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≡ THE 5-RING CIRCUS ≡
1. Chepngetich’s 2:14:18 no. 2 ever, Sisson sets U.S. record in Chicago
2. Kremlin salutes IBA’s re-admission of Russian boxers
3. Five countries now boycotting FIG Congress with Russia present
4. No. 4 England women defeat no. 1 U.S., 2-1, in Wembley showdown
5. Luz Long archive, including ‘36 silver, up for auction
A spectacular Chicago Marathon produced the second-fastest women’s marathon ever run, from Kenya’s 2019 World Champion Ruth Chepngeitch (2:14:18) and an American Record from Emily Sisson, in 2:18:19. The decision of the Russian-led International Boxing Association to reinstate Russian and Belarusian athletes was hailed by the Kremlin, the Russian Sports Ministry and four-time world professional champion Roy Jones, Jr., an American by birth, but who was granted Russian citizenship in 2015! Five countries have announced a boycott of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Congress in Turkey in November because Russian and Belarusian delegates will be allowed to participate; more may join. England’s European Champion women’s football team won a tight, 2-1 battle with the no. 1-ranked U.S. women at a packed Wembley Stadium on Friday, 2-1, with all the scoring in the first half. Continuing this week and into Saturday is an online auction of 32 items related to Germany’s Luz Long, including his long jump silver medal from the Berlin 1936 Olympic Games, where he placed second to American icon Jesse Owens.
Chepngetich’s 2:14:18 no. 2 ever, Sisson sets U.S. record 2:18:29 in Chicago
A cool day made for perfect running conditions at the 44th Chicago Marathon on Sunday, with one of the fastest races ever for women, a near-world record for Ruth Chepngetich and an American Record for Emily Sisson.
The 2019 World Champion, Kenya’s Chepngetich was primed for a fast race, especially after dropping out of the 2022 World Championships marathon in Eugene. She took off from the start, taking a 45-second lead by the 5 km mark, and 1:55 by 10 km, and was clearly on a path to challenge countrywoman Brigid Kosgei’s 2:14:04 world mark from the 2019 Chicago race.
Chepngetich passed the half in a steaming 1:05:44, moving her to no. 9 on the world list for 2022! She passed 25 km in 1:18:03, 90 seconds ahead of Kosgei’s 2019 pace, but then began to slow. She was still 49 seconds up on Kosgei’s pace at 35 km, but only nine seconds ahead at 40 km and finished in a brilliant 2:14:18, the no. 2 performance of all time.
Chepngetich now owns three of the top 10 times ever in the event and defended her 2021 Chicago title. In her career, she has now started 11 marathons, finished nine and won seven, at only age 28.
In her third career marathon, Sisson had Keira D’Amato’s American Record of 2:19:12 from January’s Houston Marathon in her sights from the start and was at the head of the chase pack for much of the race, between 15 and 30 km. She passed the half in 1:09:26, no. 6 on the U.S. list for 2022, and separated herself from Vivian Kiplagat (KEN) and Ruti Aga (ETH) after 30 km. A clear second for the final 10 km, she finished strongly and destroyed D’Amato’s mark with a 2:18:29 finish, moving to no. 22 on the all-time world list.
Sisson, 30, now holds the U.S. records in the half-marathon (1:07:11 this year) and the marathon and is no. 5 all-time U.S. at 10,000 m on the track. She obliterated her prior best of 2:23:08 from London in 2019; she did not finish at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta.
The race behind the top two saw Kiplagat get third in 2:20:52 and Aga fourth in 2:21:41. American Susanna Sullivan finished sixth in 2:25:14, now no. 14 all-time U.S., with Sara Vaughn of the U.S. seventh in 2:26:23.
The men’s race saw a lead group of 10 pass the half in 1:02:24, then reduced to five by 30 km and four by 35 km. With about 5 km left, Kenyan Benson Kipruto, 31, broke away and could not be caught. The 2021 Boston winner won his second World Marathon Majors race in 2:04:24, a lifetime best, the no. 4 performance in Chicago Marathon history and no. 4 on the 2022 world list.
Defending champ Seifu Tura (ETH) was the last to let go of Kipruto, and finished second in 2:04:49, ahead of John Korir (KEN: 2:05:01). Conner Mantz was the top American, placing seventh in his marathon debut in 2:08:16, just 20 seconds behind the all-time U.S. marathon debut best of 2:07:56 from Leonard Korir in 2019.
The prize money for elites was $460,000, with $75,000-55,000-45,000-30,000-25,000 for the top five men and women.
Next up is the New York City Marathon, scheduled for 6 November.
