TSX REPORT: Murphy, Douglass, Smith win again at Swim Trials; China taps seven stars for Paris listed on 2021 doping report; Cisco joins LA28 & USOPC

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra phones will double as TV cameras for the Paris 2024 opening on the Seine River! (Photo: Samsung)

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1. Murphy, Douglass, Smith all win again at Swim Trials
2. China sending 11 swimmers listed in 2021 doping report
3. Samsung to deploy 200+ Galaxy S24 Ultras as OpCer cameras
4. LA28, USOPC sign Cisco as network tech provider
5. South America’s Copa America kicks off in U.S. for second time

● A trio of U.S. stars won their second events at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials in Indianapolis: Ryan Murphy, in the men’s 200 m Backstroke; Kate Douglass in the women’s 200 m Breaststroke and world-record-setter Regan Smith in the women’s 200 m Butterfly.

A little lost among all the great swimming is the pretty good attendance at Lucas Oil Stadium, with a new indoor swim meet record of 22,209 on Wednesday night! The average for the first five nights was 18,628, well above the capacity of any prior Trials venue for USA Swimming.

● China announced its 31-member swimming squad for Paris 2024, which includes 11 individuals who tested positive for trimetazidine in January 2021, but received no sanction as the violations were excused due to contamination of a common kitchen. Among them are Tokyo Olympic men’s 200 m Medley winner Shun Wang and women’s 200 m Butterfly champ Yufei Zhang, as well as 2023 Worlds 50-10-200 m Breaststroke gold medalist Haiyang Qin, among others. Expect this to be noted at Tuesday’s U.S. House hearing on doping and Paris 2024.

● Smartphones are everywhere these days and Samsung – an Olympic sponsor since 1998 – announced that more than 200 of its top-of-the-line Galaxy S24 Ultra will be deployed on the 85 boats ferrying athletes along the Seine River at the 26 July opening of the Paris Olympic Games. Equipped with a 200 megapixel camera among its four total cameras, it shoots in 8K Ultra High Definition and the signals from each phone will be relayed back in real time to the Olympic Broadcasting Services control, and be incorporated into the worldwide television show!

● Good news for the LA28 Olympic and Paralympic organizers, who announced a new “Official Partner: sponsorship with Cisco Systems, the network equipment giant based in San Jose. It’s not a direct replacement for Salesforce, an early partner that departed in April, but shows increased activity, with more deals expected to be revealed following the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

● The second-ever Copa America – the football championship of South America – to be held outside the continent will again be played in the U.S., with defending champ Argentina facing Canada in Atlanta. All 10 CONMEBOL teams are playing, of course, as well as six teams from CONCACAF, including the U.S. and Mexico.

Panorama: Paris 2024 (U.S. and other countries assisting in Olympic security) = Russia (cyclist Vlasov refuses invitation to compete in Paris) = Athletics (Obiena clears 19-7 at Szewinska Memorial) = Bobsled (baby boy for star driver Kaillie Humphries!) = Football (Spain edges Italy at Euro 2024, 1-0, on own goal) ●

Murphy, Douglass, Smith all win again at Swim Trials

Ryan Murphy is 28 now, but he seems as unbeatable as he was on the road to gold medals in the 100 and 200 m Backstroke events at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

On Thursday, he turned back a challenge from Cal freshman Keaton Jones and won his second event of the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials in Indianapolis, touching in a world-leading 1:54.33, with Jones at 1:54.61, no. 2 in 2024.

That gave Murphy his third straight sweep of the 100-200 Back at the pressure-packed Olympic Trials and he is off to Paris to add to his career total of six Olympic medals (4-1-1).

In fact, all three winners of Thursday’s finals had already won events at the Trials. In the women’s 200 m Breaststroke, Kate Douglass – already the 100 m Free winner – went wire-to-wire and finished in 2:19.46, the no. 9 performance in world history and no. 2 behind her American Record swim in January.

Lilly King, the 2022 World Champion in the event, had to rally past Alex Walsh on the final lap to get second in 2:21.93, moving her to no. 5 in the world in 2024; Walsh was third in 2:22.38 (now no. 6).

Regan Smith, fresh off of her world-record performance in the women’s 100 m Backstroke, had no trouble adding a victory in the 200 m Butterfly, overtaking teen Alex Shackell on the final lap and timing 2:05.90. Shackell, whose brother Aaron already won the 400 m Freestyle, finished second and is on the plane for Paris, in 2:06.69.

