The Sports Examiner’s best Olympic-sport performances of the weekend … includes two fine Jamaican performances, but also a powerful start by the formidable U.S. swimmers:
=> No. 5: Usain Bolt, Evan Jager and Ajee Wilson
At the IAAF Diamond League meet in Monaco, Jamaican icon Usain Bolt showed that he is quite capable of winning the 100 m World Championship in London in a couple of weeks. But American Evan Jager ran the no. 2 time in U.S. history in winning the Steeplechase from Kenya’s Jairus Birech and Ajee Wilson set an American Record in the 800 meters in a tight finish with Olympic medalists Caster Semenya and Francine Niyonsaba.
=> No. 4: British diver Tom Daley
The 2009 World Champion in the 10 m Platform event, Britain’s Tom Daley famously imploded last year and failed to make the Olympic final in Rio. In 2017, he was expected to challenge for a medal, but China’s Aisen Chen – gold medalist in Rio – was a prohibitive favorite. Instead, Daley’s first two dives gave him a lead he would never relinquish, and a second World title, in Budapest.
=> No. 3: U.S. women’s hockey team wins FIH World League semi
True, it was only a semi-final tournament, but the sixth-ranked U.S. women fought their way through second-ranked England and then out-lasted Germany in the final, winning two shoot-outs in a row to claim the win and move on to the final later this year.
=> No. 2: U.S. into the CONCACAF Gold Cup final … against Jamaica?
Turnarounds came this weekend in the Gold Cup as the U.S. powered through Costa Rica and reversed the humiliating loss last November with a 2-0 at AT&T Stadium in Texas. Meanwhile, Jamaica’s Kemar Lawrence curled a free kick into the Mexican goal to send the Reggae Boyz to their second straight Gold Cup final with a 1-0 upset.
One more winner from these results will be the advertising directors of Mexican radio and television sportstalk shows, which are sure to see their audiences increase!
=> No. 1: United States swimmers
The American swim team had an astonishing first day at the FINA World Championships with three gold medals, four total medals and five American records. Katie Ledecky won two golds on the first day and Caeleb Dressel set two American records, wiping out two marks from the plastic-suit era in one day.