TSX REPORT: Bednarek, dos Santos star in Doha; four big T&F meets on six channels this week; FIFA unmoved by FIFPRO complaints

World-leading 19.67 for Kenny Bednarek over Courtney Lindsey at the Doha Diamond League (Photo: Marise Nassour for Diamond League AG)

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1. Bednarek, dos Santos star at Doha Diamond League
2. Big week for track & field, with no one in charge
3. FIFA brushes off FIFPRO, WLA issues with Club World Cup
4. Did Pogacar just win the Giro d’Italia in the first week?
5. Olympic Trials pool construction starts in Indianapolis

● Brazil’s Alison dos Santos showed he’s fully recovered from last season’s injuries with a spectacular 46.86 win in the men’s 400 m hurdles at the Doha Diamond League and American 200 m star Kenny Bednarek claimed the world lead over former world leader Courtney Lindsey as well, among world leads in six events.

● This is a big week for top-class track & field meets, with the USATF Distance Classic on Friday, the L.A. Grand Prix and Atlanta City Games on Saturday and Diamond League Marrakech on Sunday. The four meets will be shown on TV and online on six different channels, with no coordination between them. Why?

● FIFA replied with a firm “no” to the demands for changes to the Intercontinental Cup and Club World Cup competitions from the worldwide player union FIFPRO and the World Leagues Association, but said it would be happy to have further talks.

● Slovenia’s Tadej Pogacar was the big favorite heading into the 107th Giro d’Italia race, but did he already win it in just the first week? Maybe.

● Construction has started on the temporary pools to be used for the U.S. Olympic Trials in June at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, the biggest facility ever to house such pools.

World Championships: Ice Hockey (IIHF men’s Worlds underway in Czechia) = Sailing (Italy’s Tita and Banti win fourth Nacra 17 Worlds gold) ●

Panorama: Archery (Nodal and Munico-Fernandez surprise with Gator Cup wins) = Athletics (4: Williams equals world 100 m lead; fabulous SEC Champs with three world leads; Amusan, Clayton, Hibbert get world leads at Jamaica Athletics Invite; Estrada and Saina set U.S. records at 25 km champs) = Canoe-Kayak (Queiroz and Kopasz bag two each at Sprint World Cup) = Cycling (2: Vollering wins final stage to win Itzulia women; Jeanjean wins BMX Freestyle Park World Cup again) = Football (Guinea wins final men’s Olympic qualifier, will play in U.S.’s group) = Gymnastics (Varfolomeev dominates again at World Challenge Cup) = Judo (Japan and Russia win two each at Almaty Grand Slam) = Modern Pentathlon (Dejardin and Guzi use Laser Runs to win World Cup golds) = Shooting (Kim and Liu get world records to close ISSF World Cup in Baku) = Triathlon (Pearson’s fab run earns first U.S. World Tri Series win in 15 years!) = Wrestling (U.S.’s Lee and Retherford earn men’s Freestyle spots in Paris) ●

Bednarek, dos Santos star at Doha Diamond League

The third stop on the 2024 Diamond League schedule was at the Qatar Sports Club in Doha, with sensational performances from American Kenny Bednarek and Brazil’s Alison dos Santos, and – despite a difficult crosswind at times – world-leading outdoor performances in six events:

Men/200 m: 19.67, Kenny Bednarek (USA)
Men/Steeple: 8:07.25, Samuel Firewu (ETH)
Men/400 m hurdles: 46.86, Alison dos Santos (BRA)
Men/Long Jump: 8.36 m (27-5 1/4), Miltiadis Tentoglou (GRE)
Women/5,000 m: 14:26.98, Beatrice Chebet (KEN)
Women/Vault: 4.73 m (15-6 1/4), Nina Kennedy (AUS) and Molly Caudery (GBR)

The men’s 200 m was a showdown between Tokyo Olympic silver winner Bednarek and co-world leader Courtney Lindsey of the U.S., already at 19.71 this season. But Bednarek was hot from the start, had the lead off the turn and steamed home the winner in 19.67, with a +1.7 m/s wind, to Lindsey’s 20.01, and fellow American Kyree King third in 2021.

Dos Santos, the 2022 World Champion who came back from injuries to get fifth at the 2023 Worlds, was ready in Doha and took the lead entering the final turn, overtaking American CJ Allen. The Brazilian was easily the best on the final straight and extended his lead, winning in 46.86, the no. 15 performance of all time … in his season opener! Moreover, no one has ever run so fast before 15 June!

