16-year-old runs 3:56 mile; Oslo recap

Leave a comment

Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who at 16 is already the youngest sub-4-minute miler in history, lowered that mark by another two seconds at a Diamond League meet in Oslo on Thursday.

Ingebrigtsen won a mile race in 3 minutes, 56.29 seconds. Three weeks ago, Ingebrigtsen became the youngest man to break four minutes in the mile by running 3:58.07 at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene.

“I believe that I could run at least one second faster [than at the Pre Classic] if I had the right pace from the beginning, so I’m really happy,” Ingebrigtsen said Thursday. “This is probably the best day that can happen to me. … There’s no limits. It’s up to myself how fast I can run.”

Full Oslo results are here. Many U.S. stars sat out the meet as they prepare for next week’s national championships, a qualifier for worlds in London in August.

In other events Thursday, favorites Caster Semenya and Andre De Grasse and Dafne Schippers all won races.

Semenya, the scrutinized South African, extended her 800m winning streak to 17 meets dating to 2015. She beat a field including Olympic silver and bronze medalists Francine Niyonsaba and Margaret Wambui. Niyonsaba was closest, finished .59 behind Semenya, who won in her typical relaxed fashion.

De Grasse had a much closer victory. He held off Brit C.J. Ujah by .01 in the 100m, clocking 10.01 seconds with a .2 meter/second tailwind.

De Grasse, who took 100m bronze and 200m silver behind Usain Bolt in Rio, ranks No. 14 in the world this year in the 100m, but he is known to ease his way into a season.

Schippers, the Olympic 200m silver medalist, ran under protest after a false start. She crossed the finish line first in 22.31 seconds but was later DQ’d for the infraction. She appealed, and 45 minutes later was reinstated as the winner.

Her clocking was well of the fastest time in the world this year of 21.77 set by Tori Bowie.

In the high jump, two-time Olympic medalist Mutaz Barshim of Qatar cleared 2.38 meters, the highest in the world this year. He beat a field that included the top five from Rio.

The Diamond League season continues in Stockholm on Sunday, with coverage on NBC Sports Gold starting at 9:15 a.m. ET.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

VIDEO: Play as Usain Bolt in video game

Leanne Smith leads U.S. gold medalists at para swim worlds

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Leanne Smith has never competed at a Paralympics. Came into this week’s world championships with zero world medals. But she leaves London with three individual golds, most for any American, one year before the Tokyo Games.

Smith, 21, won the 150m individual medley, 50m breaststroke and 100m freestyle in her classification, all in American record times. The last two titles came on the final day of the seven-day meet on Sunday.

Smith, diagnosed with a rare neurological muscle disease called dystonia in January 2012, began swimming in 2013. By 2017, she broke a world record and then debuted at the world championships with a best individual finish of sixth.

The U.S. finished with 35 total medals and 14 golds, ranking sixth in the overall standings. Ukraine, usually strong at the Paralympics, led the way with 55 medals. Full results are here.

Jessica Long, the second-most-decorated U.S. Paralympian in history with 23 medals, earned six this week — five silvers and a bronze — to give her 52 career world championships medals.

Two-time Paralympian Mallory Weggemann earned two golds this week, giving her 15 world titles in three appearances (her others being in 2009 and 2010).

She won 50m titles in the butterfly and freestyle. Weggemann won a 2012 Paralympic 50m free title but was fortunate just to make it back for Rio after a 2014 accident that she said was harder to come back from than her teenage paralysis. She left Rio with no medals but a resolve to return for a third Games in Tokyo.

“I’m two seconds away from bursting into tears,” Weggemann said after winning the first of her two golds in the 50m fly, according to U.S. Paralympics. “I had a really rough go these past three years since Rio, so to finally be back after busting my butt to be here, and to be here in London of all places, is absolutely incredible.”

Fellow Rio Paralympians McKenzie Coan and Robert Griswold added two golds a piece.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Five storylines to watch for Tokyo Paralympics

Heimana Reynolds wins skateboard world title, nears an Olympic goal from age 10

Getty Images
Leave a comment

In February 2009, a 10-year-old Heimana Reynolds was profiled by his local NBC TV station on Oahu.

“My goal is to become a professional skateboarder and compete in the X Games and the Olympics,” he said, according to the report.

Skateboarding would not be added to the Olympics for another seven years. But here Reynolds is, age 21, having just won the world title in park, one of two skateboarding events that debut at the Games in Tokyo.

Reynolds, who wasn’t named to the four-man U.S. national team in March, consolidated his lead in the Olympic qualification rankings by prevailing over a pair of Brazilians in Sao Paulo on Sunday.

A shirtless Reynolds scored 88 points in the final, beating Luis Francisco (85.50) and Pedro Quintas (85).

No more than three Americans can make the Olympic team in the event, which will make it difficult if three-time Olympic halfpipe snowboarding champion Shaun White decides to continue his skateboarding pursuit. White was the sixth-best American, bowing out in the semifinals in 13th place on Saturday in just his second contest since returning to competitive skating last year.

Back to Reynolds. He grew up on the North Shore and attended the Punahou School, where Barack Obama is the most famous alum. His first name is Tahitian, reportedly referring to the power of Jesus’ crown of thorns.

Reynolds, the son of a surfer, proved a natural on land. After pre-teen media profiles, he blossomed into a world silver medalist last year. He won an Olympic qualifier in China in July to take the top spot in the Olympic rankings despite a best career X Games finish of sixth.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Chloe Kim details tough Princeton transition