TSX REPORT: Biles and Richard star at Gym Trials, McLaughlin-Levone caps Track Trials with 50.65 world record; more Russian “neutrals”

Back in action and still on top: gymnastics icon Simone Biles (Photo courtesy USA Gymnastics/John Cheng)

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1. Biles and Richard star amid carnage at U.S. Gym Trials
2. Holloway, Thomas, Lyles, McLaughlin-Levrone star at Track Trials
3. IOC clears two more sports, names six more Russians as “neutrals”
4. CHINADA “will never” provide doped swimmer data
5. FIFA World Cup 2026 SoCal impact of $594 million projected

● At the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials in Minneapolis, Simone Biles once again starred, but with some hiccups, winning the double All-Around convincingly and moving on to a third Olympic Games. She will be joined by a strong team, including Tokyo teammates Suni Lee, Jordan Chiles and Jade Carey, plus newcomer Hezly Rivera, 16. The men’s team will be headed by Worlds All-Around medalist Fred Richard, and two World Champions: Brody Malone on high bar and Stephen Nedoroscik on the Pommel Horse.

● At the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials in Eugene, the meet ended with a sensational 50.65 world record by the amazing Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, her fifth world mark in the event in the last four years. The meet included nine world-leading performances in seven events from stars like Noah Lyles, Grant Holloway, Rai Benjamin, Sha’Carri Richardson and Gabby Thomas, but also new talent like hurdler Masai Russell.

● The International Olympic Committee’s neutrality review panel cleared six more Russians and two more Belarusians to compete in Paris, in canoeing and judo, bringing the total number of invitations to 47 out of the 75 quota places earned, across 11 sports. Only 14 Russians and six Belarusians have accepted the nominations so far.

● The Chinese Anti-Doping Agency (CHINADA) slammed the door on the request by U.S. Anti-Doping Agency head Travis Tygart to see the case file data on the 23 Chinese swimmers who tested positive for trimetazidine in January 2021. In a Web post last week, CHINADA further stated, “We will never accept the request for the publication of the case file made by USADA and certain members of the U.S. Congress.” And there was more.

● A June 2023 economic impact study focused on the eight matches to be played at SoFi Stadium during the 2026 FIFA World Cup is being re-promoted, with its glossy projection of $594 million in direct, indirect and inducted impacts. The bottom line: the money starts with an expected 146,511 incremental added visitors for the matches, taking up 329,650 room nights at an average of $480 per room per night, and spending $230 per day on top of that.

Panorama: Athletics (3: Thompson sizzles 9.77 to win Jamaican trials; Corrigan gets to go to Paris after 8:13.87 PR at Penn; AIU loses three appeals at CAS) = Cycling (Bardet and Vauquelin win first stages of the Tour de France) = Football (2: Germany, Spain win decisively, England gets miracle to advance at UEFA Euro 2024; Argentina and Venezuela wins groups at Copa America as Mexico exits) = Gymnastics (2: controversy over judge selection of alleged abuser at U.S. Trials; Belarus and Russia win Trampoline World Cup golds) = Sport Climbing (Garnbret sweeps Innsbruck World Cup in Boulder and Lead) = Volleyball (2: France takes FIVB men’s Nations League final over Japan; Dominicans gets by U.S. in NORCECA women’s Final Six) = Water Polo (2: U.S. women sweep Italy; U.S. men loses two of three friendlies to Spain) ●

Biles and Richard star amid carnage at U.S. Gym Trials

Going into the U.S. Olympic Trials for women’s Artistic Gymnastics, the competition for spots on the team was wide-open after superstar Simone Biles. But then came the carnage:

Skye Blakely, 19, a member of the 2022 and 2023 Worlds gold-medal teams, was injured during training on Wednesday, with a right Achilles tendon rupture that ended her participation.

● On Friday, Kayla DiCello, 20, a member of the 2023 Worlds winning team and the 2019 Worlds All-Around bronze winner, suffered a bad landing in the Vault and had to leave the floor in a wheelchair; she ultimately withdrew because of a left Achilles injury.

● Six-time Worlds medal winner Shilese Jones had a bad warm-up vault on Friday, hurting her left knee. She performed beautifully on the Uneven Bars, posting the highest score of 14.675 – but then skipped the last two rotations and was ruled out for the rest of the Trials.

Biles had her own issues, with a shaky performance on the Beam on Friday, but won on Vault (of course: 15.975) and Floor (14.850), was second on the Uneven Bars (14.425) and fifth on Beam (13.650), piling up a score of 58.900 to lead the All-Around by 2 1/2 points.

