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≡ THE 5-RING CIRCUS ≡
1. U.S. wins half of all Pan Am finals on Wednesday!
2. USATF Athletes Advisory demands marathon trials time change
3. IOC says no discrimination vs. Israel; Russian official erupts
4. U.S. qualifies all four basketball squads at Paris 2024
5. Eight lacrosse organizations form “ELEVATE28”
● Amazing day for the U.S. at the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile, winning half of the 16 events with finals on Wednesday! The American grabbed a Paris 2024 quota spot with a win in the Equestrian Team Jumping gold and won all four men’s wrestling Freestyle classes. Wow.
● A letter from the USA Track & Field Athletes Advisory Committee ripped the Greater Orlando Sports Commission for continuing to be only one insisting on a noon start time for next February’s U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, and promises to make more noise about it in the future.
● An International Olympic Committee comment that discrimination against Israeli athletes in the midst of the Hamas attack on 7 October and Israel’s response is prohibited drew an angry reaction from the Russian Deputy Prime Minister that blames the U.S. for the conflict!
● The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) announced that both the U.S. men’s and women’s 3×3 teams are qualified for Paris 2024 by virtue of being among the top-three-ranked teams in the FIBA world rankings as of 31 October. This means that all four U.S. teams – 3×3 and 5×5 – are qualified for 2024.
● In the aftermath of being included as a medal sport for the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, eight lacrosse organizations, including World Lacrosse, have joined to form “ELEVATE28,” with the goal of doubling the number of players in the U.S. to four million by 2030.
● Panorama: Winter Games 2030 (Sweden announces venue agreements with three cities) = Athletics (AIU list shows 18 doping sanctions for October) = Cycling (Dutch star Hoogland sets kilometer record) = Swimming (USA Swimming membership down almost 4% for 2023, deepens annual loss) ●
U.S. wins half of all Pan Am finals on Wednesday!
There were 16 finals on Wednesday at the XIX Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile. Amazingly, the U.S. won half of them:
● Athletics: DeAnna Price, women’s hammer
● Equestrian: Team Jumping
● Fencing: Andrew Doddo, men’s Sabre
● Squash: Olivia Fletcher, women’s Singles
● Wrestling: Zane Richards, men’s Freestyle 57 kg
● Wrestling: Tyler Berger, men’s Freestyle 74 kg
● Wrestling: Kyle Snyder, men’s Freestyle 97 kg
● Wrestling: Mason Parris, men’s Freestyle 125 kg
Price, the 2019 World Champion, won the first women’s gold for the U.S. with her first throw of 72.34 m (237-4), matched on her sixth toss as well. She moved up from fourth at the 2019 Pan Ams. Teammate Brooke Andersen, the 2022 World Champion, had no legal mark; the silver went to Rosa Rodriguez (VEN) at 65.10 m (213-7).
American medals also came in the hurdles, with De’Vion Wilson finishing second, 13.67-13.78 (wind: -0.5 m/s), to Eduardo de Deus (BRA) in the men’s 110 m highs, and Alaysha Johnson winning bronze in the women’s 100 m hurdles in 13.19. Costa Rica’s Andrea Vargas was the winner in 13.06 (+0.2).
The men’s 400 m was won by Lucas Conceicao (BRA) in 45.77, with American Richard Kuykendoll sixth in 48.66. Chile’s Martina Weil took the women’s 400 m in 51.48, with no American finalists.
The U.S. earned a Paris 2024 quota spot as the winner of the Equestrian Team Jumping final, with McLain Ward, Laura Kraut, Kent Farrington and Karl Cook scoring just 12.37 to 17.62 for Canada and 20.32 for defending champion Brazil.
In fencing, the U.S. won its fourth event out of six contested with Doddo defeating Venezuela’s Eliecer Jose Romero, 15-11 in the men’s Sabre final for the third straight Pan Am Games win in this event.
The wrestling sweep for the U.S. was impressive. Richards took the 57 kg gold via a forfeit and then an 8-2 semi win and a 10-0 technical fall in the final against Oscar Tigreros of Colombia. Berger won his 74 kg matches by 5-2, 17-3 and the gold with a 3-0 win over Franklin Maren Castillo of Cuba. Snyder won his third Pan Ams gold at 97 kg with 10-0, 10-0 and 14-4 wins in his three matches, defeating Cuban Arturo Silot in the final. Parris cruised through 12-0 and 10-0 wins at 125 kg before a taut, 2-0 win for the gold against Jose Diaz of Venezuela.
