TSX REPORT: FIFA gives ‘27 Women’s World Cup to Brazil; Palestine ask for Israel suspension to be studied; Biles sensational at Classic!

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

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1. FIFA votes on Women’s World Cup … and racism
2. Palestine asks for Israeli exclusion; report coming
3. Biles shines for seventh win at Core Hydration Classic
4. First Olympic Qualifier Series draws 45,000 in Shanghai
5. Sekgodisa gets world 800 m lead at Marrakech Diamond League

● At the 74th FIFA Congress in Thailand, Brazil was awarded the 2027 Women’s World Cup by 119-78 over the Belgium-Netherlands-Germany bid. FIFA’s new anti-racism program was unanimously adopted.

● As it has done many times in the past, the Palestine Football Association demanded that FIFA suspend Israel from the federation on an immediate vote. Instead, FIFA will obtain a legal review and put the matter to the FIFA Council in late July.

● The great Simone Biles dominated the Core Hydration Classic in Hartford, Connecticut, winning two events and second in two others to win by almost two points over Shilese Jones. London 2012 All-Around gold medalist Gabby Douglas fell twice on her Uneven Bars routine and did not continue in the event.

● The International Olympic Committee’s first-ever Olympic Qualifier Series drew 45,000 spectators over four days in Shanghai, China, to see competition in BMX Freestyle, Breaking, Skateboarding and Sport Climbing. The U.S. got three wins!

● South Africa’s Prudence Sekgodisa took the world lead in the women’s 800 m at the Diamond League meet in Marrakech, Morocco in 1:57.26, but just as impressive were wins by Mykolas Alekna in the men’s discus and Moroccan national hero Soufiane El Bakkali in the men’s Steeple.

World Championships: Cycling (Willoughby wins another BMX gold in Rock Hill!) = Ice Hockey (Canada and Sweden lead IIHF men’s groups) ●

Panorama: Paris 2024 (2: riots in New Caledonia cause Torch Relay to be canceled; Macron’s “Olympic Truce” ask rejected by both sides) = Badminton (two wins for hosts in Thailand Open) = Cycling (4: Pogacar dominant and on the way to victory at Giro d’Italia; Vollering puts the hammer down to win final stage and Vuelta Burgos a Femenina in Spain; Quinn and Faulkner take U.S. road titles; Dunne and Cabriou take Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup wins) = Fencing (husband-and-wife Foil stars Meinhardt (silver) and Kiefer (bronze) both medal in Grand Prix) = Gymnastics (three U.S. wins at Pan American Trampoline Champs in Peru) = Swimming (more wins for Ledecky and Dressel in Atlanta Classic) = Table Tennis (Jha on to Paris at Pan Am Olympic Qualifier) ●

FIFA votes on Women’s World Cup … and racism

FIFA, the worldwide governing body for football, moved forward on two issues of import during its 74th FIFA Congress in Bangkok (THA), but sidestepped – for now – a Palestinian request to oust Israel from the federation.

At the top of the agenda was the vote for the host for the 2027 FIFA Women’s World Cup, with Brazil – which had the highest score in the evaluation report – winning by 119-78 (and seven abstentions) over the joint bid from Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. Brazilian federation chief Ednaldo Rodrigues told the Congress:

“This is a win for women’s football in South America, and for women’s football everywhere which FIFA works every day to improve and strengthen.

“You can be certain that, without wanting to be vain, we will try to stage the biggest and best FIFA Women’s World Cup of all. I hope you can all come to Brazil and enjoy the hospitality of our country.”

It’s the first time the Women’s World Cup will be held in South America and follows the 2014 FIFA World Cup held in Brazil, for which multiple new stadia were built or refurbished. Those facilities will be used again and no new venues will be built.

The award also gives Brazil and South America a major football event after the odd awarding of the FIFA World Cup for 2030 to Spain, Portugal and Morocco, with single, centennial-celebration games in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay that eliminated a South American bid for 2034. Saudi Arabia was left as the only bidder for 2034 and will be confirmed as host later in 2024.

