USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships: Ten events to watch

Allyson Felix

Ten events to watch at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships that start Thursday at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. The top three in most events are in line to make the team for July’s world championships, also in Eugene. Events with reigning world champions or reigning Diamond League season champions who have byes into worlds get four individual spots on the team. Statistics via World Athletics and … 

Men’s Shot Put (Final Friday 9:42 p.m. ET)
Tokyo Olympics: Ryan Crouser (gold), Joe Kovacs (silver), Payton Otterdahl (10th)
2022 U.S. Rankings: Crouser (23.02), Kovacs (22.49), Darrell Hill (21.84)

Crouser is on world record watch after breaking it at Hayward last year at Olympic Trials, then repeating as gold medalist with an Olympic record throw. Kovacs, ranked second in the world this season, has a bye onto the team as reigning world champion. Rio Olympian Darrell Hill and Josh Awotunde and Adrian Piperi are also ranked in the top 10 in the world this year, but no more than two of them can make this team, assuming Crouser qualifies.

Women’s 100m (Final Friday 10:21 p.m. ET)
Tokyo Olympics: Teahna Daniels
(seventh), Javianne Oliver (semifinals), Jenna Prandini (semifinals)
2022 U.S. Rankings: Aleia Hobbs (10.83), Sha’Carri Richardson (10.85), Cambrea Sturgis (10.87)

Richardson won the Olympic Trials, then was disqualified for testing positive for marijuana, ruling her out of Tokyo. She was the world’s third-fastest woman in 2021. Hobbs beat her fellow former LSU star Richardson on June 12, lowering her personal best for the first time in five years. They’re followed in the 2022 rankings by the fastest NCAA sprinters over the last two years — Sturgis, Melissa Jefferson and Twanisha Terry. Brittany Brown, the 2019 World 200m silver medalist, ran 10.66 on April 23, but it was with too much of a tailwind to count as a legal time. Daniels is the lone member of the Olympic trio to break 11 seconds this year (10.99).

USATF OUTDOORS: Broadcast Schedule

Men’s 100m (Final Friday 10:30 p.m.)
Tokyo Olympics: Fred Kerley
(silver), Ronnie Baker (fifth), Trayvon Bromell (semifinals)
2022 U.S. Rankings: Micah Williams (9.86), Bromell (9.92), Christian Coleman (9.92), Kerley (9.92)

Coleman was the world’s fastest man in the last Olympic cycle, but missed all of last year over a ban for missed (but not failed) drug tests. He gets a 100m bye into worlds as reigning world champion and could decide to focus on the 200m this week. That means three others will join him on the individual 100m team. Bromell had the world’s top time in 2021 leading into the Tokyo Games, where he was eliminated in the semifinals. He still finished as the world’s fastest man for the year. Williams, a 4x100m relay member at the Olympics, ran that 9.86 at NCAA Regionals on May 26, then ran 10.19 two weeks ago at the NCAA Championships, where he was seventh. Kerley, who dropped down from the 400m to the 100m last year, has broken 10 seconds in all four of his races this year. Baker last raced in April and didn’t enter nationals.

Women’s 400m (Final Saturday 5:21 p.m. ET)
Tokyo Olympics: Allyson Felix (bronze), Quanera Hayes (seventh), Wadeline Jonathas (semifinals)
2022 U.S. Rankings: Talitha Diggs (49.99), Britton Wilson (50.05), Athing Mu (50.42)

Felix, an 11-time Olympic medalist in her farewell season, told On Her Turf on Tuesday that she does not know if she will race the 400m at worlds should she finish in the top three at nationals. She has said she’s hoping to run at least one relay at worlds, which would probably require a top-eight finish at nationals. Hayes has a bye into worlds as reigning Diamond League season champion. Wilson, a 400m hurdler, and Mu, the Olympic 800m champ, will not race the 400m at nationals. That puts Felix joint-third-fastest this year among women entered in the event at nationals. She is bidding for a U.S. record-extending 10th world championships team. Internationally, only race walkers have competed in more than 10 world championships, according to Bill Mallon of

ON HER TURF: Allyson Felix has a retirement date, but her legacy is still evolving

Women’s Shot Put (Final Sunday 4 p.m. ET)
Tokyo Olympics: Raven Saunders (silver), Jessica Ramsey (12th), Adelaide Aquilla (qualifying)
2022 U.S. Rankings: Chase Ealey (20.13), Aquilla (19.64), Ramsey (19.38)

Maggie Ewen, who missed the Olympic team by three centimeters, has a bye onto the team as reigning Diamond League season champion. That extra worlds spot may be important for Saunders, who ranks sixth in the nation this season. It should also help 2016 gold medalist Michelle Carter, who plans to return to competition for the first time since April 2021 and after having a benign tumor on her right ankle removed last year.

