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Noah Lyles will not race 100m at USATF Outdoors; plans Olympic double

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Noah Lyles confirmed after his most recent 100m on Friday that he will not race the event at next week’s USATF Outdoor Championships, opting to focus on his best event, the 200m.

“That’s what I’ve been saying for a few months now,” Lyles told LetsRun.com after finishing second to world champion Justin Gatlin at a Diamond League meet in Monaco on Friday.

Still, Lyles said he discussed the potential 100m-200m double with his coach over the weekend, but they kept the plan to save him strictly for the 200m, according to Reuters.

“We have already decided to do the double next year at the Olympic Trials,” Lyles said, according to the report.

The double is more feasible at the 2020 Olympic trials, which is spread over 10 days, than at next week’s nationals, which are four days. The 100m is contested on Thursday and Friday and the 200m on Saturday and Sunday.

The double is also more feasible at the 2020 Olympics, where there is a full day off between the 100m final and the 200m first round, than the world championships in Doha in late September, when the 200m first round is the day after the 100m final.

Lyles must be cognizant of two other things: that he pulled out during the 2017 USATF Outdoors with a hamstring injury, forcing him to miss that season’s world championships. And that competing in the 100m, his complementary event, could tire him for the later 200m, though he is the overwhelming favorite in the latter and the top three per event make the team for this fall’s worlds in Doha.

Lyles, 22, ranks second in the world in the 100m this year behind countryman Christian Coleman, who is expected to do the 100m-200m double next week. Gatlin, 37, has a bye into worlds as the defending 100m champion, giving the U.S. four world spots in the event.

Lyles is the fastest 200m sprinter in the world this year by a comfortable two tenths of a second. He clocked 19.50 seconds in Lausanne, Switzerland, on July 5, a time bettered in history only by Usain BoltYohan Blake and Michael Johnson.

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U.S. Olympic 3×3 basketball qualifying teams named with former NBA player, WNBA stars

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Former NBA player Robbie Hummel and WNBA stars lead U.S. Olympic qualifying teams in the new Olympic event of 3×3 basketball.

The four-man and four-woman teams will compete in a global qualifier in India in March, each favored to grab one of three available Olympic berths per gender for the U.S.

Hummel, who unretired to become world champion in 3×3, is joined on the U.S. Olympic men’s qualifying team by Team Princeton teammates Canyon Barry and Kareem Maddox, plus Dominique Jones, who has played with Team Harlem. Team Princeton is guided by an investment firm CEO who once beat Michael Jordan one-on-one.

Last year, Hummel, Maddox and Barry (one of Rick Barry‘s sons) were part of a team that won the world title.

The U.S. women’s 3×3 qualifying roster is made up of WNBA stars Napheesa Collier, Stefanie DolsonAllisha Gray and Kelsey Plum. The U.S.’ top-ranked 3×3 player, as of last month, is Oregon star Sabrina Ionescu, who can’t play internationally this spring as she is in the thick of the NCAA season.

Olympic teams will not necessarily be made up of players from the qualifying tournament.

If the U.S. qualifies for Tokyo, it will then choose its roster(s) in a similar fashion to its traditional basketball teams — via selection committee. It’s unlikely active NBA players will be eligible.

Like with the qualifying tournament, two of the four Olympic players must be ranked in the top 10 among Americans in FIBA 3×3 rankings (as of a May 22 cutoff).

In 3×3, games last 10 minutes, or until one team reaches 21 points. Games are played on a half-court with a 12-second shot clock, and offense immediately turns to defense after a team scores.

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First U.S. sailors qualify for Olympics; gold medalist misses on tiebreak

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The first five members of the U.S. Olympic sailing team were finalized this past weekend. The last American sailor to win an Olympic title missed on a tiebreaker.

Stephanie Roble and Maggie Shea (49er FX), Anna Weis and Riley Gibbs (Nacra 17) and Charlie Buckingham (Laser) qualified after world championships competition concluded in Australia. The U.S. Olympic roster across all sports is now at 43 qualified athletes.

The closest race for a U.S. Olympic spot came in 49er FX. Roble and Shea edged Paris Henken and 2008 Olympic champion Anna Tobias on a tiebreak. Roble and Shea, both first-time Olympic qualifiers, won Saturday’s medal race and earned an overall bronze medal.

That put the two U.S. duos in a tie in Olympic qualifying — combining placements from the 2019 and 2020 Championships, according to TeamUSA.org. The tiebreak went to Roble and Shea for having the better finish at this year’s worlds.

Tobias, a 37-year-old who won the individual 2008 Olympic Laser Radial as Anna Tunnicliffe, came out of retirement in a bid for a third Olympics. She left competitive sailing in 2014, took up CrossFit competitions and returned to crew for Henken more than two years ago.

“We are very sad and upset,” was posted on Tobias’ Instagram, “but we wish them [Roble and Shea] the best of luck.”

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