TSX REPORT: Biles supreme for ninth U.S. All-Around title; Seville upsets Lyles in 100 m in Jamaica; French police arrest teen terror threat

The incomparable Simone Biles (Photo courtesy USA Gymnastics/John Cheng)

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1. Biles sweeps all four events for record ninth U.S. national All-Around title
2. Seville beats Lyles in Kingston, McLaughlin-Levrone 52.70 in Atlanta
3. French police arrest teen in suspected “Islamist attack” plot
4. World Athletics unleashes its “Pioneering Change” plan
5. Another Russian federation doubtful about LA28

● The sensational Simone Biles won a record ninth USA Gymnastics national All-Around title in Ft. Worth and also took the two-stage totals on all four apparatus, winning by almost six points. Returning from a bad knee injury, Brody Malone won his third men’s U.S. All-Around title in four years.

● A busy weekend on the track, with world leads for Jamaica’s Oblique Seville, who beat Noah Lyles in the men’s 100 m, 9.82 to 9.85, in Kingston, for Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone in Atlanta in the women’s 400 m hurdles (52.70) and in three events at the Stockholm Diamond League meet, plus more world-record attempts from Mondo Duplantis!

● The French Interior Ministry announced that police arrested an 18-year-old from the Chechen area of Russia who was apparently plotting a suicide attack on an Olympic football match in St. Etienne.

● World Athletics posted its strategic plan for 2023-27, emphasizing a higher profile for the sport, more exciting meets, placing the World Championships at the end of each season and trying out new concepts like the long jump “take-off zone” as well as the one-mile Steeplechase and a mixed 4×100 m relay.

● The head of the Russian fencing federation also believes it is unlikely that Russian athletes will be allowed to compete at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games.

Spotlight: La Liga and English Premier League worried that FIFA will require them to cut from 20 to 18 clubs to make room for FIFA’s own events. ●

Panorama: Tokyo 2020 (Ledecky on the Chinese doping scandal: confidence in anti-doping system “is at an all-time low”) = Olympic Games 2036 (Chile announces interest) = World University Games (FISU celebrates 75th anniversary) = Artistic Swimming (four medals for Canada’s Simoneau at Markham World Cup) = Badminton (five wins for China in Singapore Open) = Boxing (Olympic qualifier concludes; Australia tops all nations with 12 entries in 13 classes) = Canoe-Kayak (Aussie star Fox gets 48th career World Cup win in Augsburg) = Football (U.S. women trounce Korea, 4-0, in Hayes’ debut as coach) = Gymnastics (Kovtun stars in World Challenge Cup in Koper) = Rugby Sevens (France and Australia take seasonal titles in Madrid) = Surfing (Ferreira and Fierro win WSL Tahiti Pro tournament in Teahupo’o) = Swimming (Haughey and Gorbenko sweep Mare Nostrum series) = Weightlifting (three doping positives for Turkey) = Wrestling (Steveson signs with NFL’s Bills as defensive line prospect) ●

Biles sweeps all four events for record ninth U.S. national title

There was little doubt that the iconic Simone Biles would win another All-Around title at the USA Gymnastics National Championships in Ft. Worth, Texas on Sunday night, but in a field that included Tokyo Olympic All-Around winner Suni Lee and Floor gold medalist Jade Carey, could she really sweep all four events?

She did.

Biles, 27, dominated the field and piled up 119.750 points in the two rounds of All-Around competition to win over a star-studded field by almost six full points. More than that, she won each of the four events, based on the two-stage totals. The top scorers by apparatus:

Vault: Simone Biles 30.800, Skye Blakely 29.400, Jade Carey 29.100
Bars: Biles 29.050, Jordan Chiles 29.000, Blakely 28.850
Beam: Biles 29.600, Suni Lee 29.100, Blakely 28.650
Floor: Biles 30.300, Kayla DiCello 27.800, Tiana Sumanasekera 27.500

In terms of the final overall scores, Biles was simply in another dimension:

1. Biles, 119.750
2. Blakely, 113.850
3. DiCello, 110.800
4. Lee, 110.650
5. Chiles, 110.400

Carey finished seventh at 109.300; two-time Worlds Team gold winner Leanne Wong was eighth (108.650) and 2023 Worlds Team gold winner Joscelyn Roberson was 10th (108.200).

