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≡ THE 5-RING CIRCUS ≡
1. Richardson beats Jackson, four world leads in Chorzow
2. UCI rules transgender women belong in men’s division
3. LA28 commemorative coin bill being re-introduced
4. Kremlev says IBA will be re-recognized by IOC
5. Vingegaard vs. Pogacar moves to final week in Tour de France
A stirring Diamond League meet in Poland saw American Sha’Carri Richardson edge world-leader Shericka Jackson of Jamaica in the women’s 100 m, 10.76 to 10.78, along with four world-leading performances from Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen in the men’s 1,500 m, Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim in the high jump, Venezuelan Yulimar Rojas in the women’s triple jump and Japan’s Haruka Kitaguchi in the women’s javelin. The Union Cycliste Internationale issued a new ruling that transgender women must compete in the men’s division, in order to rule out any advantage gained by male puberty. The Congressional bill to authorize U.S. commemorative coins for the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles is being reintroduced in both the House and Senate after being ignored last year. International Boxing Association President Umar Kremlev of Russia told the European Boxing Confederation that he believes that the IBA will re-recognized by the International Olympic Committee, and, as usual, promised more money for federations that stick with the IBA. At the Tour de France, defending champ Jonas Vingegaard of Denmark and two-time winner Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia will battle into the final week, with the Dane hanging on to a 10-second lead after 15 stages.
● World Championships: Aquatics (3: Germans Beck and Wellbrock sweep 10 km; Japan dominates Artistic; China 5-for-5 in diving so far) = Triathlon (Wilde and Beaugrand win Super Sprint titles) ●
● Panorama: Athletics (2: Young and Kurgat win USATF road titles) = Badminton (China wins two at U.S. Open in Iowa) = Football (2: Mexico strikes once to win CONCACAF Gold Cup; Japan concludes deal for Women’s World Cup TV) = Gymnastics (Raffaeli wins Rhythmic World Challenge Cup All-Around) = Shooting (U.S. wins two at ISSF World Cup Lonato) = Sport Climbing (Teen sensation Anraku wins Lead World Cup) = Tennis (Hsieh wins fourth career Wimbledon women’s Doubles title!) = Volleyball (2: Turkey takes Women’s Nations League; Iran wins FIVB men’s U-21 Worlds) = Wrestling (14 medals and six wins for U.S. at Ranking Series in Budapest) ●
Richardson beats Jackson, four world leads in Chorzow
The Diamond League season resumed in Chorzow (POL) with a bang, with four world leads and a showdown in the women’s 100 m, won by American Sha’Carri Richardson. The world leads:
● Men/1,500 m: 3:27.14, Jakob Ingebrightsen (NOR)
● Men/High Jump: 2.36 m (7-8 3/4), Mutaz Essa Barshim (QAT)
● Women/Triple Jump: 15.18 m (49-9 3/4), Yulimar Rojas (VEN)
● Women/Javelin: 67.04 m (219-11), Haruka Kitaguchi (JPN)
The men’s 1,500 was billed as a world-record attempt for Norwegian star (and Olympic champ) Ingebrigtsen, with three pace setters, and they were right on schedule with a lap to go and then Ingebrigtsen was on his own with 300 m to go. He stormed into the final straight and ran without any let-up to the line in 3:27.14, now no. 4 all-time and the eighth-fastest race ever run. Ingebrigtsen:
● 400 m: 55.8
● 800 m: 1:51.6 (55.8)
● 1,200 m: 2:46.9 (55.3)
● 1,500 m: 3:27.14 (40.3)
His last 400 m was in 54.1 and his last 800 m in 1:49.4. Wow.
Ingebrigtsen wasn’t challenged, with Abel Kipsang (KEN) finishing second in an also-sensational 3:29.11 – a lifetime best and no. 5 this season. Kenyan Reynold Cheruiyot was third in a lifetime best of 3:30.30, then Andrew Coscoran (IRL: 3:30.42 national record) and Sam Tanner (NZL: 3:31.24 lifetime best). Britain’s Elliot Giles ran 3:33.00 and was 10th!
Tokyo Olympic co-champs Barshim and Gianmarco Tamberi (ITA) both cleared 2.32 m (7-7 1/4) in the high jump on their first attempts, but were joined by German Tobias Potye with a lifetime best at that height. Both Tamberi and Potye cleared 2.34 m (7-8) on their second tries, another PR for Potye, while Barshim missed twice. Then Barshim passed to 2.36 m (7-8 3/4) for one more try and sailed over, while Tamberi and Potye all missed three times. Barshim hadn’t jumped since May, but he’s suddenly looking like the favorite for the Worlds in Budapest next month.