The final race on the track was the men’s Steeple, with Olympic fourth-placer Getnet Wale (ETH) in charge with a lap and a half to go, with Amos Serem (KEN) and Ryuji Miura (JPN) following. But fellow Ethiopian Samuel Firewu moved up third at the bell, then took the lead into the final turn and won in 8:07.25, a lifetime best and the world leader. Kenya’s 2023 Worlds bronze winner Abraham Kibiwott passed Wale on the straight for second, 8:07.38 to 8:09.69.

Olympic long champ Tentoglou had the early lead, but then Jamaican Carey McLeod unloaded a big jump in the fourth round at 8.52 mw (27-11 1/2, +5.2 m/s) to grab the lead and dare anyone to match him. No one could, but Tentoglou tried, reaching 8.26 mw (27-1 1/4w), 8.34 mw (27-4 1/2w) and finally 8.36 m (27-5 1/4, +1/9) in rounds 4-5-6, his last jump taking the world lead. Swiss Simon Ehammer got out to a windy 8.30 m (27-2 3/4w) for third.

The women’s 5,000 m saw Chebet, the 2023 World Champion, take over at 2,000 m, then Ejgayehu Taye (ETH: 2023 Worlds 10,000 bronze) took over had forged a significant lead, only to have Chebet and Medina Eisa (ETH) close in by the bell. Chebet took over for good with 200 m to go and won in 14:26.98, followed by Taye (14:29.26) and Eisa (14:34.11).

In the vault, both World Indoor champ Caudery and 2023 Worlds co-champ Kennedy cleared 4.73 m (15-6 1/4) on their first tries, but Caudery won on the countback. Tina Sutej (SLO; 4.63 m/15-2 1/4) was third, ahead of Bridget Williams, the best American, in fourth.

Elsewhere. Ethiopia’s World Indoor 1,500 m winner Freweyni Hailu broke away after 800 m and won the women’s 1,500 m easily, 4:00.42, over late-closing Jessica Hull (AUS: 4:00.84) and Nelly Chepchirchir (KEN: 4:01.19). Swiss Ditaji Kambundji was the surprise winner of the women’s 100 m hurdles in 12.49 (+1.7) on the run-in over early leader Tonea Marshall of the U.S. (12.51).

Britain’s Daryll Neita similarly came on late to win the women’s 100 m in 10.98 (+2.0), taking over from Americans Tamari Davis (10.99) and Celera Barnes (11.02). Despite trouble with the wind, 2023 World Champion Mary Moraa (KEN) was decisive winner in the 800 m, ahead of Britain’s Jemma Reekie, 1:57.91 to 1:58.42, moving to nos. 2 and 7 on the 2024 world list.

Olympic men’s 400 m gold medalist Steven Gardiner (BAH) was a clear winner in the 400 m, taking control from the backstraight – despite the wind – and winning in 44.76, with Muzala Samukonga (ZAM: 45.07) a distant second. Americans Vernon Norwood (45.49) and Quincy Hall (45.98) were fourth and seventh.

Brian Komen of Kenya, the African Games winner earlier this year, came hard in the final 200 m to win the men’s 1,500 m in 3:32.43, edging teammates Tim Cheruiyot, the 2019 World Champion, and world leader Reynold Kipkorir (3:32.96).

With the wind, the possibilities in the discus were intriguing and 2022 World Champion Kristjian Ceh (SLO) got off a big fourth throw to win at 70.48 m (231-3), now no. 2 on the world list. Australia’s Matt Denny was second at 69.02 m (226-5). Same for the javelin, with Tokyo Olympic silver winner Jakub Vadlejch (88.38 m/289-11) outlasting India’s Olympic champ Neeraj Chopra (88.36 m/289-11).

The Diamond League circuit moves on to Marrakech (MAR) for next Sunday’s meet on the 19th.

Big week for track & field, with no one in charge

There will be lots of big-time U.S. track & field this coming weekend on 17-18-19 May, if you know where to look and have your computer(s) and your TV ready!

