TSX REPORT: Hashimoto repeats as World A-A champ, U.S.’s Richard wins bronze! Russia sour on Paris, even if allowed; Embiid will play for U.S.

NCAA champ for Michigan and now World All-Around bronze medalist: Fred Richard! (Photo: Michigan Athletics)

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1. Hashimoto repeats as men’s A-A champ, with Richard third!
2. China passes 300 medals as Asian Games end Sunday
3. Russian Olympic Committee chief coy on Paris participation
4. Commonwealth Games budget woes signaled in April
5. Paris 2024 Paralympic tickets on sale on Monday

● Japan’s Daiki Hashimoto repeated as men’s World All-Around Champion at the FIG Artistic World Championships, topping Ukraine’s Ilia Kovtun and American Fred Richard, the NCAA champ from Michigan. It’s the first U.S. A-A medal since 2010.

● As expected, China is routing the field at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, with 333 medals in all and more gold medals (179) than second-place Japan’s medal total (158). The Games wrap up on Sunday.

● The Russian Olympic Committee president said he doesn’t see any “Russian Olympians” in Paris for 2024, but did not include what he calls “neutralized” athletes. He kept up his steady invective against the International Olympic Committee, but others noted a possible breakthrough with the UEFA and FIFA approval of U-17 teams for the future.

● The continuing tumult over the withdrawal of the State of Victoria in Australia as hosts of the 2026 Commonwealth Games saw details revealed this week that the signals over budget overruns came in June and that attorneys to help prepare Victoria’s exit were hired in June, ahead of the 18 July announcement.

● The Paris 2024 organizers announced that Paralympic Games ticket sales will begin on Monday, with 2.8 million tickets available with modest pricing.

World Championships: Rugby (Six of eight quarterfinal spots still open as pool play ends) ●

Panorama: Paris 2024 (Shipping traffic on the Seine will be diverted during the Games) = Memorabilia (Ingrid O’Neil auction 95 closes Saturday) = Athletics (Chicago Marathon comes Sunday with speedy fields) = Basketball (Embiid says he will play for U.S. in Paris) = Boxing (IBA continues criticism of IOC) ●

Hashimoto repeats as men’s A-A champ, with Richard third!

In April, Michigan freshman Fred Richard, 19, won the NCAA men’s All-Around title. In August, he finished third in the USA Gymnastics National Championships All-Around. On Thursday, he became the FIG Artistic World Championships All-Around bronze medalist.

Richard had to battle experienced stars at the Sportpaleis in Antwerp (BEL), starting with Japan’s Daiki Hashimoto, 22, the reigning Olympic and World All-Around champ, and teammate Kenta Chiba, who had the highest qualifying score of 85.799. In fact, Hashimoto finished third, but was allowed to defend his 2022 gold as runner-up Kazuma Kaya withdrew in favor of his teammate.

Richard was sixth in the qualifying at 83.566, with teammate Asher Hong eighth at 83.165.

On Thursday, however, Richard was great from the start, putting up the top score of Floor +(14.633) for his lead-off event, then posted a solid Pommel horse score of 13.733, which ended up fifth overall. Richard’s Rings score of 13.500 was seventh-best overall – out of 24 competitors – and kept him in contention.

Hashimoto started poorly on Floor and his 13.466 score ended up only 17th. But he caught up with a 14.366 on the Pommel horse (second overall) and 14.000 on Rings (also second overall). He got up to second with a 15.000 score on Vault, again second best in the field, to rank behind China’s Wei Sun, 57.065 to 56.832 after four of six events, with Ukraine’s 2021 A-A bronze winner Ilia Kovtun third (56.698) and Richard fourth (56.432; 14.566 on Vault).

In the fifth rotation, Hashimoto and Richard were on Parallel Bars and Hashimoto took the lead at 14.800 that finished as third-best overall. Richard was also good at 14.600, which ranked seventh overall, but shot him up to second (71.032) as Kovtun scored 14.000 on Floor (70.698) and Sun fell way back with a 13.333 Floor total. Japan’s Chiba was now standing third, at 70.831.