The FIFA Congress also unanimously passed the federation’s anti-racism program presented on Friday. FIFA’s summary of the program included (re-formatted for clarity):

“There are five action areas:

● “Racism is to be made a specific offence with mandatory inclusion in the individual Disciplinary Codes of all 211 FIFA Member Associations, and given specific and severe sanctions, such as match forfeits;

● “The introduction of a global standard gesture for players to communicate racist incidents and for referees to signal the implementation of the three-step procedure to halt, suspend and ultimately abandon matches;

● “A push for racism to be recognised as a criminal offence in every country in the world and for appropriate punishments; the promotion of educational initiatives together with schools and governments;

● “And the establishment of a new Players’ Anti-Racism Panel composed of former players, who will monitor and advise on the implementation of these actions around the world.”

Said FIFA President Gianni Infantino (SUI):

“Racism is something terrible. It is a scourge that exists in our society. And is one also that is infiltrated in football. For too long we were not capable of dealing with it in an appropriate way. We need to stand up and fight racism and defeat racism all together.

“We cannot accept any more what is happening in the stadiums, what is happening on the pitch, and those who still believe in the world – anywhere in the world – that they can still behave in a racist way when they are dealing with football, when they are attending a football game, when they are playing a game.

“Those who believe that, they must know that we don’t want them – we don’t want them. They have to go out, they have to be out, they don’t have to be part of our community, they don’t have to be part of football. …

“Racism is darkness, and somebody much more wise and intelligent than me once said: ‘If you are in a dark room, don’t be afraid, just light a candle.’ Today, we don’t light a candle: we light a big fire that will shine all over the world.”

Palestine asks for Israeli exclusion; report coming

But racism continued on the agenda at the FIFA Congress.

The Palestine Football Association asked for FIFA to exclude Israel from the federation, with its head, Jibril Rajoub, asking for FIFA “to temporarily suspend the IFA as a member of FIFA with immediate effect.”

He was seconded by the Jordanian federation, with Secretary General Samar Nassar saying “We are not here to deliberate on the human tragedy. We are here to take a vote, the world is witnessing what FIFA will do today.”

No vote was forthcoming, and Israel Football Association President Shino Moshe Zuares told the Congress:

“Today, maybe more than ever, I believe that football must be a key element in healing the fractures and wounds, helping us and everyone to recover. Yet once again, we are facing a cynical, political and hostile attempt by the Palestinian Association to harm Israeli football.

“Make no mistake, the IFA never violated rules set by FIFA and UEFA and will never do so in the future.

“Seven months after the terrible day, when football matches cannot be played in large parts of Israel, north and south, and over 130 Israelis are still being held in Gaza, it is injustice that even in these circumstances we find ourselves fighting for our basic right to be part of the game.”

The Associated Press reported that the Palestinian federation has asked for similar sanctions against Israel “at least five times since 2014” and had gotten nowhere.

FIFA’s Infantino explained the next steps to be taken:

“Now, due to the obvious sensitivity of these matters, FIFA will mandate as of now independent legal expertise to analyze and assess the three requests made by the Palestinian Football Association and ensure that the statutes and regulations of FIFA are applied in the correct way in order to ensure a fair and due process.

“This legal assessment will have to allow for inputs and claims of both member associations. The results and the recommendations … will be forwarded to the FIFA Council.

“Due to the urgency of the situation, an extraordinary FIFA Council will be convened and will take place before July 20 to review the results of the legal assessment and to take the decisions that are appropriate.”

He concluded with:

“Palestine is a full member of FIFA, like any of the other 210 members of FIFA, with exactly the same rights and exactly the same obligations, like any other country.

“Now, like everyone else, I was extremely, extremely shocked by what happened on 7 October in Israel. And like anyone else, I was extremely, extremely shocked and am extremely shocked by what is happening now in Gaza. I pray.”

“I pray for the mothers who lost their children. I pray for the children who lost their parents. I pray for all those people who suffer. And, I want, like all of you, just one thing – just one thing: peace. Peace.”

