TSX REPORT: Toyota’s end to its IOC sponsorship could impact LA28; Richardson among the Pre Classic stars; historic Giro win for Pogacar

Britain's Josh Kerr wins the Bowerman Mile showdown with Norway's Jakob Ingebrigtsen at the Pre Classic (Photo by Matthew Quine for Diamond League AG)

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1. Kyodo: Toyota will end IOC sponsorship post-Paris
2. U.S. Senators demand WADA answers on China swim incident
3. Chebet gets WR, Hodgkinson, Kerr, Richardson star at Pre
4. Pogacar finishes biggest Giro d’Italia win in 59 years!
5. New Teahupo’o tower in use for WSL Tahiti Pro tournament

● Kyodo News reported that Toyota will not renew its TOP sponsorship with the International Olympic Committee, ending a project begun in 2015. Toyota’s exit had been expected, but opens important sponsorship and budgeting questions for upcoming Olympic Games in Milan Cortina in 2026 and Los Angeles in 2028.

● Three U.S. Senators wrote to the World Anti-Doping Agency, accusing it of “selling access” to a Chinese firm that is supplying it with apparel at its events. The letter asks questions about WADA’s commercial partnerships, the anti-doping rules and asks for an independent audit of the Chinese swimming incident.

● Terrific action at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, with eight world-leading marks and a world women’s 10,000 m record from Kenyan Beatrice Chebet, breaking the 29:00 barrier. Later came impressive wins from American Sha’Carri Richardson in the women’s 100 m, and British stars Keely Hodgkinson (women’s 800 m) and Josh Kerr in the Bowerman Mile.

● Slovenia’s Tadej Pogacar finished a brilliant win in the 107th Giro d’Italia with a margin of almost 10 minutes, the most since 1965! Next up, he’ll try for a third Tour de France title.

● The replacement judging tower that was the subject of so much controversy in Tahiti for the Olympic surfing competition is working well for the World Surf League competition underway there.

World Championships: Ice Hockey (miracle home title for Czechs in men’s Worlds!) = Judo (Japan wins Mixed Team final, as always ) ●

Panorama: Switzerland 2038 (Swiss formally accept “privileged dialogue” with IOC) = Archery (Korea dominated in Yecheon World Cup) = Athletics (hot sprinting at NCAA regionals) = Badminton (Denmark wins two at Malaysia Masters) = Beach Volleyball (Nuss and Kloth win Beach Pro Tour Elite 16 in Portugal) = Cycling (2: Wiebes sweeps RideLondon Classique; Pidcock and Ferrand-Prevot take Mountain Bike World Cups) = Gymnastics (France, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria win two at World Challenge Cup) = Modern Pentathlon (Bohm and Venckauskaite take World Cup Final) = Rowing (five wins for Dutch and British at World Cup II) = Swimming (2: another American Record for Regan Smith; Olivier and Cunha take Open Water World Cup) = Triathlon (Yee and Beaugrand win important WTCS in Cagliari) ●

Kyodo: Toyota will end IOC sponsorship post-Paris

According to Japan’s Kyodo News Service, Toyota Motor Corporation will end its agreement with the International Olympic Committee as a “TOP” sponsor after the 2024 Olympic Games:

“The world’s biggest automaker will not extend the contract it signed in 2015 but does plan to continue supporting athletes and promoting sports in its own way, the sources said.”

The Kyodo story noted that sources had said that the company’s total spending on Olympic-related programming had likely exceeded ¥100 million (about $636.7 million U.S.) across 10 years. Further:

“Some people at Toyota have been dissatisfied with how sponsorship money is handled as they believe it is not used effectively to support athletes and promote sports, according to sources close to their thinking.”

Toyota became the first automobile manufacturer to become a TOP sponsor when it joined up, and received what appeared to be a windfall when Tokyo was later awarded the 2020 Olympic Games. But with the pandemic and the move of the Games to 2021, Toyota essentially collapsed its Olympic promotional projects and was mostly silent during the Games.

Kyodo reported that Toyota would like to continue as a sponsor of the International Paralympic Committee, but may be prohibited from doing so by the IOC-IPC support agreement.

Toyota will support the Paris 2024 Games with more than 3,000 vehicles in a demonstration of its technology innovations and sustainable approach to the future.

Observed: This is not a surprise, as Toyota’s unhappiness with its return-on-investment on its IOC sponsorship has been whispered for more than a year. Since its Olympic tie-in, the company has invested widely in various sports programs with Olympic federations in multiple countries, and is a sponsor of both USA Swimming and USA Track & Field. Those programs could continue, with the question now being asked: since its IOC sponsorship failed, what can (or should) it get out of these lower-level tie-ins?

A decision by Toyota not to renew their IOC sponsorship will have multiple additional ripple effects that will require quick answers:

● Will the IOC try to replace it at the TOP (worldwide) level?

● If so, how long will it bar National Olympic Committees – like the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee – from signing their own potentially lucrative auto (or “mobility”) sponsor or sponsors, so that it can sign another auto maker?

● If the IOC is not successful in getting a replacement sponsor, when will it release the category, and will there be enough time for sales efforts by the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Properties unit prior to 2028?

