Justin Gatlin, U.S. win at Penn Relays

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Justin Gatlin headlined a U.S. team that won the 4x100m on Saturday at the Penn Relays, the oldest annual outdoor track and field meet in the U.S.

Gatlin, who won the 2017 World 100m title in Usain Bolt‘s last individual race, ran the second leg to widen a lead over Jamaica at Franklin Field in Philadelphia.

Gatlin’s quartet — with Lashon CollinsTevin Hester and Justin Walker — clocked 38.39 seconds and easily prevailed by .33 over another U.S team that included 2012 Olympian and former NFL player Jeff Demps.

Full results are here.

Gatlin, 36, is expected to race the 100m at a Diamond League meet in Shanghai on May 12. World 100m silver medalist Christian Coleman and Olympic 100m bronze medalist Andre De Grasse are also entered in the meet.

Jamaica, with two-time Olympian Nesta Carter leading off, finished .78 behind for third place on Saturday. In 2016, the 32-year-old Carter was retroactively banned from the Beijing Olympics after one of his 2008 drug-test samples came back positive for a banned stimulant in a retest.

That meant Carter and the Jamaican 4x100m team was stripped of gold medals, which brought Bolt’s total down to eight Olympic golds overall. Carter appealed to get the medals back. No verdict has been announced.

Jamaica held off a U.S. quartet by .04 in the women’s 4x100m, clocking 43.14.

The Jamaican quartet included three-time Olympic medalist Kerron Stewart, while the U.S. had Aaliyah Brown, who led off the Americans’ world champion team last summer, and Kimberlyn Duncan, who was sixth in the 200m at the 2017 Worlds.

The U.S. swept the 4x400m and sprint medley relays.

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Gregorio Paltrinieri swims second-fastest 1500m freestyle in history

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Olympic champion Gregorio Paltrinieri swam the second-fastest 1500m freestyle in history, clocking 14:33.10 in his native Italy on Thursday.

Paltrinieri, 25, missed Chinese Sun Yang‘s world record from the 2012 Olympics by 2.08 seconds.

The Italian now owns the second- and third-fastest times in history, including his 14:34.10 from the 2016 European Championships, also held at the 2012 Olympic pool in London.

Paltrinieri is a versatile distance swimmer. At last year’s world championships, he finished sixth in the open-water 10km to qualify for the Olympics, then won the 800m free in the pool in a European record time and finished with 1500m bronze, just missing a third straight world title in that event.

German Florian Wellbrock won the 1500m in 14:36.54 at worlds, with Paltrinieri finishing 2.21 seconds back.

Sun, 28, was in February banned eight years stemming from destroying a drug-test sample with a hammer in September 2018. Sun, who focused more on the 200m and 400m frees in recent years, did not race the 1500m at the 2017 or 2019 Worlds.

Top-level swim meets in the U.S. are scheduled to resume in November with the Tyr Pro Series.

MORE: Michael Phelps qualifies for first Olympics at age 15

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Bianca Andreescu to miss U.S. Open

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Bianca Andreescu withdrew from the U.S. Open, citing “unforeseen challenges, including the Covid pandemic” compromising her ability to prepare to defend her Grand Slam title.

“I have taken this step in order to focus on my match fitness and ensure that I return ready to play at my highest level,” Andreescu, a 20-year-old Canadian, posted on social media. “The US Open victory last year has been the high point of my career thus far and I will miss not being there. However, I realize that the unforeseen challenges, including the Covid pandemic, have compromised my ability to prepare and compete to the degree necessary to play at my highest level.”

Andreescu’s absence means the U.S. Open, the first Grand Slam tournament since tennis resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic, will be without both 2019 male and female singles champions.

Rafael Nadal previously announced he would not defend his title, saying he would rather not travel given the global situation. Roger Federer is also out after knee surgery. Women’s No. 1 Ash Barty didn’t enter, either, citing travel concerns.

Last year, Andreescu made her U.S. Open title run as the 15th seed, sweeping Serena Williams in the final. Ranked 208th a year earlier, she became the first player born in the 2000s to win a Slam and the first teen Slam winner since Maria Sharapova at the 2006 U.S. Open.

Andreescu then missed the Australian Open in January due to rehab from a knee injury that forced her to retire during a match at the WTA Finals on Oct. 30. She also missed the French Open and Wimbledon in 2019 following a rotator cuff tear.

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