TSX REPORT: IOC’s Russia-and-Paris ideas could come Tuesday; report says Richardson in $20 million Nike deal; Brisbane 2032 political explosion

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1. Tuesday’s Olympic Summit could preview Russian decision
2. Report: Richardson signs five-year, $20 million Nike deal
3. IOC says Paris 2024 “well prepared” after visit
4. Brisbane mayor explodes, leaves 2032 Games Forum
5. Oregon beach volley and rowing athletes file Title IX suit

● The International Olympic Committee is holding its annual Olympic Summit on Tuesday, with a signal of how Russian and Belarusian athletes will be admitted – if at all – to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

● A report stated U.S. sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson has signed a five-year, $20 million sponsorship deal with Nike. Great for her, but can she and others raise the interest in the sport, or will this be another missed opportunity.

● The IOC Executive Board completed its meetings in Paris on Friday and said it was satisfied with the preparations for the 2024 Olympic Games. There is the usual carping from Parisians about the impact of the Games, but the Paris 2024 finances appear good and that’s important.

● A political explosion has hit Brisbane 2032 over the billion-dollar renovation of the Gabba stadium, with the city’s mayor resigning from the political leadership forum coordinating the government’s efforts on the Games.

● A lawsuit filed Friday accuses the University of Oregon athletic department of Title IX non-compliance over facilities and support given to the women’s beach volleyball and rowing teams. It could be a major case in name-image-likeness issues within collegiate departments, or not much at all.

World Championships: Football (Germany wins FIFA U-17 World Cup on penalties) = Handball (IHF Women’s Worlds continuing) ●

Panorama: Alpine Skiing (2: Brignone wins two in Tremblant; men’s races canceled by weather) = Athletics (2: Lemma wins Valencia in 2:01:48!; Santos banned three years for lying about his age in 2012) = Badminton (Japan wins two at Modi Invitational) = Basketball (U.S. women take FIBA 3×3 AmeriCup title) = Biathlon (France’s Jeanmonnot wins twice in Oestersund) = Cross Country Skiing (U.S.’s Diggins wins 14th World Cup individual gold) = Football (Rodman stars as U.S. shuts down China, 3-0) = Freestyle Skiing (2: Hall and Gremaud take Big Air titles; Anthony and Horishima take Moguls season opener) = Judo (Japan wins seven at Tokyo Grand Slam) = Nordic Combined (Riiber and Hansen sweep World Cup races) = Rugby Sevens (South Africa and Australia win season openers) = Ski Jumping (Kraft sweeps in Lillehammer) = Snowboard (2: Su and Gasser take Big Air titles in Beijing; Grondin and Trespeuch take SnowCross openers) = Speed Skating (Dutch win four at third World Cup stage) = Swimming (3: Douglass, Smith, Haughey win three at U.S. Open; Weinstein takes final open-water World Cup in Portugal; Klete Keller sentenced) = Taekwondo (two Olympic champs win at Grand Prix Final) ●

Tuesday’s Olympic Summit could preview Russian decision

“The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has convened the 12th Olympic Summit for Tuesday, 5 December 2023. This meeting will be held at Olympic House, Lausanne, Switzerland.”

For those who watch the Olympic Movement closely, this is pretty big stuff. The IOC’s announcement included:

“Discussions will focus on several topics of interest to the Olympic Movement, including the unifying mission of the Olympic Games in the international community, the upcoming Olympic Games Paris 2024, updates on other forthcoming editions of the Olympic Games, esports within the Olympic Movement, and digital engagement as well as the protection of athletes.”

Let’s translate the first part of that sentence, about “unifying mission of the Olympic Games.” That’s code for a formulation of the policy on whether to allow, and how to allow, participation at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games by Russian and Belarusian athletes.

Make no mistake about this. Most of the major players in the Olympic Movement are expected to attend, led by IOC chief Thomas Bach (GER), the heads of nine International Federations – including World Athletics’ Sebastian Coe (GBR) who has been deadset against Russian participation while its invasion of Ukraine continues – and the National Olympic Committee President from China (Zhidan Gao) and Gene Sykes from the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee.

It was from this meeting in 2022 that the IOC announced the group’s agreement for

“The IOC to lead the further exploration of the [Olympic Council of Asia] initiative concerning the participation of athletes who are in full respect of the Olympic Charter and the sanctions [on Russia and Belarus]. This initiative to be discussed in the next round of IOC consultation calls with the IOC Members, the athletes’ representatives, the International Federations and the National Olympic Committees.”

This was planned and executed. Expect more of the same on Tuesday. This is a private meeting, which will not be streamed or to which media can attend. There will be no news conference; only a statement will be issued.

It is expected to signal the IOC’s long-awaited view on what to do about Russian and Belarusian attendance in Paris, to be formalized later in the year. Bach has continuously claimed that only by having Russian and Belarusian athletes in Paris can the IOC’s “mission” be fulfilled, so his view is clear. But the devil is in the details, some of which are to be expected Tuesday.

Report: Richardson signs five-year, $20 million Nike deal

What is certain is that U.S. sprint star Sha’Carri Richardson, the women’s World 100 m Champion, has new representation in the commercial marketplace. An Instagram post on Friday explained:

“HSInternational Sports Management inc. (HSI) is pleased to announce World Champion, Sha’Carri Richardson @itsshacarri has retained HSI for management and agent representation.

“Managing Director of HSI, Emanuel Hudson @ekhsi said of the signing, ‘We look forward to assisting Ms. Richardson on her path to obtaining all her ultimate goals. This young woman is a bright light, as can be seen in the young girls and boys who look up to her. Sha’Carri’s next decade will be fruitful, and we are pleased she chose us to be a part of that journey.’”

She may also be the newest Nike star, as reports are circulating that she has signed a five-year, $20 million sponsorship extension with Nike, which has been supporting her for several years already.