● On Friday (17), the USATF Distance Classic will be held at Drake Stadium at UCLA, from 5-8 p.m. Pacific time (8-11 p.m. Eastern), with stars like World Indoor champ Bryce Hoppel of the U.S., 2022 World 1,500 m champ Jake Wightman (GBR) in the men’s 800 m, World Indoor 1,500 m runner-up Cole Hocker of the U.S. in the men’s 5,000 m, American Steeple record holder Evan Jager, World Indoor 3,000 m gold winner Elle St. Pierre in the women’s 5,000 m and a lot more.

It’s on the USATF.tv subscription channel.

● On Saturday (18), from 3-5 p.m. Eastern (12-2 p.m. Pacific) is the L.A. Grand Prix from UCLA, promoting match-ups including Bednarek and Botswana’s Letsile Tebogo in the men’s 100 m, Olympic champ Kirani James (GRN) and Michael Norman of the U.S. in the men’s 400, past World Champions Joe Kovacs and Tom Walsh (NZL) in the men’s shot, an all-star women’s 200 m with Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, Gabby Thomas, Abby Steiner and Jenna Prandini, and plenty more.

It’s on NBC and the Peacock subscription service.

● Also on Saturday (18) – with an overlap – from 4:45-7:45 p.m. Eastern – is the Atlanta City Games, a street meet to feature World Champions Noah Lyles (men’s 150 m), Grant Holloway (men’s 110 m hurdles), Wayde van Niekerk (RSA) and Steven Gardiner (BAH) in the men’s 400 m, world-record holders Tobi Amusan (NGR) and Keni Harrison of the U.S. in the women’s 100 m hurdles and others.

It’s on (for free) on adidas’ YouTube channel and Noah Lyles’ YouTube Channel.

● On Sunday (19), is the Diamond League meet from Marrakech, Morocco from 2-4 p.m. Eastern. A discus showdown with 2022 Worlds winner Kristjian Ceh, Olympic gold winner Daniel Stahl and new world-record setter Mykolas Alekna (LTU), women’s World shot champ Chase Jackson of the U.S. and others.

It’s on CNBC and the Peacock subscription service.

That’s four should-be-terrific meets in three days … on six different channels.

This is good?

It’s not the fault of the broadcasters, but a demonstration of the lack of coordination among governing bodies, agents, sponsors and others who all have their own interests.

Michael Johnson: will your new “track league” for 2025 fix this?

Johnson, by the way, is serious about his effort to help the sport. Asked on X (ex-Twitter) about how little McLaughlin-Levrone races, he replied:

“I would love to see her race more but she is not the problem. The current structure is. It’s not her job to fix it. But it is now my job and I’m on it. Stay tuned.”

FIFA brushes off FIFPRO, WLA issues with Club World Cup

Ahead of this week’s FIFA Congress in Thailand, FIFA brushed aside concerns from the world players union FIFPRO and the World Leagues Association about the impact of its forthcoming Intercontinental Cup in December and its radically-expanded Club World Cup next June.

In a reply to the letter sent last week by FIFPRO and the World League Association about the burden of these new and expanded competitions on players and their clubs, FIFA said it is “fully within our rights to set the parameters of our competitions whilst respecting the regulatory framework in place.”

Moreover, while it is will to further discuss the matter, FIFA noted that its competitions “are responsible for a fractional amount of the total elite club games around the world.

“While we disagree with the tenor and content of your letter, we have nonetheless taken note of your concerns and are more than happy to invite you to discuss the matter further at a time convenient to you.”

The Intercontinental Cup is a new event (with an old name) to be held at the end of 2024 among six clubs who are the best in each of the six confederations of FIFA. The Club World Cup is being expanded from six or seven teams to 32 in a month-long tournament in the U.S. in June and July next year.

FIFA Secretary General Mattias Grafstrom (SWE) wrote in FIFA’s reply that both FIFPRO and the WLA had been substantially consulted on the setting of the International Match Calendar, to which both objected in their letter:

“From the outset we reject any suggestion or inference that FIFA somehow ‘imposes’ the International Match Calendar (IMC) on the football community without adequate consultation or to suit its own ‘business strategy.’

FIFPRO and the WLA said that legal action against FIFA regarding the staging of the Intercontinental Cup and the expanded Club World Cup was possible. Grafstrom retorted:

“It would be useful for us to understand if the motivations expressed in your letter have resulted in similar written representations and references to legal action to your members or other competition organisers.”

Did Pogacar just win the Giro d’Italia in the first week?

