Sydney McLaughlin breaks world record at USATF Champs; Allyson Felix set for worlds


Sydney McLaughlin broke the world record in the 400m hurdles for the third time in the last year, this time at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships.

The Olympic champion clocked 51.41 seconds in Eugene, Oregon, bettering her previous record of 51.46 from the Olympics. In all, McLaughlin has brought the record down from 52.16 in the last year.

“Anything is possible any time I step on the track,” said McLaughlin, who planned to celebrate by eating “some real food besides vegetables,” such as a cheeseburger or pancakes. “The goal is to improve upon myself and push the limits.”

McLaughlin’s legendary coach, Bob Kersee, said that McLaughlin is going to eventually turn to the flat 400m and chase that (37-year-old) world record, perhaps after capping this season with a world title in three weeks, NBC Sports analyst Ato Boldon said. For now, McLaughlin’s sights are on those worlds, also in Eugene, where she will bid to complete her collection with a first world title.

“I’m just learning the race in general. As I’ve progressed over the years I’ve learned the 400m hurdles,” she said. “It’s a really cool feeling to actually have a race plan going in instead of just going out and running.”

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Also Saturday, the farewelling Allyson Felix likely clinched a spot on her 10th and final world championships team by placing sixth in the 400m. Talitha Diggs, whose Olympian mom competed at her last nationals the year before Felix competed in her first nationals, won to qualify for worlds in three weeks, also in Eugene.

“Happy that I don’t have any more open 400s ever,” said Felix, adding that she wants to run the mixed-gender 4x400m relay at worlds and would do the women’s 4x400m if asked. “I went to come here and give it my all, try to get in position for a relay and was able to get that done. Can’t complain.”

Michael Norman took the men’s 400m in 43.56, bettering his own fastest time in the world this year. Norman was the world’s fastest 400m runner in the last Olympic cycle but earned zero individual medals between worlds and the Olympics. Surprise runner-up Champion Allison improved his personal best from 44.29 to 43.70.

Keni Harrison, the Olympic 100m hurdles silver medalist and world record holder, won in 12.35, supplanting Olympic gold medalist Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico as fastest in the world this year. Harrison edged Alaysha Johnson by one hundredth. Nia Ali didn’t start the final but has a bye onto the world team as reigning champ.

Rio Olympic silver medalist Evan Jager, who up until April went nearly four years between completing 3000m steeplechases due to injuries, took second and earned the time standard to make the world team.

“It’s been a real hard, long journey to build back my body and my confidence,” Jager, 33, told Lewis Johnson on NBC. “I’m really proud of myself.”

Sinclaire Johnson won the women’s 1500m in 4:03.29 to make her first world team. She’s joined by Olympic finalists Cory McGee and Elle St. Pierre.

Former Oregon Duck Cooper Teare took the men’s 1500m in the absence of two other former Ducks — 2016 Olympic champion Matthew Centrowitz (knee surgery) and Olympic Trials champion Cole Hocker (eliminated in first round). Teare missed the Olympic 5000m team by one spot.

All of the favorites advanced out of the 200m first round — world champion Noah Lyles (who has an automatic spot on the world team), 18-year-old Erriyon Knighton, Fred Kerley and Olympic bronze medalist Gabby Thomas, Sha’Carri Richardson and Abby Steiner.

Likewise in the 110m hurdles (world champion Grant Holloway and Devon Allen).

The semifinals and finals in those events are Sunday.

Olympic silver medalist Chris Nilsen won the pole vault with a 5.70-meter clearance. Sam Kendricks scratched but can still compete at worlds via waiver as reigning world champion.

Kara Winger won her ninth U.S. javelin title and qualified for her sixth world team by hitting the qualifying standard on her last throw in her last national championships before retiring.

Maggie Malone, the world No. 1 this year, fouled on all three of her throws. She could still go to worlds, though, since she is one of two U.S. women with the qualifying standard.