Jordan Chiles, the Tokyo Olympic Team silver winner who had to sub in for Biles on a moment’s notice and a 2022 Worlds Team gold medalist, was second overall at 56,400, ahead of Tokyo Olympic All-Around winner Suni Lee (56.025), Tokyo 2020 Floor champ Jade Carey (55.825) and 2023 U.S. Vault champ Joscelyn Roberson (55.475). Besides Biles, event winners included Jones on the Uneven Bars and Lee on Beam (14.400).

Then came Sunday, with the Olympic team due to be named at the end of the session at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Biles started on Vault and was brilliant again, winning the event by just less than a point at 15.500. Next was the Uneven Bars, with Biles once again strong at 14.200, but down from Friday. Lee was brilliant, scoring 14.875 and winning the event.

On Beam, 16-year-old Hezly Rivera made her bid for the Olympic team with a sensational routine, winning the event at 14.275, ahead of Roberson, also contending (14.050). Biles had more trouble and fell again near the end of her routine, scoring 13.900, still fourth-best on the night. Biles again won on Floor, but again with a lower score of 14.725, with Tokyo Floor gold medalist Carey scoring 14.150.

The box score showed Biles winning Sunday’s All-Around at 58.325, with Rivera at 56.325, then Leanne Wong at 55.675, Lee at 55.650 and Carey 55.525. The two-day scores showed Biles as the overall Trials winner at 117.225, well ahead of Lee (111.675), Chiles (111.425), Carey (111.350) – all part of the Tokyo team – then Rivera (111.150), Roberson (110.975) and two-time Worlds Team gold medalist Leanne Wong (110.425).

The USA Gymnastics women’s selection team followed the two-day scores completely and named Biles, Lee, Chiles and Carey from the Tokyo team, plus Rivera, with Roberson and Wong as traveling alternates in case of trouble.

It’s a powerful team and a strong contender for both the team gold and multiple individual medals in Paris. But it is not as polished with the loss of especially Jones and the rising DiCello. But this American squad will be formidable.

The men’s Trials opened Thursday with no surprises as Worlds All-Around bronze medalist Fred Richard led all scorers at 85.600 over two-time national champion Brody Malone (85.100), Shane Wiskus (84.300) and Paul Juda (84.150).

Richard won on Floor (14.600) and on the High Bar (14.400) and third in Parallel Bars to get the A-A win; Malone was second on High Bar, and no lower than eighth on any of the other apparatus. Stephen Nedoroscik, the 2021 Pommel Horse World Champion, won that event at 14.450, and three-time national champ Alex Diab won on Rings (14.600). Worlds Vault runner-up Khoi Young won that event at 14.950 and Curran Phillips won on the Parallel Bars at 15.600.

On Saturday, the second All-Around played out a little differently, but on combined score, the top four remained the same.

Wiskus finished with the top All-Around score at 85.350, ahead of Malone at 85.200 and Richard at 84.900, with Donnell Whittenburg at 84.750 and Juda at 84.700. Whittenburg won on Floor (14.850) and Rings (14.600), Patrick Hoopes won on the Pommel Horse at 15.000, Asher Hong was best on Vault (15.250), Phillips won again on Parallel Bars (15.650) and Richard triumphed on the High Bar (14.450).

When it was all added up, Richard had the top two-day score of 170.500, followed by Malone (170.300), Wiskus (169.650), Juda (168.850) and Hong (167.650).

As the winner of the two-day event, Richard was selected for Paris. USA Gymnastics selected the Paris Olympic team based on a review of team-scoring scenarios which projected the best results for both the team qualifying and team final situations. In the qualifying, four perform on each event and the scores of the top three count. In the final, three perform on each apparatus and all scores count. In view of this, USA Gymnastics announced Saturday:

“Selected to the team at the conclusion of the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials at Target Center were 2023 World team bronze medalists Asher Hong and Paul Juda, 2024 U.S. all-around champion and 2022 World horizontal bar gold medalist Brody Malone, 2021 pommel horse world champion Stephen Nedoroscik and 2023 World all-around and team bronze medalist Frederick Richard. It will be Malone’s second Olympic Games, while Hong, Juda, Nedoroscik and Richard are first-time Olympians. 2023 World team bronze medalist and two-time silver medalist Khoi Young and Tokyo Olympian Shane Wiskus were named traveling replacement athletes.”

