Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce leads Jamaica 100m sweep; U.S. has best day ever at track worlds

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Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce became the first person to win five world titles in an individual running event and, at 35, became the oldest world champion in an individual event on the track, leading a Jamaican 100m sweep at the world championships on Sunday.

Fraser-Pryce, the 2008 and 2012 Olympic 100m champ, prevailed in a championship record 10.67 seconds in Eugene, Oregon. She was followed by Shericka Jackson (10.73) and 2016 and 2021 Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah (10.81).

“It wasn’t a perfect race,” Fraser-Pryce said. “In a championship, it’s always hit and miss, but you’re glad you come out with a win.”

Jamaica also swept the medals at last year’s Olympics, when it was Thompson-Herah followed by Fraser-Pryce and Jackson. Thompson-Herah, who last year in Eugene ran the second-fastest time in history (10.54), said she missed a lot of training this season due to shoulder and Achilles injuries.

“I’m not in the best shape of my life,” she said.

Fraser-Pryce, with her second world title since becoming a mom in 2017, has won seven titles in the 100m between the Olympics and worlds, breaking her tie with Usain Bolt. This one was the fastest of her collection dating to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

“The secret behind my success is I am a competitor,” she said. “I’m always hungry to do more because I believe there is more to be done.”

The U.S. earned nine medals and four golds among Sunday’s seven finals, both records for one nation on a single day of track worlds, according to Gracenote and Bill Mallon of Olympedia.org.

Grant Holloway repeated as world 110m hurdles champion in 13.03 seconds with countryman Trey Cunningham getting silver. That came after Olympic gold medalist Hansle Parchment of Jamaica withdrew after clipping a hurdle in warm-up and American Devon Allen, the world’s fastest man this year, was disqualified for a false start by one thousandth of a second.

Allen’s reaction time was .099 of a second after the gun. The legal reaction time limit is .100. Anything quicker than that is considered to quick to be reacting to the gun.

His reaction time in the semifinals earlier Sunday was barely legal — .101. Two women were also disqualified from the 100m semifinals two hours earlier, leading to debate over the threshold being set at .100 and/or the sensitivities of these specific starting blocks.

“When I was flagged, I was very surprised,” said Allen, who heads to Philadelphia Eagles training camp as a wide receiver and is expected to return to track next year. “I know for a fact that I didn’t react until I heard the gun.”

In the shot put, Ryan Crouser added a world title to his Olympic gold and world record, throwing 22.94 meters. Joe Kovacs and Josh Awotunde made it the first shot put medals sweep for one nation in world championships history.

Katie Nageotte and Sandi Morris gave the U.S. its first-ever one-two finish in a world championships pole vault. Nageotte followed her Olympic gold with her first world title. Morris earned silver at a third consecutive worlds. Both cleared 4.85 meters with Nageotte winning on count back.

Worlds continue Monday featuring the women’s marathon in the morning, plus night track finals in the women’s 1500m and men’s 3000m steeplechase.

TRACK WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule | Results | U.S. Roster | Key Events

Earlier Sunday, Brooke Andersen became the second consecutive American to win the women’s hammer throw world title after DeAnna Price, who in 2019 became the first U.S. man or woman to win a world hammer medal. Andersen, 10th at the Olympics and the world No. 1 in 2022 going into worlds, had the three best throws of the final. American Janee’ Kassanavoid took bronze.. On Her Turf has more on the women’s hammer here.

Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei repeated as world 10,000m champion, a year after taking silver at the Olympics (and 5000m gold in Tokyo). Grant Fisher was fourth, coming 17 hundredths shy of becoming the first American to earn a world medal in the event. The 10,000m is the lone men’s track event where the U.S. has never won a world medal.

Tamirat Tola led an Ethiopian one-two in the men’s marathon, clocking a championship record 2:05:36 for the biggest win of his career. Galen Rupp, a two-time Olympic medalist and Oregonian, was the top American in 19th place. Rupp said before the race that he missed training time due to a herniated disk and pinched nerve in his back and a mild COVID bout, according to Runner’s World.

“I’m getting better, believe it or not,” Rupp, 36, said. “I did the best I could, but I wasn’t able to get all the work in.”

Two-time Olympic champion Nafi Thiam of Belgium leads the two-day heptathlon after the first four of seven events.

In the men’s 400m hurdles, the three fastest men in history won their respective semifinals — Olympic champion and world record holder Karsten Warholm (48.00), American Rai Benjamin (48.44) and Brazilian Alison dos Santos, the world’s fastest man this year (47.85). The final is Tuesday.

Reigning Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen of Norway and reigning world champion Timothy Cheruiyot led the qualifiers into Tuesday’s 1500m final.

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Kendall Gretsch wins six gold medals at Para Nordic Ski Worlds

Kendall Gretsch
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Kendall Gretsch, who won Paralympic titles at the last Summer and Winter Games, added another six gold medals at the World Para Nordic Skiing Championships in Sweden last week.

Gretsch, 30, earned seven total medals in seven days between biathlon and cross-country skiing.

Gretsch won gold medals in three different sports across the last three Paralympics: biathlon and cross-country skiing in 2018 (two years after taking up the sports), triathlon in 2021 and biathlon in 2022.

She plans to shift her focus back to triathlon after this winter for 2024 Paris Games qualification.

Gretsch, born with spina bifida, was the 2014 USA Triathlon Female Para Triathlete of the Year. Though triathlon was added to the Paralympics for the 2016 Rio Games, her classification was not added until Tokyo.

Also at last week’s worlds, six-time Paralympian Aaron Pike earned his first Paralympic or world championships gold medal in his decade-plus career, winning a 12.5km biathlon event.

Oksana Masters, who won seven medals in seven events at last year’s Paralympics to break the career U.S. Winter Paralympics medals record, missed worlds due to hand surgery.

The U.S. also picked up five medals at last week’s World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in Spain — three silvers for five-time Paralympian Laurie Stephens and two bronzes for 17-year-old Saylor O’Brien.

Stephens now has 18 career medals from world championships, plus seven at the Paralympics.

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World champion skier Kyle Smaine dies in avalanche at age 31

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Kyle Smaine, a retired world champion halfpipe skier, died in an avalanche in Japan on Sunday, according to NBC News, citing Smaine’s father. He was 31.

Smaine, a 2015 World champion in ski halfpipe, had been doing ski filming in Japan, sharing videos on his Instagram account over the past week.

The native of South Lake Tahoe, California, finished ninth in ski halfpipe at the 2016 Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado.

In 2018, Smaine won the fifth and final U.S. Olympic qualifying series event in ski halfpipe but did not make the four-man team for PyeongChang. His last sanctioned international competition was in February 2018.

Late Sunday, two-time Olympic champion David Wise won the X Games men’s ski halfpipe and dedicated it to Smaine.

“We all did this for Kyle tonight,” Wise said on the broadcast. “It’s a little bit of an emotional day for us. We lost a friend.”