Gwen Jorgensen back on top; U.S. Olympic men’s triathlon team set

Gwen Jorgensen
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Gwen Jorgensen started what she hopes is a new winning streak Saturday, dominating in her typical style.

The World champion won a World Triathlon Series event in Yokohama, Japan, by 78 seconds in her first competition since her 13-race winning streak was snapped April 9. Full results are here.

Also Saturday, Joe MaloyBen Kanute and Greg Billington clinched the three U.S. Olympic men’s triathlon berths, joining Jorgensen, Sarah True and a to-be-named third woman on the Rio team. The complete U.S. Olympic roster is now at 126 qualified athletes.

Jorgensen made no mention of her previous streak, or her surprising runner-up finish five weeks ago, in a post-victory interview in Yokohama.

“There’s one goal for the year, and that’s the Olympics on August 20th,” said Jorgensen, seeking to become the first U.S. Olympic triathlon champion. “Just going to keep building towards that.”

Jorgensen was her usual dominating force en route to her fourth straight Yokohama title, in her fastest-ever time racing in Japan, where her record streak began in 2014.

She quickly erased a five-second deficit following the 1500m swim and 40km bike and gradually increased her lead during the 10km run, her specialty. Her winning margin was among the largest of her 16 career World Triathlon Series victories.

Jorgensen had enough of a cushion that she high-fived fans on both sides of the final ramp shortly before grabbing the finishing tape at the line. She did not appear to be breathing heavily.

Commentators on site marveled that Jorgensen wasn’t sweating and had time to put on a hat before the second- and third-place triathletes completed the course in exhaustion more than one minute later.

However, the Yokohama field did not include Great Britain’s Helen Jenkins, who snapped Jorgensen’s win streak in Gold Coast, Australia, on April 9. Jorgensen’s winning time on Saturday — 1:56:02 — was one second faster than Jenkins’ winning time in Gold Coast.

The second-highest U.S. finisher was Katie Zaferes in sixth place. Jorgensen, True and Zaferes are the only active U.S. women to make a World Triathlon Series podium, all having done so at least five times in the last two years, but only Jorgensen and True have clinched Olympic spots.

Zaferes will be the third Olympian unless USA Triathlon opts for a lesser-accomplished domestique for the final Rio spot.

Maloy was the top American in the men’s race in 11th place on Saturday. All three U.S. Olympic team men’s members are first-time Olympians.

An American man has never won an Olympic triathlon medal, and no U.S. man has made the podium of a World Series event since 2009.

MORE: What Jorgensen asked Ironman star Mirinda Carfrae

Joel Embiid gains U.S. citizenship, mum on Olympic nationality

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Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center Joel Embiid said he is now a U.S. citizen and it’s way too early to think about what nation he would represent at the Olympics.

“I just want to be healthy and win a championship and go from there,” he said, according to The Associated Press.

Embiid, 28, was born in Cameroon and has never competed in a major international tournament. In July, he gained French nationality, a step toward being able to represent that nation at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

In the spring, French media reported that Embiid started the process to become eligible to represent France in international basketball, quoting national team general manager Boris Diaw.

Embiid was second in NBA MVP voting this season behind Serbian Nikola Jokic. He was the All-NBA second team center.

What nation Embiid represents could have a major impact on the Paris Games.

In Tokyo, a French team led by another center, Rudy Gobert, handed the U.S. its first Olympic defeat since 2004. That was in group play. The Americans then beat the French in the gold-medal game 87-82.

That France team had five NBA players to the U.S.’ 12: Nicolas BatumEvan FournierTimothe Luwawu-CabarrotFrank Ntilikina and Gobert.

Anthony Davis, who skipped the Tokyo Olympics, is the lone U.S. center to make an All-NBA team in the last five seasons. In that time, Embiid made four All-NBA second teams and Gobert made three All-NBA third teams.

No Olympic team other than the U.S. has ever had two reigning All-NBA players on its roster.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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LA 2028, Delta unveil first-of-its-kind emblems for Olympics, Paralympics

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Emblems for the 2028 Los Angeles Games that include logos of Delta Air Lines is the first integration of its kind in Olympic and Paralympic history.

Organizers released the latest set of emblems for the LA 2028 Olympics and Paralympics on Thursday, each with a Delta symbol occupying the “A” spot in LA 28.

Two years ago, the LA 2028 logo concept was unveiled with an ever-changing “A” that allowed for infinite possibilities. Many athletes already created their own logos, as has NBC.

“You can make your own,” LA28 chairperson Casey Wasserman said in 2020. “There’s not one way to represent Los Angeles, and there is strength in our diverse cultures. We have to represent the creativity and imagination of Los Angeles, the diversity of our community and the big dreams the Olympic and Paralympic Games provide.”

Also in 2020, Delta was announced as LA 2028’s inaugural founding partner. Becoming the first partner to have an integrated LA 2028 emblem was “extremely important for us,” said Emmakate Young, Delta’s managing director, brand marketing and sponsorships.

“It is a symbol of our partnership with LA, our commitment to the people there, as well as those who come through LA, and a commitment to the Olympics,” she said.

The ever-changing emblem succeeds an angelic bid logo unveiled in February 2016 when the city was going for the 2024 Games, along with the slogan, “Follow the Sun.” In July 2017, the IOC made a historic double awarding of the Olympics and Paralympics — to Paris for 2024 and Los Angeles for 2028.

The U.S. will host its first Olympics and Paralympics since 2002 (and first Summer Games since 1996), ending its longest drought between hosting the Games since the 28-year gap between 1932 and 1960.

Delta began an eight-year Olympic partnership in 2021, becoming the official airline of Team USA and the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

Athletes flew to this year’s Winter Games in Beijing on chartered Delta flights and will do so for every Games through at least 2028.

Previously, Delta sponsored the last two Olympics held in the U.S. — the 1996 Atlanta Games and the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games.

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