Biles shines for seventh win at Core Hydration Classic

There was no doubt about the winner, as the incomparable Simone Biles won two events and was second on the other two on the way to her seventh career win in the All-Around at the Core Hydration Classic (formerly U.S. Classic) in Hartford, Connecticut.

Biles was supreme on Vault, winning with a sensational 15.600 score, with two-time Worlds Team gold medalist Shilese Jones a distant second at 14.350. Biles was also a runaway winner on Floor at 14.800, with Jones tying with Kaliya Lincoln at 14.000 for second.

On the Uneven Bars, Biles’ least-efficient event, she placed a very creditable second at 14.550 to Jones’ excellent 15.250 total. Biles also scored 14.550 on Beam, good enough for second.

The total was 59.500 for Biles’ seventh win in this event, in 2014-15-18-19-21-23-24. Jones was her primary challenger, totaling 57.650, with the win on Bars, second on vault (14.350), tying for second on Floor with Lincoln at 14.000 and fourth on Beam (14.050).

Tokyo Olympian Jordan Chiles, a member of the 2022 Worlds Team winners, was a clear third at 55.450, tying for third on Bars (14.300) and fourth on Vault (14.100). Jade Carey, the Tokyo Olympic Floor Exercise gold medalist, was fourth overall at 54.400, with a third in Vault (14.300), but only fifth on Floor (13.800). Skye Blakely, also a two-time Worlds Team gold winner, was fifth overall, scoring 54.350.

Suni Lee, the Tokyo All-Around gold medalist, skipped the Uneven Bars, but won on Beam (14.600). She also scored 13.150 on Vault for 22nd and tied for 17th on Floor at 13.000.

London 2012 Olympic All-Around champion Gabby Douglas was trying to qualify for the All-Around at the U.S. Nationals, but fell twice and scored only 10.100 on the Uneven Bars (43rd) and withdrew. She’s qualified in three events for the national championships, but not for the All-Around.

Next up is the U.S. Gymnastics Championships in Ft. Worth, Texas from 30 May to 2 June, and finally the U.S. Olympic Trials in Minneapolis, Minnesota from 27-30 June.

First Olympic Qualifier Series draws 45,000 in Shanghai

The International Olympic Committee’s foray into combined events in multiple sports as a showcase for the Olympic qualifying process received strong attention in Shanghai (CHN) for the first Olympic Qualifying Series program, which concluded on Sunday.

An announced 45,000 people attended the four-day event at the Shanghai Huangpu Riverside, in a temporary facility, built up with the competition sites for four sports, plus music and performance stages, food areas and more. There were more than 460 athletes from 55 National Olympic Committees and 120 national federations.

The U.S. came away with a win from Brooke Raboutou in climbing and two golds in Skateboarding, from Jagger Eaton and Tate Carew:

BMX Freestyle Park:

France’s Anthony Jeanjean, the 2022 Worlds bronze winner, took the OQS win with a first-round 93.54 total, outlasting Tokyo Olympic champ Logan Martin (AUS), whose second-round score of 92.65 was just short. Darren Reilly (GBR: 89.28) was third.

China swept the women’s Park competition, with 2023 Worlds silver medalist Sibei Sun scoring 95.86 on her final routine to defeat Jiaqi Sun (93.68) and Yawen Deng (91.50). Five-time World Champion Hannah Roberts of the U.S. was fourth at 91.24.


Twelfth-ranked Lee (Lee-Lou Diouf Demierre/NED) won the men’s division with a two-rounds-to-one decision in the final over China’s Lithe-ing (Xiangyu Qi), 7-2, 2-7, 5-4 for a 14-13 total.

The women’s all-Japan final went to Ayumi (Ayumi Fukushima), who won all three rounds against Ami (Ami Yuasa), by 6-3, 6-3, 7-2 for a 19-8 total.


American Brooke Raboutou, the 2023 Worlds Boulder bronze medalist, scored an important win in the combined Boulder & Lead final, scoring 140.9 to out-score 2021 World Lead Champion Chae-hyun Seo (KOR: 134.3) and Britain’s Erin McNeice (127.8).

