TSX REPORT: Olympic opening on the Seine re-confirmed; Salt Lake warned on Federal funds for 2034 Winter Games; Russians rage over tennis!

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1. Paris officials underline: Olympic opening is on the Seine
2. Romney warns Salt Lake bid on tight Federal budgets to come
3. Russian officials rage over tennis participation at Paris 2024
4. New York Governor says leave the NYC Marathon alone
5. ISU to allow somersaults in figure skating?

● Paris officials reiterated that the 2024 Olympic opening ceremony will take place on the Seine River, although the program could be tweaked in case of security concerns. But the event will be held on the water as planned.

● U.S. Senator Mitt Romney warned a Friday conference in Salt Lake City that a giant request for Federal funds to assist the 2034 Olympic Winter Games may not be available as the national debt continues to balloon. He opined that asking for much smaller amounts over time would be better.

● Russian sports officials have turned on each other over whether its tennis players should compete at the Paris Games. The head of the Russian Olympic Committee called them “foreign agents” but was rebuked by the national sports minister!

● The governor of New York, Kathy Hochul, told the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority to leave the New York City Marathon alone and stop trying to get more money out of the race for crossing the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. A study showed the race brings in even more than the MTA was asking!

● A Russian news report said that the International Skating Union will consider allowing somersaults in figure skating competitions at this summer’s Congress. No word on whether helmets will be required.

World Championships: Curling (Edin wins seventh title in men’s Worlds) = Ice Hockey (Canada and U.S. undefeated in women’s Worlds, play Tuesday) ●

Panorama: International Olympic Committee (Greece wants all future IOC Presidential elections at Olympia) = Alpine Skiing (Shiffrin and Kilde announce engagement) = Archery (Ellison and Kaufhold dominate Olympic qualifying in Arizona) = Artistic Swimming (six wins for China in World Cup I) = Athletics (2: Bor and Durgin win U.S. 10 Mile titles; Ethiopia’s Uma and Fikir win Paris Marathon in debuts) = Cycling (3: Ayuso wins Tour of Catalonia as Vingegaard, Roglic and Evenepoel all hurt in stage four crash; van der Poel dominates Paris-Roubaix and Kopecky sprints to women’s win; Valente dominates Pan Am track champs) = Fencing (2: Virgin Islands wins Paris spot in Pan-Am qualifiers; Hungary’s Kun charged with “whereabouts” failure) = Football (U.S. edges Japan and Canada penalty-kicks Brazil in SheBelieves Cup semis) = Gymnastics (France’s de Jesus dos Santos wins two at FIG World Challenge Cup) = Rowing (Kohler makes third U.S. team at Olympic Trials) = Rugby (New Zealand sweeps Sevens Series in Hong Kong) = Sailing (Italy wins two at Trofeo Princesa Sofia Olympic-classes regatta) = Shooting (U.S. wins three at final Americas Olympic qualifier) = Water Polo (U.S. women sail past Australia in first of three exhibitions) = Weightlifting (Reeves shines with three American Records in IWF World Cup) ●

Paris officials underline: Olympic opening is on the Seine

Days after French President Emmanuel Macron and Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera spoke openly about a “Plan B” for the Olympic opening on the Seine River on 26 July, Paris city officials hustled to dispel talk of a possible change in venue.

Paris First Deputy Mayor Emmanuel Gregoire and Deputy Mayor Pierre Rabadan – whose portfolio includes sports – told reporters on Friday the show will be on the river, for sure. Said Rabadan:

“We have the possibility to reduce the impact and the facilities of the opening ceremony if the international risk becomes harder. We can reduce it, the show, the number of people. But there is no plan B.”

A record crowd for an Olympic opening of 326,000 is currently expected, with 104,000 on the lower quays with purchased tickets and another 222,000 on the upper level, with free tickets distributed by the French government. That total could be reduced if security concerns require it. Said Gregoire:

“Of course, we talk about hypotheses. We are focused on preparing the situation. We are doing our best to guarantee security with major, major measures.

“The police need to check who they are in case they represent a threat to security. They will have strong security measures days before. The idea is to maintain the possibility that neighbors can welcome friends and family. At the same time [we need to] to guarantee security.”

Rabadan also expressed full confidence that the Seine will be safe for athletes for the open-water swimming events and the triathlon:

“There is no plan B. We know that if there is a problem, we can postpone the event by two days.

