News, views and noise from the non-stop, worldwide circus of Olympic sport:
● Athletics ● True, Usain Bolt is retired, but Jamaica’s women’s 100 m Olympic gold medalists are back on track after one of the great races ever in the Jamaican national championships in Kingston on Friday night. The results speak for themselves:
1. 10.73, Elaine Thompson (10.726)
2. 10.73, Shelley-Ann Fraser-Pryce (10.729)
3. 10.94, Briana Williams, age 17!
Wow! American Sha’Carri Richardson’s brilliant 10.75 to win at the NCAA Championships was the world leader for all of 14 days.
The 2008-12 Olympic 100 m champ, Fraser-Pryce, got out to her usual rocket start, but 2016 Olympic 100 m winner Thompson started gaining midway through the race and just managed to edge Fraser-Pryce at the tape as both were given 10.73 with an aiding wind of +0.6 m/s (you can watch the race here).
It was clear that the final was going to be special when Fraser-Pryce and Thompson won their semifinals in 10.93 and 10.89, respectively, with no one else under 11 seconds.
The two 10.73s are now the co-world leaders and equal the sixth-fastest time in history; both have faster bests (both 10.70). Williams’ mark of 10.94 is a World U-18 Record (commonly known as a “World Youth” record), removing Candace Hill (USA) and her 10.98 from 2015.
In the men’s 100 m final, Yohan Blake claimed another national title at 9.96, followed by Tyquendo Tracy at 10.00 (wind: +0.4 m/s). The other top results from Friday were the 400 m hurdles wins for Kemar Mowatt (48.70) and Rushell Clayton (54.73: no. 6 on the 2019 list)
They are hardly done racing down in Jamaica; look for more results here.
● Athletics ● The independent Athletics Integrity Unit confirmed receipt of the Moscow Lab data concerning Russian track & field athletes from 2012-15 from the World Anti-Doping Agency. According to the statement:
“The data package handed over to AIU representatives on 18 June contains approximately
110,000 files in total including all underlying raw data generated from analysis of the samples.
“The AIU will start analysing the LIMS data immediately with a view to reporting its findings to the IAAF Council in due course.”
WADA also has possession of more than 2,600 doping samples relating to the data, so that once the AIU determines which samples it wishes to re-test, it will be able to obtain them quickly.
● United States Olympic (and Paralympic) Committee ● If a House member and Senator from Colorado have their way, a committee will be formed to study the United States Olympic Committee and report back to the Congress.
Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colorado) introduced a bill in the House of Representatives this week that mirrored the one filed by Colorado Senator Cory Gardner (R) in January, to create a “Commission on the State of the U.S. Olympics and Paralympics.”
As the Denver Post noted cynically, “Despite lofty goals voiced Monday, the new commission, if it comes to be, will simply study the U.S. Olympic Committee. It will be a committee looking at a committee, unable to write legislation or disband the agency or reform it or fire its leadership. Its only task will be to write a government report that will join a list of existing reports about the U.S. Olympic Committee and [Larry] Nassar.”
In the meantime, the USOC became the USOPC – the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee – effective immediately. The announcement noted that “The nonprofit USOPC is one of only four organizations in the world to manage both Olympic and Paralympic sport at the national level – and the first to include the distinction in its official name and marks.”
≡ REAX ≡ There was plenty of high-minded language in the USOPC statement, but the real issue here – as always – is money. What is true is that every dollar given to support Paralympic athletes is not available to support Olympic athletes, and vice versa. The USOPC needs more money, a situation clearly understood by Chief Executive Sarah Hirshland. The hope, of course, is that having the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Los Angeles will be the catalyst to unprecedented levels of corporate support for American athletes, but it hasn’t happened yet.
● International Olympic Committee ● India’s hopes for future events such as the 2032 Olympic Games got back on track this week as the International Olympic Committee’s Executive Board lifted the country’s suspension for discussions of future events.
India got into hot water by refusing visas for two Pakistani shooters who wanted to compete in an ISSF World Cup event in New Delhi earlier this year, that also served as an Olympic qualifier. With the refusal, the IOC eliminated the 25 m Rapid-Fire Pistol event – in which the two Pakistanis were entered – as a qualifier, and asked other International Federations not to award events to India..
But, “The IOC has been given written guarantees by the Indian government ensuring the entry of all participants to sports and Olympic-related events in the country in full compliance with the rules of the Olympic Charter.” So the matter is settled, for now.
● Doping ● Yuri Ganus, the head of the reformed Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) said earlier this week that doping cases would be filed against 33 athletes suspected of receiving “banned intravenous infusions.”
The Associated Press reported that “The cases are all linked to a sports academy in central Russia’s Chuvashia region, a major center for track and field. RUSADA said many of the athletes were underage when they were given the infusions and some come from cycling, skiing and Paralympic sports.” He speculated that the total number of filings could approach 70.
Interestingly, Ganus essentially agreed with the IAAF’s decision to continue the suspension of the Russian Athletics Federation. “Over the course of four years we’ve spent a lot of time presenting athletics in a beautiful condition,” Ganus said. “We have enough material to say that RusAF cannot be reinstated in its current condition.”
● At the BuZZer ● The new Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon will cost $195 million, according to the latest report from the Eugene Register-Guard.
A 16 June story noted that “the $195 million project is on schedule and would finish in time for the Pac-12 track and field championships in mid-May, the first event at the new venue. The project is being privately funded, largely by Nike co-founder Phil Knight.
“The Register-Guard confirmed the stadium’s price tag with the city of Eugene based on the values listed on the building permits.”
Now you know.