Russia up, Canada down in Perpetual Medal Count

The USA did just fine at the World Track and Field Championships in London. Maybe better than fine. No one dropped a relay baton, so that’s an improvement.

And the USA is still the runaway leader in the Perpetual Medal Count. But Russia is gaining on China, with a small asterisk.

Quick reminder of how this works: The Perpetual Medal Count starts with the 2016 Olympic medal count. As we have World Championships or similar events, each country “defends” its medals like championship belts in boxing or MMA. A lot of sports haven’t had a major competition since the Olympics, so those medals have not changed. Others have changed quite a bit, and we’ve added all the new events (skateboarding, sport climbing, mixed relays in everything) to the Perpetual Medal Count.

Here’s the current table, comparing the 2016 Olympic medal count with the PMC:


The major changes since the debut Perpetual Medal Count after the aquatics World Championships:

  • The beach volleyball World Championships didn’t change much. Brazil matched its two medals from Rio, and the USA and Germany matched their one medal each. But Russia picked up one medal, inching it closer to second place.
  • The women’s volleyball World Grand Prix final saw the USA and China each lose a medal.
  • Track and field changed a lot.

But we have a caveat: The medals assigned to “Authorized Neutral Athletes” in the World Championships have been assigned to Russia in the PMC. They’re all Russian athletes, and their “neutral” status is left over from the Great Russian Doping Scandal of 2014-16. The PMC is designed to tell us the relative strength of each country’s Olympic team, and these athletes won’t be “neutral” forever.

So that accounts for a six-medal swing for Russia. Little wonder they’ve almost caught China.

Other notes on the current tally:

  • Reminder: The USA picks up a lot of medals here in new events like skateboarding.
  • The World Championships did not include a mixed relay, even though that’s a new Olympic event. It did include a women’s 50k walk, which is not yet in the Olympics and therefore not included in the PMC.
  • Canada had six track and field medals in 2016. This year, none. Andre De Grasse’s injury was a killer.
  • The other big winners from track and field were Poland (up 5) and the Netherlands (up 3).
  • The other big loser from track and field was Jamaica (down 7). It wasn’t just Usain Bolt — the sprinters were virtually shut out across the board.


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, British Open, NBC

9:30 a.m.: Field hockey, Women’s World League semifinal final, USA-Germany, ESPN3