Nike has said nothing, but the reports explain that the apparel and footwear giant plan a Richardson-endorsed line of clothing, and a focus by Nike – long identified with distance running – on new research and development of sprinting gear.

Observed: If true, this is a great deal for Richardson, who is not only a star sprinter, but has a charismatic personality that draws attention and makes her of interest even to non-track fans, as shown by her 2.97 million Instagram followers. To her credit, she has refined her style after a couple of tough years, and become much more endearing to the public.

She and Noah Lyles, the 100-200 m World Champion on the men’s side, give track and field a significant base of star power – along with shot putter Ryan Crouser and sprint/hurdler Sydney McLaughlin – to expand interest in the sport with an Olympic year coming in 2024 and the Los Angeles Games coming in 2028. But then the questions begin:

Is there a plan to make the sport bigger? There was no lasting legacy from the Carl Lewis era, or long-term plan following the close of Usain Bolt’s career.

Who’s in charge? USA Track & Field? Lyles? Richardson? An athlete “union,” possibly based on the meeting Richardson helped to organize at the 2023 USATF Nationals in July?


IOC says Paris 2024 “well prepared” after visit

Friday’s final day of the IOC Executive Board meeting in Paris was devoted to a review of the current status of the preparations for the 2024 Olympic Games and IOC President Bach pronounced their satisfaction:

“This meeting and the reports from the IOC Coordination Commission reassure us that Paris 2024 is well prepared for the coming year. At the IOC we are committed to doing everything we can to contribute actively to these Olympic Games, which will be a turning point in history: more sustainable, more urban, more inclusive, with gender parity – Games wide open.”

The IOC’s statement on the meetings noted the new traffic control regulations, which will require special access arrangements for specific areas where the Games will be held:

“The announcement of the plans will allow local residents and businesses to consult with the authorities well in advance to ensure regular activities can co-exist with the Games.”

Ticket sales continue to be excellent, with 380,000 of the 400,000 new tickets available sold in 24 hours – 7.5 million sold in total so far – and another 50,000 placed on sale. Sales have been made to buyers from 197 countries, with Great Britain, the U.S., Germany and the Netherlands the biggest buyers outside of France.

The torch relay is also popular, with 90,000 applications for the 10,000 Olympic torchbearer spots and the 1,000 Paralympic torchbearers.

The Executive Board visited the almost-complete Olympic Village, which was noted to be on schedule for delivery to the organizing committee and will be used for housing after the Games.

Bach was happy, telling reporters, “I can safely state that, not only me, but the entire IOC Executive Board is also very satisfied with the state of the preparations.”

Also on Friday, the BBC posted a story titled, “Paris Olympics 2024: Locals ask if they’re worth the trouble,” which detailed complaints from Parisians about the Games: raises in public transport prices during the Games, the new access regulations for four Games zones, the continuing tug-of-war over the movement of the famous bookseller stalls along the Seine and so on.

One resident – “Evelyne” – was quite happy to tell reporter Hugh Schofield:

“Paris will be unbearable. Impossible to park; impossible to move around; impossible to do anything. [Mayor Anne] Madame Hidalgo has wrecked Paris, and I want no part of the Games.”

But Schofield also added the back story:

“There was always a solid corpus of French people who opposed the Games on the left-wing grounds that they are a colossal waste of money and serve mainly the interests of the multinationals.

“To them are now added all those who believe they will also be a monumental inconvenience.

“So should the organisers be worried? Probably not. Most of the concerns are either exaggerated or easily resolved. And what Games ever took place without mega-jitters in the months ahead?

“Take transport. Mayor Hidalgo certainly set Olympic hearts racing with her dire warnings about lack of preparation.

“But context is all. The mayor is in political difficulty. She is also the sworn enemy of both the sports minister and the (conservative) head of the Ile-de-France region, who has responsibility for suburban rail.”

Observed: And so on and so on. As Schofield rightly notes, it’s easy to find naysayers about an Olympic Games or any other major event. This is normal and many Parisians won’t be in the city anyway as late July and August are vacation time.

One of the things that can cripple an organizing committee is finances. So far, Paris 2024 remains on target, has signed 55 domestic sponsorships (all three levels) and is selling lots and lots of tickets, in fact, almost all of the tickets not designated for hospitality and sponsor use, and will sell more.

There will be problems in Paris, as with every Games. But the things that can sabotage the event – as Rio found out in 2016 – seem to be in reasonable, even good shape with eight months left. But there are still eight months left.

Brisbane mayor explodes, leaves 2032 Games Forum

The Brisbane 2032 organizing committee has been quietly active, working on its domestic sponsorships plans and community involvement programs. The same cannot be said for the area’s politicians.

On Friday, Brisbane Mayor Adrian Schrinner issued a lengthy statement withdrawing from the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games Intergovernmental Leaders’ Forum, explaining:

“I will no longer fall into line and support the State Government’s current Gabba plan.

“This week it became very apparent that the Intergovernmental Leaders’ Forum is a dysfunctional farce, a pointless talkfest established to placate key stakeholders while all the real decisions are made by the State Government behind closed doors.

“It has also become clear that there must be better options than demolishing and rebuilding the Gabba.

“The Games are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Brisbane and Queensland.

“But unless the State Government’s approach changes, this opportunity will be squandered through mismanagement.

“I believe that the Government has completely lost its way on the road to the Games.

“This has put the promised legacy for our city, our region and our state in serious jeopardy.”

And there is this:

“It’s clear that the Games have become more about over-priced stadiums rather than the promise of vital transport solutions.

“The State Government’s ham-fisted and foolish attempt to extort Brisbane ratepayers for tens of millions of dollars for a new RNA stadium was the final straw.

“This truly bizarre approach was undertaken because I had the temerity to back local fans and say Brisbane teams should play in Brisbane while the Gabba is torn down and rebuilt.”