Holloway, Thomas, Lyles, McLaughlin-Levrone star at Track Trials

The second half of the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials in Eugene concluded on Sunday, with the incomparable Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone authoring another incredible chapter in her career, setting another world record in the women’s 400 m hurdles to end the meet. The Trials once again produced plenty of drama and nine world-leading performances in seven events:

Men/200 m: 19.53, Noah Lyles
Men/110 m hurdles: 12.92, Grant Holloway (heats)
Men/110 m hurdles: 12.86, Grant Holloway
Men/400 m hurdles: 46.46, Rai Benjamin

Women/100 m: 10.71, Sha’Carri Richardson
Women/200 m: 21.78, Gabby Thomas (semis)
Women/100 m hurdles: 12.25, Masai Russell
Women/400 m hurdles: 52.48, Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone (semis)
Women/400 m hurdles: 50.65, Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone ~ World Record

McLaughlin-Levrone run in the hurdles was her fifth in the event and she will be in Paris looking for golds in that event and the 4×400 m relay. Each of the four days in the second half of the meet had sensational performances:

● Thursday: Tokyo Olympic women’s discus champ Valarie Allman dominated, finally reaching 70.73 m (232-0) on her final try, the no. 3 throw in American history, and her best in two years! A little later, the women’s Steeple final saw Val Constien grit her teeth down the straight and win in a lifetime best of 9:03.22, now no. 3 all-time U.S., and to no. 3 in the world for 2024. Courtney Wayment was second, also with a lifetime best of 9:06.50, moving to no. 4 all-time U.S., and no. 5 worldwide in 2024).

● Friday: Just one final, but it was a masterpiece for World Champion Grant Holloway, who blew away the field in 12.86, the no. 4 performance in history. It was also the first race ever with three men under 13 seconds, as Freddie Crittenden got second in a lifetime best of 12.93 and Daniel Roberts got third in a personal record of 12.96. Amazing.

● Saturday: The 200 m finals were the headliners and Olympic and Worlds medalist Gabby Thomas stormed the straight and won the women’s race decisively in 21.81, with 2019 Worlds silver winner Brittany Brown closing for second in 21.90. NCAA champ McKenzie Long got third in 21.91, with 100 m winner Sha’Carri Richardson fourth in 22.16.

Then World Champion Noah Lyles had to go get Worlds silver medalist Kenny Bednarek in the final meters of the men’s 200 m to win by 19.53 to 19.59. Worlds medal winner Erriyon Knighton, in his first meet of the year, ran 19.77 to get third and make the team.

World women’s long jump leader Tara Davis-Woodhall almost didn’t make it anywhere, fouling her first two jumps before a safe jump into fifth place in round three. But, with a slight wind-aid of 2.6 m/s, she uncorked a big one in round five and took the lead at 7.00 mw (22-11 3/4w). She won with that jump, with Jasmine Moore, the triple jump winner, second at 6.83 m (22-5).

Two-time World Champion Chase Jackson won the women’s shot with her fourth-round throw of 20.10 m (65-11 1/2).

● Sunday: Eleven events, all finals and tons of suspense. Grant Fisher doubled back from the 10,000 m and won the men’s 5,000 m over Abdi Nur at the line in 13:08.85 to 13:09.01. Then World Indoor 800 m champ Bryce Hoppel took control of the men’s two-lap final from the start and ran away to a 1:42.77 finish, making him no. 3 in American history. He led training partner Hobbs Kessler at the line and Kessler made the Paris team in a second event with a PR 1:43.64.

The women’s 100 m hurdles had Olympic medalists and World Champions, but it was new star Masai Russell who fought 2023 Pan Am medal winner Alaysha Johnson on the run-in and won in a world-leading 12.25, to 12.31. NCAA champ Grace Stark was third, also in 12.31. Russell now ranks no. 4 all-time in this event. Wow.

The women’s 1,500 m added more suspense, as 5,000 m winner Elle St. Pierre was towing the field on a fast pace, trying to take the sting out of the kickers. But defending national champ Nikki Hiltz came on over the final 100 m and won in 3:55.53, the no. 2 performance in American history. Emily Mackay got second at 3:55.90 (no. 3 in U.S. history) and St. Pierre made the team in a second event in 3:55.99. The top eight all got lifetime bests and were under 4:00 in the deepest race in American history.

Then came the two 400 m hurdles races, with Olympic silver winner Rai Benjamin striding confidently to a 46.46 win, the no. 5 time in history. But that was just a prologue for McLaughlin-Levrone, who started strong, but was well paced and had plenty left on the straight to win in her fifth world record time of 50.65. She can absolutely go faster in Paris.

On the infield, 2024 Worlds Indoor silver winner Shelby McEwen took the men’s high jump at 2.30 m (7-6 1/2) to win, and NCAA triple jump winner Salif Mane of Fairleigh Dickinson went out of his mind, getting the win, a lifetime best and the Olympic standard at 17.52 m (57-5 3/4). Daniel Haugh won the men’s hammer at 79.51 m (260-10).

