london olympics

Gay, Richards-Ross sprint to victories in Paris rain

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American sprinters Tyson Gay showed and Sanya Richards-Ross each made emphatic statements with victories on a rain-slicked track at the Montreuil meeting Monday.

Gay ran the 100m in 10.04 to beat 2008 Olympic silver medalist Richard Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago by 0.12 in a 0.5-meter headwind.

Meanwhile, Richards-Ross, the 2012 Olympic champion in the 400, won that event in Paris, pulling away down the stretch to finish with a time of 51.12. She was happy with the victory, but apparently just as happy to have escaped the wet conditions without injury.

“I think the last time I ran in weather like this is probably Zurich 2005,” she told the Associated Press. “I tried to block it out, but it’s really hard to get going really fast, especially the first 50. A little bit more cautious. I do want to have a successful season, so I don’t want to risk an injury.”

Gay’s victory in Paris was his second appearance in competition since serving a one-year doping ban. In his first appearance last week, he finished second to fellow American Justin Gatlin in the 100 at the Diamond Leauge meet in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Michelle-Lee Ahye of Trinidad and Tobago, who won a photo finish in the 100 in last week’s event, won the women’s 100 in Paris in 11.32, overcoming a poor start to beat Jamaica’s Carrie Russell.

Full results here.

Gatlin wins 100m over Gay at Lausanne Diamond League

British Basketball gets its funding back

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Chicago Bulls star Luol Deng must carry some weight in the British sporting world, because his plea to have basketball once again funded by the state worked: The BOA offered a reprieve to the sport Friday, and will indeed fund it for the Rio Olympics.

“Today’s news is absolutely fantastic for the sport, I am overwhelmed to hear basketball have been awarded funding from UK Sport,” British player Drew Sullivan told Reuters. “This news puts GB firmly back on the map and on the road to success.”

The teams had initially seen their funding cut from more than $13 million for the 2012 Games to zero for the new Olympic cycle, despite the fact that UK Sport announced an eleven percent increase in funding across the board. That money was earmarked for popular British sports like cycling and equestrian, where the country has had plenty of success.

But Deng wrote a open-letter to Prime Minister David Cameron earlier this week stating his case that the team’s performance in London set a baseline that the country could only improve on with future generations.

Apparently Deng’s voice was heard.

“The door is not closed to any sport that has had their funding reduced or stopped,” said UK Sport chief executive Liz Nicholl in the statement. “Every sport has the opportunity to come back to us at the annual review stage to make a case for future funding if they can demonstrate sufficient progress to evidence a credible medal opportunity within the next eight years.”

Alicia Sacramone retires from gymnastics

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Olympic silver medalist, four-time world champ and nine-time national champ Alicia Sacramone said goodbye to competitive gymnastics Tuesday, announcing her retirement after a nearly a decade as one of the sport’s most accomplished athletes.

“Alicia was special, and determined to accomplish the goals she set for herself,” said U.S. national team coordinator Martha Karolyi of the ’08 captain.

“Alicia had a great career, full of success that was well earned. She also showed her strength of character by the dignified way she handled the moments that fell short of her goals.”

Many, including Sacramone herself at times, blamed the star gymnast for the U.S. not winning gold in Beijing after tumbles on the beam and floor exercise. But there’s no doubt the team’s success was a direct result of the strength and commitment Alicia provided, a sentiment voiced by U.S. Gymnastics President Steve Penny in a statement Tuesday:

“Alicia has had a major impact on women’s gymnastics. Her personality, sense of humor and leadership skills were important ingredients in the success of our team. Alicia is a strong individual who knows what she wants and is not afraid to put herself out there to achieve it.”

Alicia had hoped to comeback and compete in London after tearing her Achilles in 2011, but failed to make the team despite finishing second on both the vault and balance beam at the 2012 Trials.

After Trials, the star unofficially retired via Twitter, saying, “I leave this sport with no regrets.”