“We will finish all the work and water quality, unless there is two months of continuous rain in the summer, then we will be ready.”

Romney warns Salt Lake bid on tight Federal budgets to come

“Ten years from now, our country is likely to be facing some very tough financial times.

“If Salt Lake goes to the government and says, ‘Hey, we need $3 billion or $4 billion for security and transportation,’ that may not be a welcome request, and it may not be granted.”

That’s U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) – the head of the 2002 Salt Lake Olympic organizing committee – talking to the Salt Lake City political and Olympic bid leaders at a Friday forum at the University of Utah.

“So instead of asking for $3-4 billion down the road, we’re able to get $200 million or $300 million year after year going into special accounts.”

He suggested looking toward what the Games can mean to Utah beyond 2034 and beginning to coalesce around solutions to issues:

“I think what made [the 2002] Olympics so successful was that people began to realize this was an opportunity for us to help serve the world. This was about service. It was about giving, not receiving.

“Acknowledge the difficulties. … Travel’s going to be hard. It’s going to be intrusive. Acknowledge those things.”

Utah State Senator Mike McKell acknowledged that the 2034 Winter Games could be the backdrop to a discussion of Utah’s future:

“It’s time to have that discussion. I don’t think we know exactly as a state what we want to accomplish, right now. And I think we need to decide. We need to harness government at all levels … we need to decide what is the legacy, what do we want to accomplish.”

Former Utah Governor Mike Leavitt underlined a theme of his recent memoir series, reflecting on his term and what he learned about looking to the future:

“The Olympics is a 17-day activity, then it’s over.

“That isn’t the value of the Olympics to the state. The value … is the 10 years in advance of the Games, during which there is a huge amount of back pressure that will allow you to get a lot of things done that you could never get done in their absence.”

A U.S. General Accounting Office report in 2001 specified that identified governmental spending on the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City was projected at $567 million (in 2001 dollars):

● $342 million: U.S. government
● $150 million: State of Utah
● $75 million: Local governments

The national government spending for 2002 was concentrated on security ($185 million), transportation ($106 million), venues ($27 million), operations ($19 million) and housing and infrastructure support ($4 million). The report, filed after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., noted that added spending – perhaps $25-30 million – would be made in light of extra security requirements.

At, let’s say, $600 million for government spending in 2002, the equivalent amount today would be just more than $1.05 billion.

Russian officials rage over tennis participation at Paris 2024

Russian tennis star Daniil Medvedev has been clear that, if allowed, he is ready to play as a “neutral” at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

In response, he and other Russian and Belarusian tennis have been bitterly criticized by Russian sports officials. The latest was Russian Olympic Committee President – and four-time Olympic gold medalist in fencing – Stanislav Pozdnyakov:

“Currently, a discussion has unfolded in the public space between [Russian rhythmic gymnastics chief] Irina Viner and tennis representatives regarding performance at the Olympic Games in a neutral status. I would like to emphasize that I share and support Irina Aleksandrovna’s position, our opinions here completely coincide.

“The only thing is that I do not agree with [her] definition of ‘a team of homeless people’ specifically in the case of tennis players who live abroad most of the time, earn money there, while claiming that they are ‘playing for themselves,’ condemning the policies of their country and the Central Military District.

“So, from my point of view, it’s more correct to call it a ‘team of foreign agents.’ For which there will definitely not be any obstacles to representing themselves at the Olympics. Moreover, individual Olympic entrepreneurship is now being actively promoted from Lausanne. I sincerely respect the achievements of the masters at courts, but from a human and civil point of view, our approaches to the current situation are diametrically opposed.”

That touched off a storm of comments aimed at Pozdnyakov and Viner:

● From famed figure skating coach Tatyana Tarasova: “I think it’s insulting, ugly and unfair that sports leaders called athletes who decided to go to the Olympic Games and who will compete for Russia this way.”

● From Russian Cycling Federation President Vyacheslav Ekimov:

“If we ignore the Olympics, we may not be allowed to attend the next one. Of course, we are not expected at these Games in Paris. I look at this story like this: we have these couple of dozen people, they must go.

“I don’t see any big reasons why we shouldn’t go. You can remember how we went to Tokyo and Beijing without a flag and an anthem, however, there was another excuse, but we went, then everyone honored our champions. Here is the challenge for us: they’re not waiting, so we have to go, otherwise we just gave up without a fight.”

