Justin Gatlin
Getty Images

Justin Gatlin off to slower start in 2016 than 2015

Leave a comment

Justin Gatlin remained undefeated for 2016 in his fourth sprint of the season on Wednesday, but he has not approached his torrid start to 2015.

Gatlin won a 100m race in China in 9.94 seconds with little to no wind for the second time in five days, edging countryman Mike Rodgers by .03 in Beijing (video here).

In 2015, Gatlin raced one 100m in May, clocking 9.74 seconds, which remains the fastest time in the world since 2012.

From May 2015 through the August World Championships, Gatlin ran 9.83 or faster in seven of his eight 100m races, according to Tilastopaja.org.

His only losses in 33 sprint events since the start of 2014 came to Usain Bolt in the 2015 Worlds 100m and 200m, where Gatlin took silver to the Jamaican legend, according to Tilastopaja. Those were Gatlin and Bolt’s only meetings in that stretch.

Since Worlds, Gatlin, who at 34 is at an advanced age for a sprinter, has run 9.98, 9.90, 10.02, 9.94 and 9.94 and severely rolled his ankle in the offseason.

Gatlin is not scheduled to race the next Diamond League meet in Rabat, Morocco, on Sunday.

He is in the Prefontaine Classic 100m field on May 28 against American record holder Tyson Gay, former world-record holder Asafa Powell and World co-bronze medalist Andre De Grasse.

Usain Bolt is racing neither Rabat nor Prefontaine but is entered in a 100m in Ostrava, Czech Republic on Friday against Olympic decathlon champion Ashton Eaton.

MORE: Another sprint medalist slowed by injury

Justin Schoenefeld gets U.S.’ first men’s aerials World Cup win in 4 years

Justin Schoenefeld
U.S. Ski & Snowboard
Leave a comment

Justin Schoenefeld ended a four-year U.S. men’s aerials drought with his first World Cup win Saturday in Belarus.

Schoenfeld, 21, hit a double full-full-full in the super final to beat a field that included world champion Maxim Burov of Russia. Burov was fourth, one spot behind another American, Chris Lillis. Full results are here.

“I’m pretty speechless right now,” Schoenefeld said, according to U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “I’m just shocked. It just all came so quick, all of a sudden the two finals were over, and I was on top of the podium. I probably landed two of my training jumps yesterday, but I managed to land all of my comp jumps down to my feet.”

Schoenefeld’s best previous World Cup finish was fourth, in Belarus last season.

Lillis earned the U.S.’ last World Cup men’s aerials victory on Feb. 20, 2016, also in Belarus. The four-year gap between wins marked the longest for the U.S. men since aerials was added as an Olympic medal sport in 1994.

Schoenefeld also became the first American of either gender to win a World Cup aerials event in two years, since Kiley McKinnon on Jan. 6, 2018. That gap was the longest for the U.S. since 2005.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Olympic aerials champion retires to coach

Kaillie Humphries wins bobsled world title in first season for U.S.

Leave a comment

Two-time Olympic champion Kaillie Humphries won a bobsled world title in her first season since switching allegiance from Canada to the U.S., ending recent German dominance.

Humphries, with brakewoman Lauren Gibbs, edged German junior world champ Kim Kalicki by .37 of a second combining times from four runs between Friday and Saturday in Altenberg, Germany.

“I love this track. It’s very challenging, one of the hardest in the world,” Humphries said, according to U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton. “It demands a lot of focus, a lot of respect every minute you’re on that track. So to be able to win here, I know the Germans and the spectators, everybody, have worked so hard and this week, no exceptions. I’m proud of all of the girls.”

Canadian Christine de Bruin took bronze for a second straight year. Full results are here.

Humphries, who married a former U.S. bobsledder, was released by Canada in September after filing verbal abuse and harassment claims against a coach, saying she no longer felt safe with the program. As a Canadian, Humphries won 2010 and 2014 Olympic titles, plus 2012 and 2013 World titles.

Humphries joined German Sandra Kiriasis as the only female drivers to win three world titles. She is already the only female driver with multiple Olympic titles.

German Mariama Jamanka, the reigning Olympic champion and defending world champion, finished fourth in Altenberg.

Triple U.S. Olympic medalist Elana Meyers Taylor didn’t compete as she sits out the season due to pregnancy. Meyers Taylor and Gibbs teamed for silver in PyeongChang.

The world championships continue Sunday with the conclusion of the two-man competition. German Francesco Friedrich, eyeing his sixth straight world title, leads after the first two of four runs.

A full TV and live stream schedule is here.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

VIDEO: Steven Holcomb’s mother’s speech after accepting Olympic medals