Sha’Carri Richardson, Noah Lyles lead winners at USATF Golden Games

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Sha’Carri Richardson again looked peer-less in the 100m on Sunday. Noah Lyles, dominant in the 200m for years, conquered a rare challenge.

After the early DK Metcalf buzz at the USATF Golden Games, world-class runners showcased track speed six weeks before the Olympic Trials.

Start with Richardson, who confirmed she has the talent to bring home the U.S.’ first Olympic women’s 100m title in 25 years. The 21-year-old clocked 10.74 and 10.77 seconds within two hours of each other. The latter was into a 1.2 meter/second headwind, the fastest time ever into that much wind. Unfortunate, as it was the only sprint not run with a tailwind Sunday at Mt. SAC in Walnut, California.

“We’re just getting started!” Richardson exclaimed moments after the 10.74.

Richardson also ran 10.72 last month to become the sixth-fastest woman in history. She is in the mix for Olympic gold, along with Jamaicans Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who ran 10.71 and 10.73, respectively, in 2019. The last U.S. woman to win an Olympic 100m was Gail Devers in Atlanta (not counting Marion Jones‘ stripped 2000 gold).

Later, Lyles rallied to win the 200m in 19.90, surging past Kenny Bednarek by .04. Lyles, who has a personal best of 19.50, is not known for his start but consistently puts fields away in the last half of the race. He’s lost just one outdoor 200m since turning pro out of high school after the 2016 Olympic Trials, and that was to a man not expected to race the 200m this summer (400m star Michael Norman).

Lyles has been watching other runners, including Richardson, as he prepares to race the 100m and 200m at Trials. He said he had low expectations on Sunday and exceeded them.

“No matter what position, I feel like I can always get myself into a winning position,” in the 200m, said Lyles, who sprinted wearing a black, fingerless glove on his left hand, nine months after raising a black-gloved fist on the start line at two meets in Europe. “In the 100m, I still feel like I’m tinkering. … Sometimes I run out of real estate. In the 200m, I always have more real estate.”

Bednarek, second at the 2019 USATF Outdoor Championships, is 22 years old and 15 months younger than Lyles.

Full meet results are here. Athletes are preparing for the U.S. Olympic Trials next month, when the top three are in line to make the Olympic team in most events.

Earlier, the Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Metcalf ran the 100m, clocking 10.37 seconds for last place in his heat. His time, though two tenths off qualifying for Olympic Trials, beat most expert predictions. More from Metcalf here.

Allyson Felix was second in a field of Olympic team contenders in her first 200m since 2017. She clocked 22.26 seconds — .14 behind Gabby Thomas — with a 2.1 tailwind (just above the legal limit of 2.0). Had it been a legal wind, Felix would rank fifth among Americans in the 200m since the start of 2019. She’s expected to enter both the 200m and the 400m at the Olympic Trials, seeking a fifth Olympics and, at age 35, her first as a mom.

Norman won a 400m in 44.40 seconds, his best time since September 2019. Norman looked like the Olympic favorite until injuries derailed his summer 2019. He still might be, though Sunday’s race lacked the other favorites — world champion Steven Gardiner of the Bahamas and American Fred Kerley.

Norman’s training partner Rai Benjamin ran the fastest 400m hurdles time in history this early in a calendar year. Benjamin, the 2019 World silver medalist, clocked 47.13 seconds, matching the 14th-fastest time in history. Benjamin already owns the the joint-fourth-fastest time in history of 46.98. Norwegian Karsten Warholm, the two-time reigning world champion, is the Olympic favorite with a best time of 46.87.

Elle Purrier, who grew up milking cows on her family’s century-old Vermont dairy farm, won a 1500m in 3:58.36, making her the sixth-fastest American in history. She’s a favorite to make the Olympic team, along with American record holder Shelby HoulihanJenny Simpson, the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, has made every Olympic and world team dating to 2007, but she has serious competition to extend that streak.

In an 800m, Bryce Hoppel, fourth at 2019 Worlds, prevailed in 1:44.94 over a field that included 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Clayton MurphyDonavan Brazier, who won the 2019 World title in an American record 1:42.34, scratched out of the meet late last week.

The USATF Journey to Gold series continues May 23 with the Boston Games live on NBC Sports and Peacock Premium.

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Eliud Kipchoge breaks marathon world record in Berlin

Eliud Kipchoge Berlin Marathon

Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge broke his own world record in winning the Berlin Marathon, clocking 2:01:09 to lower the previous record time of 2:01:39 he set in the German capital in 2018.

Kipchoge, 37 and a two-time Olympic champion, earned his 15th win in 17 career marathons to bolster his claim as the greatest runner in history over 26.2 miles.

His pacing was not ideal. Kipchoge slowed in the final miles, running 61:18 for the second half after going out in an unprecedented 59:51 for the first 13.1 miles. He still won by 4:49 over Kenyan Mark Korir.

“I was planning to go through it [the halfway mark] 60:50, 60:40,” Kipchoge said. “My legs were running actually very fast. I thought, let me just try to run two hours flat, but all in all, I am happy with the performance.

