Ryan Bailey
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Another U.S. Olympic sprinter turns to bobsled

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Ryan Bailey, who finished fifth in the London Olympic 100m and anchored the 2012 U.S. 4x100m relay team, is the latest sprinter to transition to bobsled.

Bailey “set the bar” in combine tests ahead of Saturday’s U.S. push championships for prospective push athletes on two- and four-man bobsleds, according to U.S. Bobsled.

Bailey, 31, missed the 2016 U.S. Olympic team, slowed by a hamstring injury at the Trials in July.

If Bailey makes it onto the national bobsled team, he would be following recent U.S. Olympic women’s sprinters.

Lauryn Williams, the 2004 Olympic 100m silver medalist, and Lolo Jones, a two-time Olympic 100m hurdler, were push athletes at the Sochi Olympics as the ninth and 10th Americans to make Summer and Winter Olympic teams.

Other track athletes — sprinter Tianna Bartoletta and heptathlete Hyleas Fountain — also made brief forays into bobsled after the 2012 London Olympics.

The most notable recent male track and field Olympians to try bobsled were 1980s stars Edwin Moses and Renaldo Nehemiah, but neither made it all the way to the Winter Games.

The last male Summer Olympian to make a U.S. Olympic bobsled team was 1968 Olympic 110m hurdles champion Willie Davenport, who finished 12th in the four-man bobsled at the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Games.

Davenport is the most recent American man to make Summer and Winter Olympic teams.

The World Cup bobsled season starts in late November.

MORE: Steven Holcomb reacts to Russia bobsled doping report

U.S. beats Japan in Olympic baseball qualifier, may still need help

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The U.S. handed Japan its first loss in the Premier12 global Olympic baseball qualifier, at the Tokyo Dome no less, but now the Americans must root for the host nation.

The Americans, with a roster mostly of Double-A and Triple-A players, won 4-3 over a Japanese team that includes some of its domestic league’s biggest stars like two-time Central League MVP Yoshihiro Maru and veteran shortstop Hayato Sakamoto.

Outfielder Jo Adell, MLB Pipeline’s top-ranked prospect on the U.S. team, starred by reaching base four times with a home run.

Japan is already qualified for baseball’s Olympic return as the host nation.

The U.S., meanwhile, has a sense of urgency at Premier12, the first of a possible three tournaments in which it could clinch an Olympic spot.

At Premier12, the top-ranked nation from North and South America qualifies for the Olympics. The tournament is at the super-round stage of the final six teams, and two are from the Americas: the U.S. and Mexico.

The top four nations after each has played five games advance to gold- and bronze-medal games.

Mexico already beat the U.S. and ran its super-round record to 3-0 on Tuesday, clinching a spot in the medal round.

The U.S. moved to 1-2 in the super round on Tuesday and must at least get into the same medal-round game as Mexico to keep its hope of finishing as the top team from the Americas.

Japan could help, since it plays Mexico on Wednesday. If Mexico beats Japan, the Mexicans clinch a spot in the gold-medal game, which would put more pressure on the U.S. to win its last two games (vs. Australia on Wednesday and Chinese Taipei on Friday). Even then, South Korea would get into the gold-medal game if it wins out.

If the U.S. is not the top team from the Americas at Premier12, it can still earn an Olympic berth in March. But then it faces trying to come up with a roster at the end of MLB’s spring training rather than during the offseason. MLB teams may be less inclined to release minor leaguers.

“That’ll be a delicate dance,” U.S. general manager Eric Campbell said before Premier12.

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MORE: AL MVP nixes unretirement for Olympic baseball qualifying

College gymnast dies after practice accident

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — An accomplished gymnast at Southern Connecticut State University has died following a serious spinal cord injury suffered in a training accident.

Melanie Coleman, 20, of Milford, Connecticut, was training Friday at New Era Gymnastics in Hamden when she was injured, said her mother, Susan Coleman.

She was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital and died Sunday.

Coleman was a former All State gymnast at Jonathan Law High School in Milford and was captain of the school’s gymnastics team. She was named a Women’s Collegiate Gymnastics Association Scholastic All-American this year.

Her former club coach, Tom Alberti, said she attained a level 10, the highest level in the USA Junior Olympics Program.

She was a junior studying nursing, following in the footsteps of her two older sisters, her mother said.

“She’s from a very large, loving family; there’s seven of us, we were the Coleman seven,” Susan Coleman said. “We spent every day together for the past 20 years.”

She volunteered at the gym where her accident occurred.

Her coaches and professors described her as a special young woman who excelled in both the classroom and gym, college President Joe Berolino said in a written statement.

“Our deepest sympathies are extended to her family and friends on this tragic loss,” he said.

People the family has met by traveling to gymnastics events around the country are giving support that is “holding us up,” Coleman’s mother said.

She described her children, which also include two sons older than Melanie, as “inseparable.”

“We’re going to leave an empty space in our photos for her” from now on, Susan Coleman said.