The specific issue in the spotlight is the plan by the Queensland (state) government to rebuild the famed Brisbane Cricket Ground, known as the Gabba, at a cost currently estimated at A$2.7 billion (A$1 = $0.67 U.S.). While the Gabba is torn down and rebuilt for the 2032 Games and beyond, the Brisbane teams in Australian Football and cricket will need a home field starting in 2025.

The identified site is the Brisbane Showgrounds, which is operated by the Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland (“RNA”), where a legacy facility can be expanded to seat 20,000, later to be scaled back to 12,000.

The Queensland government, which is doing the redevelopment project in coordination with the national government, said Thursday that it would put up A$47.5 million of the projected A$137 million cost.

The City of Brisbane and the RNA, and the local teams, are expected to fund the rest, but refuse to do so, since the redevelopment of the Gabba is the state’s idea and not theirs. Further, the IOC itself pointed out during the bid phase that track & field could be held elsewhere in Queensland in an existing facility, without the costly renovation of the Gabba.

And Schrinner picked up on the Paris 2024 idea to use the Seine River for the Games opening, adding:

“I have no doubt there are good alternatives to the full demolition and rebuilding of the Gabba, but the State Government has never genuinely looked for them with an open mind.

“If they won’t do it, let’s appoint an independent body that will.

“We could even look at alternatives for the opening and closing ceremonies, such as events along the Brisbane River that are open to all.”

The Gabba redevelopment, with a new arena and expanded transportation hub, is a centerpiece of the Queensland plan for Brisbane 2032’s legacy. The Queensland sports minister, Stirling Hinchcliffe, said he was “bewildered” by Schrinner’s departure from the prior plan.

This isn’t good.

Oregon beach volley and rowing athletes file Title IX suit

“This is a sex discrimination class action against the University of Oregon (‘Oregon’) for depriving its female student-athletes of equal treatment, equal athletic financial aid, and equal opportunities to participate in varsity athletics in violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (‘Title IX’).”

This is the opening of a 115-page complaint filed on Friday (1st) in the U.S. Federal District Court in Eugene, Oregon by 32 plaintiffs – 26 members of the Oregon women’s beach volleyball team and six members of the women’s rowing team – against the Oregon athletic department on the basis of unequal treatment. Among the many allegations:

● “To cite the most egregious example, Oregon gives more than a third of its male student-athletes – the men on its football team – unbelievably better treatment than it gives to any of its female student-athletes: palatial locker rooms, “fitting” rooms, and player lounges; state-of-the-art, personalized gear and equipment in seemingly endless quantities; preferential scheduling for training, practices, and games; chartered flights to away games; hotel stays before home games; huge quantities of food and travel per diems for more food, whether the money is needed or used for food or not; professional-quality practice and competitive facilities; their own theatre with seats upholstered in Ferrari leather, where they can watch movies and sporting events together; round-the-clock access to trainers and medical professionals; nearly-unlimited publicity, including to advance their name, image, and likeness (NIL) opportunities and income; highly-paid coaches and assistant coaches with plush offices and special amenities, including their own hot tub; and myriad other forms of support that one can hardly imagine.”

● “ In contrast, to cite the counterexample, the female student-athletes on Oregon’s women’s beach volleyball team are treated far worse than any of its male student-athletes. They are treated so badly that, on July 23, 2023, The Oregonian published a front-page investigative report, ‘Oregon Ducks beach volleyball players detail disparate treatment that experts say could violate Title IX,’ exposing the school’s discrimination against them, including Oregon’s failure to give them any athletic scholarships; adequate locker rooms, practice and competitive facilities; sufficient travel accommodations and daily allowances; appropriate equipment and supplies; even minimal publicity and recognition; and honest or fair recruiting support.”

● “According to its most recent publicly available [Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act] data for 2021-22, women were just over 49% of the varsity athletes at Oregon, but the school spent only 25% of its total athletic expenditures on them and only 15% of its recruiting dollars on them.”

The suit focuses on unequal treatment specific the women’s beach volleyball and rowing teams, but also notes an important issue regarding name-image-likeness (NIL) opportunities:

“Oregon provides its male and female student-athletes with a wide array of publicity and other treatments and benefits to increase their NIL-related training, opportunities, and income, both directly and by working with and through its NIL collective, Division Street … and Opendorse, the Oregon Ducks NIL Marketplace.

“Through these actions, Oregon provides its male student-athletes with much greater NIL-related training, opportunities, and income than its female student-athletes.”

The request for relief starts with the certification of the class and then asks the Court, in addition to damages and attorney’s fees, to:

● “Enter an order declaring that Oregon is discriminating against its current female varsity student-athletes on the basis of their sex by depriving them of equal treatment and benefits, equal athletic financial aid, and equal opportunities to participate in intercollegiate athletics in violation of Title IX and the Regulations promulgated thereunder.”

● “Issue a permanent injunction barring Oregon from discriminating against its female student-athletes on the basis of their sex by (a) denying female varsity student-athletes of equal treatment and benefits in Oregon’s intercollegiate athletics program, (b) depriving female varsity student-athletes of equal athletic financial aid, and (c) depriving female students of equal opportunities to participate in varsity intercollegiate athletics.”

The case is Schroeder, et al vs. University of Oregon, case no. 6:23-cv-1806.

Observed: This could end up being a critical, ground-breaking case concerning women’s athletes at NCAA institutions, or could be limited to the two teams at Oregon which have complained about their facilities and treatment.

It could also be a further incentive for the U.S. Congress to create a national NIL law, which is being sought – with great vigor – by the NCAA.


● Football ● The two undefeated teams playing in the final of the FIFA men’s U-17 World Cup in Indonesia – France and Germany – could not be separated at the end of regulation play and had to go to penalties, with the Germans winning their first trophy in this tournament, 4-3.

