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Oksana Chusovitina, 44-year-old gymnast, qualifies for record-extending 8th Olympics

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Oksana Chusovitina, a 44-year-old gymnast, has qualified for her eighth Olympics, breaking her own record.

The Uzbek mom made the field for Tokyo 2020 when the dust settled on the final day at the world championships in Stuttgart, Germany.

Chusovitina failed to qualify outright after missing this week’s individual finals. However, due to a lack of gymnasts making apparatus finals from nations not already qualified for the Olympic team event, extra athletes from all-around qualifying made it.

Chusovitina began her career competing for the Soviet Union in the late 1980s.

She is already the oldest female gymnast in Olympic history. She is in line to become the fourth-oldest Olympic gymnast and the oldest since 1920, according to the OlyMADMen.

The 2017 International Gymnastics Hall of Fame inductee made 14 world vault championships finals, highlighted by a 2003 World title. She also reached the last three Olympic vault finals with a silver at Beijing 2008.

She debuted at the world championships in 1991, winning gold with the Soviet Union, and at the Olympics in 1992 with the Unified Team.

She also represented Germany from 2006 through 2012. She had moved there to seek treatment for son Alisher’s leukemia. Alisher turns 21 next year.

Chusovitina has long focused on vault, where she has won nine world medals, the most recent in 2011.

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GYM WORLDS: Finals Results

Bobby Joe Morrow, triple Olympic sprint champion, dies at 84

Bobby Joe Morrow
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Bobby Joe Morrow, one of four men to win the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at one Olympics, died at age 84 on Saturday.

Morrow’s family said he died of natural causes.

Morrow swept the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, joining Jesse Owens as the only men to accomplish the feat. Later, Carl Lewis and Usain Bolt did the same.

Morrow, raised on a farm in San Benito, Texas, set 11 world records in a short career, according to World Athletics.

He competed in one Olympics, and that year was named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year while a student at Abilene Christian. He beat out Mickey Mantle and Floyd Patterson.

“Bobby had a fluidity of motion like nothing I’d ever seen,” Oliver Jackson, the Abilene Christian coach, said, according to Sports Illustrated in 2000. “He could run a 220 with a root beer float on his head and never spill a drop. I made an adjustment to his start when Bobby was a freshman. After that, my only advice to him was to change his major from sciences to speech, because he’d be destined to make a bunch of them.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Johnny Gregorek runs fastest blue jeans mile in history

Johnny Gregorek
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Johnny Gregorek, a U.S. Olympic hopeful runner, clocked what is believed to be the fastest mile in history for somebody wearing jeans.

Gregorek recorded a reported 4 minutes, 6.25 seconds, on Saturday to break the record by more than five seconds (with a pacer for the first two-plus laps). Gregorek, after the record run streamed live on his Instagram, said he wore a pair of 100 percent cotton Levi’s.

Gregorek, the 28-year-old son of a 1980 and 1984 U.S. Olympic steeplechaser, finished 10th in the 2017 World Championships 1500m. He was sixth at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.

He ranked No. 1 in the country for the indoor mile in 2019, clocking 3:49.98. His outdoor mile personal best is 3:52.94, ranking him 30th in American history.

Before the attempt, a fundraiser was started for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, garnering more than $29,000. Gregorek ran in memory of younger brother Patrick, who died suddenly in March 2019.

“Paddy was a fan of anything silly,” Gregorek posted. “I think an all out mile in jeans would tickle him sufficiently!”

MORE: Seb Coe: Track and field needs more U.S. meets

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