Brianna Rollins, Dawn Harper-Nelson
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U.S. sweeps Oslo 100m hurdles; former World champ sprinter hurt

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The U.S. depth in the 100m hurdles was evident in a sweep at a Diamond League meet in Oslo on Thursday.

Brianna RollinsDawn Harper-Nelson and Jasmin Stowers took the top three spots, but it’s likely at least one of them will not make the Olympic team.

That’s because of Keni Harrison, who wasn’t in Oslo but ran the second-fastest 100m hurdles of all time at the Pre Classic on May 28. Harrison clocked 12.24 seconds in Eugene, Ore., two weeks ago and owns the world’s four fastest times this year.

The top three in the Olympic Trials final on July 8 will make the Rio team.

The 2013 World champion Rollins, ranked No. 2 in the world this year, won in Oslo in 12.56 seconds into a slight headwind. Harper-Nelson, who finished first and second at the last two Olympics, was second in 12.75 in Oslo, followed by Stowers in 12.79.

Olympic champion Sally Pearson of Australia was last in 13.14 as she continues to return from a yearlong injury layoff.

Full Oslo results are here.

Also in Oslo, Canadian Andre De Grasse won the 100m in 10.07 seconds with a small tailwind behind him. De Grasse, 21, shared bronze at the 2015 World Championships in a personal-best 9.92 seconds but hasn’t been close to that form early this season.

“Next should be definitely a sub-10 seconds,” De Grasse said, according to the IAAF.

De Grasse beat a field in Oslo that didn’t include his Worlds podium mates Usain BoltJustin Gatlin and Trayvon Bromell.

Instead, the Canadian surged past a hobbled, 40-year-old Kim Collins for the victory. Collins, the 2003 World champion, grimaced as he limped across the finish line with a left groin cramp, according to his social media.

Dutch World champion Dafne Schippers won the women’s 200m in 21.93 seconds, the fastest time in the world this year. Schippers, a former heptathlete, is expected to challenge U.S. Olympic champion Allyson Felix for gold in Rio.

World silver medalist Elaine Thompson of Jamaica was a distant second to Schippers in Oslo in 22.64.

World 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop of Kenya remained undefeated in 1500m or mile races since May 30, 2015, winning a mile event in 3:51.48, .56 ahead of countryman and World 1500m silver medalist Elijah Manangoi. Olympic 1500m champion Taoufik Makhloufi of Algeria was third in 3:52.24.

In the 400m hurdles, surprise World champion Nicholas Bett of Kenya finished sixth, continuing a slow early season. Bett became the first Kenyan Olympic or World champion in a race shorter than 800m last year, when he also struggled early in the season.

U.S. Olympic team contenders Michael Tinsley and Kerron Clement were third and fourth behind Turkish winner Yasmani Copello.

World champion Joe Kovacs won the shot put with a 22.01-meter throw against a field that did not include top rival David Storl of Germany.

Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie cleared 5.80 meters to win the pole vault over World champion Shawn Barber of Canada, who cleared 5.73.

The Diamond League continues in Stockholm next Thursday, the final meet of the series before the U.S. Olympic Trials that begin July 1.

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Katie Ledecky wins race by 30 seconds, takes back No. 1 ranking

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In her last race of the year, Katie Ledecky ensured she would finish 2019 as the world’s fastest 1500m freestyler.

Ledecky clocked 15:35.98 at the U.S. Open in Atlanta, winning the longest event on the Olympic pool program by 29.97 seconds. Typical for Ledecky, who owns the nine fastest times in history. This one came in at No. 8. Full meet results are here.

Ledecky scratched the 1500m free final at the summer world championships due to illness. Italian Simona Quadarella went on to win that title in 15:40.89, which was the world’s fastest time this year until Saturday night.

“I didn’t have time on my mind at all today. I just wanted to have a consistent swim,” Ledecky, undefeated in 1500m free finals for nine years, said on NBCSN. “That’s probably the best mile that I’ve had in a while.”

The women’s 1500m freestyle debuts at the Olympics in Tokyo. Ledecky is expected to add that to her Rio Olympic individual lineup of 200m, 400m and 800m frees, assuming she is top two in each event at the June Olympic trials.

In other events Saturday, Erika Brown handed Simone Manuel a rare defeat in the 100m freestyle. Brown, a University of Tennessee senior, clocked 53.42 and lowered her personal best by .71 between prelims and the final. Brown moved from sixth to fourth in the U.S. rankings this year, upping her stock as a contender to make the Olympic 4x100m free relay pool via a top-six finish at trials.

Brown previously lowered her personal best in the 50m free on Thursday. She ranks third in the U.S. this year in that event.

Emily Escobedo dealt Lilly King a rare domestic defeat in the 200m breaststroke. Escobedo lowered her personal best by .87 and clocked 2:22.00, moving to seventh fastest in the world this year and remaining fourth among Americans.

In the men’s 200m breast, Olympic champion Dmitriy Balandin of Kazakhstan was beaten by Cody Miller, the Olympic 100m breast silver medalist. Both were slower than their best times this year.

The next significant swim meet is a Tyr Pro Series stop in Knoxville, Tenn., from Jan. 16-19.

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Mikaela Shiffrin runner-up in Lake Louise downhill

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LAKE LOUISE, Alberta (AP) — Here’s a scary thought for her competition: Mikaela Shiffrin is still getting comfortable with the intensity and the speed of the downhill.

That’s why podium finishes are still a little surprising even to her.

The American three-time overall World Cup champion finished runner-up to Nicole Schmidhofer of Austria in a downhill race Saturday. Schmidhofer cruised through the course in 1 minute, 49.92 seconds to edge Shiffrin by 0.13 seconds. Francesca Marsaglia of Italy wound up third.

Schmidhofer has four career World Cup wins, with three of them arriving at Lake Louise.

Known as a tech specialist, Shiffrin is steadily getting up to speed in the speed events. This was Shiffrin’s fourth career World Cup podium finish in the downhill, which includes a Lake Louise win in 2017.

So, does Shiffrin anticipate this kind of downhill success?

“No, no, no,” the 24-year-old from Colorado said. “It’s certainly not normal (for a downhill podium). Even racing downhill doesn’t feel normal. But I feel every year like I have more experience and get more comfortable.”

Shiffrin currently sits at 62 World Cup wins, which ties her with Austrian great Annemarie Moser-Proell for second-most on the women’s side. Lindsey Vonn had 82 wins before her retirement.

“I’m certainly more comfortable with the long skis,” Shiffrin said of downhill racing. “Right now, it’s enjoying it, because speed is a little bit extra for me. My goal is to be able to succeed in speed as well. It’s making the transition and trying to have fun with it.”

Czech Republic skier and snowboarder Ester Ledecka finished fourth Saturday. She was the surprise winner of Friday’s season-opening downhill, which was delayed and shortened by heavy snowfall on the mountain. The race Saturday was restored to its full length.

Next up, a super-G on Sunday.

“It’s always been a little bit tricky for me from downhill skis to super-G skis and to change the timing a little bit,” Shiffrin said. “I’m going to have fun.”

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