TSX REPORT: Which marathon was better? 1:59:40 or 2:14:04? Plus a historic Worlds for Simone Biles & a new U.S. heavyweight world champion!

Kenya's marathon superstar Eliud Kipchoge

= TSX REPORT ~ 14 October 2019 =

| 1. |  LANE ONE: Two marathon milestones in two days, but which was better? 1:59:40 or 2:14:04? Kipchoge or Kosgei? 

The two greatest days in the history of the marathon came this past weekend, with Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge breaking the two-hour barrier under carefully-controlled conditions in Vienna, Austria on Saturday, finishing in 1:59:40.

On Sunday and without any prior fanfare, Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei shattered the 16-year-old world record of Britain’s Paula Radcliffe (2:15:25) by running 2:14:04. She took off from the start and just kept going.

Which of the two performances was better?

There are various ways to compare them, including statistician-created scoring tables, but let’s take a deeper look into the two performances and compare them to their peers. The answer: it’s close. Your opinion?

| 2. | GYMNASTICS: Biles historic in winning five golds at FIG Artistic Worlds

The 2019 edition of the FIG World Championships in Artistic Gymnastics in Stuttgart (GER) has been completed and the star – as expected – was American Simone Biles.

Still just 22, Biles (pictured) won five gold medals, including with the U.S. team, then the individual All-Around and then on the Vault, Balance Beam and Floor Exercise, plus a fifth on the Uneven Bars.

That gave her an astounding career total of 25 Worlds medals, including 19 golds. Both are records for the Worlds, including both men and women. Biles passed Russian Vitaly Scherbo, who won 23 career Worlds medals from 1991-96 and it’s worth noting that the men have six apparatus to compete on and the women have four.

The U.S. also got apparatus medals from Jade Carey and Suni Lee and the American women won eight medals in all. Russia topped the medals table with nine and dominated the men’s events, starting with a 1-2 by Nikita Nagornyy and Artur Dalaloyan in the All-Around and the Vault.

There were plenty of upsets and new countries at the top of the podium. Did you know that Turkey and the Philippines are now gymnastics powers? TSX coverage of the Worlds can be found here.

| 3. | ATHLETICS: Greatest weekend in marathon history and doom for the Nike Oregon Project

The Ineos 1:59 Challenge proved to be successful as Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge – already the world-record holder in the marathon at 2:01:39 – ran a time trial on a specially-prepared course and with exceptional logistical support – in 1:59:40.2 to break the two-hour barrier in the marathon.

He had showed that this was possible in 2017, when he ran 2:00:25 in Monza (ITA) in a similarly-arranged race, but the preparations and the conditions were perfect this time, and so was he. Much more here.

What was not expected was that on Sunday, along with 44,000 others at the Chicago Marathon, Kenyan Brigid Kosgei took off at what seemed like an insane pace in the women’s division.

But she kept it up, felt good and kept going, all the way to the finish in 2:14:04, blowing up the world record of 2:15:25 by Britain’s Paula Radcliffe from 2003!

Kosgei’s prior best was 2:18:20, but she had the idea that she might be able to tackle the record if she got off to a hot start. She crossed the halfway mark at 66:59, which would be a world-class mark by itself for the Half Marathon, then finished just slightly slower in 67:05!

She won by more than six minutes and was, in fact, congratulated after the finish by Radcliffe herself. More here.

With the confirmation of the suspension for head coach Alberto Salazar and consultant Dr. Jeffrey Brown by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, Nike chief executive Mark Parker decided to close the Nike Oregon Project immediately.

The company will help the athletes on the roster, including current World Champions Donavan Brazier and Sifan Hassan (NED), to find another coaching situation. More here.

| 4. | BOXING: Women’s World Championships close with first-ever title match reversal

The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has been plagued for decades by judging problems and it came up again at the 11th Women’s World Championships in Ulan-Ude (RUS).

There were complaints about results in the semifinals, but in the 81 kg class final, Dutch fighter Nouchka Fontijn was given a split (3:2) decision over Lauren Price of Wales. An appeal was filed by Price’s coaches and a post-match review of the judging reversed the decision and gave Price her first-ever world title.