Into the final rotation, with Hashimoto, Richard and Chiba on the Horizontal Bar and Kovtun and Sun on the Pommel Horse. Hashimoto was brilliant, winning the event at 14.500 and winning his second Worlds A-A gold at 86.132.

Kovtun’s Pommel Horse routine was excellent and score 14.300, enough for third place in the event and gave him a final total of 84.998, way up from his 19th-place qualifying score of 81.931.

Richard’s Horizontal Bar routine included a fall and earned a modest 13.300, only 15th-best in the field, but Sun ranked only 21st with his Pommel Horse score of 12.300 – with two falls – and dropped to seventh overall. At 84.332, Richard was sitting third with only Chiba to go, and a score of 13.502 would have given the Japanese star the bronze.

But Chiba had a fall and scored only 12.633, ranking 20th, and finished at 83.464 for fourth.

Richard added 0.766 to his qualifying score and that was enough for a medal. It’s the first U.S. men’s All-Around medal since 2010 (Jonathan Horton: bronze) and only the fourth ever, also Kurt Thomas (1979 silver) and Paul Hamm (2003 gold). Richard is also the first American since Hamm in 2003 to win both a Team and All-Around medal in the same Worlds.

Teammate Hong had a stellar performance on Rings, as his 13.833 as third-best overall, but otherwise struggled and finished 19th at 80.064.

Hashimoto now owns the Tokyo Olympic All-Around gold and Worlds golds in 2022 and 2023 and is the obvious favorite for Paris … if he can get past his own teammates in qualifying! Japan now has 33 total medals in this event at the World Championships, the most ever, with 11 golds, silvers and bronzes.

The women’s All-Around comes on Friday and the apparatus finals on Saturday and Sunday, with American superstar Simone Biles poised to add even more medals to her existing record of 26.

China passes 300 medals as Asian Games end Sunday

There was no doubt that China would dominate the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games, with a full turn-out of its stars and with the event concluding on Sunday, its medal total is now at 333, more than double that of any other country.

Through 402 of 481 events, the Chinese have 179 golds, 99 silvers and 55 bronzes, compared to Japan’s 158 medal total (44-54-60) and South Korea, with 157 (33-47-77). India is a distant fourth with 86. This will be the 11th straight Asian in which China has led the medal table. Among its best medal sports:

● 58: Swimming (28-21-9)
● 39: Athletics (19-11-9)
● 29: Shooting (16-9-4)
● 18: Gymnastics (10-4-4)
● 16: Diving (10-6-0)
● 15: Cycling (4-9-2)
● 13: Rowing (11-2-0)

In Athletics, 2023 women’s Steeple World Champion Winfred Yavi (BRN) won a double in the women’s 1,500 m (4:11.65) and the Steeple (9:18.28), while fellow Bahraini Birhanu Balew won the men’s 5,000 (13:17.40) and 10,000 m (28:13.62). Olympic men’s javelin champ and Indian heartthrob Neeraj Chopra led a 1-2 for his country at 88.88 m (291-7), ahead of Kishore Jena (87.54 m/287-2).

India impressively signaled its emergence in the sport with 29 medals (6-14-9).

Weightlifting signaled the return of North Korea to major international competition, with some attendant controversy, but with superior results. The North Korean men won six medals (1-3-2), but the women have dominated, winning all five weight classes held so far, with world records from Song-gum Ri at 49 kg (216 kg total) and Hyong-yong Kang at 55 kg (233 kg total).

Through Thursday, the International Testing Agency has registered six doping positives, with two from Saudi Arabia and one each from Afghanistan, the Philippines, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Russian Olympic Committee chief coy on Paris participation

“I potentially don’t see a single Russian Olympian at the Games yet. Because the Russian Olympic Committee has not received an invitation. I would refrain from talking about individual ‘neutralized’ athletes for now.”