Playing in Surakarta before 13,037 at the Manahan Stadium, the Germans scored first on a penalty by star forward Paris Brunner in the 29th and led, 1-0, at the half. They doubled their advantage to 2-0 on a 51st-minute goal by midfielder Noah Darvich, but could not make it stand up.

Midfielder Saimon Bouabre scored for France in the 53rd to close to 2-1 and after midfielder Winners Osawe was red-carded in the 69th – reducing Germany to 10 – midfielder Mathis Amougou tied it in the 85th. The game was tight, with France taking 14 shots to 12 for the Germans, although the French had 64% possession.

The French went up by 2-0 again in the shoot-out, the missed two in a row and the Germans got three straight goals to go up, 3-2. Joan Tinces tied it for France and Brunner’s try was saved, but with a chance to go ahead, Tidiam Gomis missed France’s fifth penalty and Almugera Kabar scored for the Germans to take the win, 4-3.

In the third-place game, Mali took a decisive 3-0 win over Argentina.

● Handball ● Pool play continues at the 26th IHF Women’s World Championship in Denmark, Sweden and Norway, with six of the eight groups having played two rounds, and Hungary and Montenegro (Group B), Norway (C), Slovenia and France (D), Germany and Poland (F), Brazil and Spain (G) and Netherlands and the Czech Republic (H) all at 2-0.

The preliminary pools continue through 5 December.


● Alpine Skiing ● The women’s FIS World Cup was in Tremblant (CAN) for two Giant Slaloms, with Italy’s two-time Worlds medalist Federica Brignone taking Saturday’s race.

She led after the first run over Swede Sara Hector by 0.11, then had the third-best second run to finish in a combined 2:14.95, 0.21 better than Olympic Slalom champ Petra Vlhova (SVK), who had the fastest second run.

American superstar Mikaela Shiffrin collected a medal in her fourth straight race, moving from fifth to third on the second run and taking the bronze in 2:15.24, with Hector fourth (2:15.51).

On Sunday, the results were almost the same – Brignone won, with Shiffrin third – but this time the Italian came from sixth after the first run to win with the fastest second run in the race, finishing in 2:11.95. Swiss Lara Gut-Behrami, the 2021 World Champion in this event, had the third-fastest first run and moved up with a final time of 2:12.28, while Shiffrin, second after the first race, had only the 18th-fastest second run and slipped to third (2:12.34).

A.J. Hurt of the U.S. finished ninth overall (2:13.35) and Paula Moltzan was 15th (2:13.89).

Both Friday’s and Saturday’s men’s Downhill, as well as Sunday’s Super G at Beaver Creek, Colorado (USA) had to be canceled due to heavy snow. No word on make-up dates yet.

● Athletics ● One of the greatest years in marathon history was called off by a 2:01:48 victory for Ethiopia’s Sisay Lemma at the Valencia Marathon in Spain on Sunday, making him the fourth-fastest man in history with the sixth-fastest race in history.

Lemma, the 2021 London Marathon champ, won his sixth marathon in 25 tries, was part of a group of seven that passed halfway in 1:00:35. By 25 km, Lemma had the lead over Kibiwott Kandie (KEN) and Dawit Wolde (ETH), but with all three still in contention. But Lemma moved away after 35 km and had a minute lead by 40 km and was all alone at the finish.

Kenyan Alexander Mutiso moved up past the tiring Wolde for second, finishing with a lifetime best of 2:03:11 (no. 12 all-time) with Wolde in a lifetime best of 2:03:48 (25th all-time) in third. Ethiopian great Kenenisa Bekele, now 41, was fourth in 2:04.19 – his third-fastest ever – while Kandie fell back to sixth in 2:04:48, also a personal record.

Four of the 10 fastest marathons ever were run in 2023, with Kelvin Kiptum (KEN) grabbing the world record at 2:00:35 in Chicago after winning London in 2:01:25 in April. Two-time Olympic champ Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) won Berlin in 2:02:42 and now Lemma in Valencia.

The women’s race was a runaway for Ethiopia’s Worknesh Degefa, breaking away after 33 km and winning easily in 2:15:51 in her first marathon since January 2020! She’s now no. 7 on the all-time list, with the ninth-fastest women’s marathon ever.

Degefa led an Ethiopian sweep, with Almaz Ayana – the Olympic 10,000 m winner in Rio – also getting a lifetime best in 2:16:22, now no. 8 all-time, to finish second. Hiwot Gebrekidan was third (2:17:59 lifetime best, no. 24 all-time) and Kenyan Celestine Chepchirchir was fourth (2:20:46).

On Friday, Dominican sprint star Luguelín Santos was banned for three years from March 2023 to March 2026 for age manipulation. The Athletics Integrity Unit noted:

“The Dominican Republic athlete – the 400-metre gold medallist at the event (now known as the World Athletics U20 Championships) – admitted to competing in the 2012 age-group championships with a passport showing a falsified date of birth – 12 November 1993 – when in fact he born on that date in 1992.”

That made him ineligible for the World Juniors in 2012, and it got worse: “Santos also told the AIU that he had been directed to use the ‘special passport’ with the false birth year (1993) for competitions, but the genuine passport (birth year 1992) for all other official purposes.”

His London 2012 Olympic silver in the 400 m is not affected, since his age was not at issue. He also won an Olympic silver in Tokyo in the Mixed 4×400 m.

● Badminton ● Japanese players and teams made it to all five finals at the Syed Modi India International in Lucknow (IND), but came away with only two wins on Sunday.

Nozomi Okuhara (JPN), the 2017 World Champion, took the women’s Singles final over fifth-seed Line Kjaersfeldt (DEN), by 21-19, 21-16, and Rin Iwanaga and Kie Nakanishi (JPN) disappointed the home fans by defeating Tanisha Crasto and Ashwini Ponnappa (IND), 21-14, 17-21, 21-15.