The women’s vault was turned inside out. Emerging star Bridget Williams cleared 4.73 m (15-6 1/4) to upset World and Olympic champ Katie Moon. And Brynn King, the NCAA Division II winner from Roberts Wesleyan, also made 4.73 m on her first try and shoved two-time World Indoor champ Sandi Morris off the team!

This will be a formidable U.S. squad, but the whole team won’t be known until World Athletics sorts out the invitations based on its world rankings, which will come this week.

IOC clears two more sports, names six more Russians as “neutrals”

On Friday, the the International Olympic Committee’s Individual Neutral Athlete Eligibility Review Panel provided a third list of athletes cleared to be “neutrals” at the Paris Olympic Games, in the sports of canoeing and judo.

But the release was hardly cause for celebration. The review group invited athletes for both Russian quota places in canoeing, but where Russian judoka had won 12 places for Paris in judo, invitations were offered to only four athletes: two men and two women.

Not on that list were 2023 World Champions Arman Adamian in the men’s 100 kg class or Inal Tasoev, the co-gold medalist with France’s Teddy Riner, with an eagerly-awaited rematch possibility for Paris. But Tasoev will not be competing.

Further, two of the Russians nominated for tennis – Karen Kachanov and Liudmila Samsonova – declined their invitations, and two replacements – Pavel Kotov and Anna Kalinskaia – were nominated.

So, the review committee has posted its results in 11 sports:

Canoeing (28 June for 4 quota places):
● 2 for Russia (2 invited)
● 2 for Belarus (2 invited)

Cycling/road (15 June for 4 places):
● 3 for Russia (3 invited: 2 accepted, 1 declined, new invite made)
● 1 for Belarus (1 invited: accepted)

Gymnastics/trampoline (15 June for 3 places):
● 1 for Russia (1 invited: accepted)
● 2 for Belarus (2 invited: accepted)

Judo (28 June for 12 places):
● 12 for Russia (4 invited; 4 declined)

Modern Pentathlon (27 June for 2 places)
● 2 for Belarus (none invited)

Rowing (27 June for 2 places)
● 2 for Belarus (2 invited)

Shooting (27 June for 3 places)
● 3 for Belarus (2 invited)

Taekwondo (15 June for 5 places):
● 4 for Russia (none invited)
● 1 for Belarus (none invited)

Tennis (27 June for 10 places)
● 8 for Russia (8 invited: 2 accepted, 2 declined so far)
● 2 for Belarus (2 invited)

Weightlifting (15 June for 4 places):
● 4 for Belarus (2 invited: accepted)

Wrestling (15 June for 26 places):
● 16 for Russia (10 invited: 9 accepted, 1 declined)
● 10 for Belarus (6 invited: 1 accepted)

The totals as of Friday:

● 75 quota places total across 11 sports
● 47 invitations: 28 Russians and 19 Belarusians
● 20 acceptances so far: 14 Russians and 6 Belarusians

The final entry deadline is 8 July 2024 and places not being allocated or Russian and Belarusians are frantically being re-distributed by the International Federations involved. So far, beyond the 14 Russian and six Belarusian acceptances, another 10 Russian places and 13 Belarusian places remain invited but unconfirmed.

The Russian Judo Federation announced Friday that none of its four invitees will go to Paris, per President Sergey Soloveichik:

“Out of seventeen judokas who have earned Olympic ratings, the IOC invited only four. The rest have to stay home. In such a situation, the Russian Judo Federation made a unanimous decision: Russia’s national judo team will not accept the humiliating terms and will not compete at the Paris Games as suggested by the International Olympic Committee officials.”

It now appears sure that the Russian total in Paris will be the smallest since 1908 in London, when the Russian Empire sent six athletes, after sending five in 1900 to Paris. The Russian Empire sent 159 athletes to Stockholm in 1912 and then did not reappear at the Games until 1952 in Helsinki, when the USSR sent 295. The Russian Olympic Committee sent 335 athletes to Tokyo, so its team size will likely be reduced by more than 90% in 2024.

Belarus start competing as an independent country in the Games in 1996 in Atlanta; it’s smallest team was in Tokyo in 2021 with 101. It will be a lot less this time.

CHINADA “will never” provide doped swimmer data

Following the 25 June hearing of the U.S. House’s Committee on Energy and Commerce’s sub-committee on Oversight and Investigations, in which the witnesses – swimming stars Michael Phelps and Allison Schmitt – and U.S. Anti-Doping Agency chief Travis Tygart all expressed grave concern over the worldwide anti-doping system in view of the 23 doping positives by Chinese swimmers in 2021 that were excused for food contamination.

