THE UK has granted 10,500 temporary visas for overseas lorry drivers and workers to prevent a crisis at Christmas amid an international HGV driver shortage.
Read more here Daily Express :: UK Feed
THE UK has granted 10,500 temporary visas for overseas lorry drivers and workers to prevent a crisis at Christmas amid an international HGV driver shortage.
Read more here Daily Express :: UK Feed
The Metropolitan Police issued the appeal to help identify “those who we think have questions to answer”. Last Sunday’s final saw ugly scenes at Wembley as large numbers of ticketless fans stormed their way into the country’s national football stadium ahead of the game between England and Italy.
The Metropolitan said in a statement that after the match “officers began the painstaking process of reviewing hundreds of hours of CCTV and body-worn video content from Wembley Stadium and other key locations”.
It added: “The meticulous investigation will continue to identify further people of interest or indeed other offences which may have occurred.”
Anyone who can identify the people in the released images is urged to contact police.
Detective Sergeant Matt Simpson, from the Met’s Public Order Crime Team, said: “Following the scenes of disorder both at Wembley Stadium and in central London, we made a commitment that those responsible would face consequences.
READ MORE: Jacinda Ardern’s health chief launches scathing attack on Britain
The Met said on Friday that two men, both aged 18, had been arrested on suspicion of stealing items that helped ticketless fans storm Wembley Stadium on the night of the final.
Former Met deputy assistant commissioner Andy Trotter has described the Wembley scenes as “a stain on our country’s reputation”, while current deputy assistant commissioner Jane Connors said the final could have been abandoned if police had not stepped in.
The racial abuse of some England players following the match also marred its aftermath.
It prompted the Government to announce that it is changing the terms of the football banning order regime to cover online racism.
Boris Johnson said Football Banning Orders would be amended so that online offenders will also face 10-year bans.
And he said that tech firms would be fined for failing to stop “vile behaviour”.
In a statement, Mr Johnson said: “I was appalled by the abhorrent abuse directed towards a number of our footballers in the aftermath of Sunday’s game. More must be done to prevent people being bullied and trolled online.”
New laws would “force social media companies to take responsibility and action where this vile behaviour exists” or face fines, he added.
Since the final, five people have been arrested over their alleged social media posts.
As of June 13, 897 football-related incidents and 264 arrests had been recorded across the country in the 24-hour period surrounding the final, according to the United Kingdom Football Policing Unit.
That took the number of football-related incidents during the tournament to 2,344, and arrests to 630.
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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: UK Feed
Organizers have not announced what rules will be in place for athletes, officials and coaches at the Games or if fans will be allowed.
ZHANGJIAKOU, Hebei — With the postponed Summer Olympics set to open in Tokyo next week, Beijing has made moves to show its preparations for the Winter Games are well on track for February despite the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Journalists taken on a tour of snow event venues in the outlying city of Zhangjiakou this week were shown the locations for ski jumping, snowboarding and Nordic events.
While China has largely eliminated local transmission of the coronavirus, it has maintained strict quarantine regulations. Organizers have not announced what rules will be in place for athletes, officials and coaches at the 2022 Winter Olympics, or if fans will be allowed.
Jia Maoting, general manager of the company overseeing construction of the venues, told reporters that the “pandemic situation is uncertain, we cannot guess how it will develop.”
“We have solid determination to face the changing world,” Jia added. “We built good venues in any case and then we wait and expect a good result.”
China has also faced calls for a boycott of the games from foreign politicians and human rights groups over the country’s detention of more than 1 million members of the Uyghur and other Muslim ethnic groups in the northwestern region of Xinjiang.
Beijing says it provided voluntary job training and anti-radicalization classes and has denounced boycott calls as a politicization of sports based on false evidence.
The Chinese capital hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics and is the first city to be given rights to host the Winter Games as well.
Chen Rongqin, an official with the planning committee’s construction department, said work was largely completed apart from construction on temporary facilities that can’t be built too early.
“We still need to build some more facilities and houses in the next few months, and those are our major work now,” Chen said.
The National Ski Jumping Center was one of the major venues for the tour, highlighted with an evening light show. It is has been nicknamed Snow Ruyi, after an ancient ski slope-shaped jade ornament symbolizing good fortune. As well as its two ski jumping tracks, it has a football pitch at its base.
Zhangjiakou is about 200 kilometers (125 miles) to the west of Beijing in Hebei province, connected by a highway and a high-speed rail line.
