Sha’Carri Richardson upset in her return, 10 meet records broken at Prefontaine Classic


Just two weeks removed from the final track and field event at the Tokyo Olympics, many of the medalists from those Olympic Games were back for, in many cases, even more impressive performances at the beloved Prefontaine Classic.

Ten meet records and five national records were set – as five events saw the fastest times of the year – at the newly renovated Hayward Field on Saturday afternoon as some favorites were once again victorious and others faced upsets.

In the most anticipated race of the meet, Sha’Carri Richardson made her return to competition after serving a one-month ban that started June 28. Richardson received the ban after testing positive for marijuana at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials, where she won the women’s 100m, disqualifying her for the Olympic team.

The 21-year-old, who in April ran the sixth-fastest time in history at 10.74 seconds, was entering her own Olympic race of sorts in Eugene, lining up against the three Olympic medalists from Tokyo and six of the eight Olympic finalists.

Richardson finished a surprising ninth in her comeback, last in the field at 11.14 seconds and .38  from the podium, which was a repeat of the Jamaican sweep in Tokyo.

“Coming out today was a great return to the sport,” Richardson said to NBC reporter Lewis Johnson on the broadcast. “I’m not upset with myself at all. This is one race. I’m not done. You know what I’m capable of. Count me out if you want to… I’m not done. I’m the sixth-fastest woman in this game ever, and can’t nobody ever take that from me. Congratulations to the winners, but they’re not done seeing me yet. Period.”

Elaine Thompson-Herah won in 10.54 seconds, the second-fastest time in history and 0.05 off Florence Griffith-Joyner’s world record that has stood for over 33 years. The two-time reigning Olympic champion at both the 100m and 200m was followed by 2008 and 2012 Olympic gold medalist and Tokyo silver medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in 10.73 and Shericka Jackson in 10.76.

American Teahna Daniels, who was seventh in her Olympic debut, ran a 10.83 to lower her personal best by .15 and place fourth.

A few minutes earlier, Noah Lyles won the men’s 200m in a world-leading and meet record 19.52 seconds, a redemptive performance after taking bronze in Tokyo in 19.74.

“Well, to be honest, I walked out here on the track and I said, ‘Shoot! That’s a lot of people,’” Lyles remarked about running in front of a crowd for the first time in nearly two years. “I wasn’t even thinking about coming out here, I was going to shut it down. I had a talk with my therapist, she said that of course what happened in Tokyo happened; this isn’t Tokyo. I knew I was in shape and I didn’t get to show that off in Tokyo.”

In a U.S. sweep, Olympic silver medalist Kenny Bednarek was second in 19.8 and Lyles’ younger brother Josephus was third in a personal best 20.03.

Canada’s André de Grasse one-upped Fred Kerley, who took silver ahead of his bronze at the Olympics, to win the men’s 100m in 9.74 seconds. Kerley was second in 9.78, with Ronnie Baker third at 9.82.

Another Canadian, Marco Arop, who was seventh in his Olympic semifinal in the 800m, upset Kenyan Olympic medalists Emmanuel Korir and Ferguson Rotich, who won gold and silver in Tokyo. Arop’s 1:44.51 bested Rotich and Korir, who finished in 1:45.02 and 1:45.05, respectively.

Athing Mu and Courtney Frerichs broke their own American records in their events.

Mu last set the women’s 800m record on Aug. 3 to win Olympic gold in 1:55.21, then broke it in Eugene to win in a world-leading and meet record 1:55:04. The 19-year-old was in a league of her own, with Kate Grace taking second in 1:57.60.

“It’s my last race [of the season], I just went out here trying to be competitive again,” Mu said, adding that she’s looking forward to time off to reflect on her success this season.

Olympic silver medalist Frerichs broke a North America record that she held for over three years in the 3,000m steeplechase, lowering her 9:00.85 to 8:57.77 in finishing second to Kenya’s Norah Jeruto, who ran a world-leading 8:53.65.

World-leading times were also set in the non-Olympic mile races, with Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen taking the Bowerman Mile title in 3:47.24, also a national record and Diamond Meet record. Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei won the 2-mile race in 8:09.55 and Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba took the women’s 2-mile title on Friday night in 9:00.75, a meet record.

Allyson Felix was added to the women’s 200m field on Wednesday and finished last in that race in 22.6 seconds after earning bronze in the Olympic 400m earlier this month and later becoming the most decorated U.S. Olympic track and field athlete with gold in the 4x400m relay. Mujinga Kambundji of Switzerland won the 200 in 22.06, while Olympic bronze medalist Gabrielle Thomas was second (22.11) and Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith, the 2019 World champion, third (22.19).

Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon, who won the Olympic 1500m in Tokyo, set a meet record of 3:53.23 in that race.

The field events were won by recent Olympic champions Ryan Crouser (shot put), Katie Nageotte (pole vault) and Pedro Pichardo (triple jump), plus reigning European indoor champion Iryna Gerashchenko (high jump). Crouser’s throw of 23.15 meters set a Diamond League record.

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Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz set French Open semifinal showdown


Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz will play in the French Open semifinals on Friday in the most anticipated match of the tournament.

Each man advanced with a quarterfinal win on Tuesday.

Djokovic, eyeing a record-breaking 23rd Grand Slam men’s singles title, rallied past 11th-seeded Russian Karen Khachanov 4-6, 7-6 (0), 6-2, 6-4. The Serb reached his 45th career major semifinal, one shy of Roger Federer‘s men’s record.

Later Tuesday, top seed Alcaraz crushed fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 (5) to consolidate his status as the favorite in Friday’s showdown.

“This match, everyone wants to watch,” Alcaraz said. “I really wanted to play this match as well. I always say that if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best.”

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Women | Men | Broadcast Schedule

Alcaraz, who at last year’s U.S. Open became the first male teen to win a major since Rafael Nadal in 2005, is at this event the youngest man to be the top seed at a major since Boris Becker at 1987 Wimbledon.

The Djokovic-Alcaraz semifinal will produce the clear favorite for Sunday’s final given left-handed 14-time French Open champion Nadal is out this year with a hip injury and No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev lost in the first round. Djokovic and Nadal share the record 22 men’s major titles.

Djokovic and Alcaraz met once, with Alcaraz winning last year on clay in Madrid 6-7 (5), 7-5, 7-6 (5).

“[Alcaraz] brings a lot of intensity on the court,” Djokovic said, before breaking into a smile. “Reminds me of someone from his country that plays with a left hand.”

Alcaraz and Djokovic were set to be on opposite halves of the draw — and thus not able to meet until the final — until Medvedev won the last top-level clay event before the French Open to move ahead of Djokovic in the rankings. That meant Djokovic had a 50 percent chance to wind up in Alcaraz’s half, and that’s what the random draw spit out two weeks ago.

Earlier Tuesday in the first two women’s quarterfinals, No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus and 43rd-ranked Czech Karolina Muchova advanced to face off in Thursday’s semifinals.

Sabalenka, the Australian Open champion, swept Ukrainian Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-4 to complete her set of semifinals in all four Grand Slams. Sabalenka will take the No. 1 ranking from Iga Swiatek if Swiatek loses before the final, or if Sabalenka makes the final and Swiatek does not win the title.

Svitolina, a former world No. 3, returned to competition in April from childbirth.

Muchova took out 2021 French Open runner-up Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia 7-5, 6-2, to make her second major semifinal after the 2021 Australian Open.

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2023 French Open men’s singles draw

Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz
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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 meet in Friday’s 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