Moreover, consider that Biles’ score in 2024 was her best at the Nationals since 2018 (!) and that her first-day 60.450 total was her best at the Nationals since 2016! It was her record ninth U.S. All-Around win; the scores:

2013: 60.500 (one All-Around only)
2014: 122.550 (61.800 + 60.750)
2015: 124.100 (61.100 + 63.000)
2016: 125.000 (62.900 + 62.100)
2018: 119.850 (60.100 + 59.750)
2019: 118.500 (58.650 + 59.850)
2021: 119.650 (59.550 + 60.100)
2023: 118.450 (59.300 + 59.150)
2024: 119.750 (60.450 + 59.300)

In terms of national apparatus championships, she now has a staggering 23 of those:

Vault: 7
Bars: 2 (2018 and 2024)
Beam: 7
Floor: 7

This is beyond astonishing, but there is more coming, at the Olympic Trials at the end of the month and, barring some catastrophic mishap, on to Paris for her third Olympic Games.

Six-time Worlds medal winner – and a member of the 2022 and 2023 Worlds Team golds – Shilese Jones withdrew prior to the start of the meet; her statement:

“Unfortunately, I won’t be participating in the Xfinity Championships this year. With Paris as my ultimate focus, it’s best for me to prioritize recovery and resting my shoulder this weekend. Both the medical team and I are confident this is the right decision to ensure I’m at full strength for Trials. I’m excited to support my fellow athletes and teammates this weekend. I am submitting a petition to USAG for Olympic Trials and hope to have the opportunity to compete in Minneapolis!”

The USA Gymnastics Athlete Selection Committee approved petitions from Jones and Kaliya Lincoln to go to the Trials in Minneapolis from 27-30 June.

Another familiar star was back on top of the men’s podium, as Brody Malone returned from a devastating right knee injury off the horizontal bar in 2023, surgery and rehab to take his third national All-Around title in four years.

A Tokyo 2020 Olympian, Malone won both rounds of the All-Around, scoring 85.950 on Thursday and 86.350 on Saturday, for a 172.300 total. That placed him ahead of Worlds All-Around bronze winner Fred Richard (170.250) and Stanford’s Khoi Young (16.550).

Malone, the 2022 World Champion on the Horizontal Bar, won that event at 29.500 (both rounds combined), was second on Rings (29.250), fourth on the Pommel Horse (28.100), fifth on the Parallel Bars (29.450), sixth on Vault (28.400) and 12th on Floor (27.600).

Richard won on Floor (29.500), 2021 World Champion Stephen Nedoroscik took the Pommel Horse gold at 30.00, Alex Diab won on Rings (29.450), World silver winner Young took the Vault (29.650), Yul Moldauer won on Parallel Bars 30.800).

Including the A-A title and the Horizontal Bar win, Malone now has seven career national titles.

Seville beats Lyles in Kingston, McLaughlin-Levrone 52.70 in Atlanta

This was a busy weekend on the track, with meets all over, but the headliners were in Kingston and Atlanta.

At the annual Racers Grand Prix sprintfest in Jamaica, home favorite Oblique Seville – the fourth-placer at the 2022 and 2023 World Championships 100 m – got the start of his life and held to win in a lifetime best and world-leading 9.82 (wind: +0.9 m/s).

That was just good enough to beat World Champion Noah Lyles of the U.S., who moved up hard in the final 15 m, but was just short in second at 9.85, with Ferdinand Omanyala (KEN: 10.02) third and Kendal Williams of the U.S. in fourth (10.06).

Seville improved by 0.04 and Lyles equaled his second-fastest time ever, but the different in the start reaction times – 0.163 for Seville to 0.189 for Lyles – told most of the story.

Just as impressive was the women’s 100 m win for World 60 m champ Julien Alfred (LCA), who won the women’s 100 m in 10.78 (+1.3), just 0.01 off of the world lead by the injured Jacious Sears of the U.S. Despite having the next-to-last reaction to the gun, she set yet another national record and is definitely in the medal discussions for Paris.

Another world-leading performance came from fellow Jamaican Jaydon Hibbert – the NCAA champ last year for Arkansas – with boomed out to 17.75 m (58-3) in the fourth round to win by more than a meter. Wow!

Trey Cunningham of the U.S. won the 110 m hurdles in a season’s best of 13.12 (+0.8) over Rasheed Broadbell (JAM: 13.26) and Michael Dickson of the U.S. (13.26).

Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone returned to the women’s 400 m hurdles for the first time in two years at the HBCU Pro Classic: Edwin Moses Legends meet on Friday at Morehouse College in Atlanta, an American Track League event.

She was an easy winner in a world-leading 52.70, but there were other strong marks as well.

Olympic silver winner Keni Harrison won the women’s 100 m hurdles in 12.60 (wind: +0.2 m/s), and fellow American Tamara Clark took the women’s 100 m in 11.04 (+0.8), while Canada’s Audrey Leduc upset Tamari Davis of the U.S. in the 200 m, 22.36 – a national record – to 22.39 (+1.1).