It is due to host ski jumping, snowboarding, freestyle skiing, cross-country skiing, and Nordic combined and biathlon competitions during the Games.
The 2020 Summer Games were last year postponed for 12 months because of the pandemic.
There’ll be heavy restrictions on all participants at the Games, which open July 23. And with Tokyo in a state of emergency and rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in the city, there’ll be no fans allowed at most of the Olympic venues.
This post originally posted here CBS8 – Sports
“We look forward to providing the data that proves it’s simple for fully vaccinated status to be verified and to the Government meeting its commitment to get the country moving again,” he said.
Virgin Atlantic, meanwhile, are hopeful the new scheme will aid the reopening of US-UK travel.
Shai Weiss, chief executive of Virgin Atlantic, said the trial shows the industry’s desire to “rapidly operationalise the new policy, and work with Government and authorities to ensure it is smoothly implemented at pace, supporting the reopening of the transatlantic corridor, without which £23 million is lost each day from the UK economy”.
In a joint statement, the airlines and Heathrow pointed out that the Government is not currently reaping “the economic and social rewards” of the UK’s “successful vaccine programme”.
Author: Aimee Robinson
Read more here >>> Daily Express
Since 2016, civil liberties groups have raised alarms about online surveillance of social media chatter by city officials and police departments. Services like Media Sonar, Social Sentinel, and Geofeedia analyze online conversations, clueing in police and city leaders to what hundreds of thousands of users are saying online.
Zencity, an Israeli data-analysis firm that serves 200 agencies across the US, markets itself as a less invasive alternative, because it offers only aggregate data and forbids targeted surveillance of protests. Cities like Phoenix, New Orleans, and Pittsburgh say they use the service to combat misinformation and gauge public reaction to topics like social distancing enforcement or traffic laws.
Speaking to WIRED, CEO Eyal Feder-Levy describes the service’s built-in privacy safeguards, like redacting personal information, as a new approach to community engagement. Still, local officials who use Zencity describe a variety of new and potentially alarming uses for the tool, which some cities use without a public approval process, often through free trials.
Brandon Talsma, a county supervisor in Jasper County, Iowa, describes 72 intense hours last September that began with a warning from Zencity. His office had been using the tool for only a few months when Zencity’s analysts noticed a sudden increase in social media chatter about Jasper County following news reports of a gruesome killing.
A 44-year-old Black man living in the city of Grinnell, which is 92 percent white, had been found dead in a ditch, his body wrapped in blankets and set alight. Early news reports fixated on the grim details, and rumors spread that the man had been lynched by Grinnell residents.
“We’re a small county; we’ve got very limited assets and resources,” Talsma said. “It had the recipe to turn very ugly.”
Zencity noted that almost none of the online chatter originated in Iowa. Talsma’s team was afraid the rumors could snowball into the type of misinformation that causes violence. Talsma said the team hadn’t considered the racial optics until Zencity alerted them to the discussion online.
Police say the killing wasn’t racially motivated, and they called a press conference at which Iowa-Nebraska NAACP president Betty Andrews supported that finding. Police have since identified and charged four suspects, three white men and one white woman, in connection with the case.
Zencity creates custom reports for city officials and law enforcement, using machine learning to scan public conversations from social media, messaging boards, local news reports, and 311 calls, promising insights on how residents are responding to a particular topic. Firms like Meltwater and Brandwatch similarly track keyword phrases for corporate clients, but don’t bar users from seeing individual profiles.
This has been a powerful tool for local law enforcement agencies across the country, who are still responding to the nationwide debate on police reform as well as a recent spike in crime in major cities.
As long as critics are having these discussions on a public channel, Zencity can pick up and produce reports on what they’re saying. It does not have full access to the “fire hose” of everything discussed on Facebook and Twitter, but it continuously runs customized searches of the social media platforms to examine and weigh sentiment.
“If they’re going to meet at this location or that location, that’s all publicly available information, and it’s free for anyone to review,” explains Sheriff Tony Spurlock in Douglas County, Colorado, south of Denver. He says the sheriff’s office has used the tool for roughly a year, signing a $ 72,000 contract in early 2021. The tool delivers aggregate information and doesn’t identify individual users.
