said in November. “Maybe we wouldn’t have found all those other things [to work on].”

VIDEO: Rupp part of Nike Oregon Animal House tribute

U.S. men’s gymnastics team named for world championships

Asher Hong
Allison and John Cheng/USA Gymnastics
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Asher Hong, Colt Walker and world pommel horse champion Stephen Nedoroscik were named to the last three spots on the U.S. men’s gymnastics team for the world championships that start in three weeks.

Brody Malone and Donnell Whittenburg earned the first spots on the team by placing first and second in the all-around at August’s U.S. Championships.

Hong, Walker and Nedoroscik were chosen by a committee after two days of selection camp competition in Colorado Springs this week. Malone and Whittenburg did not compete at the camp.

Hong, 18, will become the youngest U.S. man to compete at worlds since Danell Leyva in 2009. He nearly earned a spot on the team at the U.S. Championships, but erred on his 12th and final routine of that meet to drop from second to third in the all-around. At this week’s camp, Hong had the lowest all-around total of the four men competing on all six apparatuses, but selectors still chose him over Tokyo Olympians Yul Moldauer and Shane Wiskus.

Walker, a Stanford junior, will make his world championships debut. He would have placed second at nationals in August if a bonus system for attempting difficult skills wasn’t in place. With that bonus system not in place at the selection camp, he had the highest all-around total. The bonus system is not used at international meets such as world championships.

Nedoroscik rebounded from missing the Tokyo Olympic team to become the first American to win a world title on pommel horse last fall. Though he is the lone active U.S. male gymnast with a global gold medal, he was in danger of missing this five-man team because of struggles on the horse at the U.S. Championships. Nedoroscik, who does not compete on the other five apparatuses, put up his best horse routine of the season on the last day of the selection camp Wednesday.

Moldauer, who tweeted that he was sick all last week, was named the traveling alternate for worlds in Liverpool, Great Britain. It would be the first time that Moldauer, who was fourth in the all-around at last fall’s worlds, does not compete at worlds since 2015.

Though the U.S. has not made the team podium at an Olympics or worlds since 2014, it is boosted this year by the absence of Olympic champion Russia, whose athletes are banned indefinitely due to the war in Ukraine. In recent years, the U.S. has been among the nations in the second tier behind China, Japan and Russia, including in Tokyo, where the Americans were fifth.

The U.S. women’s world team of five will be announced after a selection camp in two weeks. Tokyo Olympians Jade Carey and Jordan Chiles are in contention.

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Paris 2024 Olympic marathon route unveiled

Paris 2024 Olympic Marathon
Paris 2024
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The 2024 Olympic marathon route will take runners from Paris to Versailles and back.

The route announcement was made on the 233rd anniversary of one of the early, significant events of the French Revolution: the Women’s March on Versailles — “to pay tribute to the thousands of women who started their march at city hall to Versailles to take up their grievances to the king and ask for bread,” Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet said.

Last December, organizers announced the marathons will start at Hôtel de Ville (city hall, opposite Notre-Dame off the Seine River) and end at Les Invalides, a complex of museums and monuments one mile southeast of the Eiffel Tower.

On Wednesday, the rest of the route was unveiled — traversing the banks of the Seine west to the Palace of Versailles and then back east, passing the Eiffel Tower before the finish.

The men’s and women’s marathons will be on the last two days of the Games at 8 a.m. local time (2 a.m. ET). It will be the first time that the women’s marathon is held on the last day of the Games after the men’s marathon traditionally occupied that slot.

A mass public marathon will also be held on the Olympic marathon route. The date has not been announced.

The full list of highlights among the marathon course:

• Hôtel de ville de Paris (start)
• Bourse de commerce
• Palais Brongniart
• Opéra Garnier
• Place Vendôme
• Jardin des Tuileries
• The Louvre
• Place de la Concorde
• The bridges of Paris
(Pont de l’Alma; Alexandre III;
Iéna; and more)
• Grand Palais
• Palais de Tokyo
• Jardins du Trocadéro
• Maison de la Radio
• Manufacture et Musées
nationaux de Sèvres
• Forêt domaniale
des Fausses-Reposes
• Monuments Pershing –
Lafayette
• Château de Versailles
• Forêt domaniale de Meudon
• Parc André Citroën
• Eiffel Tower
• Musée Rodin
• Esplanade des Invalides (finish)

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