American Pjai Austin won the men’s 100 m in 10.03 (-0.9) and Terrance Laird was an easy winner in the 200 m in 20.30 (+0.6). Christopher Bailey, third at the U.S. Indoor Nationals this year, got a lifetime best of 44.42 to win the 400 m and move to no. 9 in the world for 2024.

The Bauhaus Galan in Stockholm (SWE) saw three world-leading marks, but also another set of world-record tries by vault king Mondo Duplantis:

Men/800 m: 1:43.23, Djamel Sedjati (ALG)
Men/3,000 m: 7:33.59, Narve Nordas (NOR)
Men/3,000 m Steeple: 8:01.63, Lamecha Girma (ETH)

The fans came to see national hero Duplantis in the men’s vault and it took only three jumps for him to clear the field except for two-time World Champion Sam Kendricks of the U.S., as both cleared 5.90 m (19-4 1/4) on their first tries. The bar went to 6.00 m (19-8 1/4), and Duplantis cleared on his opening try, while Kendricks missed three times and finished second. American recordman KC Lightfoot was third with his clearance at 5.80 m (19-0 1/4).

Duplantis, having made his only four jumps of the meet, immediately asked for the bar to go to 6.25 m (20-6) for his third try at a ninth world record. But he missed three times – the first and third were really close – and is now 0-9 in his jumps at that height.

Now the world leaders:

● World leader Djamel Sedjati, the 2022 Worlds silver medalist, got the hot pace he wanted in the men’s 800 m, but didn’t challenge the leaders until 200 m to go. But he passed Ben Pattison (GBR) and American Bryce Hoppel on the turn and ran away on the home straight to improve on his own world-leading time to 1:43.23. Hoppel was second with a strong finish in 1:44.29, with Tshepiso Masalela (BOT) coming up for third in a photo-finish with Pattison, with both in 1:44.44.

● In the 3,000 m, Swiss Dominic Lobalu had the lead for most of the race, but Norway’s Narve Nordas – the 2023 Worlds 1,500 m bronze winner – moved up with 250 m to go and then blasted the final straight to win in a world-leading 7:33.49, trailed by Lobalu (7:33.68) and Guatemala’s Luis Grijalva (7:33.96).

● In the Steeple, world-record holder Lamecha Girma (ETH) opened his season and had the lead ahead of the pacesetter by 1,200 m, and had countryman Samuel Firewu – the world leader coming in – somewhat close He was well clear of the field with two laps left, was all alone at the bell and romped home in a world-leading 8:01.63, his sixth-fastest time ever.

Firewu was all alone in second for most of the last three laps, with a personal best of 8:05.78, with Mohamed Jhinaoui (TUN) coming up on the last lap to get third in a national record of 8:10.41. Tokyo fourth-placer Getnet Wale (ETH) was fourth at 8:10.73; American Hillary Bor finished seventh in 8:15.53.

Much attention was paid to two superstars looking to jump-start their outdoor seasons:

● The questions concerning two-time World 200 m champ Shericka Jackson (JAM) continued. She won the 200 m convincingly, but had to battle a 2.0 m/s headwind and posted a modest time of 22.68. Sweden’s Julia Henriksson was a surprise second in 22.89. Anavia Battle of the U.S. was fourth in 22.98 and Jenna Prandini was seventh in 23.31.

● Dutch World women’s 400 m hurdles champ Femke Bol made her seasonal debut in the event and exploded in the home straight to overtake Jamaica’s Rushell Clayton after hurdle eight and win going away in 53.07. Clayton was a clear second in 53.78 and countrywoman Andrenette Knight got third in 54.62.

And there was a lot more:

Cameroon’s Emmanuel Eseme won the men’s 100 m from a charging Kyree King of the U.S. in 10.16 to 10.18, into a 1.0 m/s headwind. The non-Diamond League men’s 400 m looked like a win for Zakithi Nene (RSA), as he led into the final straight, only to be passed by American Vernon Norwood and then both were passed by Quincy Hall of the U.S. in the final 50 m and the win in 44.68, to 44.80 and 45.29 for Nene.

German Robert Farken won the men’s non-Diamond League 1,500 m, taking control at the bell and winning in 3:33.53, beating Luke McCann (IRL: 3:33.66) and Federico Riva (ITA: 3:33.87).

Brazil’s 2022 World Champion Alison dos Santos, coming off of his big win over world-record holder Karsten Warholm at the Bislett Games, had the lead almost immediately in the 400 m hurdles and won easily in 47.01. Commonwealth Games champ Kyron McMaster edged CJ Allen of the U.S. for second, 48.05 to 48.12, seasonal bests for both.

Discus world-record setter Mykolas Alekna (LTU) won his sixth straight meet this season with his third-round throw of 68.84 m (225-10), followed by three fouls. Commonwealth Games champion Matthew Denny (AUS: 66.75 m/219-0) was second and Olympic champion Daniel Stahl (SWE) finished third at 66.10 m (216-10).

