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Usain Bolt out of Jamaican Olympic Trials (hamstring), still hopes for Rio

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Usain Bolt withdrew from the Jamaican Olympic Trials with a grade-one hamstring tear but still hopes to be named to the Olympic team, according to his social media.

“After feeling discomfort in my hamstring after the first round last night and then again in the semi-final tonight I was examined by the Chief Doctor of the National Championships and diagnosed with a Grade 1 tear,” Bolt’s social media said. “I have submitted a medical exemption to be excused from the 100m final and the remainder of the National Championships. I will seek treatment immediately and hope to show fitness at the London Anniversary Games on July 22 to earn selection for the Olympic Games in Rio.”

Bolt can still be named to Jamaica’s Olympic team, according to the Jamaica Gleaner.

The “selection policy allows for medical exemptions in cases where athletes can prove that an injury has prevented them from competing at the trials,” the newspaper said, adding that Bolt was unlikely to race the 200m later in the meet.

Bolt had won his 100m semifinal race earlier Friday night in 10.04 seconds (video here) to make the final at a meet where the top three would generally be in line to make the Olympic team individually.

Rival Yohan Blake won the Jamaican Trials 100m in Bolt’s absence in 9.95 seconds.

Asafa Powell, the world-record holder before Bolt, finished fourth, putting him in line to miss the three-man Jamaican Olympic team in the 100m. Powell could still be part of the 4x100m relay pool.

In the women’s final, world 200m silver medalist Elaine Thompson equaled the Jamaican record by winning in 10.70 seconds. Two-time Olympic 100m champ Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, slowed by a toe injury this spring, was second in 10.93 to earn her spot in Rio.

ZACCARDI: Bolt not the only injured Olympic track and field star 

The first reports of Bolt’s withdrawal came about 30 minutes before the final was scheduled in Kingston.

Bolt has dealt with injuries in recent years, including a reported hamstring problem that necessitated a visit to a German doctor in May and a reported ankle injury last winter.

MORE: Sanya Richards-Ross misses Olympic team in 400m

David Taylor will not defend wrestling world title

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David Taylor waited five years to get his chance at the world championships. The wait will also be a little longer than expected to defend his world title.

Taylor suffered a knee injury in a May 6 match and underwent surgery, according to his social media. He was to face Pat Downey in two weeks for the U.S.’ spot at 86kg at September’s world championships, but that’s not happening now.

“The nature of competing as a professional athlete is a delicate one,” was posted on Taylor’s accounts. “One year, you find yourself winning the tilte of the 86 kg World Champion and being voted best pound for pound wrestler on earth. In the blink of an eye, you lose yourself in thought over the noisy lull of the MRI machine, hoping that the pain in your knee isn’t what you fear most.”

Taylor, 28, was one of three U.S. men to earn maiden world titles last October in Budapest, along with fellow former NCAA standouts J’den Cox and Kyle Dake.

Taylor upset Iran’s Olympic and world champion Hassan Yazdani in his first match at worlds. He suffered a knee injury in his second match and said he was kicked in the face in the semifinals. He then dumped Turkey’s top-seeded Fatih Erdin in the final, scoring a two-point takedown in the first 10 seconds and getting a 12-2 tech fall.

“To be able to earn it the way that I earned it, there’s no easy way,” Taylor said. “I wrestled every single best guy every single round.”

Taylor became the oldest first-time Olympic or world champion for USA Wrestling since 2006. He had finished second or third at trials for the 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017 World teams and the 2016 Olympic team. He is one of four men to win the NCAA Wrestler of the Year award multiple times, doing so in 2012 and 2014 for Penn State.

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MORE: Helen Maroulis on why she missed world team trials

Sam Girard, Olympic short track champion, surprisingly retires at age 22

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Sam Girard, who avoided a three-skater pileup to win the PyeongChang Olympic 1000m, retired from short track speed skating at age 22, saying he lost the desire to compete.

“I leave my sport satisfied with what I have accomplished,” Girard said in a press release. “This decision was very well thought through. I am at peace with the choice that I’ve made and am ready to move onto the next step.”

Girard and girlfriend and fellow Olympic skater Kasandra Bradette announced their careers end together in a tearful French-language press conference in Quebec on Friday.

Girard detailed the decision in a letter, the sacrifices made to pursue skating. Notably, moving from his hometown of Ferland-et-Boilleau, population 600, to Montreal in 2012. His hobbies had been of the outdoor variety, but he now had to drive an hour and a half from the training center just to go fishing.

In PyeongChang, Girard led for most of the 1000m final, which meant he avoided chaos behind him on the penultimate lap of the nine-lap race. Hungarian Liu Shaolin Sandor‘s inside pass took out South Koreans Lim Hyo-Jun and Seo Yi-Ra, leaving just Girard and American John-Henry Krueger.

Girard maintained his lead, crossing .214 in front of Krueger to claim the title. He also finished fourth in the 500m and 1500m and earned bronze in the relay.

“My first Olympics, won a gold medal, can’t ask for more,” he said afterward.

Though Girard was already accomplished — earning individual silver medals at the 2016 and 2017 Worlds — he came to PyeongChang as the heir apparent to Charles Hamelin, a roommate on the World Cup circuit whom Girard likened to a big brother. Girard earned another world silver medal this past season.

Hamelin, after taking individual gold in 2010 and 2014, left PyeongChang without an individual medal in what many expected to be his last Olympics. However, he went back on a retirement vow and continued to skate through the 2018-19 season.

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MORE: J.R. Celski explains decision to retire