HIGHLIGHTS: Knighton, 18, runs 19.49 in 200 m! U.S. women crush Curacao, 11-0 in CONCACAF U-17s; Kiefer wins Foil World Cup in Germany

World Junior Record for 18-year-old Erriyon Knighton! (Photo: Adam Eberhardt for TrackTown USA)

Headline results of noteworthy competitions around the world:

● Athletics ● A busy Saturday saw important marks in the sprints and hurdles, including a pair of World Junior (U-20) records.

In Gaborone (BOT), Letsile Tebogo won the men’s 100 m in 9.96 (wind +1.9 m/s), breaking American Trayvon Bromell’s 9.97 mark from 2014. At the LSU Invitational in Baton Rouge, it was Olympic fourth-placer Erriyon Knighton who stole the show with a men’s 200 m win in 19.49 (+1.4 m/s), moving him to no. 4 on the all-time list. Only Usain Bolt (JAM: 19.19), Yohan Blake (JAM: 19.26) and Michael Johnson (USA: 19.32) have run faster.

It’s the eighth-fastest mark in history and the fastest in 10 years; Knighton is still 18 and smashed his own 19.84 mark from 2021. Olympic finalist Joseph Fahnbulleh (LBR) was second in 19.92. At the same meet, Nigeria’s Favour Ofili of LSU won the women’s 100 m in a wind-legal 10.93 (+2.0 m/s), while Favour Ashe (NGR) won the men’s 100 m in 9.79w (+3.0).

Also in Gaborone was a world-leading 200 m win in 21.87 for Namibia’s Olympic 200 m silver winner Christine Mboma. She also won the 100 m in 10.97, seventh on the world list for 2022.

In the hurdles, American Trey Cunningham (Florida State) dazzled at the North Florida Invitational in Jacksonville, winning in the heats in a lifetime best of 13.15, then won the final in a world-leading 13.10 (+1.7). Also in Jacksonville was a men’s 100 m win by Bromell in 9.75w, with the reading just-over-the-allowable at 2.1 m/s; Canada’s Olympic 200 m champ Andre De Grasse was second at 10.07. Jamaica’s Natalliah Whyte won the women’s 100 m in a wind-legal 10.97 (+1.3), with American Shania Collins second at 10.99.

At the Drake Relays, Rio Olympic champ Dalilah Muhammad overcame blustery conditions to win the women’s 400 m hurdles in world-leading 53.88. Ryan Crouser won the men’s shot at 21.63 m (70-11 3/4) in the fourth round.

On the infield, Jamaica’s Lamara Distin (Texas A&M) took the world lead in the women’s high jump at 1.97 m (6-5 1/2) at the Alumni Muster meet and Darius Carbin (USA) joined three others this season at 2.30 m (7-6 1/2) to win the Torrin Lawrence Memorial in Athens, Georgia.

Two-time NCAA champ Olivia Gruver (USA) took the women’s outdoor vault lead at 4.71 m (15-5 1/2) at the Fresno State Invitational.

Joe Kovacs, the two-time Olympic silver medalist and two-time World Champion, got the lead in the men’s shot at 22.46 m (73-8 1/4) at the Music City Challenge in Nashville, and had three other throws past 22 m.

American Brooke Andersen had a sensational hammer series at the Desert Heat meet in Tucson, reaching a world-leading 77.98 m (255-10) in round two and then getting to 79.02 m (259-3) in round three for the win. That’s a lifetime best and moves her to no. 4 all-time and no. 2 in U.S. history. Wow!

At the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, Olympic women’s 400 m hurdles champ Sydney McLaughlin won the 100 m hurdles in 12.75 and Olympic 800 m gold medalist Athing Mu won the 600 m in 1:22.74, moving her to no. 4 on the all-time list.

American Devon Allen won his third straight 110 m hurdles race of the season in 13.11, no. 2 for 2022, beating Jamaica’s 2016 Olympic champ Omar McLeod (JAM) in the process (13.22).

On the roads, Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha, a 12:46.79 man on the track, won the Adizero Road to Records event in Herzogenaurach (GER) in 12:53, best in the world for 2022, beating Nicholas Kimeli (KEN) by two seconds with Levy Kibet (KEN) third at 13:02.

Kenyan star Kibiwott Kandie won the 10 km race in a fast 26:50, a second off the world lead for 2022, and the no. 7 performance in history (he remains the no. 4 performer). He was just ahead of Sebastian Sawe (KEN: 26:54, no. 5 all-time), Rodrigue Kwizera (BDI: 26:56, equal-6th all-time) and Rhonex Kipruto (KEN: 26:58).