In the women’s 100 m, African Games champ Gina Bass (GAM) got out best, but had to hold off a charge from American Brittany Brown and Marie-Josee Ta Lou-Smith (CIV) to win in 11.15 (wind: -0.8 m/s), with Ta Lou-Smith given second in 11.16 and Brown with a seasonal best of 11.18 in third.

The non-Diamond League women’s 400 m was a win for Alexis Smith of the U.S. in 51.18, well ahead of Zeney Geldenhuys (RSA: 52.18). The non-D.L. 800 m was a comfortable win for Britain’s Jemma Reekie, taking over after the bell and finishing in 1:57.79, beating Vivian Kiprotich (KEN: 1:58.64).

World no. 2 Birke Haylom (ETH) took control of the 1,500 m by the 1,000 m mark and was running strongly in the lead onto the final backstraight. But she could not match a charge by Britain’s Olympic silver winner Laura Muir, who had the lead into the final straight and won in 3:57.99, trailed by Kenyan Ednah Jebitok with a lifetime best of 3:58.88, Australian Georgia Griffith (3:59.17) and then Haylom (3:59.84). Danielle Jones of the U.S. got fifth in a lifetime best of 4:00.64.

The women’s shot was a tight battle between World Champion Chase Jackson of the U.S. and World Indoor winner Sarah Mitton of Canada. Jackson got out to 20.00 m (65-7 1/2) in round two and that turned out to be the winner, as Mitton managed 19.98 m (65-6 3/4) in the second round, but could not improve. Maggie Ewen of the U.S. was eighth at 18.27 m (59-11 1/4).

Ukraine’s Yaroslava Mahuchikh, the 2023 World Champion, made her outdoor debut and popped over 2.00 m (6-6 3/4) on her second try to win over Imke Onnen (GER) and fellow Ukrainian Iryna Gerashchenko, both at 1.94 m (6-4 1/4). Cuban Leyanis Perez, the World Indoor silver medalist, grabbed the lead in the women’s triple jump at 14.67 m (48-1 3/4) in the second round, and no one could match her. Two-time Worlds silver winner Shanieka Ricketts (JAM) was second with 14.40 m (47-3) and two-time Olympian Keturah Orji of the U.S. was sixth at 13.75 m (45-1 1/2).

The Diamond League is on hiatus now until the Meeting de Paris on 7 July, to be held in the Stade Charlety and NOT in the Stade de France, which will be used for the Olympic Games.

French police arrest teen in suspected “Islamist attack” plot

The French Interior Ministry posted this statement on Friday (computer translation):

“On May 22, 2024, the General Directorate of Internal Security (DGSI) arrested an 18-year-old Chechen national suspected of wanting to commit an Islamist-inspired attack on national soil in Saint-Etienne (Loire). 

“The preliminary evidence suggests that he was actively preparing an attack against the Geoffroy Guichard stadium (Saint-Etienne), during the football events which will take place there as part of the Olympic Games that our country will host next summer. He would have liked to attack spectators, but also the police and die a martyr.

Gérald Darmanin, Minister of the Interior and Overseas Territories, congratulates the intelligence services which once again demonstrate their full mobilization and effectiveness in the fight against terrorism and the protection of our country. This is the first foiled attack against the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the 50th attack foiled by our intelligence services since 2017.”

Preliminary terrorism charges were filed on Friday. Darmanin has said previously that the country’s security services are on high alert, especially for possible attacks by Islamic groups, environmental activists, far-right organizations, Russian cyberattacks from Russia and others.

The suspect moved to France with his family in 2023 and had no police record prior to this incident. French media reported that police found him “exchanging encrypted messages with known Islamists. Photographs and videos of the stadium were allegedly found on his phone and computer.” The Chechen Republic is in southern Russia, near the Caspian Sea, is mostly rural and strongly Islamic.

The Stade Geoffrey Guichard is scheduled to his six group–stage football matches, three each for men and women.

World Athletics unleashes its “Pioneering Change” plan

“With this new strategy, the next four years must be a game changer for the sport of athletics.

“We are the number 1 Olympic Sport by audience and reach and our World Championships also see many millions of people around the world watching our athletes. We will build on these big moments by ensuring we have a major athletics global event taking place EVERY year. An event that ends the classic outdoor season with flair, entertainment and purpose that attracts large global audiences.”

That’s from the introduction to the new World Athletics Strategic Plan for 2023-27, called “Pioneering Change.” The 36-page document is the successor to the 2020 “Strategy for Growth” plan and follows the goals set in the 2021 “World Plan for Athletics 2022-30.”