Moreover, Toyota’s decision not to re-new could have an impact on the revenue expected by the LA28 organizing committee. The Host City Contract for 2028 states:

“for indicative purposes only, based on the experience of the IOC from previous editions of the Games of the Olympiad and without taking into account potential evolutions in the International Programme that may occur after the execution of the HCC (including, without limitation, potential renegotiations or renewals of current agreements covering key product categories which are forecasted to generate an estimated increase of USD 200.000.000 (two hundred million United States dollars) in the amount indicated below), the amount of the OCOG’s share of the net revenues (including cash and value-in-kind) from the International Programme foreseen under §8.1(e), is currently estimated at USD 437.000.000 (four hundred thirty seven million United States dollars).” (Emphasis added)

The LA28 revenue projection of $6.88 billion includes both the $437 million estimated in the Host City agreement and the expected additional $200 million from increased renewals. Toyota will not be contributing to that added $200 million on the revenue side as a continuing IOC sponsor.

In addition, without Toyota as a worldwide sponsor, future organizers for Milan Cortina 2026, LA28, Brisbane 2032 and the expected hosts for the 2030 Winter Games (French Alps) and 2034 Winter Games (Salt Lake City) will now have to find vehicles to replace those donated by Toyota, potentially another significant hit the expense side of their budgets.

There will be significant pressure on the IOC to make a decision on this category quickly, but that may not be in line with its longer-range thinking.

U.S. Senators demand WADA answers on China swim incident

Three U.S. Senators sent a three-page letter on Thursday to the World Anti-Doping Agency, accusing it of “selling access” to China via a sponsorship deal in 2023.

The letter was generated as a further inquiry into the continuing tumult over the clearance by the Chinese Anti-Doping Agency of 23 star Chinese swimmers of positive tests for Trimetazidine from January 2021 due to “accidental contamination” of a hotel kitchen which was preparing meals for the swimmers.

The letter went further than criticizing WADA for not filing an appeal or launching its own inquiry, but accused the agency of complicity:

“It is not just this one incident that causes concern for many athletes, anti-doping agencies, and fans across the world, but it is the fact that WADA has long shown questionable ethical behavior. For over a decade, WADA has taken commercial sponsorships from organizations with questionable ties. For example, WADA has a sponsorship deal with Chinese company ANTA Sports, which also sponsors the PRC’s national swimming team implicated in this scandal.

“This partnership amounts to WADA selling access to the regulators of the preeminent international anti-doping agency, gives the impression of impropriety and a conflict of interest, and raises questions about WADA’s relationship with other state sponsors of doping.”

ANTA Sports was reported to enter a three-year agreement in 2023 to provide WADA with WADA-branded apparel for use for its staff at events.

The letter asks for an independent auditor and for answers to five questions about anti-doping rules and three about sponsorships. The questions about doping included asking why an appeal was pursued against Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva in 2021, and

“Did the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, or the proximity of the Tokyo Olympics, play a
role in the decision to decline to follow your own rules with respect to the positive tests from 23 Chinese swimmers?”

The sponsorship questions included about WADA’s commercial partnerships, and “In your view, does accepting sponsorship from countries that you regulate create a conflict of interest or the appearance of impropriety?”

The letter was signed by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), John Hickenlooper (D-Colorado) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee); no specific reply date was included.

Observed: This was not an especially insightful letter, but is another log on the fire building under WADA for its lightweight treatment of the January 2021 Chinese doping incident.

WADA’s ability to investigate anything inside China in early 2021, with the Covid-19 pandemic still locking down parts of the country was essentially nil. Thus, it had to wait for the CHINADA report, which came months later, such that any follow-up investigation by WADA would have been worthless. Worse, the German ARD channel’s “The China Files” documentary in April, stated that the CHINADA report was developed from information collected by the Chinese Ministry of Public Security.

As WADA has stated, its ability to get anywhere with an appeal was zero, so it did not file. That was not the situation in the Valieva case, where the testing was done by a Swedish laboratory (with records available to WADA) and the Russian reinstatement of Valieva followed a defined internal appeals process within the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (with records available).

Moreover, having U.S. Senators criticizing WADA for having commercial sponsors is fairly laughable, especially accusing a Chinese company of having “access” by making WADA-branded shirts and jackets in its own factories.

The letter, however, touches on the real issue at hand, “trust and accountability” and that “When WADA loses the international community’s trust, it can no longer effectively do its job.” This pressure point will continue to be pressed by multiple sides, and needs to be addressed.

Chebet gets WR, Hodgkinson, Kerr, Richardson star at Pre

Another hot Prefontaine Classic at Hayward Field in Eugene featured a sensational final mile and the return of Sha’Carri Richardson, but the history was made before noon, while the meet as a whole produced world leads in eight events:

Men/Mile: 3:45.34, Josh Kerr (GBR)
Men/10,000 m: 26:50.81, Daniel Mateiko (KEN)
Men/110 m hurdles: 13.03, Grant Holloway (USA)
Men/Shot Put: 23.13 m (75-10 3/4), Joe Kovacs (USA)

Women/800 m: 1:55.78, Keely Hodgkinson (GBR)
Women/Steeple: 8:55.09, Peruth Chemutai (UGA)
Women/5,000 m: 14:18.76, Tsige Gebreselama (ETH)
Women/10,000 m: 28:54.14, Beatrice Chebet (KEN) ~ World Record

The women’s 10,000 was not only the Kenyan Olympic Trials, but was set up as a world-record attempt for Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay, the reigning World Champion.

And she was game, setting a hard pace, passing 5,000 m right on schedule at 14:31.08 in excellent, 55-degree (F) morning weather. She was towing the field, but not breaking them, and Chebet finally got the lead in the final three laps. Chebet, the 2023 women’s World Road Champion at 5 km, powered through the final km in 2:46.10 and broke Tsegay on the way to a 28:54.14 victory: the first woman ever to break 29 minutes! She crushed Letsenbet Gidey (ETH) and her 29:01.03 mark from 2021.

