= TSX REPORT ~ 4 October 2019 =
| 1. | LANE ONE: IOC’s Bach says Salazar case “raises serious concerns”; no vote on 2032 Games in 2020
The International Olympic Committee’s Executive Board finished two days of meetings in Lausanne, Switzerland with a news conference with President Thomas Bach and some interesting indications of where the IOC is headed.
It is doubling down on its anti-doping activities, asking the International Testing Agency to create a sample-storage program – for 10 years – for its out-of-competition testing. This will complement the IOC’s existing retention program for samples taken during competition at Games, in order to be able to re-test years later with newer equipment and detection technologies.
Bach also noted that the Executive Board had been informed of the confirmation of a four-year suspension of Nike Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazar for aiding doping. Although the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency was the agency suspending Salazar, the IOC is preparing a letter to the World Anti-Doping Agency asking if Salazar’s activities impact the validity of any Olympic results by athletes who were part of his training program. Salazar’s star pupil was British star Mo Farah, who won the 5,000 m and 10,000 m in both the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
That’s a lot of attention to the suspension of a single U.S. coach, but Bach was clear that this specific case “is very worrying and raises serious concerns.”
Bach also explained that the new structure for selecting Olympic host cities or areas is being implemented with the formation of “Future Hosts Commission” for both summer and winter games. These groups will engage in “a permanent dialogue with interested hosts, or with potential hosts in which we may be interested.”
Speaking in more detail in response to a question, Bach told a delegation from Queensland, Australia that no decision on the 2032 Games will be made in 2020, but only later. It’s also worth noticing that Bach spoke explicitly about the IOC opening a dialogue with host cities or countries that it might like to hold a Games in. In less than a decade, the entire bid process for the Olympic Games has essentially ended; Bach – in his usual, low-key way – has signaled that the IOC will look after its own interests in the future. You can apply, but don’t expect to be chosen … unless the IOC already wants you. More here.
| 2. | ATHLETICS: Surprise after surprise in Thursday’s World Champs in Doha
All the experts were sure that Shaunae Miller-Uibo of The Bahamas, Belgium’s defending champion Nafi Thiam and French world-record holder Kevin Mayer would win the women’s 400 m, heptathlon and decathlon at the 2019 IAAF World Championships taking place in Doha, Qatar.
Miller-Uibo was upset by a sensational run from Bahrain’s Salwa Eid Naser, who authored the third-fastest performance in history with a 48.14 win, relegating Miller-Uibo to second with a national record 48.37. It ended a two-year winning streak in the event for Miller-Uibo and extended Naser’s year-long winning skein to 13.
In the women’s heptathlon, Thiam was never quite right and her chief rival took advantage. Great Britain’s Katharina Johnson-Thompson opened the second day with an outstanding long jump and then posted the fastest time among all competitors in the final event, the 800 m. Her point total of 6,981 makes “KJT” the no. 8 performer in history; Thiam settled for silver with 6,677.
France’s Mayer appeared to injure his right leg during the high jump competition on the first day of the decathlon, but after the 100 m hurdles and discus, he was in the lead. But the leg pain was so great that he could not pole vault and had to abandon the event.
That’s created an opportunity, not for vice-favorite Damian Warner of Canada, but for 21-year-old Niklas Kaul of Germany, who responded with a lifetime best-score of 8,691 to win the event. Estonia’s Marcel Uibo – Shaunae’s husband – finished second at 8,604 and Warner collected the bronze medal with 8,529.
The Ubios won their silver medals about 35 minutes apart!
The one event that did go to form was the women’s shot, where Lijiao Gong of China defended her 2017 title with throw of 19.55 m (64-1 3/4), with Jamaica’s Danniel Thomas-Dodd second with 19.47 m (63-10 1/2). Much more here.
| 3. | ATHLETICS: Spain’s Ortega gets duplicate bronze in 110 m hurdles
The IAAF has amended the results of the men’s 110 m hurdles, giving a second bronze medal to Spain’s Orlando Ortega, who finished fifth in 13.30.
During the late stages of the race, Jamaica’s defending champion, Omar McLeod, smashed into the final hurdle and also interfered with Ortega’s hurdle in the adjoining lane, causing Ortega to slow down.
The Spaniard was running second at the time to eventual winner Grant Holloway of the U.S., but faded after McLeod interfered with his lane. McLeod was disqualified and the after a review of the race, awarded Ortega a second bronze, with France’s Pascal Martinot-Lagarde (13.18).
| 4. | FOOTBALL: U.S. women win fourth straight Victory Tour match, 2-0, over Korea.
A crowd of 30,071 showed up in Charlotte, North Carolina to see the penultimate game of the U.S. women’s National Team “Victory Tour” against South Korea.
As with the prior three matches, the U.S. won, 2-0, but not without some difficulty. Despite multiple chances in the first half, the U.S. found itself scoreless at the two-minute stoppage-time period ran out. But playing into a third minute, a Megan Rapinoe cross from the right side of the Korean end found it way right onto the foot of an unmarked Allie Long, and she popped it into the net for a controversial 1-0 lead. Long also appeared to be offside on the play.
The second half saw many more U.S. opportunities, but no more goals until the 76th minute. Rapinoe was again in the middle of the action, sending a corner kick right into the middle of the six-yard box, where striker Mallory Pugh was standing alone. Her header quickly found the back of the net and created the final 2-0 score.
The U.S. has danced through the four Victory Tour matches with wins of 3-0 vs. Ireland, 4-0 and 3-0 over Portugal and now 2-0 against Korea, with a final match coming against the Koreans in Chicago on Sunday.
That game will also be the final appearance for coach Jill Ellis was the head of the U.S. team; she is retiring after two World Cup titles. The win on Thursday night was her 106th as the women’s head coach, breaking a tie she had with the late Tony DiCicco (1995-99) for the most coaching wins with the national team. More here.
| 5. | SWIMMING: USA Swimming being investigated by Dept. of Justice on abuse and finances
The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Justice has been presenting evidence to a grand jury in New York concerning USA Swimming, specifically looking at its financial and insurance practices and its response (or non-response) to sexual abuse claims that go back to at least 2010.
Most of the conduct being investigated took place during the period when the late Chuck Wielgus served as the Executive Director of the federation; he died at 67 on 23 April 2017 after serving for 20 years. Current USA Swimming Chief Executive Tim Hinchey was named to the position in June of 2017.