Although the Tour de France is by far the most famous cycling race in the world, the other Grand Tours – the three-week extravaganzas in Italy – the Giro d’Italia – and Spain – the Vuelta a Espana – are also widely known and celebrated.

Slovenian star Tadej Pogacar, the 2020 and 2021 winner of the Tour de France, is making a shambles of the 107th Giro in just the first week.

It’s his first time in the Giro, the last Grand Tour for him to try, after the 2019 Vuelta a Espana (third) and four straight top-two finishes in Le Tour: 1-1-2-2. Sure, he was the big favorite to win, but after nine stages, he is dominating the race in stunning fashion:

● Three stage wins in the first eight stages
● Individual Time Trial win by 17 seconds
● Now 2:40 up on the first after nine stages

In a demonstration of superiority, he has won all three stages with climbing finishes – 2, 7 and 8 – by 27 seconds, 17 seconds and in a three-way sprint, with most of the field more than two minutes behind!

Pogacar, 25, entered Friday’s Individual Time Trial with a 46-second lead on Britain’s Geraint Thomas, the 2019 Tour de France champion, and 47 seconds up on Daniel Martinez (COL). He crushed the field, winning the 40.6 km race from Foligno to Perugia with a significant uphill finish in 51:45, 17 seconds up on Italy’s two-time World Time Trial champ Filippo Ganna and 2:00 up on Thomas!

On Saturday, now up by 2:36 in Martinez and 2:46 on Thomas, Pogacar faced a 152.6 km course from Spoleto to Prati di Tivo with six climbs and another steep uphill finish. He won again, in 4:02:16, beating Martinez and Ben O’Connor (AUS) to the line, along with four others who were two seconds back (including Thomas). So with the time bonuses for the medalists, Pogacar led by 2:40 over Martinez and 2:58 on Thomas. O’Connor moved up to third, 3:39 back.

For some perspective, consider that the last nine Giro d’Italia finishes were all within 2:00 from first to second. Back in 2014, famed climber Nairo Quintana (COL) won the Giro by 2:58 and Italian star Vincenzo Nibali won his second Giro by 4:43: the only two to win by more than 2:00 in the last 17 Giros.

On Sunday, the 214 km ninth stage to Naples was downhill, then flat and for the sprinters, to be followed by the first rest day on Monday. Olav Kooij (NED) won the sprint to the line over stage 4 winner Jonathan Milan (ITA) and Sebastian Molano (COL), with no change among the overall leaders.

Next Tuesday is another major uphill-finishing stage, and a second Individual Time Trial – on a flat course – comes next Saturday.

Will it all be over by then? There are three mountain stages to follow in four days, all with uphill finishes, and Pogacar could be hindered by injuries or mechanical failures. Or he could be on the way to history.

Olympic Trials pool construction starts in Indy

Installation of the competition and warm-up pools at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis is starting in advance of the 15-23 June U.S. Olympic Trials in swimming, potentially in front of 30,000 people a night.

Italian-based Myrtha Pools, with its U.S. headquarters in Sarasota, Florida, is once again providing the pools for the Olympic Trials, with WRTV in Indianapolis reporting on the project.

Myrtha Pools USA Director of Technical Services John Ireland told WRTV’s Taj Simmons:

“This is the biggest venue that a pool has ever been inside of. There are some very unique challenges associated with that and a lot more moving parts than we’re used to. …

“It is intimidating. We’re doing something that typically takes six to nine months in just a few weeks.”

Myrtha (and Ireland) are highly experienced with these kinds of temporary installations, but a unique challenge is covering a football field. The facility requires two sheets of plywood and then a tarp, for protection. The venue will take advantage of the Trials and will be replacing its turf as soon as the swimming is done and the temporary pools are removed.

Once the event is completed, Myrtha then gets to break everything down and reassemble the pools in their permanent location, a new facility being arranged by the Fort Wayne Swim and Wellness Alliance, which has purchased the pools. Said Fort Wayne Swim Team director Ben Sutton:

Indianapolis has sixteen 50-meter pools, we have just one in Fort Wayne. We desperately need some more water space and lane space. We’re lane locked with our swim team.”


● Ice Hockey ● The IIHF men’s World Championship has started with group play in Prague and Ostrava (CZE), continuing through 21 May. In Group B, Sweden flew past the U.S. in their opener, 5-2, then the Americans rebounded with a 6-1 win over Germany.

