TSX REPORT: U.S. Swim Trials gets WR, all-time attendance record; IOC creates “Olympic Esports Games” and approves 25 “neutrals” for Paris

A fourth Olympic Games for Freestyle superstar Katie Ledecky!

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1. U.S. Olympic Swim Trials gets records in and out of pool in Indy
2. IOC to formally adopt “IOC Esports Games” in Paris
3. IOC approves 25 “neutrals”; U.S.’s Sykes among 8 new members
4. WADA rips New York Times coverage of Chinese cases
5. Yowsah! Omanyala 9.79, Wanyonyi 1:41.70, Kejelcha 26:31.01!

● The U.S. Olympic Trials in swimming got off to a rousing start with Gretchen Walsh setting a world record of 55.18 in the women’s 100 m Fly on Saturday and then winning the final on Sunday to punch her ticket to Paris. And the 20,689 who saw Saturday’s finals set a record for attendance at an indoor meet!

● The International Olympic Committee’s Executive Board agreed to formally recommend the creation of an “Olympic Esports Games” to the IOC Session in Paris in July. It said negotiations with a host – likely Japan – are advanced and the first edition could be in 2026. This could be a significant move for the Olympic Movement.

● The IOC announced the first batch of approved “neutrals” from Russia and Belarus for Paris: 25 athletes in total, with 14 Russians and 11 from Belarus, spread across cycling, gymnastics, weightlifting and wrestling. The IOC Executive Board also announced nominations of eight new members for Paris, including U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee President Gene Sykes.

● The World Anti-Doping Agency issued a public reply to questions asked by the New York Times about trace amounts of clenbuterol in tests of Chinese athletes in 2016 and 2017. The WADA Director General said that “only asking questions about China when meat contamination is an issue in many countries, shows again how this is an attempt to politicize anti-doping.”

● Deepest-ever men’s 10,000 m Ethiopian Olympic Trials race in Spain, with seven men under 27 minutes! World leads at the Kenyan trials in Nairobi for Ferdinand Omanyala (9.79) and Emmanuel Wanyonyi (1:41.70), but also two wins for world-record star Faith Kipyegon!

World Championships: Modern Pentathlon (Bohm and Seong are first-time World Champions in Zhengzhou) ●

Panorama: Paris 2024 (Hidalgo’s Seine swim delayed until after elections) = Badminton (two China wins at Australian Open) = Canoe-Kayak (Fox gets first-ever World Cup C1-K1-Cross sweep) = Cycling (3: Yates takes Tour de Suisse; Vollering wins first two at Tour de Suisse Femmes; stars Schurter and Ferrand-Prevot take World Cup XCO in Italy) = Football (Germany, Italy, England win EURO 2024 openers) = Rowing (five wins for Australia, four for New Zealand at World Cup III) = Shooting (Tokyo Trap champ Stefecekova wins ISSF World Cup) = Water Polo (U.S. split two friendlies with Montenegro) ●

Errata: Too many numbers! Our Saturday bulletin on the U.S. Swim Trials had Michael Andrew third in his heat of the men’s 100 m Breast in 58.65; he swam 59.65. Thanks to proofreader extraordinare Olivier Bourgoin for the correction. ●

U.S. Olympic Swim Trials gets records in and out of pool in Indy

An impressive first weekend at the landmark 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials in swimming, starting with the crowd that piled in for the first evening session on Saturday: 20,689, the most ever for an indoor swimming meet, surpassing the 16,000 reported for the temporary Estádio Aquático Olímpico built for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

It was also about 41% higher than the 14,700 crowds that filled the Chi Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska nightly for the Olympic Trials in 2021.

That crowd was loud and enthusiastic and was rewarded not only with a fourth Olympic berth for Freestyle superstar Katie Ledecky, but an unexpected world record in the semifinals of the women’s 100 m Butterfly!

That would be by 18-time NCAA champ Gretchen Walsh of Virginia, who stormed to a 55.18 win in her semifinal, shattering Swede Sarah Sjostrom’s 55.48 standard from Rio 2016. She hardly let up in the final on Sunday, winning in 55.31, the no. 2 time ever, with former American Record holder Torri Huske second in 55.52, now no. 3 all-time.