The plan lists four primary pathways forward: more and better events, more innovation in events and access to athletes, “more ways in which our athletes can be stars” and more ways to get involved as an athlete, coach or official. But it also notes that “Almost three quarters of 13-37 years olds say that they do not need to watch sports live, preferring to watch highlights and clips and over half of the 12-27 year olds (Gen Z) do not like traditional sport or formats.”

So, the report identifies specific themes and projects to expand the touch of athletics at all levels and for all age groups. Action items called include, but are not limited to:

● Increasing fan appeal and understanding of the sport: “End each season with a global championship event that will engage millions of fans around the world.”

● “Launch a new global championship event to take place in 2026 that is made for television and will appeal to millions of people around the world.”

● Funding new funders and organizations outside of World Athletics to put on more meets and pay more prize money to athletes.

● “Recruit, retain, reward and educate people in our sport and create more ways for them to be part of global athletics regardless of region, age or level,” a under-appreciated but crucial goal to provide enough qualified coaches to help athletes and officials for meets.

Not mentioned directly in the report, but in the accompanying announcement were new developments to be tested and considered, some of which have been previously made public:

● “A mixed 4x100m relay and a steeplechase mile
● “A take-off zone for horizontal jumps
● “Improved efficiency of measurements
● “New ways to decide tie-breakers in jumps using new technology
● “Reviewing the weights of women’s shot put and javelin”

The report states, based on research commissioned from Nielsen Sports, that “Athletics is ranked fourth in terms of sports interest globally,” and that World Athletics is currently working on an annualized budget of $55 million (U.S.) per year once extraordinary income – the quadrennial, $40 million-plus Olympic television dividend from the International Olympic Committee – is averaged out.

Observed: This four-year plan covers the last four years that iconic British double Olympic champion Sebastian Coe (GBR) will be the head of World Athletics. It sets clear goals and some detail on how they will be achieved.

Importantly, the language of the plan conveys the underlying unease among many athletes, agents, coaches and fans that the sport – as great as it is and in a period of stunning achievement on the track and infield – that athletics is not where it should be in terms of popularity, funding and attention.

There are good motives and a clear direction of what needs to be achieved to move this sport forward. Doing so will be extraordinarily difficult in a time when the biggest sports and leagues – FIFA, the NFL, the NBA and others – are pressing even harder to expand their already-strong market share and crowd others out whenever possible.

Another Russian federation doubtful about LA28

Ilgar Mamedov, the head of the Russian Fencing Federation, was the latest to cast doubt on whether Russian athletes will be able to compete in Los Angeles at the 2028 Olympic Games. He told the Russian news agency TASS (DeepL translation):

“If the 2028 Olympics were not in Los Angeles [USA], there would have been more positives and illusions about us coming back.

“Judging by what’s happening now, frankly, there’s not much optimism. But you realize that everything can change at any moment. As soon as everything is over where this situation [the invasion of Ukraine] is happening, I think everything will normalize.

“We have to wait and in no way betray [Russia], because those who betray now, to put it mildly, will feel uncomfortable when everything is over. It won’t work to pretend that everything is fine, that it was just the way things had to be done. Everyone now faces a choice: to do right or wrong.”

The Paris 2024 Games will see the smallest Russian Empire/Soviet/Russian presence in the Olympic Games in 116 years, competing only as “Individual Neutral Athletes” with no Russian identification. The International Olympic Committee has its own team of reviewers to determine whether the athletes deemed qualified for Paris by the International Federations meet its standards for admission.

Multiple Russian federation heads have opined that Russian athletes will be similarly limited for the Milan Cortina 2026 Winter Games and a few have shared Mamedov’s view that LA28 may not be much better.


● Football ● Amid threats of boycotts of the new, expanded FIFA Club World Cup for 2025 from Spain’s La Liga and the English Premier League over the expansion of FIFA-organized tournaments into periods when clubs have been able to do their own programming comes a new worry reported in the British paper The Sun: forcing leagues to cut teams.

By doing so, the number of matches that clubs play would be reduced and create the requested rest for players … to compete in FIFA-sponsored events instead of domestic league matches. An unnamed source in Friday’s story said:

“We all think that this is the ultimate aim from FIFA, to find a way of making us drop to 18.

“What you can put your money on is the [FIFA] working group [on player welfare] saying there is too much domestic football, that we should all go down from 20 clubs to 18 and that the least impact on players comes from international matches.

“We wouldn’t be shocked if they have already written their conclusions.”

The Premier League, La Liga and Serie A in Italy have 20 clubs each, with 18 in the French Ligue 1 and the German Bundesliga. La Liga chief executive Javier Tebas told The Sun:

“If we don’t take action the industry is in danger, right now. FIFA’s solution is just to create new competitions. But for that to happen and for us to be able to fit these competitions in, we would have to lose two clubs from La Liga.