Ethiopia’s Senbere Teferi won the women’s 5 km race in a world-leading 14:37, well ahead of Medina Eisa (ETH: 14:53).

● Badminton ● The 25th Pan American Championships were on from 26-29 April in San Salvador (ESA), with three wins for Canada, including a sensational women’s final.

American star Beiwen Zhang, who won the 2021 Pan Am title, was matched up with Canada’s Michelle Li, the three-time Pan American Games champion and it was a struggle. Li won the first set by 21-18, but Zhang came back strongly with a 21-16 win. The third set was a marathon, with Li finally coming out on top, 25-23.

The other Canadian wins weren’t as dramatic, as Rachel Honderich and Kristen Tsai won the all-Canada women’s doubles final from Catherine Choi and Josephine Wu, 21-17, 21-18 and Ty Alexander Lindeman and Wu won the Mixed Doubles from Guatemala’s Jonathan Solis and Diana Corleto Soto, 21-12, 21-11.

A fifth Canadian finalist, Brian Yang, lost in the men’s Singles final to Kevin Cordon (GUA), 21-17, 21-14. It was Cordon’s second title, with the first way back in 2012!

Mexico’s Job Castillo and Luis Montoya won the men’s Doubles over Americans Vinson Chiu and Joshua Yuan, 22-20, 11-8 with the U.S. retiring.

Honderich and Wu now both have six career Pan Am Championships titles, but in multiple events.

● Curling ● Defending champion Scotland had a new team, but the same result at the World Mixed Doubles Championship in Geneva (SUI), as Eve Muirhead and Bobby Lammie won a tight final from Swiss Alina Paetz and Sven Michel by 9-7.

The Swiss, Sweden and Norway all went 7-2 in the Group A round-robin, while the Scots ran through Group B with a 9-0 mark, ahead of Canada (8-1) and Germany. The U.S. pair of Becca and Matt Hamilton were 5-4 and missed the playoffs.

In the play-ins to the semifinals, Norway edged Canada by 6-5 and Germany scored an 11-8 win over Sweden. The Swiss eliminated Norway in another tight match, 8-7, and Muirhead and Lammie defeated Germany easily, 8-3.

The Swiss were trying for their seventh title in the 14 editions of the event, last winning in 2018 and having never lost a championship final. But the Scots were hot from the start, holding a 5-0 lead after the first two ends.

Paetz and Michel closed to 5-2, but the Scots extended their lead to 7-2 before a rush of points from the Swiss: two in the fifth and two in the six to close to 7-6. But Muirhead and Lammie got two in the seventh for a 9-6 lead and after conceding a point in the final end, they celebrated a 9-7 triumph and a second straight gold medal in the event.

Germany won the bronze-medal match by 7-5.

● Cycling ● The 75th Tour de Romandie in Switzerland came down to the final day, with an Individual Time Trial to determine the overall winner.

The Prologue and second stage were won by Britain’s Ethan Hayter, his first victories on the UCI World Tour, but Australian star Rohan Dennis had the lead following the first full stage and held onto it going into Sunday’s racing.

Dylan Teuns (BEL) won the hilly first stage, beating Dennis to the line, then New Zealand’s Patrick Bevan took the third stage in a mass sprint, with Dennis third. Saturday’s challenging triple ascent with an uphill finish to the Val d’Anniviers in Zinal was won by Colombian climber Sergio Higuita from among a dozen sprinting to the line, with Dennis just three seconds back in 11th!

All of that meant Dennis entered Sunday with a 15-second lead over Juan Ayuso (ESP) and 18 seconds on Alexander Vlasov (RUS). American Neilson Powless stood eighth, 41 seconds back.

The 15.84 km time trial course was mostly uphill, finishing in Villars, and that proved to be a problem for Dennis. Vlasov won the time trial by 31 seconds over Simon Geschke (GER) and won the race in 18:00:59, 50 seconds up on Gino Mader (SUI) and 55 seconds on Geschke. Dennis finished eight, 1:54 behind.

Coming up on Friday is the first of the Grand Tours, the Giro d’Italia, this year starting with three stages in Budapest.

Sunday was the 59th Eschborn-Frankfurt, over 185 km with five climbs, but a long, flat run into the finish, perfect for the sprinters. The mad dash for the line was won by Ireland’s Sam Bennett, over Colombian star Fernando Gaviria and Norway’s Alexander Kristoff. The first 61 riders all shared the same time of 4:27:52.

Kristoff looked like he might win the race for a fifth time, but Bennett’s surge in the last 200 m carried him last everyone. Kristoff finished third for the third straight year and celebrated his seventh straight year on the podium!

● Fencing ● The Cairo Grand Prix for Epee saw an all-French for the men as 2018 World Champion Yannick Borel dueled with Nelson Lopez Pourtier, who made his second tournament final in two weeks.