● From Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin:

“Today it is especially important to treat each other with respect within the professional sports community; accusatory rhetoric against Russian athletes performing on the international stage is unacceptable.

“We are a single sports family, at this difficult moment it is necessary to unite and treat those with respect.” who with their hard work won the right to compete at the Olympics. We have a great country with a great history and glorious victories, behind every achievement there is enormous work, the contribution of coaches, medical personnel and other specialists, and therefore the entire sports industry.

“After all, we know that these are Russian athletes and they are going to the Games to defend not only their sporting honor, but also the honor of their native country, despite the discriminatory decisions of the International Olympic Committee. Now the gaze of the entire world sports community is turned on us, so it is especially important to demonstrate an example of consolidation, not to give reasons for disunity.”

● Russian Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov:

“The President has already repeatedly said that the athletes themselves make this decision.”

Peskov rejected a Viner suggestion that a “coaching council” be assembled to decide whether Russian athletes should go to Paris, noting that “the IOC promised not to force anyone to sign anything. Therefore, each athlete, each federation makes their own decision.”

On Saturday, Pozdkyanov acknowledged the differences in opinion, but doubled down on his position:

“It should be directly noted that the Russian Olympic Committee is on the side of those of our compatriots among athletes who deliberately choose the other side of the ‘barricades’ and dividing lines stubbornly erected by Lausanne since February 2022. For whom the IOC conditions are unacceptable neither in essence nor in form.”

Peskov also dismissed claims by French President Macron that Russia will try to undermine the Paris 2024 Games through misinformation and Czech transport minister Martin Kupka that Russian hackers are trying to disrupt European railways:

“These are absolutely unfounded accusations in both the first and second cases. They are often heard, but they are never supported by any adequate evidence or argumentation. We absolutely do not accept such accusations.”

New York Governor says leave the NYC Marathon alone

“I’ve directed the MTA to fix this mess and allow the marathon to move forward as it always has.

“The marathon is an iconic symbol of New York City’s tenacity and resilience that unites communities across the five boroughs each fall.”

That’s New York Governor Kathy Hochul from Friday, as she instructed the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority to abandon its demand for an additional $750,000 for the race’s 50,000-plus runners to cross the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge from Staten Island to Brooklyn to begin the event.

Last Wednesday, the head of MTA Bridges and Tunnels, Catherine Sheridan, demanded:

“Taxpayers cannot be expected to subsidize a wealthy non-government organization like the New York Road Runners to the tune of $750,000.

“The MTA is prepared to continue working toward a final agreement with the NYRR, provided it leads, over time, to full reimbursement for the lost revenue.”

Hochul put a stop to the request and to the transit agency’s threat to limit the use of the bridge to only one level, which would slow the start considerably.

The New York Road Runners, which puts on the race, had already agreed to increase its payment to the MTA from $150,000 to $200,000. Chief executive Rob Simmelkjaer told the New York Post:

“We have agreed to increase payments to the MTA in the form of both direct payments and the purchase of advertising on subways and buses. The MTA has made few concessions in these negotiations, however, and continues to insist on 100% reimbursement of lost toll revenue.”

That’s over now. The Post noted that ridership on MTA on Marathon Sunday in 2023 was up by 365,000 over normal levels, a race-day bonus of $1.1 million for the agency, not including any payments from the NYRR.

ISU to allow somersaults in figure skating?

“It is planned to remove the somersault from the list of prohibited elements, and this proposal is planned to be included among other proposals of the ISU technical committee at the organization’s congress. This item is not yet included in the published proposals of the technical committee.”

This report, from an unnamed source according to the Russian news agency TASS would be a big change in skating. Celebrated Russian coach Tatyana Tarasova was less than enthusiastic:

“There will be more injuries while they teach it, plus they will need to attract new acrobatics coaches, pay them separately. Don’t they think about that? Some guys do somersaults, and everyone will learn, but if a person is tall, but it will be hard to do this element, apparently. They don’t care much about that.

“This is a trifle, there are more serious issues, like, for example, our admission to competitions.”


● Curling ● The 65th World Curling Men’s World Championship finished the way 26 of the previous tournaments did, with Canada or Sweden as the winner. And for the seventh time, it was Sweden’s Niklas Eden who hoisted the trophy at the KSS Sports Complex in Shaffhausen (SUI).

Edin’s rink led the qualifying at 11-1, ahead of Canada’s 2017 World Champion Brad Gushue and Scotland’s 2023 winner Bruce Mouat, both at 10-2.

