Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce matches world’s fastest 100m of 2022

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Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the 2008 and 2012 Olympic 100m champion, matched her 2022 world-leading time by clocking 10.67 seconds at a Diamond League meet in Paris on Saturday.

Fraser-Pryce consolidated her favorite status for next month’s world championships by equaling the 10.67 she ran on May 7 in her only other 100m race this year. Fraser-Pryce is the only woman to ever break 10.70 seconds before July 1 in any year.

This year, the next fastest woman is reigning Olympic 100m champ Elaine Thompson-Herah, way back at 10.79. Fraser-Pryce and Thompson-Herah could go head-to-head in the 100m and 200m at the Jamaican Championships next week, though Fraser-Pryce has a bye into July’s world championships 100m as defending champion.

Fraser-Pryce took a backseat last year to Thompson-Herah, including a 100m silver at the Olympics. Thompson-Herah has been challenged by injuries this spring and has yet to race against Fraser-Pryce in 2022.

At the last worlds in 2019, Fraser-Pryce became the oldest woman to win an Olympic or world 100m title. At these worlds, she can become the oldest Olympic or world champion in any sprint, flat or hurdles, according to Bill Mallon of Olympedia.org.

Full Paris results are here. The Diamond League takes a break next week as countries like the U.S. and Jamaica hold national championships, the qualifying meets for the world championships next month in Eugene, Oregon.

In other events Saturday, American Valarie Allman outdueled Croatian Sandra Perkovic in a battle between the last two Olympic discus champions. Allman won with a 68.68-meter throw, edging Perkovic by 49 centimeters. On Thursday in Oslo, Perkovic handed Allman her first defeat of the season, though Allman was wearing sneakers and not throwing shoes.

Devon Allen won his third 110m hurdles race in a six-day span, clocking 13.16. Allen, who last Sunday ran 12.84 for the third-fastest time in history, is headed to Philadelphia Eagles training camp as a wide receiver after worlds.

Two-time Olympic triple jump champion Christian Taylor was seventh in his first Diamond League meet in three years and since missing the Tokyo Games with a torn Achilles. Cubans Jordan Diaz Fortun and Andy Diaz, who rank Nos. 1 and 2 in the world this year, went one-two. Diaz Fortun prevailed by one centimeter with a 17.66-meter jump. Taylor has a bye into worlds as defending champion.

Olympic champion Andre De Grasse was fourth in the 200m won by South African Luxolo Adams in 19.82. De Grasse, who prevailed in Tokyo in a Canadian record 19.62, has a best time this year of 20.15 in three 200m races.

Bahamian Olympic 400m champions Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Steven Gardiner each won the one-lap race but continue to trail in the 2022 world rankings. Miller-Uibo, who clocked 50.10, ranks behind Dominican Marileidy Paulino‘s 49.49 by best times this year. Gardiner won in 44.21, trailing American Michael Norman‘s 43.60 from the Pre Classic three weeks ago.

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Luz Long’s Olympic silver medal for sale from Jesse Owens long jump duel

Jesse Owens, Luz Long
Getty
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One of the most consequential Olympic medals ever awarded is on the auction block — the silver medal captured in 1936 by Germany’s Luz Long, the long jumper who walked arm in arm through the stadium with Jesse Owens to celebrate their triumphs while Adolf Hitler watched from the stands.

Long’s family has decided to auction the medal and other collectibles from the German jumper’s career. Long was killed in World War II in 1943.

The auction house selling the medal has labeled Long’s collection “The Beacon of Hope.”

“The story of Jesse Owens never seems to end,” said Long’s granddaughter, Julia Kellner-Long, in a phone interview from her house in Munich. “My grandfather has always been inspirational and influential in the way I choose to see the world, and this is something I think the world outside needs. Now more than ever. It gives us hope.”

Long cemented himself in Olympic lore during the Berlin Games when he was the first to congratulate Owens on his triumph in the long jump. Later they walked around the stadium together and posed for pictures.