Tsegay was second in 29:05.92, the no. 3 performance ever, and Kenyans Lilian Rengeruk and Margaret Kipkemboi were 3-4 in 29:26.89 (no. 6 performance all-time) and 29:27.59 (no. 7). Spectacular!

The men’s 10,000 – also the Kenyan Olympic Trials – went off just after noon, and saw another world lead as Daniel Mateiko, a 27:03.94 man from 2021, won in a four-way, all-Kenyan sprint to the finish in 26:50.81 from Nicholas Kipkorir (26:50.94), Benard Kibet (26:51.09) and Edwin Kurgat (26:51.54). Benson Kiplangat and Kibiwott Kandie ran lifetime bests of 26:55.09 and 26:58.97 … and weren’t in it. Wow.

The distance races just kept delivering, with Ethiopians taking the top six places in the women’s 5,000 m and Tsigie Gebreselama taking the lead over Worlds 10,000 m bronze winner Ejgayehu Taye on the final straight to win, 14:18.76 to 14:18.92, with World Indoor 1,500 m champ Freweyni Hailu third (14:20.61) and the top five the fastest in the world this season. Gebreselama moved to no. 14 all-time.

Three races later, Ethiopia’s Diribe Welteji took control of the women’s 1,500 m with 600 m left and just ran away from Australia’s Jessica Hull and World Indoor 3,000 m champ Elle St. Pierre (USA), winning easily in 3:53.75, now no. 11 all-time! Hull got a lifetime best and national record of 3:55.97 in second and St. Pierre was third in 3:56.00, the second-fastest time in American history! Olympic silver winner Laura Muir (GBR) was fourth (3:56.35).

Next was the women’s Steeple and world-record holder Beatrice Chepkoech (KEN) led for most of the way, and at the bell, but her shadow, Olympic gold medalist Peruth Chemutai (UGA) made her move over the water jump to get even and then sprinted home off the final barrier to win in another world leader of 8:55.09 to 8:56.51, the nos. 9 and 15 performances ever. Faith Cherotich (KEN) was third in 9:04.45. Val Constein was the top American at 9:14.29, now no. 7 in U.S. history!

Perhaps the most impressive performance aside from Chebet was British 800 m star Keely Hodgkinson, the Olympic silver winner and twice Worlds silver medalist. She tracked down World Champion Mary Moraa (KEN) with 200 m to go and then exploded into the final straight and won a dominant victory in a world-leading 1:55.78, her third-fastest time ever. Moraa was second in 1:56.71, a seasonal best, with Britain’s Jemma Reekie third in 1:57.45, and Nia Akins of the U.S. fourth in 1:57.98.

Finally, the Bowerman Mile included a superstar line-up, but all eyes were on Olympic champ Jakob Ingebrigtsen of Norway, facing Worlds 1,500 champ Josh Kerr (GBR) and American record holder Yared Nuguse. Last year in Budapest, Kerr out-kicked Ingebrigtsen on the final straight, but on Saturday, Kerr took the lead with 600 m to go and had Ingebrigtsen right behind him at the bell, with Nuguse trailing. Kerr and Ingebrigtsen dueled into the straight, but Kerr had more in the final 50 m to win in 3:45.34, the ninth-fastest time in history and moving Kerr to no. 6 all-time. Ingebrigtsen ran 3:45.60 for second and Nuguse was third in 3:46.22, as nine men broke 3:50!

On the infield, world-record holder Ryan Crouser did not throw as expected, but two-time World Champion Joe Kovacs continued his sensational season with a brilliant 23.03 m (75-6 3/4) in round two for a world-leading mark, then extended to 23.13 m (75-10 3/4) – the no. 9 throw of all-time – in the final round. Fellow American Payton Otterdahl got out to 22.16 m (72-8 1/2) in the fourth round for a clear second.

The sprints were also a story, starting with the men’s 110 m hurdles. Three-time World Champion Grant Holloway got out fast and dominated his race, with a world-leading 13.03 (wind: -0.1 m/s). Worlds bronze winner Daniel Roberts made up some ground on the run-in, but was second in 13.13, with Freddie Crittenden of the U.S. third (13.16) and Olympic champ Hansle Parchment (JAM: 13.28) fourth.

The women’s 100 m hurdles saw world no. 2 Tonea Marshall of the U.S. out early, but France’s improving Cyrena Samba-Mayela came on in lane seven and had the lead by mid-way and leaned hard to win in 12.52 (-0.9), equaling her national record. Olympic champ Jasmine Camacho-Quinn (PUR) closed for second on the run-in (12.54), with Marshall third in 12.55.

The men’s 100 m was a start-to-finish win for 2019 World Champion Christian Coleman, winning in 9.95 (+1.2), with barely ahead of a fast-closing Ferdinand Omanyala (KEN: 9.98), with Brandon Hicklin (USA: 10.08) in third.

The much-anticipated women’s 100 m had the crowd in a frenzy and World Champion Sha’Carri Richardson delivered. She got a quality start and overtook World 60 m champ Julien Alfred (LCA) by 40 m and kept building her lead to the tape in 10.83 (+1.5), no. 2 in the world in 2024 to the injured Jacious Sears (USA). Alfred ran a season’s best of 10.93 in second, with Dina Asher-Smith (GBR: 10.98) third. Ninth was two-time Olympic champ Elaine Thompson-Herah (JAM: 11.30), who was making her seasonal debut.