The U.S. squad, led by 2018 PyeongChang Olympic gold medalist John Shuster, won its final two round-robin games and got into the final playoff spot – sixth – with a 7-5 record, but was eliminated by Mouat by 8-4 in the quarterfinals.

Edin’s squad got past Joel Retornaz and Italy in the semis by 5-3, with three points in the seventh end, and Gushue broke open a tight match with Mouat with three points in the sixth and eighth ends for a 9-4 win.

In the final, Edin got up 2-0 in the second, was ahead by 3-2 (4th) and 5-3 in the 8th, but Gushue got two in the ninth to tie and go to extras. But Edin scored one in the 10th and claimed the title (again) with a 6-5 triumph.

The Swede has now won five of the last six Worlds, while Gushue lost in the final match for the third straight Worlds: twice to Edin and once to Mouat. His Scots were up, 6-3, after the ninth end in the bronze-medal game, but Retornaz and Italy scored three to tie and another in the 10th to win, 7-6.

● Ice Hockey ● Pool play continues at the 2024 IIHF Women’s World Championship in Utica, New York, with the U.S. continuing undefeated in Group A and meeting Canada for first place on Monday.

The Americans are the defending champions and cruised past Switzerland, 4-0, in their opener (two goals for defender Haley Winn) then crushed the Czech Republic, 6-0, on a hat trick by Alex Carpenter, and beat Finland by 5-3, with Kendall Coyne Schofield getting two goals.

The Canadians beat Finland by 4-1, shut down the Swiss (3-0) and moved past the Czechs, 5-0 on Sunday. Sweden (3-0) and Germany (2-0) are leading Group B.

The U.S. and Canada have met in the final of all 22 editions of the women’s Worlds, going back to 1990 and both appear ready to get there again.

Pool play will finish on Tuesday (9th) and playoffs will begin with the quarterfinals on Thursday (11th); the championship final will be next Sunday.


● International Olympic Committee ● The head of the Greek Olympic Committee wants the IOC to elect all of its future presidents at Olympia. Spyros Capralos told Agence France Presse:

“My dream is to have this election in Ancient Olympia, to remind everybody where the Games started, 2,800 years ago.

“Every eight or 12 years to organise the election of the IOC president in Ancient Olympia, this is something that is feasible. I think that overall it would give positive vibes to everybody in the Olympic Movement.”

Athens was selected to host the 143rd IOC Session in 2025, when the next IOC Presidential election is scheduled.

● Alpine Skiing ● Hardly unexpected, but happy news for skiing stars Mikaela Shiffrin, 29, of the U.S. and Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, 31, who announced their engagement.

They have been together since 2021 and both spend time this past season recovering from bad injuries, with Shiffrin returning just before the season’s end.

● Archery ● A surprise at the AAE Arizona Cup in Phoenix, as top-seeded and three-time Olympic medalist, Brady Ellison, was eliminated in the round of 16 and Tokyo Olympian Jack Williams surged to victory in the men’s Recurve division, with a 6-2 win over Davaang Gupta of Canada.

The women’s top seed, Olympic Casey Kaufhold, won the women’s Recurve title with a 7-3 finals triumph over no. 11 Emma Kim.

However, in the three-day third stage of the USA Archery Olympic Trials that preceded the Arizona Cup, Ellison impressed by (1) winning the 72-arrow round at 688 to 680 over Gabe Anderson, (2) then went 15-for-15 in the round-robin matches, (3) won the Team Round simulation, 347-344 over Jackson Mirich, and then won the Stage 4 72-arrow round at 672, with Trenton Cowles the closest at 661.

Kaufhold won the Stage 3 72-arrow round at 677, then tied with Kim for second in the round-robin with 12 wins (Jennifer Mucino-Fernandez had 13), was second to Mucino-Fernandez in the Team Round simulation, 339-336, and won the Stage 4 72-arrow round at 664, to 644 for Catalina GNoriega.

Ellison and Kaufhold are well in front for Olympic qualification, as the U.S. has secured one spot each for men and women so far for Paris.

● Artistic Swimming ● China dominated the World Aquatics World Cup I in Beijing (CHN), winning six events. Huiyan Xu, 18, won the women’s Solo Technical, 244.9183 to 234.8867 over Belarus’ Vasilina Khandosha, and Xu took the women’s Solo Free, scoring 240.3021 to 206.7833 for Isabel Cui (ESP).

