● Plus: Rugby: U.S. selected to host 2031/men and 2023/women World Cups = SCOREBOARD => Athletics: Camacho-Quinn upset at ATL/Ponce = Cycling: Demare wins again at Giro d’Italia ●
● Update: Basketball: Griner detainment extended for 30 days = SCOREBOARD => Athletics: Sensational Doha Diamond League with five world leads! = Cycling: Bouwman takes big win in stage 7 of the Giro ●
Key status updates on the urgent stories in Olympic sport/Updated/:
≡ SPOTLIGHT ≡
In a stunning announcement that raised immediate condemnation, the “Interim Nomination Unit” of the Boxing Independent Integrity Unit of the International Boxing Association ruled on Thursday – one day prior to elections – that five candidates for office were ineligible.
This included Dutch Presidential candidate Boris van der Vorst, leaving Russian incumbent Umar Kremlev unopposed. The four other candidates were running for the Board of Directors:
● Lars Brovil (Danish Boxing Association President)
● Steve Hartley (Boxing New Zealand President)
● Michael McAtee (USA Boxing Executive Director)
● Per-Axel Sjoholm (Swedish Boxing Federation President)
According to the statement:
“Complaints were made to the Interim Nomination Unit on 11 and 13 April 2022 that the activities of these candidates were improper under the IBA regulations insofar as they constituted participation in another international boxing organisation, prohibited collaboration between candidates and electoral campaigning outside the Electoral period. …
“The activities in question were based around the creation of a group called the Common Cause Alliance in which the candidates listed participated, together with exchanges of open letters with the IBA.”
The decision, which clearly favors Kremlev, was immediately denounced by Van der Vorst, who tweeted:
“! Notification of IBA Interim Nomination Unit to declare me & 4 other candidates ineligible for IBA Election came one day before election & less than 24 hrs after IBA Disciplinary Committee had declared us NOT GUILTY on all charges. CAS appeal has been filed.”
A photograph of a document from the candidates included:
“The notification of the Interim Nomination Unit came one day prior to the election and less than 24 hours after IBA Disciplinary Committee had determined that, ‘…(ii) Upon a proper consideration of all the documentary evidence submitted by the parties and the relevant provisions of the Constitution, Disciplinary Code and Regulations, the [Disciplinary Committee] finds all five accused NOT GUILTY on all of the charges …’”
Overnight, a petition was delivered to IBA to postpone the elections from Friday (13th) to Saturday (14th) and this was accepted. Said Kremlev in a statement:
“Fairness is very important for me and for this reason, the IBA Election for President will not take place today. This will allow for CAS and for the ineligible candidates time to do their legal work.”
The first day of the IBA Extraordinary Congress was marked by repeated political statements by some of the delegates and pointed questions from van der Vorst, McAtee and Sjoholm about the IBA’s finances and governance reforms under Kremlev. And then there was outside expert Heiner Kahlert (GER) of the IBA Governance Reform Group, who addressed the delegates in terms of the progress actually made. His report was not encouraging; highlights:
● The International Olympic Committee will file its report on the IBA situation in January 2023; the Executive Board is expected to make a recommendation on IBA’s future in March 2023 and the decision on boxing’s inclusion or exclusion for Los Angeles 2028 in May 2023.
● “It is our clear impression that this Congress and the next months will be the last chance for the IBA to remain part of the Olympic family and for boxing to remain part of the Olympic program.”
● “In relation to financing, we recommended, given the financial crisis of the IBA, that a restructuring expert – an external restructuring expert – be appointed, that a restructuring plan be devised, in particular to try and diversify the streams of income.
“We have been informed, to start with the latter point – in terms of diversification of income – that there have been talks with sponsors who expressed general interest in sponsoring the IBA. However, apparently, all of those sponsors said they wanted to wait and see what happens at this Congress before they engage in any further talks.
“So, so far, no additional streams of income have been realized.”
● “In terms of the restructuring experts as well, we were told that there was initial interest from a number of experts that the IBA approached. However, also, those candidates apparently – as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine – withdrew their interest and said they were not available for the position. So, unfortunately, as of today, there’s no external restructuring expert that would help the IBA restructuring its finances.”
● “We also recommended that to facilitate communication with the IOC, and enhance the relationship with the IOC, to appoint an IOC Liaison Officer who has the trust of both the IBA and the IOC. This has not yet been implemented; however, the IBA has suggested a number of candidates to the IOC and is awaiting feedback from the IOC on those candidates [since 4 March].”
● “The next point: we recommended that there be only one IBA office, namely the head office in Lausanne, and not a shadow office in Moscow, so we recommended that the President’s office be dissolved completely. Based on the information that we currently have, we are not yet satisfied that this has been fully implemented in practice, so that is something that we are going to look at more closely when we prepare our reports.”