The Chinese Anti-Doping Agency, which was in the middle of the now-infamous 2021 doping incident, has been active in responding, and on Thursday (27th) published a lengthy response to the hearing and especially to Tygart’s comments. It included:

● “During the hearing, the USADA CEO, as always, talking out of context with emotional and political rhetoric and mere preconceptions, made hostile attacks on China’s anti doping work, accused the Chinese athletes of intentional doping without any factual basis, and vilified CHINADA and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for jointly ‘covering up’ the positive tests of the Chinese swimmers.”

● “This has severely undermined the reputation of CHINADA, WADA and the global anti-doping system. USADA’s brazen ‘long arm’ jurisdiction is undoubtedly a manifestation of out-and-out hegemonism and imperiousness. Its intention to manipulate the case for political purposes is all too clear, which runs counter to the principles of fairness, justice and integrity it has claimed to champion.”

● “USADA is seeking to undermine the well-functioning world anti-doping order that the anti-doping community has worked hard to build and shake up or even subvert the global anti-doping governance system which is designated to serve the athletes all over the world equally so as to seize the global anti-doping leadership role. We strongly reject and oppose such move.”

Tygart’s written testimony at the hearing, now available, included multiple attachments which add more details, including a 5 June 2024 electronic-mail message to CHINADA Director General Zhiquan Li, which asks, in part:

“If you are willing to cooperate with us, a partner [national anti-doping organization], in allowing us and our experts to review the entire case file and discuss the handling of the cases with you and your staff, this would help in understanding the truth and ensuring accurate and evidence-based facts are presented to all stakeholders.

“The key information for such a review, of course, would be to obtain copies of the testing information on the 23 athletes in the month before these adverse analytical findings and any excretion data that you have, or otherwise relied on to base your conclusion that these positives were due to contamination.”

CHINADA slammed the door:

“Regarding the request of the USADA CEO at the hearing to review the case file of the TMZ contamination case, its purpose is to legitimize the illegal access to and unauthorized disclosure of the information in the case file by media outlets including the New York Times and ARD, and then form distorted and misleading conclusions through the so-called review and investigation with already preconceived judgement, so as to reach the purpose of politicization of the contamination case.

“Such request, without any legal basis, is in violation of the World Anti-Doping Code and the legitimate rights and interest of the athletes. We will never accept the request for the publication of the case file made by USADA and certain members of the U.S. Congress, and we resolutely oppose the impudent request for reopening the investigation as claimed by USADA.”

And then the Chinese agency went on the attack, first noting that Chinese athletes had been tested by non-Chinese bodies such as international federations and that 33,398 samples from 2018-23 had been sent to labs outside of China for analysis. Then:

“The USADA CEO disregarded facts, and blatantly and deliberately made false statements in Congress to lead attacks on China’s anti doping work. Isn’t his malicious intention evident enough? Isn’t his own integrity questionable? In addition, CHINADA carried out 29,388 tests in 2023, a stark contrast to the 7,773 tests (according to the testing figures published by WADA) conducted by USADA in the same year, which is grossly disproportionate to the population of its country, large number of athletes, size of their Olympic team and their sport performance.”

Apparently, CHINADA’s answer to Tygart’s 5 June request is “no.”

FIFA World Cup 2026 SoCal impact of $594 million projected

A June 2023 economic impact report on the eight matches to be played at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood during the 2026 FIFA World Cup is being re-promoted by the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission and others, showing $594 million in total benefits.

The report, prepared by Long Beach consulting firm Micronomics, pins almost all of the economic gains from the tournament to visitors coming to the event. SoFi Stadium will host eight matches: five Group Stage matches, two Round-of-32 elimination matches and a quarterfinal, all between 12 June and 10 July: 29 days.

Economic impact studies identify two levels of spending: direct spending on an event and induced spending, as the initial dollars are re-spent on people and things involved. For the 2026 FIFA World Cup matches in Southern California:

● $343.26 million in direct spending
● $250.96 million in “Follow-on Impacts”

Where does the $343.26 million come from? From visiting fans:

● Projected 146,511 visitors above normal levels
● Projected 329,650 room nights above normal levels
● Projected $480 average room rate
● Projected $230 visitor spending per day

That $710 per-visitor spending per day in 2026 is made up of:

● 46.1% Accommodations
● 18.4% Restaurants and food service
● 12.9% Ground transportation
● 10.4% Entertainment
● 8.6% Retail spending
● 3.7% Personal services

The modeling for these estimates comes from studies of similar events, such as prior World Cup, NFL Super Bowls and the like, so it’s not complete guesswork. One of the under-appreciated aspects of the economics of mega-events is the tax revenue they provide to local governments.

Based on the model for the 2026 FIFA World Cup matches at SoFi Stadium, tax revenue to Los Angeles County is estimated at $34.94 million from hotel tax, direct taxes, sales taxes and follow-on impacts. Tax revenue to the State of California is projected to be $22.295 million, including future impact spending.

