Erriyon Knighton bounces back, American records fall: Brussels Diamond League recap, results, highlights

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After a sixth-place finish in Lausanne last week, 18-year-old phenom Erriyon Knighton bounced back with a win in the 200m at the Brussels Diamond League, the final meet of the season before the two-day final in Zurich. Knighton ran 20.07, edging out second-place Alexander Ogando of the Dominican Republic and Canada’s Aaron Brown, for the first Diamond League win of his career. The meet was the final opportunity for athletes to earn points and qualify for the Diamond League final. Knighton’s win secured him a spot – the full Diamond League standings are here.

RELATED: Erriyon Knighton ran another historic sprint time, then returned to high school

To continue her remarkable retirement tour, Kara Winger threw an American and meet record 223′ 5″ (68.11m) for the win in the women’s javelin. The 36-year-old Winger, who announced that 2022 would be her final competitive season, won silver at 2022 World Championships, going from fifth to second on her final throw and becoming the first American woman to win a world medal in javelin.

Winger wasn’t the only athlete of the day to notch an American record in Brussels: Grant Fisher finished second in the men’s 5000m in 12:46.96, breaking Bernard Lagat’s record of 12:53.60 from 2011. Fisher was 4th in the 10,000m at 2022 World Championships and sixth in the 5000m, where he was in medal position in the final 200m but got caught in traffic just ahead of the finish line. Pending official ratification, this is the 25-year-old’s fourth entry in the American record books this year – he owns the top mark in the outdoor 3000m, the indoor and outdoor 5000m and the outdoor 10,000m. Kenya’s Jacob Krop took the win in a world-leading 12:45.71, with his countryman Nicholas Kipkorir third.

2022 400m hurdles world champion Alison Dos Santos of Brazil continued his undefeated season in his signature event, winning in 47.54 ahead of American Khallifah Rosser. In the women’s 100m, a dominant summer continued for Jamaican sprinters, with reigning 200m world champion Shericka Jackson taking the win ahead of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. Fraser-Pryce, the 2022 world champion, returned to racing after dropping out of the Lausanne meet with a hamstring issue. Marie-Josee Ta Lou (Côte d’Ivoire) was third. Aleia Hobbs was the top American finisher in 4th, with Sha’Carri Richardson 5th in 10.93.

Full results from Brussels Diamond League meet

Undoubtedly the most shocking upset of the meet came in the men’s pole vault, where world and Olympic champion and world record holder Mondo Duplantis of Sweden finished second to Ernest John “EJ” Obiena of the Philippines. Obiena has international credentials after taking bronze at 2022 World Championships but Duplantis had been undefeated for over a year (his last loss was a fourth-place finish at the Lausanne Diamond League meet on August 26, 2021, shortly after his win at the Tokyo Olympics).

In the 100m hurdles, Tokyo Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn (Puerto Rico) took care of business with a win in 12.27, a meet record. Americans Tia Jones and Keni Harrison were second and third across the line. And in the final race of the meet, world 1500m champion Jake Wightman of Great Britain took the win in the men’s 800m over 2022 world silver medalist Djamel Sedjati (Algeria) and reigning world and Olympic champion Emmanuel Korir (Kenya). Wightman has taken advantage of the packed track calendar this summer to find success at multiple distance: in addition to the world title at 1500m, he was third at the distance at the Commonwealth Games, and 2nd in the 800m at European Championships in August.

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How does the Diamond League Final Work?

Now that the Brussels Diamond League meet has concluded, the next and last event on the DL calendar is the final in Zurich, scheduled for September 7th and 8th on Peacock and CNBC. Throughout the season, athletes have earned points at Diamond League meets based on their finish, with eight points awarded for a win, seven for second and on down to one point for an eighth-place finish. At the final, athletes will compete for the title of Diamond League champion, which comes with a bye to 2023 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. Full rules can be found here.

RELATED: Paris 2024 Olympic competition schedule published in detail

Teri McKeever fired by Cal as women’s swimming coach after investigation

Teri McKeever
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Teri McKeever, the first woman to serve as a U.S. Olympic swimming head coach, was fired by the University of California at Berkeley after an investigation into alleged verbal and emotional abuse of swimmers that she denied.

McKeever was put on paid administrative leave from her job as head women’s swimming coach in May after an Orange County Register report that 20 current or former Cal swimmers said McKeever verbally and emotionally bullied her swimmers.

Cal athletics director Jim Knowlton wrote in a letter to the Cal team and staff that a resulting independent law firm report detailed “verbally abusive conduct that is antithetical to our most important values.”

“I strongly believe this is in the best interests of our student-athletes, our swimming program and Cal Athletics as a whole,” Knowlton said of McKeever’s firing in a press release. “The report details numerous violations of university policies that prohibit race, national origin and disability discrimination.”

The Orange County Register first published what it says is the full independent report here.

“I deny and unequivocally refute all conclusions that I abused or bullied any athlete and deny any suggestion I discriminated against any athlete on the basis of race, disability or sexual orientation,” McKeever said in a statement Tuesday confirming her firing and expressing disappointment in how the investigation was conducted. “While I am disappointed in the way my CAL Career will conclude, I wish to thank and celebrate the many student-athletes and staff that made my time in Berkeley a true blessing and gift.”

McKeever’s lawyer wrote that McKeever “will be filing suit to expose the manner in which gender has affected not only the evaluation of her coaching but harmed and continues to harm both female and male athletes.”

McKeever led Cal women’s swimming and diving for nearly 30 years, winning four NCAA team titles and coaching Olympic champions including Missy FranklinNatalie Coughlin and Dana Vollmer.

In 2004, she became the first woman to be on a U.S. Olympic swim team coaching staff, as an assistant. In 2012, she became the first woman to be head coach of a U.S. Olympic swim team. She was an assistant again for the Tokyo Games.

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Diana Taurasi returns to U.S. national basketball team

Diana Taurasi
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Diana Taurasi is set to return to the U.S. national basketball team next week for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics, signaling a possible bid for a record-breaking sixth Olympic appearance in 2024 at age 42.

Taurasi is on the 15-player roster for next week’s training camp in Minnesota announced Tuesday.

Brittney Griner is not on the list but is expected to return to competitive basketball later this year with her WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury (also Taurasi’s longtime team, though she is currently a free agent), after being detained in Russia for 10 months in 2022.

Taurasi said as far back as the 2016 Rio Games that her Olympic career was likely over, but returned to the national team after Dawn Staley succeeded Geno Auriemma as head coach in 2017.

In Tokyo, Taurasi and longtime backcourt partner Sue Bird became the first basketball players to win five Olympic gold medals. Bird has since retired.

After beating Japan in the final, Taurasi said “see you in Paris,” smiling, as she left an NBC interview. That’s now looking less like a joke and more like a prediction.

Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve succeeded Staley as head coach last year. In early fall, she guided the U.S. to arguably the best FIBA World Cup performance ever, despite not having stalwarts Bird, Griner, Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles.

Taurasi was not in contention for the team after suffering a WNBA season-ending quad injury in the summer. Taurasi, who is 38-0 in Olympic games and started every game at the last four Olympics, wasn’t on a U.S. team for an Olympics or worlds for the first time since 2002.

Next year, Taurasi can become the oldest Olympic basketball player in history and the first to play in six Games, according to Olympedia.org. Spain’s Rudy Fernandez could also play in a sixth Olympics in 2024.

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