Olympic silver winner “Kung Fu Kenny” Bednarek continued winning 200 m races against excellent fields, defeating training partner Courtney Lindsey, 19.89 to 20.09 (+1.8), with Kyree King of the U.S. third (20.15). The men’s 400 m hurdles went to Costa Rica’s Gerald Drummond in 48.56; world leader Rai Benjamin had been entered, but did not race.

American Emily Grove got a seasonal best of 4.63 m (15-2 1/4) on her third try to win over Olympic champ Katie Moon (USA: 4.53 m/14-10 1/4) in the women’s vault, and Cuban Leyanis Perez won the women’s triple jump over World Indoor winner Thea LaFond (DMA), 14.73 m (48-4) to 14.62 m (47-11 3/4).

Olympic champ Valarie Allman of the U.S. won her sixth meet without a loss in 2024 in the women’s discus, leading into the final round and then extending to 67.36 m (221-0), just enough to hold off Cuba’s world leader Yaime Perez’s final throw of 67.25 m (220-7). World Champion Cam Rogers (CAN) got a season’s best in the women’s hammer at 77.76 m (255-1), enough to hold off American Worlds winners DeAnna Price (76.74 m/251-9) and Brooke Andersen (76.34 m/250-5).

Pogacar finishes biggest Giro d’Italia win in 59 years!

Slovenian star Tadej Pogacar didn’t just win the 107th Giro d’Italia, he mauled a good field and won by the biggest margin since 1965 and the fourth-biggest since World War II!

The two-time Tour de France winner was the big favorite coming in, and had a 7:42 lead on Colombia’s Daniel Martinez going into Friday’s 19th stage. This was a nasty, 157 km route to Sappada, with three big climbs in the last half of the race. Italian Andrea Vendrame, 29, who had won a Giro stage back in 2021, attacked with 28 km to go and raced away to the win in 3:51:05, with Spain’s Pelayo Sanchez way back in second (+0:54); Pogacar was 21st (+15:56) and Martinez 23rd.

Saturday’s stage included two misery-inducing climbs to the 1,671 m Monte Grappa in the final half of the 184 km route to Bassano del Grappa, finishing on a giant descent. Pogacar took off near the crest – on the second run – and raced away over the final 34 km to record his sixth win in the race in 4:58:23, a sensational 2:07 up on seven chasers, led by Valentin Paret-Peintre and Martinez.

Pogacar’s lead was increased to a staggering 9:56 over Martinez and 10:24 over 2018 Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas (GBR). His six stage wins equal the most in the post-World War II era, by the legendary Eddy Merckx (BEL) in 1973.

On Sunday, the flat, 125 km ride into Rome finished with the expected mass sprint and Belgium’s Tim Merlier getting his third stage win of this year’s Giro over Italian Jonathan Milan, who won three stages, was second four times and took the Points title. Pogacar was 74th and the first 101 riders received the same time.

Pogacar’s winning margin ranked as the best since 1965 – 59 years ago – and the fourth-best since World War II:

● 1. 24:16 for Carlo Clerici (SUI) in 1954
● 2. 23:47 for Fausto Coppi (ITA) in 1949
● 3. 11:26 for Vittorio Adorni (ITA) in 1965
● 4. 9:56 for Tadej Pogacar (SLO) in 2024
● 5. 9:18 for Fausto Coppi (ITA) in 1952
● 5. 9:18 for Ivan Basso (ITA) in 2006

Pogacar will contest the Tour de France, trying for a third title (also in 2020 and 2021), after finishing second to Jonas Vingegaard (DEN) the past two years. No one has ever won all three Grand Tours in a single year – ever – and Pogacar says he won’t try, looking to the World Road Championships in Zurich (SUI). But if he wins the Tour?

New Teahupo’o tower in use for WSL Tahiti Pro tournament

“We did things well: the tower was baptised in the traditional way, in the presence of a Tahitian sage and a priest. The situation here has calmed down now.”

That’s Max Wasna, the president of the Tahitian surfing federation and a native of Teahupo’o in Tahiti, speaking ahead of last week’s opening of the World Surf League’s Shiseido Tahiti Pro tournament that will continue through the 31st.

The event is using the new, aluminum replacement tower that was installed to replace the old wooden judging platform that was considered unsafe. After a huge controversy about the size and complexity of the facility – originally much larger – the construction of what was essentially an aluminum replacement was approved, constructed and installed.

The tournament is also functioning as essentially a rehearsal for the Paris 2024 Olympic competition and Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet was on hand to see the event and the tower. He told Agence France Presse:

“Eveything is progressing well. Teahupo’o is a small corner of paradise, we are delighted to do it honour.

“We listened to the concerns expressed and we modified the tower a little so that it could integrate into this exceptional environment and respect this magical place.”

Annick Paofai, president of the Defence of Fenua ‘aihere group, which had been among the skeptics about the tower, even in its reduced format, and damage to the coral, was enthusiastic:

“We are happy, the tower is beautiful, I even have the impression that it weds itself to nature.

“It is excellent the associations protested because otherwise they (the construction workers) would have done just anything. One has to be honest and say there was not much damage.”


● Ice Hockey ● The IIHF men’s World Championship in Prague (CZE) had a surprise ending as the big favorites – undefeated group winners Canada and Sweden – both going down in the semifinals!

Instead, it was the home Czech Republic facing Switzerland in the final, with the Swiss returning for the first time since 2018 and the Czechs for the first time since 2010, and the Czechs hoisting the trophy for the first time in 14 years in front of a delirious crowd of 17,413 at the O2 Arena in Prague.

