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≡ THE 5-RING CIRCUS ≡
1. Troubled Spain wins Women’s World Cup, edging England, 1-0
2. Infantino: Women’s World Cup generated $570 million U.S.
3. Victoria pays A$380 million to get out of Commonwealth Games
4. Russian Olympic Committee Pozdnyakov head rips IOC again
5. IWF gender policy creates “Open Gender” category as of 1 August
● Eleven months ago, Spain’s women’s football program was in turmoil, with 15 players asking not to be called up to the national team. On Sunday, Spain won the FIFA Women’s World Cup with a 1-0 victory over England in Sydney. Impossible, but it happened.
● FIFA President – and relentless promoter – Gianni Infantino said Friday that the Women’s World Cup had broken even, with $570 million in revenue, and said that full gender equality had been reached in terms of the support services offered to men and women at their respective World Cup tournaments.
● Victoria reached an agreement with the Commonwealth Games Federation, Commonwealth Games Federation Partnerships and Commonwealth Games Australia on a payment of A$380 million (about $242.33 million U.S.) for withdrawing as host of the 2026 Commonwealth Games.
● The head of the Russian Olympic Committee continues to insult the International Olympic Committee, saying its “anti-Russia policies” are destroying the integrity of the Olympic Movement. Interesting way to try and get your team into the 2024 Olympic Games.
● The International Weightlifting Federation adopted new gender-identity rules, banning males from the women’s division after puberty and introducing an “Open Gender” category that will allow male-to-female transgenders to compete, along with those with differences in sex development (DSD). This follows the lead of World Aquatics and others.
● World Championships: Sailing (two wins for the Netherlands, but five medals for Britain at The Hague) = Shooting (U.S. scores three Skeet wins as ISSF Worlds continue) ●
● Panorama: Archery (U.S.’s Kaufhold takes Paris World Cup gold) = Basketball (U.S. men defeat Greece, Germany in exhibitions) = Beach Volleyball (third win for Ana Patricia and Duda Lisboa, in Hamburg Elite 16) = Boxing (IBA instructs IOC on how to follow the Olympic Charter!) = Cycling (Pedersen gets to the line first in Hamburg Cyclassics) = Football (Markgraf resigns from USSF) = Judo (Brazil wins three at Zagreb Grand Prix) = Triathlon (Yee wins Paris test event, as water quality removes weekend swims) = Volleyball (Canada takes first Pan Am Cup title) ●
Troubled Spain wins Women’s World Cup, edging England, 1-0
It has been a memorable FIFA Women’s World Cup, especially for Spain, a team now on top of the world, but which appeared to be falling apart about a year ago.
The Spanish federation was rocked in September 2022 by a coordinated request from 15 players not to be part of the national team, citing inadequate facilities, support and approach. Eventually, things got better and eight of the 15 were willing to play in the Women’s World Cup, and three were selected.
Now, in their third Women’s World Cup appearance, they are champions.
● Championship: Spain 1, England 0 ● The game was expected to be tight, with Spain controlling possession and England looking for opportunities. They got one in the 16th minute, as midfielder Rachel Daly set up striker Lauren Hemp for a left-footed shot that banged off the goal post and was cleared.
Just seconds later, Spain almost scored on a pass inside the box from striker Salma Paralluelo to forward Alba Redondo, but English keeper Mary Earps knocked it away.
In the 29th, Spanish forward Mariona Caldentey – one of the 15 who last year didn’t want to play for Spain – came down the left side, passed ahead to left back Olga Carmona, who had space and ripped a shot that flew diagonally past Earps and into the far right side of the goal for a 1-0 lead.
They almost got another at 45+2 when Paralluelo hit the right post trying to tuck her shot into the far side of goal.
In the second half, Spain continued to control the ball and frustrate England, and had a chance to seal it when English midfielder Keira Walsh was called for a hand-ball off a Caldentey pass in the box in the 67th. But midfielder Jenni Hermoso failed to score as her shot was smothered by Earps, keeping the English hopes alive.
But there was no late miracle, no brilliant finish and England had to settle for second. Spain had 57% of possession and a 13-8 edge on shots. Earps kept the English in it, but in their third straight medal match in the World’s World Cup have now finished third in 2015, fourth in 2019 and second in 2023.
