One Lopez prevails at U.S. Olympic taekwondo trials

0 Comments

One member of the decorated Lopez taekwondo family could keep the tradition going at the Rio Olympics.

Two-time Olympic champion Steven Lopez won his weight division at the U.S. Olympic trials on Tuesday, but brother Mark Lopez, a 2008 Olympic silver medalist, lost, failing to advance to a continental qualifier in March.

Sister Diana Lopez, a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist, had a baby girl in January 2015 and did not compete at the Olympic trials in Reno, Nev.

Steven Lopez, 37, beat 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Terrence Jennings in overtime Tuesday. They squared off in the welterweight (80kg) final, Lopez’s natural weight class and a division higher than Jennings’ featherweight division (68kg) from the London Games.

Steven Lopez, who lost in the first round at the 2012 Olympics, is on the verge of making a fifth Olympic team, should he finish in the top two at the March continental qualifier.

He is ranked No. 10 in the world in his class (with one of the top nine being a North American athlete) and reached the 2015 World Championships quarterfinals, falling to the eventual champion.

“Like an artist, they paint until they can’t paint any longer,” Lopez, a 2000 and 2004 Olympic gold medalist and 2008 bronze medalist, said, according to TeamUSA.org. “It’s a little different being an Olympic athlete, because physically you are only going to be at your best for a certain amount of time.”

Mark Lopez, 33, fell to Stephen Lambdin in the heavyweight (80kg+) division Tuesday, moving up two weight classes from his normal featherweight division.

In the lone women’s match, London Olympic bronze medalist Paige McPherson beat Cheyenne Lewis in the welterweight (67kg) division.

Trials winners did not clinch Olympic berths but rather advanced to a Pan American qualification tournament in Mexico from March 10-11. The top two finishers per weight class there qualify for the Olympics.

USA Taekwondo can send three athletes to Mexico, so it had to consolidate its best athletes into three divisions total for the U.S. trials.

Jackie Galloway qualified for the U.S. Olympic taekwondo team last year via her international ranking.

MORE: Anderson Silva abandons Rio Olympic taekwondo hopes

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

Asher Hong
Allison and John Cheng/USA Gymnastics
0 Comments

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.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Paris 2024 Olympic marathon route unveiled

Paris 2024 Olympic Marathon
Paris 2024
0 Comments

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)

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!