The final was tightly played through two periods with no score, only four total penalties and the Czechs having an edge on shots by 23-17. But at 9:13 of the third, David Pastrnak took a pass off of a Czech face-off win and smashed a one-timer from the left side for the first goal of the game, and keeper Lukas Dostal made it stand up.

The Swiss pounded the Czech zone and had 14 shots in the third to nine for the hosts, but ended up losing by 2-0 after an empty-net goal with 19 seconds left in the game from David Kampf.

The Czechs had won a bronze in 2022, but won for the seventh time in this tournament, previously in 1996-99-2000-01-05-10; Czechoslovakia won six times between 1947 and 1985.

In the semis, the Czechs smashed Sweden by 7-3, breaking open a 2-2 game with three goals in the second for a 5-3 lead and adding two more in the third. A blitz of three goals in 2:58 of the second – between 6:05 and 9:03 – changed the game, with Ondrej Kase, Martin Necas and Dominik Kubalik (his second) scoring. Two more came from Lukas Sedlak in the third, despite Sweden having a 40-23 edge on shots!

Then it was Canada’s turn to go down, despite coming back from two Swiss power-play goals in the first period, with single tallies in the second and third. The Canadians finally got even at 17:53 of the third on their own power-play with a John Tavares goal. But neither side could score in the period, or in overtime, so on to the penalty shoot-out, also tied, 1-1, after three rounds. But defender Owen Power missed to the right for Canada and Swiss forward Sven Andrighetto scored and the Swiss had a 2-1 victory!

In the third-place game, Sweden came back from 2-1 down in the third to score three times and win, 4-2. Defender Erik Karlsson evened the game at 9:35, then Carl Grundstrom got his second goal of the game for a 3-2 lead at 13:42 and the Swedes held on, getting an empty-netter from Marcus Johansson with five seconds to play for the 4-2 final. It’s Sweden’s first medal in this tournament since 2018!

The tournament was a big success with fans as well, with record attendance for the IIHF men’s Worlds of 797,727 or 12,464 across the 64 matches played from 10-26 May.

Looking to the future. IIHF President Luc Tardif (FRA) is looking to expand the quality of its tournaments:

“We have reached an agreement to bring NHL players for not just one but the next two Olympic Games [in 2026 and 2030].

“We’re going to sit down with the NHL to see if it’s possible to organize a World Cup on the level they’re doing in football.”

● Judo ● The IJF World Championships concluded in Abu Dhabi (UAE), with Japan winning the Mixed Team title over France, 4-1, to finish atop the medal table as usual.

This was the seventh time that the Mixed Team event has been held and Japan has won all seven. Moreover, France has won the silver in six straight Worlds! Georgia and Italy won the bronze medals, the second time in a row for the Georgians.

As for the final medal standings, Japan collected 10 total medals (4-2-4) to six for France (1-2-3), despite many of the sport’s top stars staying home to prepare for the Paris Olympic Games. Georgia (2-1-2) and South Korea (2-0-3) each won five medals.

Japan’s four golds were double the total for Georgia, South Korea and Azerbaijan, which won two each.


● Olympic Winter Games 2038: Switzerland ● Although considered a formality, the Swiss agreed last week to continue seeking the 2038 Olympic Winter Games:

“At an extraordinary meeting of the Sports Parliament, the Olympic member associations of Swiss Olympic unanimously gave the green light to enter into the so-called privileged dialogue with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and reaffirmed their full support. During this dialogue phase, Switzerland will have exclusive time until the end of 2027 to deepen its candidacy dossier for the 2038 Winter Games.”

The Swiss Olympic Committee will contribute €6.7 million (about $7.3 million U.S.) and the federations about €200,000 for a total of €6.9 million in funding to support the bid effort.

● Archery ● The second World Archery World Cup was in Yecheon (KOR), with all-Korean finals in both the men’s and women’s Recurve gold-medal matches.

The men’s final went to 2023 World Team gold medalist Woo-seok Lee, who overcame three-time World Champion Woo-jin Kim in the final, 6-5, after a 10-9 shoot-off win. Abdullah Yildirmis (TUR) won the bronze.

The Korean men – Lee, Kim and Je-deok Kim – took the team title with a 5-1 win over Germany, with Canada third.

Si-hyeon Lim, who won the 2023 Worlds Mixed Team gold with Kim, took the women’s Recurve title, also by 6-5 on a 10-9 shoot-off with Hun-young Jeon. Mexico’s Alejandra Valencia, the 2023 Worlds silver medalist, won the bronze.

China’s Jiaman Li, Zhiyun Xu and Qixuan An upset the Korean women in the Recurve Team final by 5-4, while Germany won the bronze.

Mexico’s Valencia teamed with Matias Grande to take the Mixed Team gold over Ruka Uehara and Junya Nakanishi of Japan, 6-2

● Athletics ● While the Pre meet had much of the track & field world’s attention, the NCAA T&F Regionals in Fayetteville (West) and Lexington (East) had plenty of quality marks, especially in the sprints and hurdles (athletes are from the U.S. unless noted):

Men/100 m: Louie Hincliffe (GBR-Houston) topped the Fayetteville quarterfinals in a swift, but windy 9.84 (+2.5), with Shaun Maswanganyi (RSA-Houston) second in 9.89, and California’s David Foster third in 9.91. In Lexington, Auburn’s Favour Ashe (NGR) was the fastest at 9.94 in quarterfinal two.