Yanhan Lin and Yanjun Lin won the Duet Technical, 238.8985 to 210.5867 over Spain’s Rocio Calle and Aurora Lazaro, while Israel’s Shelly Bobritsky and Ariel Nassee won the Duet Free over China’s Yanhan Lin and Xu, 225.7613 to 221.0156.

China’s Muye Guo and Heyue Ji, both 15, won the Mixed Duet Technical, 206.8800-199.4450 over 2024 World Champions Nargiza Bolatova and Eduard Kim (KAZ) and Italy’s Filippo Pelati joined with Flamina Vernice – both 17 – to win the Mixed Duet Free (175.9655).

Jordi Caceras (ESP) won the men’s Solo Technical, then was second to Italy’s Pelati in the men’s Solo Free.

Kazakhstan won the Team Acrobatic, China won the Team Technical and the Team Free.

● Athletics ● Hilary Bor won his third USATF 10 Mile Championship in a row on Sunday morning at the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile in Washington, D.C., out-running Nathan Martin in the final stretch to win by 45:56 to 46:00. Biya Simbassa finished third in 46:17.

Bor crushed his own American Record of 46:11 in the process, but was actually third in the race overall, with Kenyan Wesley Kiptoo winning in 45:54, ahead of countryman Raymund Magut (45:55).

The women’s U.S. championship race was a runaway for Emily Durgin – third in this event in 2022 – winning in 51:26 to 51:40 for defending U.S. champ Rachel Smith, who was fourth overall.

Uganda’s defending champ, Sarah Chelangat, who finished sixth in the recent World Cross Country champs, was a clear overall winner at 51:14 – 12 seconds up on Durgin, who was second – with Kasanesh Avenew (ETH: 51:38) third overall.

At the Paris Marathon, Ethiopians Mulugeta Uma and Mestawut Fikir won in their debut performances at the distance. Uma was a clear winner in the men’s race in 2:05:33 and moved to no. 10 on the 2024 world list. Kenya’s Titus Kipruto and Elisha Rotich finished 2-3 in 2:05:48 and 2:06:54.

Fikir ran away from fellow Ethiopian Enat Tirusew in the final meters of the race, winning in 2:20:45 – no. 14 in 2024 – to 2:20:48, with four-time Worlds 5-10,000 m winner Vivian Cheruiyot, now 40, third in 2:21:46.

● Cycling ● The 63rd edition of the Itzula Basque Country stage race in Spain got its first home winner since 2019 and its first Spanish 1-2 since 2017 as Juan Ayuso won in 15:56:50, 42 seconds up on Carlos Rodriguez and 43 seconds over Dane Mattias Skjelmose. American Brandon McNulty was fifth (+1:56).

Slovenian star and two-time winner Primoz Roglic won the opening stage and led through three stages, but the fourth stage last Thursday (4th) changed everything.

A major crash about 36 km before the end of the hilly, 157.5 km ride into Legutio, during a major descent from the Olaeta climb. On a tight right-hand turn, one rider slid out and about 12 riders in all went down, with six taken to the hospital for care.

Roglic was one of those who ended up in a concrete drainage ditch, but worst off as two-time Tour de France winner Jonas Vingegaard (DEN), who suffered a broken collarbone and broken ribs. Belgian star Remco Evenepoel, the 2022 World Road Champion and a medal favorite for Paris 2024, also suffered collarbone and right shoulder injuries. The stage was closed down, except for the six breakaway riders ahead of the crash, who were allowed to finish on their own.

Sjolmose had the race lead after stage four and kept it after stage five, but with the top 10 all within 30 seconds. In Saturday’s final stage, Rodriguez and Ayuso broke away and finished 1-2 in the same time, but 41 seconds up on the field, including Skjelmose in fourth and that made the difference.

The 121st Paris-Roubaix race on Sunday was a showcase for Dutch star Mathieu van der Poel, who defended his 2023 win and took his sixth career “Monument” win with a sensational 59.6 km breakaway, winning by 3:00 over the 259.7 km route.

Jesper Philipsen (BEL), Mads Pedersen (DEN) and Nils Politt (GER) finished together in places 2-3-4, but way behind van der Poel, who won his third race of the season in five tries, also with a second at Gent-Wevelgem.