The Czech Republic won its first two games in Group A, and Canada pummeled Great Britain, 4-2, in its opener and Denmark, 5-1, in its second game.

● Sailing ● Olympic champions Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti of Italy continued their dominance of the Nacra 17 class World Championship off La Grande Motte (FRA), taking their third straight Worlds gold and fourth total.

They won five races and were second six times on the way to a net total of 67.0 points. That was comfortably ahead of Britain’s two-time champs John Gimson and Anna Burnet, who finished second for the second consecutive years, with 79.0 points.

Two-time Worlds runner-ups Gianluigi Ugolini and Maria Giubilei grabbed third with 100.0 net points and six top-three finishes.


● Archery ● Surprises at the U.S. team qualifier at the Easton Foundations Gator Cup in Newberry, Florida, with 2021 Worlds Team silver winner Matthew Nofel – the sixth seed – winning the men’s final; by 6-5 over 13-seeded Christian Stoddard. Top-seed Trenton Cowles finished third, winning the bronze-medal match, 6-2, against Jacob Robinson.

The women’s top-seed, Casey Kaufhold, took third with a 6-0 win over Emma Kim, while second-seeded Jennifer Mucino-Fernandez the women’s Recurve title over Catalina GNoriega, 6-4.

The sixth and final stage of Olympic Team Qualification and Trials takes place on Monday and Tuesday. Kaufhold leads the women’s rankings and 2019 World Champion Brady Ellison leads the men’s list.

● Athletics ● Lots of hot sprinting at the Pure Athletics Sprint Elite meet in Clermont, Florida, with 2014 World Junior Champion Kendal Williams of the U.S. riding a +2.0 m/s wind to a world-leading-equaling win at 9.93, a lifetime best, in the men’s 100 m. Josephus Lyles won the 200 m in a wind-aided 20.05 (+2.6).

Tamara Clark, the 2022 Worlds 200 m sixth-placer, won the women’s 100 m in 10.98 (+1.9) and the 200 m in 22.32 (+1.3).

Even more action at the SEC Championships in Gainesville, Florida, where Alabama’s Tarsis Orogot (UGA) won the men’s 200 m in 19.75 (+1.0) to move to no. 4 on the 2024 world list, and Canada’s Christopher Morales Williams (Georgia) moved to no. 1 in the world in the 400 m, winning in 44.05, a national record. Samuel Ogazi (NGR/Alabama) and Khaleb McRae (USA/Alabama) moved to 11-13 on the world list at 44.58 and 44.60 in second and third.

In the women’s 100 m, world leader Jacious Sears (USA/Tennessee) was the qualifying co-leader at 11.09, but pulled up in the final, holding her left leg, and finished last. Brianne Lyston of LSU won in 10.91 (+0.3), ahead of Kaila Jackson (Georgia: 10.95), now no. 3 and 6 on the 2024 world list.

McKenzie Long of the U.S. and Ole Miss won the women’s 200 m in a world-leading 22.03, ahead of South Carolina frosh JaMeesia Ford (22.11) and Thelma Davies (LSU: 22.17), now nos. 1-3-4 on the year.

And the women’s 400 was sensational, with the top four times of the year: 49.32 for Nickisha Pryce (JAM/Arkansas), 49.47 for Kaylyn Brown (USA/Arkansas), 49.51 for Amber Anning (GBR/Arkansas) and 49.79 for Aaliyah Butler (USA/Georgia). Rachel Glenn (USA/Arkansas) ran a world-leading 54.02 in the 400 m hurdles in the prelims, then fell in the final while all alone in the lead.

A world-leading 12.40 in the women’s 100 m hurdles for Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan highlighted the Jamaica Athletics Invitational in Kingston on Saturday. She came on late to pass two-time World Champion Danielle Williams of Jamaica (12.46, wind +0.9 m/s) for the victory.

Jamaica’s Rushell Clayton took over the world lead in the women’s 400 m hurdles, winning in 53.72, ahead of Anna Cockrell of the U.S. (53.76, no. 2).

Jaydon Hibbert (JAM) dominated the men’s triple jump and claimed the world lead, winning at 17.57 m (57-7 3/4) into a 1.3 m/s headwind!

Marie-Josee Ta Lou-Smith won the women’s 100 m in 10.91 (+1.1) and 2019 World Champion Dina Asher-Smith (GBR) took the women’s 200 m in 22.51.