For the Spanish, they made their first Women’s World Cup appearance in 2015, leaving after the group stage, then got to the round-of-16 in 2019, and are champions in 2023, after being the no. 3 choice going in.
● Third place: Sweden 2, Australia 0 ● Co-hosts Australia reached the semifinals for the first time ever and enchanted an already sports-man nation, which filled Lang Park in Brisbane on Saturday with 49,461 fans to cheer them on one more time.
But Sweden was on offense from the start, with striker Stina Blackstenius getting a crisp shot at goal in the first minute that had to be knocked away by Aussie keeper Mackenzie Arnold.
Blackstenius was causing more trouble in the 26th, racing to control a ball at the right of goal when she was tripped from behind by defender Clare Hunt, who was called for a penalty. Midfielder Fridolina Rolfo took the penalty and although Arnold guessed correctly, the shot flew past her to the right side of the goal in the 30th for 1-0 lead.
Sweden almost got another in stoppage time, as Filippa Angeldal’s chip had to be knocked away by a diving Arnold at 45+2. But the half ended at 1-0.
The Swedes were at it again in the second half, with midfielder Kosovare Asilani leading a 3-on-3 break, passing to Blackstenius on the left side, who stopped in the box, passed back to Asilani at the top of the box, whose right-footed rocket whistled into the right side of the net and past the diving Arnold for a 2-0 edge in the 62nd.
The Aussies almost got back in it in the 70th, but defender Clare Polkinghorne’s shot from point-blank range off a Hunt header from the right side was saved by Swedish keeper Zecira Musovic. The Swedes ended with 54% of possession, but shots were even at 11.
This was Sweden’s third bronze medal in the last four Women’s World Cup, their fourth in nine tournaments and fifth medal all-time. Only the U.S., with eight, has more.
Infantino: Women’s World Cup generated $570 million U.S.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino (SUI) took a victory lap a couple of days before the Women’s World Cup final, telling the second FIFA’s Women’s Football Convention in Sydney that the tournament has been an unprecedented success. Highlights:
● “This FIFA Women’s World Cup has been truly transformational, not only in Australia and New Zealand but all over the world.
“In the host countries, we had almost two million spectators in the stadiums – full houses everywhere – and two billion watching all over the world, and not just watching their own country but watching the World Cup, because it’s an event [where] I don’t just watch my team . It’s great sport, it’s entertaining and people love it.
“We have to thank and congratulate Australia and New Zealand because without them this would not have been as magical.”
● “By increasing the number of teams, we had eight debutants! Eight debutants! We had many countries around the world who thought suddenly that they have a chance to participate. And from the 134 countries who entered the qualification for the 2015 (FIFA) Women’s World Cup, before I became FIFA President, we have now 188 countries in the FIFA ranking. Because everyone believes now that there is a chance to shine on the global stage.”
● “We have to speak a little bit as well about the money. We have increased, of course, the contributions and prize money to USD 152 million. Also, they’re somewhere hesitating with specific recommendations for a part going to women players themselves.
“Well, this is simply ten times more, ten times more than the global prize money in 2015. So, in two editions, we multiplied by ten what we do. And when it comes to the level of service for the teams, the women’s national teams and the men’s national teams had exactly the same level of service in terms of training camps, hotels, travel. So, full equality has been reached.
● “Actually, this (FIFA Women’s) World Cup generated over USD 570 million in revenues. And so, we broke even. We didn’t lose any money, and we generated the second-highest income of any sport, of course, besides the men’s (FIFA) World Cup at global stage. More than half a billion.
“There are not many competitions, even in men’s football, that generate more than half a billion. And this shows what? This shows that our strategy probably was not too bad, that, of course, we still have to do much better, but that we are on the right path. And the lessons we learned from this World Cup are so many.”
He renewed his call for financial support for women’s football from governments, the United Nations and more support from news media, whether print or broadcast (and especially for the purchase of television rights).
FIFA announced gifts totaling A$100,000 to charity, with A$50,000 to NACSA, which works with Australian aboriginal and Torres strait Islander youth, and the same to BBM New Zealand, focused on reducing obesity Maori and Pacific Islander peoples. (AUD 1 = $0.65 U.S.)