The women’s Paris-Roubaix – the fourth – saw a final sprint of five riders at the end of the 148.5 km route that started in Denain. Belgium’s 2023 World Champion Lotte Kopecky got her third Women’s World Tour win of the season, crossing the line ahead of Elisa Balsamo (ITA), Pfeiffer Georgi (GBR), Marianne Vos (NED) and Amber Kraak (NED), all in 3:47:13.

The U.S. and Colombia both won 17 medals to lead the field at the Pan American Track Championships in Carson, California, but Olympic Omnium gold medalist Jennifer Valente was the star.

The seven-time Worlds gold medalist won five golds, taking the Elimination Race, Scratch Race, Points Race, Omnium and the Madison, teaming up with Megan Jastrab! The other double individual winner on the women’s side was Colombia’s two-time World medalist Martha Bayona, who took the Keirin and the 500 m Time Trial.

American Emily Ehrlich won the Individual Pursuit and was on the winning U.S. Team Pursuit squad. Daniela Gaxiola (MEX) won the Sprint, beating Tokyo Olympic winner Kelsey Mitchell (CAN), 2-0.

Trinidad & Tobago’s Nicholas Paul won the Sprint and Keirin in this event in 2023 and doubled up again, winning the Sprint over Colombia’s Cristian Ortega, 2-0.

Grant Koontz of the U.S. won the Elimination Race, took the Madison with Peter Moore and was part of the Team Pursuit winners. Moore also won the Points Race, and teammate Anders Johnson took the Individual Pursuit.

● Fencing ● Six more tickets to Paris were punched at the Pan American Olympic qualifier in San Jose, Costa Rica, with only the winner to qualify.

In the men’s events, Nicholas Zang (CAN) won the Epee; Kruz Schembri (ISV) triumphed in Foil and Mexico’s Gibran Zea qualified in Sabre.

The women’s Epee winner was Maria Doig Calderon of Peru, with Mariana Pistoia (BRA) winning the Foil tournament and Katherine Paredes (VEN) taking the Sabre title.

The International Testing Agency announced that Hungarian Epee star Anna Kun has been charged with three “whereabouts” failures over the past year. She won the Budapest Grand Prix on 8 March and is ranked fourth worldwide.

She has not been suspended (yet) and the case has been referred to the FIE Doping Disciplinary Tribunal.

● Football ● The U.S. and Canada managed wins at the 2024 SheBelieves Cup and will meet for the tournament title on Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio. But it wasn’t easy.

Saturday’s games were played at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta with a big crowd of 50,644 in attendance, the biggest U.S. home crowd since the 1999 FIFA World Cup final at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena!

Nevertheless, Japan went up 1-0 after 31 seconds after midfielder Kiko Seike scored off a long pass down the right side, then dribbled into the box and ripped a shot to the left corner of the net, past U.S. keeper Alyssa Naeher.

But the U.S. took control from there and earned a tie in the 21st as striker Jaedyn Shaw sent a hard shot from the top of the box into the left corner for the 1-1 tie, taking advantage of a turnover by defender Sam Coffey. It was Shaw’s fifth goal already in 2024.

While the Americans had 53% of possession and an 18-6 edge on shots, it took until the 77th minute for the winning goal. Striker Sophia Smith was fouled in the box and earned a penalty, converted by midfield star Lindsey Horan with a low shot to her left for the 2-1 final.

Canada and Brazil played a tight second match, with defender Tarciane getting the first goal in the 22nd off a penalty against striker Ludmila in the box. The Brazilians stayed on offense, but could not beat the Canadian defense again and defender Vanessa Giles finally tied it for Canada on a header off a cross from midfielder Jessie Fleming in the 77th.

The game went to penalties, with both sides missing their first attempts, but then the Canadians made four in a row, with sub striker Julia Grosso scoring the last one to close out a 4-2 total and advancing the Canadians to face the U.S. on Tuesday.

● Gymnastics ● France came away with three wins and four-time European champ Melanie de Jesus dos Santos was the individual star at the FIG Apparatus World Challenge Cup in Osijek (CRO).

A member of the Worlds Team bronze winners in 2023, de Jesus dos Santos won on the Uneven Bars (14.533) and Floor (13.866) and finished second on Beam to Ukraine’s Anna Lashchevska, 14.000 to 13.133. France won the Vault as well, with two-time European champ Coline Devillard scoring 13.700.

Through two rounds of the World Challenge Cup series, de Jesus dos Santos already has five medals!