Jamaican Ackeem Blake won the men’s 100 m in 10.02, Zharnel Hughes (GBR) won the 200 m over Fred Kerley of the U.S., 19.96 to 20.17 (+1.1), and Britain’s Matthew Hudson-Smith took the men’s 400 m in 44.69, ahead of Matthew Boling of the U.S., who got a lifetime best of 44.98.

American records were set at the USATF 25 km Championships – held in conjunction with the Amway River Bank Run – in Grand Rapids, Michigan for Betsy Saina and Diego Estrada.

Saina, the defending women’s U.S. 25 km champ, broke away with Annie Frisbie by the 5 km mark and then broke from Frisbie at 20 km and ran away, finishing in 1:22:32 to 1:22:37 for Frisbie. Dakotah Lundwurm finished third in 1:23:08.

Saina’s mark shaved four seconds off Shalane Flanagan’s 2014 American Record time in Berlin (GER).

Estrada, the 2015 U.S. Half Marathon champion, was part of a pack of four at 15 km, but then surged after 20 km and won easily in 1:13:10, far in front of Nico Montanez (1:13:30) and Biya Simbassa (1:13:45). That’s better than Parker Stinson’s U.S. mark of 1:13:38 – also in Grand Rapids – from 2019.

● Canoe-Kayak ● World Champions Isaquias Queiroz and Balint Kopasz each won two events to highlight the ICF Sprint World Cup I in Szeged (HUN), along with a win and a loss for New Zealand superstar Lisa Carrington.

Queiroz, the Tokyo men’s C-1 1,000 m gold medalist and a seven-time World Champion, is still going strong at 30 and won the C-1 500 m by more than a second in 1:45.88, and took the C-1 1,000 m in 3:45.84, ahead of France’s Adrien Bart (3:47.23).

Kopasz, the Tokyo K-1 1,000 m men’s champ and a four-time World Champion, won the K-1 500 m in 1:36.06 over Poland’s Slawomir Witczak (1:36.59) and the K-1 1,000 m in 3:24.91, leading a Hungarian 1-2 with 2023 Worlds runner-up Adam Varga (3:25.40) and 2023 World Champion Fernando Pimenta (POR: 3:25.48) in third.

In the other men’s Olympic-program events, Russians Alexey Korovashkov and Ivan Shtyl won the C-2 500 m in 1:37.03; Australians Jean van der Westhuyzen and Thomas Green took the K-2 500 m in 1:26.59 and World Champions Germany won the K-4 500 m in 1:18.50 to 1:18.76 for Australia.

Five-time Olympic gold medalist Carrington, also a 15-time World Champion, won the K-2 500 m race with Alicia Hoskin, 1:38.61 to 1:39.92 over Denmark’s current World Champions, Emma Jorgensen and Frederikke Matthiesen. Fellow New Zealander Aimee Fisher, the 2021 K-1 500 m Worlds winner, won that race over Carrington, 1:46.19 to 1:46.52. The Kiwis got a third win in the non-Olympic K-1 1,000 m from Alyce Wood (3:55.96).

Nine-time World Champion Katie Vincent (CAN) was the clear winner in the C-1 200 m final, beating teammate Sophia Jensen (46.16), with Tokyo Olympic winner Nevin Harrison of the U.S. in ninth (47.13).

Hungary went 1-2 in the women’s C-1 500 m, with Agnes Kiss (2:03.17) and Bianca Nagy (2:05.19), and Germany won the women’s K-4 500 m.

China’s World Champions Mengya Sun and Shixiao Li won the (non-Olympic) women’s C-2 500 m, over Vincent and Sloan Mackenzie, 1:51.49 to 1:53.12 and Sun doubled back with Hao Liu to win the Mixed C-2 500 m final as well (1:45.35).

● Cycling ● The third UCI Women’s World Tour Itzulia stage race for women in Spain started on Friday with a win for Dutch rider Mischa Bredewold, in a sprint over Cuba’s Arlenis Sierra and 2022 winner Demi Vollering (NED).

On Saturday, Bredewold won another sprint, by one second over Mavi Garcia (ESP) and Juliette Labous (FRA). But in Sunday’s final stage, Vollering blew away the field and won by 44 seconds over Thalita de Jong (NED) and Bredewold and won the overall title at 9:03:42, 34 seconds up on Bredewold. Labous was third at +0:52.