Korea’s Doh-yun Lee, the 2023 Worlds Boulder bronze winner, won the men’s division at 134.5, comfortably ahead of Alberto Gines Lopez (ESP: 124.5) and three-time Lead Worlds winner, Czech Adam Ondra (124.1).

In Speed, former world-record holder Veddriq Leonardo (INA) flew to an Asian Record of 4.83 to win the men’s division over Peng Wu (CHN: 4.88). China’s Yafei Zhou took the women’s Speed victory in 6.54 over Indonesia’s Rajiah Sallsabillah (6.75).


The 2021 World Street champ, American Jagger Eaton, was consistently strong, posting two of the four routine scores over 90.00 and the second-best individual score at 92.55, then scored 93.13 and 92.60 on two of his tricks to win at 278.28, ahead of Japan’s Ginwoo Onodera (277.34) and Chris Joslin (275.34), who flew up the standings with his last two tricks scoring 92.86 and 94.61, best of the day.

The women’s Street title went to Brazilian star Rayssa Leal, the Tokyo silver medalist at 13, and now 16, who won a tight duel with Japan’s Liz Akama, 274.89 to 274. 35. Leal had one of only routine that scored over 90 at 92.23 on her second run, and added tricks worth 91.81 and 90.85, while Akama scored 92.55 and 91.69 on her last two tricks to nearly close the gap.

The U.S. scored again in the men’s Park, with Tate Carew getting a big score of 93.33 in the second round and that was enough for the win, ahead of Keegan Palmer (AUS: 92.30 in the final round) and Eaton, getting a second medal at 91.61 with his second-round routine.

Australian Arisa Trew, 14, scored 91.16 on her second run to win the women’s Park title, just ahead of Japan’s 2023 World Champion Kokona Hiraki (90.18) and 2018 World Champion Sakura Yozozumi (87.02), with all three scoring runs coming in the second round.

The second and final round of the Olympic Qualifier Series will be from 20-23 June in Budapest (HUN).

Sekgodisa gets world 800 m lead at Marrakech Diamond League

Stop no. four on the Wanda Diamond League circuit was in Marrakech (MAR), with a small crowd at the Grande Stade, with a world lead in one event, in the women’s 800 m at 1:57.26 for South Africa’s Prudence Sekgodisa.

The race looked to belong to two-time Ethiopian Olympian Habitam Alemu, who had the lead at the bell, breaking away from the pack with Sekgodisa, the 2022 African Championships bronze winner.

Sekgodisa tried to take the lead on the inside on the backstraight, but Alemu shut her down, and continued leading into the straight. Sekgodisa tried to pass on the inside again, but couldn’t get through, but as Alemu drifted a little in the lead, Sekgodisa got by with about 40 m to go and won in a lifetime best and world-leading 1:57.26! Alemu was second in 1:57.70, now no. 4 in the world for 2024, and Noelle Yarigo (BEN) got third in 1:59.96.

The men’s Steeple, featuring national hero and Olympic and World Champion Soufiane El Bakkali was the concluding event, and included world leader Samuel Firewu of Ethiopia. And as usual in the Diamond League meets in Morocco, it was El Bakkali moving into the lead at the bell, with Ethiopia’s Olympic fourth-placer Getnet Wale giving chase.

Wale closed up with El Bakkali with 200 m to go and Firewu was closing as well, but El Bakkali sprinted into the water jump and re-established himself and sprinted hard on the straight to win in 8:09.40 in his seasonal debut, no. 3 on the world list. Wale was at 8:09.78 and Kenyan Amos Serem moved up to pass Firewu for third, 8:10.82 to 8:11.73. American Hillary Bor was sixth in 8:13.30.

The most-anticipated showdown was in the men’s discus, with new world-record man Mykolas Alekna (LTU), Olympic champ Daniel Stahl (SWE), 2022 World Champion Kristjian Ceh (SLO) and 2022 Commonwealth Games winner Matthew Denny (AUS).