Two-time Worlds medalist Ilia Kovtun of Ukraine won all three legs of the FIG World Cup series so far on the Parallel Bars, but this time started off with a win in the men’s Floor, scoring 14.400 to best Ilyas Azizov (KAZ: 14.200). But 2023 World Champion Lukas Dauser edged Kovtun on the P-Bars, 15.550 to 15.350.

Azizov won on the Pommel Horse, 14.600 to 14.300 over 37-year-old home favorite Filip Ude, the 2008 Olympic runner-up. Croatia did get a win in the men’s Vault, with Aurel Benovic and Spain’s Paul Jimenez both scoring 14.575, but Benovic winning on criteria.

Chinese Taipei’s Chia-Hung Tang, the 2018 Asian Games champ, took the Horizontal Bar over Tokyo silver medalist Tin Srbic of Croatia, 15.350 to 14.650. Kevin Penev of Bulgaria won in Rings at 13.250.

● Rowing ● The US Rowing Olympic Trials were held in Sarasota, Florida, with Kara Kohler winning the women’s Single Sculls and qualifying for her third Olympic team. She was a clear winner over Margaret Fellows, 8:04.01 to 8:10.68.

Jessica Thoennes and Azja Czajkowski won the women’s Pair and qualified for Paris and won in 7:37.62, almost eight seconds ahead of the rest of the field. Thoennes was on the women’s Eight in Tokyo.

William Bender and Oliver Bub won the men’s Pair in 6:54.64, taking the lead in the second half of the race and making their first Olympic teams. Anders Weiss and Alexander Richards, both prior Olympians, finished second in 6:57.37.

The remaining winners will advance to the World Olympic qualifier in Lucerne (SUI) from 19-21 May to try to get to Paris. In the men’s Single Sculls, Jacob Plihal won in 7:25.99 over Casey Fuller (7:29.65), while Ben Davison and Sorin Koszyk won by more than 30 seconds in the men’s Double Sculls in 6:36.85, and Sam Melvin and Cooper Tuckerman took the men’s Lightweight Double Sculls in 6:48.50, ahead of Zachary Heese and Jimmy McCullough (6:52.28). All-star boats also qualified in the men’s and women’s Quadruple Sculls and will try to advance in Lucerne.

● Rugby ● New Zealand swept the men’s and women’s Sevens Series tournaments in Hong Kong, their third win in a row on the men’s side and first of the season for the women.

France, Australia and Canada all went 3-0 in the women’s pool play, but the Canadians were knocked out by New Zealand in the quarters by 26-7. In the semis, the U.S. held France down, 19-5, and the Kiwis doubled up Australia, 28-14. That set up the final, won by New Zealand over the U.S. by 36-7.

By winning, the Kiwi women are now in a tie for first in the seasonal standings, with 106 points and own the tie-breaker over Australia. France sits third at 88 and the U.S. fourth at 82.

New Zealand and South Africa were the only undefeateds in the men’s pool play, but South Africa was eliminated in the quarterfinals by Australia (15-0), while New Zealand edged Fiji (19-12). Neither semi was close, as France sailed past Ireland, 26-10, and New Zealand beat Australia, 26-7. The final was a defensive gem, as New Zealand won by only 10-7.

The men’s standings still have Argentina on top at 94, followed by Ireland (86), Fiji (76) and France (74).

● Sailing ● Italy came away as the only country to win twice at the important, pre-Olympic Trofeo Princesa Sofia regatta off Palma de Mallorca (ESP).

In the IQ Foil, a new Olympic class, 2024 Worlds silver medalist Pawel Tarnowski (POL) was the easy winner, scoring just 18 net points – winning his first six races – to win over 2021 World Champion Nicolas Goyard (FRA: 30). Norway went 1-2 in the women’s tournament, with Mina Mobekk winning over Maya Gysler, both with 22 points, but Mobekk won on criteria and had three wins.

Singapore’s 2023 World Champion, Maximilian Maeder, won the men’s Formula Kite class, winning the final over Riccardo Pianosi (ITA). American Daniela Moroz had the best regatta on the women’s Formula Kite competition, with 12 wins, but was second in the final to Australia’s Breiana Whitehead.

Worlds bronze winners Diego Botin and Florian Trittel took the men’s 49er title, 75-81, against Hernan Umpierre and Fernando Diz (URU), with Andrew Mollerus and Ian MacDiarmid fourth (94). The women’s 49erFX tournament came down to the wire, with Jana Germani and Giorgia Bertuzzi (ITA) eking out a 73-74 victory against Helene Naess and Marie Ronningen (NOR).

