Fred Kerley edges Michael Norman in USATF Golden Games classic

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Fred Kerley, the Olympic 100m silver medalist, ran down former 400m rival Michael Norman to win the men’s 200m, the marquee event of the USATF Golden Games at Mt. SAC in California on Saturday.

Kerley, who turned heads last year by moving from the 400m to the 100m and 200m, clocked 19.80 seconds, the fastest time in the world this year, to bolster his argument as the top U.S. male flat sprinter.

Norman, passed in the final meters, was second in 19.83 in his first 200m in nearly three years.

USATF GOLDEN GAMES: Full Results

Kerley and Norman were the top U.S. 400m sprinters until last year, when Kerley moved down in distance.

Kerley grabbed the third and final spot on the U.S. Olympic team in the 100m, then ran a personal best in the Olympic final (9.84) to take silver behind surprise Italian Marcell Jacobs.

Kerley was fourth in the Olympic Trials 200m, missing that team by one spot. After Saturday’s performance, he may be favored to finish in the top three in both sprints at the USATF Outdoor Championships in June to vie for medals at the world championships in July. Both meets are in Eugene, Oregon.

The last U.S. man to contest both the 100m and 200m at a global championship was the recently retired Justin Gatlin at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Gatlin was also the last U.S. man to earn a medal in both events, doing so at the 2015 Worlds.

Norman has more to prove than Kerley. He ran the world’s fastest 400m of the last Olympic cycle. It came not at a championship meet, but at Mt. SAC in April 2019. He then didn’t earn an individual medal at the 2019 World Championships (ran injured) or the Tokyo Olympics.

The 200m and 400m overlap at the world championships, so Norman is expected to focus solely on the 400m this summer. But he still wasn’t happy with Saturday’s race, even though he did beat training partner and Olympic 400m hurdles silver medalist Rai Benjamin for second place.

“I was like, I just don’t have it,” in the final meters against Kerley, Norman said on CNBC. “It’s a really big disappointing feeling.”

Christian Coleman, the 2019 World 100m champion who missed the Tokyo Games due to a missed-drug-tests ban, was initially entered in the 200m but withdrew before the race.

In other events, Allyson Felix competed for the first time in her farewell season, running the second leg of a victorious 4x400m with Shamier LittleDalilah Muhammad and Athing Mu.

Olympic bronze medalist Gabby Thomas took the women’s 200m in 22.02, the world’s second-fastest time this year. She beat a field that included 2019 World silver medalist Brittany Brown and two-time Olympian Jenna Prandini.

Thomas’ biggest competition come the summer should be Jamaican Elaine Thompson-Herah, who won the 100m and 200m at the last two Olympics. Thompson-Herah had the fastest time in the 100m heats on Saturday (10.89), then scratched the final won by American Twanisha Terry in a wind-aided 10.77.

Micah Williams took the men’s 100m in a wind-aided 9.83.

Tonea Marshall upset Olympic silver medalist Keni Harrison in the 100m hurdles, 12.46 to 12.56. Only Olympic gold medalist Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico has run faster this year.

Michael Cherry ran the world’s fastest 400m of 2022, taking that event in 44.28 seconds.

Earlier at Mt. SAC on Thursday, 2016 Olympic silver medalist Evan Jager finished a steeplechase for the first time since 2018, taking second in 8:34.89. Last year, it took 8:22.05 to make the Olympic team.

The track and field season continues Monday with the Boston Marathon (broadcast schedule here). The top-level Diamond League season starts next month.

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WATCH LIVE: Ironman Kona World Championships women’s pro race

Ironman Kona World Championship
Ironman
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The Ironman Kona World Championships return after a three-year hiatus with a new format, live on Peacock on Thursday and Saturday at 12 p.m. ET.

The Ironman, held annually in Hawaii since 1978, and in Kailua-Kona since 1981, was not held in 2020 or 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The world championships made a one-time-only stop in St. George, Utah, on May 7 to make up for the 2021 cancellation. The winners were Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt, the Tokyo Olympic triathlon champion, and Swiss Daniela Ryf, who bagged her fifth Ironman world title.