It is worth noting that it was only last Tuesday (10th) that a letter from IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell (NZL) and Chief Ethics and Compliance Director Paquerette Girard Zappelli (FRA) to Kremlev stated:
“We … confirm again that IOC recognition of IBA remains suspended and boxing is not currently included in the sports programme of the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028, with concerns remaining in the key areas of governance, financial sustainability and the proven integrity of the refereeing and judging systems.”
The Court of Arbitration decision and the IBA elections on Saturday may very well decide boxing’s Olympic future.
≡ THE 5-RING CIRCUS ≡
● Basketball ● /Updated/American star Brittney Griner appeared in a Moscow court on Friday and had her detainment extended by 30 days. Griner’s attorney, Alexander Boykov, said that he believed the case would come to trial soon.
Griner was arrested on 17 February for reportedly carrying a vape cartridge which contained hashish oil. The U.S. State Department considers Griner to have been unlawfully detained and is working to obtain her release.
● Rugby ● To the surprise of no one, the World Rugby Council officially named the hosts of five Rugby World Cups:
● 2025: Women’s World Cup in England
● 2027: Men’s World Cup in Australia
● 2029: Women’s World Cup in Australia
● 2031: Men’s World Cup in the United States
● 2033: Women’s World Cup in the United States
The award to the U.S. is the first time that the men’s World Cup will be played in the Americas. Said USA Rugby chief executive Ross Young:
“USA Rugby will now venture into a new era and ensure the sport’s most treasured event is a springboard for creating lasting, sustainable enthusiasm and passion for rugby from coast to coast. We look forward to partnering with World Rugby in the years ahead to ensure that our preparations for these tournaments and the events themselves are a paradigm-shifting catalyst for the growth of our sport, not only here in the United States but around the world.”
Just as the 1994 FIFA World Cup proved to be a turning point for football in the U.S., the 2031/33 Rugby World Cups will be a potential pivot point for the sport in the U.S.
≡ SCOREBOARD ≡
● Athletics ● /Updated/The American Track League’s second outdoor meet was held on Thursday evening (12th) in Ponce, Puerto Rico in the multi-use Estadio Francisco Montaner, concentrating on the sprints, but with a world-leader in the men’s shot put.
The star attraction was Puerto Rican women’s 100 m hurdles Olympic gold medalist Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, but she was upset in the final event of the night by American Alaysha Johnson, 12.50-12.52 (wind: +0.3 m/s).
Johnson, in lane two, started well, along with Jamaica’s 2015 World Champion, Danielle Williams, leaving Camacho-Quinn in the blocks. The Puerto Rican star was motoring by mid-race, passed Williams and tried to catch Johnson, but fell short. The 12.50 for Johnson is a lifetime best by 0.19, and moves her to no. 3 in the world for 2022.
The world leaders:
● Men/300 m: 31.52, Steven Gardiner (BAH)
● Men/Shot Put: 22.75 m (74-5 3/4), Ryan Crouser (USA)
Gardiner moved to no. 8 on the all-time outdoor list with his win, coming from behind on the curve to dominate on the straightaway, finishing ahead of Vernon Norwood (USA: 31.81; equal-9th all-time U.S.)
Crouser struck early as usual, getting his winning mark in the first round, a distance only seven others have ever achieved. Crouser had two other throws beyond 22 m, upping his career total to 172. American Payton Otterdahl was second at 20.97 m (68-9 3/4).
In the sprints, Trayvon Bromell of the U.S. came on in mid-race to win easily over Brandon Carnes (USA), 9.92 to 10.02 (-0.2), with Kyree King (USA: 10.11) third. Jamaican superstar Elaine Thompson-Herah ran away from a good women’s field in 10.93 into a 0.8 m/s headwind, beating Michelle Lee-Ahye (TTO: 11.06) and Shania Collins (USA: 11.08).
Olympic 800 m winner Athing Mu (USA) won the women’s 400 m, running away down the stretch to finish in 50.42, with Gabby Scott (PUR) second in 51.42. Grenada’s 2008 Olympic champ Kirani James won the men’s 400 m in 44.70 – no. 9 in 2022 – with Sean Bailey (JAM: 45.42) second.
Puerto Rico’s Ryan Sanchez was cheered wildly as he led the men’s 800 m for much of the race, but American Clayton Murphy timed his charge perfectly and won going away in 1:45.54, with Michael Saruni (KEN: 1:46.14) and Sanchez (1:46.42) following. Britain’s Adelle Tracey timed her surge in the women’s 1,500 m just as well and took over in the final 200 m to win in 4:05.96, with American Allie Wilson getting a lifetime best of 4:06.37 in second.