Kremlin salutes IBA’s re-admission of Russian boxers
To the surprise of no one, the International Boxing Association’s decision to re-admit Russian and Belarusian boxers to competition on 5 October has been lauded by politicians and sport officials in Russia:
● Russian Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov:
“Certainly, this is very important, very positive news. We see that, unfortunately, so far this is a very rare example of a federation that manages to defend the interests of our athletes.
“This is not a reason to calm down. On the contrary, it is only an additional impetus for our sports authorities to continue efforts to defend the interests of our athletes. Our elite sport can and should have the right to compete in international competitions, we must fight for it.”
● Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin:
“I sincerely want to congratulate our boxers on a very important victory – they are not only allowed to compete, but now they will be able to compete under the flag of Russia. There are many Olympic champions in our country who have written their names in the history of world boxing.
“The position of the International Boxing Association meets all standards of sports law. Sport should be out of politics, and athletes, no matter what country they are, should remain on an equal footing and participate in competitions. I hope that many international federations will follow the example of the IBA and demonstrate their commitment to sports values by allowing Russians to compete under their auspices.”
● Russian Olympic Committee President Stanislav Pozdnyakov predicted that more federations will allow Russians back in competition, but again threatened that a separate organization to challenge the International Olympic Committee could be formed:
“It’s quite difficult now to assess which organization will be next. Another thing to note is that the background has changed. Because many international sports organizations have begun to understand that the ban of Russians and Belarusians is a dead end that could lead to a split in Olympic Movement.”
Pozdnyakov also noted, however, the blowback which has already started:
“Now we see that some national federations are beginning to boycott the presence of Russians in competitions. We have been seeing this for a long time, this is not very good. Many generations of sports functionaries have struggled with this, now this work has practically been reduced to nothing.”
The Russian Boxing Federation announced that it would send entrants to the World Youth (U-18) Championships in Spain from 14-26 November.
The International Boxing Association released a letter from four-class professional world champion Roy Jones, Jr., American born, but with dual U.S. and Russian citizenship since 2015. The 1988 Seoul silver medalist for the U.S. at Light Middleweight (in a terribly-officiated bout), Jones wrote to IOC President Thomas Bach (GER), including:
“To exclude boxing from the Olympic Games would be nonsense, it would be no less than committing a crime. …
“It is unacceptable to blame IBA and its current leadership, who gave boxing a hand in the toughest moment in its history. Ask yourself whether they did something, at least a tiny bit, wrong. …
“To name a few, all debts have been settled, and the funds are allocated on an ongoing basis for the development. With the support of IBA, many countries were able to bring their boxers to the World Championships and win medals – ask yourself whether it is an achievement. …
“Generations of athletes should not be punished for C.K. Wu and his team’s crimes. The IOC should take into account the huge work of the IBA to clean the sport from past issues.
“I urge the IOC to keep their ears open and listen to the boxing community, which calls for transparent and fair decisions. Everyone sees how IBA has changed, but you.”
Jones’s letter simply skips over many of the IOC’s objections to the actions of the IBA, but is no surprise as he has been a steady supporter of the Putin regime.
As far as the IBA’s administration of boxing goes, not every tournament has turned out perfectly, as noted by a statement from McLaren Global Sport Solutions concerning the recent European men’s Junior Championships in Armenia:
“During the final days of the Yerevan championships several incidents of unsportsmanlike behaviour and possible breaches of the IBA Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics took place, including physical attacks on officials, attempts to influence officials’ decisions and Field of Play infringements. This tainted an otherwise generally well organised event.”
This is progress?
The International Olympic Committee’s Executive Board will consider the IBA’s actions at its next meeting in early December, and could recommend expulsion of the federation from the Olympic Movement.
Five countries now boycotting FIG Congress with Russia present
The Gymnovosti.com site reported that five countries have now announced a boycott of the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) Congress in Istanbul on 11-12 November in view of the allowed attendance of Russian and Belarusian delegates.
Norway was to have hosted the event, but returned it when the FIG declared that Russian and Belarusian officials would be allowed to participate. Now, Estonia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland and Ukraine have refused to attend. A letter from Algimantas Gudiskis, head of the Lithuanian Gymnastics Federation, included:
“I fully support the position of the Norwegian, Polish, Estonian gymnastics federations and the gymnastics communities of other countries regarding the participation of aggressor states in the international sports movement. I also support the position of European gymnastics, which has unanimously refused to communicate with the Russian and Belarusian gymnastics federations, while the brutal, genocidal Russian war is taking place in Ukraine and completely innocent Ukrainian citizens, including children, are being killed – the future of our sport.”