Ledecky has been busy, winning the women’s 400 m Free on Saturday in 3:58.35, moving to no. 2 in the world for 2024. It’s no. 13 performance of all-time, of which she owns six. She then led the qualifying on Sunday in the 200 m Free and will swim that final on Monday evening.

Three men’s finals were decided over the weekend:

● Big surprise in the 400 m Freestyle, with former Cal swimmer Aaron Shackell (19) scoring an upset over Tokyo bronze medalist Kieran Smith with a lifetime best of 3:45.46, also getting the needed Olympic qualifying mark. Smith was a solid second at 3:45.76, while Tokyo 800-1,500 m winner Bobby Finke was fourth in 3:46.27.

● The 2024 World Champion, Nic Fink, win his 100 m Breaststroke specialty in 59.08, holding off Charlie Swanson (59.16). Fink is headed to his second Olympic Games.

● Two-time Worlds silver medalist Carson Foster built a solid lead over the first two legs over Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Chase Kalisz in the 400 m Medley, then held him off after Kalisz’s patented charge during the Breaststroke leg. Foster touched in a world-leading 4:07.64, with Kalisz at 4:09.39.

Monday’s finals include Ledecky in the 200 m Free, Rio 2016 gold medalist Lilly King in the women’s 100 m Breast, Alex Walsh – Gretchen’s older sister – in the women’s 400 m Medley, Smith in the men’s 200 m Free and Rio 2016 winner Ryan Murphy and 2024 World Champion Hunter Armstrong in the men’s 100 m Back.

NBC has coverage on television of the nightly finals at 8 p.m. Eastern.

(TSX has nightly bulletins on the swimming Olympic Trials, and sent to all e-mail subscribers! Saturday’s bulletin here and Sunday’s coverage is here. You can sign up for our e-mail service – it’s free – here.)

IOC to formally adopt “IOC Esports Games” in Paris

Although already publicly promoted, the International Olympic Committee’s Executive Board agreed Friday to propose a first “Olympic Esports Games” for approval at the IOC Session in Paris in July.

The IOC’s announcement noted that it “is already in advanced discussions with a potential host, and an announcement can be expected very soon after the last formalities have been finalised.” Japan has been consistently mentioned as a possible host for a 2026 first edition of the event.

IOC President Thomas Bach (GER) explained:

“With the creation of Olympic Esports Games, the IOC is taking a major step forward and is keeping up with the pace of the digital revolution. We are very excited how enthusiastically the esports community represented in our Esports Commission has engaged with this initiative. This is further proof of the attractivity of the Olympic brand and the values it stands for.”

The IOC has been involved with the e-sports community since 2018, created an Olympic Virtual Series in 2021, an hosted Olympic Esports Week in Singapore in 2023, with 130 players competed in 10 events.

The announcement underscored that this is a new event and not a pathway to including e-sports in the Olympic Games itself:

“[I]t was highlighted that such organisation must happen under a completely new dedicated structure within the IOC, clearly separated from the organisational and financial model for the Olympic Games.”

The IOC has established guidelines for its involvement with e-sports, including a decided preference for digital versions of sports already part of the Olympic Movement, and staying away from combat games or other formats which feature violence.

IOC approves 25 “neutrals”; U.S.’s Sykes among 8 new members

The IOC’s Individual Neutral Athlete Eligibility Review Panel (AINERP), established in March, has been busy testing the eligibility of Russian and Belarusian athletes who have qualified for participation at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games as “neutrals.”

On Saturday, the IOC released the names of 25 athletes who have been cleared by the group for Paris, in five sports:

Cycling/road (4 quota places):
● 3 for Russia (3 invited)
● 1 for Belarus (1 invited)

Gymnastics/trampoline (3 places):
● 1 for Russia (1 invited)
● 2 for Belarus (2 invited)

Taekwondo (5 places):
● 4 for Russia (none invited)
● 1 for Belarus (none invited)

Weightlifting (4 places):
● 4 for Belarus (2 invited)

Wrestling (26 places):
● 16 for Russia (10 invited)
● 10 for Belarus (6 invited)

This is a total of 42 quota places, but approvals were listed for a total of 25 athletes: 14 Russians and 11 from Belarus. Among these are several well-known medal winners:

● Ivan Litvinovich (BLR: Tokyo men’s Olympic gold medalist)

● Yauheni Tsikhantsou (BLR: 2019 World men’s 102 kg World Champion)

● Shamil Mamedov (RUS: 2023 Worlds men’s Freestyle 65 kg bronze)
● Abubakar Khaslakhanau (RUS: 2024 European Greco 97 kg bronze)
● Natalya Malysheva (RUS: 2017 European women’s Freestyle 53 kg silver)

That multiple well-known wrestlers are not shown as approved at this time points to either added scrutiny or a rejection by the panel; only the names of those approved have been listed by the IOC.

