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: The swimming World Championships are finally over and although three of the stars of the 2017 edition were major players again – Caeleb Dressel, Simone Manuel and Katie Ledecky – their lives will now change considerably, along with break-out star Regan Smith. Why? Because next year is an Olympic year and they will find their lives are a lot different. How they handle it may determine their success in Tokyo.
Friday: All eyes were on Allyson Felix in her return to competition after a year away, and she thrilled the crowd at Drake Stadium in Des Moines by qualifying on time for the semifinals in the 400 m. Christian Coleman and Teahna Daniels won the men’s and women’s 100 m and Ryan Crouser sent the shot over 74 feet to win another national title.
Saturday: The meet was delayed by a lightning warning, but there were multiple strikes on the track, including American Records from DeAnna Price in the women’s hammer and Sam Kendricks in the men’s pole vault. Fred Kerley defeated Michael Norman in the men’s 400 m, while Shakima Wimbley won the women’s 400 m and Allyson Felix finished sixth and could go to the World Championships in the relay pool.
Sunday: The showdown between Rio Olympic champ Dalilah Muhammad and new star Sydney McLaughlin turned into a world-record performance for Muhammad on the final day of the USATF Champs in Des Moines. Muhammad ran 52.20 to break a 16-year-old mark, with McLaughlin not far behind at 52.88. Noah Lyles ran 19.78 in slick conditions to defend his 200 m and a lot more happened; you’ll have to read the report!
Sunday: Joy for Japan as no. 1-ranked Kento Momota and to-be-no. 1 Akane Yamaguchi triumph in the Japan Open in Tokyo. It’s also the test event for next year’s Olympic Games.
Sunday: More confirmation that Norway’s Anders Mol and Christian Sorum deserve their worldwide no. 1 ranking, with a victory in the FIVB four-star stop in Tokyo that also served as a rehearsal for the 2020 Olympic tournament. Americans Alix Klineman and April Ross made the championship final for the third time in a row, but finished second to Brazil’s Agatha and Duda in two close sets.
Saturday: Upsets marked the UCI BMX World Champion in Belgium, as American Alise Willoughby got off to a fast start and that was enough to allow her edge defending champ (and favorite) Laura Smulders (NED). A Dutch rider did win the men’s race, but it was Twan van Ghent who crushed the field ahead of favored countryman Niek Kimmann.
Sunday: After taking the lead on Friday after the second Alps stage was shortened, Colombia’s Egan Bernal – just 22 – became the third-youngest winner of the Tour, and youngest in 84 years. He and defending champion Geraint Thomas went 1-2, but the hero of the Tour was France’s Julian Alaphilippe, who led for 14 of the 21 stages.
Sunday: Japan scores again with the most gold medals in the last Grand Prix prior to the IJF World Championships in August, the Zagreb Open in Croatia. Georgia impresses with two wins and three medals in the heavier men’s weight classes.
Saturday: Magical night for the U.S., with five golds in six event, including three wins on a single session for Caeleb Dressel for the second consecutive World Championships. Katie Ledecky came from behind to win a gut-wrenching 800 m Freestyle and teenager Regan Smith won the 200 m Back and scared her own world record and Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom won yet another title in the 50 m Fly.
Sunday: A sensational close to the FINA World Championships for the U.S. swim team, as Regan Smith, Lilly King, Kelsi Dahlia and Simone Manuel smashed the world record in the 4×100 m Medley Relay. The men won the silver in that event, giving Caeleb Dressel a record total of eight medals during the week, and Manuel and King also tool golds in the 50 m events on the final day and teenager Smith set another world record!
Saturday: Tragedy in Gwangju, where an interior balcony at a popular nightclub collapsed, killing two and injuring more than a dozen. Four American Water Polo players – celebrating the women’s world title – were hurt, and one required minor surgery.
Saturday: Italy upset Spain to win its fourth World Championships in men’s water polo and finishes with a perfect record in the tournament.
Highlights of the coming week, with previews in the coming days on TheSportsExaminer.com:
● Pan American Games: Competition gets going in earnest in Lima, Peru …
● Swimming: Believe it or not, the USA Swimming National Champs start Wednesday!
● Swimming: The FINA Worlds just ended, but the first FINA World Cup starts in Tokyo!
And a new look for The Sports Examiner coming this week!