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


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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2023 French Open men’s singles draw, scores

French Open Men's Draw
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The French Open men’s singles draw is missing injured 14-time champion Rafael Nadal for the first time since 2004, leaving the Coupe des Mousquetaires ripe for the taking.

The tournament airs live on NBC Sports, Peacock and Tennis Channel through championship points in Paris.

Novak Djokovic is not only bidding for a third crown at Roland Garros, but also to lift a 23rd Grand Slam singles trophy to break his tie with Nadal for the most in men’s history.

FRENCH OPEN: Broadcast Schedule | Women’s Draw

But the No. 1 seed is Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, who won last year’s U.S. Open to become, at 19, the youngest man to win a major since Nadal’s first French Open title in 2005.

Now Alcaraz looks to become the second-youngest man to win at Roland Garros since 1989, after Nadal of course.

Alcaraz missed the Australian Open in January due to a right leg injury, but since went 30-3 with four titles. Notably, he has not faced Djokovic this year. They could meet in the semifinals.

Russian Daniil Medvedev, the No. 2 seed, was upset in the first round by 172nd-ranked Brazilian qualifier Thiago Seyboth Wild. It marked the first time a men’s top-two seed lost in the first round of any major since 2003 Wimbledon (Ivo Karlovic d. Lleyton Hewitt).

All of the American men lost before the fourth round. The last U.S. man to make the French Open quarterfinals was Andre Agassi in 2003.

MORE: All you need to know for 2023 French Open

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2023 French Open Men’s Singles Draw

French Open Men's Singles Draw French Open Men's Singles Draw French Open Men's Singles Draw French Open Men's Singles Draw

Coco Gauff, Iga Swiatek set French Open rematch

Coco Gauff French Open

Coco Gauff swept into the French Open quarterfinals, where she plays Iga Swiatek in a rematch of last year’s final.

Gauff, the sixth seed, beat 100th-ranked Slovakian Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 7-5, 6-2 in the fourth round. She next plays the top seed Swiatek, who later Monday advanced after 66th-ranked Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko retired down 5-1 after taking a medical timeout due to illness.

Gauff earned a 37th consecutive win over a player ranked outside the top 50, dating to February 2022. She hasn’t faced a player in the world top 60 in four matches at Roland Garros, but the degree of difficulty ratchets up in Wednesday’s quarterfinals.

Swiatek won all 12 sets she’s played against Gauff, who at 19 is the only teenager in the top 49 in the world. Gauff said last week that there’s no point in revisiting last year’s final — a 6-1, 6-3 affair — but said Monday that she should rewatch that match because they haven’t met on clay since.

“I don’t want to make the final my biggest accomplishment,” she said. “Since last year I have been wanting to play her, especially at this tournament. I figured that it was going to happen, because I figured I was going to do well, and she was going to do well.

“The way my career has gone so far, if I see a level, and if I’m not quite there at that level, I know I have to improve, and I feel like you don’t really know what you have to improve on until you see that level.”

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Women | Men | Broadcast Schedule

Also Monday, No. 7 seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia dispatched 36th-ranked American Bernarda Pera 6-3, 6-1, breaking all eight of Pera’s service games.

Jabeur, runner-up at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open last year, has now reached the quarterfinals of all four majors.

Jabeur next faces 14th-seeded Beatriz Haddad Maia, who won 6-7 (3), 6-3, 7-5 over Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo, who played on a protected ranking of 68. Haddad Maia became the second Brazilian woman to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal in the Open Era (since 1968) after Maria Bueno, who won seven majors from 1959-1966.

Pera, a 28 year-old born in Croatia, was the oldest U.S. singles player to make the fourth round of a major for the first time since Jill Craybas at 2005 Wimbledon. Her defeat left Gauff as the lone American singles player remaining out of the 35 entered in the main draws.

The last American to win a major singles title was Sofia Kenin at the 2020 Australian Open. The 11-major drought matches the longest in history (since 1877) for American men and women combined.

In the men’s draw, 2022 French Open runner-up Casper Ruud reached the quarterfinals by beating 35th-ranked Chilean Nicolas Jarry 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-5. He’ll next play sixth seed Holger Rune of Denmark, a 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (7) winner over 23rd seed Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina.

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