Smith wasn’t done, however, and 50 minutes later, was back in the pool for the semis of the 200 m Back, and posted the fastest qualifier, taking the second semifinal in 2:06.41. That final comes Friday.

Also coming up today is the final in the men’s 50 m Freestyle, with Caeleb Dressel continuing to show improvement. Chris Guiliano, the 100 m Free winner, won the first semi in a lifetime best of 21.59 (no. 5 in 2024) and then Dressel won the second race in 21.61, his fastest time in two years in the event (now no. 6 in 2024).

Chase Kalisz, the 2017 World Champion in the men’s 200 m Medley, was the leading qualifier at 1:56.83, moving to no. 6 in the world for 2024.

Under-appreciated among the flood of spectacular performances was the good attendance at the Trials, with Wednesday seeing another record for indoor swimming set with 22,209 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The first five evening sessions:

15 June: 20,689
16 June: 18,182
17 June: 16,574
18 June: 15,488
19 June: 22,209

That’s 93,142 for five evening sessions or 18,628 on average, or about 27% more than the 14,700 sellouts from the 2021 Trials held in Omaha, Nebraska.

So, the spectator total has been good; it will be another matter to see if the final total was worth it when the revenues (tickets, hospitality, merchandise, concessions, parking) are compared against the cost of holding the meet in a football stadium vs. a convention center.

While the U.S. Trials are proceeding, the European Championships are ongoing in Belgrade (SRB), with some notable marks as well. At the top is the men’s 100 m Freestyle, with former world-record holder David Popovici (ROU) winning in 46.88, moving to no. 2 on the world list for 2024, ahead of Americans Jack Alexy (47.08) and Chris Guiliano (47.25).

In the men’s 200 m Back, Ukraine’s Oleksandr Zheltiakov won a tight final with Greek Apostolos Siskos, 1:55.39 to 1:55.42, moving to nos. 2-4 in the world list for 2024 and faster than Keaton Jones’ semifinal leader of 1:55.49 in Indianapolis.

The meet continues through Sunday.

China sending 11 swimmers listed in 2021 doping report

A strong, 31-member Chinese squad will compete in swimming in Paris, with 18 men, 13 women and 11 members who also tested positive for trimetazidine in January 20921, but who received no sanction.

These Chinese Olympic squad will out to improve its six-medal performance from Tokyo (3-2-1), and China won 16 medals (5-3-8) at the 2023 World Championships in Japan (12 medals: 4-2-6 in Olympic events), ranking behind only the U.S. and Australia.

The 11 (of 23 total) who were named as testing positive in January 2021, but received no penalty as the violations were attributed to contamination in a main kitchen, include seven with Olympic or World Championships medals:

● Juner Chen
● Liwei Fei
● Haiyang Qin: 2023 Worlds golds, 50-100-200 m Breaststroke
● Jiajun Sun: 2023 Worlds bronze, 50 m Breaststroke
● Shun Wang: Tokyo Olympic gold, 200 m Medley

● Chutong Ge
● Xuwei Peng: 2023 Worlds bronze, 200 m Breaststroke
● Xueer Wang
● Junxuan Yang: 2022 Worlds gold, 200 m Freestyle
● Yiting Yu: 2023 and 2024 Worlds bronzes, 200 m Medley
● Yufei Zhang: Tokyo Olympic gold, 200 m Butterfly; silver, 100 m Butterfly; 2023 Worlds bronze, 50 m Freestyle; gold, 100 m Butterfly; silver, 50 m Butterfly

Expect these names to come up at next Tuesday’s hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, which has scheduled a session on “Examining Anti-Doping Measures in Advance of the 2024 Olympics” at 7 p.m. Eastern time.

Confirmed witnesses include swim stars Michael Phelps (2004-08-12-16 Olympian) and Allison Schmitt (2008-12-16-20), and U.S. Anti-Doping Agency chief Travis Tygart.

Samsung to deploy 200+ Galaxy S24 Ultras as OpCer cameras

The enormous popularity of smartphones is due to their ability to do so many things in such a small package.

Now, smartphones will play the part of television cameras at the opening of the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

Samsung, a sponsor of the International Olympic Committee, announced Thursday that its equipment will be uniquely involved in broadcasting the 26 July Olympic opening on the Seine River:

“Samsung will install more than 200 Galaxy S24 Ultra smartphones at the bow and sides of each of the 85 athlete vessels at the opening ceremony. The high-quality HDR footage taken with the Galaxy S24 Ultra devices will be shared and streamed via a private 5G network powered by Orange, the official mobile network provider of Paris 2024 in France. Orange will install more than a dozen 5G antennas along the Seine to create the first-ever 5G standalone network in France, as this pioneering collaboration is designed to ensure a seamless 5G connectivity and viewing experience for fans around the world.”

