Michael Norman says no 200m-400m double for Olympics

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Michael Norman decided not to attempt a 200m-400m double for the Tokyo Olympics.

“These next two years, I really want to just focus on my individual event, make sure I get a medal in the 400m,” Norman said Thursday, one day before he races the 400m at the Diamond League Finals in Brussels (TV/stream schedule here). “Further down the line, hopefully I can drop down to the 200m, go for the double.”

Norman, 21, ran the sixth-fastest 400m in history on April 20, a 43.45 that is the world’s fastest time since Wayde van Niekerk lowered the world record to 43.03 at the Rio Olympics.

Norman also ranks second in the world in the 200m this year. He is the only man to beat world No. 1 Noah Lyles in the last three years, taking a Diamond League race in Rome on June 6.

Norman hasn’t raced a 200m since, opting out of it at the USATF Outdoor Championships in July and the world championships in Doha in three weeks. The world championships schedule has the 200m and 400m too close together to make the double feasible.

It doesn’t get much easier at the Olympics, where the 200m semifinals and final are on the two days between the 400m semifinals and final.

“It’s going to take a very, very, very special person to do something like that,” Norman said in July. “Is it feasible? Of course, it’s feasible. But maybe not feasible to perform very well. Shoot, is it enticing to do it? Yes.”

Norman has since decided not to go the route of Michael Johnson in 1996 and Allyson Felix in 2016; they both requested and were granted Olympic schedule changes to better accommodate the double.

Norman also noted a bet he made with coach Caryl Smith Gilbert. If he wins the 400m in Doha and Tokyo, he will be allowed to focus on the 100m in 2021.

“So hopefully, you know, I achieve those goals, and we start training for the 100m,” Norman said in July.

Lyles, the U.S. 200m champion, and Christian Coleman, the U.S. 100m champion, have both said they plan to attempt 100m-200m doubles next summer.

MORE: Christian Coleman cleared of drug-testing charge

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12-year-old skateboarders earn medals at world championships

Chloe Covell
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At the world skateboarding championships, 12-year-olds Chloe Covell from Australia and Onodera Ginwoo from Japan earned silver and bronze medals, respectively, in Sunday’s street finals.

In the women’s event, Covell took silver behind Brazilian 15-year-old Rayssa Leal, who was a silver medalist herself at the Tokyo Games.

Frenchman Aurélien Giraud, a 25-year-old who was sixth in skateboarding’s Olympic debut in Tokyo, won the men’s final in the United Arab Emirates. Ginwoo was third behind Portugal’s Gustavo Ribeiro.

The top Americans were Olympic men’s bronze medalist Jagger Eaton in sixth and 15-year-old Paige Heyn in seventh in the women’s event.

Nyjah Huston, a six-time world champion who placed seventh in Tokyo, missed worlds after August surgery for an ACL tear.

Up to three men and three women per nation can qualify per event (street and park) for the 2024 Paris Games. World rankings come June 2024 determine which Americans qualify.

In Tokyo, four of the 12 skateboarding medalists were ages 12 or 13.

Japan’s Kokona Hiraki, then 12, won silver in women’s park to become the youngest Olympic medalist since 1936, according to Olympedia.org. Japan’s Momiji Nishiya, then 13, won women’s street and became the youngest gold medalist in an individual event since 1936.

Worlds conclude this week with the men’s and women’s park events. The finals are Saturday.

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Francesco Friedrich, most decorated bobsledder in history, rebounds for 12th world title

Francesco Friedrich
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A week after his first major championships defeat in seven years, German Francesco Friedrich returned to his winning ways to close the world bobsled championships on Sunday.

Friedrich’s four-man sled won the world title by 69 hundredths of a second over British and Latvian sleds that tied for silver, combining times from four runs over the last two days in St. Moritz, Switzerland. It marked Great Britain’s first world championships men’s bobsled medal since 1966.

Geoff Gadbois drove the lone U.S. sled in the field, finishing 18th.

Friedrich, the most decorated bobsledder in history, extended his records with a fifth consecutive world four-man title and 12th world championship between two- and four-man events.

Germany swept all four titles at bobsled worlds with four different drivers taking gold.

Friedrich had won 12 consecutive Olympic or world titles before taking two-man silver at worlds last week in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He was dethroned in that event by countryman Johannes Lochner.

Friedrich has been hampered recently by a muscle injury from sprint training in late December. Going into worlds, Lochner had won four consecutive World Cup two-man races, while Hall won the last two World Cups in four-man.

Friedrich, 32, said before this season that he plans to make the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games his final competition. Friedrich and push athlete Thorsten Margis can break the record of four career Olympic bobsled gold medals that they currently share with retired Germans Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske.

The World Cup season concludes with stops in Igls, Austria, and Sigulda, Latvia, the next two weekends.

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