Jordan Chiles, Jade Carey return, make history at U.S. Gymnastics Championships


TAMPA — After Jordan Chiles finished her last routine of her first day of elite gymnastics competition since the Olympics, she started tearing up.

“Oh my gosh,” she said later, remembering what was spinning through her head. “I’m back.”

Chiles and fellow Tokyo medalist Jade Carey were pleased with their simultaneous returns to the sport’s highest level at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships on Friday night.

Chiles placed third in the all-around behind Shilese Jones and Konnor McClain. Carey is fifth going into Sunday’s final day of the meet. Both came off busy college seasons. They competed weekly from January into April, then shifted into full-time elite training.

“[Friday] honestly went really better than I thought it was going to go,” said UCLA’s Chiles, part of the Olympic silver medal team in Tokyo. “I just wanted to come into this competition hitting four for four [routines], honestly, and that’s what I did.”

GYMNASTICS NATIONALS: Results | Broadcast Schedule

They are in solid (and very early) position to make the five-woman team for this fall’s world championships, especially since fourth-place Kayla DiCello is not expected to vie for a roster spot as she matriculates at the University of Florida. A committee will finalize the world team following an October selection camp.

Just by stepping on the floor, Chiles and Carey made history. They became the first U.S. Olympic female gymnasts to return to elite competition following an NCAA season, showing that college gymnastics does not always signal retirement from Olympic-level gymnastics.

Chiles placed in the top five on all four events, competing with micro tears in a shoulder labrum and bicep, alleviated by pain-killing shots in the spring. Carey had the highest score on vault and second-highest on floor.

“This was a very good first step back here on the elite stage,” said Oregon State’s Carey, the Olympic floor exercise champion. “Wasn’t a perfect day, but I’m proud of the routines that I put together.”

Carey and Chiles both have 2024 Olympic ambitions. Only one U.S. female gymnast has gone from the Olympics to college gymnastics and back to the Olympics, and that was before the NCAA era began 40 years ago.

They are faces of a changing landscape in the sport. In Tokyo, there were more non-teens than teens competing in Olympic women’s gymnastics for the first time in more than 50 years. Also in the last 50 years, Simone Biles is the only woman in her 20s to win a U.S. all-around title. Jones is 20. Chiles is 21. Carey is 22.

Chiles and Carey ascended into leadership roles in the absences of Biles, who texted Chiles that she would watch the competition from her cruise, and Tokyo all-around gold medalist Suni Lee, who was in the arena as a spectator. Biles and Lee have not ruled out returns to elite gymnastics for a 2024 Olympic run.

Before Friday’s competition, Chiles said she and Carey told the other gymnasts that they would bring a hyped-up, loud-cheering NCAA atmosphere to the event.

Chiles took notice of her younger competitors. Notably Jones, whose leading 14.85 on uneven bars motivated Chiles to “step it up.”

“I’m happy that they’re looking up to us in a way, but then also I can look up to them knowing that they are younger, and they are experiencing something different,” Chiles said. “I’m coming into this as Jordan Chiles, the Olympian, but they’re still being able to fulfill their journey.”

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Kenenisa Bekele still eyes Eliud Kipchoge’s marathon world record, but a duel must wait

Kenenisa Bekele

LONDON — Kenenisa Bekele made headlines last week by declaring “of course I am the best” long distance runner ever. But the Ethiopian was fifth-best at Sunday’s London Marathon, finishing 74 seconds behind Kenya’s Amos Kipruto.

Bekele, 40, clocked 2:05:53, the fastest-ever marathon by a runner 40 years or older. He was with the lead pack until being dropped in the 21st mile.

But Bekele estimated he could have run 90 to 120 seconds faster had he not missed parts of six weeks of training with hip and joint injuries.

“I expect better even if the preparation is short,” he said. “I know my talent and I know my capacity, but really I couldn’t achieve what I expect.”