Victoria pays A$380 million to get out of Commonwealth Games
The withdrawal of the Australian state of Victoria from its contract to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games came at a price, announced Friday as A$380 million, or about $242.33 million U.S. A joint statement included:
“The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), Commonwealth Games Federation Partnerships (CGFP), Commonwealth Games Australia (CGA) and the State of Victoria have settled all their disputes regarding the cancellation of the multi-hub regional Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games. …
“The parties subsequently agreed to refer the dispute to Mediation and appointed former New Zealand Judge, the Honourable Kit Toogood KC and the former Chief Justice of the WA Supreme Court, the Honourable Wayne Martin AC KC as joint mediators.
“All parties engaged respectfully and made appropriate concessions in order to reach an agreement.
“The State of Victoria has agreed to pay the Commonwealth Games parties (CGF CGFP and CGA) AUD $380 million.
“The parties also agreed that the multi-hub regional model was more expensive to host than the traditional models.”
Victoria Premier Ken Andrews told local media:
“The advice I have is that in terms of industry standards and the nature of contract break clauses, this is the best outcome that Victoria could get. This brings to an end this matter, there can be no further appeals, there can be no further action. And that is a good thing.”
The stunning withdrawal from hosting the event came as cost projections of A$2.6 billion were said to rise to more than A$6 billion. Inflation, supply chain issues and building costs all contributed to the government’s view that costs would be A$4.6 billion at minimum and likely much more between now and 2026.
The Commonwealth Games Federation is now trying to find a new 2026 host, with chatter about another Australian location, or perhaps London (GBR), but no firm offers as yet. The CGF is also looking for a 2030 host for the centennial Commonwealth Games, as Canadian interest from its Alberta and Ontario provinces appears to have ended.
Russian Olympic Committee head rips IOC again
Although the drumbeat has remained constant over the 18 months since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it’s worth continuing to monitor statements from its leading Olympic officials.
Russian Olympic Committee President Stanislav Pozdnyakov posted a long comment on his personal Telegram page – a major Russian-language social site – which maintained Russia’s line not only against Ukraine, but also against the International Olympic Committee:
“We have heard recently an increased number of statements on behalf of foreign sports and political figures regarding the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in international tournaments, including next year’s Olympics.
“Most of these statements, particularly voiced by Ukrainian officials, are inconsistent and sometimes resemble a delirious nonsense. They used to announce boycotts, bar their athletes from competing internationally, then would suddenly allow athletes to compete but under certain conditions, and finally come up with some kind of an anti-Russian coalition.
“Unfortunately, Lausanne [the IOC] does not react. It simply bites its tongue. They just keep swerving further away from the sports in general and the intended unifying mission [of sports], which at all times has been called upon to serve the cause of peace and mutual understanding.
“Sports should remain outside the politics in order to be developing on its own regardless of all of the voiced rhetoric and attempts to use it immediately under the political pretext. However, this is what is exactly happening within the International Olympic Committee and the organization’s movement.
“Its [IOC’s] foundations are undermined by the lack of autonomy, politicization of decisions and disregard for the principles of the Olympic Charter favoring anti-Russia’s pre-ordered policies.
“The majority of our colleagues from Lausanne assumed an open stance regarding the political conflict and resorting to their actions and rhetoric they are now destroying the integrity of the Olympic Movement.
“At the same time, true Olympic principles and values are not only still relevant, but are in demand now more than ever. First of all, it is for the benefit of athletes who ended up under the pressure of blatant discrimination, double standards, arbitrariness and lawlessness.”
In other words, do what we want and only what we want. Not very effective, but consistent with the needs of internal messaging within Russia. And, without doubt, German Thomas Bach’s IOC will wait and wait and wait until it is ready to decide what happens in Paris in 2024.
IWF gender policy creates “Open Gender” category as of 1 August
A revision of the International Weightlifting Federation’s “Gender Identity Policy,” in effect as of 1 August 2023, created three competition categories: Men, Women and Open:
“For Continental, Grand Prix, International, World competitions, IWF will adopt the following categories for competition. For the sake of clarity, this excludes university/collegiate events, which are subject to following FISU’s policy.