Women’s 800m (Final Sunday 4:54 p.m. ET)
Tokyo Olympics: Athing Mu (gold), Raevyn Rogers (bronze), Ajeé Wilson (semifinals)
2022 U.S. Rankings: Mu (1:57.01), Wilson (1:58.06), Allie Wilson (1:58.18)

At 19, Mu won Olympic gold and broke the American record in Tokyo, then lowered it again 18 days later. She’s fastest in the world again this year and undefeated at 800m for two years. Rogers and Ajeé Wilson own a combined eight medals among the Olympics and world indoor and outdoor championships. But none of them have a bye into worlds, which makes it a tad precarious given the presence of Allie Wilson, a 26-year-old former Monmouth runner who was sixth at Olympic Trials, lowered her personal best by 4.38 seconds since the start of 2021 and is fifth fastest in the world this year.

Men’s 200m (Final Sunday 5:38 p.m. ET)
Tokyo Olympics: Kenny Bednarek (silver), Noah Lyles (bronze), Erriyon Knighton (fourth)
2022 U.S. Rankings: Knighton (19.49), Lyles (19.61), Fred Kerley (19.80)

Lyles has a bye as reigning world champion but will run at least one round this week. Knighton, 18, moved up to fourth on the all-time list with his 19.49 on April 30, behind Usain BoltYohan Blake and Michael Johnson and one hundredth better than Lyles’ personal best. Kerley missed the Olympic 200m team by one spot. Bednarek ranks sixth this year among those entered in the 200m at nationals, just behind Coleman and Matthew Boling. If Lyles races all the way through, the winner here likely becomes the favorite for worlds.

Women’s 200m (Final Sunday 5:46 p.m. ET)
Tokyo Olympics: Gabby Thomas (bronze), Jenna Prandini (semifinals), Anavia Battle (semifinals)
2022 U.S. Rankings: Abby Steiner (21.80), Thomas (21.98), Brittany Brown (21.99)

Thomas ran 21.61 to win the Olympic Trials, then 21.87 in the Olympic final. She last raced May 21, then withdrew on the eve of a June 12 meet to avoid the risk after doing “something funny to my leg during a sprint.” Steiner, a Kentucky junior, smashed the college record by winning the NCAA title in 21.80 on June 11. She has run 47 races so far in 2022. Prandini, who lowered her personal best from 22.16 to 21.89 over three rounds at Olympic Trials, has a best time this year of 22.45 in three wind-legal races. Brown, the 2019 World silver medalist, lurks.

Men’s 110m Hurdles (Final Sunday 5:54 p.m. ET)
Tokyo Olympics: Grant Holloway (silver), Devon Allen (fourth), Daniel Roberts (semifinals)
2022 U.S. Rankings: Allen (12.84), Trey Cunningham (13.00), Holloway (13.06)

The intrigue here isn’t so much about who makes the team as it is world record watch. Holloway, who last year missed the world record by one hundredth, has a bye as reigning world champion, but will run at least one round this week and perhaps all three. He may be motivated by what happened on June 12, when Allen ran the third-fastest time in history, handed Holloway his first defeat to an American since August 2019 and arguably supplanted Holloway as the favorite for nationals. Allen, eyeing his first global championships medal next month at his college home of Oregon, will head to Philadelphia Eagles training camp after worlds.

Women’s 400m Hurdles (Final Saturday 5:51 p.m. ET)
Tokyo Olympics: Sydney McLaughlin (gold), Dalilah Muhammad (silver), Anna Cockrell (eighth)
2022 U.S. Rankings: McLaughlin (51.61), Britton Wilson (53.75), Muhammad (53.88)

Muhammad, the 2016 Olympic champion and second-fastest woman in history, withdrew on the eve of nationals after not racing since May 21 due to injury. She received a waiver from USA Track and Field to still get her bye into worlds as reigning world champion. Muhammad’s bye takes a lot of the drama out of the battle to make the world team in an event that used to be one of the two or three deepest in the U.S. but has since seen McLaughlin and Muhammad separate themselves significantly. In her last three meets running the 400m hurdles dating to last year, McLaughlin has run three of the four fastest times in history, including breaking the world record twice. Her one race so far this year reportedly had a hurdle in an incorrect position, messing up her steps, but her time is still listed in World Athletics rankings. Two more women can make the team after Muhammad and McLaughlin. Wilson, the NCAA champion from Arkansas, lowered her personal best by 2.61 seconds this year. She has run six of the 10 best times this year among Americans. The field also includes veteran Olympic or world medalists Cassandra Tate, Shamier Little and Ashley Spencer, but they along with Cockrell may be fighting for one spot.

