Brianna Rollins, Dawn Harper-Nelson
Getty Images

U.S. sweeps Oslo 100m hurdles; former World champ sprinter hurt

Leave a comment

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.

MORE: Nesta Carter’s B sample tests positive

Weightlifting investigation finds doping cover-ups

Weightlifting
Getty Images
Leave a comment

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — An investigation into the International Weightlifting Federation has found doping cover-ups and millions of dollars in missing money, lead investigator Richard McLaren said Thursday.

McLaren said 40 positive doping tests were “hidden” in IWF records and that athletes whose cases were delayed or covered up went on to win medals at the world championships and other events. The cases will be referred to the World Anti-Doping Agency.

McLaren said former IWF president Tamas Ajan was “an autocratic leader” who kept the board in the dark about finances. Ajan received cash payments, some as much as $100,000, as doping fines from national federations or sponsors, McLaren said.

He said $10.4 million was unaccounted for.

“Everyone was kept in financial ignorance through the use of hidden bank accounts (and transfers),” McLaren said. “Some cash was accounted for, some was not.”

McLaren said Ajan “permitted the (federation) elections to be bought by vote brokers” as he kept the presidency and promoted favored officials. Large cash withdrawals were made ahead of federation congresses, McLaren said, adding that voters were bribed and had to take pictures of their ballots to show to brokers.

The 81-year-old Ajan stepped down in April, ending a 20-year reign as president and a total 44 years in federation posts. A month before that he also gave up his honorary membership of the International Olympic Committee.

McLaren’s investigation was sparked in January when German broadcaster ARD reported financial irregularities at the federation and apparent doping cover-ups.

McLaren, a Canadian law professor, was the World Anti-Doping Agency’s lead investigator for Russian doping and has judged cases at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Weightlifting’s reputation under Aján had already been hit by dozens of steroid doping cases revealed in retests of samples from the Olympics since 2008.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Coco Gauff delivers speech demanding change

Coco Gauff delivers speech, demands change, promises to use platform

Coco Gauff
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Coco Gauff, the 16-year-old tennis star, delivered a speech at a peaceful protest in her hometown on Wednesday, demanding change and promising to use her platform to spread vital information.

“I’ve been spending all week having tough conversations, trying to educate my non-black friends on how they can help the movement,” Gauff told a crowd, holding an affixed microphone atop a lectern in front of Delray Beach City Hall in Florida, after her grandmother spoke. “You need to use your voice, no matter how big or small your platform is. You need to use your voice. I saw a Dr. [Martin Luther] King quote that said, ‘The silence of the good people is worse than the brutality of the bad people.'”

Earlier this week, Gauff posted links on her social media accounts — with more than 800,000 combined followers — to register to vote and a petition for justice for the death of George Floyd. On Wednesday, she shared video of her participating in a march, saying her hometown police chief was part of the group.

Click here for NBC News’ coverage of Floyd’s death and protests in Minneapolis and around the country.

Last summer, Gauff, then 15, became the youngest player to reach Wimbledon’s fourth round since Jennifer Capriati in 1991. She followed that with third- and fourth-round runs at the U.S. Open and the Australian Open, sandwiched between her first WTA Tour title.

The full text of the beginning of her speech, which she shared on social media:

“Hello everyone. My name is Coco, and who just spoke was my grandma. I think it’s sad that I’m here protesting the same thing that she did 50-plus years ago. So I’m here to tell you guys this: that we must, first, love each other no matter what. We must have the tough conversations with my friends. I’ve been spending all week having tough conversations, trying to educate my non-black friends on how they can help the movement. Second, we need to take action. Yes, we’re all out here protesting, and I’m not of age to vote, but it’s in your hands to vote for my future, for my brother’s future and for your future. So that’s one way to make change. Third, you need to use your voice, no matter how big or small your platform is. You need to use your voice. I saw a Dr. [Martin Luther] King quote that said, ‘The silence of the good people is worse than the brutality of the bad people.’ So, you need to not be silent, because if you are choosing silence, you’re choosing the side of the oppressor. So, I’ve heard many things this past week. One of the things I’ve heard is, well, it’s not my problem. This is why I have to tell you this. If you listen to black music. If you like black culture. If you have black friends. Then this is your fight, too. It’s not your job. It’s not your duty to open your mouth to say, ‘Lil Uzi Vert‘s my favorite artist, but I don’t care what happened to George Floyd.’ Now how does that make sense? So, I demand change now. It’s sad that it takes another black man’s life to be lost for all of this to happen, but we have to understand that this has been going on for years. This is not just about George Floyd. This is about Trayvon Martin. This is about Eric Garner. This is about Breonna Taylor. This is about stuff that’s been happening. I was 8 years old when Trayvon Martin was killed. So why am I here at 16 still demanding change? And it breaks my heart because I’m fighting for the future for my brothers. I’m fighting for the future for my future kids. I’m fighting for the future for my future grandchildren. So, we must change now, and I promise to always use my platform to spread vital information.”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Olympic tennis: Key questions for Tokyo Games in 2021