TSX DAILY: Crazy 2020 Triathlon qualifier ends in double disqualification

Comeback complete for Bermuda's Flora Duffy, winner in Tokyo! (Photo: ITU)

= TSX DAILY ~ 15 August 2019 =

| 1. |  TRIATHLON: Women’s Olympic qualifier ends with hand-in-hand Brits disqualified, but Summer Rappaport makes U.S. team 

This is why races are held and games are played. The Tokyo 2020 test event for Triathlon doubled as an Olympic qualifying race for several countries, and turned out to be one of the wildest races ever.

First, the run phase was shortened from 10 km to 5 km because of the heat; the event started in 89 degree (F) temperatures at 7:30 a.m. at the Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo. That made it essential that American Katie Zaferes, ranked no. 1 all season, get out of the water fast since she was the strongest runner in the field … and lost half the distance.

She did so and finished in the top three in the swim – in 86-degree (F) water – then took off on the bike phase and promptly crashed; she did not finish. Others avoided the mess and by the start of the run, it was Britain’s Georgia Taylor-Brown and Jessica Learmonth leading, with Bermudan star Flora Duffy (pictured above), coming back from injury that had sidelined her for more than a year. Italy’s Alice Betto and Brazilian Vittoria Lopes just seconds behind the first three.

Learmonth and Taylor-Brown moved ahead smartly on the shortened run course and ran through the finish together, hand-in-hand. That’s a no-no, and specifically prohibited in the International Triathlon Union rules, leading to disqualification.

So both were disqualified, leaving Duffy – third by 11 seconds – as the winner, with Betto second. Another British star, Vicky Holland, had the fastest run time in the field and picked up third place. Lopes was fourth and American Summer Rappaport, who also sprinted through the field on the final lap of the run, finished fifth and since she finished in the top eight, made the U.S. team for 2020 on the spot.

If Rappaport had finished in the top three, she and Taylor Spivey (eighth) would both have earned places on the U.S. squad. But only Rappaport is in; Zaferes, Spivey and others will have another chance later.

Taylor-Brown and Learmonth learned a lesson about ITU rules, but it’s now clear that any discussion about medal-winners at Tokyo 2020 must include the two-time World Champion from Bermuda. The men’s race is on Friday (Tokyo time). More coverage here.

| 2. | ARCHERY: Can the U.S. team for Tokyo really include two mid-40s shooters and a 15-year-old?

The USA Archery National Championships are on this week in Dublin, Ohio with a gold-medal ghost from the past returning to the range in search of another Olympic opportunity.

Sure, the U.S. already has 2019 World Champion Brady Ellison (left), who just set a world record of 702 for the 72-arrow ranking round, but the question being asked is about a former star, 1996 double gold medalist Justin Huish.

Now 44, Huish famously scored an upset win in the 1996 Olympic tournament in Atlanta and then teamed with Richard “Butch” Johnson and Rod White to win the team event for a second gold. He’s entered in the 2019 Nationals, the first step in the U.S. Olympic selection process. So is Johnson, a four-time Olympian from 1996-2000-04-08 who also won a Team bronze in Sydney.

In the women’s Recurve division, 45-year-old Khatuna Lorig, who just won the Pan American Games silver medal in Lima (PER), is starting the process to make her sixth Olympic team for her third country. She won a team medal as a teen back in 1992 for the Unified Team (former Soviet Union), the competed twice for Georgia and twice for the U.S. in 2008-12.

She will be challenged by 15-year-old Casey Kaufhold, who won the Pan American bronze, teamed with Lorig and Erin Mickelberry to win the women’s team gold, and with Ellison to win the Mixed Team event.

There’s more drama; our preview is here.

| 3. | SWIMMING: First World Cup cluster ends in Singapore with $314,000 in bonuses on the line

Big paydays are few and far between in professional swimming, but there is real money on the line at this week’s third stage of the FINA Swimming World Cup in Singapore.

As this is the last meet in the first group of World Cup meets – a cluster in FINA-speak – bonuses for the top six finishers in the point standings for men and women are available to the tune of  $50,000-35,000-30,000-20,000-10,000-5,000-4,000-3,000!

That means a lot to the current top scorers in both divisions:

Men: 1. Vladimir Morozov (RUS), 96; 2. Andrew Wilson (USA), 87; 3. Mitch Larkin (AUS), 72.

Women: 1. Cate Campbell (AUS), 105; 2. Katinka Hosszu (HUN; below), 102; 3. Emily Seebohm (AUS), 63.

The scoring is complicated, with points for placing in the top three in up to three events and then – critically – bonus points for the top three performances in the meet according to the FINA scoring tables. This is why FINA has Omega Timing doing these meets, to keep track of all this.

Wilson won two relay silvers for the U.S. in the recent World Championships in Korea and finished sixth in the 100 m Breaststroke; he’s entered in the 50-100-200 m Breast evens and has a chance at the $35,000 second prize. U.S. sprinter Michael Andrew stands sixth (48 points) and could move up to fifth with a strong showing; he’s entered in eight events! Our full preview is here.

The SwimSwam.com Web site reported that 1,115 American swimmers have met the qualifying standard (so far) for at least one event at next summer’s Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska.

That’s good news for USA Swimming and the Omaha organizers … and Omaha-area hotels, motels and Airbnb locations!

USA Swimming expects to have 1,200-1,400 swimmers at the Trials in total. SwimSwam.com posted a list of 28 swimmers who have achieved the Trials standard in six events or more; the leader in qualifying events in Hali Flickinger, the Worlds 200 m Butterfly silver medalist this year, with nine. Madisyn Cox and Melanie Margalis have eight each; Caeleb Dressel and Katie Ledecky are among those with seven.

| 4. | THIS WEEK: World Championships in Sport Climbing, IAAF Diamond League revs up again

With the Pan American Games completed and the mid-summer national championships break – in multiple sports – completed, the pace of international events is picking up again. On tap:

● The IFSC World Championships in Sport Climbing is continuing in Hachioji (JPN), with Slovania’s Janja Garnbret looking for a second win in Lead – after her Bouldering title on the 13th – and another in the Combined, to establish her as the favorite for Tokyo. Check the recap of the Bouldering and preview of the other events here.