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2023 French Open women’s singles draw, scores

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At the French Open, Iga Swiatek of Poland eyes a third title at Roland Garros and a fourth Grand Slam singles crown overall.

The tournament airs live on NBC Sports, Peacock and Tennis Channel through championship points in Paris.

Swiatek, the No. 1 seed from Poland, can join Serena Williams and Justine Henin as the lone women to win three or more French Opens since 2000.

Having turned 22 on Wednesday, she can become the youngest woman to win three French Opens since Monica Seles in 1992 and the youngest woman to win four Slams overall since Williams in 2002.

FRENCH OPEN: Broadcast Schedule | Men’s Draw

But Swiatek is not as dominant as in 2022, when she went 16-0 in the spring clay season during an overall 37-match win streak.

She retired from her last pre-French Open match with a right thigh injury and said it wasn’t serious. Before that, she lost the final of another clay-court tournament to Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.

Sabalenka, the No. 2 seed, and Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan, the No. 4 seed and Wimbledon champion, are the top challengers in Paris.

No. 3 Jessica Pegula, the highest-seeded American man or woman, was eliminated in the third round.

No. 6 Coco Gauff, runner-up to Swiatek last year, is the best hope to become the first American to win a Grand Slam singles title since Sofia Kenin at the 2020 Australian Open. The 11-major drought is the longest for U.S. women since Seles won the 1996 Australian Open.

MORE: All you need to know for 2023 French Open

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2023 French Open Women’s Singles Draw

French Open Women's Singles Draw French Open Women's Singles Draw French Open Women's Singles Draw French Open Women's Singles Draw

Jessica Pegula upset in French Open third round

Jessica Pegula French Open

Jessica Pegula, the highest-ranked American man or woman, was upset in the third round of the French Open.

Elise Mertens, the 28th seed from Belgium, bounced the third seed Pegula 6-1, 6-3 to reach the round of 16. Pegula, a 29-year-old at a career-high ranking, had lost in the quarterfinals of four of the previous five majors.

Down 4-3 in the second set, Pegula squandered three break points in a 14-minute game. Mertens then broke Pegula to close it out.

“I feel like I was still playing good points. Elise was just being really tough, not making a lot of errors and making me play every single ball. And with the windy conditions, I felt like it definitely played into her game,” Pegula said.

Pegula’s exit leaves No. 6 seed Coco Gauff, last year’s runner-up, as the last seeded hope to become the first U.S. woman to win a major title since Sofia Kenin at the 2020 Australian Open. The 11-major span without an American champ is the longest for U.S. women since Monica Seles won the 1996 Australian Open.

Mertens, who lost in the third or fourth round of the last six French Opens, gets 96th-ranked Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the 2021 French Open runner-up, for a spot in the quarterfinals.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Women | Men | Broadcast Schedule

Also Friday, No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus won a third consecutive match in straight sets, then took questions from a selected group of reporters rather than conducting an open press conference. She cited mental health, two days after a tense back and forth with a journalist asking questions about the war, which she declined to answer.

“For many months now I have answered these questions at tournaments and been very clear in my feelings and my thoughts,” she said Friday. “These questions do not bother me after my matches. I know that I have to provide answers to the media on things not related to my tennis or my matches, but on Wednesday I did not feel safe in press conference.”

Sabalenka next plays American Sloane Stephens, the 2017 U.S. Open champion now ranked 30th, who reached the fourth round with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 win over Kazakh Yulia Putintseva.

Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, the former world No. 3, is into the fourth round of her first major since October childbirth. She’ll play ninth-seeded Russian Daria Kasatkina.

Novak Djokovic continued his bid for a men’s record-breaking 23rd major title by dispatching No. 29 Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5), 6-2. Djokovic’s fourth-round opponent will be No. 13 Hubert Hurkacz of Poland or 94th-ranked Peruvian Juan Pablo Varillas.

Later Friday, top seed Carlos Alcaraz faces 26th seed Denis Shapovalov of Canada.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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