Veronica Campbell-Brown, who led Jamaica’s golden sprint revival, retires

Veronica Campbell-Brown
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Veronica Campbell-Brown, who won back-to-back Olympic 200m titles to lead Jamaica’s ascent to the top of global sprinting, announced her retirement on the eve of her nation’s Olympic Trials.

“As I take off my spikes never to put them on again, this girl from Clarks Town walks away happy and contented with a race well run,” was posted on the 39-year-old’s social media. “Through the grace of God, I have climbed from a small town in Trelawny, Jamaica up the ladder of success to become one of the most decorated women in the Olympic Games and World Championships history.”

Campbell-Brown sprinted at five Olympics from 2000 to 2016, earning eight medals, one shy of the Olympic women’s track and field record.

In 2004, she beat an 18-year-old Allyson Felix for gold in Athens, becoming Jamaica’s first Olympic flat sprint champion in 28 years. She repeated in 2008, again relegating Felix to silver.

Campbell-Brown also excelled at 100m, winning a world title in 2007 and Olympic bronze medals in 2004 and 2012.

She was honored with a statue in a park outside the National Stadium in Kingston, along with other champions from her era — Usain BoltShelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Asafa Powell. Past Jamaican Olympic sprint legends Herb McKenleyDon Quarrie and Merlene Ottey were previously feted with statues.

Campbell-Brown came from the same parish as Bolt and the same high school as Ottey.

“I realized in primary school, around 10, that I had a chance,” Campbell-Brown said years ago. “I would run a lot, and I would win. I would beat the girls, I would beat the boys, and I realized there was something special about this gift that I had.”

NBC Olympic Research contributed to this report.

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12-year-old skateboarders earn medals at world championships

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At the world skateboarding championships, 12-year-olds Chloe Covell from Australia and Onodera Ginwoo from Japan earned silver and bronze medals, respectively, in Sunday’s street finals.

In the women’s event, Covell took silver behind Brazilian 15-year-old Rayssa Leal, who was a silver medalist herself at the Tokyo Games.

Frenchman Aurélien Giraud, a 25-year-old who was sixth in skateboarding’s Olympic debut in Tokyo, won the men’s final in the United Arab Emirates. Ginwoo was third behind Portugal’s Gustavo Ribeiro.

The top Americans were Olympic men’s bronze medalist Jagger Eaton in sixth and 15-year-old Paige Heyn in seventh in the women’s event.

Nyjah Huston, a six-time world champion who placed seventh in Tokyo, missed worlds after August surgery for an ACL tear.

Up to three men and three women per nation can qualify per event (street and park) for the 2024 Paris Games. World rankings come June 2024 determine which Americans qualify.

In Tokyo, four of the 12 skateboarding medalists were ages 12 or 13.

Japan’s Kokona Hiraki, then 12, won silver in women’s park to become the youngest Olympic medalist since 1936, according to Olympedia.org. Japan’s Momiji Nishiya, then 13, won women’s street and became the youngest gold medalist in an individual event since 1936.

Worlds conclude this week with the men’s and women’s park events. The finals are Saturday.

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Francesco Friedrich, most decorated bobsledder in history, rebounds for 12th world title

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A week after his first major championships defeat in seven years, German Francesco Friedrich returned to his winning ways to close the world bobsled championships on Sunday.

Friedrich’s four-man sled won the world title by 69 hundredths of a second over British and Latvian sleds that tied for silver, combining times from four runs over the last two days in St. Moritz, Switzerland. It marked Great Britain’s first world championships men’s bobsled medal since 1966.

Geoff Gadbois drove the lone U.S. sled in the field, finishing 18th.

Friedrich, the most decorated bobsledder in history, extended his records with a fifth consecutive world four-man title and 12th world championship between two- and four-man events.

Germany swept all four titles at bobsled worlds with four different drivers taking gold.

Friedrich had won 12 consecutive Olympic or world titles before taking two-man silver at worlds last week in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He was dethroned in that event by countryman Johannes Lochner.

Friedrich has been hampered recently by a muscle injury from sprint training in late December. Going into worlds, Lochner had won four consecutive World Cup two-man races, while Hall won the last two World Cups in four-man.

Friedrich, 32, said before this season that he plans to make the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games his final competition. Friedrich and push athlete Thorsten Margis can break the record of four career Olympic bobsled gold medals that they currently share with retired Germans Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske.

The World Cup season concludes with stops in Igls, Austria, and Sigulda, Latvia, the next two weekends.

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