Men/200 m: Lance Lang from Arkansas had the fastest mark in Fayetteville at 19.99w (+2.1) in quarterfinal one, but Maswanganyi scored a legal 20.08 (+0.4) to win quarterfinal three. Two fast quarterfinals in the East, with Penn State’s Cheickna Traore (CIV) winning quarter one in 19.93 (-0.1), ahead of Makanakaishe Charamba (ZUM-Auburn: 19.95). Jamarion Stubbs (Alabama State) followed with a win in 19.95 (+1.4) in quarter two and Wanya McCoy (BAH-Florida) chimed in to win quarter three in 19.95 (+0.5).

Men/400 m: The action was in the East, with Alabama frosh Samuel Ogazi (NGR) winning quarter three in 44.53, no. 13 in 2024, over teammate Khaleb McRae (44.78). Just before, Virginia Tech’s Judson Lincoln took quarter two at 44.55.

Men/110 m hurdles: In Lexington, Auburn freshman JaKobe Tharp won his quarterfinal in 13.24 (0.0) and in Fayetteville, Houston’s De’Vion Wilson won quarterfinal one, also in 13.24 (+1.8). Darius Luff of Nebraska won West quarter two in 13.27w (+2.4) and Ja’Qualon Scott (Texas A&M) won quarter three in 13.25w (+2.7).

Men/400 m hurdles: Texas Tech junior Caleb Dean moved to no. 5 in the world by winning West quarter three in 48.05, with Oskar Edlund (SWE-Texas Tech) second in 48.70. The fastest East mark was Alabama’s Chris Robinson, winning quarter one in 48.77.

Men/Long Jump: USC’s Johnnie Brackins moved to no. 12 on the world list with his West win at 8.15 m (26-9).

Women/100 m: At the West Regional, Rosemary Chukwuma (NGR-Texas Tech) got things started with a 10.86w (+3.1) win in the first round, followed by a 10.87 win in the next race by Oregon’s Jadyn Mays in 10.87w (+4.7). In the quarters, Mays won the first race in 10.83w (+2.3), but Chukwuma got a legal wind and moved to no. 3 in the world at 10.88 (+1.2).

In the East, the wind cooperated and Georgia’s Kaila Jackson sped to 10.95 (+0.8) in the first round, then Brianna Lyston (JAM-LSU) opened the quarters at 10.99 (+0.8), followed by Dajaz Defrand of Florida State at 10.94 (+0.1) in the second race and McKenzie Long of Mississippi in quarter three at 10.92 (+0.5), no. 7 on the year list. Jackson ran 11.03 for second behind Defrand.

Women/200 m: More of the same, with Mays running 22.13w in Fayetteville (+2.7), but legal winds in Lexington. Jackson had the fastest first-round some at 22.28 (+0.1), but Long – already the world leader at 22.03 – won the second quarterfinal at 22.10 (+0.5), with DeFrand at 22.34. JaMeesia Ford (South Carolina) won the first quarter at 22.28 (-0.1) and Jackson took the third at 22.43 (-0.1).

Women/400 m: World leader Nickisha Price (JAM-Arkansas) had the fastest West mark at 49.93, followed by teammate Kaylyn Brown (49.98).

Women/100 m hurdles: Washington State’s Maribel Caicedo (ECU) flew to a 12.49 (+1.3) win in heat five in the West and then a windy 12.38 (+3.1) in her quarterfinal! USC’s Jasmine Jones won quarter three in a windy 12.58 (+3.1). In Lexington, Florida’s Grace Stark had the best mark at 12.55 (+1.4).

Women/400 m hurdles: Rachel Glenn (Arkansas) sped to no. 4 on the world list with her 53.94 win on her home track in Fayetteville; Canada’s Savannah Sutherland (Michigan) ran 54.61 in the first round to stand seventh on the year list.

Women/Jumps: Jamaica’s Ackelia Smith (Texas) won the West long jump at 6.86 mw (22-6 1/4w) and the triple jump at 14.31 mw (46-11 1/2w).

Women/Shot: A collegiate record for Oregon’s Jaida Ross, who reached 20.01 m (65-7 3/4) in Fayetteville to stand no. 3 on the 2024 world list.

The NCAA Championships in Eugene come from 5-8 June.

● Badminton ● Denmark was the big winner at the BWF World Tour Malaysia Masters in Kuala Lumpur (MAS), taking two titles, with top-seeded Viktor Axelsen (DEN) winning the men’s Singles over Zii Jia Lee (MAS), 21-6, 20-22, 21-13, and second-seeds Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen winning the men’s Doubles against Korea’s Yong Jin and Sung Seung Na, 21-18-21-14.

China’s Zhi Yi Wang, the no. 2 seed, won the women’s Singles over India’s V. Sindhu Pursarla, 16-21, 21-5, 21-16. Japan’s top-seeded Rin Iwanaga and Kie Naknaishi (JPN) got the win in women’s Doubles by 17-21, 21-19, 21-18 over Yu Lim Lee and Seung Chan Shin (KOR).

Malaysia’s Mixed Doubles team of Soon Huat Goh and Shevon Jemie Lai (MAS) defeated Rinov Rivaldy and Pitha Haningtyas Mentari (INA) in their final, 21-18, 21-19.

● Beach Volleyball ● The world’s second-ranked women’s team of Americans Kristen Nuss and Taryn Kloth scored their first win of the season in the Beach Pro Tour Elite 16 in Espinho (POR).

The Worlds bronze medalists last season, Nuss and Kloth finished second in the prior Elite 16 tournament, in Brazil, but defeated Tanja Huberli and Nina Brunner (SUI) in a difficult final, 17-21, 28-26, 15-10. They had already gotten by top-ranked Ana Patricia and Duda Lisboa (BRA) in their quarterfinal match in Espinho.

