Ron Hill
Ron Hill

Olympian ends longest running streak of all time

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Ron Hill, a three-time British Olympian, ended the longest recorded streak of consecutive days running at least one mile on Sunday.

Hill, 78, had run 19,032 consecutive days, or every day since Dec. 21, 1964, according to the United States Running Streak Association.

“The worlds greatest run streaker ends his streak. Due to ill health Ron has decided to take a day off,” was posted on Hill’s social media pages.

“After 400m my heart started to hurt, and by the time I got to the one-mile point I thought I was going to die,” Hill said, according to the BBC. “I was in such pain, and I thought, ‘No, hang on, this isn’t going anywhere at the moment,’ and really in respect of my wife, two sons and friends, I need to stop this.”

Hill began his streak two months after competing at his first Olympics in Tokyo in 1964. He had a top Olympic finish of sixth in the Munich 1972 Marathon famously won by American Frank Shorter. Hill also won the 1970 Boston Marathon.

In 1993, Hill had two setbacks that nearly ended his streak. He broke his sternum crashing his car and later had bunion surgery, according to reports.

“My son picked me up from hospital the next morning, drove me to a track, and I did one mile using walking sticks [canes], not crutches, which go under the arm pits,” Hill said, according to the Runner’s World. “I was able to abandon these after seven days but still ran a mile a day in a plaster cast.”

The new longest streak of consecutive days running is held by Jon Sutherland, who is at 17,419 days. Sutherland, 66 and of California, has run every day since May 26, 1969.

MORE: Ryan Hall runs 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days

Justin Morneau nixes Olympic baseball qualifying return

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Justin Morneau, the 2006 AL MVP with the Minnesota Twins, was taken off Canada’s Olympic baseball qualifying roster before he would have played his first competitive game in more than two years.

Morneau, 38, experienced an unspecified setback in training and was replaced on Canada’s roster for next month’s Premier12. The global tournament marks the first opportunity for many world baseball powers to qualify for the sport’s return to the Olympics.

Morneau never played in the Olympics before baseball was cut from the Games after 2008; active MLB players have never competed in the Games. But he was on Canada’s roster at all four World Baseball Classics from 2006 through 2017.

At November’s Premier12, the top nation from North and South America will qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. Japan and Israel are already qualified. Those that do not qualify will get another chance next year.

Morneau could become the second Major League Baseball MVP to play Olympic baseball as a medal sport. The other was Jason Giambi, who made the U.S. team in 1992, the same summer he was drafted in the second round by the Oakland Athletics.

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Kolohe Andino is first U.S. Olympic surfing qualifier; Kelly Slater faces last chance

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Kolohe Andino is the first American to qualify for surfing’s Olympic debut, which leaves one spot left for 47-year-old Kelly Slater to chase at the final contest of the season.

Andino, a 25-year-old Californian whose first name means “rascal” in Hawaiian, clinched his place in Tokyo on Friday at the penultimate stop on the World Surf League Championship Tour in Portugal. He is ranked fifth in the world, trailing a trio of Brazilians.

One more American man will join Andino on the Olympic team. It will be one of Slater, the 11-time world champion, John John Florence, the 2016 and 2017 World champion, and rising 22-year-old Hawaiian Seth Moniz.

Slater was handed a golden opportunity to qualify when Florence announced in early July that he tore an ACL for the second time in 13 months. Florence had won two of the first five events this season.

Slater has been chasing the sidelined Florence in the standings ever since. But it has not been easy.

Slater hasn’t made the quarterfinals in any of his last seven contests going into December’s finale — the prestigious Billabong Pipeline Masters on the North Shore of Oahu.

“Ninth place, to me, used to be a pretty awful result. I’m used to at least a quarterfinal on for most of my career,” he said in July, noting a back injury. “I’m not horrified by my results, but I’m also not surprised. Maybe other people are because everyone focuses on my age and that kind of thing. It’s not like I’m going to all of a sudden forget how to do this thing, you know?”

Slater, who won the Pipe Masters seven times between 1992 and 2013, must reach the quarterfinals at this year’s event to have any chance of passing Florence to qualify for the Olympics.

Complicating matters: Florence said in August it was his “goal to get better for Pipeline in case I have to come back and compete and gain points,” according to ESPN.com. If Florence does return for the December contest, and makes the quarterfinals, Slater could only pass him with a victory.

Moniz goes into the finale ranked one spot behind Slater, meaning he, too, can grab that second and final Olympic spot with a win or a runner-up.

Slater, who turns 48 on Feb. 11, would be the oldest U.S. Summer Olympic rookie competitor in a sport other than equestrian, sailing or shooting (or art competitions!) in the last 100 years, supplanting Martina Navratilova, according to the OlyMADMen.

MORE: Top U.S. surfer has links to Egg McMuffin, Guinness World Record holder

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