Alekna showed his class right away, taking the lead at 69.94 m (229-5) in the second round, and no one else was close. Denny reached 67.74 m (222-3) in round one, but Alekna spun out to 70.70 m (231-11) in the fourth. That was the winner; Stahl got third with his second-round 67.49 m (221-5).

All eyes were on Jamaica’s two-time World 200 m Champion Shericka Jackson in the women’s 200 m and she took the lead into the straight over Swiss Mujinga Kambundji. But Jackson did not thrash this field and held off Maboundou Kone (CIV) in the final 15 m to win in a modest 22.82 (-1.0), with Kone at 22.96. American Caisja Chandler was fifth at 23.06. Much less than had been hoped for from Jackson in her season opener.

Canada’s Tokyo Olympic 200 m champ Andre De Grasse was the headliner in the men’s 100 m, but Emmanuel Eseme (CAM) came on in the final 50 m and emerged as the winner in 10.11 (wind: -0.8 m/s). De Grasse was second in 10.19; Brandon Hicklin was the top American in fourth in 10.26.

The men’s 400 m had recent world leader Bayapo Ndori (BOT: 44.10) leading coming into the home straight, but World Indoor winner Alexander Doom (BEL) was gaining in lane three, with Zambia’s Muzala Samukonga coming on in lane two. Ndori ran out of gas about 5 m short and Doom out-leaned Samukonga at the line, with a lifetime best of 44.51. Samukonga ran 44.54 and Ndori stumbled in third at 44.59. American Quincy Hall was sixth in 45.52.

Kenyan world leader Emmanuel Wanyonyi ramped up the speed with 200 m to go in the men’s 800 m and was able to hold off countryman Wyclife Kinyamal, 1:43.84 to 1:43.98. The two were already 1-3 on the world list and France’s Yanis Mexiane had to make a hard charge in the last 70 m to get third in 1:44.13. But he could not challenge the Kenyans.

France’s Azeddine Habz took the lead at the bell as the pacesetter exited and just could not be caught. A sub-3:30 man, he kept extending his lead and then sprinted away from the field entering the home straight and won surprisingly easily in 3:32.86. Ethiopia’s Steeple world-record holder Lamecha Girma made a late push, but ended up fourth in 3:33.54, as George Mills (GBR) just edged countryman Elliot Giles for second, 3:33.47 to 3:33.50.

Cuba’s 2022 World Indoor Champion Lazaro Martinez got out to 17.10 m (56-1 1/4) in round three and Olympic champ Pedro Pablo Pichardo of Portugal just could not get right. He reached 16.92 m (55-6 1/4) in round four and had to settle for second, with Almir dos Santos (BRA: 16.90 m/55-5 1/2) a close third.

The women’s 5,000 was a four-woman breakaway, finally settled after the bell. Ethiopia’s Fotyen Tesfay did most of the leading, but lurking closest was teammate Medina Eisa, the 2022 World Junior Champion. Tesfay led down the backstraight and through the turn, but Eisa would not be shaken, and found an extra gear in the final 15 m to get the win in 14:34.16, with Tesfay getting a lifetime best of 14:34.21 in second. Kenya’s Edinah Jebitok moved from fourth to third on the last lap in 14:35.64, also a lifetime best.

Jamaica’s world-leading Rushell Clayton got out quickly in the women’s 400 m hurdles and had a huge lead coming off the final turn. Clayton was cruising, with teammate Shiann Salon moving up to challenge a bit over the final hurdle and on the run-in. Clayton won in 53.98, with Salmon getting a seasonal best of 54.27 in second.

Teen Angelina Topic (SRB), the 2022 European bronze winner, got a lifetime best and a national record of 1.98 m (6-6) to win the women’s high jump. The 18-year-old was the only to clear 1.95 m (6-4 3/4), then went on to 1.98; Christina Honsel (GER) got second and Lia Apostolovski (SLO) were 2-3, also at 1.95. Topic moves to no. 2 on the world outdoor list for 2024.

In the women’s vault, 2021 European Indoor winner Angelica Moser (SUI) and Roberta Bruni (ITA) both cleared 4.65 m (15-3). Moser got over 4.73 m (15-6 1/4) on her third try and Bruni could not match, ending up second.