“● Women’s Events: Events exclusively for athletes who identify as :
“1) A cis-female athlete
“2) Those who are assigned female at birth (may include Non-Binary, DSD, Intersex)
“3) Those trans-female athletes who complete hormonal transition BEFORE Completion of puberty.
“● Men’s Events: Events exclusively for athletes who identify as:
“1) A cis-male athlete
“2) Those who are assigned male at birth (may include Non-Binary, DSD, Intersex)
“3) Those trans-male athletes who complete hormonal transition BEFORE completion of puberty
“● Open Gender Event: These events are for athletes of any non-cis gender, intersex, those identifying as a gender not congruent with their assigned birth gender, DSD athletes. Intersex and DSD athletes may require review from IWF Gender Committee prior to be allowed to compete in open category in order to make sure eligibility requirements are met. Cis-men and cis-women may not participate in Open Gender category.”
The transgender regulations require an athlete – assumed in the regulations to switch from male to female – to have:
● “Started hormonal transition before the end of puberty at Tanner stage 3, AND”
● “ Hormonal levels should be submitted one month before continental and international competition as long as they compete. If the athlete does not compete in that year, they must submit one hormonal test to IWF Gender sub-committee annually.”
A transition from male to female that begins before puberty is completed also requires the new female athlete to maintain serum testosterone levels of less than 2.5 nmol/L as long as they compete.
With this new policy, the IWF has moved in line with the federations who have followed World Aquatics (and now others) in barring post-pubescent males from moving into the women’s category.
As the IWF is asking to be added back to the Olympic program for Los Angeles 2028, no doubt that the federation has high confidence that this policy will meet with the IOC’s approval. No public protest from the IOC has been made relative to similar policies from World Aquatics and others.
≡ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS ≡
● Sailing ● The World Sailing Championships off The Hague (NED) finished on Sunday, with two wins for the home team in the Olympic events, but with Britain claiming the most medals with five (0-3-2).
In the men’s 49er class, the two-time defending World Champion Dutch duo of Bart Lambriex and Floris van de Werken were easy winners, with only 63 net points to 91.0 for Sebastian Schneiter and Arno de Planta (SUI) and 91.8 for Spain’s Diego Botin and Florian Trittel. Lambrieux and van de Werken won five races and had nine finishes in the top three. Botin and Trittel had four wins, but also finished 10th in the medal race.
The U.S. team of Andrew Mollerus and Ian Macdiarmid finished fifth (100) and Ian Barrows and Hans Henken were ninth (116).
Sweden’s Vilma Bobeck and Rebecca Netzler won the 49erFX class in a runaway, scoring just 48 points, with seven race wins, including five in a row! A tight race for second saw Odile van Aanholt and three-time World Champion Annette Duetz (NED) score 84 to 88 for Olivia Price and Evie Haseldine (NZL).
The U.S. team of Stephanie Roble and Maggie Shea, 11th in Tokyo, finished seventh (108), and Paris Henken and Anna Tobias ended up 16th (140).
The men’s IQ Foil windsurfing title went to Luuc van Opzeeland (NED), who won both the semi-final and final races. Sebastian Kordel (GER) was second in both, and the bronze went to Italy’s Nicolo Renna, third in the final. The women’s racing saw a 1-2 for Israel, with Shahar Tibi winning over Katy Spychakov, with Emma Wilson (GBR) third in the final. Wilson had been the most consistent in the nine races before the semis, but Tibi and Spychakov went 1-2 in both the semi and final.
Singapore’s 16-year-old Maximilian Maeder grabbed the men’s Kiteboard title, winning six races and then two more in the three-race final, to best Toni Vodisek (SLO) and France’s Axel Mazella. The women’s gold went to France, with Lauriane Nolot winning the final over Britain’s Eleanor Aldridge, with countrywomen Lily Young and Katie Dabson finishing 2-3-4. American Daniela Moroz, the 2018 World Champion, finished seventh.
In the ILCA7 Laser class for men, Australia’s Matt Wearn – the Tokyo Olympic champ and a four-time Worlds medalist – finally got a Worlds gold, sailing to a big lead and winning with 83 points. Michael Beckett (GBR: 96) and George Gautrey (NZL: 101) were 2-3
The women’s ILCA6 Laser Radial title came down to the medal race, and a third-place finish for Hungary’s Maria Erdi vaulted her from third to first, ending with 75 points. Swiss Maud Jayet, the leader going in, finished seventh and grabbed silver (79) while Denmark’s Tokyo Olympic winner Anne-Marie Rindom was third with 81. American Charlotte Rose was ninth in the medal race and finished fifth with 96 net points.