There’s also the story Owens told of Long approaching him after he fouled on his first two attempts in the preliminary round. With only one more try to make the final, Owens said Long suggested he take off a foot in front of the board, to assure he wouldn’t foul on his last try. Owens took that advice and went on to win the title — one of four he captured in Berlin — with a then-Olympic record jump of 8.06 meters (26 feet, 5 1/2 inches).

Owens was Black, and his stirring success at those Olympics was said to have annoyed Hitler by puncturing the Nazi myth of Aryan racial superiority.

The camaraderie between Owens and Long, and the relationship that ensued between the men and their families, are often held up as the prime example of what the Olympics are supposed to be about — a peaceful coming together of people from different countries and cultures who set their differences aside in the spirit of competition.

“It took a lot of courage for him to befriend me,” Owens said, years later. “You can melt down all the medals and cups I have and they wouldn’t be a plating on the 24-karat friendship I felt for Luz Long at that moment. Hitler must have gone crazy watching us embrace.”

The decision to sell came shortly after Luz’s son (and Julia’s father), Kai, died at age 80. Kellner-Long said the great responsibility of preserving her grandfather’s memorabilia should be passed onto an individual, or museum, that has the time and resources to do so. The family also wanted to use the sale to rekindle the story of Long and Owens.

“Even 86 years later, shining a beacon of hope is an important and realistic value, especially in a time of increasing racism, increasing exclusion and hatred,” Kellner-Long said.

The auction house started the bidding for Long’s medal at $50,000, and estimated the value at somewhere between $500,000 and $1 million. The bidding runs through Oct. 15. The value of Olympic medals on the open market varies widely. One of Owens’ four gold medals from 1936 fetched $1.46 million. Bill Russell’s gold medal from the 1956 Olympics recently sold for $587,500.

David Kohler of SCP Auctions, which is conducting the sale, said the medal is about Long, but also “the story of the courageousness and the athlete and what he did there.”

Long didn’t live long enough to see his legacy play out. He was killed in 1943 in the battle of St. Pietro on the Italian island of Sardinia. Shortly before that, he wrote a letter to Owens, one he predicted would be “the last letter I shall ever write.”

In it, Long asked Owens to go to Germany after the war and find his son.

“Tell him, Jesse, what times were like when we were not separated by war,” Long wrote. “I am saying — tell him how things can be between men on this earth.”

Owens and Kai Long met several times over the years, including at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium in 1966. Owens later was a best man at Kai’s wedding.

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Jenny Simpson, most decorated U.S. miler, shifts focus with new Puma sponsorship

Jenny Simpson
Puma
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Jenny Simpson, the most decorated U.S. female miler in history, plans to return to racing on Sunday with a new shoe sponsor, Puma.

Simpson, whose last race was the Cherry Blossom 10-mile road race in Washington, D.C., in September 2021, according to World Athletics, will run what she called “a little rust-buster” at the Army Ten-Miler in Washington, D.C.

“My intention is to turn my focus to the roads,” Simpson, 36, wrote in an email. “I have some great PUMA spikes that I love so the track isn’t off the table. But my emphasis will be road racing.”

Last year’s Cherry Blossom was her first race longer than 5,000 meters, according to World Athletics. What are the chances she eventually moves up to the marathon distance?

“This new chapter is an exploration,” she answered. “I’m going to let the races, training, and coaching guide the next steps as they come. I know I can physically do it, it’s a matter of whether I can be great at it and my team and I will only go there if we think we can be competitive. So, let’s say for chances… 51% :)”

Simpson made her first Olympic team in 2008 in the 3000m steeplechase, then in 2012 and 2016 in the 1500m, earning a bronze medal in Rio. She is the lone U.S. woman to win a world 1500m title (2011) or an Olympic 1500m medal.

From 2007 through 2019, Simpson finished in the top three in one of the 1500m, 5000m or 3000m steeplechase at all 13 annual USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships. Last year, she was 10th in the Olympic Trials 1500m in a bid to become the oldest U.S. Olympic 1500m runner in history, according to Olympedia.org.

Simpson focused much of her time this year helping her Colorado community heal and rebuild from a late December fire. She did not enter the USATF Outdoors for the first time since 2006.

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