2 p.m.: Swimming, World Championships, NBCSN

2:30 p.m.: Women’s Euro 2017, England-Spain, ESPN3

6:30 p.m.: MLS, Vancouver-Portland, FS1

Monday, July 24

11:30 a.m.: Swimming, World Championships, NBCSN

2:30 p.m.: Women’s Euro 2017, Belgium-Netherlands, ESPN3

Tuesday, July 25

11:30 a.m.: Swimming, World Championships, NBCSN

2:30 p.m.: Women’s Euro 2017, Russia-Germany or maybe Sweden-Italy, ESPN3

Wednesday, July 26

11:30 a.m.: Swimming, World Championships, NBCSN

7:30 p.m.: International Champions Cup, Barcelona-Manchester United, ESPN2

9:30 p.m.: Gold Cup final (might include the USA, might not), FS1

Thursday, July 27

6 a.m.: Cricket, England-South Africa, first day of third Test, ESPN3

11:30 a.m.: Swimming, World Championships, NBCSN

2:30 p.m.: Women’s Euro 2017, no idea which game, ESPN3

10 p.m.: Women’s soccer, USA-Australia, ESPN

Friday, July 28

6 a.m.: Cricket, England-South Africa, second day of third Test, ESPN3

11:30 a.m.: Swimming, World Championships, NBCSN

2 p.m.: Cricket, T20, Sussex-Middlesex, ESPN3

Saturday, July 29

6 a.m.: Cricket, England-South Africa, third day of third Test, ESPN3

11:45 a.m.: Women’s Euro 2017 quarterfinal, ESPN3

2 p.m.: Swimming, World Championships, NBC

2:30 p.m.: Women’s Euro 2017 quarterfinal, ESPN3

10 p.m.: MLS, Los Angeles-Seattle, ESPN

11 p.m.: Darts, Las Vegas Masters, FS1

Sunday, July 30

6 a.m.: Cricket, England-South Africa, fourth day of third Test, ESPN3

8 a.m.: Formula One, Hungarian GP, NBCSN

11:30 a.m.: Swimming, World Championships, NBCSN

11:45 a.m.: Women’s Euro 2017 quarterfinal, ESPN3

2 p.m.: MLS, Toronto-NYCFC, ESPN

2:30 p.m.: Women’s Euro 2017 quarterfinal, ESPN3

5 p.m.: BMX, World Championships, NBC Sports online

8 p.m.: Women’s soccer, USA-Brazil, ESPN2

Monday, July 31

6 a.m.: Cricket, England-South Africa, fifth day of third Test, ESPN3

There’s also cricket and cornhole. Yes, cornhole. And Battle of the Network Stars.

(All times ET. Olympic Channel events are pending a dispute with my cable/Internet company, which rhymes with “horizon.”)

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. There won’t be any massive changes because of this performance because there really are no changes to make.

I feel like I have to offer a disclaimer when I respond to unfair criticism of USA Track and Field because one of their execs is a friend of mine. Then again, she’s a friend of mine because we worked together, and I found her to be a good, honest co-worker who’s smart as hell.

I had been thinking of doing a full examination of what went wrong for the USA in Beijing, but Daily Relay did it better than I could. I bow to their expertise …

Source: Monday Morning Run: A World Championships in 15 nouns | Daily Relay

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 discipline, eventing, has World Cup events from March to October. Wikipedia sums up Olympic qualifying quite well and links to the official documents.

April 26-May 3: Table tennis Worlds, Suzhou, China. Little effect on Olympic qualifying, which is done through continental tournaments and rankings.

May 16-17: Rugby (men’s) Sevens Series final, London. Top four in final standings qualify for Olympics.

May 23-24: Rugby Women’s Sevens Series final, Amsterdam. Top four in final standings … you get the idea.

May 30-June 20: Soccer, men’s U20 World Cup, New Zealand. The closest analogue to an Olympic men’s soccer (U23 plus some overage players) event this year. Olympic qualification is in 2016.

* June 6-July 5: Soccer, Women’s World Cup, Canada. For European teams, this is also this Olympic qualifier, as absurd as that is. North American qualification will be in 2016.

June 8-14: Sailing, World Cup final, Weymouth and Portland, England. Sailing has Worlds in non-Olympic even years, though some classes also have Worlds in odd years. Got it? I’m just linking to Wikipedia for the Olympic qualification summary, which is more up-to-date and coherent than the official version.

June 26-July 5: Beach volleyball Worlds, Netherlands. The FIVB also has four “majors” in June through August and five “Grand Slams” in May through August. That’s not confusing at all. World champions earn Olympic quotas; most of the other spots are filled by rankings.

June 28-July 28: Modern pentathlon Worlds, Berlin. Three Olympic quota spots per gender available. World Cup final, which offers one spot per gender, is two weeks earlier. They’ll also give three more per gender at the 2016 Worlds.

July 13-19: Fencing Worlds, Moscow. The Grand Prix runs through May 31. Olympic qualification is mostly rankings.

July 21-25: BMX Worlds, Heusden-Zolder, Germany. Also World Cup events in April, May, August and September (2). Olympic qualification is almost solely based on rankings.

* July 24-Aug. 9: Aquatic Worlds (swimming, diving, water polo, synchro, open water), Kazan, Russia. Diving also has a World Series and a Grand Prix leading up to an October finale. The water polo World League finals will be in June and July. FINA kindly wraps up all its Olympic qualifying info on one hub page. Quota spots at stake here: Swimming relays, open water, diving, water polo. Not individual swimming races (based on qualifying times) or synchronized swimming (continental qualifiers).

July 26-Aug. 2: Archery Worlds, Copenhagen, Denmark. Olympic quotas at stake. World Cups are scattered May through October in addition to an indoor season that wraps Feb. 6-7 in Las Vegas.

Aug. 6-16: Shooting, World Cup, Gabala, Azerbaijan. This is the last stop of the year in which Olympic quotas are at stake. Except in shotgun (see Sept. 9-18).

