Caster Semenya
Getty Images

Caster Semenya doesn’t plan to race Olympic 400m

Leave a comment

Caster Semenya is expected to race solely the 800m at the Olympics and not attempt to challenge a Rio 400m field that could include Allyson Felix, her coach said in a phone interview Friday.

“At this stage, and it might all change, she’s definitely only going to run the 800m [in Rio],” said Jean Verster, confirming a South African report, two days before Semenya is set to race an 800m at a Diamond League meet in Rabat, Morocco.

Semenya, the 2012 Olympic 800m silver medalist who had struggled since London, turned heads April 16 when she swept 400m, 800m and 1500m races on the same day at the South African Championships.

The 400m and 800m victories were within an hour of each other and were the fastest times in the world this year in those events up to that point.

Semenya’s 50.74 for the 400m that day marked a personal best and would have qualified for the 2012 Olympic 400m final. However, it was well off Allyson Felix‘s winning 49.26 at the 2015 World Championships.

Semenya’s coach said if the Olympic 800m was at the beginning of the Rio track and field schedule rather than the end, the South African would be more open to attempting a 400m-800m double or an 800m-1500m double.

But the Olympic women’s 800m comes after both the 400m and the 1500m, and Semenya’s focus is on winning one gold medal in the 800m. Running the 400m or 1500m could jeopardize her readiness for the 800m.

Verster noted that’s different from 2004 when Brit Kelly Holmes won the 800m and then the 1500m five days later.

“The main focus is still the 800m in the Olympics,” Semenya said after winning an 800m at a Diamond League meet in Doha on May 6. “Obviously, in the future we’ll try to maybe double in the Olympics or Commonwealth Games, maybe also in the African Champs. The main focus now is to go to Olympics, try to win gold medal.”

MORE: Allyson Felix and Beyoncé

Mikaela Shiffrin returns with mantra, stuck to her helmet, to carry forever

Mikaela Shiffrin
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Look close at Mikaela Shiffrin as she steps into a race start gate for the first time in eight months on Oct. 17.

Shiffrin, the two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time World Cup overall champion, plans to wear a helmet with two special stickers on the back.

She’s donned the first decal for years — the initials ABFTTB, which stand for “Always Be Faster Than The Boys,” a personalized autograph motto from retired Olympic Alpine skier Heidi Voelker.

The new sticker reads, Be nice. Think first. Have fun.

Those lines came from Shiffrin’s father, Jeff — the mantra instilled in her and older brother Taylor, also a young ski racer at the time.

After Jeff died on Feb. 2, Shiffrin regularly remembered the question that Jeff posed years ago: “What are the golden rules?”

Be nice. Think first.

When the Shiffrin siblings were old enough, Jeff added the third rule.

“He felt like we could understand that having fun wasn’t just about going and doing whatever you want because it’s instantly gratifying,” Shiffrin told NBC Sports’ Alex Azzi in an On Her Turf interview. “Fun is doing something well and the satisfaction you get from sticking to something.”

She plans to race all season with the golden rules sticker on her helmet, right next to ABFTTB.

Shiffrin detailed more about her prep for a very different World Cup campaign, in conjunction with a new fund in honor of her late father, in this On Her Turf report.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

2020 Tour de France results

1 Comment

2020 Tour de France results for the yellow jersey, green jersey, white jersey and polka-dot jersey …

Overall (Yellow Jersey)
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) — 87:20:05
2. Primoz Roglic (SLO) — +:59
3. Richie Porte (AUS) — +3:30
4. Mikel Landa (ESP) — +5:58
5. Enric Mas (ESP) — +6:07
6. Miguel Angel Lopez (COL) — +6:47
7. Tom Dumoulin (NED) — +7:48
8. Rigberto Uran (COL) — +8:02
9. Adam Yates (GBR) — +9:25
10. Damiano Caruso (ITA) — +14:03
13. Richard Carapaz (ECU) — +25:53
15. Sepp Kuss (USA) — +42:20
17. Nairo Quintana (COL) — +1:03:07
29. Thibaut Pinot (FRA) — +1:59:54
36. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA) — +2:19:11
DNF. Egan Bernal (COL)

Sprinters (Green Jersey)
1. Sam Bennett (IRL) — 380 points
2. Peter Sagan (SVK) — 284
3. Matteo Trentin (ITA) — 260
4. Bryan Coquard (FRA) — 181
5. Wout van Aert (BEL) — 174

Climbers (Polka-Dot Jersey)
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) — 82 points
2. Richard Carapaz (ECU) — 74
3. Primoz Roglic (SLO) — 67
4. Marc Hirschi (SUI) — 62
5. Miguel Angel Lopez (COL) — 51

Young Rider (White Jersey)
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) — 87:20:13
2. Enric Mas (ESP) — +6:07
3. Valentin Madouas (FRA) — +1:42:43
4. Dani Martinez (COL) — +1:55:12
5. Lennard Kamna (GER) — +2:15:39

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

TOUR DE FRANCE: TV, Stream Schedule | Stage By Stage | Favorites, Predictions