HIGHLIGHTS: Thompson 10.89, Kerley 19.80 among 18 T&F world leaders in California and Florida; 3 U.S. World Junior skating golds!

Olympic silver medalist Fred Kerley is now 2022 World Champion! (Photo: jenaragon94 via Wikipedia)

Headline results of noteworthy competitions around the world/Updated/:

● Athletics ● The Mt. SAC Relays and Saturday’s USATF Golden Games at the renovated Hilmer Lodge Stadium at Mt. San Antonio College showed that one of the sport’s historic venues is better than ever with 10 (outdoor) world-leading performances:

Men/200 m: 19.80, Fred Kerley (USA)
Men/400 m: 44.28, Michael Cherry (USA)
Men/High Jump (=): 2.30 m (7-6 1/2), Earnie Sears (USA)
Men/Pole Vault: 5.80 m (19-0 1/4), Clayton Fritsch and Jacob Wooten (USA)
Men/Decathlon: 8,528, Ayden Owens (PUR)

Women/100 m: 10.89, Elaine Thompson-Herah (JAM: in heats)
Women/Steeple: 9:26.88, Courtney Wayment (USA)
Women/5,000 m: 15:02.77, Karissa Schweizer (USA)
Women/100 m hurdles: 12.46, Tonea Marshall (USA)
Women/High Jump (=): 1.96 m (6-5), Vashti Cunningham (USA)

Most of the highlights came on Saturday with the invitational sprints and field events, starting early with the heats of the women’s 100 m, with Jamaica’s double Olympic sprint champ Elaine Thompson-Herah storming to a world-leading 10.89-10.95-10.96-11.00 win over Aleia Hobbs of the U.S., Michelle-Lee Ahye (TTO) and Olympic 200 m silver winner Gabby Thomas. Jamaica’s Briana Williams won the second heat in a wind-aided 10.91.

Thompson opted out of the final, with ex-USC star Twanisha Terry pushing past Williams after 60 m and winning in a sensational (but wind-aided: +3.3 m/s) 10.77! The top six were all under 11 seconds, including Hobbs (10.80w), Thomas (10.86w) and Teahna Daniels (10.91w), with Williams fifth (10.97w). Terry’s legal best is 10.89 from 2021.

The men’s 100 final was a showcase for Oregon’s Micah Williams, fifth at the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2021, who ran past the field early and won in a windy 9.83 (+2.5 m/s), ahead of Brandon Carnes (9.93).

Earlier in the day, Texas star Julien Alfred won the women’s collegiate 100 m in 10.98 and USC’s Davonte Burnett won the men’s 100 m in 9.99 (both with legal wind).

The 200 m races were held right after the 100s and Thomas showed impressive strength in the women’s race, leading from start to finish in 22.02 (+1.9), the no. 2 mark in the world for 2022.

The men’s 200 m was to be the event of the meet, with superstars Fred Kerley (19.76 lifetime best), Michael Norman (19.70) and Rai Benjamin (19.99) in the middle of the track. Norman and Kerley separated from the field on the turn and Norman had a small lead that Kerley erased in the final 10 m, winning in a world-leading 19.80 (+1.6) to 19.83 for Norman and 20.01 for Benjamin. Incredibly impressive for April!

American Michael Cherry, who had a career year in 2021, including an Olympic fourth and then a relay gold, won the men’s 400 m convincingly in a world-leading 44.28. Second was Brazilian 400 m hurdles star Alison dos Santos, the Tokyo 400 m hurdles bronze medalist, with a lifetime best of 44.54!

The hurdles were also hot, with American world-record holder Keni Harrison leading the heats at 12.42w, but she was tracked down in the final by ex-LSU star Tonea Marshall, who won by 12.46-12.56 (+0.8) for another world best and her second-fastest ever. Marshall was favored to make the Tokyo Olympic team, but suffered a late-season injury and was fifth at the Trials.

Devon Allen, newly signed to be a receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles, won the men’s 110 m hurdles with a late charge to pass Daniel Roberts and won in 13.35, with fellow American Jamal Britt second at 13.44.

On the infield, American star Vashti Cunningham won with a third-try clearance at 1.96 m (6-5) to tie for the outdoor world lead. America’s women stars won the throws, as Olympic champ Valarie Allman won the discus with the no. 2 mark of the year (behind her American Record) of 69.46 m (227-11), the no. 8 throw in U.S. history. Fellow world leader Brooke Andersen, the women’s hammer world leader, also got the no. 2 performance of the year at 76.76 m (251-10) to win. Canada’s Cam Rogers – throwing for Cal – set a collegiate record for second and moving to no. 2 in the world for 2022 at 75.73 m (248-5).