● Shooting ● The U.S. scored four medals in Skeet at the 2023 World Shooting Championships in Baku (AZE), led by 2017 World Champion Dania Jo Vizzi.
She took a silver in the women’s Skeet final behind Danka Bartekova (SVK), a four-time Worlds bronze medalist, but now – finally – World Champion. In the final, Bartekova and Vizzi both shot 54/60 and went to a shoot-off, won by Bartekova, 11-10. Greece’s Emmanouela Katzouraki finished third (43), with Americans Sam Simonton fourth (34) and Austin Smith fifth (26).
Naturally, Vizzi, Simonton and Smith came back to win the women’s Team title, 365-360 over Italy, with Slovakia third (359).
The men’s Skeet winner was Greek two-time Olympian Efthimios Mitas at 56, one better than Finn Eetu Kallioinen (55), followed by Azmy Mehelba (EGY: 46) and then American triple Olympic champ Vincent Hancock (37).
Hancock teamed with Christian Elliott and Dustan Taylor to take the Team gold at 369, with Greece (and Mitas) at 366 and Italy at 365. It’s Hancock’s sixth career Worlds old, but first in a team event.
Hancock also teamed with Smith to win the Mixed Team title, edging Ukraine, 43-42, in the final, with Smith hitting 23 of her 24 targets.
Sweden’s Victor Lindgren, 20, was the surprise winner of the men’s 10 m Air Rifle, in his first senior-level World Championship. He defeated China’s two-time World Champion, Haorang Yang, 251.3 to 250.6, with Czech Frantisek Smetana third (227.5). Yang and teammates Linshu Du and Hoaonan Yu won the Team title with a world-record 1893.3 to 1,883.4 for the Czech Republic, with Croatia third (1,883.5).
China went 1-2 in the women’s 10 m Air Rifle final, with Jiayu Han scoring 251.4 to 250.2 for Zhilin Wang, with India’s Mehuli Ghosh third (229.8). But Ghoush came back to take the Team gold with Tilottama Sen and Ramita Ramita, 1,895.9 to 1,893.7 for China. Germany (1,887.5) was third.
China’s Bowen Zhang and Ranxin Jiang won the men’s and women’s 10 m Air Pistol titles and both scored a second gold in the team events. Zhang led the men’s squad to a 1,749 to 1,743 win over Germany, while Jiang’s team beat Hungary in a tight women’s final, 1,728 to 1,726 with Iran at 1,724.
India took the Mixed Team final for 10 m Air Pistol, with Esha Singh and Shiva Narwal scoring a 16-10 victory over Turkey. China defeated Iran in the Mixed Team 10 m Air Rifle final, 16-2.
Rio Olympian Alexander Schmirl won the men’s 50 m Rifle/3 Positions title, 462.6 to 459.2 over two-time European Champion Petr Nymbursky, but India took the team title, 1,750 to 1,749 over Schmirl and Austria.
Germany’s Doreen Vennekamp won her first individual Worlds gold, in the 25 m Pistol final, equaling the world record of 40, with Olena Kostevych second at 31 and Agate Rasmane (LAT: 25) third. India won its fourth team gold, winning the 25 m Pistol event, 1,744 to 1,743 over Chinese Taipei.
≡ PANORAMA ≡
● Archery ● The fourth Hyundai Archery World Cup, in Paris, served as a test ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games, but also an important stepping stone for American Casey Kaufhold.
Still just 19, Kaufhold was the 2021 Worlds runner-up and scored her first individual World Cup win with a 6-4 final over France’s Lisa Barcelin. Kaufhold defeated two-time Worlds medal winner Mi-sun Choi in the semis, 6-4. Choi won the bronze, 7-3, against Ligan Hai (CHN).