Aug. 10-16: Badminton Worlds, Jakarta, Indonesia. Other events go year-round. Olympic quotas based on world ranking May 5, 2016.

Aug. 19-23: Canoe sprint Worlds, Milan, Italy. Many Olympic quota spots at stake. Also three World Cup events in May.

* Aug. 22-30: Track and field Worlds, Beijing. The Diamond League runs May 15 through July 30, then resumes after Worlds with final events Sept. 3 and 11. Olympic qualification is based mostly on times.

Aug. 22-Sept. 6: Women’s volleyball World Cup, Japan. The World Championship was last year, and the World Grand Prix will wrap earlier in the summer. This one has a couple of Olympic spots available.

Aug. 24-30: Judo Worlds, Astana, Kazakhstan. Olympic qualification is driven by rankings, so watch Grand Slam (ouch!) and Grand Prix events through the year.

Aug. 30-Sept. 6: Rowing Worlds, Lac d’Aiguebelette, France. This is the main Olympic quota qualifier.

Aug. 31-Sept. 6: Mountain bike Worlds, Vallnord, Andorra. World Cup final is a week earlier. Olympic qualification based mostly on rankings.

Sept. 7-13: Rhythmic gymnastics Worlds, Stuttgart, Germany. Many Olympic quotas at stake.

* Sept. 7-13: Wrestling Worlds, Las Vegas. Winners get Olympic quotas.

Sept. 8-23: Men’s volleyball World Cup, Japan. The World Championship was last year, and the World League will wrap earlier in the summer. This one has a couple of Olympic spots available.

Sept. 9-18: Shooting, World Shotgun Championship, Lonato, Italy. Yes, Olympic quotas are at stake.

Sept. 15-20: Canoe slalom Worlds, London. This is the big Olympic qualifier. World Cups run June through August.

Sept. 15-20: Triathlon World Series final, Chicago. Last of a 10-race series in addition to several World Cup races. Many Olympic quota spots are based on rankings, but there are a few other events that give automatic spots. Not this one, though.

Sept. 16-23: Taekwondo World Championships, Chelyabinsk, Russia. Olympic quotas based mostly on ranking.

Sept. 19-27: Road cycling Worlds, Richmond, Va. (!!) Overshadowed by the Tour de France and sometimes lost in the very busy cycling calendar, but the time trials have Olympic quota spots up for grabs.

Oct. 5-18: Men’s boxing Worlds, Qatar. Women’s Worlds were held in November 2014. Will add links when AIBA’s website comes back up. The men’s event has a handful of Olympic quotas at stake.

* Oct. 24-Nov. 2: Gymnastics Worlds, Glasgow. Many Olympic quotas at stake. Gymnastics has a few other competitions through the year, but not always with great pools of talent.

Nov. 20-29: Weightlifting Worlds, Houston. Olympic quotas at stake.

Nov. 28-Dec. 6: Field hockey men’s World League final, Mohali, India. Olympic qualifying spots at stake. Field hockey also has a World Cup in non-Olympic even years.

Nov. 25-28: Trampoline Worlds, Odense, Denmark. Will fill roughly half of the Olympic quotas.

Dec. 5-13: Field hockey women’s World League finals, Rosario, Argentina. Olympic qualifying spots at stake. Field hockey also has a World Cup in non-Olympic even years.

Dec. 5-20: Women’s handball Worlds, Denmark.  Winner qualifies for Olympics.

No World Championships or definitive international competition this year: Basketball (men’s World Cup and women’s World Championship in 2014).

Golf and tennis qualification is based on rankings, and you won’t need me to tell you when the majors pop up.

Important events and Olympic qualifiers in the Americas …

July 10-26: Pan Am Games, Toronto. A few sports use this for Olympic qualification, including canoe/kayak, diving, equestrian, field hockey, handball, shooting, table tennis, water polo.

2016 or tba: Continental or last-chance qualifiers in archery, beach volleyball, boxing, canoe/kayak (only for countries with no qualifiers), diving, fencing, gymnastics, handball, modern pentathlon, mountain bike, rowing, rugby, soccer, synchronized swimming. table tennis, triathlon, water polo, volleyball, weightlifting, wrestling.