The top men’s throw was by shot putter Darrell Hill, who won with a season’s best 21.68 m (71-1 1/2) to move to no. 3 on the 2022 outdoor list. U.S. hammer champion Rudy Winkler won at 76.11 m (259-6) on his final throw.

The men’s discus featured Olympic champ and world leader Daniel Stahl of Sweden, the winner at 67.65 m (221-11) in the third round.

On Friday, U.S. distance stars Karissa Schweizer and Emily Infeld went 1-2 in the invitational women’s 5.000 m, with Schweizer winning in a world-leading 15:02.77, to 15:05.80 for Infeld.

Earlier in the week, American Steeple star Evan Jager, plagued by injuries in 2021, finished second in invitational steeple at 8:34.89, beginning a comeback aimed at the U.S. Nationals and perhaps the World Championships.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Puerto Rico’s Ayden Owens – competing for Arkansas – tore up the men’s decathlon, setting a collegiate best of 8,528, tops in the world for 2022.

On Friday at the nearby Bryan Clay Invitational in Azusa, Kenyan Eliud Kipsang of Alabama demolished the collegiate record in the men’s 1,500 m, winning in 3:33.74! That’s the world outdoor leader and erases Notre Dame’s Yared Nuguse (USA: 3:34.68) from the record list.

As spectacular as Mt. SAC was, the Tom Jones Memorial in Gainesville, Florida was just as sensational:

● Morocco’s Moad Zahafi (Texas Tech) ran a world-leading 1:43.69 to win the men’s 800 m, the no. 3 performance in collegiate history.

● American Trey Cunningham won the men’s 110 m hurdles in a world-leading 13.22 in the qualifying, then won the final in 13.38.

Quincy Hall, the 2019 NCAA 400 m hurdles champ for South Carolina, won his specialty in 48.55, his third-fastest time ever, for another world leader.

Favour Ofili (NGR), running for LSU, won the women’s 200 m in a wind-legal and world-leading 21.96 (+1.3), breaking Kyra Jefferson’s 22.02 mark for Florida at the 2017 NCAA meet.

● Already the women’s 400 m world leader at 50.00, Jamaica’s Charokee Young – running for Texas A&M – won in 49.87. Twice Olympic champ Shaunae Miller-Uibo (BAH) won the invitational 400 m in 49.91.

● Puerto Rico’s Olympic women’s 100 m hurdles champ Jasmine Camacho-Quinn improved her world-leading time to 12.39, ahead of 2019 World Champion Nia Ali (USA), in 12.59.

Perhaps the biggest mind-blowers came from the relays. An Adidas USA all-star team of Devin Quinn, Erriyon Knighton, Grant Holloway and Ronnie Baker won the men’s 4×100 m in 38.09, then an Adidas mixed-nationality team of Steven Gardiner (BAH), Hall, Knighton and Holloway won a stirring 4×400 m in an unreal 2:57.72, followed by Florida in 2:58.53.

Florida’s all-American quartet of Jacory Patterson, Ryan Willie, Jacob Miley and Champ Allison smashed the collegiate record; the old mark of 2:59.00 was by USC from 2018; if the Gators were an independent nation, this team would rank no. 10 all-time!

A college team running 2:58.53 IN APRIL! That’s an average carry of 44.7 per leg!

● Badminton ● The BWF World Tour Korea Masters in Gwangju turned out to be a showcase for China and host Korea, with the home team winning all three of its finals.

In the men’s Singles, Hyeok Jin Jeon (KOR) took care of Kodai Naraoka (JPN), 21-17, 21-16, and Gi Jung Kim and Sa Rang Kim (KOR) won the men’s Doubles by 21-14, 21-16 over Yu Chen Liu and Xuan Yi Ou (CHN).

The all-Korean women’s Doubles final had Ha Na Baek and Yu Lim Lee winning over Soyeong Kim and Heeyong Kong by 21-17, 21-12.

There were all-Chinese finals in the women’s singles and the Mixed Doubles. Bing Jiao He won out over Yufei Chen, 21-14, 14-21, 21-9, and Yi Lyu Wang and Dongping Huang defeated Xuan Yi Ou and Yaqiong Huang, 21-17, 21-17, in the Mixed Doubles final.

● Beach Volleyball ●/Updated/The Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Challenge in Itapema (BRA) attracted an excellent field, with play concluding on Sunday.

In the men’s final, Brazil’s George Wanderley and Andre Stein dueled with Ondrej Perusic and David Schweiner (CZE) into a tight third set before winning by 19-21, 21-14, 15-12. The third-place match was a 21-0, 21-0 rout for Leon Luini and Ruben Penninga (NED) over Kusti Nolvak and Mart Tiisaar (EST).