The study also includes a fun comparison to the 2022 Super Bowl held at the stadium, which was shown as generating 187,500 incremental room nights and a total impact of $356 for the single game and related activities across a week. While not close to the 2026 World Cup in overall spending, it demonstrated the much higher single-game impact of the Super Bowl vs. the eight matches to be held at SoFi.


● Athletics ● Hot sprinting as expected at the Jamaican Trials in Kingston, with Kishane Thompson, 22, showing he is ready for prime time, lowering his lifetime best from 9.91 to 9.82 in the heats and then to a world-leading 9.77 in the final (+0.9), just ahead of Oblique Seville in 9.82 and Ackeem Blake in 9.92. Bryan Levell took the 200 m in 19.97 (+1.3).

Deandre Watkin won the men’s 400 m in a lifetime best of 44.48 with Sean Bailey second in 44.65 and Jevaughn Powell in 44.79, and Malik James-King took the 400 m hurdles in a personal best of 47.42, now no. 5 in 2024.

Commonwealth Games champ Rasheed Broadbell won the 110 m hurdles from Orlando Bennett in 13.18 for both, with defending Olympic champ Hansle Parchment third in 13.19.

World Indoor long jump bronze winner Carey McLeod won at 8.38 m (27-6), now no. 3 in 2024, ahead of Shown-D Thompson at 8.30 m (27-2 3/4, no. 8) and Worlds silver winner Wayne Pinnock at 8.27 m (27-1 3/4).

Two-time Worlds 200 m gold medalist Shericka Jackson returned to form, winning the 100 m final in a seasonal best of 10.84 (-0.3), ahead of 19-year-old Tia Clayton (10.90) and the ageless Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (10.94) made her fifth Olympic team. Fraser-Pryce got a seasonal best of 10.91 in the semis. Jackson won the 200 m in 22.29.

NCAA 400 m champ Nickisha Pryce won the 400 m in 50.01, and Noah Lyles’ girlfriend Junelle Bromfield got third in a lifetime best of 51.24, just beyond the Olympic standard of 50.95, but on the relay for sure!

Ackera Nugent, the 2023 NCAA winner, moved to no. 2 in the world for 2024, winning in 12.28 (+0.5), ahead of two-time World Champion Danielle Williams (12.53). In the 400 m hurdles, Rushell Clayton got a lifetime best of 52.51, now no. 3 in the world for 2024. Shanieka Ricketts, the two-time Worlds silver winner, took the triple jump at 14.50 m (47-7).

American steeplechaser James Corrigan is going to Paris after all after getting the Olympic standard in an added race at the Penn Relays Summer Showcase in Philadelphia on Saturday.

Corrigan finished third at the Olympic Trials on 23 June in 8:26.78 and had not achieved the qualifying time of 8:15.00. So, with the help of the Penn organizers, who added the race and made sure it was listed with World Athletics as a recognized event, Corrigan won in 8:13.87 – his seventh lifetime best this season – ahead of Virginia’s Yasin Sado (8:17.39, a lifetime best) and three others who did not finish. Tres bien!

The Athletics Integrity Unit lost a couple of appeals on Friday at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, with Nigerian women’s hurdles world-record holder Tobi Amusan cleared of “whereabouts” failures, and the case against 2022 women’s Worlds Steeple champ Norah Jeruto (BRN) for Athlete Biological Passport irregularities dismissed.

The AIU further lost an appeal by Rio 2016 men’s vault champ Thiago Braz, who was allowed to provisionally compete in a meet in Brazil last weekend while his suspension is on appeal.

● Cycling ● The 111th Tour de France opened in Florence (ITA) on Saturday, with French star Romain Bardet taking the hilly, 206 km ride to Rimini in a final sprint with Frank van den Broek (NED). A group of seven broke away after just 12 km, including van den Broek; he and Bardet – who both ride for Team dsm-firmenich PostNL – breaking away together with 49 km remaining.

Belgian Wout van Aert and race co-favorite Tadej Pogacar (SLO) placed 3-4, five seconds back, with two-time defending champ Jonas Vingegaard (DEN) in 16th in the same time.

Sunday’s ride was a mostly flat, 199.2 km route to Bologna, with France’s Kevin Vauquelin, 23, breaking away with 14 km left to win in 4:43:42, ahead of Jacques Abrahamsen (NOR: +0.36) and Quentin Pacher (FRA: +0:49). The co-favorites, Vingegaard (DEN) and 2020-21 winner Pogacar finished 13-14, both 2:21 back of the winner.

Pogacar has the yellow jersey over Belgian Remco Evenepoel, Vingegaard and Richard Carapaz (ECU), but all have the same time of 9:53:30.