Agencies are warned about prohibited uses, says Feder-Levy. He says the software alerts the company if clients are using the service to target individuals or groups, as has happened elsewhere. In 2016, for example, Baltimore police tracked phrases like #MuslimLivesMatter, #DontShoot, and #PoliceBrutality.
Spurlock says the software proved useful after prosecutors in April concluded two officers were justified in shooting a man last December. Details of the shooting are complex: The man was armed with a knife, but he had struggled for years with bipolar depression and called 911 himself. Dispatch told the officers they were responding to an urgent domestic violence call, but the man’s wife describes the call as a wellness check and claims police fired almost immediately after arriving.
Spurlock’s office released a series of materials to the public: agency statements on the shooting and body camera footage after the shooting was deemed justified. Spurlock’s office used Zencity to measure resident sentiment on the topic, then followed up with neighborhood-based services such as Nextdoor for outreach.
In Feder-Levy’s vision, the service opens opportunities for officials to engage on topics they might have otherwise dismissed, like social service alternatives to police showing up to mental health checks. “When we show them the data and we say, ‘This is the topic that’s driving negative sentiment about police,’ that gives the sheriff’s office the ability to take action,” he says.
But police departments have their own resources for tracking and surveilling residents, regardless of what Zencity does or doesn’t permit on its own platform. Giving police the ability to monitor public discussions critical of policing is alarming to many privacy groups. Police across the US have used a variety of software over the years to scan social media, often scrutinizing groups tied to police reform and opposing surveillance.
Last summer, Minneapolis police requested user information from Google for anyone in the area around an AutoZone store looted in the days following George Floyd’s murder.
But while police have found Zencity useful (its official site lists nearly a dozen police departments as users), its introduction to the public has been rocky. In Pittsburgh, the city council first heard of the product at a late May meeting authorizing its renewal.
The city had used the tool for a year, but it hadn’t disclosed its purchase to the city council. Renewing the tool under a $ 30,000 contract, however, required council approval.
“Surveilling the public isn’t engaging the public,” said Pittsburgh city councillor Deb Gross. “It’s the opposite.”
Feder-Levy says Zencity will also begin offering surveys in addition to its usual service, to better gauge public opinion.
Dan Wilson, a spokesperson for the city of Phoenix, explains that the tool’s ability to provide even a rough sense of community sentiment about police can be useful. Phoenix has used Zencity for roughly two years. Recently, city officials used the tool to gauge how the public felt about traffic-light-mounted cameras, after a spike in deaths caused by drivers running red lights.
“In the end it comes down to the fact that most police departments just don’t have the time or the knowledge to do what Zencity can do,” Wilson says. “These reports were really valuable, to give me a snapshot of what was happening in my community, so I could then go and advise and get better information to decisionmakers.”
Author: Sidney Fussell
Read more here >>> Business Latest
Richardson, who won the 100 at Olympic trials in 10.86 seconds on June 19, told of her ban Friday on the “Today Show.” She tested positive at the Olympic trials and so her result is erased. Fourth-place finisher Jenna Prandini is expected to get Richardson’s spot in the 100.
Richardson accepted a 30-day suspension that ends July 27, which would be in time to run in the women’s relays. USA Track and Field has not disclosed plans for the relay.
The 21-year-old sprinter was expected to face Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in one of the most highly anticipated races of the Olympic track meet.
On Thursday, as reports swirled about her possible marijuana use, Richardson put out a tweet that said, simply: “I am human.” On Friday, she went on TV and said she smoked marijuana as a way of coping with her mother’s recent death.
“I was definitely triggered and blinded by emotions, blinded by badness, and hurting, and hiding hurt,” she said on “Today.” “I know I can’t hide myself, so in some type of way, I was trying to hide my pain.”
Richardson had what could have been a three-month sanction reduced to one month because she participated in a counseling program.
After the London Olympics, international regulators relaxed the threshold for what constitutes a positive test for marijuana from 15 nanograms per milliliter to 150 ng/m. They explained the new threshold was an attempt to ensure that in-competition use is detected and not use during the days and weeks before competition.
Though there have been wide-ranging debates about whether marijuana should be considered a performance-enhancing drug, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency makes clear on its website that “all synthetic and naturally occurring cannabinoids are prohibited in-competition, except for cannabidiol (CBD),” a byproduct that is being explored for possible medical benefits.
While not weighing in on her prospects for the relays, USATF put out a statement that said her “situation is incredibly unfortunate and devastating for everyone involved.” The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee said it was “working with USATF to determine the appropriate next steps.”