In football, the U.S. U-22 men’s team lost in the semifinals to host Chile, 1-0, and will face Mexico in the bronze-medal match. Brazil also scored a 1-0 win against the Mexicans.
Overall, the U.S. leads the medal count with 191 in total, with 84 golds, 49 silvers and 58 bronzes. Brazil is a solid second at 136 (40-53-43) and Canada is third (116: 35-34-47). Mexico is fourth at 94: 35-23-36.
The Pan Ams continue through Sunday, with more action coming: 25 finals on Thursday, 40 on Friday, 71 (!) on Saturday and 24 on Sunday to complete the 425-event program. The event is being shown on the Panam Sports Channel (sign-in required).
USATF Athletes Advisory demands marathon trials time change
A 31 October letter from the USA Track & Field Athletes Advisory Committee to Jason Siegel, head of the Greater Orlando Sports Commission, expressed disappointment and anger that GO Sports is the organization which will not change the start time of the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials next February.
The letter, published on X (ex-Twitter) by Kyle Merber, a recently-retired 3:34.54 1,500 m runner who represented the U.S. at the 2015 Pan American Games, included:
● “When the start time of 12:00p ET was announced along with the location of the Trials race, the Athletes were advised to not panic. Acting in good faith, we waited, patiently. In an era plagued with fake news and misinformation, the Athletes were led to believe this start time was dictated by our network television partners and USATF. Errantly so, the Athletes believed this. One of the key partners in GO Sports is an events organization in charge of hundreds of races in Florida, all with start times before 8:00a.”
● “In an attempt to act both professionally and somewhat discreetly, a path encouraged by all parties involved in organizing the Trials, the Athletes engaged in closed-door, productive conversations with USATF voicing our concerns of a historically hot Olympic Trials. Performance aside, which would obviously be negatively affected, starting a marathon at noon in Florida puts the health and safety of all participants at risk.”
A compromise of a 10 a.m. start time was reached with the discussants, including NBC, which the athletes were willing to accept. But then:
● “On October 26, 2023, GO Sports delivered the shocking news of firmly standing behind a 12:00p ET start time, adding an impossible caveat that any deviation from the current start time would amount to a combination of unexplained projected damages, fines and waived fee rights fees totaling $700,000. It is difficult to find words capable of expressing how angry and disappointed the Athletes are to hear the ultimate hurdle they face is with the Great [sic] Orlando Sports Commission, a group who so grossly misrepresented the type of experience they were to provide.”
The letter explained that “the Athletes feel no other option than to proceed outwardly with this case.”
No mention of the letter by the Greater Orlando Sports Commission on its Web site, or on X (ex-Twitter) on Wednesday. Much more to come, no doubt.
IOC says no discrimination vs. Israel; Russian official erupts
The German news agency DPA reported an International Olympic Committee warning to athletes, officials or countries which show discriminatory actions against Israeli athletes. According to the statement of an IOC spokesperson:
“Athletes cannot be held responsible for the actions of their governments. If discriminatory behavior by an athlete or official occurs, the IOC will work with the relevant National Olympic Committee and International Federation to ensure prompt action is taken.”
Israeli athletes have routinely seen athletes from Arab or Muslim countries – especially Iran, but also others – refuse to compete against them in international events, sometimes even losing in earlier rounds to avoid the possibility of a direct match-up.
The statement enraged Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko, blaming the Hamas-Israeli conflict on the U.S. He stated, as reported by the Russian news agency TASS:
“With the military conflict unleashed by the U.S. in the Middle East, the IOC has changed its mind in the air. And today we hear that athletes should not be held responsible for the actions of governments. Unfortunately, we are only talking about athletes from Israel, but not from Russia. Without shyness, the IOC supports athletes of only those countries that are under the wing of the United States.
“The IOC was afraid that the Olympic Movement would collapse finally and irrevocably on the eve of the Olympic Games. Addressing its functionaries, I emphasize: there is nothing to fear, the system is already rotten, it’s time to accept it as a fact. Let me remind you that Russia has always stood on the position of equality and non-discrimination against athletes from any country. Sport should be out of politics. Our position, unlike the IOC, is unchanged.”
