Mo Farah honors Ali after Birmingham win; track and field’s longest streak ends

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BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — With the Rio Olympics two months away, another gold medal looks like a long shot for Sally Pearson.

Up-and-coming American Keni Harrison couldn’t be more ready.

In a loaded field for the women’s 100m hurdles at the Diamond League event in Birmingham on Sunday, Pearson trailed home in seventh place in her first competitive race in a year following a serious wrist injury. The Australian described her time of 13.25 seconds — almost a second slower than her personal best — as “disgusting” but was “really happy I could cross the finish line with a smile on my face.”

Harrison won the race in 12.46 seconds despite hitting some hurdles along the way, showing her stunning victory in Eugene last week — in 12.24, the second-fastest time ever — was no one-off. She beat compatriot Brianna Rollins (12.57) in an American 1-2-3-4.

At age 23 and in her first full season as a professional, Harrison is one of the United States’ best track talents heading into Rio, coming within 0.03 seconds of the long-standing world record last week.

“To be doing as well as I am, I’m just really blessed,” Harrison said.

Pearson hadn’t raced since suffering what doctors said was a “bone explosion” in her wrist in a heavy fall in Rome, a year and a day ago. She was also running with strapping around her left hamstring to protect an ailment.

“I’m actually really excited, which I wouldn’t normally be because all I’d be looking at would be the result,” Pearson said.

Full Birmingham results are here.

Home favorite Mo Farah got the biggest cheer of the day after breaking the British record to win the 3000m in 7 minutes, 32.62 seconds. Farah, who now holds his country’s best times from 1500m through 10,000m, bookended his performance with some shadow boxing in honor of his sporting hero Muhammad Ali, the boxing great who died Saturday at age 74.

The longest winning streak in track and field ended. Colombian Caterine Ibargüen was beaten in the triple jump by Kazakh Olga Rypakova. The former had won 34 straight competitions since taking silver at the London Olympics.

Among the other winners at the Alexander Stadium on a sunny day in central England were Olympic champion Kirani James, who ran the 400m in 44.23 — one of six meet records on the day, according to organizers. Kim Collins, the 40-year-old sprinter, clocked 10.11 to win a men’s 100m field lacking the top names, and Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop won the men’s 1500m in a world-leading 3.29.35.

David Rudisha, the Olympic 800m champion from Kenya, won the rarely run 600m in 1.13.10.

Olympic long-jump champion Greg Rutherford‘s year-long unbeaten record ended when he finished fifth, behind Buffalo Bills wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (8.42 meters).

Rutherford tweeted that he was struggling with “bad whiplash” after hurting his neck in winning in Rome midweek.

Canadian Andre De Grasse won the 200m in 20.16 seconds into a headwind against a field that did not include any of the reigning Olympic or World medalists. De Grasse shared the 2015 World 100m bronze with American Trayvon Bromell, who had been entered in Birmingham but pulled out after he appeared to have problems at a meet in Rome on Thursday.

MORE: Sanya Richards-Ross carried off track with injury

Asher Hong leads U.S. men’s gymnastics world team selection camp after first day

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Asher Hong, 18, posted the highest all-around score on the first of two days of competition at the U.S. men’s gymnastics selection camp to determine the last three spots on the team for the world championships that start in three weeks.

Hong, bidding to become the youngest U.S. man to compete at worlds since Danell Leyva in 2009, totaled 84.6 points in Colorado Springs. He edged Colt Walker by one tenth. Tokyo Olympians Shane Wiskus (84.15) and Yul Moldauer (83.95) were next. Full apparatus-by-apparatus scores are here.

Brody Malone, who repeated as U.S. all-around champion at August’s national championships, and runner-up Donnell Whittenburg already clinched spots on the five-man team for worlds in Liverpool, Great Britain. They did not compete Monday, though their results from the first day of nationals are shown in the official scores.

The three remaining team spots will not necessarily go to the top three all-arounders at this week’s camp, which is supposed to be weighed equally with results from August’s nationals. Hong was third at nationals, but if excluding difficulty bonus points from that meet that will not be considered by the committee, would have finished behind Walker and Moldauer in August.

A selection committee is expected to announce the team soon after the second and final day of selection camp competition on Wednesday evening. The committee will look at overall scoring potential for the world team final, where three men go per apparatus, and medal potential in individual events.

Stephen Nedoroscik, who last year became the first American to win a world title on the pommel horse, is trying to make the team solely on that apparatus. He wasn’t at his best at nationals and struggled again on Monday, hurting his chances of displacing an all-arounder for one of the last three spots.

The U.S. has reason to emphasize the team event over individual medals at this year’s worlds. It will clinch an Olympic berth by finishing in the top three, and its medal hopes are boosted by the absence of the Russians who won the Olympic team title. All gymnasts from Belarus and Russia are banned indefinitely from international competition 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.

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Ironman Kona World Championships return for first time in three years, live on Peacock

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The Ironman Kona World Championships return after a three-year hiatus with a new format, live on Peacock on Thursday and Saturday at 12 p.m. ET.

The Ironman, held annually in Hawaii since 1978, and in Kailua-Kona since 1981, was not held in 2020 or 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The world championships made a one-time-only stop in St. George, Utah, on May 7 to make up for the 2021 cancellation. The winners were Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt, the Tokyo Olympic triathlon champion, and Swiss Daniela Ryf, who bagged her fifth Ironman world title.

Both are entered in Kailua-Kona, where the races are now split between two days — Thursday for the women and Saturday for the men.

An Ironman includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a marathon — totaling 140.6 miles of racing. It takes top triathletes eight hours to complete. Very arguably, it crowns the world’s fittest man and woman.

WATCH LIVE: Ironman Kona, Thursday, 12 p.m. ET — STREAM LINK

Ryf, 35 and a 2008 and 2012 Olympian, can tie retired countrywoman Natascha Badmann for second place on the women’s list at six Ironman world titles. Only Zimbabwean-turned-American Paula Newby-Fraser has more with eight.

The field also includes German Anne Haug, the 2019 Kona champ and only woman other than Ryf to win since 2015. Brit Lucy Charles-Barclay, the Kona runner-up in 2017, 2018 and 2019, returns after missing the St. George event due to a stress fracture in her hip.

Blummenfelt, 28 and in his Kona debut, will try to become the youngest male champion in Kona since German Normann Stadler in 2005. His top challengers include countryman Gustav Iden, the two-time reigning Half Ironman world champion, and German Patrick Lange, the 2017 and 2018 Ironman Kona winner.

Also racing Saturday is Dallas Clark, a retired All-Pro NFL tight end with the Indianapolis Colts, and Tony Kanaan, the 2013 Indy 500 champion who completed the 2011 Kona Ironman in 12 hours, 52 minutes, 40 seconds.

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