The men’s Recurve final had three-time World Champion Woo-jin Kim winning over teammate Woo-seok Lee, 6-0, while Brazil’s 2021 Worlds runner-up Marcus d’Almeida won a shoot-off with Tokyo Olympic silver winner Mauro Nespoli (ITA), 10-9, for the bronze medal.
Korea won the women’s team title over Chinese Taipei, 6-2, the men also won over Chinese Taipei, 6-0, and the mixed team of Woo-seok Lee and Si-hyeon Lee won against Chinese Taipei, 5-3, for a sweep.
● Basketball ● Continuing their travels on the way to the FINA men’s World Cup in the Philippines, the U.S. national team won its fourth tune-up game in a row on Friday against Greece, in Abu Dhabi (UAE) by 108-86.
The game was a preview of the second game of group play for both teams at the World Cup, and the U.S. had excellent balance, with guard Anthony Edwards leading with 21 points, followed by center Jaren Jackson Jr. and guard Austin Reaves with 11 each, and forwards Mikel Bridges and Bobby Portis with 10.
The U.S. was up, 52-41, at the half and 86-67 at the end of the third, and shot 57% to 40% for the Greeks.
On Sunday, the U.S. played Germany in Abu Dhabi in their final exhibition, and looked like it might suffer its first loss. The no. 11 Germans – also a World Cup team – were up 54-46 at halftime thanks to some premium defensive work and stretched out to a 16-point lead in the third quarter (71-55), but the Americans went on a 16-3 run to close it down to three, and eventually trailed, 77-73 going into the fourth.
Germany went back up by 86-77, then the U.S. reeled off 18 points in a row, highlighted by three-pointers from Edwards (2), Reaves and Bridges and caught up with 5:17 to play. Four more points from Edwards helped to finish with a hard-fought 99-91 win.
Edwards had 34, Reaves had 16, as did guard Tyrese Haliburton. Franz Wagner had 17 to lead Germany. On to the World Cup in the Philippines, with the U.S. opening play vs. New Zealand in Pasay on the 26th.
● Beach Volleyball ● At the Beach Pro Tour Elite 16 tournament in Hamburg (GER), no. 2-ranked David Ahman and Jonatan Hellvig of Sweden won their second major tournament of the season, defeating Italy’s Samuele Cottafava and Paolo Nicolai in the final, 21-16, 22-24, 21-19.
The Swedes are the 2022 and 2023 European Champions and won the Elite 16 tournament in Tepic (MEX) in March, but this was their first medal since. Olympic and World champs Anders Mol and Christian Sorum (NOR) won the bronze over George Wanderley and Andre Loyola Stein (BRA), 21-19, 21-16.
The women’s final saw no. 1-ranked Ana Patricia Ramos and Duda Lisboa (BRA) make their fourth Elite 16 final this season and won their third tournament, 21-16, 21-17 over Americans Kristen Nuss and Taryn Kloth (USA), who won their fourth Beach Pro Tour medal of the season.
Svenja Mueller and Cinja Tillmann (GER) won the bronze by 21-15, 21-19 over Carol Salgado and Barbara de Freitas (BRA).
● Boxing ● New announcement from the International Boxing Association, including:
“The International Boxing Association (IBA) has secured its budget for the upcoming 4-year cycle that allows the organization to have no barriers towards implementing all ambitious projects planned. This includes IBA’s events portfolio, prize money fund, Financial Support Program (FSP) and various development initiatives.”
No word on where the money has come from, and the organization lists no sponsors on its home page. And while criticizing the new World Boxing group, it then instructs the IOC on the procedures for it to follow in recognizing a new federation:
“[T]he IOC cannot simply recognize a new federation if there is another federation governing the same sport even if it does not have Olympic status, and the IOC will wait for the bodies to agree amongst themselves and if this does not happen, it will ultimately be decided by the courts.”
Observed: This is another astonishing, alternate-reality statement from the IBA, which may not have read Rule 25 of the Olympic Charter concerning the recognition of International Federations:
“In order to develop and promote the Olympic Movement, the IOC may recognise as IFs international non-governmental organisations governing one or several sports at the world level, which extends by reference to those organisations recognised by the IFs as governing such sports at the national level.
“The statutes, practice and activities of the IFs within the Olympic Movement must be in conformity with the Olympic Charter, including the adoption and implementation of the World Anti-Doping Code as well as the Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of Manipulation of Competitions. Subject to the foregoing, each IF maintains its independence and autonomy in the governance of its sport.”