The third-place match went to Katja Stam and Raisa Schoon (NED) over Daniela Alvarez and Tania Moreno (ESP), 21-18, 21-12.

The 2023 Worlds silver medalists, David Ahman and Jonatan Hellvig (SWE), got their second tournament win of the season with a 21-16, 21-13 victory against Nils Ehlers and Clemens Wickler (GER). In four Elite 16 tournaments this season, Ahman and Hellvig have won two and finished second one.

Brazil’s George Wanderley and Andre Loyola Stein took the third-place match against Steven van de Velde and Matthew Immers (NED), 21-15, 30-28, for their third medal of the season (1-0-2).

● Cycling ● No doubt whatsoever about the winner of the UCI women’s World Tour’s RideLondon Classique, as Dutch star Lorena Wiebes won all three stages!

She took the first stage of 159.2 km in a final sprint over Letizia Paternoster (ITA) in 4:06:27, then out-sprinted countrywoman (and defending champ) Charlotte Kool for the stage 2 win over 142.6 km in 3:33:26.

Wiebes had just a 20-second lead over Belgium’s Lotte Kopecky going into Sunday’s 91.2 km in and around London, but out-dueled Kool and Kopecky to sweep the stages in 2:08:47 and finish with a 25-second win over Kool and 26 seconds over Kopecky in third and Paternoster in fourth.

It’s Wiebes’ third championship in this race, also in 2019 and 2022 … and she’s still just 25.

The third leg in the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup season was in Nove Mesto (CZE), with familiar faces in the winner’s circle.

Britain’s Tom Pidcock, the Tokyo Olympic champ and 2023 World Champion, took charge on the fourth of seven laps and stormed to a decisive win in 1:21:41, 32 seconds up on 10-time World Champion Nino Schurter (SUI: 1:22:13) and teammate Marcel Guerrini (1:22:25). It’s Pidcock’s first medal of the season.

France’s Victor Koretzky won his second straight men’s World Cup Short Track race in a blanket finish with American Chris Blevins and Thomas Litscher (SUI), all timed in 19:34.

The women’s XCO winner was French star Pauline Ferrand-Prevot, the four-time World Champion, who was even more dominating, winning by 1:02 over 2022 Worlds bronze medalist Haley Batten of the U.S., 1:24:44 to 1:25:46. Swiss Alessandra Keller was third in 1:26:15.

Keller, the 2022 Worlds Short Track silver winner, won the Short Track event by just one second – 19:06 to 19:07 – over Ferrand-Prevot and Batten.

● Gymnastics ● France, Kazakhstan and Bulgaria had multiple winners at the third FIG Apparatus World Challenge Cup in Varna (BUL), with France scoring victories on the men’s Parallel Bars with Cameron-Lie Bernard (14.333) and on the women’s Beam, as Lucie Henna won at 13.066.

Kazakhstan’s men got first-day wins on the Floor Exercise with Dmitriy Patanin scoring 14.033 to win over France’s Nicolas Diez (13.66), then Nariman Kurbanov won on Pommel Horse (15.433). Bulgaria’s Yordan Aleksandrov took the men’s Horizontal Bar title at 13.700, and 2024 European runner-up Valentina Georgieva (14.083) was the best in the women’s Vault.

The other men’s winners included Armenia’s Artur Avetisyan on Rings (14.500) and Ukraine’s 2023 Worlds bronze medalist Nazar Chepurnyi on Vault (14.383). Germany’s Elisabeth Seitz, the 2018 Worlds bronze winner on the Uneven Bars, won that event at 14.400, and Britain’s Ruby Evans took the Floor gold at 13.300.

● Modern Pentathlon ● The UIPM World Cup Final in Ankara (TUR) saw a first-time victory for Hungary’s Csaba Bohm, overcoming France’s three-time Worlds Team gold medalist Valentin Prades.

Bohm was third at the 2022 World Cup Final and took the lead in the swimming phase, taking a two-second lead into the Laser Run. And with a strong performance, second overall, he finished with 1,535 points, a new world record by a single point held by Woongtae Jun of Korea, Giorgio Malan of Italy and Emiliano Hernandez of Mexico.

Prades finished at 1,525 and Egypt’s Ahmed Elgendy was third at 1,524, after posting the fastest Laser Run in the field.

The women’s World Cup final was a runaway for Gintare Venckauskaite of Lithuania, a Worlds Team silver winner from 2023. Things looked best for France, as Marie Oteiza and Rio 2016 silver medalist Elodie Clouvel were 1-2 going into the Laser Run. But Venckauskaite, a Laser Run specialist, zoomed to the front from sixth place and 18 seconds back, with the second-fastest time in the field – while Oteiza and Clouvel were 16th and 13th – and won with ease, scoring 1,422 points.

Belarus’ Mariya Gnedtchik (a “neutral”), 20, a World Cup winner in Budapest this season, started 11th in the Laser Run but was third-fastest in the field and got second (1,405), with Turkey’s Ilke Ozyuksel coming up for third (1,400).

Hungary won the Mixed Relay with Balazs Szep and Michelle Gulyas finishing second in fencing and riding, winning the swimming and with a third in the Laser Run, scored 1,381 points to win over Egypt’s Ahmed Hamed and Salma Abdelmaksoud (1,372).

● Rowing ● As the prep for Paris is getting serious, Dutch and British crews won five golds in Olympic events at the second World Rowing World Cup in Lucerne (SUI), and the U.S. won in two events.

