News, views and noise from the non-stop, worldwide circus of Olympic sport:
● Athletics ● The first day of the NCAA Division I Championships in Austin, Texas (USA) showed once again why – except in the opinion of the IAAF World Rankings compilers – this is one of the best meets in the world each year. Because a lot happened:
Texas Tech’s Divine Oduduru (NGR) and Florida’s Hakim Sani Brown (JPN) both ran wind-aided 9.96s (+2.4 m/s) in heat three, but Houston’s Mario Burke (BAR) joined the sub-10 club with a legal 9.98 win in heat two. He as a 10.17 man in 2017, then down to 10.03 in 2018 and now sub-10. The final is Friday.
Oduduru is already the world leader in the 200 m at 19.76, and he won his semi easily in 19.97. Burke got another personal best, running 20.08 to win heat three; Coppin State’s Joseph Amoah (GHA) also 20.08, a lifetime best.
Men/110 m hurdles:
The world’s two fastest hurdlers demonstrated their prowess again, as Daniel Roberts (USA) of Kentucky took the world lead at 13.06 in winning heat one with a legal +0.9 m/s wind. Florida’s Grant Holloway won the second heat easily at 13.16 (+1.8), and they will clash again on Friday for the national title.
Texas A&M’s all-American quartet of Bryce Deadmon, Robert Grant, Ilolo Izu and Devin Dixon won heat one in 3:01.26! That’s the second-fastest time in the world in 2019, behind only Trinidad & Tobago’s winner at the IAAF World Relays! Iowa was second in 3:01.99, with a mixed-nationality team and North Carolina AT&T was third, with Trevor Stewart (USA) running a 44.05 third leg, fastest of the day.
Everyone assumed that LSU’s Mondo Duplantis (SWE), the world leader at 6.00 m (19-8 1/4) would win, as he did in his three other collegiate outdoor appearances. But South Dakota State junior and defending champion Chris Nilsen (USA) had other ideas. Both cleared 5.80 m (19-0 1/4), but then Nilsen cleared 5.90 m (19-4 1/4) on his first try and Duplantis missed. Nilsen cleared 5.95 m (19-6 1/4) on his first try and Duplantis, using his last two attempts at this height, missed twice. Nilsen missed three times at a world-leading 6.01 m (19-8 1/2), but moved to no. 2 on the world list for 2019 and no. 9 on the all-time U.S. list. Wow!
Grenada’s Anderson Peters, throwing for Mississippi State, set another national record and moved to no. 5 on the world list for 2019, winning at 86.62 m (284-2). He led an MSU sweep of the top three places and with it, 24 points and the first-day lead in the team standings.
To follow the NCAA meet’s live timing site, click here.
● Athletics ● The IAAF issued a strong response to the suspension of its female-eligibility rules by the Swiss Federal Tribunal, noting that the motion made by attorneys for Caster Semenya (RSA) was made without the IAAF being able to respond to it.
The IAAF further stated:
“The IAAF fully respects each individual’s personal dignity and supports the social movement to have people accepted in society based on their chosen legal sex and/or gender identity.
“However, the IAAF is convinced there are some contexts, sport being one of them, where biology has to trump identity.
“The IAAF also believes the right to participate in sport does not translate to a right to self-identify into a competition category or an event, or to insist on inclusion in a preferred event, or to win in a particular event, without regard to the legitimate rules of the sport or the criteria for entry. It is legitimate for all sport in general, and for the IAAF in particular, to create a protected category for females and to base eligibility for this category on biology and not on gender identity. This crucial point was accepted and emphasized by the CAS in its 30 April 2019 decision to uphold the DSD Regulations. To define the category based on something other than biology would be category defeating and would deter many girls around the world from choosing competitive and elite sport after puberty.
“The IAAF considers that the DSD Regulations are a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means of protecting fair and meaningful competition in elite female athletics, and the CAS agreed.
“The IAAF will seek a swift reversion of the superprovisional order moving forwards so that the DSD Regulations apply to all affected athletes in order (among other things) to avoid serious confusion amongst athletes and event organisers and to protect the integrity of the sport.”
The IAAF notice also indicated that the ruling applies only to Semenya personally, and that it is valid only until 25 June, by which time the IAAF is required to respond to the court.
● Gymnastics & Wrestling ● The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics recommended that all three NCAA divisions add women’s acrobatics and tumbling and women’s wrestling to the NCAA Emerging Sports for Women program. If the measure is adopted – each division will vote on each sport – both sports would join the program on 1 August 2020.
At present, 31 NCAA schools have Acrobatics & Tumbling teams, and 23 have women’s wrestling teams. Once approved as emerging sports, both could become NCAA championship sports if they pick up enough new teams.
● Olympic Winter Games ● Voters in Denver, Colorado overwhelmingly passed Ordinance 302 on Tuesday’s ballot, amending “the municipal code to prohibit the city and county from using public funds in connection with future Olympic Games unless a majority of voters approve such funds at a general or special municipal election.”
With 100% of precincts reporting, the vote was 118,075-30,872 (79.3-20.7%).
≡ REAX ≡ With Denver having returned the 1976 Winter Games to the IOC, it will need a public referendum ever have any credibility in any future bid. So, this measure ensures there will be one.
● At the BuZZer ● Add South Korea to Brazil and the United States as countries for which the television rights to the Olympic Games have been sold for 2026-2028-2030-2032. The International Olympic Committee announced that broadcaster JTBC won the rights in an auction process.
≡ REAX ≡ The rights package also includes North Korea as well, but it’s not likely much of the rights fee was based on any commercial opportunities there!