In the men’s Singles final, Yu Jen Chi (TPE) came from behind to beat Kenta Nishimoto (JPN), 20-22, 21-12, 21-17 and Malaysia’s Hon Jian Choong and Muhammad Haikal (MAS) upset the top seeds, Japan’s Akira Koga and Taichi Saito (JPN) in the men’s Doubles final, 18-21, 21-18, 21-16.

In the Mixed Doubles gold-medal match, second-seeds Dejan Ferdinansyah and Gloria Widjaja (INA) also had to come from one set down to win over fifth-seeded Yuki Kaneko and Misaki Matsumoto (JPN), 20-22, 21-19, 25-23.

● Basketball ● The U.S. women’s team of Kelsey Mitchell, Katie Samuelson, Dearica Hamby and Camille Zimmerman won the FIBA 3×3 AmeriCup on Sunday with a 21-20, last-second win over Brazil in San Juan (PUR).

The American women beat Uruguay (17-12), Jamaica (22-13) and the Dominican Republic (21-10) in pool play, then slid past Ecuador (18-7) in the quarters, and defending champion Canada (21-15) in the semis. In the final, Brazil took the lead with 5:58 to play at 11-9 and extended to 19-13 before Samuelson hit two two-pointers to close to 18-19 and then Hamby tied the game with 0:49 to play. Brazil’s Vitoria Marcelino took the lead back with 44 seconds left and then Samuelson made one of two foul shots to even the score with 22 seconds to.

Finally, a pass from Mitchell to Hamby on the baseline resulted in a fade-away jumper for the win. Canada defeated Chile, 21-8, for the bronze.

The men’s tournament went to homestanding Puerto Rico with an 18-14 win over Brazil, as Angel Matias scored nine and Adrian Ocasio had five and a team-high seven rebounds. The Dominican Republic won the bronze with a 21-15 win over Mexico.

The Dominicans eliminated the U.S. team of Bryce Wills, Trey Bardsley, Devin Cannaday and Mitch Hann in the quarterfinals, 18-16.

● Biathlon ● The second weekend of IBU World Cup action in Oestersund (SWE) finished with a surprise sweep for unheralded Lou Jeanmonnot of France.

At age 25, she had won four World Cup golds on relays before this season and a couple of other medals, but scored her first-ever individual World Cup win in Saturday’s 7.5 km Sprint in 21:04.1 (0 penalties), over Karoline Knotten (NOR: 21:12.6/1) and Juni Arnekleiv (NOR: 21:21.7/1).

On Sunday, she won a tight battle with German stars Franziska Preuss and Vanessa Voigt, who also went 2-3 in the season-opening 15 km Individual race on 26 November. Jeanmonnot shot clean and finished in 31:41.3, just ahead of Preuss (31:41.6, one penalty) and 31:59.8 for Voigt (one penalty).

Fellow German Philip Nawrath won his first World Cup title – at age 30 – in the men’s 10 km Sprint in 24:02.0 (0), well ahead of Norwegian veteran Tarjei Boe (24:20.7/0) and Vebjoern Soerum (NOR: 24:21.8/0).

On Sunday, Nawrath almost scored another win, but had to settle for second behind Sweden’s 2018 Olympic Pursuit runner-up Sebastian Samuelsson, 31:38.4 (3) to 31:43.5 (2). Vetle Christiansen (NOR) took third at 31:45.6 (1).

Norway, with Boe and Christiansen aboard, won the men’s 4×7.5 km relay over France, 1:14:28.4 to 1:14:49.0, and the Norwegian women won the 4×6 km relay in 1:18:48.3, almost 42 seconds up on Sweden (1:19:29.9).

● Cross Country Skiing ● The U.S.’s amazing Jessie Diggins continued to shine in the FIS World Cup with a win on Saturday in Gallivare (SWE).

After Swedish stars had won the first three women’s races of the season, Diggins broke through with a dominant victory in the 10 km Interval Start Freestyle, finishing in 24:48.3, some 23.1 seconds up on Ebba Andersson (SWE: 25:11.4), followed by teammate Moa Ilar (25:13.9). American Rosie Brennan, who won two medals last week, finished sixth in 25:40.3.

Diggins won her 14th career individual World Cup gold, all of which have come in Freestyle races. She also took over the overall World Cup lead, with 347 points to 330 for Brennan after four of 34 events.

In the men’s race, Norway continued its win streak, now at four, of this season’s races, with a victory for four-time World Championships gold medalist Pal Golberg. He took the men’s 10 km Interval Start Freestyle in 21:56.7, ahead of teammates Harald Amundsen (22:00.9) and Iver Andersen (22:01.8).

It’s the first sweep of the season for Norway, which has now won nine of the 12 men’s-event medals won so far in World Cup action.

Norway won the men’s 4×7.5 km Free relay on Sunday in 1:11.50.5, well ahead of Sweden (1:12:07.9). The U.S. was fifth (1:12:36.0) with Ben Ogden, Gus Schumacher, Scott Patterson and Zanden McMullen.

Sweden won the women’s 4×7.5 km Free relay, with Ilar on anchor at 1:20:19.3, ahead of Germany (1:20:32.8) and the U.S. in third, with Diggins, Brennan, Sophia Laukli and Julia Kern finishing in 1:20:46.8.

● Football ● The U.S. women shut down China, 3-0, in a Saturday friendly at Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, with attacking midfielder Trinity Rodman scoring a goal and assisting on another.

The Americans got ahead quickly, 1-0, in the eighth minute as Rodman took a long lead pass down the left side and sent a left-footed pass toward the Chinese goal that was met by a charging striker Sophia Smith for the score.