The IOC Executive Board also submitted a list of eight individuals who are recommended for IOC membership, to be voted at the IOC Session in Paris.

Among these is U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee President Gene Sykes, previously the chief executive of the Los Angeles bid for the 2024 (then 2028) Olympic Games, and the first CEO of the organizing committee. His nomination is linked to his position as the elected President of the USOPC.

In addition, Ian Chesterman, President of the Australian Olympic Committee and Damaris Young, President of the Panamanian Olympic Committee, were nominated, as was International Ski & Snowboard Federation President Johan Eliasch, Swedish-born, but shown by the IOC as from Great Britain.

Individuals nominated for membership include Aya Medany (EGY: modern pentathlon), Sarah Walker (NZL: cycling, moving to individual membership from IOC Athletes’ Commission member), Paula Pareto (ARG: judo) and Hugh Robertson (GBR: Chair of the British Olympic Association).

Observed: Sykes’ invitation had been widely expected; the U.S. has only Anita DeFrantz as a member as present. He has already participated with the IOC as a member of the Revenues & Commercial Partnerships and Esports commissions.

With IOC Athletes Commission members Medany and Walker now submitted for individual membership, look for the advancement of U.S. Olympic icon Allyson Felix for future membership; she was appointed to the Athletes’ Commission in 2022.

WADA rips New York Times coverage of Chinese cases

“Given the sensationalist and inaccurate way that the New York Times has covered the trimetazidine contamination cases of 23 Chinese swimmers from 2021, as well as the highly charged, politically motivated criticism of WADA and the global anti-doping system that followed, mainly from within the United States, WADA feels it is important to be able to describe the context and extent of clenbuterol contamination around the world so that people are not further misled.”

That’s from the World Anti-Doping Agency on Friday, responding publicly to questions from the newspaper about doping cases in 2016 and 2017 involving Chinese athletes and trace amounts of clenbuterol. WADA’s explanation:

“Clenbuterol, which is a prohibited substance in sport, is used in some countries as a growth promoter for farm animals and, under specific circumstances, can result in a positive sample from an athlete who consumes meat from animals treated in that way. Over the years, WADA issued many warnings about this problem that exists in China, Mexico, Guatemala, and other countries. It is a pervasive issue that has resulted in hundreds of positive tests for trace amounts of clenbuterol in the samples of innocent athletes.

“As it relates to the clenbuterol cases in question today, three of the 23 Chinese swimmers are among the athletes contaminated in this way in 2016 and 2017. Each of them was found to have levels of clenbuterol so low that they were between six and 50 times lower than the minimum reporting level of 5ng/mL that is currently in place, which was introduced into anti-doping rules in 2019 to deal with the extensive issue of clenbuterol contamination in meat.”

WADA Director General Olivier Niggli (SUI) was quoted in the statement:

“The fact that the New York Times is only asking questions about China when meat contamination is an issue in many countries, shows again how this is an attempt to politicize anti-doping. From WADA’s perspective, we must assess each case on its individual merits regardless of the athlete’s nationality.”

The ongoing inquiry of the WADA handling of the 23 Chinese doping positives in January 2021 for trimetazidine by former Vaud Attorney General Eric Cottier (SUI) is due soon; WADA’s announcement was made on 25 April 2024 and his report was expected to be completed in about two months.

Yowsah! Omanyala 9.79, Wanyonyi 1:41.70, Kejelcha 26:31.01!