Two-time World Champion Chase Jackson of the U.S. took hold of the women’s shot with a 20.00 m (65-7 1/2) effort in round two and everyone had to chase her (pun intended). German Yemisi Ogunleye got closest at 19.40 m (63-7 3/4) in round two and was second; World Indoor winner Sarah Mitton (CAN) managed 19.36 m (63-6 1/4) in the third round and finished third.


● Cycling ● American star Alise Willoughby won her third UCI BMX World Championships gold on home soil at Rock Hill, South Carolina, her first in five years!

Now 33, she won as Alise Post back in 2017 at Rock Hill, then as Alise Willoughby in 2019 and now at Rock Hill again. She won a tight final in 32.513, just ahead of Swiss Zoe Classens (32.886) with Fellow American Delaney Vaughn third in 33.522.

The U.S. had four of the eight finalists, with Felicia Stancil fourth (34.283) and Carly Kane in sixth (35.255). Classens won her second career Worlds silver – also in 2022 – and Vaughn got her first Worlds medal. Said the winner of her second Rock Hill Worlds gold:

“Honestly, I always say this place has a special place in my heart and I wanted to deliver here. U.S. fans, U.S. based everything – I put in the work, [husband and two-time World Champion Sam Willoughby] at my side the whole way and here we are again.

“It is such an honor to deliver on the day. When you dream of it, when you hope for it, but doing it is a whole other thing. This feeling is so special. My family, my friends, fans, husband, coaches, staff, that have been here for this very long ride that continues. I’m just so proud to say that I’m still rising to potential.”

With medal finishes, both Willougby and Vaughn secured their Olympic team positions for Paris, with Willoughby making her third team, winning a silver in Rio in 2016, but crashing in Tokyo.

The men’s Worlds gold went to France’s Joris Daudet for his third career Worlds gold, first in 2011, then in 2016 and now 2024. He finished just ahead of two-time World Champion Niek Kimmann (NED: 33.300) and then French teammate, and 2018 World Champion Sylvain Andre (33.864).

For Daudet, 33, it’s his eighth Worlds medal (3-2-3), stretching from 2010 to 2024. Kimmann now has six Worlds medals (3-3-0) and Andre has four (1-1-2).

● Ice Hockey ● With group play set to conclude on Tuesday, Canada and Sweden are the lone unbeatens left at the IIHF men’s World Championship in Prague and Ostrava (CZE).

The Canadians are 6-0, with two matches remaining and have out-scored their opponents, 28-15. Host Czech Republic is 5-1 (23-10) and the Swiss are 5-1 (26-11).

Sweden is 5-0 with a 26-7 goals edge, giving up the fewest goals so far. The U.S., which lost two of its first three games, is now 4-2 with a 31-13 goals-against total, getting six goals so far from forward Brady Tkachuk and five from Matt Boldy. Germany (4-2) is third in the group and Slovakia (4-2) is fourth; the top four advance to the quarterfinals, which begin on Thursday (23rd).


● Olympic Games 2024: Paris ● Rioting over a voting reform proposal in the French department of New Caledonia has left six people dead and French police and military on station on the streets of the capital city of Noumea.

In view of this, French Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera confirmed that the Olympic Torch Relay appearance, scheduled for 11 June, is being canceled.

“Priority must be given to a return to calm … I think that everyone understands, given the context, that the priority really is to consolidate the return to public order.”

French President Emmanuel Macron’s plea for an Olympic Truce during the Olympic and Paralympic Games has been rejected.

It was discarded by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said the idea was noble, but not while Russian athletes are being refused entry into the Games. On Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he spoke with Macron and shared with Agence France Presse:

“Let’s be honest… Emmanuel, I don’t believe it”.

“Who can guarantee that Russia will not use this time to bring its forces to our territory? First of all, we don’t trust Putin. We are against any truce that plays into the hands of the enemy.

“If it’s a truce, an Olympic truce for the duration of the Olympics, a land truce, they will have an advantage … [because of] a risk that they will bring heavy equipment to our territory and no one will be able to stop them.”