“That would mean we’d have to make 70 players unemployed at those clubs and it would lose thousands of jobs related to those clubs. We need to fix the current problems before creating new competitions that will destroy the industry, clubs, jobs, the dreams of fans – and football.”

FIFA, for its part, said that no such changes are contemplated and that national leagues retain autonomy over their own competitions. But the continued war of words from England and Spain are a demonstration of the tension over FIFA’s enthusiasm for new programs which it will organize and operate.


● Olympic Games 2020: Tokyo ● “It’s hard going into Paris knowing that we’re going to be racing some of these athletes. And I think our faith in some of the systems is at an all-time low.”

That’s seven-time Olympic champion Katie Ledecky of the U.S., from a Sunday interview on the “CBS News Sunday Morning” program, commenting on the Chinese swimmer positives for trimetazidine in 2021 that were determined to be “accidental contamination” by the Chinese Anti-Doping Agency, with no penalties, conclusions that were not challenged by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

“It doesn’t seem like everything was followed to a ‘’T’ regarding the handling of the case.

“I’d like to see some accountability here. I’d like to see some answers as to why this happened the way it did. And I’d really like to see that steps are taken for the future so that we can regain some confidence in the global system.”

Of the 23 Chinese swimmers who registered positive tests, four athletes won five event medals at Tokyo 2020 and multiple swimmers on the list are expected to compete in Paris.

● Olympic Games 2036 ● Chilean President Gabriel Boric announced Saturday that his country will look to bid for the Games of the XXXVI Olympiad in 2036 (computer translation from the original Spanish):

“[W]e have shown that Chile has the organizational conditions, the management capacity and the international leadership to organize world-class sporting events.

“That is why I announce that we will begin the path so that Chile is, for the first time in its history, a candidate to host the 2036 Olympic Games. And, to this end, I have instructed the Minister of Sports, Jaime Pizarro, to formalize the procedures through a letter of intent that has already been sent to the Chilean Olympic Committee, to begin the application process for our headquarters with a view to 2036.”

This means that Chile will enter into a “continuous dialogue” with the International Olympic Committee’s Future Host Commission for the summer Games, joining multiple other countries with interest, such as India, Indonesia, Poland, Qatar, Turkey and others.

Chile successfully hosted the 2023 Pan American Games, with 6,909 athletes from 41 delegations, competing in 39 sports.

● World University Games ● Saturday (1st) was the 75th anniversary of the founding Congress of the Federation Internationale de Sport Universitaire (FISU) in Zurich (SUI) in 1949, with six original members: Italy, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.

The stated purpose of the new federation:

“To promote the cultural aspect of the student body from all countries, to exchange the experiences of university sport, to organise international university meetings, and to spread the moral values of sport.”

A “Summer International University Sports Week” was held in 1949 in Merano (ITA) with nine participating countries, but the World University Games as known today was first held in 1959 in Turin (ITA), with 985 competitors from 45 countries.

● Artistic Swimming ● The third stop on the World Aquatics World Cup tour in Markham (CAN) was a showcase for home favorite Jacqueline Simoneau, the two-time Worlds medal winner in the Solo division. But the Montreal native won four medals in Markham, starting with the Solo Technical final, scoring 256.7950 over China’s 18-year-old Huiyan Xu (244.2050).

Hu won the Solo Free at 231.98354, with Simoneau second at 230.5750. The Canadian star then teamed with Audrey Lamothe for silver medals in the Duet Tech and Duet Free. Worlds medal-winning sisters Anna-Maria Alexandri and Eirini-Marina Alexandri (AUT) won the Duet Technical in a tight final, 248.3567 to 248.3350, and Japan’s Moe Higa and Tomoka Sato took the Duet Free by 253.7730 to 246.5501.

Kazakhstan’s Eduard Kim won the men’s Solo Technical at 204.3900 and teammate Viktor Druzin took the men’s Solo Free, scoring 193.7938.

In the Mixed Technical final, Spain’s Dennis Gonzalez and Mireia Hernandez won at 228.1233, and then Gonzalez and Emma Garcia won the Mixed Free final at 200.3854.

● Badminton ● China placed finalists in all five events and won four at the Singapore Open, although there was no suspense in the all-China final in the men’s Singles, with Yu Qi Shi taking down Shi Feng Li, 17-21, 21-19, 21-19.

Unseeded Ji Ting He and Xiang Yu Ren (CHN) swept aside Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto (INA) in the men’s Doubles, 21-19, 21-14 and top-seeded Qing Chen Chen and Yi Fan Jia (CHN) defeated Ami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida (JPN), 21-15, 21-12.