Sensational is probably the best way to describe the men’s 10,000 m at the Ethiopian Olympic trials race in Spain on Saturday and the racing at the Kenyan trials in Nairobi on Saturday and Sunday. There were three world leads, but that’s only the start of the story:

Men/100 m: 9.79, Ferdinand Omanyala (KEN)
Men/800 m: 1:41.70, Emmanuel Wanyonyi (KEN)
Men/10,000 m: 26:31.01, Yomif Kejelcha (ETH)

At Nerja (ESP), the Ethiopian trials were run at low altitude to provide conditions closer to those in Paris, and the results in the men’s 10,000 m was the fastest overall race ever run.

Tokyo Olympic 10,000 m fourth-placer Berihu Aregawi took over the race at the 6,000 m mark and tried to break away, but two-time World Indoor 3,000 m champ Kejelcha and Tokyo 10,000 m gold medalist Selemon Barega stayed close. Barega fell back a little at the bell and Aregawi stayed in front until Kejelcha finally got by with 30 m left and crossed first in 26:31.01, fastest in 2024 and moving him to no. 7 all-time.

Aregawi followed in 26:31.13, then Barega in 26:34.93, and 17-year-old Biniam Mehary in a world U-20 record of 26:34.93. All together, seven men finished under 27:00! It has to be classed as the fastest race ever, with best-marks-for-place for 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th.

Kejelcha’s time is the no. 11 performance ever and Aregawi, no. 12 and they rank 7-8 all-time on the performers list, with Barega now 12th. The top six all ranked in the top 41 performances of all time.

Also noteworthy was 19-year-old Abdisa Fayisa’s win in the men’s 1,500 m in 3:32.37, a lifetime best, ahead of Sam Tefera, the 2018 and 2022 World Indoor gold medalist (3:32.81). Teddese Lemi and Jesus Gomez (ESP) were 3-4 in 3:33.84 and 3:34.22.

Fotyen Tesfay, better known as a cross country star, won the women’s 10,000 m in 29:47.71, ahead of Tsige Gebreselama (29:49.33) and Ejgayehu Taye (29:50.52). The trio rank 5-6-7 in the world for 2024.

The Kenyan Olympic Trials in Nairobi – altitude 1,795 m or 5,889 feet – were no less spectacular, starting with Omanyala’s 9.79 win in the men’s 100 m (wind: +1.5 m/s). He exploded out of the blocks and was clear of the field by 10 m and breezed to victory. His time was altitude-aided by about 0.05, but shows he is ready for Paris.

Worlds silver medalist Emmanuel Wanyonyi – still just 19 – made history in the men’s 800 m, after tripping and finishing last in his heat, then being allowed into the final. He ran from the front and stormed to a sensational 1:41.70 clocking, moving him to the no. 3 spot on the all-time performers list, with the ninth-fastest time in history. It’s the fastest 800 m since 2012!

Behind him came Wyclife Kinyamal in a lifetime best 1:42.50 (no. 14 all-time), then Koitatoi Kidali in a lifetime best of 1:42.50 and Alex Kipngetich in a lifetime best of 1:43.74!

Raynold Kipkorir won the 1,500 m in 3:35.63, over Daniel Munhuti (3:35.80) and 2019 World Champion Timothy Cheruiyot (3:35.90), while Ronald Kwemoi took the 5,000 m in 13:27.20 from Jacob Krop (13:27.54) and Edwin Kurgat (13:27.75). Amos Serem won the Steeple in 8:20.55, with Simon Koech second (8:20.99) and Abraham Kibiwott third (8:23.41).

In the women’s 800 m, World Champion Mary Moraa looked like the winner into the home straight, but was passed by Lilian Odira to win in 1:59.27, with Moraa second (1:59.35) and younger sister Sarah Moraa third (1:59.39).

The 1,500 m and 5,000 m races belonged to superstar Faith Kipyegon. She showed supreme fitness – at altitude – by running away from two-time Worlds 5,000 m medal winner Beatrice Chebet in the final 500 m to win in 14:46.28, with Chebet at 14:52.55 and Margaret Chelimo third in 14:59.39.

Then, on Saturday, Kipyegon – looking for a third straight Olympic gold at 1,500 m – led from start to finish in a fabulous 3:53.98, the no. 27 performance in history but by far the fastest ever at altitude!

Nelly Chepchirchir (3:58.46) and Susan Ejore (4:00.22), went 2-3. The Steeple went to Faith Cherotich (9:22.28), with world-record holder Beatrice Chepkoech right behind (9:22.76).