“Therefore, as the president of the Lithuanian Gymnastics Federation, I cannot participate in the FIG 84th Congress in Turkey 2022. I think that my position will be supported by other countries – while Russia continues the war, it is impossible to include Russian athletes and officials in international sports.”
Former Soviet star Nelli Kim (BLR) is the FIG 2nd Vice President and Russian Vassily Titov (RUS) is a member of the FIG Executive Committee. Russia has four others who are members of FIG Technical Committees and Belarus has two.
No. 4 England women defeat no. 1 U.S., 2-1,
in Wembley showdown
A dramatic match before 76,893 fans at Wembley Stadium in London saw European Champion England defeat the top-ranked U.S. Women’s National Team, 2-1, on Friday.
The Lionesses, the darlings of English football since winning the Euro 2022 title on 31 July – at Wembley, over Germany – took the lead in the 10th minute on a goal from striker Lauren Hemp from six yards away after American defender Alana Cook missed a potential clearance. It was the first time the American women had been behind this year.
The U.S. tied it on a Sophia Smith goal in the 28th minute, after Lindsey Horan forced an English turnover and Smith lasered a right-footed shot into the net past English keeper Mary Earps.
England was on offense five minutes later when U.S. defender Hallie Mace was found – on a delayed video review – to have kicked English defender Lucy Bronze in the face, resulting in a penalty kick. Midfielder Georgia Stanway buried the penalty for a 2-1 lead as U.S. keeper Alyssa Naeher guessed the wrong way.
It appeared that the U.S. had tied it up in the 37th minute on a Trinity Rodman score, but Smith was ruled offsides, negating the goal, and the half ended 2-1.
Neither side could score in the second half, with the game tightening considerably. Demonstrating the atypical nature of the game, England ended with 69% of the possession, and had an 11-10 edge in shots. The English were also called for 10 fouls to five for the U.S.
The U.S. entered with a 13-game win streak and a 23-game unbeaten streak, both ended. England is now unbeaten in 23 straight matches.
Credit the American women with an exceptionally challenging schedule of friendlies with no. 8 Spain in Pamplona coming up on the 11th and then two matches against no. 2 Germany on U.S. soil in November.
Luz Long archive, including ‘36 silver, up for auction
No bids yet, but the Berlin 1936 silver medal won by German Luz Long – behind American icon Jesse Owens – is up for auction through the 15th of October.
A 32-item catalog of Long items is on offer, starting with his Berlin silver, with an opening bid of $50,000 and an expected sales price of $500,000-1,000,000. The accompanying auction magazine from SCP Auctions of Laguna Nigel, California notes that Owens’ 1936 long jump gold sold for $1,466,574 in 2013.
The other items have opening bids as low as $150 and include Long’s 1936 Berlin Olympic participation badge and ribbon ($500 minimum) and his Berlin ‘36 identity card ($500). His 1934 European Championships long jump winner’s medal and event participation medal are available, beginning at $500.
Also available are gold medals from the 1933 and 1936 German national championships in the long jump ($500) and medals from what became the World University Games in 1935 (Budapest: second-place medal: $300) and 1937 (Paris: first place: $400).
The Owens-Long duel in the Berlin long jump is legendary. David Wallechinsky, in his masterwork, The Complete Book of the Olympics, wrote that while Owens came in as the world-record holder, he fouled on his first two qualifying jumps; Long suggested he move his mark back since the required distance was only 7.15 m (23-5 1/2), and Owens qualified easily on his third try.
In the final, Owens set Olympic records of 7.76 m (25-5 1/2) and 7.87 m (25-10) on his first two jumps, but Long also jumped 7.87 m in the fifth round. Challenged, Owens extended to 8.02 m (26-3 3/4) in response and then to his winning mark of 8.06 m (26-5 1/2) on his final trial.
Owens and Long kept up a correspondence after the Berlin Games, but Long was eventually mobilized into the Nazi army in World War II and was killed at age 30 in July 1943 at the battle of St. Pietro, in Italy.
≡ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS ≡
● Archery ● Field archery is a nod to ancient times, with competitors walking on trails and shooting at targets of varying distances. The 27th World Field Championships concluded on Sunday in Yankton, South Dakota, with the U.S. taking a silver and a bronze medal in the Recurve (Olympic) division.
Two-time World Field Champion Brady Ellison of the U.S. faced fellow American Matt Nofel in the men’s semifinals, but it was Nofel who won, 65-59, to advance. German Florian Unruh was the eventual winner, out-scoring Nofel, 57-54 in the final. Britain’s Patrick Hudson defeated Ellison, 60-57, for the bronze medal.
