Carmelita Jeter
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Carmelita Jeter, Nick Symmonds pull out of Olympic Trials

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Carmelita Jeter, a three-time 2012 Olympic sprint medalist, and two-time U.S. Olympian Nick Symmonds announced Thursday they will not compete at the Olympic Track and Field Trials that start Friday due to injuries.

Jeter, who took 2012 Olympic 100m silver, said in an Instagram video that she reaggravated a left quad injury that has bothered her for years. She has suffered two torn quads and once had surgery.

“It’s been a rough two years,” said Jeter, who is the second fastest woman ever with a 100m personal best of 10.64 seconds from 2009 (.15 off Florence Griffith-Joyner‘s world record). “I am still the fastest woman alive.”

Jeter’s best 100m time this year was 11.16 seconds, which ranked her outside the top 10 Americans going into Trials.

Symmonds, the 2013 World 800m silver medalist, is out of Olympic Trials due to a torn ligament and stress fracture in his left ankle, according to his social media.

Symmonds has struggled with injuries since he finished fifth at the London Olympics. He won the 2015 U.S. Championship, his sixth national title, but missed the 2015 Worlds due to a contract dispute with USA Track and Field.

He last raced May 18 and also was ranked outside the top 10 Americans in his event this year.

The top three finishers per individual event make the Olympic team at Trials, assuming they have met the Olympic qualifying time or mark.

MORE: Olympic Track and Field Trials broadcast schedule

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This is my left ankle, it has been good to me. It has held up for thousands of miles, helped me win six national titles, taken me to two Olympic Games. However, this left ankle of mine currently has a torn ligament and a stress fracture, it will not allow me to compete in the 2016 Olympic Trials. I should say I feel devastated, but honestly I feel nothing but happiness and gratitude that my legs have held up as long as they did. Not saying I've retired or anything, but my 2016 season is now over. I'll be in #Eugene for the next two weeks, if you see me, say hello! The saddest part for me is not getting to race for the people who came out to watch me run. Free packs of @rungum for everyone, on me.

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Richard Callaghan, figure skating coach, banned for life

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Richard Callaghan, a figure skating coach best known for helping Tara Lipinski earn 1998 Olympic gold, was ruled permanently ineligible for violations including sexual misconduct involving a minor.

Callaghan can still appeal the sexual misconduct violation, according to the U.S. Center for SafeSport, a watchdog for U.S. Olympic sports organizations that updated Callaghan’s status Wednesday.

He was first suspended in March 2018 pending an investigation into allegations first made against him more than 20 years ago.

Earlier this month, another former skater, Adam Schmidt, said in a lawsuit that he was sexually molested as a teenager by Callaghan starting in 1999.

Callaghan was previously accused of sexual misconduct in April 1999 by Craig Maurizi, one of his former students and later an assistant to him in San Diego and Detroit.

Maurizi told The New York Times that Callaghan had engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with him beginning when he was 15 years old. The alleged misconduct had begun nearly 20 years earlier. Callaghan denied the allegations.

In March 2018, Callaghan told ABC News: “That’s 19 or 20 years ago. I have nothing to say.”

Maurizi’s previous grievance against Callaghan with the U.S. Figure Skating Association, the precursor to U.S. Figure Skating, was dismissed on procedural grounds.

He was Callaghan’s assistant at the Detroit Skating Club until they split after Lipinski turned pro, left Callaghan and decided to train with Maurizi.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Pita Taufatofua, Tonga flag bearer, finishes last in kayak debut

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Pita Taufatofua, the Tonga Olympic flag bearer who went viral in Rio and PyeongChang, began his quest to make a third straight Olympics in a third different sport with a last-place finish in his opening-round heat at the world sprint kayak championships in Hungary on Wednesday.

The start of the heat appeared delayed as Taufatofua struggled to get his kayak into position in the water. He was left at the start as the other six kayakers raced out and finished between 33 and 40 seconds. Taufatofua took 58.19 seconds, the slowest of 53 finishers among seven total heats.

“Well that was slightly better than the first time I competed in Taekwondo or skiing,” was tweeted from Taufatofua’s account. “Would have liked to start facing the right way but that’s life.”

Taufatofua, 35, was the oldest athlete in the heat by nearly a decade. He is also entered in doubles races with Tonga canoe federation president Malakai Ahokava with heats Thursday and Friday.

Taufatofua hopes to compete at the Tokyo Olympics in taekwondo, where he competed in Rio, and in sprint kayak.

But he hasn’t competed in taekwondo in three years and just started training kayak this spring. At worlds, Taufatofua told the BBC he is still having trouble staying afloat in the water.

Taufatofua said in announcing the new sport in April that it would be “largely impossible” to qualify for Tokyo. He could be the first athlete to compete in a different sport in three straight Olympics (Summer and Winter) since the Winter Games began in 1924, according to the OlyMADMen.

“It’s certainly going to be the greatest challenge that I’ve ever had to embark on,” he said then.

Taufatofua’s results at worlds this week has little bearing on his Olympic qualifying prospects. Rather, he just needed to compete in Hungary to stay eligible for the Olympics.

The key will be an Oceania qualifying event early next year, where one Olympic bid is available. He will likely have to beat the best kayakers from Australia and New Zealand to grab it. Australian Stephen Bird placed eighth at the Rio Olympics and 11th at the 2018 World Championships.

If Taufatofua fails, he could receive a special tripartite invitation sometimes offered to smaller nations like Tonga.

Taufatofua became a social-media celebrity by marching into the Rio Olympic Opening Ceremony shirtless and oiled up. He then lost in the first round via mercy rule in his taekwondo tournament.

He made a quixotic bid for the PyeongChang Winter Games in cross-country skiing — and accomplished the feat, barely, in a sport that has lenient qualifying requirements for nations with a lack of Winter Games depth.

Taufatofua finished 114th out of 116 in his 15km Olympic cross-country skiing race, nearly 23 minutes behind the winner.

If Taufatofua is able to carry the Tongan flag at a third Opening Ceremony, he will definitely be shirtless again, in a similar outfit to what he wore in Rio and PyeongChang, he said last year.

MORE: Five-time Olympic kayak medalist banned four years

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