Richardson said if she’s allowed to run in the relay “I’m grateful, but if not, I’m just going to focus on myself.”
Her case is the latest in a number of doping-related embarrassments for U.S. track team. Among those banned for the Olympics are the reigning world champion at 100 meters, Christian Coleman, who is serving a suspension for missing tests, and the American record holder at 1,500 and 5,000 meters, Shelby Houlihan, who tested positive for a performance enhancer she blamed on tainted meat in a burrito.
Now, Richardson is out as well, denying the Olympics of a much-hyped race and an electric personality. She ran at the trials with flowing orange hair and long fingernails.
“To put on a face and go out in front of the world and hide my pain, who am I to tell you how to cope when you’re dealing with pain and struggles you’ve never had to experience before?” Richardson said.
Copyright © 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
This post originally appeared on ABC13
With temperatures reaching 108 degrees Fahrenheit, one athlete was wheelchaired off the field.
EUGENE, Ore. — The U.S. track and field trials came to a halt Sunday afternoon with temperatures reaching 108 degrees. One athlete, heptathlete Taliyah Brooks, was carted off the field in a wheelchair but was “OK,” her agent told The Associated Press.
Fans were filing into the stadium for the headline events of the final day of Olympic qualifying when, at around 3 p.m., the track announcer came onto the PA system and said action was being suspended due to extreme heat. He asked all spectators to evacuate.
Brooks was in fourth place after five of the seven events of the heptathlon, which is considered among the most grueling contests in track and field. She had been listed as a “DNS” — did not start — in the sixth event, the javelin. Her agent, Tony Campbell, said she had hopes of returning in the evening to compete.
The program was scheduled to resume at 8:30 p.m. PDT. Among those still waiting to secure spots in the Olympics were Noah Lyles in the men’s 200, and Dalilah Muhammad and Sydney McLaughlin, who were set to face off in the women’s 400-meter hurdles.
Earlier, JuVaughn Harrison won the high jump, contested under cloudless skies in 105-degree temperatures. Harrison was also entered in the long jump, which had been pushed back to the evening.
A record heat wave settled in over the Pacific Northwest for the second day, with the temperature in Portland, two hours north on Interstate 5, reaching an all-time record of 110 (43 Celsius).
With the humidity, Eugene felt like 113 in mid-afternoon. Third-place high jump finisher Shelby McEwen called the heat “mind blowing.”
“It’s crazy. I wasn’t expecting it to be this humid,” he said. “We just had to be mentally locked in, mentally prep ourselves for it, stay hydrated and go out and get the job done.”
The men’s 5,000 meters took place at 10 a.m. in a nod to the forecast, which since early last week had predicted triple-digits over the weekend. In temperatures reaching 90 degrees on the track, Paul Chelimo fended off a pair of runners for a .19-second victory.
“Honestly,” Chelimo said, “I wanted it a bit hotter.”
This post originally appeared on CBS8 – Sports
Amidst the blazing heat in the Pacific Northwest several athletes punched their tickets to Tokyo.
EUGENE, Ore — Erriyon Knighton, a 17-year-old from Florida, turned in the fastest time in the semifinal round of the men’s 200 meters at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials.
He finished in a personal-best 19.88 seconds in a heat that included world champion Noah Lyles. The Adidas-backed Knighton will have a chance to earn a spot to the Tokyo Games on Sunday as the trials conclude.
Knighton broke the under-20 world record that Usain Bolt set in 2004. Bolt, the retired Jamaican sensation, has the overall world record of 19.19.
Knighton was also a wide receiver in high school. He shut down any speculation he would consider playing football in college.
“Nah,” Knighton said. “Not an option of mine to go play football.”
Grant Holloway didn’t get the world record, but he did become an Olympian.
Holloway ran the 110-meter hurdles in 12.96 seconds, finishing first in the event at the track and field trails Saturday.
Holloway ran a fast 12.81 during the semifinals, leading to speculation that he might break the world record of 12.80 set by Aries Merrit in 2012.
“Don’t ever give up,” Holloway said to the television camera after his race, the last final of the day at Hayward Field.
Hollway is the 2019 world champion in the event and the current world record holder in the 60 hurdles.
Joining him on the team for Tokyo is Devon Allen, the former Oregon football player, who ran a 13.10 for a second straight Olympic berth. Daniel Roberts was third in 13.11 to round out the team.
