Welcome to The Sports Examiner SPEED READ, a 100 mph (44.7 m/s) review of what happened over the last 72 hours in Olympic sport:
Monday: The international federation for boxing is suspended and may implode. The former head of the international track & field federation will be put on trial in France for multiple crimes. But World Rowing just published – publicly – its detailed reports ahead of its September congress, including a full and frank discussion of the significant challenges it faces. No. 1 is staying in the Olympic Games, and that’s because of money. This is what transparency looks like and a federation trying hard to implement the kind of good governance every IF should strive for.
Sunday: China was expected to dominate diving at the FINA World Championships and it is. Same for Russia in Artistic Swimming. But China’s Xin Xin posted a noteworthy surprise in Open Water Swimming, winning just ahead of American Haley Anderson in the 10 km race that qualified both for Tokyo!
Friday: Another crackerjack Diamond League meet, this time in Monaco, including a brilliant world record from Dutch star Sifan Hassan, more proof that Justin Gatlin is going to be hard to beat anywhere and any time, and don’t be surprised when Sydney McLaughlin owns the world record in the 400 m hurdles sooner than later!
Sunday: The top seeds are usually the ones you see at the top of the podium in most tournaments, but at the Yonex U.S. Open in Fullerton, there were players from the qualifying rounds who made it to the top of the podium: Chinese Taipei’s Chun-Yi Lin in men’s Singles, China’s Zhi-Yi Wang in women’s Singles and Jhe-Huei Lee and Ya Ching Hsu (TPE), ranked 140th in the world in coming in Mixed Doubles, all won!
Sunday: The U.S. pair of Alix Klineman and April Ross is on a tear. After a silver medal in the FIVB World Championships last week, they won the Gstaad 5-star Major in Switzerland and are unquestionably contenders for a medal in Tokyo in 2020.
Sunday: All hail Annemiek van Vleuten (NED), the best women’s rider in the world, after she demolished the field in the Giro d’Italia Internaztionale Femminile, the most important race for women on the UCI Women’s World Tour. The details on how she did it, plus an update on the Tour de France, where Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe has regained the yellow jersey!
Sunday: American Kate Courtney scored her third win out of four events on the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup circuit to extend her lead in the seasonal standings at Les Gets (FRA). There are still three events to go, but no American has won the women’s seasonal World Cup since 2002! On the men’s side, Swiss superstar Nino Schurter managed another win and despite a slow start to his season, is in place to win his seventh career World Cup crown.
Sunday: Japan dominated the Budapest Grand Prix, winning five classes and eight medals, including victories for 2017 World Champions Aaron Wolf (-90 kg) and Funa Tonaki (-48 kg). Current World Champion Nikoloz Sherazadishvili (ESP: -90 kg) also won, along with 2016 Olympic -57 kg gold medalist Rafaela Silva (BRA).
Sunday: Difficult conditions plagued the third Rowing World Cup in Rotterdam (NED), but not enough to keep Australia from four wins and New Zealand from two to lead the event. Comebacking Kiwi Emma Twigg was especially impressive with her second World Cup win in the Single Sculls.
Saturday: China’s YiLing Song, got back to the top of the Speed game at the IFSC World Cup in Chamonix (FRA), winning her third event this season. Czech Adam Ondra is beginning to look like a possible Olympic gold medal contender after winning a Lead World Cup for the first time since 2015. He’s now won both Bouldering and Lead events in the same season, a boost for him in the Olympic combined-disciplines event next year.
Sunday: Fans call China’s Xin Xu the “XU-perman” and he became the first ever to win back-to-back titles in the men’s Singles at the Australian Open, defeating Chuqin Wang in straight sets. More history was made by Korea’s Youngsik Jeong and Sangsu Lee, who won their second consecutive Australian Open men’s Doubles title – a first – by defeating Gaoyuan Lin and Long Ma from China, 3-0.
Sunday: The U.S. men’s volleyball team wasn’t great during the round-robin portion of the FIVB Nations League because it was automatically into the final round as host. But once there, they reached the final, only to be out-lasted by Russia, 3-1. The Russian defended their title from 2018, but American hitter Matt Anderson was named Most Valuable.
WORLD UNIVERSITY GAMES
Sunday: The Universiade in Naples is over and Japan claimed the most medals. The U.S. mostly ignores this event now, but USA Swimming sent a powerful team that won 40 medals out of the total of 52 won by American athletes. Clemson’s men’s basketball team won the WUG gold, and Mississippi State’s women took silver.
Highlights of the coming week, with coverage in the coming days on TheSportsExaminer.com:
● Aquatics: The FINA World Aquatics Champs continue in Gwangju (KOR) …
● Athletics: The IAAF Diamond League heads to London for the Muller Anniversary Games.
● Cycling: Second week of the Tour de France, with some serious climbing ahead!
And many more events getting started this week, around the world.