And for winter sports folks …

Jan. 15-25: Snowboarding and freestyle skiing Worlds, Kreischberg, Austria. It’s like the FIS answer to the X Games! And unfortunately, it’s scheduled at the same time …

Jan. 22-25: Winter X Games, Aspen. Looks like they’ll have most of the top athletes except perhaps in one or two events.

Feb. 2-15: Alpine skiing Worlds, Vail/Beaver Creek, Colo.

Feb. 12-15: Speedskating Worlds (single-distance), Heerenveen, Netherlands. The sprint championships are Feb. 28-March 1 (Astana, Kazakhstan), allrounds are March 7-8 (Calgary).

Feb. 14-15: Luge Worlds, Sigulda, Latvia.

Feb. 18-March 1: Nordic skiing Worlds (including ski jumping and combined), Falun, Sweden.

Feb. 23-March 8: Bobsled/skeleton Worlds, Winterberg, Germany.

March 3-15: Biathlon Worlds, Kontiolahti, Finland.

March 13-15: Short-track speedskating Worlds, Moscow.

March 14-22: Women’s curling Worlds, Sapporo, Japan. Interesting test for the USA’s revamped High Performance program.

March 23-29: Figure skating Worlds, Shanghai.

March 28-April 4: Women’s hockey Worlds, Malmo, Sweden. USA’s turn at last? Will anyone other than the USA and Canada take gold or silver?

March 28-April 5: Men’s curling Worlds, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Another interesting test for the USA’s revamped High Performance program.

May 1-17: Men’s hockey Worlds, Czech Republic. (As always, conveniently scheduled while many of the world’s best players are busy with the Stanley Cup playoffs.)

And other stuff you should know about this year:

Jan. 31-Feb. 1: Cyclocross Worlds, Tabor, Czech Republic. Not an Olympic event but should be. In Katie Compton we trust.

Feb. 14-March 29: Cricket (men’s) World Cup, Australia/New Zealand.

July 4-18??: American football Worlds. Moving from Sweden to Canton, Ohio. Not sure if they’ll keep those dates.

Sept. 18-Oct. 31: Rugby (men’s) World Cup, England.

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 U.S. record-holder and current world champion, is just 23 years old and has a bright future.

– Sixteen international outdoor wins

The USA’s Queen Harrison, Danielle Carruthers and Kellie Wells have had some Diamond League success, which just underscores how tough it is to even make a U.S. Olympic team in this event. (Also why some people haven’t made it to the World Championships.) This person was the clear-cut No. 1 in 2008, then made it back in 2012 (after spinal surgery) and took fourth place behind Pearson, Harper Nelson and Wells.

Pearson and Harper Nelson also medaled in 2008 — flip the order with Harper Nelson winning and Pearson silver. They’re clearly the top two hurdlers of the past six years. Wells may be third — she took bronze in 2012 and was in good position for a major title (2011 World Championships) but stumbled.

So we could say the person in question was the best hurdler in the world in 2008 and still in the top four in 2012, an accomplishment after surgery.

Oh, by the way, she also won a World Championship gold medal in bobsled in the 2013 mixed team event, she made the U.S. Winter Olympic team in 2014, and she was named 2008 Visa Humanitarian of the Year after donating her prize money from the Olympic Trials to a single mother who was affected by flooding in Iowa.

OK, now you can put the picture back in your head. Obviously, we’re talking about Lolo Jones.

And that resume is considerably better than that of Danica Patrick or Anna Kournikova, two other athletes derided for being more famous than their accomplishments supposedly merit.

Patrick and Kournikova also take more flack than they deserve. We can debate Patrick’s GoDaddy ads or whether Kournikova put in the practice time to turn her potential into success in singles, but Patrick has the compelling story of a female driver carving out a space in a sport that has been rather harsh to women (you’ll never convince me Mike Wallace didn’t take out Shawna Robinson after she won the pole in a Grand National race), and Kournikova she still had a terrific doubles career.

Critics hate Lolo Jones because … she’s self-promoting? Not at the expense of anyone else. Because … she’s considered attractive? First of all, that hasn’t hurt a lot of male athletes. Second of all, shouldn’t we be happy that athletic women are lauded for their looks? Isn’t that a healthier body image than the emaciated figures who have dominated modeling and Hollywood for so long? As much as I cringe at the Alex Morgan fanboys who turn up at Portland’s road games and care nothing about the home team or any other players, at least they’re getting out of their parents’ basements, getting some fresh air and being pulled away from tweeting a bunch of misogynist crap about female athletes.