Rojas was leading the triple jump, but not by much going into the final round, then she exploded to a world-leading 15.18 m (49-9 3/4) in the sixth. Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk (UKR) was second at 14.70 m (48-2 3/4). Americans Keturah Orji and Tori Franklin suffered from the long trip, finishing seventh and eighth, at 14.06 m (46-1 1/2) and 13.49 m (44-3 1/4).
Japan’s Kitaguchi, the 2022 Worlds bronze winner, led the javelin with her fifth-round throw of 65.82 m (215-11), no. 2 in the world for 2023, then sailed the spear out to a national record of 67.04 m (219-11) in the final round for the world lead. Australia’s Mackenzie Little, fifth at the Worlds last year, finished second at 64.50 m (211-7).
The women’s 100 m was the final event of the day, pitting nos. 1-2 on the year, Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson (10.65) – running on her 29th birthday – and American Richardson (10.71). Off the gun, it was indoor star Ewa Swoboda of Poland with the best start, but Jackson had the lead by 40 m and was steady, as Richardson came on. The American found another gear that no one had and got into the lead by the 75 m mark and held on to win, 10.76 to 10.78 (wind: +0.2 m/s).
Swoboda was third with a lifetime best of 10.94 – her first sub-11 time – and TeeTee Terry of the U.S. for fourth in a seasonal best of 10.99. This was a confident, well-executed, first-class win for Richardson and sets her up to take on five-time Worlds winner Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (JAM) in Budapest.
The men’s 100 m was a surprise win for South Africa’s Akani Simbine, with reigning World Champion Fred Kerley of the U.S. not showing his usual mid-race surge, and Simbine winning a tight finish from Kerley, Emmenual Eseme (CAM) and U.S. champ Cravont Charleston in 9.97-9.98-9.98-9.99 (wind: 0.0).
South Africa got another impressive win by Rio 2016 400 m champ Wayde van Niekerk, who ran away from a good field in the no. 2 time of 2023, 44.08, easing into the finish. He beat Botswana’s Bayapo Ndori (44.61) and 400 m hurdles World Champion Alison dos Santos made a seasonal debut in third in 44.73. The American trio of Ryan Willie, Bryce Deadmon and Vernon Norwood were 5-6-7 in 44.77, 44.81 and 44.88.
Olympic champ Soufiane El Bakkali ran away with the 3,000 m Steeple, winning easily in 8:03.16, easily ahead of Kenyans Abraham Kibiwott (8:08.03) and Leonard Bett (8:09.45).
U.S. stars were also off the mark in the 110 m hurdles, won by Cuba’s Roger Iribarne in 13.25 (-0.2). Trey Cunningham, the 2022 Worlds runner-up, was fourth in 13.36 and U.S. champ Daniel Roberts was seventh in 13.90.
The men’s vault was down to three after 5.81 m (19-0 3/4), with world-record holder Mondo Duplantis (SWE) and two-time World Champion Sam Kendricks (USA) both perfect, and Olympic silver medalist Chris Nilsen (USA) with just one miss. Duplantis and Kendricks both cleared 5.91 m (19-4 3/4) and Duplantis cleared 6.01 m (19-8 1/2) for the win, but could go no higher.
World-record holder Ryan Crouser took time to unwind from the long trip overseas, winning the shot put at 22.55 m (73-11 3/4), on his sixth and final throw. American Payton Otterdahl, 10th in Tokyo in 2021, reached 21.88 m (71-9 1/2) for second. Josh Awotunde of the U.S. was fifth (21.61 m/70-10 3/4) and two-time world champ Joe Kovacs was seventh (20.88 m/68-6).
In the non-Diamond League men’s hammer, home favorite and Olympic champ Wojciech Nowicki edged U.S. champion Rudy Winkler, 80.02 m (262-6) and 78.11 m (256-3).
Dominican women’s 400 m star Marileidy Paulino, the Tokyo silver medalist, was upset in her race, unable to move as she usually does in the final 100 m and finished third in 50.00, behind a surprised Natalia Kaczmarek (POL: 49.48 lifetime best and no. 5 this year) and Lieke Klaver (NED: 49.81).
In the women’s 800 m, Kenya’s Mary Moraa was challenged by 2019 World Champion Halimah Nakaayi (UGA), but Moraa, the 2022 Worlds bronze winner, ran away down the straight and won in a season’s best 1:56.85 (no. 2 in 2023), with Nakaayi getting a lifetime best of 1:57.78 in second. Jamaica’s Natoya Goule got a season’s best of 1:57.90 for third and Sage Hurta-Klecker of the U.S. was fourth in 1:58.09.