“We went too fast [in the first half]. It takes energy from the muscles. … There’s still more in my legs [to possibly lower the record again].”

MORE: Berlin Marathon Results

Ethiopian Tigist Assefa won the women’s race in 2:15:37, the third-fastest time in history for somebody who ran one prior marathon in 2:34:01. Only Brigid Kosgei (2:14:14 in Chicago in 2019) and Paula Radcliffe (2:15:25 in London in 2003) have gone faster.

American record holder Keira D’Amato, who entered as the top seed, was sixth in 2:21:48. D’Amato, who went nearly a decade between competitive races after college, owns the American record of 2:19:12 and now also the 10th-best time in U.S. history.

“Today wasn’t my best day ever, but it was the best I could do today,” she said in a text message, according to Race Results Weekly, adding that she briefly stopped and walked late in the race.

The last eight instances the men’s marathon world record has been broken, it has come on the pancake-flat roads of Berlin. It began in 2003, when Kenyan Paul Tergat became the first man to break 2:05.

The world record was 2:02:57 — set by Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in 2014 — until Kipchoge broke it for the first time four years ago.

The following year, Kipchoge became the first person to cover 26.2 miles in under two hours, clocking 1:59:40 in a non-record-eligible showcase rather than a race.

Kipchoge’s focus going forward is trying to become the first runner to win three Olympic marathon titles in Paris in 2024. He also wants to win all six annual World Marathon Majors. He’s checked off four of them, only missing Boston (run in April) and New York City (run every November).

Kipchoge grew up on a farm in Kapsabet in Kenya’s Rift Valley, often hauling by bike several gallons of the family’s milk to sell at the local market. Raised by a nursery school teacher, he ran more than three miles to and from school. He saved for five months to get his first pair of running shoes.

At 18, he upset legends Hicham El Guerrouj and Kenenisa Bekele to win the 2003 World 5000m title on the track. He won Olympic 5000m medals (bronze in 2004 and silver in 2008), then moved to the marathon after failing to make the 2012 Olympic team on the track.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup schedule, results

FIBA Women's World Cup

The U.S. goes for its fourth consecutive title at the FIBA World Cup in Sydney — and eighth global gold in a row overall when including the Olympics.

A’ja Wilson, a two-time WNBA MVP, and Breanna Stewart, the Tokyo Olympic MVP, headline a U.S. roster that, for the first time since 2000, includes neither Sue Bird (retired) nor Diana Taurasi (injured).

The new-look team includes nobody over the age of 30 for the first time since 1994, before the U.S. began its dynasty at the 1996 Atlanta Games. The Americans have won 52 consecutive games between worlds and the Olympics dating to the 2006 Worlds bronze-medal game.

The field also includes host Australia, the U.S.’ former primary rival, and Olympic silver medalist Japan.

Nigeria, which played the U.S. the closest of any foe in Tokyo (losing by nine points), isn’t present after its federation withdrew the team over governance issues. Spain, ranked second in the world, failed to qualify.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Round
Wed., Sept. 21 8:30 p.m. Puerto Rico 82, Bosnia and Herzegovina 58 Group A
9:30 p.m. USA 87, Belgium 72 Group A
11 p.m. Canada 67, Serbia 60 Group B
Thurs., Sept. 22 12 a.m. Japan 89, Mali 56 Group B
3:30 a.m. China 107, South Korea 44 Group A
6:30 a.m. France 70, Australia 57 Group B
8:30 p.m. USA 106, Puerto Rico 42 Group A
10 p.m. Serbia 69, Japan 64 Group B
11 p.m. Belgium 84, South Korea 61 Group A
Fri., Sept. 23 12:30 a.m. China 98, Bosnia and Herzegovina 51 Group A
4 a.m. Canada 59, France 45 Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia 118, Mali 58 Group B
Sat., Sept. 24 12:30 a.m. USA 77, China 63 Group A
4 a.m. South Korea 99, Bosnia and Herzegovina 66 Group A
6:30 a.m. Belgium 68, Puerto Rico 65 Group A
Sun., Sept. 25 12:30 a.m. France 74, Mali 59 Group B
4 a.m. Australia 69, Serbia 54 Group B
6:30 a.m. Canada 70, Japan 56 Group B
9:30 p.m. Belgium vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
11:30 p.m. Mali vs. Serbia Group B
Mon., Sept. 26 12 a.m. USA vs. South Korea Group A
2 a.m. France vs. Japan Group B
3:30 a.m. China vs. Puerto Rico Group A
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Canada Group B
9:30 p.m. Puerto Rico vs. South Korea Group A
11:30 p.m. Belgium vs. China Group A
Tues., Sept. 27 12 a.m. USA vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
2 a.m. Canada vs. Mali Group B
3:30 a.m. France vs. Serbia Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Japan Group B
Wed., Sept. 28 10 p.m. Quarterfinal
Thurs., Sept. 29 12:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
4 a.m. Quarterfinal
6:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
Fri., Sept. 30 3 .m. Semifinal
5:30 a.m. Semifinal
11 p.m. Third-Place Game
Sat., Oct. 1 2 a.m. Final