That’s it. The key going forward will be what the (1) national federations think and (2) more to the point, the instructions from their national governments – who fund them – as to which federation to belong to.
● Cycling ● Denmark’s Mads Pedersen continued a great year with a win in Sunday’s Bemer Cyclassics race in and around Hamburg (GER). The 205.6 km circuit was flat and made for sprinters, and Pedersen looked to be out of contention with 1,000 m left. But he rode back into the mix and seized an opening to get to the line first in 4:36:35, beating Danny van Poppel (NED) and three-time race winner Elia Viviani (ITA).
It’s Pedersen’s first-ever medal in this race, but his fourth UCI World Tour win of the season and 12th of his career, and he came right from winning the Tour of Denmark, with a victory on Saturday in the decisive Individual Time Trial!
● Football ● U.S. Soccer announced that Women’s National Team General Manager Kate Markgraf will conclude her service at the end of August, resigning after four years in the newly-created position. It is not known if her position will be continued.
Markgraf, 46, is a National Soccer Hall of Famer as a defender, playing 201 games for the American team between 1998-2010, and was a member of the 1999 Women’s World Cup champions and Olympic gold-medal teams in 2004 and 2008.
● Judo ● Brazil came away from the IJF Zagreb Grand Prix on top of the medal table, with three wins and five total, thanks to victories from Willian Lima in the men’s 66 kg class, Jessica Pereira in the women’s 52 kg division and Karol Gimenes in the women’s 78 kg.
Israel’s 2019 World Champion Sagi Muki won the men’s 81 kg class, two-time Worlds medalist Krisztian Toth of Hungary took the 90 kg division; 2021 Worlds runner-up Aleksandar Kukolj won the men’s 100 kg tournament and Czech star Lukas Krpalek, the two-time Olympic champ at +100 kg, won his division.
Croatia’s Lara Cvjetko, the 2022 Worlds silver medalist, thrilled the home crowd with a win at 70 kg over teammate Barbara Matic, the 2021-22 World Champion.
● Triathlon ● Britain swept the individual titles at the World Triathlon test event in Paris, as Tokyo Olympic silver medalist Alex Yee won Friday’s men’s test event by 13 seconds in 1:41:02.
He was only 18th out of the water – conditions were OK in the Seine again – and 16th after the bike phase, but zoomed to the front in the early stages of the 10 km run and had the fastest time in the field by 14 seconds (!) to win decisively over France’s 2021 European Champion Dorian Connix (1:41:15) and Portugal’s Vasco Vilaca (also 1:41:15).
The top U.S. finisher, Morgan Pearson, made the U.S. team for Paris with his fifth-place finish in 1:41:23; Matthew McElroy was next in 14th (1:42:19). It will be Pearson’s second Games, after his 42nd place finish in Tokyo.
The Seine water quality became a problem again on Saturday for the Paralympic events, so a run-bike-run format was used instead. A statement from the organizing committee and local officials included: “As a precautionary measure and to protect the health of the athletes, the decision has once again been taken to cancel all the swimming races scheduled for today.”
Sunday’s Mixed Relay again skipped the swimming and used the run-bike-run protocol. France led going into the final run section, but Thursday’s winner Beth Potter (GBR) finally took the lead on the final lap, only to be passed herself by German Laura Lindemann on the final sprint for the win in 1:12:18, with Britain one second back and Belgium coming up for third in 1:12:36. The U.S. team of Seth Rider, Taylor Spivey, Darr Smith and Taylor Knibb was ninth in 1:13:05.
● Volleyball ● Canada claimed the men’s Pan American Cup in Guadalajara with a 26-24, 20-25, 25-23, 25-22 win over Brazil on Sunday. It’s the first win for Canada in this tournament after four losses in finals in 2008, 2009 and in 2021 and 2022!
Chile won the bronze – its first medal ever in this tournament – with a 3-0 win over Mexico. The U.S. finished fifth, losing in the quarterfinals, but beating Colombia, 3-0, in the classification match.
For our updated, 787-event International Sports Calendar (no. 3) for 2023 and beyond, by date and by sport, click here!