Ethiopia dominated the longer distances, with 2022 World Indoor bronze medalist Hirut Meshesha winning a hot finish in the 1,500 m in 3:54.87 over 17-year-old Birke Haylom (3:54.93), Diribe Welteji (3:55.08) and Worknesh Mesele (3:57.00) for a 1-2-3-4 sweep – all lifetime bests – and nos. 3-4-5-6 on the 2023 world list. In the 3,000 m, Tokyo 1,500 m fourth-placer Freweyni Hailu (ETH) outran Lilian Rengeruk (KEN) down the home straight, 8:26.61 to 8:27.80. Hailu moves to no. 4 on the world list this season.
The women’s 100 m hurdles was terrific, with new U.S. champ Nia Ali off best, but giving up the lead over the eighth hurdle to former world-record holder Keni Harrison, but then world-record holder (and World Champion) Tobi Amusan (NGR) came hardest off the final hurdle and got to the line first in 12.34 (+0.9), no. 2 on the year. Harrison and Ali went 2-3 in 12.35 and 12.38.
The women’s high jump had three clearing 1.98 m (6-6), with Ukraine’s Olympic fourth-placer Irina Gerashchenko winning, by making all five heights without a miss through 1.98 m. Tokyo silver medalist Nicola Olyslagers (AUS) make 1.98 m on her third try, and 2017 Worlds silver winner Yulia Levchenko (UKR) was third at that height. All missed 2.01 m (6-7).
In the non-Diamond League women’s hammer, the U.S. was 1-2, with World Champion Brooke Andersen winning at 75.40 m (247-4), ahead of Janee Kassanavoid (74.27 m/243-8).
Pretty good. The next Diamond League meet comes Friday in Monaco, with U.S. star Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone scheduled to contest the women’s 400 m.
UCI rules transgender women belong in men’s division
A special meeting of the Management Committee of the Union Cycliste Internationale was held on 5 July, with a decision announced last Friday:
“From now on, female transgender athletes who have transitioned after (male) puberty will be prohibited from participating in women’s events on the UCI International Calendar – in all categories – in the various disciplines.”
A more detailed explanation included:
“The UCI Management Committee has taken note of the state of scientific knowledge, which does not confirm that at least two years of gender-affirming hormone therapy with a target plasma testosterone concentration of 2.5 nmol/L is sufficient to completely eliminate the benefits of testosterone during puberty in men. In addition, there is considerable inter-individual variability in response to gender-confirming hormone therapy, which makes it even more difficult to draw precise conclusions about the effects of such treatment. Given the current state of scientific knowledge, it is also impossible to rule out the possibility that biomechanical factors such as the shape and arrangement of the bones in their limbs may constitute a lasting advantage for female transgender athletes.
“Taking these findings into account, the UCI Management Committee considered the interests of transgender athletes in being able to take part in sporting competitions against those of athletes in the female category, which is considered a protected class. In this context, the UCI Management Committee concluded, considering the remaining scientific uncertainties, that it was necessary to take this measure to protect the female class and ensure equal opportunities.”
However, this does not mean that all questions have been answered. The UCI, and other federations – such as World Aquatics and World Athletics – know that legal challenges are likely. So, there was also a commitment to further research:
“The new rules will come into force on 17 July 2023. They may change in the future as scientific knowledge evolves. With this in mind, the UCI will begin discussions with other members of the international sporting movement on the co-financing of a research programme aimed at studying changes in the physical performance of highly-trained athletes undergoing transitional hormone treatment.”
LA28 commemorative coin bill being re-introduced
Last Friday (14th) marked five years to go until the opening of the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, and the bill to authorize the minting of U.S. commemorative coins to mark the occasion will be re-introduced in Congress.
Senate Bill 4382, the LA28 Olympic and Paralympic Games Commemorative Coin Act, went nowhere last year and so sponsors Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and Alex Padilla (D-California) are back again with the same bill, with the same language.
The proposal is for a four-coin program:
● $5 gold coin: 100,000, with a $35 surcharge;
● $1 silver coin: 500,000, with a $10 surcharge;
● 50-cent clad coin: 300,000, with a $5 surcharge, and
● $1 proof coin: 100,000, with a $50 surcharge.
LA28 and the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee will benefit, of course, as “all surcharges received by the Secretary from the sale of coins issued under this Act shall be promptly paid by the Secretary to the United States Olympic and Paralympic Properties for the objects and purposes related to the hosting of the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games and to aid in the execution of its legacy programs, including the promotion of youth sports in the United States.”
The surcharge total, based on the bill, would be $15 million: helpful, but hardly a game changer. For the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, a furious legislative battle was fought over the number and types of coins, with a $10 gold piece and two $1 silver dollars eventually approved. However, 50 million of the silver dollars were produced and two million $10 gold pieces were made; both the L.A. Olympic organizing committee and the U.S. Olympic Committee received more than $35 million each from the program.