The U.S. controlled the action, but could not get another score in the half. But in the 57th, midfield star Lindsey Horan sent a long pass from the left side into the penalty area, where it bounded over the head of substitute Jaedyn Shaw and then past Chinese keeper Huan Xu for a 2-0 edge.

Rodman herself scored in the 77th, after sub midfielder Midge Purce dribbled into the penalty area, pushed the ball forward to Shaw in front of goal, which deflected off a defender and came to Rodman for the finish on the left side.

The U.S. had a 20-2 edge on shots and controlled the ball for 64% of the match. The two teams will meet again on Tuesday (5th) in Frisco, Texas.

● Freestyle Skiing ● The second stage of the FIS World Cup Big Air circuit was in Beijing (CHN) on Saturday, with American Alex Hall getting his sixth career World Cup gold and third in Big Air.

Hall took the lead in round one at 91.75 and followed up with a steady 90.25 to total 182.00. That was just enough to hold off Edouard Therriault (CAN: 181.75) and Swiss Andri Ragettli (179.75), the 2021 Worlds Slopestyle gold winner.

Swiss Mathilde Gremaud, the Beijing bronze medalist in Big Air, took the women’s title at 175.50, comfortably ahead of Kirsty Muir (GBR: 167.25) and Flora Tabanelli (ITA: 160.75). It’s the 10th career World Cup gold for Gremaud.

The season openers for both Moguls and Aerials were held at Ruka (FIN), with familiar faces on the podium. On Saturday, Australia’s Olympic champ Jakara Anthony won the women’s Moguls, ahead of four Americans, scoring 83.12 on her first run and bettering that at 84.18 on her second. The U.S. parade included Elizabeth Lemley (79.68), Olivia Giaccio (76.35), Hannah Soar (73.16) and 2023 Worlds runner-up Jaelin Kauf (72.04).

Japan’s Ikuma Horishima, the Beijing 2022 bronze winner, won at 82.68, ahead of Olympic champ Walter Wallberg (SWE: 79.88) and eight-time World Champion Mikael Kingsbury (CAN: 79.08).

The Aerials finals on Sunday had China’s Quangpu Qi, 33, with his 14th career individual World Cup win, but first in four years, scoring 119.91 to edge Pirmin Werner (SUI: 119.00) and Dmytro Kotovsky (UKR: 117.00). American Chris Lillis, the 2021 Worlds silver winner, as fourth at 116.74.

Canada’s Marion Thenault took the women’s Aerials, scoring 99.05 for her third career World Cup gold, ahead of Danielle Scott (AUS: 88.47) and Zhanbota Aldabergenova (KAZ: 77.43). Americans Dani Loeb (63.80) and Kaila Kuhn (62.04) were 5-6.

● Judo ● A big field of 504 judoka from 84 countries came to the Tokyo Grand Slam, with the hosts finishing with seven golds in the 14 men’s and women’s weight categories, underlining their continuing dominance.

Japan took a 1-2 finish in the men’s 60 kg with two-time Worlds bronze winner Rjuyu Nagayama beating Tokyo Olympic champ Naohisa Takato; Olympic winner Hifumi Abe took the 66 kg win and Sanshiro Murao won the men’s 90 kg title.

World Champion Natsumi Tsunoda won the women’s 48 kg class, and Uta Abe – Hifumi’s sister and Olympic and World Champion – won at 52 kg.

Miku Takaichi defeated Kirari Yamaguchi for a Japanese 1-2 at 63 kg and Mao Arai won the +78 kg title.

Two Russian “neutrals” won men’s classes: Matvey Kanikovskiy at 100 kg and Tamerlan Bashaev at +100 kg.

Canada’s women’s 57 kg World Champion Christa Deguchi won her division, as did Tokyo bronze winner Sanne van Dijke (NED). Three-time World Champion Maya Aguiar of Brazil took another title at 78 kg.

● Nordic Combined ● Norway came into the second men’s stop on the FIS World Cup tour in Lillehammer (NOR) with three wins in three tries, and had no intention of letting up.

Four-time World Champion Jarl Magnus Riiber won the last two races in the first stop at Ruka (FIN), and continued on Saturday, taking the 98 m jumping and Gundersen 10 km in 25:38.0, followed by teammates Jens Oftebro (26:13.5) and two-time Olympic champ Joergen Graabak (26:14.8). It’s the second sweep for Norway in four races this season.

More of the same on Sunday, as Riiber won again, off the 140 m hill, finishing the 10 km cross-country segment in 25:55.3, over last year’s overall champ Johannes Lamparter (AUT: 26:29.1) with Graabak third (26:31.8). American Ben Loomis was 14th (27:56.2).

The women’s competitions in Lillehammer were also about Norway, as Gyda Westvold Hansen came in with an 11-race World Cup win streak, including all 10 events held last season. She was in form on Friday, winning the 98 m jumping and 5 km Gundersen race in 15:03.4, ahead of teammates Ida Marie Hagen (15:19.9) and Mari Leinan Lund (15:35.7).

Saturday was the same: Hansen won in 15:02.9, with Hagen second (15:49.6) and Lund third (15:56.7). Now 13 straight for the amazing Hansen.

● Rugby Sevens ● The HSBC Sevens schedule opened in Dubai (UAE), with South Africa defeating Argentina in the men’s final, 12-7, and Australia taking the women’s tournament by 26-19 against New Zealand.

New Zealand won the men’s third-place game from Fiji, 17-12, while France skipped past Canada in the third-place game, 26-5.

The U.S. won the men’s Pool at 2-1, but lost in the quarterfinals, 40-0, to New Zealand. The American women were third in Pool C (1-2) and were defeated by Australia, 32-5, in their quarterfinal.

● Ski Jumping ● Austria’s three-time World Champion Stefan Kraft won both events at the season-opener in Ruka (FIN) and kept it going in Lillehammer (NOR) on Saturday on the smaller, 98 m hill.