That was possible thanks to a new rule installed during the time when the AIBA was trying – unsuccessfully, as it turned out – to avoid being suspended by the International Olympic Committee. But it worked out, at least for Price.

In the 10 weight classes, there were nine new champions, with only China’s Dan Dou repeated her victory, at 64 kg. The U.S. women won three medals, including the first gold since 2016, from Danielle Perkins in the heavyweight (+81 kg) class. More here.

| 5. | CYCLING: Mollema wins first Monument race with solo attack at Il Lombardia

The five “Monument” races in road cycling are among the most prized of all victories on the UCI World Tour. So it was for Dutch rider Bauke Mollema, 32, who had finished in the top 10 at the famed Il Lombardia race in Italy just once in his career.

But he attacked with about 18 km to go, on the penultimate ascent of the 243 km race, and no one followed until it was too late. He said afterwards, “I can’t believe I’ve won a Monument.” Spanish star Alejandro Valverde finished second. More here.

| 6. | FOOTBALL: U.S. clubs Cuba, 7-0, in CONCACAF Nations League opener

The U.S. men’s National Team has had plenty of trouble on the field in recent years, but not vs. Cuba in its first game in the new CONCACAF Nations League. Playing at Audi Field in Washington, D.C., Wes McKennie (pictured)  scored after 30 seconds and added two more quick goals for a hat trick within the first 13 minutes.

That was en route to a 7-0 victory, which also included goals by Josh Sargent and Christian Pulisic among others. The U.S. will face a tougher test on Tuesday (15th) vs. Canada in Toronto. More here.

| 7. | SHOOTING: Skinner wins gold, Hancock loses to world record in ISSF World Cup final

The final World Cup of 2019 for the shotgun set was held in Al Ain (UAE) and featured two world-record performances.

One of the best-ever Skeet competitions in history had two-time Olympic gold medalist Vincent Hancock of the U.S. facing a strong field. He and Italy’s two-time Olympian Luigi Lodde made shot after shot and after both hit their first 50 targets, they were the only ones remaining for the final 10 shots.

Lodde never missed and equaled the world record with a perfect round of 60; Hancock missed his 54th shot and had to settle for silver with 59.

In women’s Skeet, China’s Meng Wei won with 59/60, breaking American Kim Rhode’s year-old mark of 58, to defeat Amber Hill (GBR) in the final. American Amber English was third.

In women’s Trap, Aeriel Skinner of the U.S. was the winner, 43-41, over Laetisha Scanlan of Australia. More here.

| 8. | SWIMMING: Kamminga and Campbell win World Cup cluster titles; Dressel dominates in ISL debut

The FINA Swimming World Cup completed its second cluster of meets over the weekend in Berlin (GER), with the $50,000 bonuses going to Dutch Breaststroke star Arno Kamminga and Australia sprinter Cate Campbell.

In both cases, they overcame perennial winners Vladimir Morozov (RUS) and Katinka Hosszu (HUN) by logging very fast performances that earned significant bonus points for being higher valued than all others in the meet in the men’s and women’s divisions.

Kamminga won two events and was second in a third – all in Breaststroke – and Campbell won only the 100 m Free, but in a very fast 52.51. They both ended up winning the $50,000 cluster first prize and Morozov and Hosszu had to settle for the $35,000 second-prize bonuses.

The third cluster will begin in Russia in November. More here.

The second International Swimming League meet was held at the 4,500-seat Piscina Felice Scandalone in Naples (ITA), with better crowd support than in week one in Indianapolis, but also with the presence of U.S. star Caeleb Dressel.

Swimming for the San Francisco-based Cali Condors, he swam in eight races and won four of his five individual events – including the 50 m Free Skins matches – plus three relays. His 57.5 total points (45 money points) earned him Most Valuable Player status for the second meet, just edging Indy MVP Sarah Sjostrom (SWE/Energy Standard), who had 52.0 MVP points and 43 money points.

France-based Energy Standard won the meet, catching the Condors at the end, 493.0-490.5, with D.C. Trident (USA) third with 322.0. More here.