Both are entered in Kailua-Kona, where the races are now split between two days — Thursday for the women and Saturday for the men.

An Ironman includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a marathon — totaling 140.6 miles of racing. It takes top triathletes eight hours to complete. Very arguably, it crowns the world’s fittest man and woman.

WATCH LIVE: Ironman Kona, Thursday, 12 p.m. ET — STREAM LINK

Ryf, 35 and a 2008 and 2012 Olympian, can tie retired countrywoman Natascha Badmann for second place on the women’s list at six Ironman world titles. Only Zimbabwean-turned-American Paula Newby-Fraser has more with eight.

The field also includes German Anne Haug, the 2019 Kona champ and only woman other than Ryf to win since 2015. Brit Lucy Charles-Barclay, the Kona runner-up in 2017, 2018 and 2019, returns after missing the St. George event due to a stress fracture in her hip.

Blummenfelt, 28 and in his Kona debut, will try to become the youngest male champion in Kona since German Normann Stadler in 2005. His top challengers include countryman Gustav Iden, the two-time reigning Half Ironman world champion, and German Patrick Lange, the 2017 and 2018 Ironman Kona winner.

Also racing Saturday is Dallas Clark, a retired All-Pro NFL tight end with the Indianapolis Colts, and Tony Kanaan, the 2013 Indy 500 champion who completed the 2011 Kona Ironman in 12 hours, 52 minutes, 40 seconds.

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U.S. men’s gymnastics team named for world championships

Asher Hong
Allison and John Cheng/USA Gymnastics
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Asher Hong, Colt Walker and world pommel horse champion Stephen Nedoroscik were named to the last three spots on the U.S. men’s gymnastics team for the world championships that start in three weeks.

Brody Malone and Donnell Whittenburg earned the first spots on the team by placing first and second in the all-around at August’s U.S. Championships.

Hong, Walker and Nedoroscik were chosen by a committee after two days of selection camp competition in Colorado Springs this week. Malone and Whittenburg did not compete at the camp.

Hong, 18, will become the youngest U.S. man to compete at worlds since Danell Leyva in 2009. He nearly earned a spot on the team at the U.S. Championships, but erred on his 12th and final routine of that meet to drop from second to third in the all-around. At this week’s camp, Hong had the lowest all-around total of the four men competing on all six apparatuses, but selectors still chose him over Tokyo Olympians Yul Moldauer and Shane Wiskus.

Walker, a Stanford junior, will make his world championships debut. He would have placed second at nationals in August if a bonus system for attempting difficult skills wasn’t in place. With that bonus system not in place at the selection camp, he had the highest all-around total. The bonus system is not used at international meets such as world championships.

Nedoroscik rebounded from missing the Tokyo Olympic team to become the first American to win a world title on pommel horse last fall. Though he is the lone active U.S. male gymnast with a global gold medal, he was in danger of missing this five-man team because of struggles on the horse at the U.S. Championships. Nedoroscik, who does not compete on the other five apparatuses, put up his best horse routine of the season on the last day of the selection camp Wednesday.

Moldauer, who tweeted that he was sick all last week, was named the traveling alternate for worlds in Liverpool, Great Britain. It would be the first time that Moldauer, who was fourth in the all-around at last fall’s worlds, does not compete at worlds since 2015.

Though the U.S. has not made the team podium at an Olympics or worlds since 2014, it is boosted this year by the absence of Olympic champion Russia, whose athletes are banned indefinitely due to the war in Ukraine. In recent years, the U.S. has been among the nations in the second tier behind China, Japan and Russia, including in Tokyo, where the Americans were fifth.

The U.S. women’s world team of five will be announced after a selection camp in two weeks. Tokyo Olympians Jade Carey and Jordan Chiles are in contention.

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