The women’s final saw Kelly (Larsen) Kolinske and Sara Hughes (USA) triumph over Katja Stam and Raisa Schoon (NED) by 21-18, 21-18 scores. For Hughes, it was her fourth career FIVB Tour win, all four with different partners! For Kolinske, it’s her third FIVB Tour-level gold and first since 2017; she won twice in 2017 with Betsi Flint.

Andressa Ramalho and Vitoria Rodrigues (BRA) won the women’s bronze medal with a 21-11, 21-17 win over Karla Borger and Julia Sude (GER).

● Curling ●/Updated/ The penultimate event of the 2022 Grand Slam of Curling tour, the Players’ Championship in Toronto (CAN), with two veteran winners.

Fresh off his sixth World Championships gold and the Beijing 2022 gold, Sweden’s Niklas Edin charged into the final to face familiar foe Bruce Mouat of Scotland in a re-match of the Olympic title match. But unlike the 5-4 struggle in Beijing that required an 11th end for Edin to win, Olympic silver medalist Mouat ran away to a 5-0 lead in the first two ends and won easily, 8-3.

The women’s final was a tight battle between Swedish star (and 2018 Olympic champ) Anna Hasselborg’s rink and Canadian Kerri Einarson, the 2022 Worlds bronze medalist. Einarson got off to a hot start with three points in the first end, but Hasselborg scored one point in the second end, two in the fourth and one in the fifth to get even at 4-4. Einarson went up 5-4 in the sixth end, but Hasselborg took two in the eighth and final end to come away with a 6-5 win and the tournament title.

● Cycling ● The third of the annual “monument” races, the 119th Paris-Roubaix from Compiegne to Roubaix was the biggest win ever for Dutch rider Dylan van Baarle, who broke away from the field with 19 km to go and soloed to the line in 5:37:00.

That was a startling 1:47 ahead of Belgian star Wout van Aert, who won a sprint from Stefan Kung (SUI), Tom Devriendt (BEL) and Matej Mohoric (SLO).

Van Baarle had won 2021’s Dwars door Vlaanderen and finished second in the 2021 Worlds Road race and the recent Tour of Flanders, but this was a major milestone. Said the winner:

“I mean, it’s a Monument, so of course, I wanted to win a Monument. To be second in Flanders and then to win Roubaix, I’m lost for words.”

Saturday’s second women’s Paris-Roubaix race was a flat, 124.7 km route from Denain to Roubaix, perfectly suited for a breakaway win for Italian star Elisa Longo Borghini.

She took off with 33 km remaining and was never headed, accelerating through the cobblestoned sections and winning in 3:10:54, a full 23 seconds up on Belgium’s Lotte Kopecky – the Tour of Flanders winner – and five others, including Lucinda Brand (NED) in third and Italy’s Marta Cavalli in fifth.

Longo Borghini was third in the first women’s Paris-Roubaix and scored her fifth career Women’s World Tour victory.

● Fencing ● The FIE World Cup for men’s Epee was in Paris (FRA) this week, with a surprise win for home favorite Nelson Lopez-Portier, who defeated 2017 Asian Champion Ruslan Kurbanov (KAZ), 15-11, in the final. For the winner, 26, it’s his first international medal of any kind!

Alexander Bardenet (FRA) and Mate Tamas Koch (HUN) shared the bronze medal.

The Foil fencers were in Belgrade (SRB) for a men’s and women’s World Cup, with Italy going 1-2 in the men and Germany taking 1-2 in the women’s division.

In the men’s final, 22-year-old Tommaso Marini won his first-ever World Cup medal with a 15-9 victory over veteran Giorgio Avola, who made his seventh World Cup final, but finished with the silver once again (0-7). Daniel Giacon (NED) and Kazuki Iimura (JPN) shared the bronze medals.

The women’s gold went to German Anne Sauer, winning her second career World Cup medal with a 15-14 win over countrywoman Leonie Ebert, who won her third World Cup podium. Olympic champ Lee Kiefer of the U.S. and Martina Batini (ITA) shared the bronze.

● Figure Skating ● The ISU’s World Junior Championships were finally held in Tallinn (EST), with both Russian and Chinese skaters absent, and the U.S. entries shined.

Ilia Malinin, 17, the son of two Uzbek national team skaters, won the men’s division with a lifetime best of 276.11 points, the highest score ever achieved in a juniors competition. He led the Short Program at 88.99, then won the Free Skate with a personal high of 187.12. Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Shaidorov was second at 234.31 and Japan’s Tatsuya Tsuboi third (233.82).

