Noah Lyles, Allyson Felix headline USATF Grand Prix at Oregon Relays on NBCSN

Noah Lyles
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Noah Lyles and Allyson Felix are among the headliners for the USATF Grand Prix at Oregon Relays on NBCSN and Peacock Premium on Saturday from 5-7 p.m. ET.

Earlier Saturday, the Drake Relays air on NBCSN and Peacock Premium from 3-5, featuring 100m hurdles world-record holder Keni Harrison, Olympic shot put champion Ryan Crouser and Olympic pole vault silver medalist Sandi Morris.

The USATF Grand Prix at Oregon Relays marks the first professional track and field meet at the newly renovated Hayward Field in Eugene.

The current fields also include Olympic medal favorites Sydney McLaughlin (100m hurdles), Michael Norman (400m) and Vashti Cunningham (high jump).

Lyles, who bids this summer to sweep the Olympic 100m, 200m and 4x100m, is entered in the 100m against a field including another Olympic medal favorite, countryman Trayvon Bromell.

Felix, trying at age 35 to make her fifth Olympic team this summer (and first as a mom), races the 100m on Saturday. For Olympic Trials in June at Hayward, she is expected to enter the 400m and the 200m. The top three per individual event make the team.

Here’s the schedule of events (all times Eastern; 4-5 p.m. on USATF.TV):
4 — Men’s Hammer
4:15 — Women’s 100m Heats
4:15 — Men’s Javelin
4:15 — Men’s Long Jump
4:15 — Women’s High Jump
4:20 — Women’s Triple Jump
4:28 — Men’s 100m Heats
4:42 — Women’s 5000m
5:04 — Women’s 400m
5:12 — Women’s 1500m
5:22 — Men’s 200m
5:30 — Women’s 800m (college)
5:39 — Women’s 100m
5:40 — Men’s Triple Jump
5:46 — Men’s 100m
5:50 — Women’s Hammer
5:53 — Men’s 800m (College)
6 — Women’s Shot Put
6:04 — Men’s 3000m Steeplechase
6:18 — Women’s 800m
6:25 — Men’s 800m
6:32 — Women’s 100m Hurdles
6:41 — Men’s 1500m
6:53 — Men’s 400m

Here are five races to watch:

Women’s 400m — 5:04 p.m.
Olympic gold medalist Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas has said she plans to race the 200m at the Olympics, but she’s entered in the one lap here against four of the seven fastest Americans since the start of 2019. That includes Wadeline Jonathas, the top American at 2019 Worlds in fourth, and the 2017 World champion Phyllis Francis.

Women’s 1500m — 5:12 p.m.
Jenny Simpson
, the Rio bronze medalist, bids this summer to become the oldest American to contest an Olympic 1500m at age 34. Here, in her first 1500m since the 2019 Worlds, she’ll get a look at some of the younger challengers. That includes 2019 World Championships teammate Nikki Hiltz and fellow former Colorado Buffalo Dani Jones (who won NCAA titles indoors, outdoors and in cross-country). The field also includes top Brit Laura Muir and Eritrean Weini Kelati (an NCAA cross-country and 10,000m champion).

Women’s 100m — 5:39 p.m.
Felix is the biggest name here, but not the favorite in one of her non-primary events. The field includes the first- and third-place finishers from the 2019 USATF Outdoor Championships — Teahna Daniels and Morolake Akinosun. Plus, Kayla White, the second-fastest American since the start of 2019, and Briana Williams, a 19-year-old who is Jamaica’s brightest young star.

Men’s 100m — 5:46 p.m.
Lyles is not only the world 200m champion, but also the joint-world’s fastest man since the start of 2019 among those expected to contest the 100m this summer. Bromell, who emerged as a teen star in the last Olympic cycle, then was sidelined by injuries, re-emerged as the world’s fastest man for 2020 among those expected to contest the 100m this summer. The field also includes sub-10 men Mike RodgersRonnie BakerMarvin BracyCameron BurrellCravon GillespieJaylen BaconChris Belcher and Nigerian Divine Oduduru, who matched Lyles’ 9.86 in 2019.