That’s Russian Olympic Committee President Stanislav Pozdnyakov, speaking on Thursday about the prospects for Russian athletes participating at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. And:

“In the absence of measures of political will in the International Olympic Committee to correct the situation, international federations are avoiding as much as possible any decisions to return to legality. In the meantime, selection is being finalized, qualifying competitions for the Olympic Games are underway, and the issue of the Olympic Games will simply soon become irrelevant. So far, there is only one conclusion: our athletes are not expected at this Olympics, and those who can get there are guaranteed neither security, nor support, nor fair judging.”

He responded directly to calls from Ukrainian athletes at the IOC’s International Athletes’ Forum for Russian athletes to be admitted to the Paris Games only as essentially refugees:

“This statement is unacceptable. The most important thing is that there is an old wisdom: don’t dig a hole for someone else, you yourself will fall into it. I want to warn against this kind of proposal, so as not to end up on this team.”

He repeated his usual criticisms of the IOC at a meeting of the Russian Olympic Committee’s Executive Committee:

“The form and essence of the [IOC] recommendations are discriminatory in nature and multiply double standards, legal arbitrariness, devaluing the Olympic Charter. By the way, the IOC is going to change it, probably to justify and legitimize its decisions. The decisions are exclusively political.

“Banning athletes from professional activities in the international arena is nothing but a blatant manifestation of unfair competition. And changing the Olympic Charter is a telling moment in the context of the fact that, to the great regret, the international Olympic movement is no longer even trying to resist political pressure. Lausanne has taken one side of the political conflict.

“Sanctions against our sport are unfounded and illegal, and for many years now they have been boomeranging on the integrity and reputation of the IOC, its true mission, self-sufficiency and political independence. The current recommendations are harmful, and the only option is to return the status quo that existed before, as they were hastily introduced in February 2022.”

At the same session, he also chillingly announced that the Russian Olympic Committee has “admitted” newly-formed sports organizations from areas of eastern Ukraine invaded by Russia that were “annexed” into the Russian Federation in 2022:

“Today the Olympic councils of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, as well as the Yaroslavl region have become members of the ROC.”

The Russian Olympic Committee will provide 500,000 rubles (about $4,988 U.S.) to still-active current and former Olympic champions as compensation for their international ban due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

ROC President Pozdnyakov said Thursday that prior Olympic silver medalists would get 350,000 rubles, bronze medalists would receive 250,000 rubles and members of Russia’s Olympic teams would receive 150,000.

He added that “only those athletes who have refused to compete as neutrals will get paid.” The number of athletes to receive this bonus will be specified at the end of the year.

In the aftermath of the UEFA decision to allow Russian U-17 teams to play in its tournaments again and the approval of the FIFA Council, the Russian Hockey Federation is now asking the International Ice Hockey Federation to also allow its junior teams to play.

The IIHF Congress began Thursday in Portugal, but no discussion of Russian eligibility has been planned.

Commonwealth Games budget woes signaled in April

Amid multiple investigations of how and why the Australian state of Victoria withdrew from its agreement to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games last July, new information about the timeline and the possible tripwires has come out.

The Guardian reported this week that the Victoria 2026 organizing committee wrote in April to then-Victoria Deputy Premier Jacinta Allan – she is now the Premier after the resignation of nine-year incumbent Dan Andrews on 27 September – that the A$2.6 billion cost projection “was insufficient to deliver the games.” (A$1 = $0.64 U.S. today)

Australian outlets further reported that while Andrews’ stunning withdrawal announcement on made on 18 July, the state engaged a Melbourne law firm in June to prepare the “withdrawal from hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games” and then to meet with the Commonwealth Games Federation and negotiate the damages fee, which turned out to be $A380 million. The law firm’s cost to the taxpayers was more than A$1.2 million for work from June through September. Another law firm was hired in August for additional work on the Commonwealth Games withdrawal and cost A$19,745.

Allan responded to the disclosures by noting:

“As the cost were materialising … advice was sought from the public service as you would expect. When you have to make a decision, you weigh up the options, you get the advice from the public service. Often, when you’re making decisions, that does include legal advice.

“There was advice sought from across the public service, and that included legal advice.”

Andrews announced that Victoria was withdrawing from hosting the Games as the cost projections he was seeing were for A$6 billion or more.