● The IAAF Diamond League resumes on Sunday in Birmingham (GBR) with Christian Coleman (USA: 100 m), Shaunae Miller-Uibo (BAH: 200 m), Keni Harrison (USA: 100 m hurdles), Nafi Thiam (BEL: long jump) and many others expected. Look for a meet preview on Thursday.

● The U.S. men’s national team for the FIBA World Cup is opening its exhibition schedule on Friday (16th) in Anaheim against Spain.

Check our site for updates on all of these events … and more.

| 5. | WEIGHTLIFTING: Thailand’s self-imposed ban at Worlds maintained by IWF

As a gesture of goodwill after nine Thai weightlifters were suspended for doping late last year, the country agreed to refrain from entering any athletes in the 2019 World Weightlifting Championships … which it is hosting in Pattaya from 18-27 September.

In the interim, the source of the positive tests was reportedly found: a pain relief gel that included a small amount of a prohibited steroid. Agence France Presse reported that the Thai weightlifting federation [TAWA] petitioned the International Weightlifting Federation to allow those lifters not suspended to be able to compete “because the source of the problem had been discovered.”

No go. No Thai entries will be allowed: “The IWF Executive Board will not be reviewing TAWA’s decision at its meeting in September and therefore TAWA’s self-suspension and the suspension of Thai athletes from competing in weightlifting events will remain in place.”

| 6. | FOOTBALL: Another honor for double World Cup-winning coach Jill Ellis

UCLA announced that Jill Ellis, who coached the Bruins with remarkable success from 1999-2010, will be inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in the Class of 2019.

Ellis, who coached the U.S. Women’s National Team to back-to-back World Cup victories in 2015 and 2019, compiled a record of 229-45-14 in her 12 years in Westwood. Her teams made it to the College Cup (final four) eight times, but never won an NCAA title.

The Bruin Hall of Fame class also includes two Olympic gold medalists in Tairia (Mims) Flowers and Courtney Mathewson. Mims won gold on the U.S. Softball Team at the 2004 Games in Athens and a silver in 2008 in Beijing. Mathewson was a four-time NCAA champion in water polo and won gold medal on the U.S. teams in 2012 and 2016.

| 7. | UNITED STATES OLYMPIC & PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE: Hall of Fame class of 2019 nominees announced

“The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee today announced the finalists for the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame class of 2019, consisting of 15 Olympians, nine Paralympians and three teams. … “The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame finalists for 2019 include:

“Gary Anderson, shooting; Greg Barton, canoe/kayak; Laura Berg, softball; Anne Donovan, basketball; Lisa Leslie, basketball; Nastia Liukin, gymnastics; John Mayasich, ice hockey; Misty May-Treanor, beach volleyball; Jonny Moseley, freestyle skiing; Apolo Anton Ohno, short track speedskating; Mark Reynolds, sailing; Angela Ruggiero, ice hockey; John Smith, wrestling; Dara Torres, swimming; Brenda Villa, water polo.

“Cheri Blauwet, track and field; Candace Cable, track and field, Nordic skiing, alpine skiing; Muffy Davis, cycling, alpine skiing; Bart Dodson, track and field; Greg Mannino, alpine skiing; Erin Popovich, swimming; Marla Runyan, Para track and field, Para-cycling, Olympic track and field; Chris Waddell, alpine skiing, track and field; Trischa Zorn, swimming.

“1996 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team; 1998 U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team; 2010 U.S. Olympic Four-Man Bobsled Team.

“The finalists will be narrowed down to five Olympians, three Paralympians and one team for induction into the class of 2019.”

The announcement also noted that “Team USA fans can cast their vote at TeamUSA.org/Vote from today through Sept. 3 to help determine the class of 2019, which will mark the first class inducted into the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame since 2012.”

| 8. | GAMES OF THE XXXII OLYMPIAD: TOKYO 2020: Here we go again about boycotts …

If you want to get some attention, anywhere in the world – including a photograph – just go to a government facility having anything to do with the next Olympic Games and hold up a sign that says “boycott.”

That’s what a couple dozen Koreans did in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul on Tuesday.

The caption said they were environmentalists, but who really knows. And if they want Korea to stay away from the Games, did they ask any Korean athletes?

By the way, you didn’t see Japan boycotting the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games, did you?

Anyway, the picture is here.

| 9. | GAMES OF THE VIII OLYMPIAD: ANTWERP 1920: Debut of the Olympic flag and the Athlete’s Oath.

The fighting of World War I had ended, but the rebuilding was just beginning when the 2910 Olympic Games were held in the Belgian city of Antwerp. Now 99 years ago, this Games was special for two innovations which had been years in the making.

The International Olympic Committee noted that:

“The Antwerp Olympic Stadium, with a capacity of 35,000 spectators, was built specially for the 1920 Games, and the Opening Ceremony was held there on 14 August. It was notable for at least two reasons: the Olympic flag made its first appearance, and the athletes’ Olympic oath was pronounced for the first time. The five interlinked rings (blue, yellow, black, green and red on a white background) express the activity of the Olympic Movement: they represent the union of the five continents and the gathering of the world’s athletes at the Olympic Games. This highly symbolic flag was designed by Pierre de Coubertin in 1913, but was first flown in this Belgian city.”

That flag has been with the Movement ever since and when used in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies is known affectionately as the “Antwerp flag” to this day.