No problem for Borel, who won by 15-5 and enjoyed his fifth Grand Prix gold and second of the year, after winning in Doha earlier. Alex Fava of France and Gergely Siklosi (HUN) shared the bronze medals.

The women’s title went to Korea’s In-jeong Choi, who out-lasted France’s Auriane Mallo in the final by 15-14. Choi, 31, won her second career Grand Prix gold, but the first in nine years! Mallo won her second career Grand Prix medal; she took a bronze back in 2018.

American Kat Holmes and Korean Sera Song shared the bronze medal.

The FIE Foil World Cup tour was in Plovdiv (BUL) on the men’s side, with an all-Italian final, as 2018 World Champion Alessio Foconi overcame Rio Olympic champ and Tokyo silver medalist Daniele Garozzo by 15-11 in the final. For the 32-year-old Foconi, it was his 14th career World Cup medal and his fourth win, but the first since 2019.

American Olympians Gerek Meinhardt and Nick Itkin made it to the quarterfinals, but lost there. Italy’s Tommaso Marini and Hungarian Gergo Szemes won the bronze medals.

Italy won the team event by 45-28 over France; the American squad of Meinhardt, Itkin, Alexander Massialas and Sidarth Kumbla won the bronze, 45-42, over Japan.

In Tauberbischofsheim (GER), the Reinhold-Wurth Cup in Foil for women saw American Lee Kiefer – the Olympic gold medalist and married to Meinhardt – win a 15-7 decision in the final over France’s Anita Blaze.

Keifer barely survived her quarterfinal match against Italy’s Arianna Errigo – the 2013 and 2014 World Champion – by 15-14, then got by Japan’s Karin Miyawaki, 15-13, before facing Blaze. It’s Kiefer’s 17th career World Cup medal and fourth win, but her first in five years. Blaze won her first career World Cup medal.

Miyawaki and Erica Cipressa (ITA) won the bronze medals.

● Football ● The CONCACAF women’s U-17 Championship in the Dominican Republic has moved into the playoff phase, with the U.S. women concluding Group G play with a 3-0 record and a perfect, 38-0 goals-against mark.

The other groups winners were Mexico in Group E (3-0, +27), Canada in Group F (2-0-1, +15) and El Salvador in Group H, with a 3-0 mark (+11).

The Round of 16 was played on the weekend, with the U.S. defeating Curacao by 11-0, keyed by four goals from Nicollette Kiorpes in the first, seventh, 55th and 84th minutes. Mia Bhuta and Onyeka Gamero had two goals each. The game was 6-0 at half and the U.S. led in shots by 28-1.

The U.S. will play the winner of this evening’s Jamaica-Cuba match in the quarterfinals. Mexico (15-0 over Guyana), Puerto Rico and Costa Rica also advanced on Saturday.

● Ice Hockey ● /Updated/The 23rd IIHF men’s World U-18 Championship came down to a face-off between the U.S. and Sweden in Landshut, Germany on Sunday, with the Swedes taking their second title in the last three editions.

The U.S. won Group A with a 3-0 record and a 24-7 goals-against total and Sweden and Finland both had 2-1 records to top Group B, with Sweden winning the match-up between the two.

In the playoffs, the U.S. stomped Latvia, 13-3 in the quarterfinals and skated past the Czech Republic in the semis by 6-1. The Swedes had a harder time, easing by Germany in the quarters by 7-1, but then edging Finland in a rematch by 2-1.

The final was a wide–open affair, with the teams tied 2-2 after the first period, with Ryan Leonard giving the U.S. a 1-0 lead after just 2:24. But Sweden took a 2-1 lead before Frank Nazar tied it at 15:56 of the period. The Swedes got just three shots in the period, but scored on two.

The second stanza was just as furious. Liam Ohgren and Noah Ostlund scored power-play goals for Sweden for a 4-2 lead, but Rutger McGroarty closed it to 4-3 with a U.S. power-play goal at 16:03 of the period. Again, the U.S. led in shots, 18-8, but not on the scoreboard.

More of the same is the third, with Ohgren getting a second goal at 9:41 of the period for a 5-3 lead. A furious U.S. attack resulted in five penalties for Sweden and McGroarty got a second goal at 16:49 on a power play as the U.S. pulled its keeper for an extra attacker as well. Sweden got an empty-netter for the 6-4 final with 31 seconds to play.

The U.S. had a 21-4 shots advantage in the third period and 51-15 for the game, and lost by two goals.

In the third-place game, Finland broke open a 2-1 struggle in final six minutes with two goals for a 4-1 victory over the Czech Republic. Czech forward Jiri Kulich was named Most Valuable Player.