● Modern Pentathlon ● At the UIPM World Championships in Zhengzhou (CHN), new winners took the titles, with Csaba Bohm (HUN) and Seung-min Seong of Korea winning the men’s and women’s divisions.

Bohm dominated the men’s events, winning the fencing and placing second in riding and fifth in swimming to start the Laser Run with 20-second advantage over teammate Balazs Szep. And Bohm was excellent in the final event, finishing with the fourth-fastest time to total 1,551 points.

Szep was fifth-fastest and scored 1,524 to secure the silver, with Woong-tae Jun, the Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist, in third (1,513).

Seong was in a much tighter fight, but led after a second-place finish in fencing, third in riding and second in swimming. She started the Laser Run with an 11-second lead, but managed only the ninth-fastest time in the field.

That opened the door for Hungary’s Blanka Guzi and Rita Erdos, who started 32 and 61 seconds behind, respectively. Guzi closed the gap and was 31.73 seconds faster than Seong, but that was enough and the Korean crossed first and finished with 1,434 points to 1,433 for Guzi.

Erdos flew through the field, compiled the fastest time in the Laser Run – by 14 seconds! – and got up for the bronze medal from 13th place, scoring 1,418 points.

No American athletes made the final.

In the team competitions, Hungary won the men’s title with 4,544 points to 4,415 for Korea, and did the same in the women’s event, scoring 4,229 to best Korea again (4,183). The U.S. men’s team of Brendan Anderson, Tristen Bell and Tyler Evans finished 12th (3,359).


● Olympic Games 2024: Paris ● Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo had promised to swim in the Seine River to showcase the renovation of the water-quality system on 23 June – Olympic Day – but with the call for national elections on 30 June and 7 July, her office said she will wait until after both rounds of voting have been completed.

● Badminton ● China led with two wins at the BWF World Tour’s Australian Open in Sydney, taking the first win of the day in the all-Chinese final of the Mixed Doubles, as top-seeded Zhen Bang Jiang and Ya Xin Wei got past Xia Wa Guo and Fang Hui Chen, 21-12, 16-21, 21-12.

China’s other win was in the men’s Doubles, with no. 1-seeded Ji Ting He and Xiang Yu Ren defeating no. 2 Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan (INA), 21-11, 21-10.

Japan split the Singles finals, with Aya Ohori winning the women’s tournament over Ester Wardoyo (INA), 17-21, 21-19, 21-16, but Zii Jia Lee (MAS) took the men’s win over Kodai Naraoka (JPN), 21-19, 11-21, 21-18.

Febriana Kusuma and Amallia Pratiwi (INA) won the women’s Doubles over Pei Jing Lai and Chiew Sien Lim (MAS), 12-21, 21-7, 21-13.

● Canoe-Kayak ● Australian superstar Jessica Fox made more history at the ICF Slalom World Cup III in Krakow (POL), winning all three events to reach a career total of 51 World Cup victories.

She took the K-1 on Friday in 93.49 (0 penalties), ahead of Rio 2016 gold medalist Maialen Chourraut (ESP: 94.24/0) and American Ria Sribar (USA: 99.03/0). In the C-1, Fox won by more than three seconds in 102.71 (2), beating 2017 Wolds bronze medalist Ana Satila (BRA: 105.99/0) and Martina Satkova (CZE/110.35/0).

It was the ninth time that Fox won both the K-1 and C-1 at a World Cup, but she hardly felt good after the C-1 victory: “I felt really tired and flat today, so I’m just happy I was able to step up when I needed to.”

But she was back at it on Sunday and won the Kayak Cross title as well, ahead of European Games C-1 team gold medalist Tereza Kneblova (CZE) and 2023 World Champion Kimberley Woods (GBR). It’s the first time ever than anyone has won all three events in a single World Cup!

Britain’s reigning World Champion, Joseph Clarke, won the men’s K-1 in 85.33 (0), followed by 2022 World Champion Vit Prindis (CZE: 85.86/0) and teammate Jakub Krejci (CZE: 86.34/0).

France’s Jules Bernardet for his first career World Cup win in 91.12 (0) in the men’s C-1, a couple of seconds better than Rio 2016 silver winner Matej Benus (SVK: 93.39/0).