If you think Dawn Harper Nelson should get more attention than Lolo Jones, I have a novel suggestion. Write about Dawn Harper Nelson. She’s a two-time Olympic medalist who ran a personal best of 12.37 in London, second only to Pearson’s Olympic record of 12.35. Her coach is the legendary Bob Kersee. She’s remarkably consistent, winning the Diamond League season title in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

And she exists on social media. She has a solid Facebook presence with 1,514 likes. She’s also happy to be in an algebra textbook.

Bottom line: Track and field doesn’t get as much attention as it should. If someone actually manages to be noticed and gets on Dancing with the Stars, good for her. If you think it’s unfair that other athletes aren’t getting as much attention, do you think it helps those athletes when you snark on Lolo?

Lolo Jones is a world-class athlete with a charismatic personality. Dawn Harper-Nelson is the world’s most consistent hurdler who gets a kick out of being mentioned in an algebra textbook. No reason we can’t appreciate them both.

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:

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 a spectator’s calling arm. And the spectator also keeps her focus, ignoring the cyclists, the motorbikes, the oncoming car …

Things you don’t want to hear in cycling: “Midair collision”

More fast people: World Juniors track and field in Oregon.

But always remember …

Vertical jump matters, not age: Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross keep rolling.

And Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal made it a U.S. sweep on home sand …

The shots you don’t take: Compelling read on the need to take risks — pushing numbers up the field in soccer, swinging away in cricket — to get anywhere in sports.

On the other hand: Here’s a good strategy for getting out of an MMA fight without any blood or bruises: Tap out immediately.

Away win: U.S. wrestler Brent Metcalf came back from 6-0 down to beat Azerbaijan’s Magomed Muslimov at the FILA Golden Grand Prix in Azerbaijan. The key move, which earned four points to seal the tiebreaker for Metcalf, is at the 6:12 mark here:

USA Wrestling has the other U.S. results from that day and the next day, where the USA’s Elena Pirozhkova jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the final and held on with ease:

Comparisons: I think I’d rather be the Peyton Manning of bocce.

Along those lines …

Arf: Let’s see Rio 2016 top the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony:

Frame-by-frame defeat: Boxer Daniel Geale vs. Gennady Golovkin

21 seconds in: “Hey, I just landed a punch! That felt really good!”

32 seconds in: “Hmmm, maybe I should’ve been in better position to take this-”

Guess the sport: An U.S. Olympian has finally completed the American Ninja Warrior qualifying course. We’ll give some hints: It wasn’t a gymnast (Paul Hamm and Morgan Hamm did pretty well on the Japanese precursor Sasuke), nor was it a medalist. Give up? Here’s the answer.

UPDATE: I missed Jarrod Shoemaker’s World Cup triathlon silver when I posted. Please forgive me.

If you like full recaps of U.S. athletes in action or track and field in general, try and Daily Relay later in the evening. If you like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain … actually, I don’t like either of those things, so call someone else.

Catch the Monday Myriad again next week.

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.

We are the champions (II): U.S. women’s saber team in the fencing world championships.

And individually, Mariel Zagunis rocks on …

Don’t say I didn’t warn you: Remember when I did a few posts on the War on Nonrevenue Sports? (No you don’t, please don’t lie.) Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, also a U.S. Olympic Committee board members, sees a post-O’Bannon suit future in which men’s Olympic sports are gone.

Best doping excuse: Want to know why athletes often claim they doped accidentally or tested positive because of a contaminated supplement? Because it happens. Just ask biathlete Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle.

Speaking of the complex morality of doping …

“Daddy, can we ride the white elephant?”: No, because Barcelona is actually making good use of its Olympic venues.

Big things that happened at the Herculis Diamond League meet:

Take a look — Gatlin goes so fast he can hardly stay in his lane …

(Always a cynic …)

Over to the women’s 5,000 …


Then the women’s 800 for a big upset in a world-leading time by American Ajee Wilson, which you wouldn’t have expected even with 200 meters left …

And the men’s 1,500, where most of the top nine set some sort of mark …

And Tori Bowie — from unknown quantity on the track to dominance …

See the Daily Relay wrap.