This was Sweden’s second title after winning in 2019 and they are now 2-5 in championship games. The Americans won their 18th medal in this tournament: 10-5-3; the last U.S. win came in 2017.

● Modern Pentathlon ● On a crucial weekend for the sport, the second UIPM World Cup of the season was held in Budapest, with meetings on a proposed new, fifth discipline to be held on Sunday and Monday.

On the field, the new qualifying format does not include riding in the first round or the semi-finals, but only the final. On Saturday, Hungarian star Bence Demeter led after the fencing, Italy’s Matteo Cicinelli won the swimming and Czech Martin Vlach won the riding. But he started only 13th in the Laser Run, which proved no problem, as he scorched the field by more than 13 seconds to win, totaling 1,510 points.

Giuseppe Parisi (ITA), second after the fencing, ended up second overall (1,498; his first World Cup medal), trailed by German Christian Zellikens (1,495), with Demeter fourth (1,492).

The women’s final saw Amira Kandil (EGY) lead after the fencing, but Italy’s Elena Micheli won the swimming and teammate Beatrice Merciuri won the riding. But home favorite Michelle Gulyas was well positioned in fourth place for the Laser Run and even with the fifth-fastest time in the field managed to get across the line first. She ended with 1,420 points to 1,406 for Micheli and 1,405 for Salma Abdelmaksoud (EGY), her first career World Cup medal.

In the Mixed-Team relay, Noureldin Karim and Haydy Morsy scored a home-nation victory with 1,350 points and winning the Riding and Laser Run segments. Hungary’s Robert Kasza and Rita Erdos were second (1,311) and Mexico’s Oliver Carrillo and Mayran Catherine were third (1,304).

● Rugby Sevens ● /Updated/The Women’s Seven Series was in Langford (CAN) for the fifth of six rounds this season, with Australia (3-0), France (3-0) and New Zealand (2-0-1) winning the groups.

In the quarterfinals, France and New Zealand won their quarterfinals easily and then the New Zealanders took the semi by 26-14. Ireland defeated the U.S. in the third quarterfinal and Australia cruised past Spain, 55-0. The Aussies were just as tough in the semi, stomping the Irish by 26-5.

In the final, Australia managed a tight, 21-17 win over New Zealand, and Ireland defeated France, 22-14. It’s the fourth win in five tournaments this season for Australia, which now has a 80-60-56 lead over France and the U.S. (which finished fifth), with one stage left.

● Shooting ● Americans stars were shining for the Skeet events at the ISSF World Cup in Lonato (ITA) that ended on Saturday.

The 2018 World Champion Caitlin Connor, now 31, scored her eighth career World Cup medal, but first win with a 37-36 triumph over Britain’s Olympic sixth-placer Amber Hill. Connor then combined with Dania Jo Vizzi and Amber English to take the women’s Team event, 7-3, over Italy in the final.

In the men’s final, Italy’s two-time Olympian Luigi Lodde, 42, upset 2008-12-20 Olympic champ Vincent Hancock of the U.S. in the final, 40-38. Rio Olympic champ Gabriele Rossetti finished third (28). The Czech Republic won the men’s Team title, 6-4, over Italy; the U.S. was fourth.

Connor and Hancock teamed up to easily win the Mixed Team final, 7-1, over France.

● Wrestling ● The U.S. Open in Las Vegas was not the national championship, but a good gauge of where some of the top American wrestlers are with the selection matches for the World Championships upcoming in June.

The men’s Freestyle finals showcased seven first-time U.S. Open winners: Matthew Ramos (57 kg), Nico Megaludis (61 kg), Alec Pantaleo (70 kg), Jason Nolf (74 kg), David McFadden (79 kg), Cameron Caffey (92 kg) and Michael Macchiavello (97 kg).

Mark Hall won his second straight U.S. Open title at 86 kg; Hayden Zillmer won the 125 kg class to go with his 2019 title and 2017 winner Kendric Maple – now an assistant coach at Missouri – returned to the mat to win at 65 kg. He pinned Matthew Kolodzic in 54 zeconds in the final and was named Outstanding Wrestler in the division.

In the women’s Freestyle division, repeat winners from 2021 included no. 1 seed Erin Golston at 50 kg, 2019 World Champion Jacarra Winchester at 55 kg and Dymond Guilford at 76 kg.

Kayla Miracle, the 2021 Worlds silver medalist, won an impressive fourth U.S. Open title at 62 kg, pinning Jennifer Page in just 18 seconds in the final; Miracle was named as the division’s Outstanding Wrestler.

The Greco-Roman finals are coming up on Sunday evening; look for an update later!

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