In the Mixed Doubles, top-seeds Si Wei Zhang and Ya Qiong Huang (CHN) swept Po-Hsuan Yang and Ling Fang Hu (TPE), 21-11, 21-19.

Top women’s seed Se Young An (KOR) was the only non-Chinese winner, taking down no. 2 seed Yu Fei Chen (CHN) by 21-19, 16-21, 21-12.

● Boxing ● The final Olympic Qualifying Tournament was held in Bangkok (THA), with quota slots finalized in all 13 classes, with 578 boxers from 132 countries vying for 28 men’s and 23 women’s spots.

The U.S. won two more spots in Paris, with Roscoe Hill winning his quota bout by 5-0 at 51 kg, over Gan-Erdene Gankhuyagiin of Mongolia. Alyssa Mendoza earned her place in Paris in the women’s 57 kg class, also with a 5-0 win, over Maud van der Toorn (NED).

With the entries for the 13 classes to be contested in Paris essentially complete (some re-allocations will be needed), the leading nation by number of qualifiers was Australia with 12, followed by Uzbekistan with 11 and Brazil, Ireland and Kazakhstan with 10. China, France, Italy, Thailand, Turkey and the U.S. all have eight.

● Canoe-Kayak ● The first Canoe-Slalom World Cup was in Augsburg (GER), with one of the all-time greats scoring yet another World Cup victory.

That would be Australia’s Jessica Fox, who stormed to a clear win in the women’s C-1 final, finishing at 11.68 seconds (2 penalties), ahead of Spain’s Nuria Vilarrubla (118.83/2), with American Evy Leibfarth seventh in 126.67 (4).

It was the 31st World Cup win for Fox in the C-1 and now 48 total World Cup wins all three disciplines, to go along with her four Olympic medals and 14 Worlds golds!

France’s Camille Prigent, a 2018 K-1 Team gold medalist, won the women’s K-1 in 106.41 (0), beating two-time World Champion Ricarda Funk (GER: 106.45/2). Worlds bronze medalist Eva Tercelj (SLO) won the Kayak Cross, ahead of Worlds silver winner Prigent and Leibfarth.

The men’s K-1 winner was Felix Oschmautz (AUT) in 101.66 (2), beating Finn Butcher (NZL: 102.66/2), and Slovenia’a Ziga Lin Hocevar won the C-1 in 101.57 (0), ahead of Marko Mirgorodsky (SVK: 101.84/0).

France’s Mathurin Madore won the men’s Kayak Cross final, with Swiss Dmitri Marx second, and Butcher getting his second medal in third.

● Football ● In their first game with Emma Hayes (GBR) as coach, the U.S. women cruised to a 4-0 victory over Korea in Commerce City, Colorado on Saturday.

The game was scoreless until late in the first half, when the U.S. got untracked with star striker Mallory Swanson slammed home a pass into the center of the box from Sophia Smith for a 1-0. Then, defender Tierna Davidson headed home the second goal off a cross by Caterina Macario in the 38th for the 2-0 lead that held through halftime, where the U.S. out-shot the Koreans by 8-2.

It only took three minutes of the second half for Davidson to get a second goal, with another header, this time from the right edge of the six-yard box off a Swanson cross. And Swanson got a second goal as well, from the right side of goal in the 74th for the 4-0 final.

The U.S. women held 67% of possession and ended with 15-4 shots advantage against an overmatched opponent. Jane Campbell got the shutout in goal for the U.S., her first start since a 2021 shutout of … South Korea!

Worth noting: Hayes sent a startling line-up that averaged just 25 1/2 years old, reported to be the youngest since April 2022.

The U.S. and Korea will face off again on Tuesday at Allianz Field in St. Paul, Minnesota, at 8 p.m. Eastern time.

● Gymnastics ● Ukraine’s 20-year-old Worlds All-Around runner-up Illia Kovtun was the stare of the FIG Apparatus World Challenge Cup in Koper (SLO), winning three events and taking a silver in another.

He started on fire, winning the Floor at 14.600, beating Olympic and World Champion Artem Dolgopyat (ISR) by 14.600 to 14.450. Kovtun then won on Pommel Horse at 14.900 with Kazakhstan’s Diyas Toishybek a distant second at 14.150. And he finished the first day with a silver on Rings, with teammate Igor Radivilov winning at 13.700 and Kovtun at 13.350.

On Sunday, Spain’s Pau Jimenez won the Vault (14.400), the Kovtun got his third win of the meet on Parallel Bars with a big score of 15.350, followed by Yuan-Hsi Hung (TPE: 14.900). The 2018 Asian Games winner on Horizontal Bar, Chia-Hung Tang (TPE) put up a big score to defeat 2017 World Champion Tin Srbic (CRO), at 14.950.