At the UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup in Montpelier (FRA), three-time European Champion Anthony Jeanjean of France won his second straight Park World Cup this season, scoring 92.50 to edge 2019 World Champion Brandon Loupos (AUS: 91.32) and Britain’s Declan Brooks (89.87).

The women’s title went to 20-year-old Laury Perez (FRA), scoring 94.00 to finish just ahead of 14-year-old Miharu Ozawa (JPN: 93.00) and Britain’s Sasha Pardoe (18: 90.12).

In the Flatland finals on Sunday, Japan’s teens swept the women’s finals with Nina Suzuki (15: 85.67) winning over Ayuna Miyashima (15: 79.00) and 2023 Worlds bronze medalist Kirara Nakagawa (18: 67.67).

Japan’s World Champion Yu Shoji (22) won the men’s title, scoring 92.33 to edge 35-year-old Worlds bronze medalist Matthias Dandois (FRA: 90.00) and 19-year-old (and 2023 Worlds silver winner) Kio Hayakawa (JPN: 86.33).

● Football ● The field for the men’s Olympic football tournament was completed with a playoff win by Guinea over Indonesia, 1-0, in the CAF-AFC playoff in Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines, France. This places Guinea in Group A for Paris, playing New Zealand, France and the U.S. on 24-27-30 June.

It’s the first Olympic appearance for Guinea.

● Gymnastics ● German star Darja Varfolomeev, the five-time gold medalist at the 2023 Worlds, continued her winning ways, this time at the FIG Rhythmic World Challenge Cup in Portimao (POR).

She won the All-Around over Belarus’ Alina Harnasko (as a “neutral”), the 2020 Olympic A-A bronze medalist, and Harnasko won on Ball (33.550).

Varfolomeev won on Hoop (34.500), on Clubs (34.110 to 33.650) for Harnasko) and on Ribbon (31.900). Two Americans made the apparatus finals: Lili Mizuno was eighth with Clubs (28.750) and Evita Griskenas scored 28,850 for six on Ribbon.

In the five World and Challenge Cup events so far, Varfolomeev has won three A-A titles and eight apparatus titles.

● Judo ● Japan and Russia each won twice at the Qazaqstan Barysy Grand Slam in Almaty (KAZ), highlighted by Tokyo Olympic Aaron Wolf taking the men’s 100 kg class, and Tatsuru Saito winning at +100 kg, for his second career Grand Slam gold.

Russian winners, competing as “neutrals,” include Abdulaev Ramazan in the men’s 60 kg and Murad Chopanov in the 66 kg division. Belarusian “neutral” Yahor Varapayeu won at 90 kg.

France’s Romane Dicko, the 2022 World Champion, won the women’s +78 kg class; two-time World Champion Christa Deguchi (CAN) defeated 2016 Olympic gold medalist Rafaela Silva (BRA) to win the 57 kg class, and two-time Worlds silver winner Manuel Lombardo (ITA) took the men’s 73 kg division.

● Modern Pentathlon ● France’s Pierre Dejardin had never won a UIPM World Cup and heading into the final event of the UIPM World Cup IV in Sofia (BUL), he stood second, but 18 seconds behind Egypt’s Mohanad Shaban.

No problem, as Dejardin was 20.5 seconds faster and won with 1,502 points to 1,500 for Shaban, with teammate Mohamed Elgendy third (1,498). Dejardin was second in fencing and riding, but slipped to 14th in swimming, while Shaban had won the fencing and the riding and was fourth in the pool to set up the Laser Run showdown.

Hungary’s Blanka Guzi was also a Laser Run star and had a World Cup gold in her collection from 2023. But after a 12th in fencing, ninth in riding and third in swimming, she started seventh in the Laser Run, 1:10 behind leader Elodie Clouvel of France, the Rio 2016 silver medalist.

But Guzi was not to be denied, posting the fastest time in the Laser Run in the entire field, while Clouvel was 16th. Guzi won with 1,400 points, to 1,396 for Jessica Varley (GBR: 5th in Laser Run) and 1,379 for Egypt’s Malak Ismail (eighth in Laser Run).

● Shooting ● The ISSF World Cup in Baku (AZE) concluded with an odd second round of competitions in the men’s 25 m Rapid-Fire Pistol, women’s 25 m Pistol and the men’s and women’s 50 m Rifle/3 positions to provide the same number of competitions this season as those in other events to earn Olympic Qualification ranking points.

