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: Is swimming climbing toward heaven, or walking the tightrope across the pit now that ISL has announced its schedule? What the International Swimming League is trying to do is worthwhile, but what are its chances of success?
THE BIG PICTURE
Friday: The International Olympic Committee released its Evaluation Commission report on the 2026 Olympic Winter Games. The good news was that both budgets are low, with lots of existing facilities in use. But the report showed the Italian bid a lot more ready for prime time than Sweden’s.
Sunday: Sensational weekend for the U.S., with Brady Ellison claiming his 12th career World Cup win and unheralded James Lutz winning the Compound gold in his first World Cup tournament!
Sunday: Japan’s Yukiko Inui showed her class at the FINA World Series in Greensboro, North Carolina, an event which was combined with the Synchro America Open. Inui won both Solo events, team with Megumu Yoshida to win both Duet events and was part of both of Japan’s winning team programs. Seven for seven!
Saturday: More silliness from American football players like Chad Johnson (“Ochocinco”) who think they are fast. How about racing Noah Lyles? He’s really fast! And a challenge from Saints receiver Ted Ginn Jr. for a $10,000 race against anyone got a quick reply from the top high school sprinter in the country! Does the NCAA know about this?
Sunday: The 45th Hypomeeting in Gotzis showcased two brilliant world-leading performances by Canada’s Damian Warner and Britain’s Katharina Johnson-Thompson, plus more star marks at the NCAA regionals.
Sunday: It looked like Japan might have a shot at unseating perennial winner China in the prestigious Sudirman Cup team event. Forget it: China swept Japan, 3-0, to retain the title once again.
Sunday: Thought 40-year old Kerri Walsh Jennings was washed up? Think again: teamed with 33-year-old Brooke Sweat, the pair just won an important FIVB World Tour four-star event in China!
Sunday: New Zealand superstar Lisa Carrington showed she is still the one to beat in the first OCF World Cup in Poznan (POL). She won the women’s K-1 200 m, K-1 500 m and teamed with Aimee Fisher, Caitlin Ryan and Kayla Imrie to win the K-4 500 m easily for three victories.
Sunday: The 102nd Giro d’Italia gets wilder by the day. On Sunday, Italy’s Dario Cataldo and Mattia Cattaneo finished 1-2 after an early breakaway, but the opportunity for favored Primoz Roglic to re-take the overall lead faded when he crashed late in the race and had to use a teammate’s bike to finish! Ecudaor’s Richard Carapaz still leads, but four of the next six stages are in the Alps! Ouch!
Sunday: Italy’s Elisa Longo Borghini cut it close, but her final sprint in the final stage of the 32nd Emakuveen Bira in Spain not only won the day’s race, but with the time bonuses included, gave her the overall title … by two seconds over defending champ Amanda Spratt (AUS)!
Sunday: Anyone who doubted American Kate Courtney can forget it: she won her second straight Mountain Bike World Cup, this time in the Czech Republic, while Dutch road-racing star Mathieu van der Poel took down Olympic and World Champion Nino Schurter!
Sunday: The USA Diving Senior National Championships selected the American team for this summer’s World Championships in Korea. Four-time Olympic medalist David Boudia made a memorable return to the top of the podium, but this time in the 3 m Springboard instead of his usual Platform events. Check out the entire team roster for Changwon.
Sunday: No. 1-ranked Sabre stars Sofya Velikaya (RUS) and Eli Dershwitz (USA) maintained their places with strong performances at the FIE Sabre Grand Prix in Moscow (RUS). Velikaya won again for her 40th career Grand Prix and World Cup medal, while Dershwitz – who had been fifth in his last five tournaments – got to the final but had to settle for silver to France’s Bolade Apithy.
Sunday: The U.S. women’s team finished their pre-World Cup schedule with a 3-0 win over Mexico in Harrison, New Jersey. The score wasn’t that important (or impressive), but there were encouraging signs on the field as the teams heads to France.
Sunday: The second FIG World Challenge Cup in Osijek (CRO) was a happy homecoming for home favorite Robert Seligman. The two-time European silver medalist in the pommel horse won his specialty in front of a happy crowd in his hometown!
Sunday: Finland defeated Canada in the first match of the IIHF men’s World Championship in Slovakia, 3-1 … and defeated Canada again – by the same score – in the championship game held in Bratislava. It’s the third world title for the Finns, and stopped a two-year streak by their rivals from Sweden!
Sunday: Three world champions – Saeid Mollaei (IRI: 81 kg), Guham Cho (KOR: 100 kg) and Uta Abe (JPN: 52 kg) – claimed victories to highlight the Hohhot Grand Prix in China. Korea had the most wins (4), but Germany won the most medals (8).
Monday: Rio Olympic champ Aleksander Lesun (RUS) shows that he’s getting ready to make a title defense in Tokyo, winning the UIPM World Cup in Prague (CZE). Britain’s Kate French won her third career World Cup in the women’s division, edging Russia’s 2017 World Champion, Gulnaz Gubaydullina.
Sunday: The U.S. Eagles clinched a spot in the 2020 Olympic tournament and have a chance to win the 2018-19 Sevens Series after a third-place finish in the London round. But Fiji took the Series lead with a big win in the final over Australia.
Sunday: The first event in the Street qualifying program for the 2020 Olympic Games was the SLS World Tour stop in London (GBR), with American Nyjah Huston demonstrating why he is the reigning World Champion!
Sunday: The reigning FIVB Women’s Nations League champion United States whipped through its first three games undefeated, winning nine of 10 sets. Turkey and Italy also were undefeated during the week of pool play, but it gets tougher for the U.S. week in Italy.
Monday: Amazing victory for American Tamyra Mensah-Stock at 68 kg in the UWW Ranking Tournament in Sassari (ITA), plus how an Iranian wrestler lost a gold medal because he wouldn’t wear the correct uniform for his medal ceremony!
Highlights of the coming week, with previews in the coming days on TheSportsExaminer.com:
● Athletics: The third IAAF Diamond League meet, in Stockholm (SWE).
● Cycling: The final week of the year’s first Grand Tour, the Giro d’Italia!
● Swimming: Third and final leg of the FINA Champions Swim Series, in Indianapolis.
And a look at how the IOC is continuing to change the nature of the Olympic Games on the fly!