● Badminton ● The hosts got two wins to highlight the BWF World Tour Thailand Open in Bangkok, with Supanida Katethong winning the women’s Singles title over top-seeded Yue Han (CHN), 21-16, 25-23, and Jongkolphan Kitithrakul and Rawinda Prajongjai taking the women’s Doubles from Febriana Kusuma and Amallia Pratiwi (INA), 21-14, 21-14.

The Mixed Doubles had another Thai finalist with top-seeded Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai, but they fell to China’s fifth-seeded Xin Wa Guo and Fang Hui Chen, 12-21, 21-12, 21-18.

Malaysia’s Zii Jia Lee took the men’s Singles over Ka Long Angus Ng (HKG), 21-11, 21-10, and India’s top-seeded Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty won the men’s Doubles from Bo Yang Chen and Yi Liu (CHN), 21-15, 21-15.

● Cycling ● After two sprint-stage wins for Italian stars Jonathan Milan and Filippo Ganna, Slovenia’s Tadej Pogacar put the hammer down that essentially ended the Giro d’Italia with a brilliant victory in Sunday’s mountain stage.

On Friday, Milan won his third stage in Stage 13, getting to the line first in 4:02:03 in the 179 km route into Cento, just ahead of Poland’s Stanislaw Aniolkowski and German Phil Bauhaus. On Saturday, the second Individual Time Trial was on a flat, 31.2 km course to Desenzano del Garda and Ganna, a two-time World Time Trial Champion, timed 35:02 to win, with Pogacar second, 29 seconds back. That increased his overall lead from 2:40 to 3:41, now over 2018 Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas (GBR).

Then came Sunday’s 222 km, four-climb mountain stage, with an uphill finish to Livigno and the 2,387 m Mottolino. Pogacar attacked on the final climb, with about 15 km to go and in third place overall. He passed Georg Steinhauser (GER), then set his sights on Colombian star Nairo Quintana, the 2014 Giro d’Italia winner.

With 1.9 km to go, Pogacar unleashed a final attack, passed Quintana and rode alone to the finish in 6:11:43, 29 seconds up on Quintana and 2:32 ahead of Steinhauser. Thomas was sixth, 2:50 behind and now trails Pogacar by 6:41 going into Monday’s rest day. Colombian Daniel Martinez is now third, at +6:56.

This is Pogacar’s sixth Grand Tour and he’s finished 3-1-1-2-2, with the last four in the Tour de France. Looks like he’ll win his third Grand Tour – and his first Giro – next Sunday in Rome.

Dutch star Demi Vollering won her third multi-stage race in a row with a 1:56 win in the Vuelta a Burgos Femenina in Spain.

After Finn Lotta Henttala won the opening stage in a mass sprint finish, Vollering won the hilly second stage to take the overall lead, played along in another sprint finish in stage 3, then won the final, 122 km stage on Sunday – with a major climb near the end – in 3:17:44. That was 41 seconds ahead of Dutch countrywoman Lucinda Brand and gave Vollering the overall title.

She finished 1:28 up on France’s Evita Music and 1:59 ahead of Karlijn Swinkels (NED). It’s Vollering’s second win in a row in this race and she is the defending champ in the upcoming tour de France Femmes. Can anyone stop her?

Sean Quinn won his first USA Cycling national road title at the USA Cycling National Road Championships in Charleston, West Virginia, winning a final sprint to the line over Brandon McNulty and Neilson Powless with all three timed in 5:15:52.

The hilly 212 km, 10-lap race saw the trio break free of the peloton on the third lap and they raced together on the final lap, with Quinn just ahead of McNulty.

The women’s race was six laps and 126 km and saw Kristen Faulkner, the Time Trial runner-up, win her first road national title in 3:29:38, 55 seconds up on Ruth Edwards. The two were together through five laps, but Faulkner stormed away on the final lap and won easily. Coryn Labecki was third in 3:35:17.