Men’s 400m — 6:53 p.m.
In April 2019, Norman clocked 43.45 seconds to become the joint-fourth-fastest man in history. Injuries slowed him at both nationals and worlds that year, but he goes into the Olympic year a medal favorite. Potentially a gold-medal favorite if he posts fast times over the next two months. Here, Norman faces a field including training partner Rai Benjamin, the world 400m hurdles silver medalist.

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Primoz Roglic wins Giro d’Italia over Geraint Thomas

106th Giro d'Italia 2023 - Stage 20
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Primoz Roglic expanded his Grand Tour portfolio by winning the Giro d’Italia on Sunday to add to his three Spanish Vuelta titles.

The former ski jumper became the first Slovenian rider to win the Giro and he did it in dramatic fashion, claiming the lead in the penultimate stage — taking the pink jersey from Geraint Thomas in Saturday’s mountain time trial.

It was the direct opposite of what happened in the 2020 Tour de France, when fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogacar took the lead from Roglic in another penultimate-day mountain time trial.

Riding a pink bike and wearing a pink helmet and pink socks, Roglic took it easy during the mostly ceremonious final stage, a 135-kilometer (84-mile) leg through the cobblestoned streets of Rome that concluded next to the Roman Forum.

Mark Cavendish, who recently announced that he will retire at the end of this season, won the 21st and final stage in a sprint finish.

Roglic, who rides for the Jumbo-Visma team, finished 14 seconds ahead of Thomas and 1 minute, 15 seconds ahead of Joao Almeida in the overall standings.

It’s the smallest finishing gap between the top riders in the Giro since Eddy Merckx won by 12 seconds ahead of Gianbattista Baronchelli in 1974.

Roglic’s time trial victory on Monte Lussari was his only stage win of the race. He was injured after crashing on a wet and slippery descent in Stage 11, one of several falls he had during the three-week race.

It was Cavendish’s 17th career stage win in the Giro, to go with his 34 victories at the Tour de France and three at the Vuelta. The British rider started his sprint early enough that he was ahead of a crash in the final straight involving several competitors.

Roglic has now won all three races he’s entered this year after also finishing first in the Tirreno-Adriatico and the Volta a Catalunya — both week-long races.

Roglic, who excels at climbing, descending and time trialing — won three consecutive Vueltas in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Before he became a professional cyclist, the 33-year-old Roglic was a competitive ski jumper. He won a gold medal in the team jumping event for Slovenia at the 2007 junior Nordic ski world championships. He stopped jumping in 2012 and took up cycling.

The final stage concluded with six loops of a 13.6-kilometer (8.5-mile) circuit in the center of Rome, taking the peloton past the Baths of Caracalla, the Colosseum, the Vatican and the Circus Maximus.

The 24-year-old Almeida won the white jersey as the race’s top under-25 rider. Thibaut Pinot won the mountains classification and Jonathan Milan won the points classification.

The Tour de France starts July 1, airing on NBC Sports and Peacock.

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French Open: Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk says crowd ‘should be embarrassed’ for booing her

Marta Kostyuk, Aryna Sabalenka
Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus (left) and Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine before their French Open first round match./Getty

Unable to sleep the night before her first-round match at the French Open against Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, the Grand Slam tournament’s No. 2 seed, Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine checked her phone at 5 a.m. Sunday and saw disturbing news back home in Kyiv.

At least one person was killed when the capital of Kostyuk’s country was subjected to the largest drone attack by Russia since the start of its war, launched with an invasion assisted by Belarus in February 2022.

“It’s something I cannot describe, probably. I try to put my emotions aside any time I go out on court. I think I’m better than before, and I don’t think it affects me as much on a daily basis, but yeah, it’s just — I don’t know,” Kostyuk said, shaking her head. “There is not much to say, really. It’s just part of my life.”

That, then, is why Kostyuk has decided she will not exchange the usual postmatch pleasantries with opponents from Russia or Belarus. And that is why she avoided a handshake — avoided any eye contact, even — after losing to Australian Open champion Sabalenka 6-3, 6-2 on Day 1 at Roland Garros.

What surprised the 20-year-old, 39th-ranked Kostyuk on Sunday was the reaction she received from the spectators in Court Philippe Chatrier: They loudly booed and derisively whistled at her as she walked directly over to acknowledge the chair umpire instead of congratulating the winner after the lopsided result. The negative response grew louder as she gathered her belongings and walked off the court toward the locker room.