Monday’s stage is a mostly flat race of 230.8 km to Turin, with the first mountain stage coming on Tuesday.

● Football ● The elimination matches started at UEFA Euro 2024 on Saturday, with defending champion Italy eliminated by the Swiss and undefeated, host Germany marching on.

Playing at the Olympiastadion in Berlin, Switzerland (2-0-2) got a 37th-minute goal from midfielder Remo Freuler for a 1-0 halftime lead and then a quick second-half goal by midfielder Ruben Vargas to go up 2-0 and held Italy (1-2-1) scoreless. The Azzurri managed 11 shots in the game, but only one on goal and the Swiss advanced. The defending champs scored only three goals in four games.

Germany (now 3-0-1) played in Dortmund against Denmark (0-1-3), which had played to a tie in all three group matches. The first half was scoreless, but Kai Havertz scored on a penalty in the 53rd and Jamal Musiala got his third goal of the tournament in the 68th for a 2-0 win. The Germans led on shots only 15-11, but 9-2 in shots on goal.

On Sunday, England (2-0-2) pulled off what can only be called an escape act in Gelsenkirchen after Slovakian forward Ivan Schranz scored in the 25th minute for a 1-0 lead that lasted past the 90-minute mark. In stoppage time at 90+5, England got a miracle goal on a bicycle kick from star Jude Bellingham; off a corner, the ball was headed backwards towards the middle of the Slovakian goal and Bellingham whipped it with his right foot, bounding it into the goal with perhaps a minute and a half left in stoppage. It was England’s first actual shot on goal in the game!

Star forward Harry Kane quickly got a goal in the 91st minute and the Lions held on for a 2-1 win and a place against the Swiss in the quarters. Slovakia finished at 1-2-1.

Spain, the only team to go 3-0 in the group phase, is 4-0 as it throttled Georgia (1-2-1) by 4-1 in Cologne, coming from 1-0 down on an own goal, but tying by halftime and scoring three second-half goals. They will meet Germany in Stuttgart on Friday.

Round-of-16 games will continue through 2 July, with the quarters starting on the 5th.

Group-stage play continued at the 48th Copa America, being played in the U.S. for the second time, with Groups A and B now concluded, and defending champs Argentina marching on.

On Saturday, Argentina played a scoreless half with Peru (0-2-1) in Miami – its third straight first half without a goal – but got two from striker Lautaro Martinez in the 47th and 86th minutes and won by 2-0, moving to 3-0 and winning Group A. The winners had 74% possession and a 12-6 edge on shots, while star Lionel Messi rested.

Canada (1-1-1) played to a scoreless tie with Chile in Orlando, and advanced as the second-place team in the group. Both Chile and Peru left the tournament without having scored a goal.

In Group B on Sunday, 1-1 Mexico played 1-1 Ecuador to a scoreless tie in Glendale, Arizona, and coupled with 3-0 Venezuela’s 3-0 shutdown of Jamaica, meant that Ecuador advanced on goal differential, +1 to 0, over Mexico. Venezuela is 3-0 and Jamaica finished 0-3.

Friday’s second-round games in Group D saw Brazil get going with a 4-1 win over Paraguay in Las Vegas, with Vinicius Junior scoring twice in the first half at 35 and 45+5 as the Brazilians piled up a 3-0 lead to improve to 1-0-1. Group leader Colombia (2-0) skipped past Costa Rica, 3-0, in Glendale, Arizona.

On Monday, group leader Uruguay (2-0) will face a desperate U.S. team (1-1) that likely needs to win to advance, as Panama (1-1) plays Bolivia (0-2) in Orlando.

● Gymnastics ● Controversy over the selection of former U.S. 2012 Olympic alternate Anna Li as a judge for the Olympic Trials, after she and her mother, 1984 Chinese Olympic Team bronze medalist Jiani Wu, were accused of abuse toward gymnasts they were coaching, beginning in 2019.

The U.S. Center for SafeSport has registered a reported 30 or more allegations, but has come to no resolution, drawing new criticism. Liu was named as a judge for the Olympic Trials last December.

At the FIG Trampoline World Cup in Arosa (SUI), Belarus’ Stanislau Yaskevich won the men’s final at 61.18, followed by Russia’s Kirill Kozlov (60.82) and Aleh Rabtsau (BLR: 60.71), with France’s Alain Morante fourth (58.98).

Russia scored gold in the women’s final, with Anzhela Bladtceva winning at 57.03, over China’s Yunzhu Cao (56.17) and Xinxin Zhang (56.08). Bladtceva has accepted an invitation to compete as a “neutral” at the Paris Olympic Games.

● Sport Climbing ● Slovenian star Janja Garnbret underscored her status as the Olympic favorite – again – winning the women’s Boulder and lead at the IFSC World Cup in Innsbruck (AUT).