Italian Chiara Rebagliati won a tight women’s gold-medal match from Bryony Pittman (GBR), 61-60, and then teamed with Marco Morello to win the Mixed Recurve Team event by 81-78 over France. The U.S., with Ellison and Savannah Vanderweir, won the bronze medal with a 76-72 decision over Pittman and Huston of Great Britain. It’s Ellison seventh career medal at the World Fields (4-1-2).
● Judo ● The World Judo Championships in Tashkent (UZB) are continuing, with Japan dominating the event, winning one or more medals in all eight weight classes held so far.
One of the great memories of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games was the same-day, brother-sister gold-medal performances of Hifumi Abe in the men’s 66 kg class and Uta Abe in the women’s 52 kg division. They did it again.
Both triumphed on Friday, with Hifumi Abe defeating countryman Joshiro Maruyama for complete a 1-2 finish and his third Worlds gold, after 2017 and 2018. Uta Abe defeated Tokyo bronze medalist Chelsie Giles (GBR) to also win her third Worlds title, previously in 2018 and 2019.
Japan won two silvers on Saturday, with 2017 World Champion Soichi Hashimoto losing to Mongolia’s Tokyo bronze winner Tsend-ochir Tsogtbaatar in the men’s 73 kg class and Haruka Funakubo losing to Rio 2016 Olympic champ Rafaela Silva (BRA) – her seconds World title – at 57 kg.
On Sunday, Japan took a fifth gold, as Meguni Horikawa won the women’s 63 kg class over Canada’s Tokyo bronze medalist Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard. Georgia’s Tato Grigalashvili won the men’s 81 kg division, moving from silver in 2021, by defeating Tokyo bronze medalist Matthias Casse of Belgium.
The Worlds continue through the 13th.
● Shooting ● Sunday’s Skeet finals at the ISSF World Championships in Shotgun in Osijek (CRO), with three-time Olympic Skeet champ Vincent Hancock of the U.S. settling for silver.
A five-time World Champion in Skeet, Hancock would have had to be perfect to even get into a shoot-off as Egypt’s Azmy Mehelba, the 2014 Worlds bronze winner, went 40-for-40 to win the final over Hancock (34-for-35).
Rio 2016 Olympic champ Diana Bacosi (ITA) won her second individual women’s Skeet world title, hitting 37 of 38 targets to best Amber Hill (GBR: 31). American Sam Simonton won the bronze, with 24 of 30 targets.
Competition continues through Tuesday with the Skeet team events.
● Table Tennis ● In the first major sporting event held in China since the Beijing Olympic Winter Games in February, China swept both the men’s and women’s divisions at the ITTF World Team Championships in Chengdu.
It was the 10th straight win in this competition for the Chinese men, who defeated Germany, 3-0, in the final with wins by Zhendong Fan, Long Ma and Chuqin Wang.
Japan and South Korea won the men’s bronzes, both losing 3-2 decisions in the semifinals. China beat Japan, 3-2, and Germany had two wins from Benedikt Duda to edge the Koreans and advance to the final.
The women’s final was on Saturday, with China defeating Japan, 3-0, with Meng Chen and Yingsha Sun completing 3-0 sweeps and Manyu Wang winning her match by 3-1. It’s the fifth straight women’s title for the Chinese.
Chinese Taipei and Germany settled for bronze medals after both lost by 3-0 scores in the semis, with China defeating Chinese Taipei and the Japanese defeating the Germans.
● Volleyball ● The quarterfinals have been set at the XIX FIVB Women’s World Championship, taking place in The Netherlands and Poland, with the winners of the last two titles – the U.S. and Serbia – heading to a possible semifinal match.
In Pool F, defending champion Serbia won the combined first and second round matches with a 9-0 record, winning 27 sets out of 29! The U.S. – the 2014 winners and Tokyo Olympic gold medalist – was second at 7-2 (21-11 sets), defeating Turkey (3-1) and Thailand (3-2) to close out pool play. Turkey and Poland ended up 3-4, both with 6-3 records.
In Pool E, Italy and Brazil finished 1-2 with 8-1 marks, followed by Japan and China, both 7-2.
The quarterfinals will match the top four in each pool, with Serbia facing Poland and the U.S. and Turkey meeting each other again in Gilwice (POL) on the 11th, and Italy meeting China and Brazil facing Japan in Apeldoorn (NED).
The semis will take place on 12-13 October, with the medal matches on 15 October.
≡ PANORAMA ≡
● Russia ● The TASS news agency reported that the budget allocation for the Russian Sports Ministry for 2023, 2024 and 2025. In a curious move, the budget is slated to be decreased each year, from 64.6 billion rubles for 2023 (U.S. $1.036 billion) to 55.9 billion rubles for 2024 ($896.6 million) and then 47.1 billion rubles for 2025 ($755.4 million).