Gabby Thomas held off a field that included Allyson Felix with a blazing fast time to win the women’s 200 meters at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials.
Thomas finished in a trials-record time of 21.61 seconds to earn a spot at the Tokyo Games. Joining her will be runner-up Jenna Prandini and third-place finisher Anavia Battle.
Felix wound up fifth. The nine-time Olympic medalist has already made her fifth Olympics team courtesy of a second-place finish in the 400 meters. Felix received a round of applause from the Hayward Field audience after an on-track interview.
Thomas turned in the third-fastest of all-time, trailing only Florence Griffith Joyner, who went 21.34 and 21.56 in 1988.
Thomas broke the trials record of 21.69 set by Felix in 2012.
Katie Nageotte’s pole vault of 16 feet, 2 3/4 inches Saturday put her on the Olympic team for Tokyo.
Nageotte’s vault was a record at the U.S. track and field trials, as well as a personal best and the best leap in the world this season.
It will be Nageotte’s first Olympics after finishing fifth at the trials in 2016.
Also making the team is Morgann LeLeux, who finished second with a vault of 15-5, and Sandi Morris, who was third with a leap of 15-1.
Morris is the American record holder in the event and finished with a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics.
Thirty-nine-year-old Jenn Suhr, who won the gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in London after winning the silver in the 2008 Beijing Games, finished fifth and did not making the Olympic team.
Rai Benjamin won the 400-meter hurdles at the Olympic track and field trials Saturday, earning a spot on the team for the Tokyo Games.
Benjamin, the silver medalist in the event at the 2019 world championships in Qatar, set a meet record with a finish in 46.83 seconds. It was also a personal best and gave him the world-leading time this season.
Rai Benjamin’s finish was just off Kevin Young’s 1992 world record of 46.78. Tokyo will mark his Olympic debut.
Also making the team was Kenny Selmon, who finished second in 48.08 and David Kendziera, who was third in 48.38 at Oregon’s Hayward Field.
Maggie Malone won the javelin at the track and field trials to earn a spot on the U.S. team at the Tokyo Games.
Malone set a meet record with a throw of 208 feet, 4 inches at Oregon’s Hayward Field on Saturday. It will be her second Olympics. She was on the 2016 team and finished 25th in the event.
Kara Winger made her fourth Olympic team with a throw of 201-8. Avione Allgood-Whetstone finished third at 193-4 but she does not have the Olympic standard.
DeAnna Price bested her own American record in the hammer throw and secured a spot on the U.S. Olympic team for Tokyo.
Price set the record at 263 feet, 6 inches. She became the first American woman with a throw over 80 meters (80.31) and just the seventh overall to throw that far.
She beat her own American record twice during the Olympic track and field trials on a steamy Saturday at Oregon’s Hayward Field.
Also securing a spot on the team for Tokyo was runner-up Brook Anderson, with a throw of 255 feet, and third-place finisher Gwendolyn Berry, with a throw of 241-2. It is Berry’s second Olympics.
It is also Price’s second Olympic team. She finished eighth in 2016 in Brazil. Since then, she won the gold at the 2019 world championships in Doha and is considered among the favorites heading in Japan.
Emily Sisson won the 10,000 meters at the Olympic trials in a race that was moved to earlier in the day to avoid the extreme heat.
Wearing sunglasses, Sisson pushed the pace early and no one could keep up as she finished in a trials-record time of 31 minutes, 3.82 seconds.
Sisson is headed to the Tokyo Games after not qualifying during the marathon trials in February 2020 on a cool day in Atlanta.
In the heat, she earned her place. Karissa Schweizer was second. She’s now qualified in both the 10,000 and 5,000 meters. Alicia Monson took third.
The temperature at the start of the race was 85 degrees (29.4 Celsius). It was supposed to held in the early evening when the temperature was expected to reach 102 degrees (38.9). There was a water table set up on the track for the athletes.
The runners stayed cool before the race any way they could. They wore ice vests, poured water over their necks and remained in the shade as long as possible.
This post originally appeared on CBS8 – Sports
A major heat wave hitting the Pacific Northwest was so severe Friday, it led to a number of false start alerts at the starting blocks, frustrating runners.
EUGENE, Ore — Hurdler Sydney McLaughlin’s knee was bloody. Lined up three lanes outside of her, Nnenya Hailey was so hot, she looked to the stands and begged for water.