Kraft scored 296.7, winning round one and fifth in the second round, out-scoring German Andreas Wellinger (291.7) and Austria’s Daniel Tschofenig (287.3) in third.

Sunday’s jumping was off the 140 m hill, with Kraft taking his fourth win in a row at 318.2 points, just ahead of Wellinger (312.3) and Austrian teammate Jan Hoerl (311.3).

The women’s season opener was in Lillehammer on the 98 m hill, with Japan’s two-time Worlds runner-up Yuki Ito taking the victory with 244.6 points, moving up from fourth in round one. France’s Josephine Pagnier won her second career World Cup medal at 242.7 and Alexandria Loutitt of Canada got third (241.6).

Pagnier and Loutitt moved up on Sunday – also jumping off the 140 m hill – to gold and silver at 272.4 and 267.5 points, respectively, with Eirin Kvandal (NOR: 252.8) third. Loutitt won her fourth career medal, so she doubled her lifetime medal count this past weekend!

● Snowboard ● Second stop of the World Cup season for Big Air was in Beijing (CHN), with the home favorite – and 2022 Olympic champ – Yuming Su (19) winning his second career World Cup gold, scoring 184.50, beating Japan’s Ryoma Kimata (180.75) and Kira Kimura (175.75).

Two-time Olympic winner Anna Gasser of Austria won her 12th career World Cup gold with a 174.00 to 171.00 score over Tess Coady (AUS), the 2023 Worlds bronze medalist, with 2023 Worlds silver medalist Miyabi Onitsuka (JPN: 170.50) just behind in third.

The SnowCross World Cup season opened in Les Deux Alpes (FRA), with Great Britain, France and the U.S. taking the medals in the team event on Saturday; the U.S. squad included Jake Vedder and the legendary, five-time World Champion Lindsey Jacobellis.

The individual event qualifying was canceled due to weather on Friday and moved to Sunday, with Canada’s Beijing Olympic runner-up Eliot Grondin taking the men’s victory over Olympic champ Alessandro Hammerle (AUT) and 2021 World Champion Lucas Eguibar (ESP).

France’s Beijing Olympic silver winner Chloe Trespeuch won the women’s final against 2018 Olympic gold winner Michela Moioli (ITA) and Belle Brockhoff (AUS), who won her 15th career World Cup medal.

● Speed Skating ● The third of six stages of the 2023-24 ISU World Cup was in Stavanger (NOR), with Dutch skaters taking four individual golds to lead all nations, but with five more medals for the U.S.

On Friday, Triple Olympic gold medalist Kjeld Nuis won the men’s 1,000 m in 1:08.76, just ahead of 2020 World Sprint Champion Tatsuya Shinhama (JPN: 1:08.88), and Marcel Bosker took the Mass Start win in 7:57.11, beating Livio Wenger (SUI: 7:58.11) and Olympic winner Bart Swings (BEL: also 7:58.51).

Japan’s Olympic 500 m bronze medalist, Wataru Morishige, won the 500 m in 34.65, just 1/100th ahead of Tingyu Gao (CHN: 34.66), with Shinhama third (34.71). Italy’s Olympic bronze winner, Davide Ghiotto, won the rarely-contested 10,000 m in 13:02.71, beating 2018 PyeongChang Olympic winner Ted-Jan Bloemen (CAN: 13:12.33).

Teen star Jordan Stolz of the U.S. – the 2023 Worlds 500-1,000-1,500 m champ – won the 1,000 m in 1:44.67, a track record, well ahead of Nuis (1:45.34).

The Dutch women also swept Friday’s races, with Jutta Leerdam, the Beijing Olympic runner-up, winning the 1,000 m in 1:15.26, ahead of Olympic champ Miho Takagi (JPN: 1:15.52), with American Kimi Goetz fourth (1:15.88) and three-time World Champion Brittany Bowe sixth (1:16.08).

Triple Olympic gold winner Irene Schouten (NED) took the Mass Start in 8:36.25, ahead of Valarie Maltais (CAN: 8:37.19) and American Mia Kilburg-Manganello (8:40.01).

On Friday, Takagi won the 1,500 in 1:55.87, beating Dutch skaters Antoinette Rijpima-De Jong, the 2023 World Champion (1:56.95), and Marieke Groenewoud (1:56.99). Bowe finished fifth (1:58.07) and Goetz was ninth (1:59.12).

Korean Min-sun Kim took the 500 m in 37.73, just ahead of Olympic champ Erin Jackson of the U.S. (37.75, with Goetz fourth in 38.29. The 5,000 m went to the ageless (actually 36) Martina Sabilkova, the 21-time World Champion in the 3,000-5,000 m.

The U.S. placed second in the men’s Team Sprint behind Norway, 1:19.30 to 1:19.49, with Austin Kleba, Cooper Mcleod and Zach Stoppelmoor, while the women won in 1:27.92, with Sarah Warren, Jackson and Goetz.

● Swimming ● The Toyota U.S. Open concluded in Greensboro, North Carolina, with Kate Douglass and Regan Smith of the U.S. and Hong Kong star Siobhan Haughey each taking three wins.

Douglass won the 50 m Free and 200 m Medley on Thursday, then stormed to the 200 m Breaststroke title on Saturday in 2:21.87, beating 2022 World Champion Lilly King (2:23.98).

Haughey, the Olympic silver winner in the 100-200 m Frees in Tokyo, won the 200 m Free on Friday in 1:54.20, the no. 23 performance in the world for 2023, beating Katie Ledecky (1:56.29). On just 15 minutes rest., she returned to win the 100 m Breast in 1:06.05, beating Tokyo Olympic champ Lydia Jacoby of the U.S. (1:06.20). On Saturday, she took the 100 m Free in 52.94, ahead of Torri Huske and Abbey Weitzeil of the U.S. (53.17 and 53.53).