A companion bill, H.R. 8047 was entered in the House of Representatives last year from Los Angeles-area Congressman Brad Sherman, who will do the same with the new bill.
Expect the Senate bill to be referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, but with more urgency this time as the clock is now ticking a little more loudly in advance of the LA28 Games.
Kremlev says IBA will be re-recognized by IOC
Last week, Argentina and New Zealand announced that they are leaving the International Boxing Association and will apply to join the new World Boxing group, along with – so far – the U.S., Switzerland and the British high-performance unit.
But Umar Kremlev, the Russian head of the International Boxing Association, is unmoved. He told an Extraordinary Congress of the European Boxing Confederation that the IBA’s future is sunny:
“I am thrilled that boxing retains its place in Olympic program, and am convinced that the IBA will return its recognition, there is no doubt. The Olympics are crucial to us since it is an event, but fans are coming to watch the athletes, their techniques, and the beauty of the sport, not the sports officials.
“Despite the IOC’s extremely disappointing decision which does not reflect transparency and democracy, we are resolved to fix it. Adherence to our values, IBA Constitution and our independence is paramount. The IBA will continue to operate and promote boxing globally, ensuring that boxing remains untouched by unscrupulous politics.”
As is his usual practice, Kremlev came with promises of future funding, according to the IBA statement:
“President Kremlev suggested establishing a European Boxing Cup with a prize fund of $1M. Moreover, IBA will continue to allocate $50,000 USD as a financial support to the National Federations and this amount will be increased to $100,000 the following year.”
The EUBC Extraordinary Congress agreed on an amended constitution; the IBA’s statement said it included a call “on all national European boxing federations to admit all athletes on equal terms and rights without political aspects. Sports should stay autonomous and neutral in relation to politics.” Translation: no sanctions for Russian or Belarus related to the invasion of Ukraine.
In this regard, two sub-sections were added to the EUBC Constitution’s “Mission and Objectives”:
“(i) to respect – to the extent that the mission and the other statutory objectives of the EUBC are not affected – the principle of universality and political neutrality as defined in the Olympic Charter and to maintain harmonious relations with government authorities, institutions or sports governing bodies while respecting the principle of autonomy as defined in the Olympic Charter;
“(j) to commit to respecting international recognised human rights and to striving to promote the protection of these rights as they apply to the activities of the EUBC, and its members, which ensure, in particular the protection of the dignity of people, rejection of all forms of discrimination and rejection of all forms of physical, professional, or sexual harassment and abuse, and of all practices which are detrimental to the physical or mental integrity of a person.”
Observed: As the IBA is out of the Olympic movement now, its activities are more a indication of how Russian foreign policy will be carried out in the sports area. So far, the message is, stay with the IBA and more money will come your way.
Vingegaard vs. Pogacar moves to final week in Tour de France
The two-man battle for the 110th Tour de France title will continue into the final week of the race as the two riders finished together on Sunday and are just 10 seconds apart in the overall standings.
Denmark’s defending champion, Jonas Vingegaard, continues to lead the 2020-21 winner, Tadej Pogacar (SLO), with the two playing cat-and-mouse amid some brutal climbing stages on the weekend.
On Friday, a finishing climb up the Grand Colombier saw Poland’s Michal Kwiatkowski break away in the final 12 km of the 137.8 km stage and win in 3:17:33, 47 seconds up on Belgian Maxim van Gils. But right behind were Pogacar (+0:50) and Vingegaard (+0:54), so the Slovenian closed the gap to nine seconds.
Saturday’s 151.8 km stage had two major climbs in the second half, crossing over the tops of the Col de la Ramaz (1,612 m) and the Col de Joux Plane (1,690 m) before the descent to the finish, with Spain’s Carlos Rodriguez taking the stage in 3:58:45, ahead of Pogacar and Vingegaard, both just five seconds back. American Sepp Kuss was fifth (+0:57). The race was marred by a couple of major crashes, with several riders suffering significant injuries.
On Sunday, another uphill finish at the end of a 179 km stage to Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc saw Dutch star Wout Poels’ attack with 11 km remaining and rout the field, winning by 2:08 over Wout van Aert (BEL) and by 3:00 over Mathieu Burgaudeau (FRA). Pogacar and Vingegaard were in 16th and 17th, both 6:04 back.
So Vingegaard, thanks to a Saturday mid-race time bonus, has a 10-second lead going into Tuersday’s time trial, a short 22.4 route, but with yet another uphill finish to Combloux. There are climbing stages on Wednesday and Friday, with the final ride into Paris next Sunday.
