At USA Track and Field 10,000m Champs, a 10-year wait and a trip and fall

Natosha Rogers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

Olympians Karissa Schweizer and Joe Klecker won U.S. 10,000m titles to earn spots on the world track and field championships team, but what happened behind them caused a bigger stir in Eugene, Oregon, on Friday night.

Schweizer, 12th at the Tokyo Games, pulled away from Alicia Monson in the last 200 meters to win the women’s race in 30:49.56. Schweizer, still working her way back from Achilles surgery in October, was just 1.57 seconds off her personal best. Video is here at the 48-minute mark.

Monson, who was 13th at the Olympics, finished 1.53 seconds back to grab the second spot on the team for worlds in July, also in Eugene.

The third and last spot went to 31-year-old Natosha Rogers, who made her first national team on the track. In 2012, Rogers was second in the Olympic Trials 10,000m but didn’t have the time standard to be put on the team.

Rogers had to fight until the very end. She surged past Emily Infeld, a 2015 World bronze medalist bidding for her first national team since 2017.

“I was nervous with, like, five yards left. She almost got me there. Just my head, I was like, no, this is mine today. So I was able to dig a little bit deeper, barely,” Rogers said. “It’s been a lot of heartache, failure, losing sponsorship at one point in time and crawling my way back.”

The race lacked Olympic Trials winner Emily Sisson, who has been focusing on road racing, and Elise Cranny, the Olympic Trials 5000m winner who withdrew Thursday saying she hasn’t been feeling like herself in training. Cranny will target the 5000m at the USATF Outdoor Championships next month, also in Eugene, to make the world team.

The 10,000m races were an addition to the Prefontaine Classic weekend. NBC Sports airs live coverage of the main program on Saturday. Information is here.

Later Friday, Olympians Klecker and Grant Fisher went an unsurprising one-two in the men’s 10,000m to earn world spots. Klecker crossed in 28:28.71, just one tenth ahead of Fisher, who was the top American in Tokyo in fifth place. Video is here at the 89-minute mark.

Behind them, Emmanuel Bor appeared on his way to the third and last world spot. But he started struggling, faded out to lane two and eventually crashed to the track four strides from the Hayward Field finish line. Bor, 34, was trying to make his first outdoor world team.

“Once I tripped, I knew it was over,” Bor told LetsRun.com.

As he fell, he was passed by Sean McGorty, a steeplechaser last year who went from sixth coming around the last curve to grab the last world spot.

Woody Kincaid, the third Tokyo Olympian, stopped two-thirds through the race after grabbing at his side and grimacing.

Three other races Friday night billed as world-record attempts — Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba in the women’s two mile, Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey in the women’s 5000m and Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei in the men’s 5000m — ended with zero records.

In the featured field event, Olympic gold medalist Mondo Duplantis won a men’s pole vault duel with silver medalist Chris Nilsen with a 5.91-meter clearance.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Joel Embiid gains U.S. citizenship, mum on Olympic nationality

Joel Embiid
Getty
0 Comments

Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center Joel Embiid said he is now a U.S. citizen and it’s way too early to think about what nation he would represent at the Olympics.

“I just want to be healthy and win a championship and go from there,” he said, according to The Associated Press.

Embiid, 28, was born in Cameroon and has never competed in a major international tournament. In July, he gained French nationality, a step toward being able to represent that nation at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

In the spring, French media reported that Embiid started the process to become eligible to represent France in international basketball, quoting national team general manager Boris Diaw.

Embiid was second in NBA MVP voting this season behind Serbian Nikola Jokic. He was the All-NBA second team center.

What nation Embiid represents could have a major impact on the Paris Games.

In Tokyo, a French team led by another center, Rudy Gobert, handed the U.S. its first Olympic defeat since 2004. That was in group play. The Americans then beat the French in the gold-medal game 87-82.

That France team had five NBA players to the U.S.’ 12: Nicolas BatumEvan FournierTimothe Luwawu-CabarrotFrank Ntilikina and Gobert.

Anthony Davis, who skipped the Tokyo Olympics, is the lone U.S. center to make an All-NBA team in the last five seasons. In that time, Embiid made four All-NBA second teams and Gobert made three All-NBA third teams.

No Olympic team other than the U.S. has ever had two reigning All-NBA players on its roster.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

LA 2028, Delta unveil first-of-its-kind emblems for Olympics, Paralympics

Delta LA 2028
LA 2028
0 Comments

Emblems for the 2028 Los Angeles Games that include logos of Delta Air Lines is the first integration of its kind in Olympic and Paralympic history.

Organizers released the latest set of emblems for the LA 2028 Olympics and Paralympics on Thursday, each with a Delta symbol occupying the “A” spot in LA 28.

Two years ago, the LA 2028 logo concept was unveiled with an ever-changing “A” that allowed for infinite possibilities. Many athletes already created their own logos, as has NBC.

“You can make your own,” LA28 chairperson Casey Wasserman said in 2020. “There’s not one way to represent Los Angeles, and there is strength in our diverse cultures. We have to represent the creativity and imagination of Los Angeles, the diversity of our community and the big dreams the Olympic and Paralympic Games provide.”

Also in 2020, Delta was announced as LA 2028’s inaugural founding partner. Becoming the first partner to have an integrated LA 2028 emblem was “extremely important for us,” said Emmakate Young, Delta’s managing director, brand marketing and sponsorships.

“It is a symbol of our partnership with LA, our commitment to the people there, as well as those who come through LA, and a commitment to the Olympics,” she said.

The ever-changing emblem succeeds an angelic bid logo unveiled in February 2016 when the city was going for the 2024 Games, along with the slogan, “Follow the Sun.” In July 2017, the IOC made a historic double awarding of the Olympics and Paralympics — to Paris for 2024 and Los Angeles for 2028.

The U.S. will host its first Olympics and Paralympics since 2002 (and first Summer Games since 1996), ending its longest drought between hosting the Games since the 28-year gap between 1932 and 1960.

Delta began an eight-year Olympic partnership in 2021, becoming the official airline of Team USA and the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

Athletes flew to this year’s Winter Games in Beijing on chartered Delta flights and will do so for every Games through at least 2028.

Previously, Delta sponsored the last two Olympics held in the U.S. — the 1996 Atlanta Games and the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!