Trayvon Bromell wins World Indoor Championships 60m

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — There was no doubt Trayvon Bromell won. The American even ran backward down his lane in his exuberance.

Still, he had to wait and wait some more for it to become official.

Bromell captured the 60m title at the World Indoor Track and Field Championships on Friday night in a race that was so close that it took several minutes to determine the rest of the medalists.

Bromell finished in 6.47 seconds and had the flag draped around him as he waited to see who would join him in celebration. When everything was sorted out, Asafa Powell of Jamaica was moved up to second and Ramon Gittens of Barbados third, just ahead of China’s Xie Zhenye and Su Bingtian.

A nearly 40-year-old Kim Collins of Saint Kitts and Nevis was originally announced as the runner-up before slipping to eighth in a field that was missing Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin.

Those two were absent by choice. The Russians weren’t here because of pending doping and corruption charges. The absence of one of track’s top nations could be a glimpse of what the Rio Olympics might be like, should the country not be reinstated in time to compete.

Brianne Theisen-Eaton of Canada had the race of the night, making up major ground in the 800m to win pentathlon gold. Her husband, Ashton Eaton, leads the heptathlon after the first day, but is slightly off his world-record pace.

“Being able to celebrate this with him is really awesome and the cherry on top,” said Theisen-Eaton, who beat Anastasiya Mokhnyuk of Ukraine by 34 points.

In other finals, Nia Ali of the U.S. defended her title in the 60-meter hurdles by holding off teammate Brianna Rollins, while Brittney Reese of the U.S. used a powerful final leap to capture the long jump.

Tomas Walsh of New Zealand won the shot put, ending an American domination in the event at the world indoors that began in 2004. Even more, his coach won’t have to make good on a bet.

The stakes were this: If Walsh threw the shot over 21.80 meters, his coach would have to grow a handlebar mustache. Walsh’s top throw was 21.78.

“Me and him like to have these bets,” Walsh said. “It’s a great start to hopefully a good year for me.”

Bromell is a rising talent in a deep U.S. sprinting pool. He captured a share of the bronze medal at the World Outdoor Championships last season in Beijing.

“I felt comfortable and I just kept going,” Bromell said. “I was going to run into the Portland sign [at the end of the track] so I could win this race.”

It was a little bit of a heartbreaker for Collins, who tumbled from a silver medal all the way to last place after the review. He still became the oldest male to make a final at the world indoors, taking over the honor from American Bernard Lagat, who was a few months over 39 when he made the final of the 3,000 meters in 2014, according to the IAAF.

“Age is age,” said Collins, who will turn 40 next month. “But again, I work so hard to take care of my body. Worked so hard to give me back that goodness.”

He has no plans to retire anytime soon, either.

“I have to find that next person to pass the flag on to,” Collins said. “You don’t want to leave a blank space in history. You want to make sure someone takes over where I left off. That’s what I’m looking for.”

Never in the history of the world indoors has a Jamaican man won the 60m. Powell was trying to end that streak.

“It’s kind of surprising, because the last couple of years we’ve had a lot of great sprinters,” Powell said.

But he’s encouraged that he has more time to try to accomplish that feat. After all, he’s only 33 and still has years left, based on what Collins is accomplishing.

“People think once you get to the age of 30, you’re old,” Powell said. “He’s 40 and running his personal best. He’s proving to the world that 40 is not old.”

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Iran banned from judo for instructing athlete to withdraw rather than face Israel opponent

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Iran has been banned from international judo for instructing one of its athletes to withdraw from August’s world championships rather than face an Israeli judoka.

The International Judo Federation said Iran authorities instructing Saeid Mollaei to withdraw rather than face Israeli judoka Sagi Muki was “a serious breach and gross violation” of its code of ethics and the Olympic Charter.

IJF spokesman Vlad Marinescu said any ban won’t apply to the Tokyo Olympics. That’s because it’s the Iranian Olympic Committee, not the Iranian Judo Federation, which formally enters the Olympic team.

“We have been informed by IJF that they will launch a proper procedure giving all concerned parties the right to be heard,” an International Olympic Committee spokesperson said. “Should the issue become an Olympic issue we will take the result of this procedure into consideration.”

An IJF disciplinary commission said it “has a strong reason to believe that the Iran Judo Federation will continue or repeatedly engage in misconduct” given its history of similar actions with its athletes potentially facing Israelis.

Mollaei, a 2018 World champion, said he was afraid to return to Iran after disobeying those orders at worlds. He competed anyway but lost one round before a potential final with Muki.

“I want to compete wherever I can,” Mollaei said in a statement from the IJF. “I live in a country whose law does not permit me to. We have no choice, all athletes must comply with it. All I did today was for my life, for a new life.

“I need help. Even if the authorities of my country told me that I can go back without any problems, I am afraid.”

The IJF said it would help Mollaei prepare for next year’s Olympics, also in Tokyo. If Iran refuses to enter him, one option could be the International Olympic Committee-backed team of refugee athletes.

Iranian sports teams have for several decades had a policy of not competing against Israelis, which the country does not recognize. The IJF has said Iranians have thrown matches and used “questionable injuries” to avoid competing against Israelis.

Mollaei’s case came four months after judo officials hailed a breakthrough in relations with Iran, publishing a letter signed by Salehi Amiri pledging to “fully respect the Olympic charter and its non-discrimination principle.”

Back in August, Iranian Sports Minister Masoud Soltanifar accused the IJF of trying to “create problems” with Mollaei, the IRNA news agency reported. He said Iran will send a protest letter to the IOC.

Iranian team manager Majid Zareian also criticized the IJF, saying “everything was set in advance to put Mollaei against a participant from (Israel).”

“They did not allow me to be present next to my athlete in exercise salon,” Zareian said. “After the competitions they changed hotel of Mollaei without my permission, against the regulations.”

He denied reports Iranian authorities had put pressure on Mollaei.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Jacarra Winchester, after foe bites her, wins first wrestling world title

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Jacarra Winchester missed the Rio Olympic wrestling trials after tearing her knee playing soccer. She missed a medal at the 2018 World Championships after a semifinal-winning takedown was reversed.

There was no denying her on Wednesday.

Winchester, who picked up wrestling a decade ago as a high school junior, became the first American to earn a medal at the worlds in Kazakhstan this week. And it was gold.

She came back to beat Japanese Nanami Irie 5-3 in the final of the 55kg division, a weight class that is not on the Olympic program. Winchester must move to 53kg or 57kg next year.

But for now she can celebrate quite a journey. At 26, she’s one of the older wrestlers to become a first-time world champion. She believed she had what it took last year, when a reversed call kept her from the final and she subsequently lost a bronze-medal match.

Winchester, who has problems sleeping, said she replayed the end of that semifinal in her head ever since.

“There’s no reason why I should have gotten beat,” she said Wednesday. “Clearly I have what I need on the mat. I just need to change my mindset. … Just knowing you’re the best, pushing yourself and not letting anything get to me.”

That helped in Tuesday’s semifinals, where Winchester said her Turkish opponent bit her, pulled her hair and twisted her fingers. Winchester, who grew up in the Oakland, Calif., area, said that when she started wrestling she had no Olympic goals.

“I had a mindset of I’m not a quitter,” she said.

Earlier Wednesday, Adeline Gray reached Thursday’s 76kg final, where she will try to become the first American to earn five world titles.

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