Bekele is the second-fastest marathoner in history behind Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge, who broke his own world record by clocking 2:01:09 at the Berlin Marathon last week.

“I am happy when I see Eliud Kipchoge run that time,” Bekele said. “It motivates all athletes who really expect to do the same thing.”


Bekele’s best time was within two seconds of Kipchoge’s previous world record (2:01:39). He described breaking Kipchoge’s new mark as the “main goal” for the rest of his career.

“Yes, I hope, one day it will happen, of course,” Bekele said. “With good preparation, I don’t know when, but we will see one more time.”

Nobody has won more London Marathons than Kipchoge, a four-time champion who set the course record (2:02:37) in 2019. But the two-time Olympic marathon champion did not run this year in London, as elite marathoners typically choose to enter one race each spring and fall.

Bekele does not know which race he will enter in the spring. But it will not be against Kipchoge.

“I need to show something first,” Bekele said. “I need to run a fast time. I have to check myself. This is not enough.”

Kipchoge will try to become the first runner to win three Olympic marathon titles at the Paris Games. Bekele, who will be 42 in 2024, has not committed to trying to qualify for the Ethiopian team.

“There’s a long time to go before Paris,” Bekele said. “At this moment I am not decided. I have to show something.”

So who is the greatest long distance runner ever?

Bekele can make a strong case on the track:

Four Olympic medals (three gold)
Six World Championship medals (five gold)
Former 5000m and 10,000m world-record holder

Two Olympic medals
Two World Championship medals (one gold)

But Kipchoge can make a strong case on the pavement:

Second-fastest marathoner in history
Two World Marathon Major victories

Four of the five best marathon times in history
Two-time Olympic marathon champion
12 World Marathon Major victories

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Yalemzerf Yehualaw, Amos Kipruto win London Marathon

Yalemzerf Yehualaw

Ethiopian Yalemzerf Yehualaw became the youngest female runner to win the London Marathon, while Kenyan Amos Kipruto earned the biggest victory of his career in the men’s race.

Yehualaw, 23, clocked 2:17:26, prevailing by 41 seconds over 2021 London champ Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya.

Yehualaw tripped and fell over a speed bump around the 20-mile mark. She quickly rejoined the lead pack, then pulled away from Jepkosgei by running the 24th mile in a reported 4:43, which converts to 2:03:30 marathon pace; the women’s world record is 2:14:04.

Yehualaw and Jepkosgei were pre-race favorites after world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya withdrew Monday with a right hamstring injury.

On April 24, Yehualaw ran the fastest women’s debut marathon in history, a 2:17:23 to win in Hamburg, Germany.

She has joined the elite tier of female marathoners, a group led by Kenyan Peres Jepchirchir, the reigning Olympic, New York City and Boston champion. Another Ethiopian staked a claim last week when Tigist Assefa won Berlin in 2:15:37, shattering Yehualaw’s national record.

Joan Benoit Samuelson, the first Olympic women’s marathon champion in 1984, finished Sunday’s race in 3:20:20 at age 65.


Kipruto, 30, won the men’s race in 2:04:39. He broke free from the leading group in the 25th mile and crossed the finish line 33 seconds ahead of Ethiopian Leul Gebresilase, who said he had hamstring problems.

Kipruto, one of the pre-race favorites, had never won a major marathon but did finish second behind world record holder Eliud Kipchoge in Tokyo (2022) and Berlin (2018) and third at the world championships (2019) and Tokyo (2018).

Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest marathoner in history, was fifth after being dropped in the 21st mile. His 2:05:53 was the fastest-ever marathon by a runner 40 years or older. Bekele ran his personal best at the 2019 Berlin Marathon — 2:01:41 — and has not run within four minutes of that time since.

The major marathon season continues next Sunday with the Chicago Marathon, headlined by a women’s field that includes Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich and American Emily Sisson.

London returns next year to its traditional April place after being pushed to October the last three years due to the pandemic.

MORE: Bekele looks ahead to Kipchoge chase after London Marathon

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