AP

Youth Olympics award first medals in break dancing

1 Comment

Let it be known that the first Youth Olympic gold medalists in break dancing are Sergei “Bumblebee” Chernyshev of Russia and Ramu Kawai of Japan.

Teenagers, some of whom went by nicknames like Bad Matty, Senorita Carlota and KennyG, went head-to-head in dance battles in preliminaries on Sunday and quarterfinals, semifinals and finals Monday. They performed on a mat atop an outdoor basketball court to a musical beat and emcees in Buenos Aires.

Judges determined winners using six criteria: creativity, personality, technique, variety, perfomativity and musicality. A mixed-gender team event is set for Wednesday and Thursday.

Bumblebee, dancing in a white track suit with Russian flag colors, won all four rounds against France’s Martin Lejeune. In the girls’ final, the 2018 World Youth champion Kawai swept Canadian Emma Misak in four rounds.

Bronze medals went to Japan’s Shigeyuki “Shigekix” Nakarai and South Korean Kim “Yell” Yeri.

“Breaking (also called b-boying or b-girling) is an urban dance style,” according to the Games’ official website. “The urban dance style originated during the mid 1970s in the Bronx borough of New York City.”

The U.S. did not have a breakdancing entrant. Athletes qualified by submitting videos of themselves online, with the winners being selected for the World Youth Breaking Championships in Japan, where 11 athletes qualified for the Youth Olympics.

The IOC announced in 2016 that break dancing would debut at the Youth Olympics in 2018.

Break dancing has never been up for a vote for Olympic inclusion, but the World DanceSport Federation is recognized by the IOC, the first step toward possible addition to the Olympic Games.

The Youth Olympics, for athletes ages 14 to 18, debuted in Singapore in 2010, followed in 2014 in Nanjing, China. Youth Winter Games were in Innsbruck, Austria, in 2012 and Lillehammer, Norway, in 2016.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Youth Olympics TV schedule

Asbel Kiprop, Olympic 1500m champ, banned 4 years

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Kenyan Asbel Kiprop, the 2008 Olympic 1500m champion and a three-time world champ, was banned four years after testing positive for EPO in November 2017, according to track and field’s doping watchdog organization.

The ban is backdated to Feb. 3, 2018, when the 29-year-old was provisionally suspended after the failed test.

Kiprop repeatedly denied doping since last May, when he first acknowledged the positive test. Most recently, a 3,000-word defense from his lawyer was posted on Kiprop’s Facebook page.

Kiprop’s defenses included saying he was a victim of extortion and that he was offered “a reward” of becoming an anti-doping ambassador if he admitted guilt. The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), the IAAF’s independent organization to monitor doping and corruption, denied the latter last May.

A disciplinary panel dismissed six defenses from exonerating him, including the possibility his sample was spiked, in handing out the four-year ban.

Kiprop, the pre-eminent 1500m runner of the last decade, can appeal the ban.

At 19, he finished second in the Beijing Olympic 1500m but was upgraded to gold a year later after Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi failed a drug test. He is the youngest Olympic 1500m medalist of all time, according to the OlyMADMen.

Kiprop went on to earn three straight world titles in the 1500m in 2011, 2013 and 2015, matching the feats of retired legends Noureddine Morceli and Hicham El Guerrouj.

He struggled in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, finishing last in the London final with a hamstring injury and sixth in the Rio final won by American rival Matthew Centrowitz.

Kiprop has targeted El Guerrouj’s world record of 3:26:00, missing the mark by .69 of a second in 2015.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Maggie Nichols is second woman in 20 years to repeat as NCAA all-around champ

Maggie Nichols
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Oklahoma junior and world champion gymnast Maggie Nichols became the first woman to repeat as NCAA all-around champion in 12 years, returning from a heel injury to compete on all four events for the first time since January on Friday.

Nichols, a Rio Olympic hopeful before being beset by a torn meniscus in 2016, joined 2004 Olympic silver medalist Courtney Kupets as the only women to win back-to-back NCAA all-arounds in the 2000s.

A junior, Nichols can next year join Jenny Hansen as the only women to three-peat in NCAA history.

Oklahoma goes for a third team title in four years on Saturday night against UCLA (featuring Olympic champions Madison Kocian and Kyla Ross), LSU and Denver.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships Individual Results
All-Around
1. Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma) — 39.7125
2. Lexy Ramler (Minnesota) — 39.6625
2. Kyla Ross (UCLA) — 39.6625
4. Sarah Finnegan (LSU) — 39.65
5. Kennedi Edney (LSU) — 39.6

Vault
1. Kennedi Edney (LSU) — 9.95
1. Derrian Gobourne (Auburn)
1. Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma)
1. Kyla Ross (UCLA)

Uneven Bars
1. Sarah Finnegan (LSU) — 9.95

Balance Beam
1. Natalie Wojcik (Michigan) — 9.95

Floor Exercise
1. Alicia Boren (Florida) — 9.95
1. Lynnzee Brown (Denver)
1. Brenna Dowell (Oklahoma)
1. Kyla Ross (UCLA)