That was before the race started.
Thanks in part to some hair-trigger sensors on the starting blocks, hurdlers felt the heat as acutely as anyone Friday on a 92-degree day at U.S. Olympic track and field trials.
It took five tries to get a heat of the men’s 110 meters off and running. It took another four to get McLaughlin and Co., off the blocks for their 400 qualifier.
“I’ve never had that many restarts ever in my life,” said McLaughlin, whose upcoming showdown with world-record holder Dalilah Muhammad could be one of the best races of the Olympic season. “My knee started bleeding a little bit just from the hot track, getting down that many times.”
McLaughlin won her heat. Hailey finished second. But with the temperatures heading to triple digits this weekend, this hardly felt like a no-fuss day of preliminaries for runners with bigger races in store.
“After the second restart, you know when you spit and your spit is, like, white?” Hailey said. “I couldn’t run like that. I literally looked in the audience and was like, ‘Who has a bottle of water?’”
She took a swig and passed it down the line.
Hailey also left the track with unexpected knee issues.
“Already crusty before I got here. By the time I leave, it’s probably going to be obliterated,” she said.
Only 20 minutes earlier, the men endured a similar struggle.
Four times they lined up. Four times the starting gun went off. Each time, the alarm sounded and the gun went off again to signal the illegal start. The crowd hooted and whistled. Ato Bolden and the NBC commentators went nuts, wondering aloud why the sensors weren’t being disabled. Only one runner, Samuel Brixey, was disqualified, but he lodged a protest and was moved on to the next round.
“Cut me some slack, man,” Brixey said before he knew the result of the appeal. “I was three for three and they call us back and they notify a couple other guys like, ‘Hey, your feet are moving.’ And then there was me, and they’re just like, ‘red card.’”
Only six Olympic spot were awarded Friday — three in steeplechase went to Hillary Bor, Benard Keter and Mason Ferlic; three in men’s discus went to Mason Finley, Reggie Jagers and Sam Mattis.
The rest of the day was about qualifying. And gearing up for what’s expected to be a sizzler of a weekend. Among those moving through without much trouble were Allyson Felix and Noah Lyles, both in the 200.
Felix could win an Olympic spot with a top-three finish Saturday, though she’d have to choose between that distance and the 400, which overlaps on the Olympic schedule.
Lyles moved to the semifinals along with his younger brother, Josephus, who trains with him in Florida.
“That humidity there, it’s like a whole weight on top of you. This, it’s like running through paper,” Lyles said.
Dry heat or not, the high Saturday is forecast to be 103. On Sunday, it’s 111.
That would be hotter than any day at world championships two years ago in the sultry Middle East city of Doha, Qatar. With expense not an issue, organizers installed air conditioning in the outdoor stadium to make things more tolerable there.
No such luck in Eugene. But USA Track and Field has moved Saturday’s 20K race walks up two hours, to 7 a.m., and switched the weekend’s distance races, the women’s 10,000 and men’s 5,000, to morning from the heat of the day. The other 12 finals this weekend, along with the grueling heptathlon, remain as scheduled — all in the afternoon, all in the heat of the day.
“You don’t beat the heat. That’s not something you run from,” said long jumper Jarrion Lawson. “Usually with heat comes great performances, so prepare and hydrate and compete and try to get off the track as soon as possible.”
Easier said than done for some.
“I don’t even know. I lost count,” said hurdler Jaylan McConico, who won the heat that needed five tries to get off the blocks. “After two, it was like, ‘All right, this is getting kind of old now.’”
This post originally appeared on CBS8 – Sports
Jessica Ramsey won the shot put for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team, breaking the meet and her personal best.
EUGENE, Ore — The Latest on U.S. track and field Olympic trials (all times PDT):
Emma Coburn is headed to her third Olympics after winning the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the U.S. track trials.
The American recordholder in the event, Coburn finished in a meetrecord 9 minutes, 9.41 seconds.
Joining her on the Olympic team will be Courtney Frerichs, who finished second in 9:11.79 and Val Constien, who finished in 9:18.34.
Following her victory, Coburn was rushed by members of her family, all wearing “Go Emma” T-shirts. Among them was her mom Annie, who was diagnosed in late 2019 with Stage 4 cancer.
“Sharing this with my mom is everything,” she said.