American Isabeau Levito became the first U.S. women’s World Junior Champion since Rachel Flatt in 2008, winning the Short Program and finishing second in the Free Skate for a total of 206.55 points. That was just enough to hold off Korea’s Jia Shin (206.01), who won the Free Skate.

American Lindsay Thorngren (199.42) was third and Clare Seo (182.81) was sixth.

In Pairs, Georgia’s Karina Safina and Luka Berulava won both the Short Program and Free Skate at 188.12, easily ahead of Anastasia Golubeva and Hektor Giotopoulos Moore (AUS: 169.91) and Brooke McIntosh and Benjamin Mimar (CAN: 156.80). Americans Anastasia Smirnova and Danylo Siianytsia were fourth at 148.53.

A third U.S. win came in Ice Dance, as siblings Oona Brown and Gage Brown won both segments to score 170.25 points, ahead of Natalie D’Alessandro and Bruce Waddell (CAN: 162.56) and Nadiia Bashynska and Peter Beaumont (CAN: 157.64). Americans Katarina Wolfkostin and Jeffrey Chen were fourth with 157.27.

● Gymnastics ● The FIG Rhythmic World Cup in Tashkent (UZB) was a showcase for home favorite Takhmina Ikromova, who won the All-Around, scoring 119.60 points, ahead of Ekaterina Vedeneeva (SLO: 118.20) and Darja Varfolomeev (GER: 112.65). American Alexandria Kautzman was ninth (103.25).

In the individual event finals, Ikromova won in Hoop and Clubs, with Vedeneeva getting the victory in Ribbon. Margarita Kolosov (GER) won on Ball.

The women’s NCAA Championships had a special extra flair in 2022 thanks to an influx of American Olympic stars, including All-Around gold medalist Suni Lee, now at Auburn.

But the big winner was former national team member Trinity Thomas of the Florida Gators. As collegiate scoring is focused on execution rather than difficulty, what might work in international competition is not necessarily rewarded at the NCAA level.

And Thomas was precise and nearly perfect on all four apparatus, winning the All-Around title at 39.8125, ahead of Lee (39.6750), Florida’s Megan Skaggs (39.6625), Oregon State’s Jade Carey (39.6500) and Gator – and 2021 Worlds All-Around silver medalist – Leanne Wong (39.6250).

Thomas also won national individual titles on Uneven Bars and Floor; Lee won on Beam Utah’s Jaedyn Rucker won on Vault. Carey was one of five silver medalists on Uneven Bars.

The team title went to Oklahoma, which outscored Florida, 198.2000 to 198.0875, the fifth team title in eight years for the Sooners. Ragan Smith, a five-time U.S. National Team member and a 2018 World Championships Team gold medalist, clinched the meet for Oklahoma with her 9.9625 performance on Beam.

● Judo ● The Pan American Championships in Lima (PER) drew 217 entries, with Brazil taking charge from the start.

Eric Takabatake won the men’s 66 kg class, Guilherme Schmidt and Vinicius Panini went 1-2 at 81 kg and Marcelo Gomes (90 kg), Rafael Buzacarini (100 kg) and Rafael Silva (+100 kg) all won silvers.

Women’s titles went to Amanda Lima at 48 kg, Larissa Pimenta at 52 kg, Jessica Lima at 57 kg, Mayra Aguiar at 78 kg, and Beatriz Souza (+78 kg). The Brazilians won 15 medals in all.

The U.S. did well, scoring a win in the men’s 73 kg final with Dominic Rodriguez, and men’s bronzes from Ari Berliner at 66 kg, John Jayne at 90 kg and Christian Konoval at +100 kg.

Angelica Delgado was the runner-up in the women’s 52 kg class, Mariah Holguin got a bronze in the 57 kg division, former Cuban Maria Celia Laborde – the 2014 World 48 km bronze medalist – won a 48 kg bronze, and Nina Cutro-Kelly took bronze in the +78 kg class.

● Rugby Sevens ●/Updated/The men’s Seven Series was in Vancouver (CAN) for the sixth leg of nine this season. Fiji, New Zealand and South Africa all finished 3-0 in pool play and Argentina and France were both 2-0-1 in Pool D.

In the quarters, Samoa shocked the South Africans, 28-17, and Fiji and Argentina both won and while New Zealand got out to a 12-0 lead, Australia rebounded for a 19-12 win and a place in the semis.

Fiji and Argentina were decisive winners in their semis, and the Argentines dominated the final, winning by 29-10 for their first Seven Series win this season and into second place in the standings, behind South Africa.

In the third-place game, Samoa was up at half on Australia, 19-14, but the Aussies came back for a 21-19 victory and their fourth medal of the season.

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