Paris 2024 Paralympic tickets on sale on Monday

The 2.8 million tickets for the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris will go on sale on Monday, 9 October, with all tickets available all at once.

The pricing is much lower, of course, than for the Olympic Games and includes:

● €50 or less for 80% of all tickets
● €25 or less for 50% of all tickets
● €15 for 500,000 tickets (17.9% of all tickets)
● All finals priced between €25-100

Tickets for the opening ceremony, at the Place de la Concorde, are priced from €150-700. (€1 = $1.05 U.S. today)

There are also new-concept packages, including the “Discovery Pass,” priced at €24, which allow attendance at multiple venues on the same day:

● “Discovery Pass – Paris Centre”: access to the Grand Palais (wheelchair fencing and Para taekwondo), the Champ-de-Mars Arena (Para judo and wheelchair rugby), the Eiffel Tower Stadium (football 5-a-side) and Les Invalides (Para archery).

● “Discovery Pass – South Paris”: access to Paris Sud 1 Arena (boccia), Paris Sud 4 Arena (Para table tennis) and Paris Sud 6 Arena (goalball).

A “Family Offer” program allows the purchase of two children’s tickets at €10 each for every two standard tickets for adults.

About 4,400 athletes from 184 nations are expected for the 11-day Paralympics from 28 August to 8 September, with 549 events in 22 sports across 259 sessions.


● Rugby ● The tenth Rugby World Cup will conclude the pool phase on Sunday, advancing two teams from each of the four groups to the quarterfinals. The situation is still fluid; the contenders:

Pool A: New Zealand (3-1: 14 points); France (3-0: 13); Italy (2-1: 10). France and Italy play on Friday to determine who advances.

Pool B: South Africa (3-1: 15), Ireland (3-0; 14); Scotland (2-1: 10). Ireland and Scotland play on Saturday.

Pool C: Wales (3-0: 14); Australia (2-2: 11); Fiji (2-1: 10). Fiji and Wales each have a game left.

Pool D: England (3-0: 14); Argentina (2-1: 9); Japan (2-1: 9). Japan and Argentina will play on Sunday.

Only New Zealand and England have clinched quarterfinal spots.

Everyone gets a rest after this weekend. The quarters will be played on 14-15 October, the semis on 20-21 October and the championship match on 28 October.


● Olympic Games 2024: Paris ● Much has been made of the use of the Seine River in Paris for the opening of the 2024 Olympic Games, but the river is also the object of security concerns during the whole Games.

Agence France Presse reported that the Paris organizers have signed an agreement with the Voies navigables de France – the governmental authority over the country’s internal waterways – that traffic on the section of the Seine which passes by the Olympic Village will be diverted to a secondary waterway which is now being renovated.

The diversion will last from about 19 July, when the Olympic Village opens, through the close of the Paralympic Games, on 8 September. The cost of the diversion and the renovation work is estimated at €15 million, to be handled by the government’s Olympic construction arm, Solideo.

● Memorabilia ● The Ingrid O’Neil auction no. 95 closes on Saturday, with 537 lots up; the highest bids offered so far include:

● $20,000: 2020 Tokyo bronze medal
● $17,000: 1948 St. Moritz Winter gold medal
● $17,000: 1976 Innsbruck Winter gold medal
● $16,000: 1984 Sarajevo Winter gold medal
● $10,000: 1932 Lake Placid Winter IOC member badge

No bids yet on the Tokyo 1964 Imperial Family badge that starts at $90,000, or the gaudy 1936 Berlin “Chain of Office” for IOC members that begins at 35,000.

● Athletics ● The 45th Chicago Marathon comes Sunday, with great attention to the women’s race after Ethiopian Tigst Assefa’s startling 2:11:53 world record in Berlin.

