Dalilah Muhammad among Olympic gold medalists to miss USATF Outdoor Champs

Dalilah Muhammad
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Rio Olympic 400m hurdles champion Dalilah Muhammad will miss this week’s USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships due to a hamstring injury.

She received a waiver from USATF to accept her bye into July’s world championships as a defending world champion. Usually, reigning world and Diamond League season champions with byes into worlds still have compete in at least one round of nationals.

Muhammad, who took silver to Sydney McLaughlin in Tokyo in the second-fastest time in history, last raced May 21 and withdrew before a planned race June 12. She and McLaughlin last went head-to-head in Tokyo.

McLaughlin is entered at USATF Outdoors, where a top-three finish will clinch a spot at worlds. At the last worlds in 2019, McLaughlin took silver behind Muhammad.

USATF OUTDOORS: TV Schedule | Events To Watch

Previously, 2012 Olympic pole vault champion Jenn Suhr scratched out of nationals. Messages seeking comment have not been returned. Suhr’s husband and longtime coach, Rick, posted on Facebook two weeks ago that the 40-year-old’s career is “winding down.”

Suhr has competed in every outdoor nationals dating to 2006, according to Tilastopaja.org. She was fifth at last year’s Olympic Trials.

Jeff Henderson, the 2016 Olympic long jump champion, did not enter nationals due to injury.

“We decided that it was best to not compete in USATF Championships but to get ready for the two years coming up that are far more important,” Henderson wrote in an email.

LaShawn Merritt, the last U.S. man to win an Olympic flat sprint title (400m in 2008), will miss outdoor nationals, too. He was eliminated in last year’s Olympic Trials semifinals in the 200m and 400m and has not raced since.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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