“I have to say,” Kostyuk said, “I didn’t expect it. … People should be, honestly, embarrassed.”

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Kostyuk is based now in Monaco, and her mother and sister are there, too, but her father and grandfather are still in Kyiv. Perhaps the fans on hand at the clay-court event’s main stadium were unaware of the backstory and figured Kostyuk simply failed to follow usual tennis etiquette.

Initially, Sabalenka — who had approached the net as if anticipating some sort of exchange with Kostyuk — thought the noise was directed at her.

“At first, I thought they were booing me,” Sabalenka said. “I was a little confused, and I was, like, ’OK, what should I do?”

Sabalenka tried to ask the chair umpire what was going on. She looked up at her entourage in the stands, too. Then she realized that while she is aware Kostyuk and other Ukrainian tennis players have been declining to greet opponents from Russia or Belarus after a match, the spectators might not have known — and so responded in a way Sabalenka didn’t think was deserved.

“They saw it,” she surmised, “as disrespect (for) me.”

All in all, if the tennis itself was not particularly memorable, the whole scene, including the lack of the customary prematch photo of the players following the coin toss, became the most noteworthy development on Day 1 in Paris.

The highest-seeded player to go home was No. 7 Maria Sakkari, who lost 7-6 (5), 7-5 to 42nd-ranked Karolina Muchova in what wasn’t necessarily that momentous of an upset. Both have been major semifinalists, and Muchova has won her past four Slam matches against players ranked in the top 10 — including beating Sakkari at the French Open last year. Also out: No. 21 Magda Linette, a semifinalist at the Australian Open, who was beat 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 by 2021 U.S. Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez, and No. 29 Zhang Shuai.

The first seeded man to bow out was No. 20 Dan Evans, eliminated 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 by wild-card entry Thanasi Kokkinakis. No. 11 Karen Khachanov, a semifinalist at the past two majors, came all the way back after dropping the opening two sets to beat Constant Lestienne, a French player once banned for gambling, by a 3-6, 1-6, 6-2, 6-1, 6-3 score in front of a boisterous crowd at Court Suzanne Lenglen. Two-time Slam finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas came within a point of being forced to a fifth set, too, but got past Jiri Vesely 7-5, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7). No. 24 Sebastian Korda, who missed three months after hurting his wrist at the Australian Open, was a straight-set winner in an all-American matchup against Mackenzie McDonald, the last player to face — and beat — Rafael Nadal. The 14-time French Open champion has been sidelined with a hip injury since that match in January.

Sabalenka called Sunday “emotionally tough” — because of mundane, tennis-related reasons, such as the nerves that come with any first-round match, but more significantly because of the unusual circumstances involving the war.

“You’re playing against (a) Ukrainian and you never know what’s going to happen. You never know how people will — will they support you or not?” explained Sabalenka, who went down an early break and trailed 3-2 before reeling off six consecutive games with powerful first-strike hitting. “I was worried, like, people will be against me, and I don’t like to play when people (are) so much against me.”

A journalist from Ukraine asked Sabalenka what her message to the world is with regard to the war, particularly in this context: She can overtake Iga Swiatek at No. 1 in the rankings based on results over the next two weeks and, therefore, serves as a role model.

“Nobody in this world, Russian athletes or Belarusian athletes, support the war. Nobody. How can we support the war? Nobody — normal people — will never support it. Why (do) we have to go loud and say that things? This is like: ‘One plus one (is) two.’ Of course we don’t support war,” Sabalenka said. “If it could affect anyhow the war, if it could like stop it, we would do it. But unfortunately, it’s not in our hands.”

When a portion of those comments was read to Kostyuk by a reporter, she responded in calm, measured tones that she doesn’t get why Sabalenka does not come out and say that “she personally doesn’t support this war.”

Kostyuk also rejected the notion that players from Russia or Belarus could be in a tough spot upon returning to those countries if they were to speak out about what is happening in Ukraine.

“I don’t know why it’s a difficult situation,” Kostyuk said with a chuckle.

“I don’t know what other players are afraid of,” she said. “I go back to Ukraine, where I can die any second from drones or missiles or whatever it is.”

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