In the men’s Single Sculls, Worlds silver winner Simon Van Dorp (NED) turned the tables on World Champion Oliver Zeidler (GER), coming from behind to win, 6:48.29 to 6:49.33. World Double Sculls champions Melvin Twellaar and Stefan Broenink were convincing winners, 6:11.46 to 6:14.28 for Italy. And the Dutch – with their 2023 World Champions line-up – won the Quadruple Sculls by 5:44.98 to 5:46.50 for Poland.

The British won the Pairs with Worlds silver winners Oliver Wynne-Griffith and Tom George in 6:32.56, ahead of Spain (6:35.19), and the Eights – where they are World Champions – in 5:25.75, ahead of the U.S. (5:25.95) and the Dutch (5:27.88).

In the Lightweight Double Sculls, Italy’s Tokyo Olympic bronze medalists Stefano Oppo and Gabriel Soares won in 6:17.08, beating Switzerland (6:18.13).

In the women’s Single Sculls, World Champion Karolien Florijn (NED) won a high-profile race in 7:25.76, beating Worlds bronze winner Tara Rigney (AUS: 7:27.33) and New Zealand’s Olympic champ Emma Twigg (7:28.25).

Her Dutch teammates, World Champions Ymkje Clevering and Veronique Meester won the Pairs in 7:07.37, ahead of Australia (7:11.10), with Azja Czajkowski and Jessica Thoennes (USA) in sixth in 7:21.22.

World Champions Britain won the women’s Quadruple Sculls, and also took the Fours title (over the Dutch and the U.S.), as well as the Lightweight Double Sculls with World Champions Emily Craig and Imogen Grant (6:54.83), ahead of New Zealand (6:57.68) and the U.S. in third with Michelle Sechser and Molly Reckford (7:01.37).

The U.S. duo of Worlds bronze medalists Sophia Vitas and Kristina Wagner took the Double Sculls in 6:53.15, beating Amanda Bateman and Harriet Hudson (7:21.22). Canada won the eights in 6:04.47, with Britain second (6:05.57) and the U.S. third (6:08.77).

The final World Cup is from 16-18 June at Poznan (POL).

● Swimming ● An American Record for 2022 World Champion Regan Smith in the 100 m Backstroke, winning in 57.51 at the Nova Speedo Grand Challenge in Irvine, California on Sunday.

She broke her own mark of 57.57 – at the time a world record – from the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, Korea. She remains the no. 2 performer in history, now with the no. 4 performance ever, and no. 7. The rest of the top 10 remains with Olympic champ Kaylee McKeown (AUS).

Smith was on fire in Irvine, also getting lifetime bests in the 100 m Fly (56.26, no. 4 in 2024) and the 200 m Freestyle (1:57.23).

French star Leon Marchand won the men’s 200 m Medley in 1:55.74, moving to no. 2 in the world in the event this season.

Great news for France at the second World Aquatics 10 km Open Water World Cup in Golfo Aranci (ITA), as Rio 2016 bronze medalist and 2023 Worlds runner-up Marc-Antoine Olivier and Logan Fontaine went 1-2 in the men’s race as four men raced to the touch.

Late in the race, it looked like Hungary’s World 10 km Champion Kristof Rasovszky and teammate David Betlehem might be on the way to a gold-silver finish, but Olivier took charge with 300 m left and touched first in 1:50:03.0 to 1:50:04.4 for Fontaine. Rasovszky had to settle for third in 1:50:04.5 and Betlehem was fourth (1:50:04.8). Fontaine and Olivier went 1-2 in the World 5 km Championships in Doha in February, but the result was reversed here.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic women’s 10 km gold medalist, Brazil’s Ana Marcela Cunha, showed that she is back from shoulder surgery at the end of 2022, winning the women’s race with a charge in the final 700 m to go 1-2 with teammate Viviane Jungblut, 2:02:00.7 and 2:02:02.0. Germany’s Leonie Beck, the 2023 World Champion, got third (2:02:02.2), out-touching lap 6 leader and 2016 Olympic champ and two-time World Champion Sharon van Rouwendaal (NED).

Italy won the 4×1,500 m relay by a second over Germany, 1:06:58.8 to 1:06:59.8, thanks to a strong anchor from 2022 World 10 km gold medalist Gregorio Paltrinieri. Hungary was third in 1:07:00.1.

● Triathlon ● Tokyo Olympic silver winner Alex Yee got a statement win at the World Triathlon Championships Series in Cagliari (ITA) on Saturday, our-running Hayden Wilde (NZL) to the finish by two seconds for his third straight win in this race.

The two were locked in against each other by the end of the bike phase and distanced themselves from the pack on the run, with Yee sprinting best to the finish to win, 1:39:44 to 1:39:46. It’s Yee’s sixth career World Championship Triathlon Series win. Wilde, the 2023 World Sprint Champion, finished second at Cagliari for the second straight year.

A mass of 24 women came out of the second transition and began the run together, but it was France’s Cassandre Beaugrand got her fifth career World Triathlon Championships Series win. She used the second-fastest 10 km run in the field, beating Lisa Tertsch (GER: fastest in the field by a second), 1:47:25 to 1:47:28, with 2023 World Champion Beth Potter (GBR: 1:47:31) edging Emma Lombardi (FRA: 1:47:32) for third.

The U.S. women’s Olympic selections will be heavily influence by this race and Taylor Knibb (already selected) finished 11th in 1:48:26, followed closely by 2019 World Champion Katie Zaferes (12th: 1:48:33). Taylor Spivey was 15th in 1:48:44.

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