Britain’s 2023 Worlds silver medalist Michael Beckett was the decisive winner in the men’s Laser class, scoring just 36 net points and taking four wins to defeat 2018 Worlds bronze winner Philipp Buhl (GER: 80). The women’s Laser Radial class was much tighter, as 2023 Worlds gold medalist Maria Erdi (HUN) finished with 90 points to win over Zoe Thomson (AUS: 97).

In the mixed-crew 470, Camille Lecointre – a two-time women’s Olympic bronze medalist – and Jeremie Mion of France won the lack-of-wind shortened, nine-race program, 38-39 over 2023 Worlds silver winners Jordi Xammar and Nora Brugman (ESP).

The Nacra 17 racing was an Italian 1-2 for Olympic and World champs Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti over Gianluigi Ugolini and Maria Giubilei, 77-107.

● Shooting ● The last Americas qualifier for Paris 2024 was held in Buenos Aires (ARG), with several qualifiers actually finishing second or third in specific events because the athletes ahead of them were from already-qualified countries.

The U.S. won three events, all of which they had already Olympic qualification as Sagen Maddalena won the women’s 10 m Air Rifle over fellow American Alison Weisz, 253.0 to 249.9, and took the 50 m Rifle/3 Positions win, defeating Brazil’s Geovana Meyer – who qualified for Paris – by 460.5 to 455.9.

Ecuador’s Andrea Perez won the women’s 10 m Air Pistol over American Katelyn Abeln, 241.4-239.3, and took the 25 m Pistol by 30-26 over Cuba’s Laina Perez (who qualified for Paris).

In the men’s 10 m Air Pistol, Chile’s Diego Parra earned his Olympic spot with a 244.2 to 238.6 win over American Nick Mowrer, who would have qualified if he had won.

Cuba’s Leuris Pupo, already qualified, won the men’s 25 m Rapid-Fire Pistol over teammate Jorge Alvarez, 30-22, but Alvarez is now qualified. Keith Sanderson of the U.S. was fourth.

The 10 m Air Rifle title went to Marcelo Gutierrez of Argentina and American Ivan Roe won the 50 m Rifle/3 Positions tournament by 453.7 to 446.9 over Tye Ikeda of Canada (who therefore qualified).

Mexico won the Mixed 10 m Air Pistol final, 16-12, over Ecuador and in the all-American final of the Mixed 10 m Air Rifle, Weisz and Rylan Kissel won over Maddalena and Roe, 17-13.

● Water Polo ● The U.S. women started a three-game exhibition set against Australia on Sunday at Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta, California with a 10-4 win, thanks to four goals from captain Maggie Steffens – two in the final quarter – and two from Maddie Musselman.

The U.S. opened a 4-2 lead at the quarter and 7-2 at half and Ashleigh Johnson made 15 saves in goal to assure the victory. Australia had the edge in shots, 30-24, but converted only four, compared to 10 for the U.S., who also had 21 blocks during the match.

The American women are the three-time defending Olympic champs and will play Australia again on the 9th in Long Beach, California and on 13 April in Irvine, California.

● Weightlifting ● The final qualifying event for Paris 2024, the IWF World Cup in Phuket (THA) turned into a Sunday showcase for American Olivia Reeves, who not only won the women’s 71 kg class, but set American records in all three lifts.

The no. 2-ranked Reeves already owned the U.S. marks at 115/147/262 kg, but won the Snatch at 118 kg, the Clean & Jerk at 150 kg and the total at 368 kg. The 2023 Worlds bronze medalist, she defeated China’s 2023 World Champion, Guifang Liao, who made 115/149/264 kg.

North Korea took its fourth women’s gold at 64 kg, as Un Sim Rim and Suk Ri went 1-2, at 258 kg (winning all three elements) and 248 kg.

In the men’s 81 kg class, North Korea scored its third men’s gold, with Asian Games champ Chong-song Ri easily winning all three segments with 166/200/366 kg. It was much tighter at 89 kg, with Karlos Nasar (BUL), the 2021 Worlds winner at 81 kg, setting a world record of 181 kg in the Snatch, then seeing it surpassed by Yeison Lopez of Colombia, at 182 kg! But Nasar won the Clean & Jerk at 215 kg and the overall title at 396 kg to 392 for Lopez.

Competition continues through the 11th.

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