Jamaica’s Olympic champ Hansle Parchment beat American star Devon Allen in the men’s 110 m hurdles, 13.15-13.20 (-0.2) and fellow Jamaican Janieve Russell won the women’s 400 m hurdles in 54.09, no. 2 on the world list for 2022.
On the infield, World Indoor Champion Sandi Morris of the U.S. and 2016 Olympic winner Katerina Stefanidi (GRE) tied at 4.62 m (15-1 3/4), but both missed all three tries at 4.72 m (15-5 3/4). That necessitated a jump-off, starting at 4.72 m and Morris made in on her fourth try for the win.
The women’s long was impressively won by Nigeria’s Ese Brume at a wind-aided 6.90 m (22-7 1/2: +3.5), further than anyone else has jumped this season. The men’s triple jump belonged to World Indoor bronze medalist Donald Scott of the U.S. at 16.88 m (55-4 3/4: +2.0); two-time Olympic gold medalist Christian Taylor (USA) returned to competition after a year of injury and jumped 15.91 m (52-2 1/2: +0.6) for sixth.
(Thanks to Mike Harrigan and Brian Russell for corrections of typos in the women’s 400 m and men’s 800 m.)
/Updated/The 2022 Wanda Diamond League got started in Doha (QAT) Friday, but with a rough opening, as the men’s pole vault had to be canceled due to windy conditions inside the Qatar Sports Club stadium, a situation which impacted the meet from start to finish. There were world-leading performances in five events:
● Men/Steeple: 8:09.66, Soufiane El Bakkali (MAR)
● Men/400 m Hurdles: 47.24, Alison dos Santos (BRA)
● Men/High Jump: 2.33 m (7-7 3/4), Sang-hyeok Woo (KOR)
● Men/Javelin: 93.07 m (305-4), Anderson Peters (GRN)
● Women/3,000 m: 8:37.70, Francine Niyonsaba (BDI)
The event of the day turned out to be the men’s javelin. The wind was going to be a factor and 2019 World Champion Peters conquered the conditions immediately. He got off a massive 88.96 m (291-10) national-record throw in the first round and made everybody play catch-up. He made sure everyone knew his first throw was no fluke, nailing his third-round toss at 88.51 m (290-4) but then lost the lead to Olympic silver medalist Jakub Vadlejch (CZE) in round four with a lifetime-best 89.87 m (294-10)!
No worries; Peters responded with another national record of 90.19 m (295-10) in the fifth round, making him the 20th man to have thrown over 90 m with the current spear. But Vadlejch was more than equal to the challenge, exploding to 90.88 m (298-2) in the fifth round and joining the 90 m club at no. 21!
But Peters was not done. He unleashed a mighty effort in the sixth round, with the stick finally landing at 93.07 m (305-4)! It was his third lifetime best of the day and he ends as the no. 5 thrower in history! Vadlejch is now no. 16. Germany’s Julian Weber was third at 86.09 m (282-5), an excellent effort that was lost on a historic day in the javelin. Wow!
The star-studded men’s 200 m had Tokyo winner Andre De Grasse (CAN) and bronze winner Noah Lyles of the U.S., along with 100 m silver medalist Fred Kerley (USA). This time it was Kerley and Lyles who dueled at the end, with Lyles getting a tight win in 19.72w (wind: +2.1 m/s) to Kerley’s 19.75w. De Grasse was edged for third by Jereem Richards (TTO) with both given 20.15w.
The men’s 800 m was a slow and windy, crossing 400 m in only 54.80. Kenya’s Noah Kibet took charge with 200 m to go and held off challenges from Peter Bol (AUS) and Marco Arop of Canada to win in 1:49.08, with Bol second (1:49.35) and Arop third (1:49.51). Donavan Brazier of the U.S. was sixth (1:50.58).
The 1,500 m was also slower than hoped for, with Kenyans Abel Kipsang and Tokyo silver winner Timothy Cheruiyot dueling down the home straight and world-leader Kipsang winning, in 3:35.70 to 3:36.16. Ethiopian Teddese Lemi upset countryman Yomif Kejelcha for third, 3:37.06-3:37.85.
The men’s Steeple came down to who could beat Olympic champ Soufiane El Bakkali (MAR)? With a lap to go, it was Hillary Bor of the U.S. who had surged to the lead, with El Bakkali, Abraham Kibiwot (KEN) and Lamecha Girma (ETH) in close attendance, but then El Bakkali took over, with Girma chasing. The Ethiopian got the lead with 200 m left, but El Bakkali regained the initiative over the water jump and led into the straight, only to be fought to the finish by Girma. The Olympic gold medalist got to the line first, but just barely, in a world-leading 8:09.66-8:09.67. Kibiwot was third in 8:16.40 and Bor fourth in 8:17.82.