Rodriguez, thanks to his Saturday win, is now third, 5:21 back of Vingegaard, with Adam Yates (GBR: +5:40) fourth and Jai Hindley of Australia fifth (+6:38), who was hindered in Saturday’s Stage 14 crash.
≡ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS ≡
● Aquatics ● The World Aquatics Championships are fully underway in Fukuoka (JPN), with Germany sweeping the men’s and women’s 10 km open-water races.
Both races were conducted on six-lap courses, with the women’s race on Saturday and 17-year-old Katie Grimes of the U.S. in command by the halfway point. She led after three laps and four laps, then became part of a lead pack with Chelsea Gubecka (AUS), defending champ Sharon van Rouwendaal (NED) and others. But coming hard was German Leonie Beck, the 2022 silver medalist, who was 10th with a lap to go, but third with a half-lap left and all alone at the finish to win in 2:02:34.0.
Gubecka, 13th in 2022, won her first Worlds medal in second at 2:02:38.1, with Grimes, van Rouwendaal and Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA) will coming to the touch together. A sweeping left-hand stroke by Grimes got to the timing plate the fastest to earn her the bronze medal over van Rouwendaal and Cunha, 2:02:42.3 to 2:02:42.4 to 2:02:42.5.
It also won Grimes an individual qualifying slot for Paris 2024, reportedly the first American to personally qualify for Paris 2024. Teammate Mariah Denigan finished eighth in 2:03:13.5.
The men’s 10 km on Sunday saw Tokyo Olympic winner Florian Wellbrock dominate the field, taking the lead midway through the first lap and swim away to an 18.7-second win in 1:50:40.3. Hungary’s Kristof Rasovszky, the Tokyo runner-up, was second again (1:50:59.0), with German Oliver Klemet third (1:51:00.8). Brennan Gravley of the U.S. was 30th in 1:54:13.0 and Joey Tepper was 36th in 1:57:23.9.
Wellbrock’s win is his fifth career Worlds gold and his third in open water: he won the 2019 title in this event and the 2022 gold in the 5 km.
At the 2022 Worlds in Budapest, China won all 13 events. They’re trying to do it again, sweeping the first five held in Fukuoka.
Jianfeng Peng, now 29, won his second career Worlds gold in the men’s 1 m Springboard, after winning the event back in 2017! He scored 440.45 to 428.85 for Mexico’s Oscar Olvera, with China’s Jiuyuan Zheng third (418.30). Jack Ryan was the top U.S. finisher in ninth (376.35).
Shan Lin, just 21, won her third career Worlds gold, in the women’s 1 m, adding to her 2019 victory in the Mixed Team event (at 17) and in the Mixed 3 m Synchro in 2022. She led a Chinese 1-2 at 318.60 with 2022 winner Yajie Li at 306.35. Mexico’s Aranza Vazquez was third with 285.05. The U.S.’s Hailey Hernandez made the final and finished seventh (259.20).
Platform star Yuxi Chen teamed with Tokyo Olympic 10 m champ Hongchan Quan to win her second straight women’s 10 m Synchro world title, scoring 369.84 points. She now has two Synchro golds and individual Worlds golds in 2019 and 2022. Britain’s Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix and Lois Toulson took the silver (311.760 and the American pair of Jessica Parratto and Delaney Schnell won the bronze (294.42). Parratto and Schnell won the Tokyo Olympic silver in this event in 2021; it’s the first Worlds medal for Parratto, but the fourth for Schnell, who was a silver winner last year with Katrina Young.
In the Mixed 10 m Platform final, China’s Feilong Wang and Jiaqi Zhang won easily at 339.54, with Diego Balleza and Viviana del Angel (MEX: 313.44) claiming second and Hiroki Ito and Minami Itahashi (JPN: 305.34) taking third. The U.S. finished 11th with Max Weinrich and Kaylee Bishop (256.02).
In Artistic Swimming, Japan’s Yukiko Inui, the defending champion in both the Solo Technical and Solo Free events, won her second straight gold in the Solo Technical, scoring 276.5717 in the final. Austria’s Vasiliki Alexandri was second (264.4200) and Iris Tio of Spain won the bronze (254.2100).
Japan swept the early honors in the Duets, with Moe Higa and Mashiro Yasunaga taking the women’s Duet Technical routine (273.9500) over veteran Italian stars Linda Cerruti and Lucrezia Ruggiero (263.0334) and Spain’s Alisa Ozhogina and Tio (257.8368). The U.S. entry of Megumi Field and Ruby Remati were 17th in qualifying and did not advance. In the Mixed Duet Technical, Japanese siblings Tomoka Sato and Yotaro Sato moved up from silver in 2022 to win at 255.5066, in front of Dennis Gonzalez and Emma Garcia (Spain: 248.0499) and Wentao Cheng and Haoyu Shi of China (247.3033).
