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Des Linden follows Boston Marathon win with New York City Marathon

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Des Linden will follow her breakthrough Boston Marathon win by racing her second New York City Marathon on Nov. 4.

“Breaking the tape at this year’s Boston Marathon was a lifelong dream come true,” Linden said in a New York Road Runners press release. “At the moment, it felt like it was the culmination of my career, but I believe I still have plenty more to give to the marathon. I’m thrilled to head to the TCS New York City Marathon this fall. I’m motivated to get back on the big stage that NYRR will undoubtedly put together and intend to make a name for myself in another great city.”

Linden, a two-time Olympian, became the first U.S. female runner to win the Boston Marathon in 33 years on April 16.

The 34-year-old navigated the world’s oldest annual marathon’s most dreadful weather in at least 30 years. High 30s at the Hopkinton start. Headwinds of 20 mph. A downpour.

Now she’ll look to make it two straight U.S. women to win in New York after Shalane Flanagan in 2017. Linden was fifth in her previous New York start in 2014, the last time she raced a fall marathon.

Flanagan, 36 and a four-time Olympian, has not announced whether she will defend her title, but she will at least be coaching 95 recreational runners/beer lovers who will be given spots on the Staten Island start line through Michelob Ultra.

The last female runner to win Boston and New York City in the same year was Norwegian Ingrid Kristiansen in 1989. The last American runner (male or female) to pull off the double was Alberto Salazar in 1982, before Boston started awarding prize money and the elite international fields became dominated by East Africans.

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Salwa Eid Naser, world 400m champion, provisionally banned

Salwa Eid Naser
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Salwa Eid Naser, the world 400m champion of Bahrain, was provisionally suspended for missing three drug tests in a 12-month span.

“I’ve never been a cheat. I will never be,” Naser, 22, said in an Instagram live video. “I only missed three drug tests, which is normal. It happens. It can happen to anybody. I don’t want people to get confused in all this because I would never cheat.”

Naser said “the missed tests” came before last autumn’s world championships, where she ran the third-fastest time in history (48.14 seconds) and the fastest in 34 years.

“This year I have not been drug tested,” she said. “We are still talking about the ones of last season before the world championships.”

The Athletics Integrity Unit, which handles doping cases for track and field, did not announce whether Naser’s gold medal could be stripped.

“Hopefully, it’ll get resolved because I don’t really like the image, but it has happened,” she said. “It’s going to be fine. It’s very hard to have this little stain on my name.”

Naser, the 2017 World silver medalist, upset Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas for the world title in Doha on Oct. 3.

The only women who have run faster than Naser, who was born Ebelechukwu Agbapuonwu in Nigeria to a Nigerian mother who sprinted and a Bahraini father, were dubious — East German Marita Koch (47.60) and Czechoslovakia’s Jarmila Kratochvilova (47.99).

“I would never take performance-enhancing drugs,” Naser said. “I believe in talent, and I know I have the talent.”

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When Laurie Hernandez winked at the Olympics

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Blink, and you may have missed one of the social-media-sensation moments of the Rio Olympics.

Laurie Hernandez, then 16, was the youngest woman on the U.S. Olympic team across all sports. She was about to start arguably the most important floor exercise routine of her life.

So, she winked.

“The amazing thing about the Olympics is that you feel so many different emotions in the span of a few days, and they are all intense,” she wrote in her 2017 book, “I Got This,” a nod to what she told herself before her balance beam routine earlier that night. “So it was nice to have at least one totally playful moment.”

The U.S., on its fourth and final rotation, already had the team gold all but locked up. Knowing she was nervous, Hernandez’s teammates confirmed to her that they were a few points ahead.

Then Hernandez heard the beep, and it was time to go. She was in the view of an out-of-bounds judge at the Rio Olympic Arena.

“Well, I looked straight at her and suddenly felt this surge of confidence to wink,” she wrote. “Later, a woman came up to me while I was watching Simone [Biles] and Aly [Raisman] compete in their all-around finals and she said, ‘Wow, I just want you to know that when you winked at the judge, it really worked.’ I didn’t know how to respond, so I just said, ‘Thank you. That’s very nice of you to say.’ That’s when she told me she was the out-of-bounds judge! All I could say was ‘Oh my goodness.'”

Hernandez, a New Jersey native, finished the Olympics with a team gold and balance beam silver.

She took more than two years off before making a comeback in earnest last year, announcing she planned to return to competition this spring under new coaches in California. Now that’s on hold given the coronavirus pandemic, which pushed the Tokyo Olympics to 2021.

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