Bershawn Jackson runs with heavy heart, silver bullet around neck

Bershawn Jackson
AP
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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Bershawn Jackson‘s dad used to call him a speeding bullet.

That explains the necklace the 400-meter hurdler wears when he races.

Jackson’s dad, Jeffrey Felton, died of a heart attack in October at the age of 53. Jackson’s tribute to the man who rarely missed a track meet is to wear a hollowed-out silver bullet filled with his dad’s ashes when he competes.

”He’s always with me,” Jackson said after winning his first-round heat Thursday at the U.S. Track and Field Trials. ”He was my No. 1 support team.”

Being here, in Eugene, is difficult for Jackson. His dad was at Hayward Field in 2012 at the trials, when Jackson finished a disappointing fourth – one spot away from making the team – and needed comforting. He was here last year, too, watching as Jackson earned a spot on the world squad headed to Beijing.

”Never missed a track meet since I was 6 years old,” said Jackson, who was returning from Europe when he found out about his father’s death. ”He always gave me advice before a race.”

The message was typically the same.

”He would say, ‘Just go do what you do best,”’ recounted Jackson, a bronze medalist at the 2008 Beijing Games.

Jackson took that advice to heart, finishing a rain-soaked race in 49.91 seconds. Not bad considering the trouble he ran into earlier in the week. Just before trials, Jackson was opening a drawer when he cut his right finger on a blender blade. It made crouching down and placing his hand on the track at the starting line a little painful.

Track and Field Trials: ResultsDaily Schedule | TV Schedule

”But I don’t need my finger to run,” said the sprinter, who goes by the nickname ”Batman.”

These days, he’s pushed in practice by training partner, Johnny Dutch, who also advanced.

”We make each other better. We complement each other,” said the 33-year-old Jackson, who grew up in Miami and now lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. ”He’s a technician. I’m a speedster. It’s a great situation for both of us. It would be great if we both could make the team.”

If it happens, the silver bullet will be on the ride to Rio.

”He was a great father. He supported me in everything I did, from school to track and field,” Jackson said. ”He was just always there.”

MORE: LaShawn Merritt eyes Michael Johnson-like double in Rio

Aksel Lund Svindal, Olympic Alpine champ, has testicular cancer, ‘prognosis good’

Aksel Lund Svindal
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Aksel Lund Svindal, a retired Olympic Alpine skiing champion from Norway, said he underwent surgery for testicular cancer and the prognosis “looked very good.”

“Tests, scans and surgery all happened very quickly,” Svindal, 39, wrote on social media. “And already after the first week I knew the prognoses looked very good. All thanks to that first decision to go see a doctor as soon as I suspected something was off.”

Svindal retired in 2019 after winning the Olympic super-G in 2010 and downhill in 2018. He also won five world titles among the downhill, combined and giant slalom and two World Cup overall titles.

Svindal said he felt a change in his body that prompted him to see a doctor.

“The last few weeks have been different,” he wrote. “But I’m able to say weeks and not months because of great medical help, a little luck and a good decision.

“I wasn’t sure what it was, or if it was anything at all. … [I] was quickly transferred to the hospital where they confirmed what the doctor suspected. Testicle cancer.”

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup schedule, results

FIBA Women's World Cup
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The U.S. goes for its fourth consecutive title at the FIBA World Cup in Sydney — and eighth global gold in a row overall when including the Olympics.

A’ja Wilson, a two-time WNBA MVP, and Breanna Stewart, the Tokyo Olympic MVP, headline a U.S. roster that, for the first time since 2000, includes neither Sue Bird (retired) nor Diana Taurasi (injured).

The new-look team includes nobody over the age of 30 for the first time since 1994, before the U.S. began its dynasty at the 1996 Atlanta Games. The Americans have won 52 consecutive games between worlds and the Olympics dating to the 2006 Worlds bronze-medal game.

The field also includes host Australia, the U.S.’ former primary rival, and Olympic silver medalist Japan.

Nigeria, which played the U.S. the closest of any foe in Tokyo (losing by nine points), isn’t present after its federation withdrew the team over governance issues. Spain, ranked second in the world, failed to qualify.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Round
Wed., Sept. 21 8:30 p.m. Puerto Rico 82, Bosnia and Herzegovina 58 Group A
9:30 p.m. USA 87, Belgium 72 Group A
11 p.m. Canada 67, Serbia 60 Group B
Thurs., Sept. 22 12 a.m. Japan 89, Mali 56 Group B
3:30 a.m. China 107, South Korea 44 Group A
6:30 a.m. France 70, Australia 57 Group B
8:30 p.m. USA 106, Puerto Rico 42 Group A
10 p.m. Serbia 69, Japan 64 Group B
11 p.m. Belgium 84, South Korea 61 Group A
Fri., Sept. 23 12:30 a.m. China 98, Bosnia and Herzegovina 51 Group A
4 a.m. Canada 59, France 45 Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia 118, Mali 58 Group B
Sat., Sept. 24 12:30 a.m. USA 77, China 63 Group A
4 a.m. South Korea 99, Bosnia and Herzegovina 66 Group A
6:30 a.m. Belgium 68, Puerto Rico 65 Group A
Sun., Sept. 25 12:30 a.m. France vs. Mali Group B
4 a.m. Australia vs. Serbia Group B
6:30 a.m. Canada vs. Japan Group B
9:30 p.m. Belgium vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
11:30 p.m. Mali vs. Serbia Group B
Mon., Sept. 26 12 a.m. USA vs. South Korea Group A
2 a.m. France vs. Japan Group B
3:30 a.m. China vs. Puerto Rico Group A
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Canada Group B
9:30 p.m. Puerto Rico vs. South Korea Group A
11:30 p.m. Belgium vs. China Group A
Tues., Sept. 27 12 a.m. USA vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
2 a.m. Canada vs. Mali Group B
3:30 a.m. France vs. Serbia Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Japan Group B
Wed., Sept. 28 10 p.m. Quarterfinal
Thurs., Sept. 29 12:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
4 a.m. Quarterfinal
6:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
Fri., Sept. 30 3 .m. Semifinal
5:30 a.m. Semifinal
11 p.m. Third-Place Game
Sat., Oct. 1 2 a.m. Final