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Extra bronze medals awarded at world track and field championships

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Spain’s Orlando Ortega had the fifth-fastest time in the 110m hurdles final at the world championships, but he will leave Doha with a bronze medal.

Ortega was one of two athletes to be retroactively awarded bronze medals from Wednesday finals at worlds. The other was Polish hammer thrower Wojciech Nowicki, who was originally fourth.

Start with Ortega.

He was impeded by a stumbling Olympic champion Omar McLeod in the adjacent lane in the 110m hurdles final. Before the last hurdle, Ortega was in medal position but had to put out his left hand to keep McLeod from falling into him. In doing so, Ortega slipped behind Russian Sergey Shubenkov, Frenchman Pascal Martinot-Lagarde and Chinese Xie Wenjun.

On Thursday, an IAAF jury of appeal awarded a second bronze to Ortega while keeping Shubenkov in silver position and Martinot-Lagarde with the original bronze. Gold medalist Grant Holloway was clearly in the lead when Ortega and McLeod made contact.

“I’m very disheartened for Ortega that had to happened to him,” McLeod said after, noting he felt a hamstring injury after the first hurdle. “I wish I stopped because that cost him a medal.”

Ortega, who formerly competed for Cuba, took silver behind McLeod at the Rio Olympics.

In the hammer, the Polish federation appealed the original bronze-medal-winning throw of Hungarian Bence Halasz, arguing that Halasz touched the ground outside the circle. Like in the hurdles, no medals were stripped, but Nowicki was upgraded to make it four men on the podium.

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U.S. finishes FIBA World Cup in seventh place

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In one sense, the U.S. men’s basketball team finished the FIBA World Cup how it had hoped — with a victory. It just didn’t envision that coming in the seventh-place game.

The U.S. beat Poland 87-74 to cap its worst-ever tournament result in China on Saturday. Previously, the U.S.’ worst performance was sixth at the 2002 Worlds at home in Indianapolis.

The Americans rebounded from back-to-back losses against France in the quarterfinals and Serbia in the consolation round to take out Poland, which sent a team to an Olympics or a worlds for the first time since 1980.

Donovan Mitchell, one of the most consistent Americans in the tournament, had a team-high 16 points and 10 assists. Kemba Walker, the team’s most recognizable player, sat out with a sore neck. A full box score is here.

It’s possible next year’s 12-man roster looks completely different at the Tokyo Olympics given the World Cup included two 2019 NBA All-Stars (Walker and Khris Middleton) and one player with Olympic experience (Harrison Barnes).

If nobody drops out, the U.S. player pool would include LeBron JamesStephen CurryKevin DurantJames HardenRussell WestbrookKawhi Leonard, Paul George and Anthony Davis.

“For some of us, potentially all of us, it could be the last time we wear a USA jersey,” Barnes said after the loss to Serbia on Thursday.

MORE: FIBA World Cup schedule, results

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Anita Wlodarczyk, one of track and field’s most dominant, sidelined

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Poland hammer thrower Anita Wlodarczyk, the only woman to win the last five combined Olympic and world titles in a track and field event, will not go for a fourth straight world championship this fall.

Wlodarczyk had season-ending, arthroscopic left knee surgery on Monday, according to Polish media citing her coach.

Wlodarczyk, 33, has the top 15 throws on the IAAF’s all-time list, and 27 of the top 29. Her world record of 82.98 meters (scribbled on her leg pre-op) is 11 and a half feet farther the second-best woman in history. She originally took silver at the 2012 Olympics and 2013 Worlds but was upgraded to gold after Russian Tatyana Lysenko was stripped for doping.

Wlodarczyk won a reported 42 straight finals between 2014 and 2017, then suffered three losses in 2018 and two so far this year in three lower-level meets before the operation.

Americans DeAnna Price and Brooke Anderson rank Nos. 1 and 2 in the world this year. A U.S. woman has never finished in the top five of an Olympic or world championships hammer throw, which debuted at worlds in 1999 and the Olympics in 2000.

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