The Olympic Broadcasting Services team will be a recipient of the signals, and able to incorporate them into its host broadcast of the Olympic opening, but also provide individual signals to broadcasters interested in their national teams. Said OBS chief Yiannis Exarchos (GRE), who never met a new technology he didn’t like:

“As host broadcaster of the Olympic Games, we’re incredibly excited about this partnership with Samsung which will allow a truly original perspective of Paris 2024, evolving the way in which fans will experience the Games.”

The top-of-the-line Galaxy S24 Ultra was introduced in January, with a 6.8-inch display and a massive 5,000 mAh battery. It includes four cameras – main, two telephoto and ultra-wide – including a monster 200 megapixel main camera, and shoots video in 8K Ultra High Definition, 4K Ultra High Definition and Full HD.

And: “Samsung will also deploy the same technology for the sailing competitions in Marseille by installing the Galaxy S24 Ultra on each competition boat.”

Korea-based Samsung has been involved with the Olympic Movement since the Nagano 1998 Olympic Winter Games and has gifted Olympic athletes with more than 120,000 phones at the Games since.

LA28, USOPC sign Cisco as network tech provider

Bringing on a major new technology partner, the LA28 Olympic and Paralympic Games organizing committee announced Cisco Systems, a world leader in networking infrastructure as an “Official Partner” for both the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee and for the 2028 Games.

It’s a major uplift for LA28, now with a new chief executive in Reynold Hoover, and after the April departure of Salesforce, which had been one of the first major sponsors to come aboard.

The announcement noted that San Jose, California-based Cisco will “provide secure connectivity through its industry-leading networking infrastructure,” building on its recent history with supporting Olympic Games:

“Since 2012, Cisco has served as an Official Partner of several editions of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, connecting and protecting athletes, fans and stakeholders in London (2012), Rio de Janeiro (2016), Tokyo (2020) and Paris (2024). Cisco’s networking solutions will be deployed across numerous venues throughout the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area to ensure secure and reliable connectivity for all involved in the LA28 Games.”

Cisco is not a direct replacement for Salesforce; Cisco is known as a network equipment provider and operator, while Salesforce is primarily a software engine for customer relationship management.

LA28 has a budget goal of $2.5 billion in domestic sponsorship, announcing Delta Airlines as its first commercial partner back in 2020. But the agreements with major sponsors have been slow in coming, with more deals said to be close to complete and to be revealed after the close of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

LA28 Chair Casey Wasserman has said multiple times that around 65% of the revenues needed to stage the 2028 Games – that would be about $4.6 billion – are already contractually committed, enough to do the job even if no more partners were added.

South America’s Copa America kicks off in U.S. for second time

While the UEFA European Championship continues in Germany, the 48th Copa America – the football championship tournament for South America – got underway in Atlanta on Thursday with defending champion Argentina easing past Canada, 2-0, on second-half goals from Julian Alvarez (49th minute) and Lautaro Martinez (88th, assisted by Lionel Messi) before 70,654.

The tournament has been limited to South American teams through the first 35 editions, but opened to Mexico and the U.S. in 1993, ahead of the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States. Since then, 10 other teams have played in the tournament and in 2016, a special “Copa America Centenario” was held outside of the regular, four-year cycle, with all 10 South American teams and six from CONCACAF. Until now, that was the only tournament played outside of South America, held in the U.S. with an average of 46,370 attending the 32 matches.

Now, in 2024, the U.S. is the host again, but this time of a standard Copa America edition, expected to be massively attended with 16 teams – 10 from CONMEBOL and six from CONCACAF, including the U.S. – in 14 stadiums, 11 of which are NFL facilities and three soccer-first stadiums that host MLS matches.

The groups (*=CONCACAF teams):

A: Argentina (defending champ), Peru, Chile, Canada*
B: Mexico*, Ecuador, Venezuela, Jamaica*
C: United States*, Uruguay, Panama*, Bolivia
D: Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay, Costa Rica*

The group stage continues through 2 July, with the top two in each group advancing to the quarters on 4-5-6 July. The semis will be on 9-10 July and the final on 14 July at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Ecuador had been expected to host this tournament, but declined in November 2022, and while Peru offered to step up, the U.S. also showed interest and in view of a closer working relationship between CONMEBOL and CONCACAF, the event was awarded to the U.S., with an expected financial windfall to follow.