Garnbret, now 25, won her 28th World Cup in Lead in a tight battle with Japan’s Ai Mori, the 2023 World Lead Champion, as both got to the top in the final, but Garnbret won based on a better semifinal performance. Korea’s Chae-hyun Seo, the 2021 Lead Worlds winner, was third with 36 holds; American Anastasia Sanders was sixth (22+).

Garnbret dominated the women’s Boulder final, claiming 4T4Z ~ 10/9 while Slovenian teammate Jennifer Buckley managed 3T3Z ~ 11/8 for second. Sanders was third at 3T3Z ~ 12/9.

The men’s Boulder win was a Japan sweep, with Sohta Amagasa claimed 3T3Z ~ 8/7, over Meichi Narasaki (3T3Z ~ 11/7) and 2023 Worlds Lead runner-up Sorato Anraku (2T3Z ~ 2/3).

Four-time World Champion Jakob Schubert won the men’s Lead final at 45 holds, ahead of 2023 Worlds bronze medalist Alexander Megos (GER: 42+) and Toby Roberts (GBR: 41+). American Colin Duffy was fourth, at 40+.

● Volleyball ● France won its second FIVB men’s Nations League final in three years in Lodz (POL), taking a tight, 3-1 championship win from Japan, 25-23, 18-25, 25-23, 25-23.

The French were only 8-4 in the round-robin (sixth), but advanced in the playoffs with a 3-2 win over Italy, then defeated defending champs Poland by 3-2 and then defeated Japan. The Japanese (9-3 in the round-robin) had all the momentum after shutting down Canada and Slovenia by 3-0 in their playoff matches.

It was Japan’s first men’s Nations League final, after a bronze medal in 2023. Poland swamped Slovenia in the third-place match, 26-24, 25-16, 25-17.

In the NORCECA women’s Final Six in Santo Domingo (DOM), the home team celebrated as the Dominican Republic defeated the U.S. in five sets to win the title, 25-15, 17-25, 23-25, 25-16, 15-11. Mexico defeated Puerto Rico, 3-1, to take the bronze.

● Water Polo ● The U.S. women’s team, winners of three straight Olympic golds, swept a two-match set with Italy, the 2023 Worlds bronze winners, by 14-5 in San Diego and 14-6 in Walnut, California.

The first game, held last Tuesday at UC San Diego, saw the U.S. hold only a 3-2 lead after the first quarter, but blow the game open with a 4-1 second quarter for a 7-3 halftime lead. A 5-0 third quarter made it 12-3 and the issue was decided.

Maddie Musselman led the U.S. with six goals – three in each half – and Rachel Fattal had three. Ashleigh Johnson was strong in goal, with nine saves.

On Saturday at Mt. San Antonio College, it was again the second and third quarters that made the difference. The U.S. had a 3-2 again at the quarter, but used 4-1 and 5-2 quarters to hold a 12-5 lead going into the final period and leading to the 14-6 final.

Nine U.S. players scored goals, with Jenna Flynn leading with three, and Maggie Steffens, Jordan Raney and Jewel Roemer all getting two. Johnson was superior in goal once again with eight saves.

The American women will play Hungary in a two-match set on 5 July at Palo Alto, California and on 9 July at Berkeley, California in their last tune-ups before Paris.

The American men faced Spain, the 2022 World Champions and bronze medalists in the 2023 and 2024 World Championships in a three-match schedule, starting with a 26-25 loss in a penalty shoot-out at Mt. SAC last Wednesday.

The U.S. had a 7-5 lead at the half, but that was cut to 10-9 at the end of three and tied at 13-13 at the end of regulation. It took four rounds of the penalty shoot-out to resolve the issue, but Francisco Valera’s goal turned out to be the winner for Spain. Chase Dodd, Johnny Hooper, Alex Obert, Marko Vavic and Dylan Woodhead all had three scores for the U.S.

On Friday night in Berkeley, the U.S. managed a 10-9 victory thanks to 17 saves from Alex Weinberg in goal. After a 6-3 lead at the half, the U.S. was down by 8-7 after the Spanish scored five times in the third. But three fourth-quarter goals gave the Americans the win, with three goals from Luca Cupido, and two each from Hannes Daube and Ryder Dodd.

On Sunday afternoon in Atherton, California, Spain won the final match of the series, 13-10, with a 7-4 margin in the second half. Spain went up 10-9 after three periods, and out-scored the U.S., 3-1 in the final frame. Dodd had three goals for the Americans and Ben Hallock and Hooper had two each.

The U.S. men have two remaining warm-up matches on 12 July in Greece and on 19 July in Croatia.

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