Ronan Dunne of Ireland barely out-fought five-time World Champion Loic Bruni (FRA) in the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Downhill in Bielsko (POL), winning in 2:55:766 to 2:55.830 after maintaining the lead for most of the race. France’s Loris Vergier finished third (2:56.963).

France’s Marine Cabirou, the 2021 Worlds silver medalist, got the women’s title more comfortably, winning by more than a second over 2020 World Champion Camille Balanche (SUI), 3:26.643 to 3:27.831. German Nina Hoffmann was third in 3:28.323.

● Fencing ● At the FIE Grand Prix in Foil in Shanghai (CHN), world no. 2 and Tokyo Olympic champ Ka Long Cheung (HKG) took the men’s win over American Gerek Meinhardt, 15-7. It’s Meinhardt’s ninth career Grand Prix medal (4-3-2).

Italy’s no. 2-ranked Martina Favaretto took the women’s gold, 15-9, over Julia Walczyk-Klimaszyk of Poland, for her first career Grand Prix win. American Lee Keifer, the Tokyo Olympic champ – and wife of Meinhardt – picked up the bronze.

The FIE men’s Epee World Cup in Saint-Maur (FRA) saw Hungary’s 2019 World Champion, Gergely Siklosi, score a 15-9 final victory over Masaru Yamada (JPN). At the men’s Sabre World Cup in Madrid (ESP), Sebastien Patrice (FRA) won a tight duel with Hansol Ha (KOR) by 15-13, for his first career World Cup gold. William Morrill of the U.S. took one of the bronze medals.

At the FIE women’s Epee World Cup in Fujairah (UAE), no. 1-ranked Man Wai Vivian Kong (HKG) won by 15-13 against Swiss Pauline Brunner. It’s Kong’s fourth career World Cup win. In Plovdiv (BUL), France’s Olympic Team silver winner Sara Balzer took down Ukraine’s four-time World Champion Olha Kharlan in the women’s Sabre World Cup final, 15-8. It’s Balzer’s sixth career World Cup win, while Kharlan earned her 33rd career World Cup medal.

● Gymnastics ● Ana DeHanes of the U.S. won the women’s division at the Pan American Trampoline Championships in Lima (PER), scoring 51.990 to edge Maria Oliveira of Brazil (51.460) and Rielle Bonne (CAN: 51.190).

The U.S. women – DeHanes, Logan McCoy and Leah Edelman – won the team title (51.520), while the men’s team gold went to Mexico (53.090).

Argentina’s Santiago Ferrari took the men’s title at 56.890, ahead of Americans Elijah Vogel (56.060) and Cody Gesuelli (55.740). The U.S. pair of Gesuelli and Paul Bretscher took the Synchro gold (49.190) over Brazil (47.550), while DeHanes and Edelman finished second in the women’s Synchro final (44.900) to Mexico 47.640).

● Swimming ● Freestyle super star Katie Ledecky continued winning at the Speedo Atlanta Classic, adding the women’s 200 m Free title on Friday in 1:55.71, about three-quarters of a second off of her seasonal best. It was her third win of the meet after the 400 m and 1,500 m Frees.

Star sprinter Caeleb Dressel was also busy, taking fourth in his first men’s 200 m Free final since 2022, timing 1:47.38 – an Olympic Trials qualifying time – behind winner Kieran Smith (1:47.10). Later that night, Dressel came from more than a second behind on the final lap of the men’s 100 m Fly and won in 51.38. Not his fastest this season, but the second half (26.15) was impressive.

Tokyo Olympic distance Freestyle double gold medalist Bobby Finke won the men’s 400 m Medley by more than eight seconds in an Olympic Trials qualifying time of 4:14.44.

● Table Tennis ● American Kanak Jha qualified for Paris 2024 by winning one of the knock-out draws at the Pan American Olympic Qualifier in Lima (PER). Jha qualified for his third Olympics by taking down Horacio Cifuentes (ARG), four games to one in the third knock-out tournament. Fellow American Nikhil Kumar reached the final of one of the knock-outs, but fell to Santiago Lorenzo (ARG), 4-1. The U.S. had no women’s entries, having already qualified.

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