Elaine Thompson-Herah beats Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce; Olympic sprint picture jumbles

Elaine Thompson Herah
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Elaine Thompson-Herah upset Tokyo favorite Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in a meeting of the last two women to win the Olympic 100m at the Gyulai István Memorial in Hungary on Tuesday.

It was the highlight race of a meet that clouded the Olympic medal forecast in most of the flat sprints.

Thompson-Herah clocked 10.71 seconds, .01 off her personal best. Fraser-Pryce was second in 10.82, one month after running 10.63 to become the second-fastest woman in history.

The Olympic favorites are Thompson-Herah, Fraser-Pryce and Brit Dina Asher Smith (not in Tuesday’s race), following American Sha’Carri Richardson‘s suspension. Richardson clocked 10.72 in April.

The track and field season continues with a Diamond League meet in Monaco on Friday, live on NBCSN at 2 p.m. ET.

Also Tuesday, world champion Steven Gardiner beat American Michael Norman in a battle of the two fastest 400m sprinters in this Olympic cycle. Gardiner, who in a May race fell to the track and was carried into the infield, won in 44.47 seconds. Norman, who won the Olympic Trials in 44.07, was third in 44.65 behind Bryce Deadmon.

South African Wayde van Niekerk, the Rio gold medalist and world-record holder, was a late scratch. Van Niekerk, coming back from tearing an ACL and meniscus in his right leg playing celebrity tag rugby in 2017, tweeted that he had lower back discomfort in his warm-up.

South African Akani Simbine won the men’s 100m in an African record 9.84 seconds to become second-fastest in the world this year. Only U.S. Olympic Trials champion Trayvon Bromell has gone faster in 2021 (9.77). Bromell was not in the field in Hungary.

Going into Tuesday, the seven fastest men in the world this year were Americans. Now, Simbine, fifth in Rio, has eyes on becoming the first person from an African nation to win an Olympic 100m medal since Namibian Frankie Fredericks‘ back-to-back silvers in 1992 and 1996.

Jamaican Shericka Jackson won the women’s 200m in 21.96 seconds, distancing Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo (22.15). Miller-Uibo was defeated in a 200m that she finished for the first time since the 2017 World Championships.

Miller-Uibo, the Rio Olympic 400m champion, is preliminarily entered in both the 200m and the 400m for Tokyo but has said she will race only the 200m. Both events, however, changed drastically in recent weeks.

The seven fastest 400m women in the world since the start of 2019 are all not expected to race the event at the Olympics. The eighth-fastest woman since the start of 2019 — American Wadeline Jonathas — has a top time of 49.60 in that span, which is 1.23 seconds slower than Miller-Uibo’s best.

In the 200m, American Gabby Thomas ran the third-fastest time in history at the Olympic Trials, a 21.61 that is .13 better than Miller-Uibo’s personal best.

In the men’s 200m on Tuesday, Canadian Andre De Grasse won in 19.97, edging the second- and third-place finishers from the U.S. Olympic Trials. Kenny Bednarek ran 19.99, and 17-year-old Erriyon Knighton crossed in 20.03, both slower than their Trials times.

Grant Holloway, who at U.S. Olympic Trials was .01 off the 110m hurdles world record, won in Hungary against a field of Olympic medal contenders.

Holloway, the world champion, prevailed in 13.08 seconds, well off the 12.80 world record but clearly ahead of Olympic silver medalist Orlando Ortega of Spain (13.15) and Sergey Shubenkov of Russia (13.19).

The field lacked Rio gold medalist Omar McLeod, who finished last at the Jamaican Olympic Trials and was not named to the team.

Shubenkov is the only man other than Holloway and McLeod to break 13 seconds in this Olympic cycle, with a best of 12.92 in that span.

Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico confirmed her Olympic favorite status by winning the 100m hurdles in 12.34. Camacho-Quinn is the only woman to break 12.4 seconds this year, and she’s done it three times.

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Remco Evenepoel wins world road race title after Mathieu van der Poel gets arrested

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WOLLONGONG, Australia — A fortnight after becoming Belgium’s first Grand Tour winner in 44 years, Remco Evenepoel became his country’s first men’s elite road race world champion in a decade to cap his breakthrough season.

Evenepoel won the Vuelta a Espana Grand Tour two weeks ago and was again dominant in Sunday’s 266.9-kilometer race as he broke away with 25 kilometers left and powered to an emphatic win.

The 22-year-old spread his arms in celebration as he crossed the line on his own to as he became the first Belgian man since Philippe Gilbert in 2012 to win a cycling worlds road race.

He became the first rider to win a Grand Tour and the world championships road race in the same year since American Greg LeMond in 1989, according to Gracenote.

French rider Christophe Laporte took second after winning the bunch sprint behind Evenepoel. Australian Michael Matthews won bronze as the chasing pack finished two minutes 21 seconds behind the Belgian.

The race featured 12 laps of a 17-kilometer finishing circuit at Wollongong, a coastal city south of Sydney.

Early breaks gained as much as eight minutes on the peloton, but they never looked threatening.

Inside the last 40 kilometers the pace quickened and the front group started to pull away. On the second last lap Evenepoel and Kazakh rider Alexey Lutsenko broke clear and built a small advantage.

The Belgian star, who earlier this season won the Liege-Bastogne-Liege one-day classic, pushed clear of Lutsenko on the second-last ascent of the tough Mt, Pleasant climb and was never challenged on his way to a dominant victory.

Compatriot Wout Van Aert just missed out on the podium, finishing fourth.

Before the race news emerged that Dutch star Mathieu van der Poel, one of the title favorites for the men’s race, had been arrested and charged by police for an alleged assault at the team’s hotel in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Police took van der Poel into custody after an incident at the team hotel involving an argument with two teenage girls as he was trying to sleep.

Van der Poel was cleared to start the race but pulled out shortly after.

On Saturday, 39-year-old Annemiek van Vleuten overcame an elbow fracture sustained three days earlier to win her second world road race title with an attack in the last 600 meters that caught the other eight leaders napping.

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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 over the second half, running 61:18 for the second half after going out in 59:51 for the first 13.1 miles. He still won by 4:49 over Kenyan Mark Korir.

Ethiopian Tigist Assefa won the women’s race in 2:15:37, the third-fastest time in history. 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.

MORE: Berlin Marathon Results

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, doing so 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).

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