Fond farewell: Thanks to Betsey Armstrong, you’ll no longer think of your 100-year-old distant cousin when you hear the name “Betsy.”

Monday Myriad, July 14: Steeple-caught

A few things you might have missed while waiting for Argentina to get a shot on frame:


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.


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 (9.98).




Mass quantities being exchanged here after a triathlon mixed relay.

But how’d Gwen Jorgensen do? She merely won her fourth straight women’s event. Here’s her explanation:


Jorgensen. Then this …






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

Best and worst in myriad sports this week:


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.


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 two fights, Rousey has faced two accomplished grapplers — Olympic wrestling medalist Sara McMann and jiu-jitsu black belt Alexis Davis. She knocked both of them out in a combined time of 1 minute, 22 seconds. McMann, at least, is a relatively inexperienced MMA fighter. But Davis should have the kickboxing experience to avoid being knocked out in 16 seconds. And really, it was over in about 12.

Unless everyone can quit making excuses and let Rousey face Cris Cyborg, the woman who demolished the game but overwhelmed Gina Carano in the biggest pre-Rousey women’s MMA bout, who’s left to face her?


The USA is sending 94 people to the Youth Olympic Games. One, table tennis player Lily Zhang, is the first U.S. athlete to have been in the regular old Olympics before she was in the Youth Olympics.


The three finalists for the 2022 Winter Olympics are the only cities still bidding — Beijing, Almaty and Oslo. And you can almost hear the IOC saying, “Please be Oslo, please be Oslo.”




Justin Gatlin needed a world-leading time of 9.80 seconds to beat Tyson Gay (9.93), who was returning from a one-year doping suspension.

Gay got a win on Monday.


Not “rally” in the sense of a comeback. World League volleyball, USA-Russia.

(Start at 1:25 if you’re not already taken there.)



The World Series of Poker main event is underway.


Jenny Simpson got out in front and nearly stayed there in the 1,500 meters in Paris. The quick tempo wound up dragging five runners under the four-minute mark. The Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan posted the top time of the year, Simpson just missed the American record (Mary Slaney, 3:57.12), and fellow American Shannon Rowbury (DUKIE!) set a personal best.


Kirani James vs LaShawn Merritt, once again. This time in Lausanne. No spoilers. Just watch.


World League volleyball, Pool A: Brazil, Italy, Iran, Poland. Each team played 12 matches. Brazil’s record: 6-6. Italy’s record: 6-6. Iran’s record: 6-6. Poland’s record: Basic match tells you what it has to be. A four-way tie.

By tiebreakers, it’s Italy, Iran, Brazil, Poland. And that leaves Poland out of the next round. But their fans were still great.

Meanwhile, the USA traveled to Serbia, needing a win to clinch a spot in the final.


The Daily Relay’s Monday Morning Run rounds up the record chases in track and field this year, along with a Tim Howard save. Also in that roundup is the shocking revelation of a massive mistake — when Emma Coburn ran away from an elite field to win the steeplechase in Shanghai, a couple of runners assumed she was just a pacemaker. They didn’t even realize she finished the race, crossing the line and thinking they had finished first and second.

They’re not making that mistake again.

And as always, Ollie Williams’ Frontier Sports roundup is a must-read. The Monday wrap features a lot of cycling (including a third sport for Dutch short-track/long-track speedskater Jorien Ter Mors) and the odd story of a judo athlete who won her appeal against a positive test for cocaine, spurring a new investigation to find out who might have slipped her the powder.

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, no Gatlin, no Powell and no Gay, you’re probably not interested. But suppose you have national teams represented?

Track and field needs context. You can get it from a record chase. Or Olympic or World Championship competition — which usually includes national team interest even without team scoring. You don’t get it when you tune into a Diamond League steeplechase and see 12 Kenyans at the starting line, and no one’s giving you many cues to differentiate them.

So is this worth exploring, particularly in the wake of the successful World Relays? Sure!

We’ll get back to tinkering with the Europa League. USA-Belgium is on.