The broadcast rights in the U.S. are with FOX in English and TUDN in Spanish.

The American squad will play on 23 June vs. Bolivia, 27 June vs. Panama and on 1 July vs. Uruguay, and as a host of the 2026 FIFA World Cup, this will be a rare opportunity for a contested match for the U.S. since it will not have to qualify.

The U.S. won its group when hosting in 2016 (2-1), defeated Ecuador in the quarters, but was shut out by Argentina in the semis, 4-0, and lost the third-place match to Colombia, 1-0.


● Olympic Games 2024: Paris ● As has been the case in prior Olympic Games, military from multiple countries will be involved in the security arrangements for the 2024 Paris Games.

The French weekly, Le Journal du Dimanche reported that about 2,000 police and military from foreign countries will be assisting French security, with contingents from the U.S., Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain will be involved.

About 45,000 security staff are expected to be involved at some level in protesting the 2024 Games.

● Russia ● Russian cycling star Aleksandr Vlasov has declined the opportunity to compete in Paris, after being cleared as a “neutral” by the International Olympic Committee.

The President of the Russian Cycling Federation, Vyacheslav Ekimov, told the Russian news agency TASS:

“Vlasov refused to participate in the Olympics, the profile of the Paris track does not suit him. And this athlete’s calendar is very busy.”

Vlasov will ride in the Tour de France, which will start on 29 June. The other two cyclists cleared by the IOC, Tamara Dronova and Alena Ivanchenko, confirmed their participation.

● Athletics ● Interesting results from the Irena Szewinska Memorial in Bydgoszcz (POL), highlighted by a 1:44.08 win for Swede Andreas Kramer in the men’s 800 m, ahead of Mohamed Ali Gouaned (ALG: 1:44.37).

E.J. Obiena (PHI) vaulted to no. 2 on the world outdoor list for 2024, winning at 5.97 m (19-7), with Greece’s Emmanouil Karalis close at 5.92 m (19-5), now no. 3.

Poland’s European champ Natalia Kaczmarek thrilled the home fans with a 49.86 win in the women’s 400 m, ahead of 2019 World Champion Salwa Eid Naser (BRN: 50.32). Ethiopia’s World Indoor champ Freweyni Hailu out-dueled Australia’s Linden Hall to win the 1,500 m, 3:58.59 to 3:58.96.

● Bobsled & Skeleton ● From the Int’l Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation:

“Bobsleigh pilot Kaillie Humphries (USA), 2022 Monobob Olympic Champion, 2010 and 2014 2-woman Bobsleigh Olympic Champion and record World Champion with five titles, announced the birth of her first child, son Aulden. She and husband Travis Armbruster welcomed the baby boy on June 14, as Kaillie Humphries announced on Instagram and Facebook.”

Humphries, 38, competed for Canada before transitioning to race for the U.S. in 2019.

● Football ● Tight, defensive matches on Thursday in second-round group play at UEFA Euro 2024 in Germany, with just five goals scored in three games.

In a match of two Group B powerhouses, Spain managed a 1-0 victory over defending champion Italy in Gelsenkirchen, which suffered an own goal in the 55th minute by defender Riccardo Califiori, as a cross from the left side by Spanish forward Nico Williams hit striker Alvaro Morata in the head, then Italian keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma’s glove and bounced off his knee into the goal.

Spain controlled the game, with 57% of possession and a 20-4 edge on shots, but could not score except for the deflection. Now 2-0, Spain has advanced to the elimination round.

In Group C, highly-regarded England took the lead against Denmark in Frankfurt in the 18th minute on a Harry Kane goal, but was tied after Morten Hjulmand blasted a 30-yard shot in the 34th that bounced off the left post and into the English goal. The Danes out-shot England, 16-12.

The other Group C match was also a 1-1 tie between Slovenia and Serbia in Munich, with Slovenian defender Zan Karnicnik finally opening the scoring in the 69th minute on a return pass from midfielder Timi Elsnik.

It looked like the one goal would hold up, but substitute forward Luka Jovic finally scored for the Serbs at 90+5 on a header at the far post for the equalizer and the one point for the draw. The Serbs had 60% of possession and a 16-12 edge on shots, but managed only the one, late goal.

Second-round play continues through Saturday.

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