● Triathlon ● The World Triathlon Sprint & Relay Championships were in Hamburg (GER), with the unusually-quick super-sprint format of a 300 m swim, 7.5 km bike (3×2.5), 1.75 km run (total 9.55 km).
The format included qualifying round of 30, with a semifinal round of 20, leading to the final with just 10. The men’s race was tight throughout, but New Zealand’s Hayden Wilde, the Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist, was sharp on the bike, efficient in transition and had the third-fastest run to win in 19:26, just ahead of Vasco Vilaca (POR: 19:28) and 2022 Sprint World Champion Alex Yee (GBR; 19:28). No American men made the final.
In the women’s final, France’s Cassandre Beaugrand simply blitzed the field on the run phase to win by 10 seconds. A member of the Tokyo Olympic bronze mixed-relay team, Beaugrand came out of the water in the lead with two others, was only seventh on the bike, but was 11 seconds faster than anyone else on the run to win in 21:35. Britain’s Beth Potter was a clear second in 21:45 with Laura Lindemann (GER: 21:47) third.
Taylor Spivey of the U.S. finished seventh in 21:59 and Summer Rappaport was 10th (22:30). Kirsten Kasper and Katie Zefares of the U.S. made it to the semifinal round, with comebacking Gwen Jorgensen eliminated in the round-of-30.
In the Mixed Relay, home favorite Germany got a great opening leg from Tim Hellwig and really never looked back, with Lindemann finishing in 21:55 to clinch a 1:22:08 victory. Wilde led off for New Zealand, but it was Nicole van der Kay on the anchor who brought the Kiwis in second (1:22:27), with the Swiss third (1:22:35).
The U.S. quartet of Seth Rider, Spivey, Matthew McElroy and Rappaport was fourth, 20 seconds out of a medal in 1:22:55.
≡ PANORAMA ≡
● Athletics ● The 2019 NCAA 10,000 m champ from BYU, Clayton Young, took the USATF men’s 8 km Championship in Kingsport, Tennessee on Saturday, beating a quality field in 22:45, ahead of 2023 USATF Cross Country runner-up Andrew Colley (22:49), Isai Rodriguez (22:50) and 2023 U.S. Cross Country champ Emmanuel Bor (22:54).
After a storm delay, Young was among three leaders at the halfway point, but pushed the pace with 3.2 km left to win by daylight. It’s his second national title, after winning the 2021 USATF 20 km championship.
In the women’s USATF 6 km Championship, Ednah Kurgat managed a tight win in Canton, Ohio, taking her second national title in 18:31 over Nell Rojas (18:33), Annie Rodenfels (18:34) and Emma Hurley (18:36).
The top three surged with 1.6 km to go, with Kurgat’s final sprint the difference.
Kurgat won the U.S. Cross Country title in January, then was sixth in the USATF women’s 10,000 m in Eugene and 13th in the 5,000 m, but was strong at the finish to win the 6 km national crown.
● Badminton ● The BWF World Tour was in Council Bluffs, Iowa for the Yonex U.S. Open, with China and Thailand facing off in the men’s and women’s Singles finals.
The women were first, with Supanida Katethong (THA) taking a straight-set victory over Fang Jie Gao (CHN), 21-15, 21-16. But China’s second-seeded Shi Feng Li (CHN) turned the tables in the men’s final, beating top-seed Kumlavut Vitidsarn (THA), 21-15, 21-18.
China got another win in the women’s Doubles, as fifth-seeds Sheng Shu Liu and Ning Tan (CHN) won two close sets from top-seeded Maiken Fruergaard and Sara Thygesen (DEN), 21-19, 21-19.
In the men’s Doubles final, Sze Fei Goh and Nur Izzuddin (MAS) defeated Fang-Chih Lee and Fang-Jen Lee (TPE), 21-9, 21-10. But the Chinese Taipei Mixed Doubles team of Hong Wei Ye and Chia Hsin Lee – the top seeds – got a come-from-behind win over Mathias Thyrri and Amalie Magelund (DEN), 13-21, 21-6 and 21-18.
● Football ● SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California was full – really full – for the final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup between Mexico and Panama. And the nearly all-for-Mexico crowd go a thriller.
It was going to be an uphill effort for Los Canaleros, who came in with a 2-17-6 (W-L-T) all-time record against Mexico, with its last win (2-1) coming on 24 July 2013! Mexico had beaten Panama, 1-0, in the CONCACAF Nations League third-place team in June.
The game started with Mexico looking for offense, but quickly became end-to-end pressure from both sides. Possession was about even, with Mexico looking to attack and Panama ready to counter.