So we have deflation in Russia?
● Archery ● World Archery is jumping on the NFT (non-fungible token) bandwagon, announcing that it has partnered with Spain-based Leverade for “one-off original digital artworks” that will be used for the Athlete of the Year trophies for 2022.
● Curling ● The Grand Slam of Curling, the top-tier international circuit, began again with the Boost National in North Bay, Ontario, with very familiar faces in the winner’s circle.
The women’s tournament was yet another win for three-time women’s World Champion Silvana Tirinzoni and her Swiss team. They defeated Kerri Einarson (CAN) by 7-3 in the final, taking a 4-2 lead after three ends and scoring single points in the fifth, sixth and seventh ends to seal the win.
The men’s final pitted Beijing Olympic champ Niklas Edin and his Swedish squad against 2006 Turin Olympic gold medalist Brad Gushue and his Canadian team, in a re-match of the 2022 World Championship final (won by Edin). The Swedes had a 3-2 lead after five ends, but Gushue managed single points in ends 6-7-9 and took the championship with a 5-4 win.
● Cycling ● Slovenian star Tadej Pogacar won his fifth UCI World Tour event of the 2022 season with a sprint over Spain’s Enric Mas in the 116th Il Lombardia – one of the famed monument races – from Bergamo to Como in Italy.
The 253 km route had 13 separate ascents and Pogacar attacked with 19 km to go, on the penultimate climb – the Civiglio – and only Mas could keep up. Spain’s Mikel Landa joined Pogacar and Mas on the descent, but was dropped on the final climb, the San Fermo della Battaglia. That left Pogacar and Mas with Pogacar winning the final dash to the line in Como. Landa was third, 10 seconds back.
Pogacar won the UAE Tour in February, Strade Bianche and Tirreno-Adriatico in March, the Grand Prix Cycliste in Montreal in September, and was, of course, the Tour de France runner-up in July after wins in 2020 and 2021.
Okay, the Hour in track cycling is not an Olympic event, but Italy’s Filippo Ganna – the two-time UCI World Time Trial Champion – claimed a world record of 56.792 km (35.29 miles) at the Tissot Velodrome in Grenchen, Switzerland on Saturday (8th).
Ganna easily surpassed the 55.548 km mark by Daniel Bigham (GBR) from 19 August, set at the same site, and adds to his track cycling trophy case, where he already owns four world titles in the Individual Pursuit from 2016-18-19-20.
● Figure Skating ● NBC released its broadcast schedule for the 2022-23 season, with most of the action on its Peacock streaming service.
The seven competitions of the ISU Grand Prix circuit and final will all be shown on Peacock, with Skate America (21-23 October) shown live on USA Network, NBC or E! depending on the session.
None of the five following Grand Prix events will be shown live except on Peacock, with delayed highlight shows on NBC or E! The Grand Prix Final from Turin will have one hour live on E! and the remainder online, with an NBC highlights show the day after the event closes.
The U.S. Championships next January will be a combination of Peacock, USA Network and NBC and the World Championships next March will have some live coverage on USA Network, but only delayed coverage on the last day and two weeks after on NBC.
● Gymnastics ● At the final FIG Artistic World Challenge Cup in Mersin (TUR), Romania’s Ana Barbosu dominated the women’s competition, winning the Uneven Bars, Beam and Floor titles, while Slovenia’s Teja Belak won on Vault.
The men’s events had six different winners: Dmitriy Patanin (KAZ) on Floor, Yu-jan Shiao (TPE) on Pommel Horse, Ferhat Arican (TUR) on Parallel Bars, Gabriel Burtanete on Vault, Adem Asil (TUR) on Rings and Lithuania’s Robert Tvorogol on the Horizontal Bar, with Asil second.
● Skiing ● The Alpine Combined event, in which a skier contests both a downhill and slalom course, has been on the way out for years and is rarely contested on the FIS World Cup circuit, and will not be held in the 2022-23 season.
It has been part of the Olympic Winter program, but is under review. The French all-sports newspaper L’Equipe reported last week that the Combined could be re-formatted as a team event, to replace the low-interest Mixed Team Parallel Event held at the Beijing Winter Games last February.
A trial of a new format will be held at the 2023 World Junior Championships next January in Austria, using a team approach to the same races, but with the ability to use any skier for either event. That would be more interesting; the details are still being worked out.
For our updated, 620-event International Sports Calendar for 2022 and beyond, by date and by sport, click here!