Allyson Felix into Olympic Trials 200m final behind world’s fastest in 2021

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Allyson Felix wanted to run the 200m and the 400m at the 2016 Olympics, but missed out by .01 after a pre-Olympic Trials injury.

Now, after childbirth and at age 35, she could make the U.S. team in both events for her last Olympics, granted she may drop one of them.

Felix qualified third fastest into Saturday’s 200m final at Trials in Eugene, Oregon, five days after making the team in the 400m. The top three make the team in the 200m.

Felix ran 22.20 seconds out of lane nine, her fastest 200m since 2016. Gabby Thomas and Jenna Prandini (who edged Felix by .01 in the 2016 Olympic Trials for the last 200m spot) won the semifinal heats in 21.94 and 21.99 seconds, respectively. They are the fastest women in the world this year.

Felix was followed by Anavia Battle (22.32), Tamara Clark (22.35) and Dezerea Bryant (22.37).

In finals Friday, Hillary Bor, Benard Keter and Mason Ferlic made the team in the 3000m steeplechase. Olympic silver medalist Evan Jager withdrew before Trials after leg muscle tears. In the discus, Mason Finley, Reggie Jagers and Sam Mattis, the top three U.S. men in this Olympic cycle, made the team.

TRACK AND FIELD TRIALS: Results | TV Schedule

The 200m and 400m overlap in Tokyo. Felix has not said what her plan is if she makes the team in the 200m to go with the 400m, but it’s expected that she would choose one or the other. Felix did not speak with media, outside of short TV interviews, after her 200m first round on Thursday or her semifinal on Friday.

Felix is also set to race the 4x400m relay in Tokyo, plus possibly the mixed-gender 4x400m, no matter if she chooses the 200m or the 400m.

Felix has called the 200m “her baby.” In 2004, she made her first Olympic team at age 18 strictly in the 200m. In 2012, she won her lone individual Olympic title in the 200m.

She has been primarily a 400m runner since tearing her right hamstring in the 2013 World Championships 200m final.

She attempted to make the 2016 Olympic team in both the 200m and the 400m, but missed the 200m team by .01, three months after tearing right ankle ligaments. She took 400m silver in Rio.

Earlier, 17-year-old Erriyon Knighton lowered his U18 record in the 200m by posting the fastest first-round time of 20.04 seconds, beating world champion Noah Lyles in his heat. Lyles and the rest of the contenders advanced to Saturday’s semifinals.

Knighton turned 17 in January, just after he turned pro while a junior at Tampa Hillsborough High School. He can become the second-youngest American man to compete in track and field at the Olympics in 120 years after miler Jim Ryun in 1964, according to Olympedia.org.

On May 31, he broke Usain Bolt‘s U18 200m record of 20.13 by clocking 20.11. Bolt still owns the fastest 200m for a 17-year-old, 19.93 in April 2004, four months before he turned 18. Athletes can register U18 records through the calendar year that they turn 17.

Raevyn Rogers and Ajee’ Wilson, the world silver and bronze medalists, and 19-year-old phenom Athing Mu were among the qualifiers into Sunday’s women’s 800m final.

Rio gold medalist Matthew Centrowitz won his 1500m semifinal heat in a finishing duel with fellow Oregon Duck Cole Hocker. The rest of the favorites also made Sunday’s final, but not 18-year-old Hobbs Kessler.

Dalilah Muhammad and Sydney McLaughlin, the two fastest women in history in the 400m hurdles, won their first-round heats.

World champion Grant Holloway led the qualifiers into Saturday’s 110m hurdles semifinals.

World silver medalist Rai Benjamin won his 400m hurdles semifinal heat ahead of Saturday’s final.

In long jump qualifying, 2012 Olympian and NFL wide receiver Marquise Goodwin finished 19th, failing to make Sunday’s 12-man final. Olympic gold medalist Jeff Henderson and the rest of the favorites advanced.

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Ilia Malinin wins U.S. Figure Skating Championships despite quadruple Axel miss

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One year ago, Ilia Malinin came to the U.S. Championships as, largely, a 17-year-old unknown. He finished second to Nathan Chen in 2022 and was left off the three-man Olympic team due to his inexperience, a committee decision that lit a fire in him.

After the biggest year of change in U.S. figure skating in three decades, Malinin came to this week’s nationals in San Jose, California, as the headliner across all disciplines.

Though he fell on his quadruple Axel and doubled two other planned quads in Sunday’s free skate (the most ambitious program in history), he succeeded the absent Chen as national champion.