The women’s winners included Alexa Moreno (MEX: 14.600) on Vault, Lucija Hribar (SLO: 13.300) on the Uneven Bars, Veronica Mandriota (ITA: 13.050) on Beam and Lena Bickel (SUI: 13.300) on Floor.

● Rugby Sevens ● The 2023-24 HSBC Sevens finale was in Madrid (ESP), with the top eight teams in the men’s and women’s standings in a championship series play-off for the seasonal title.

In men’s pool play, Argentina and Fiji both went 3-0, but France won over Fiji in one semifinal, 21-14, and Argentina cruised into the final with a 21-14 win over New Zealand. But the French took the title – its second of the season – with a 19-5 finals win, with Fiji defeating New Zealand by 17-10 for third.

France thus won its first-ever Sevens series title, a good sign for its Olympic chances, and Argentina ended up second for the second season in a row. Fiji won the seasonal bronze for the third time in a row!

In the women’s pool play, Australia was undefeated at 3-0, but Canada tool Pool A at 2-1 over New Zealand (2-1). But the French overcame the Canadians in their semi, 19-17, while Australia managed 21-19 victory over the Kiwis.

In the final, Australia was a clear winner over France by 26-7, while New Zealand sailed past Canada, 26-14.

This was the 11th season of the women’s Sevens and either Australia (4) or New Zealand (7) have won every time. The French were runners-up for the second time in three seasons, while the U.S. women finished fifth.

● Surfing ● The World Surf League’s Tahiti Pro tournament, also a dress rehearsal for the Paris 2024 competition at Teahupo’o, finished with wins for Brazil’s Italo Ferreira and France’s Vahine Fierro.

Ferreira, the 2019 World Champion, won the men’s final against John John Florence (Hawaii), 17.70 to 17.16. Fierro, the 2017 World Junior Champion, got her first career World Surf League tour win over Brisa Hennessey (CRC) in the final by 15.17 to 12.00.

● Swimming ● Strong swimming in the final two events of the annual Mare Nostrum series, in Barcelona (29-30 May), and Monaco (1-2 June), with exceptional marks from Hong Kong star Siobhan Haughey and Israel’s Anastasia Gorbenko.

Haughey, the Tokyo runner-up in the women’s 100 and 200 m Freestyles, swept both events in this year’s Mare Nostrum series, and is now third in the world in 2024 from her 52.55 win at the first stop in Canet-et-Roussillon (FRA).

Gorbenko has been slashing national records all season and swept the women’s 200 m Medley, moving to seventh in the world for 2024 with her Barcelona winning time of 2:08.55, then moved to fifth in 2024 in the 400 m Medley in Monaco in 4:34.87.

Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom, the four-time World Champion in the 50 m Free, confirmed her favorite status for Paris, winning the Skins race in Monaco in 23.84. That’s faster than anyone else has swum this year, but just behind her own 23.69 win at the World Championships in February.

David Popovici (ROU), the 2022 men’s Worlds winner in the 100-200 m Frees, won the 200 m Free in Barcelona in 1:44.74, moving to no. 3 in 2024. Korean Woo-min Kim, the 400 m Free World Champion, moved up to no. 4 in 2024 in his specialty, winning in Monaco in 3:42.42.

Hungary’s Kristof Milak, who dazzled as the 100-200 m Fly Worlds winner in 2022, got back into the mix for Paris with wins in Monaco in both events. His 100 m Fly victory in 50.75 moves to fourth on the year list and his 1:53.94 for 200 m is now second for 2024.

● Weightlifting ● The International Testing Agency announced three doping positives among Turkish lifters from tests in April 2023, for Hakan Sukru Kurnaz, Pelinsu Bayav and Dogan Donen.

Kurnaz was the 2022 World Junior Champion in the men’s 81 kg class and Bayav competed in the women’s 49 kg class; both tested positive for methasterone. Donen won the 2019 World Junior bronze in the men’s 61 kg division, and failed to provide his “whereabouts” three times within a 12-month period.

The triple sanction triggers a review by the International Weightlifting Federation’s Independent Member Federation Sanctioning Panel, and could result in Turkey losing its right to compete in Paris this summer; Turkey has qualified one lifter, European men’s 73 kg champion Muhammad Ozbek.

● Wrestling ● Olympic gold medalist Gable Steveson, the miracle winner of the 125 kg Freestyle final at the Tokyo 2020 Games, signed a three-year deal with the Buffalo Bills on Friday, projected as a defensive lineman.

Steveson – at 6-1, 275 lbs. – is not a football player; he wrestled at Minnesota and was a two-time NCAA Champion at 285 lbs. in 2021 and 2022. He signed with the WWE but that did not pan out and now he will try to use his skills in football.

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