Mexican striker Henry Martin helped to start, and then eventually scored a brilliant, left-footed goal on a re-direct in the box of a cross from midfielder Luis Romo in the 33rd minute, but the score was disallowed for offsides back at the start of the play.
But the Mexican pressure increased, and in the 43rd, forward Orbelin Pineda got a clear shot at goal that was saved by Panama keeper Orlando Mosquera, but the rebound popped out to Martin, whose shot was saved by Mosquera again. Then, just before the half, Panama midfielder Anibal Godoy sent a seeing-eye shot from just inside the box that just missed the left corner of the Mexican goal. But it ended 0-0; Mexico had 52% of possession and a 14-4 shots edge.
The second half was more back-and-forth, but still no scoring. In the 63rd, Panama defender Harold Cummings was called for a second yellow card and was disqualified, but then the yellow card was rescinded – in fact, there was little or no contact – allowing Cummings to continue.
Mexico’s attack ramped up and Panama couldn’t get possession, but then sub striker Ivan Anderson got two shots at Mexican keeper Memo Ochoa in the 72nd, but the play was called offsides.
With the action end to end, Mexico finally got a goal on an outlet pass after another Panama attack. Pineda cleared the ball out of the Mexican end and found sub striker Santiago Gimenez just past midfield. Gimenez did the rest on his own, dribbling left, then shooting across his body from left to right and sent the ball by Mosqueda to the far post and into the net in the 88th.
Panama’s desperate tries were thwarted through six minutes of stoppage time and Mexico celebrated its ninth Gold Cup title, the first since 2019, to the delight of the 72,963 in attendance. El Tri ended with 52% of possession and a 23-14 edge on shots, in a game that had 41 total fouls and eight yellow cards.
It’s the third Gold Cup final in which Panama has lost, in 2005, 2013 and 2023, with scores of 0-0 (lost on penalties), 0-1 and 0-1.
Japan, the last major market which did not have a rights deal in place for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, concluded an agreement with FIFA with national broadcaster NHK. The lack of a deal to show the event had been a source of concern for the team, fearing a blackout would reduce enthusiasm for women’s football in the country.
● Gymnastics ● Italy’s All-Around World Champion Sofia Raffaeli won her third title this season at the Rhythmic World Challenge Cup in Cluj-Napoca (ROU).
Already a winner twice in the FIG Rhythmic World Cup series, she was a clear winner in this World Challenge Cup, scoring 133.550, ahead of 2023 European All-Around champ Boryana Kaelyn (BUL: 130.850) and German Darja Varfolomeev (127.600).
Lili Mizuno was the top U.S. finisher, in 13th (119.200).
Kaelyn won on Ball (35.000), with Raffaeli third (31.500) and Mizuno fifth (30.350), and then with Clubs (33.350) ahead of Varfolomeev (33.250) and Raffaeli (32.950). Raffaeli took the Hoops event (35.800) with Mizuno eighth (29.850), and Varfolomeev won with Ribbon (31.350).
The series will close next week in Milan (ITA) with a final World Cup.
● Shooting ● A strong showing for the U.S. at the ISSF Shotgun World Cup in Lonato (ITA), with two wins and a silver.
Dania Jo Vizzi, the 2017 World Champion, won the women’s Skeet title with 54/60 in the final to finish ahead of teammate Sam Simonton (54) and 18-year-old Yiting Jiang (CHN: 43).
The U.S. pair of Austen Smith and three-time Olympic champ Vincent Hancock won the Mixed Team Skeet final, 42-39 over Chile.
Hancock was sixth in the men’s Skeet final, won by Tokyo Olympic runner-up Jesper Hansen (DEN), 42, over 2019 Worlds runner-up Tammaro Cassandro (ITA), 56-55. American Dustan Taylor was fourth (37).
In men’s Trap, 2022 Worlds runner-up Nathan Hales (GBR) barely beat out China’s Ying Qi, 49-48, as Hales hit his last 42 targets! Australia’s Laetisha Scanlan, the Tokyo Olympic fourth-placer, won the women’s Trap gold with a 46-45 score over Spain’s 2015 World Champion Fatima Galvez. American Ryann Phillips finished fourth (26).
● Sport Climbing ● Japan’s Sorato Anraku is the newest teen sensation in the IFSC World Cup, taking his first win in Lead at the Briancon (FRA) World Cup to go with his Boulder World Cup earlier in the season.
Anraku led a Japanese sweep in the men’s final, reaching the top of the route in both the semi and final, ahead of countrymen Taisei Homma (49+) and Satone Yoshida (49+). In fact, Japan claimed the top six places.
In 10 World Cups this season, Anraku been out of the top seven only once and now has four medals: 1-1-0 in Boulder and 1-0-1 in Lead.