So, Korea’s Ye-ji Kim won the second women’s 25 m Pistol final, defeating first-final winner Ji-in Yang (KOR) by 42-38, improving on Yang’s world record of 41 from January at the Asian Championships in Jakarta (INA). German Josefin Eder was third, as she was in the first final (31).

China’s Yukin Liu won the first men’s 50 m Rifle/3 Positions final with a world record score of 467.3, then improved it with another win and world mark of 468.3 in the second final. Austria’s 2023 World Champion, Alexander Schmirl, was second at 463.2 and 23-year-old Jiri Privratsky (CZE) got third (452.4).

China got another win from 2023 World Champion Yuehong Li in the second men’s 25 m Rapid-Fire Pistol final, taking the second final with 34/40, ahead of two-time Worlds runner-up Clement Bessauguet (FRA: 31) and Korea’s Jong-ho Song (27).

Britain’s Seonaid McIntosh, the 2018 World Champion in the 50 m Rifle/Prone event, won the women’s 50 m Rifle/3 Positions second final at 466.3, just beating Siyu Xia (CHN) at 464.6. German Anna Janssen, who won the first final, finished third (454.1).

In the Skeet Mixed Team final, Chile’s Hector Flores and Francisca Crovetto edged the U.S. pair of Dustan Taylor and Dania Jo Vizzi, 45-42.

● Triathlon ● A major win for American Morgan Pearson at the much-anticipated World Triathlon Championship Series in Yokohama (JPN), running the fastest 10 km in the field by 17 seconds to win his first Series gold.

Pearson was 17th out of the water and trailing leader Mark Devay (HUN) by 13 seconds, then lost more time on the bike, but a series of crashes closed things up. Pearson lost more time in the transition, but was running fast and moving toward the lead quickly on the run.

He got to the lead on the fourth lap and won in 1:42:05, seven seconds ahead of Australia’s Matthew Hauser (1:42:12), who passed teammate Luke Willian (1:42:20) on the final lap as well. World Triathlon reported it’s the first win for an American man in a WTCS race since Jarrod Shoemaker in 2009. Fellow American Matthew McElroy finished 13th (1:43:13).

The women’s race also saw a first WTCS victory for France’s Leonie Periault, who was only 21st out of the water, but had the fastest bike phase in the field to get close to French teammate Emma Lombardi and American star Taylor Knibb, a two-time WTCS winner.

But like Pearson, there was no way to counter Periault on the run. She was third-fastest overall, in 33:02 – Knibb was fourth, in 33:31 – and Periault won by 1:52:28 to 1:53.04, with Lombardi third (1:53.08).

Knibb, already confirmed for Paris, led three Americans in the top five, with Taylor Spivey fourth in 1:53:25 and Kirsten Kasper fifth (1:53:34). Comebacking Rio 2016 winner Gwen Jorgensen had the second-fastest run in the field and finished 15th overall in 1:54:42 and had made it up to sixth among U.S. women in the World Triathlon Olympic rankings.

● Wrestling ● The U.S. qualified two more men’s Freestyle wrestlers for Paris 2024 at the World Olympic Qualifier in Ankara (TUR), with Spencer Lee crushing four opponents in a row and Zain Retherford doing it the hard way.

Lee, competing at 57 kg, had won the U.S. Trials and had to win four matches to get to Paris. He sailed by with wins by 10-0, then 10-9 against no. 1 seed Wanhao Zou of China, then 12-2 and 10-0 to win his bracket and a spot at the Olympic Games.

Retherford won his first two matches at 65 kg by fall and 11-0, then lost to Tulga Tumur Ochir of Mongolia, 7-2, who went on to win an Olympic quota by winning his next two matches. That sent Retherford into the repechage round, needing to win four straight matches to earn an Olympic berth.

He won over Alibeg Alibegov (BRN) by pinfall, then handled Abdulmazhid Kudiev (TJK), 5-2, won a tight, 2-2 battle with India’s Sujeet Sujeet on criteria, then shut down Niurgin Skriabin of Belarus, 7-0 to punch his ticket for Paris.

The U.S. has now qualified in all six men’s Freestyle categories and in all six women’s Freestyle classes. American wrestlers are in for three Greco-Roman classes, but all three at the World Qualifier – Dalton Roberts (60 kg), Ellis Coleman (67 kg) and Kamal Bey (77 kg) – were unsuccessful.

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