Jesse Owens
AP

Jesse Owens’ daughter cried watching ‘Race’ film ending

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Marlene Owens Rankin said she was brought to tears watching the final scene of “Race,” the film about her father, 1936 Olympic hero Jesse Owens.

“It’s just being a spectator of your own life,” Rankin, the second of Owens’ three daughters who was born in 1937, said in a phone interview last week. “There were experiences that he had that were very demeaning and hard for him. It’s just hard to watch something where someone you love is suffering.”

“Race,” which chronicles Owens’ four gold-medal performance in front of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany as well as the prejudice he faced in the U.S., hits theaters Feb. 19. Watch a trailer here.

Owens’ three daughters were first contacted about the film five years ago and had script approval.

“We encourage school-age children to learn and know the story,” Rankin said. “There are a number of important messages that could benefit them.”

Beverly Owens Prather, the youngest daughter of Jesse and wife Ruth Owens born in 1940, agreed that the film’s ending after the Berlin Games was the hardest part to watch.

“I could accept the ending, but just to see it happen was just kind of touching,” she said.

Rankin, Prather and Owens’ oldest daughter, Gloria Owens Hemphill, all visited Berlin during filming. They first flew to the German capital more than three decades ago, when a street outside the renovated Olympic Stadium was named after Owens.

“It’s just so impressive,” Prather said of touring the Berlin stadium, where there is a lounge dedicated to Owens. “It makes you feel so good.”

Rankin and Prather also lauded the performance of Stephan James, who played Owens in “Race.”

“Outstanding,” Prather said. “The time that he took and the steps that he took to learn about daddy on his own were just remarkable.”

Q&A: Stephan James discusses playing Owens in ‘Race’

Emmanuel Korir nearly falls, comes back to win 800m at Pre Classic

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Kenyan Emmanuel Korir overcame getting tripped with 200 meters left to win the 800m on the first day of the Prefontaine Classic on Friday.

Korir was leading when Botswana’s Nijel Amos‘ spike clipped his leg. Korir stumbled, took six steps inside the rail and ceded the lead to Amos, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist.

But Korir overtook Amos on the final straight, winning in 1:45.16, .35 ahead of Amos. The race lacked double Olympic champion and world-record holder David Rudisha, who hasn’t raced since July 4 due to injury.

Korir, 22, ran the fastest 800m in the world last year but was eliminated in the semifinals at the world championships.

Full Pre Classic results are here.

In other events, world champion Sam Kendricks beat the last two Olympic champions in the pole vault, clearing 5.81 meters.

Surprise Rio Olympic gold medalist Thiago Braz of Brazil no-heighted at Pre for a second straight year in his first outdoor meet in 10 months. London Olympic champ and world-record holder Renaud Lavillenie didn’t fare much better, exiting at 5.71 meters for fifth place. Lavillenie still holds the top clearance in the world this year of 5.95 meters.

Rio gold medalist Thomas Röhler led a German javelin sweep, throwing a meet record 89.88 meters. World champion Johannes Vetter, who was second with an 89.34-meter throw, still ranks No. 1 in the world this year at 92.70.

In the two-mile, Ethiopian Selemon Barega upset Olympic 5000m silver medalist Paul Chelimo, outsprinting the American and clocking 8:20.01. Chelimo was second in 8:20.91.

The Pre Classic continues Saturday on NBC and NBC Sports Gold with streaming coverage starting at 2:50 p.m. ET.

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Allyson Felix withdraws from Prefontaine Classic

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Allyson Felix withdrew on the eve of the Prefontaine Classic and will miss Saturday’s anticipated 400m showdown with Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo and world champion Phyllis Francis.

No reason was given by the meet director at a Friday press conference, according to media in Eugene, Ore.

Felix, a nine-time Olympic medalist and 16-time world outdoor championships medalist, was scheduled to race on the top international level for the first time since Aug. 20. She has raced in smaller meets this season, most recently last Friday.

This is the one year in the four-year cycle without an Olympics or world outdoor championships, making the Diamond League, and the Pre Classic in particular, marquee meets.

“In the 19 years that I’ve been running track, I’ve never taken a break,” the 32-year-old Felix said in an Instagram video Thursday after an intense training session but before her name was taken off Saturday’s start list. “Never had a year where I took it easy. … Now that this is kind of a year without a championship, I’ve had to force myself to have a different approach because my goal is 2020. … To be able to be at my best when it counts, I think that means not having as intense of a year as I usually do. Being a competitor and an athlete, that’s something that I struggle with. … This year, that’s what I’m really trying to force myself to do is have quality races, quality over quantity. … So, if you guys don’t see me at as many of the races as I usually run, don’t worry, I’m fine, I’m just challenging myself to be smarter.”

Felix will miss the Pre Classic for the second time in the last nine years. She was absent in 2016 with an ankle injury.

The USATF Outdoor Championships are in one month.

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