World bronze medalist Martin Dougoud took the men’s Kayak Cross win, ahead of Prindis and France’s Mathurin Madore.

● Cycling ● Britain’s Adam Yates, third in the 2023 Tour de France, took over the 87th Tour de Suisse with his second-place finish in the fourth stage and built up a 31-second lead going into Sunday’s Individual Time Trial.

After taking the lead, he then won the 148.6 km fifth stage – with a big uphill finish in 3:54:37 over Portugal’s Joao Almeida by 0:05 to increase his lead over Almeida to 35 seconds. The sixth stage had to be shortened to just 42.5 km due to issues with snow in the mountains, and Almeida and Yates went 1-2 in 55:13 and 55:17. But in the 118.2 km triple-climb seventh stage, Yates and Almeida went right to the finish, with Yates winning, both in 3:05:41.

The final time trial of 15.7 km went uphill from the one-third mark, with Almeida actually winning in 22:23, but with Yates just eight seconds back. So, Yates finished in 20:18:49, with Almeida 22 seconds back and Mattias Skjelmose (SUI) third at +3:02. American Matthew Riccitello was fifth overall (+3:31).

The fifth Tour de Suisse Femmes began on Saturday and will finish on Tuesday, with no doubt about the leader, as Dutch star Demi Vollering – the winner of three straight multi-stage races in Spain this season – taking the first two stages!

She won Saturday’s initial stage, a hilly 58.6 km ride in and around Villars-sur-Ollon in 1:47:10,, 22 seconds up on Gaia Realini (ITA), then routed the field in Sunday’s mostly-uphill, 15.7 km Time Trial, winning in 39:47, almost 18 seconds up on Italian star Elisa Longo Borghini.

Vollering now has a 1:26 lead on Longo Borghini and 1:28 on Realini, with two stages left.

The fourth UCI Mountain Bike World Cup for Cross Country and the Cross Country Short Track racing was in Val di Sole (ITA), with the fourth different winner in the men’s race, but one of the best ever: Swiss Nino Schurter.

The 10-time World Champion got his 36th career World Cup Cross Country win in 1:18:25, breaking away on the fourth, fifth and sixth laps from South Africa’s Alan Hatherly, who got second at 1:18:32. France’s Mathis Azzaro was third (1:19:11).

France’s four-time World Champion Pauline Ferrand-Prevot took her second straight World Cup XCO title, in 1:21:04, nearly a minute ahead of Dutch star Puck Pieterse (1:21:54), with Candice Hill (RSA: 1:22;17) in third. American Savilla Blunck was fifth (1:22:54).

New Zealand’s two-time World Champion Sam Gaze won the men’s Short Track race in 19:02, beating Victor Koretzky (FRA: 19:03) and Jens Schuermans (GER: 19:03) as the top five riders were within two seconds! Pieterse took the women’s Short race in another close finish, 19:24 to 19:24 over Ferrand-Prevot with Blunk third (19:29).

The third World Cup men’s Downhill was emphatically won by Amaury Pierron (FRA) – the 2019 Worlds bronze winner – in 3:39.004, well ahead of Dakotah Norton of the U.S. (3:43./897 and Canada’s Finn Iles (3:44.884). Britain’s three-time Worlds medalist Tahnee Seagrave took the women’s race in 4:31.471, just ahead of Marine Caribou (FRA: 4:31.791) and Monika Hrastnik (SLO: 4:32.412).

● Football ● Host Germany got the UEFA Euro 2024 off to a flying start with an impressive 5-1 win over Scotland in the opener in Munich on Friday, taking a 3-0 lead at the half on goals from Florian Wirtz (10th), Jamal Musiala (19th) and Lai Haivertz on a penalty shot at 45+1.

The group stage will continue through 26 June, but teams in the first four groups got started over the weekend.

In Group A, the Swiss beat Hungary, 3-1, in Cologne and Spain and defending champ Italy won in Group B. Spain throttled Croatia in Berlin, 3-0, and the Azzurri came back from a shocking Albanian goal by Nedim Bejrami off an errant Italian throw-in just 23 seconds into the game to take a 2-1 lead by the 16th minute and holding firm for the 2-1 final.