Huske was brilliant in the 100 m Butterfly on Friday, winning in a meet record of 56.21, the no. 7 performance in the world for 2023 and well ahead of Claire Curzan (56.76).

Ledecky came back on Saturday to win the 1,500 m Free in 15:46.38, the no. 7 performance of the year; she now has five of the seven. She ended up with two wins (800-1,500 m) and two seconds (200-400 m) in the meet.

Regan Smith of the U.S., who won all three Backstroke silvers at the 2023 Worlds (50-100-200 m), won the 100 m Back in 58.16, ahead of Curzan (58.35), and the 200 m Back on Saturday in 2:04.27, the no. 6 performance in 2023. Curzan was second again in 2:06.49, ahead of Canadian star Summer McIntosh (2:06.81). Smith then got her third victory about 90 minutes later in the 200 m Fly – in which she is the world leader for 2023 – in 2:06.72, well ahead of Lindsay Looney (USA: 2:09.31).

McIntosh got a win in the 400 m Medley – in which she is the world-record holder – in 4:29.96, the no. 3 performance of 2023 (she has all three).

The men’s racing included an encouraging win for sprint superstar Caeleb Dressel of the U.S. in the 100 m Fly, winning in 51.31, moving him to no. 21 on the 2023 world list. She just edged rising Canadian star Ilya Kharun, 18, who finished in 51.32, with teammate Josh Liendo third in 51.42. Kharun returned to win the 200 m Fly in 1:54.66.

Hungary’s 200 m Back World Champion Hubert Kos – who swims at Arizona State – won the 100 m Back in 53.19 over American stars Hunter Armstrong (53.72) and Ryan Murphy (53.74), then doubled back in the 200 , Back in 1:55.95, beating Kieran Smith of the U.S. (1:57.51).

Chase Kalisz, who won both the 200 m and 400 m Medley at the 2017 Worlds, won both here, taking the 400 m Medley in 4:10.42, well ahead of Worlds silver medalist Carson Foster (4:13.43).

The 100 m Free went to Matt King of the U.S. (48,30), beating Ryan Held (48.36); Germany’s Rafael Miroslaw won the 200 m Free in a meet record 1:45.92, and Olympic champ Bobby Finke of the U.S. took the 1,500 m free in 15:03.91.

Denis Petrashov (KGZ) won a tight finish in the 100 m Breast final in 59.46, over U.S. stars Michael Andrew (59.52) and Nic Fink (59.79). Matt Fallon (USA) set a meet record of 2:09.49 to take the men’s 200 m Breast final.

The final leg of the World Aquatics Open Water World Cup was in Funchal (POR) on Saturday, moved from Eilat (ISR) in view of the continuing conflict, with 16-year-old American Claire Weinstein breaking away to win over Bettina Fabian (ITA) and Oceane Cassignol (FRA) by 1:56.54.3 to 1:58:07.5 to 1:58:09.5. Americans Mariah Denigan (1:58:09.7) and U.S. open-water champ Katie Grimes (1:58:09.9) went 4-5.

Weinstein took the lead on the fifth of six laps and was never headed. The seasonal title was decided in the race for seventh, as Germany’s double World Champion Leonie Beck edged Rio Olympic champ Sharon van Rouwendaal, 1:58:11.0 to 1:58.11.1. That gave Beck the seasonal title by 2,140 points to 2,100.

The men’s race was an upset win for Worlds 5 km bronze medalist Domenico Acerenza (ITA), who moved past the pack on the final lap to swim away in 1:45:06.2, ahead of Nicholas Sloman (AUS: 1:45:11.7) and Tokyo Olympic runner-up Kristof Rasovszky (HUN: 1:45:15.5), as places 3-12 were separated by just 2.2 seconds.

Rasovszky won the seasonal title, however, with 2,500 points, with Marcello Guidi (ITA) second at 2,000.

Australia won Sunday’s 4×1,500 m mixed relay in 1:06:05.4, ahead of Italy (1:06:06.4) and France (1:06:06.5).

Two-time Olympic relay gold medalist Klete Keller, who was a member of the U.S. 4×200 m Free teams in Athens and Beijing, was sentenced to six months home detention on Friday, following a guilty felony plea in 2021 from his participation in the riot at the U.S. Capitol on 6 January 2021.

He was sentenced by the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. to three years probation, with six months of home detention and a requirement of 360 hours of community service. He wrote to the judge, “I hope my case serves as a warning to anyone who rationalizes illegal conduct, especially in a moment of political fervor.”

● Taekwondo ● Lots of familiar faces on the podium at the World Taekwondo Grand Prix Final in Manchester (GBR).

Italy’s Olympic champ Vito dell’Acquila took the men’s 58 kg class, beating Spain’s Adrian Vicente in the final, 2-0. Cheick Salle Cisse (CIV), the 2023 World Champion, took the +87 kg gold, 2-0, against Maicon Siqueira of Brazil.

The men’s 68 kg final saw Levente Jozsa (BRA) win over Javier Perez Polo (ESP), 2-1, and Korea’s Geon-woo Seo won the 80 kg class, defeating Egypt’s Seif Eissa (2-1). American C.J. Nickolas took the bronze.

Olympic women’s 49 kg champ Panipak Wongpattanakit won her class over 2023 Worlds bronze medalist Adriana Cerezo Iglesias (ESP), 2-1. China’s Zongshi Luo beat Faith Dillon of the U.S. in the 57 kg final, 2-0, and Sarah Chaari (BEL), the 2022 World 62 kg champ won over Mengyu Zhang (CHN) at 67 kg, by 2-0.

In the +67 kg division, Tokyo Olympic silver medalist Da-bin Lee (KOR) took the gold by walkover over Worlds 73 kg silver medalist Rebecca McGowan (GBR).

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