What I’m watching: July 21-31

Friday, July 21 6:10 a.m.: Water polo, men’s Worlds, USA-Russia, NBC Sports online 11:45 a.m.: Women’s Euro 2017, Sweden-Russia, ESPN3 2 p.m.: Track and field, Diamond League Monaco, NBCSN 2:30 p.m.: Women’s Euro 2017, Germany-Italy, ESPN3 11:30 p.m.: Australian rules football, Essendon-North Melbourne, FS2 Saturday, July 22 7:30 a.m.: Tour de France, time trial, NBCSN 11:45 a.m.: Women’s Euro 2017, Iceland-Switzerland, ESPN3 2:30 p.m.: Women’s Euro 2017, France-Austria, ESPN3 3:30 p.m.: NWSL, Chicago-Orlando, Lifetime 4 p.m.: MLS, Minnesota-NY Red Bulls, ESPN 6 p.m.: UFC Fight Night, Fox 10 p.m.: Gold Cup semifinal, USA-Costa Rica, FS1 Sunday, July 23 Ongoing: Golf, … Continue reading What I’m watching: July 21-31

Why the USA fell flat in track and field World Championships

The knee-jerk reaction is to find one small group of overlords to blame. But when knowledgeable folks like those at Daily Relay chime in, you get a different reaction: So what will be the response to the lowest medal total since 2003? Not much probably. Outside of the relays, there is no centralized control in American track and field. The majority of the athletes have their own coach and training system, independent of the national team. As a result, the governing body gets too much credit when the medal total is high and too much blame when it is low. … Continue reading Why the USA fell flat in track and field World Championships

Medal projection fever: Events that matter in 2015

Ten days until the men’s handball World Championships! That’s the first of many events that will feed into the 2016 medal projections this year. By the end of the year, I’ll have every Rio event projected. Even SuperBacteria Sailing. Wikipedia rounds up nearly everything that matters in 2015, but I’ll focus here on medal projection events, mostly World Championships. Jan. 15-Feb. 1: Men’s handball Worlds, Qatar. Winner qualifies for Olympics. Feb. 18-22: Track cycling Worlds, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines. Olympic qualifying is based on rankings. April 14-19: Equestrian dressage and jumping World Cup finals, Las Vegas. The World Equestrian Games are in even non-Olympic years. The other Olympic … Continue reading Medal projection fever: Events that matter in 2015

The unconscionable treatment of Lolo Jones

Clear your mind of any images. Now look at the following accomplishments: – World indoor champion, 60-meter hurdles, 2008 and 2010 – World Athletics Final champion, 100-meter hurdles, 2008 – 4th place in 2012 Olympics – 2nd place in 2010 Diamond League – Leading 2008 Olympic final before tripping on a hurdle – 6th place, 2007 World Championships – Second-fastest time in the world in 2009 – Fastest time in the world (12.43, Olympic semifinal) in 2008. Since them, only three hurdlers have gone faster (Australia’s Sally Pearson five times, USA’s Brianna Rollins twice, USA’s Dawn Harper Nelson once). Rollins, the … Continue reading The unconscionable treatment of Lolo Jones

Monday Myriad, July 28: Sprinter’s paradise

We begin this week with a view of a cycling sprint finish from the winner’s perspective. Sounds like that would be “nothing,” but Marianne Vos didn’t take the lead until the last few meters: Last 200m is strangely zen. RT @Bonnie_D_Ford Yowsers MT @velonews On-board footage from Vos final km/La Course. http://t.co/Igw8bPGtm7 … … — Jason Gay (@jasongay) July 28, 2014 And another point-of-view video from a winning cyclist, this time from BMX women’s world champion Mariana Pajon. Nibali cares not for your dropped call: Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali is a model of focus as he plows right through … Continue reading Monday Myriad, July 28: Sprinter’s paradise

Monday Myriad, July 21: Spike and strike

This week: A couple of U.S. teams won world championships (one official, one nearly official), and we had a track meet with a series of dizzying performances. We are the champions (I): U.S. men in the World League volleyball final. #FIVBWorldLeague: USA win the World League for the second time and for the first time since 2008. USA were ranked 12th last year. — Gracenote Olympic (@GracenoteGold) July 20, 2014 We are the champions (II): U.S. women’s saber team in the fencing world championships. And individually, Mariel Zagunis rocks on … .@marielzagunis says she feels "reinvigorated" after winning silver for @USFencing at … Continue reading Monday Myriad, July 21: Spike and strike

Monday Myriad, July 14: Steeple-caught

A few things you might have missed while waiting for Argentina to get a shot on frame: BEST RECORD PERFORMANCE Emma Coburn wanted the U.S. record in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase. Ethiopia’s Hiwot Ayalew just wanted a Diamond League win. The result: a terrific duel down the stretch, a world-leading time, and a record. .@emmajcoburn breaks 3000m steeple American record Read more: http://t.co/kuDQgnzWV4 VIDEO: http://t.co/H8DLNZ3Z7M pic.twitter.com/2acRfdWwVh — USATF (@usatf) July 12, 2014 CLOSEST FINISH OK, you tell me who won this race. The answer is Nickel Ashmeade in 9.97, with Mike Rodgers second (also in 9.97) and Nesta Carter third … Continue reading Monday Myriad, July 14: Steeple-caught

Monday Myriad, July 7: Meb passed a lot of you

Best and worst in myriad sports this week: BEST CHARITY RUN Meb Keflezighi started at the back of the Peachtree Road Race. He couldn’t pass everyone — the top runners were had been done for more than an hour by the time he started — but he reached his goal of passing 25,000 runners. WORST COMPETITION We were used to the idea of Ronda Rousey being a better grappler than every woman in MMA. Once she got you in her grasp, you were likely to fall prey to the armbar she honed as an Olympic judo medalist. In her last … Continue reading Monday Myriad, July 7: Meb passed a lot of you

A track and field World Cup?

Like European soccer competitions, track and field isn’t necessarily in bad shape, but it’s fun to talk about tinkering. Daily Relay’s Jesse Squire is a big fan of team competitions, so he asks the logical question for the one year each quadrennium in which soccer has its world championship at stake while track and field has none: What if Track & Field Had a World Cup?. The big stars may sit out. Their only competition, really, is the record book. Everyone else has trouble getting attention. If you know the 100 meters at a Diamond League meet has no Bolt, … Continue reading A track and field World Cup?