In the very difficult Group C, Denmark’s Christian Eriksen got a 17th-minute goal against Slovenia, but Erik Janza finally tied it in the 77th and the game ended 1-1. England, one of the favorites, won a tight, 1-0 match against Serbia, with Jude Bellingham scoring in the 13th minute and only 11 shot attempts between the two teams in the entire game.

Group D kicked off with the Netherlands coming back from a 1-0 deficit against Poland to tie it by halftime (Cody Gakpo) and then won it on Wout Weghorst’s 83rd-minute score, 2-1.

● Rowing ● The third and final World Rowing World Cup for 2024 was in Poznan (POL), with Australia (five wins) and New Zealand (four) dominating the Olympic events on the program.

The Aussies scored victories in the men’s Eights, with a nearly six-second win over Germany, 5:32.48 to 5:38.17, then won four of the seven women’s Olympic events. Two-time Worlds bronze medalist Tara Rigney won the Single Sculls in 7:34.62 over Juliane Faralisch (GER: 7:41.48), with American Margaret Fellows in fourth (7:43.68). Amanda Bateman and Harriest Hudson won the Double Sculls in a tight battle with Norway’s Thea Helseth and Inger Kavlie (NOR) 7:04.03 to 7:04.32 and Worlds silver winners Jessica Morrison and Annabelle McIntyre won in Pairs (7:15.73) against Aifric Keogh and Fiona Murtagh (IRL: 7:22.91).

Australia’s women also won the Eights in 5:32.48 to Germany’s 5:38.17.

New Zealand’s four wins included the men’s Single Sculls by Thomas Mackintosh (7:00.49) over Rio silver winner and Tokyo bronzer Damir Martin (CRO: 7:03.25) and 2019 Worlds runner-up Sverri Nielsen (DEN: 7:03.42). The Kiwi men’s Four won in 6:00.27 to 6:03.40 for Australia, and the women’s Four defeated Australia, 6:45.02 to 6:49.02 in the final. Shannon Cox and Jackie Kiddle won the Lightweight Double Sculls in 7:02.50, comfortably ahead of Laura Tarantola and Claire Bove (FRA: 7:06.97).

In the men’s Pairs final, World Champions Roman Roeoesli and Andrin Gulich (SUI) managed a 6:36.86 to 6:38.19 over Tokyo gold medalists Martin Sinkovic and Valent Sinkovic (CRO). In the Double Sculls final, Worlds bronze winners Daire Lynch and Philip Doyle (IRL) triumphed in 6:25.28; with Jonas Gelson and Marc Weber (GER: 6:27.72) in second.

● Shooting ● At the ISSF Shotgun World Cup in Lonato (ITA), Britain’s 2019 World Champion Matthew Coward-Holley took the men’s Skeet final, scoring 47 to edge 2017 World Champion Daniele Resca (ITA), 47-45.

The women’s final went to 40-year-old Zuzana Rehak Stefecekova (SVK) – the Tokyo Olympic champ – at 45, decisively ahead of Fatima Galvez, Spain’s 2015 World Champion (41), and Rio 2016 winner Catherine Skinner (AUS: 31) in third.

The Skeet final will be held on Monday, and the Mixed Team final on Tuesday.

● Water Polo ● The U.S. men split a two-match exhibition series against Montenegro, the eighth-placed team at the 2022-23-24 World Championships, winning the first match by 16-11 and then losing in a 20-19 shootout in the second.

The first match was held last Wednesday at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California, with Hannes Daube scoring four times for the U.S. and Alex Obert and Ryder Dodd scoring three each. The U.S. came from 2-0 down, but had a 5-2 lead at the end of the quarter and 7-5 at the half. Another five-goal quarter increased the lead to 12-8 and the U.S. managed four more scores in the final period.

At UC San Diego last Friday, the game was much tighter, tied at 6-6 at half and then 11-8 for Montenegro after three periods. But a furious U.S. rally – 6-3 – in the final quarter tied the game at 14, moving to a shoot-out. It took nine rounds of shoot-put to determine the winner, but after both sides scored five times in the first eight rounds, Vasilje Radovic scored for Montenegro and keeper Dejan Lazovic saved Ryder Dodd’s shot to earn the victory.

Johnny Hooper and Max Irving both had four goals to lead the U.S. The Americans will play 2022 World Champions Spain in a three-game series beginning on 26 June as their last warm-up for the Paris Games.

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