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Paris 2024 Olympic marathon route unveiled

Paris 2024 Olympic Marathon
Paris 2024

The 2024 Olympic marathon route will take runners from Paris to Versailles and back.

The route announcement was made on the 233rd anniversary of one of the early, significant events of the French Revolution: the Women’s March on Versailles — “to pay tribute to the thousands of women who started their march at city hall to Versailles to take up their grievances to the king and ask for bread,” Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet said.

Last December, organizers announced the marathons will start at Hôtel de Ville (city hall, opposite Notre-Dame off the Seine River) and end at Les Invalides, a complex of museums and monuments one mile southeast of the Eiffel Tower.

On Wednesday, the rest of the route was unveiled — traversing the banks of the Seine west to the Palace of Versailles and then back east, passing the Eiffel Tower before the finish.

The men’s and women’s marathons will be on the last two days of the Games at 8 a.m. local time (2 a.m. ET). It will be the first time that the women’s marathon is held on the last day of the Games after the men’s marathon traditionally occupied that slot.

A mass public marathon will also be held on the Olympic marathon route. The date has not been announced.

The full list of highlights among the marathon course:

• Hôtel de ville de Paris (start)
• Bourse de commerce
• Palais Brongniart
• Opéra Garnier
• Place Vendôme
• Jardin des Tuileries
• The Louvre
• Place de la Concorde
• The bridges of Paris
(Pont de l’Alma; Alexandre III;
Iéna; and more)
• Grand Palais
• Palais de Tokyo
• Jardins du Trocadéro
• Maison de la Radio
• Manufacture et Musées
nationaux de Sèvres
• Forêt domaniale
des Fausses-Reposes
• Monuments Pershing –
• Château de Versailles
• Forêt domaniale de Meudon
• Parc André Citroën
• Eiffel Tower
• Musée Rodin
• Esplanade des Invalides (finish)

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International Boxing Association lifts ban on Russia, Belarus

Boxing gloves

The International Boxing Association (IBA) lifted its ban on amateur boxers from Russia and Belarus over the war in Ukraine that had been in place since early March.

“The IBA strongly believes that politics shouldn’t have any influence on sports,” the federation said in a press release. “Hence, all athletes should be given equal conditions.”

Most international sports federations banned athletes from Russia and Belarus indefinitely seven months ago, acting after an IOC recommendation. It is believed that the IBA is the first international federation in an Olympic sport to lift its ban.

The IOC has not officially changed its recommendation from last winter to exclude Russia and Belarus athletes “to protect the integrity of the events and the safety of the other participants.”

Last week, IOC President Thomas Bach said in an interview with an Italian newspaper that Russian athletes who do not endorse their country’s war in Ukraine could at some point be accepted back into international sports, competing under a neutral flag.

IBA, in lifting its ban, will also allow Russia and Belarus flags and national anthems.

“The time has now come to allow all the rest of the athletes of Russia and Belarus to participate in all the official competitions of their sports representing their countries,” IBA President Umar Kremlev, a Russian, said in a press release last week. “Both the IOC and the International Federations must protect all athletes, and there should be no discrimination based on nationality. It is the duty of all of us to keep sports and athletes away from politics.”

In 2019, the IOC stripped the IBA — then known as AIBA — of its Olympic recognition following an inquiry committee report into finance, governance, refereeing and judging. The IOC ran the Tokyo Olympic boxing competition.

The IBA will not run qualifying events for the 2024 Paris Games, but it does still hold world championships, the next being a men’s event in Uzbekistan next year.

Boxing, introduced on the Olympic program in 1904, was not included on the initial program for the 2028 Los Angeles Games but can still be added. The IBA must address concerns “around its governance, its financial transparency and sustainability and the integrity of its refereeing and judging processes,” Bach said last December.

On Sept. 23, the IBA suspended Ukraine’s boxing federation, citing “government interference.” Ukraine boxers are still allowed to compete with their flag and anthem.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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