The Russian Olympic Committee has been suspended by the IOC and has not been invited to the Paris 2024 Games. If its athletes compete at all, it will be as neutrals, but no decision has yet been made. The IOC has taken no action against the Palestine National Olympic Committee, despite Hamas being the elected government of Gaza and instigator of surprise attacks on Israel on 7 October.
U.S. qualifies all four basketball squads at Paris 2024
The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) confirmed the first four qualifiers for Paris 2024 in 3×3 Basketball, with the U.S. qualifying both a men’s and women’s team, to go along with the already-qualified men’s and women’s 5×5 teams. Per FIBA:
“The selection process for these teams was based on the FIBA 3×3 Federation Ranking as of November 1, 2023. In a thrilling culmination of qualifying events, the top three countries per gender secured their places for the Olympic stage.”
In the men’s division, Serbia, the U.S. and China were the top three teams in the rankings, with China, the U.S. (gold medalists in Tokyo) and France the top three on the women’s side. Five other teams will qualify in tournaments to be held in early 2024.
The U.S. is the first country to have all four of its basketball teams qualified for Paris. The men and women’s teams are defending Olympic champs from Tokyo and both the men’s and women’s 3×3 teams won gold at the Pan American Games ongoing in Chile.
Eight lacrosse organizations form “ELEVATE28″
The return of lacrosse as a medal sport on the Olympic program for 2028 was widely celebrated in the sport, but the major players aren’t wasting any more time in trying to make the most of the opportunity.
On Tuesday, eight groups announced the formation of “ELEVATE28” with the announced goal “to double the country’s participation in the sport to 4 million annual players by the end of the decade.”
The participating organizations include Athletes Unlimited, the Intercollegiate Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Association, the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association, J Tsai Sports, the National Lacrosse League, Premier Lacrosse League, USA Lacrosse and World Lacrosse.
According to the announcement:
“This group commits to strategic initiatives and platforms, primarily for kids, under the unified ELEVATE28 banner to ensure every community across the country has equal access to the sport.”
Lacrosse was a medal sport at the 1904 St. Louis Games and in 1908 in London and was a demonstration sport in 1928, 1932 and 1948. It’s a popular sport in the U.S. at the collegiate level, with 395 NCAA men’s teams across all divisions (72 in Division I), and 522 NCAA women’s teams (122 in Division I). Among women, it’s the 11th most popular sport by number of teams in the 2022-23 season and the total number of teams is at or near the all-time high.
≡ PANORAMA ≡
● Olympic Winter Games 2030 ● The Swedish bid for the 2030 Olympic Winter Games has confirmed venue agreements with three key cities – Are, Falun and Oestersund – as the Swedish Olympic Committee tries to button its project for presentation to the International Olympic Committee’s Future Host Commission.
The current plan is for Are to host alpine skiing, Falun to stage nordic events and Oestersund to handle biathlon, as it does on the IBU World Cup. More agreements are needed, and are expected to be announced soon.
● Athletics ● The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) published its October summary of sanctions, with 18 individuals on the list for the month, led by:
● 4: Kenya
● 3: Russia
● 3: Pakistan
● 2: Ethiopia
● 2: United States
There were single sanctions against athletes from Belarus, Italy, Iran and South Africa. The U.S. sanctions were against apparently-retired hammer star Gwen Berry for 16 months and a warning (no ineligibility) against hammer thrower Alyssa Wilson, both previously announced.
● Cycling ● Dutch star Jeffrey Hoogland, the Tokyo Olympic Sprint silver medalist and a four-time World Champion in the 1 km Time Trial, smashed the world record in the men’s kilometer on Tuesday (31st).
Riding at the altitude-aided Aguascalientes Velodrome in Mexico, he completed the four laps in 55.433, blasting the 2013 mark by France’s Francois Pervis of 56.303.
Hoogland said afterwards, “I can’t really enjoy it yet. It hurts everywhere but I’m very happy with the world record; that’s why I came here.”
● Swimming ● SwimSwam.com reported on a USA Swimming disclosure at the September board of directors meeting that membership revenue is projected at 3.8% less than expected, at about $926,000.
This will, in turn, lead to a projected annual deficit of $1.732 million, more than the $1.369 million projected in the 2023 budget.
Membership fees are by far the largest revenue source for the federation, bringing in $23.234 million in 2022. As of the end of 2022, USA Swimming had assets of $67.870 million and reserves of $41.279 million.
For our updated, 850-event International Sports Calendar (no. 4) for 2023 and beyond, by date and by sport, click here!