Allyson Felix wins 400m heat, advances as she starts fifth Olympic Trials

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The crowd at Hayward Field roared for Allyson Felix before the race even started, and the track legend did not disappoint as she cruised to first place in her 400m heat.

“It felt really great,” Felix told reporters of the applause. “It’s always a warm welcome here, it’s nice to be back.”

Advancing past the first round at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials may seem minute for the nine-time Olympic medalist, but it was a significant step for Felix as she attempts to make a fifth consecutive Olympic team.

Already with the most World medals in track and field history, Felix is one medal shy of the most Olympic track and field medals by an American and could match or surpass Carl Lewis’ 10 if she makes it to Tokyo.

Felix, now 35, has run in Eugene, Oregon, for most of her Olympic Trials (the 2004 Trials were in Sacramento, California) but this one is different.

This time, Felix has husband Kenneth Ferguson and 2-year-old daughter Camryn cheering for her in the stands.

“It’s really cool,” Felix said of her daughter being old enough to watch and understand. “Initially, I was so disappointed to have everything postponed (due to the pandemic), and then I started to see the silver lining in everything and that’s one of the big ones – she’s so aware and she’s able to enjoy this as well.”

Plus, Felix knows this Trials is her last.

“I think more than anything [this time is different because] it’s the last time around – just wanting to savor it and also be smart,” she said. “I really want to make this team, so just being smart through the rounds.”

TRACK AND FIELD TRIALS: TV Schedule | Men’s Preview | Women’s Preview

Felix won the first heat without breaking much of a sweat and advanced with the fourth-fastest time of 50.99 seconds. Wadeline Jonathas, 23, was fastest, winning the third of four heats in 50.64. Phyllis Francis, the 2017 World champion, Jessica Beard, a five-time World champion in relays, and Natasha Hastings, a two-time Olympic champion in relays and now mother to 22-month-old Liam, are among the other semifinalists. Courtney Okolo, the 2018 World indoor champion, and Francena McCorory, the 2014 World indoor champion, did not advance.

Sixteen advanced to Saturday’s semifinals, where the top three per heat and two next fastest will then advance to Sunday’s final. A top-six finish in the final would likely put her on the Olympic team for the relay pool.

Felix is also entered in the 200m, which starts Thursday, June 24. Her plan for the past two years has been to run both events at Trials, in hopes of “having a decision to make, but just kind of see how things play out.”

She won the 2012 Olympic gold in the 200m, plus 2004 and 2008 silver medals at that distance. In her first Olympic 400m race, Felix took silver in 2016 behind Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo, who dove for the win in Rio.

In the men’s 400m, Trevor Stewart had the fastest time in 44.75 seconds with Michael Norman – who is fourth-fastest on the all-time list with a 43.45 in 2019 – was fourth in 45.18 seconds.

LaShawn Merritt, who turns 35 later this month, eked out a spot in the semifinals as the 16th and final qualifier. Merritt won the 2008 Olympic gold and 2016 Olympic bronze in this race.

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Eliud Kipchoge breaks marathon world record in Berlin

Eliud Kipchoge Berlin Marathon
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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
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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