The Chicago field is outstanding; the top entries by lifetime best (with year), headed by two-time defending champ Ruth Chepngetich, now no. 3 all-time:

● 2:14:18: Ruth Chepngetich (KEN: 2022) ~ 2019 World Champion
● 2:17:36: Tade Teshome Nare (ETH: 2022) ~ 2022 Valencia fourth
● 2:17:43: Joycilene Jepkosgei (KEN: 2021) ~ 2021 London winner
● 2:18:05: Ginzebe Dibaba (ETH: 2022) ~ 2015 World 1,500 m gold
● 2:18:12: Sutume Kebede (ETH: 2022) ~ 2022 Seoul runner-up
● 2:18:29: Emily Sisson (USA: 2022) ~ 2022 Chicago silver, U.S. record
● 2:18:32: Megertu Alemu (ETH: 2022) ~ 2023 London runner-up
● 2:18:33: Sifan Hassan (NED: 2023) ~ Tokyo Olympic 5,000-10,000 m golds, London winner

Hassan may be the most interesting of all, as she has run only one career marathon, winning at London in April and then almost winning the Worlds 10,000 m in Budapest before falling at the finish, and taking the 5,000 m silver and 1,500 m bronze.

There are additional strong American entries, including Des Linden (2:22:38 in 2011), Emma Bates (2:23:18 for seventh at the 2022 Worlds), and Tokyo bronze medalist Molly Seidel (2:24:42 in 2021).

The men’s field is also excellent, including Kenyan Kelvin Kiptum, who stands at no. 2 all-time. The top entries by lifetime best:

● 2:01:25: Kelvin Kiptum (KEN: 2023) ~ 2023 London winner
● 2:03:36: Bashir Abdi (BEL: 2021) ~ Tokyo 2020 Olympic bronze
● 2:03:51: Kinde Atanaw (ETH: 2019) ~ 2019 Valencia winner
● 2:04:24: Benson Kipruto (KEN: 2022) ~ Defending champion
● 2:04:27: Dawit Wolde (ETH: 2021) ~ Rotterdam third in 2021
● 2:04:29: Seifu Tura (ETH: 2021) ~ 2021 Chicago champion
● 2:05:01: John Korir (KEN: 2022) ~ Chicago bronze in 2022
● 2:05:05: Huseydin Mohamed (ETH: 2022) ~ 2023 Tokyo runner-up

The top U.S. entries are Galen Rupp (2:06:07 in 2018, won in Chicago in 2017), Leonard Korir (2:07:56 in 2017) and Conner Mantz (2:08:16 at Chicago last year).

Weather is expected to be cool, with temperatures in the mid-to-high 40s at the 7:30 a.m. race start, but also with winds of about 8 miles per hour.

● Basketball ● NBA star Joel Embiid, born in Cameroon, but also eligible to play for France or the U.S., has told USA Basketball that he will play for the United States at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

The seven-foot Embiid, the NBA’s Most Valuable Player last season, told reporters that he was thinking about his three-year-old son when he made his decision:

“I’ve been here for such a long time. For the past few years, every decision I’ve made has been based on just family. My family, my son, and having the chance to represent a country like the U.S., with my son being born here … I love my home country, but I really wanted to play in the Olympics.”

Embiid, 29, attended high school in Florida, played one year at Kansas and has played seven seasons in the NBA, all with the Philadelphia 76ers, winning the NBA scoring title each of the last two seasons. He has never played international basketball at the senior level, and would significantly help the American team with his size and interior presence, qualities lacking on the 2023 FIBA World Cup team that finished fourth.

● Boxing ● The International Boxing Association, de-recognized by the IOC in June, and led by Russian President Umar Kremlev, continues complaining about not being in charge of Olympic boxing. Part of a Thursday statement included:

“The International Boxing Association (IBA) remains stunned as the IOC continues to remain silent in all regards, particularly those related to the grave mistakes and violations committed by C.K. Wu [TPE], former IOC Member and Executive Board Member under whose leadership AIBA was a true farce with bankruptcy and corruption at all levels. Traces of these destructive actions can be seen at recent boxing tournaments organized under the umbrella of the IOC. …

“Following the tremendous error made by the IOC to withdraw its recognition, the IBA remains disappointed that it has not been involved in the Asian Games or consulted at any stage and stresses the importance of keeping the integrity of the competitions’ officials at the highest possible level and not accepting substandard performances.”

The comments are in line with the Russian government’s consistent criticism of the IOC, simply distributed though another organization.

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