Malinin, the world’s second-ranked male singles skater, still landed two clean quads in Friday’s short program and three more Sunday. He totaled 287.74 points and prevailed by 10.43 over two-time Olympian Jason Brown, a bridge between the Chen and Malinin eras.

“This wasn’t the skate that I wanted,” said Malinin, who was bidding to become the second man to land six quads in one program after Chen. The Virginia chalked up the flaws at least partially to putting more recent practice time into his short program, which he skated clean on Friday after errors in previous competitions.

FIGURE SKATING NATIONALS: Full Results

Brown, a 28-year-old competing for the first time since placing sixth at the Olympics, became the oldest male singles skater to finish in the top three at nationals since Jeremy Abbott won the last of his four titles in 2014. As usual, he didn’t attempt a quad but had the highest artistic score by 9.41 points.

Brown’s seven total top-three finishes at nationals tie him with Chen, Michael WeissBrian Boitano, David Jenkins and Dick Button for the second-most in men’s singles since World War II, trailing only Todd Eldredge‘s and Hayes Jenkins‘ eight.

“I’m not saying it’s super old, but I can’t train the way I used to,” Brown said after Friday’s short program. “What Ilia is doing and the way he is pushing the sport is outstanding and incredible to watch. I cannot keep up.”

Andrew Torgashev took bronze, winning the free skate with one quad and all clean jumps. Torgashev, who competed at nationals for the first time since placing fifth in 2020 at age 18, will likely round out the three-man world team.

Japan’s Shoma Uno will likely be the favorite at worlds. He won last year’s world title, when Malinin admittedly cracked under pressure in the free skate after a fourth-place short program and ended up ninth.

That was before Malinin became the first person to land a quad Axel in competition. That was before Malinin became the story of the figure skating world this fall. That was before Malinin took over the American throne from Chen, who is studying at Yale and not expected to return to competition.

Malinin’s next step is to grab another label that Chen long held: best in the world. To do that, he must be better than he was on Sunday.

“You always learn from your experiences, and there’s always still the rest of the season to come,” he said. “I just have to be prepared and prepare a little bit extra so that doesn’t happen again.”

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Mark McMorris breaks Winter X Games medals record; David Wise wins first title in 5 years

Mark McMorris
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Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris broke his tie with American Jamie Anderson for the most Winter X Games medals across all sites, earning his 22nd medal, a slopestyle gold, in Aspen, Colorado.

On the final run of Sunday’s contest, McMorris overtook Norway’s Marcus Kleveland with back-to-back 1620s on the last two jumps. McMorris’ last three Aspen slopestyle titles were all won on his final run (2019, 2022).

“It’s something I never thought would ever come to me as a kid from Saskatchewan,” McMorris, 29, said on the broadcast. “Everything’s just been a bonus since I became a pro snowboarder.”

In a format introduced three years ago, athletes were ranked on overall impression of their best run over the course of a jam session rather than scoring individual runs.

McMorris won his record-extending seventh X Games Aspen men’s slopestyle title, one day after finishing fourth in big air.

“It just keeps getting crazier because I keep getting older,” he said. “People just keep pushing the limits, pushing the limits. Last night was such a downer, almost bums me out, like, dude, do I still have it? … To have one of those miracle wins where you do it on the last run and someone makes you push yourself, those are the best feelings.”

McMorris won slopestyle bronze medals at each of the last three Olympics and reportedly said last February that he was planning to compete through the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games.

Canadian Max Parrot, the 2022 Olympic slopestyle champion, is taking this season off from competition.

Anderson, a two-time Olympic snowboard slopestyle champion, is expecting her first child.

Later Sunday, American David Wise earned his first major ski halfpipe title since repeating as Olympic champion in 2018. Wise landed back-to-back double cork 1260s to end his winning run, according to commentators.

“I wouldn’t still be out here if I didn’t think I had a chance,” Wise, 32 and now a five-time X Games Aspen champ, said on the broadcast. “I’m not going to be the guy who just keeps playing the game until everybody just begs me to stop.”

U.S. Olympian Mac Forehand won men’s ski big air with a 2160 on his last run, according to commentators. It scored a perfect 50. Olympic gold medalist Birk Ruud of Norway followed with a triple cork 2160 of his own, according to commentators, and finished third.

Canadian skier Megan Oldham added slopestyle gold to her big air title from Friday, relegating Olympic champion Mathilde Gremaud of Switzerland to silver.

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