The event was heartbreaking for Leah Falland, who was among the favorites and was running for a top-three finish when she fell coming off a hurdle with two laps to go and couldn’t make up ground.
“I knew I could do it,” Falland said through tears about her chances of finishing in the top three and making the Olympics. “I knew it was in there. It was kind of shocking, to be honest. I’m sorry, just really, really sad.”
Jessica Ramsey won the shot put for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team, breaking the meet and her personal best at 66 feet, 1/4 inch.
Ramsey will be joined on the Olympic team by Raven Saunders (65-6) and Ohio State’s Adelaide Aquilla (62-2 1/4).
Saunders, who competed in an Incredible Hulk mask, danced on the field upon making her second Olympic team. She also hugged Michelle Carter, the defending Olympic champion in the event. Carter could not compete after having surgery to remove a benign tumor from her ankle earlier this month.
Aquilla won the NCAA title in the shot put at Hayward just two weeks ago.
Former Oregon runner Raevyn Rogers qualified for the semifinals in the women’s 800 meters Thursday below the tower at Hayward Field that bears her image.
Rogers is in elite company: Images of Bill Bowerman, Steve Prefontaine, Ashton Eaton and Otis Davis also grace the tower that was erected as part of the renovation of the storied track stadium.
During her career at Oregon, Rogers won six NCAA and three Pac-12 titles and won the Bowerman award for the best collegiate track and field athlete in the nation. During her run the Ducks won four NCAA team titles.
On Thursday, her grandmother and her aunt got to see her larger-than-life likeness on the tower for the first time. And they also got to see Rogers run.
“What made me the most touched and so happy about it was how it affected my grandmother. My grandmother is the closest person I have to my grandpa, and my grandpa passed. So she’s a very strong figure in our family and to see her so excited, and to know that it was worth it for me coming all the way out here and only coming home twice during college. They came in and saw it today – it was the first time seeing it in person. It’s just really a heartwarming feeling.”
Teenage middle-distance runner Hobbs Kessler recently elected to turn professional and sign a deal with Adidas.
Kessler ran his first race in his new shoes during the first round of the 1,500 meters at Hayward Field. He finished in 3 minutes, 45.63 seconds to win his heat.
“It hasn’t sunk in, and I don’t know how long it will take,” Kessler said of being a professional. “It’s pretty amazing, and I’m very grateful.”
The 18-year-old Kessler from Michigan recently broke Jim Ryun’s American under-20 record with a time of 3:34.36 at the Portland Track Festival. Ryun’s mark had been on the books since 1966.
Kessler said the decision to turn pro was stressful.
“Weighed on me for a long time,” Kessler said.
In other races, sprinter Allyson Felix finished in the top three of her heat of the 200 meters to advance to the semifinals.
Sha’Carri Richardson is out. Allyson Felix is in.
Start lists for Thursday’s 200-meter preliminaries at U.S. track trials include Felix, who has qualified for the Tokyo Games in the 400, but not Richardson, the 100-meter champion who had been qualified for the longer distance but decided not to race.
If Felix were to finish in the top three at 200 meters, she’d have to choose a distance, because the 200 and 400 will overlap on the Olympic schedule.
When asked last week about her prospects for the 200, Felix said “I think I want to have fun with it.”
“As everyone knows, I love the 200. I used to call it my baby. Now that I have a baby, I can’t do it anymore,” said the 35-year-old who had a daughter, Camryn, in 2018.
Felix has nine Olympic medals. Her only individual gold came in the 200 in 2012. She also won silvers at the distance in ‘04 and ’08, and a sliver in the 400 in 2016.
With potentially record temperatures about to reach the Pacific Northwest, parts of the U.S. track and field trials are being rescheduled to try to beat the heat.
This weekend’s 20-kilometer race walks and the women’s 10,000 and men’s 5,000-meter finals have all been moved to earlier time slots. The walks will start at 7 a.m. Saturday, two hours before originally scheduled.
The women’s 10K is now set for 10 a.m. Saturday and the men’s 5K will start at 10 a.m. Sunday. Both those races had originally been scheduled for late afternoon. The forecast high for Eugene on Saturday is 100 (37 Celsius) and for Sunday it is 107 (41 C).
After a two-day break, action at Hayward Field resumes Thursday with finals in the women’s shot put and women’s steeplechase. In that race, Emma Coburn is seeking her ninth national title and third trip to the Olympics.
This post originally appeared on CBS8 – Sports