Slovenia’s Vita Lukan also claimed her first World Cup gold, taking the women’s Lead title at 46 holds, ahead of Eliska Adamovska (CZE: 44+) and Manon Hily (FRA: 44+). Lukan had won a bronze – also at Briancon – in 2021 for her only other World Cup medal.
Next up are the World Championships in Bern (SUI) from 1-12 August.
● Tennis ● The Wimbledon Championships concluded Sunday, with Spain’s top-seeded Carlos Alcaraz winning an instant classic from Novak Djokovic (SRB), 1–6, 7–6(8–6), 6–1, 3–6, 6–4 in a marathon 4:42. That was a day after unseeded Czech Marketa Vondrousova defeated Ons Jabeur (TUN) for the women’s title, 6–4, 6–4, for her first Grand Slam title.
Less well publicized were the Doubles results, with Wesley Koolhof (NED) and Neal Skupski (GBR) taking the men’s title over Marcel Granollers (ESP) and Horacio Zeballos (ARG), 6–4, 6–4. For Granoliers, it was his fifth Grand Slam Doubles final, and he’s 0-5; Zeballos is now 0-3.
The Women’s Doubles winners were Su-wei Hsieh (TPE) and Czech Barbora Strycova, who overcame Storm Hunter (AUS) and Elise Mertens (BEL), 7–5, 6–4. It’s Hsieh’s fourth Wimbledon Doubles title, two with Strycova, in 2019 and 2023.
The Mixed Doubles saw Mate Pavic (CRO) and Lyudmyla Kichenok (UKR) finally win over Joran Vliegen (BEL) and China’s Yifan Xu, 6–4, 6–7(9–11), 6–3. Pavic has now won Mixed Doubles titles at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the Australian.
● Volleyball ● The fifth Volleyball World Nations League Final for women at the College Park Center in Arlington, Texas matched a first-time finalist in China and a one-time silver winner in Turkey.
Poland and the U.S. had the best regular-season records at 10-2, with Turkey at 9-3 and China at 8-4. But in Arlington, the Turks swept aside Italy (3-0) and then upset the U.S., 3-1 (25-21, 25-14, 24-26, 27-25) to advance to the final. China beat Brazil, 3-1, in the quarters and swept Poland, 3-0, to reach its first Nations League championship match.
In the final, Turkey opened with a 25-22 set win, then China won by the same score to square the match. But Turkey took over and completed the job with 25-19 and 25-16 set wins to take the championship.
Turkey was the runner-up to the U.S. in the inaugural women’s Nations League in 2018 and was third in 2021. Now it joins the U.S. (3 times) and Italy as champions. China moves up to silver after winning bronzes in 2018 and 2019.
In the third-place match, Poland edged the U.S. in a marathon, 25-15, 16-25, 25-19, 18-25 and 17-15.
Team prize money for places 1-8 is $1 million-500,000-300,000-180,000-130,000-85,000-65,000-40,000.
At the FIVB men’s U-21 World Championship in Manama (BRN), Iran defeated defending champion Italy to win its second title, by 25-20, 23-25, 23-25, 25-16, 15-9. Bulgaria was third, sweeping Argentina in the bronze-medal match, 25-22, 28-26, 25-19.
The U.S. was 0-3 in its group and finished 13th overall.
● Wrestling ● At the United World Wrestling Ranking Series event – the Polyak Imre & Varga Janos Memorial in Budapest (HUN) – the U.S. collected 14 total medals, including six wins.
In men’s freestyle, Americans won eight total medals and three golds, with Zahid Valencia at 92 kg, three-time World Champion Kyle Snyder at 97 kg and Mason Parris at 125. Nick Lee (65 kg) and Joey McKenna (70 kg) were finalists and Zane Richards (57 kg), Vitali Arujau (61 kg) and Chance Marsteller (79 kg) earned bronze medals. The U.S. won the team title with 120 points, to 70 for Kazakhstan.
In women’s freestyle, Sarah Hildebrandt (50 kg), Jaccara Winchester (55 kg) and Jennifer Page (59 kg) won their classes, with bronze medals won by Forrest Molinari (68 kg) and Yelena Makoyed (76 kg). The American women finished with 115 points, second in the team standings behind China (135).
In Greco-Roman, Azerbaijan was the team winner with 140 points; the only U.S. medal winner was Kamal Bey at 77 kg, taking silver against Sunan Suleymanov (AZE) with a 4-1 loss in the final.
This was the fourth and final ranking-series event of 2023; the series is used for seeding at the World Championships and provides an international competition opportunity outside of the championship-level events.
For our updated, 787-event International Sports Calendar (no. 3) for 2023 and beyond, by date and by sport, click here!