Olympic silver winner Rai Benjamin and bronze medalist Alison dos Santos (BRA) dueled throughout the men’s 400 m hurdles, with Benjamin drawing on dos Santos one lane to his outside. But the Brazilian was game and took the lead on the home straight and won in a world-leading 47.24, with Benjamin close behind at 47.49. Ireland’s Tom Barr was a distant third in 49.67.
The world lead in the men’s high jump was only 2.30 m (7-6 1/2), so that wasn’t going to last with Olympic co-champs Mutaz Essa Barshim (QAT) and Gianmarco Tamberi (ITA) in the field. But Tamberi could only manage 2.20 m (7-2 1/2) with all of the wind issues, and finished seventh. Barshim was leading the event at 2.30 m, with Korea’s Woo, the 2022 World Indoor Champion, the only other to clear.
At 2.33 m (7-7 3/4), Woo cleared immediately and then Barshim missed once, and twice more at 2.35 m (7-8 1/2), leaving the Korean star as the winner and the new world leader. Americans JuVaughn Harrison and Shelby McEwen finished tied for fifth at 2.20 m (7-2 1/2).
American women’s 200 m Olympic bronze winner Gabby Thomas was going to have her hands full with Olympic 100 m bronze medalist Shericka Jackson (JAM) and 200 m star Dina Asher-Smith (GBR). Asher-Smith got out well, but Jackson had the lead around the turn, until Thomas found her overdrive gear in the straightaway and got to the line first in 21.98 (+1.3), with Jackson second (22.07) and Asher-Smith third (22.37). American Tamara Clark got fourth (22.72).
The women’s 400 m was headlined by Olympic champ Shaunae Miller-Uibo (BAH), but it was Tokyo silver winner Marileidy Paulino (DOM) in the lead by the halfway mark and she held strong to win in 51.20, while Miller-Uibo was passed by Jamaica’s 2022 World Indoor bronze medalist Stephenie Ann McPherson in the final 50 m, 51.69-51.84.
The match-up of two-time women’s 1,500 m Olympic champ Faith Kipyegon of Kenya and Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba was the focus of the women’s 3,000 m. The world-record holder at 2,000 m (5:21.56 ‘21), Niyonsaba won the last two Diamond League 5,000s in 2021, and she and Steeple world-record holder Beatice Chepkoech (KEN) led early, along with Girmawit Gebrzihair (ETH) at the halfway mark. Kipyegon moved up to third at 1,800 m and stayed with the leaders from then on. Niyonsaba and Ethiopians Mekides Abebe and Fantu Worku were in front of Kipyegon at the bell, and then it was Niyonsaba and Kipyegon 1-2 around the final turn and into the straight. Niyonsaba had enough to hold off Kipyegon in a world-leading 8:37.70 to 8:38.05. Australia’s Jessica Hull got up for third in 8:40.97.
The women’s 100 m hurdles had a great field, but also lots of wind at +3.8 m/s. But Olympic silver winner Keni Harrison of the U.S. held steady over the last half of the race to win in a speedy 12.43w, just ahead of Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan (12.44w) and Britany Anderson (JAM: also 12.44w). American Gabbi Cunningham and Payton Chadwick finished 6-7 in 12.75w and 12.86w.
Jamaica’s Shanieka Ricketts extended her lead in the women’s triple jump to 14.82 mw (48-7 1/2w: +6.5 m/s) in the third round and no one could catch her. Ukraine’s Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk rode a big 6.3 m/s wind in the fifth round to get out to 14.73 mw (48-4w) to grab second.
Americans dominated the women’s shot put, with Chase Ealey taking the lead from Maggie Ewen in the third round at 19.51 m (64-0 1/4) to 19.32 m (63-4 3/4), with Jessica Ramsey third at 18.99 m (62-3 3/4).
● Cycling ● Thursday’s sixth stage of the 105th Giro d’Italia was almost a replay of stage five, as France’s Arnaud Demare stormed to the line in the final 50 m, ahead of Caleb Ewan (AUS) and Mark Cavendish (GBR) for his second win in a row!
The overall race was unchanged, with Juan Pablo Lopez (ESP) still 38 seconds up on Lennard Kamna (GER) and 58 seconds ahead of Rein Taaramae (EST).
/Updated/On Friday, the 196 km stage was a seven-ascent monster from Diamante to Potenza, with four men coming off the final climb with a real chance at a win: former Giro winner Tom Dumoulin (NED), countryman and Jumbo-Visma teammate Koen Bouwman, the Dutch star Bauke Mollema and Italy’s Davide Formolo. Doumoulin was dropped late and Bouwman had the best finish to win by two seconds over Mollema and Formolo in 5:12:30. It was Bouwman’s biggest win of his career.
The current race leaders came in 2:59 behind the winner, so there were no changes at the top of the leaderboard.
For our updated, 620-event International Sports Calendar for 2022 and beyond, by date and by sport, click here!