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Another record on track, Belarus sprinter heads for Poland

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Another athletics world record was obliterated at the Olympics on Wednesday, as athletes coped with the heat of political and diplomatic controversy as well as Tokyo’s broiling summer weather.

American Sydney McLaughlin shattered her own record https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/athletics-american-mclaughlin-breaks-world-record-win-womens-400-hurdles-2021-08-04 in the 400 metres hurdles while a Belarusian athlete  left for Poland three days after refusing an order to come home against her wishes and seeking diplomatic protection.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was investigating the case of sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, while querying China https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/ioc-suspends-protest-probe-into-grieving-saunders-mao-case-continues-2021-08-04 over athletes who wore Mao Zedong badges on the medals podium but suspending a probe of American shot-putter Raven Saunders after the death of her mother.

McLaughlin trailed team mate Dalilah Muhammad coming off the last hurdle but sprinted past her to win gold in 51.46 seconds in a thrilling finish that chopped nearly half a second off her own June record.

“I saw Dalilah ahead of me with one to go. I just thought, ‘Run your race’,” McLaughlin said. “The race doesn’t really start until hurdle seven. I just wanted to go out there and give it everything I had.”

Muhammad was also ahead of McLaughlin’s previous record time, reminiscent of Tuesday’s stunning men’s final in the same event, when Norway’s Karsten Warholm and silver medallist Rai Benjamin both beat Warholm’s previous record.

Women’s distance running continued to captivate, as newly-crowned Olympic 5,000 metres champion Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands progressed to the second of what she hopes will be three finals. However, she will have harder work ahead in the 1,500m in the form of defending champion Faith Kipyegon of Kenya.

But despite the stellar performances in competition, even the fastest woman https://www.reuters.com/article/us-olympics-2020-instagram/olympics-sprint-queen-herah-thompson-says-was-blocked-on-instagram-over-tv-rights-idUSKBN2F50OD in the world could not outrun Tokyo 2020 broadcast rights holders.

Jamaica’s gold-medal sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah said she had been blocked on Instagram for posting videos of her wins in the 100 and 200 metres.

“I was blocked on Instagram for posting the races of the Olympic (sic) because I did not own the right to do so. So see y’all in 2 days,” she wrote on Twitter. The IOC said the removal was automatic as athletes may not “natively” post content controlled by rights holders.

IOC PROBES BELARUS, MAO BADGES

Belarus’s Tsimanouskaya, who had taken refuge in the Polish embassy, left in the morning, escorted by officials and wearing a mask, blue jeans, a blue blouse and sunglasses with “I RUN CLEAN” written on them.

The IOC said it was investigating the case, which began after the sprinter publicly criticised her coaches during the Games, which end on Sunday.

The IOC also said it was awaiting a formal explanation from Chinese Olympic officials as to why two gold medallists wore badges featuring Mao, the founding leader of the People’s Republic of China, when Olympic rules bar political statements on the podium.

At the same time, the IOC expressed condolences to silver medallist Saunders after learning of her mother’s death.

“You will understand that given these circumstances the process is fully suspended for the time being,” said spokesman Mark Adams.

Saunders had crossed her arms in an “X” over her head on the podium on Sunday, a gesture she has said represented “the intersection of where all people who are oppressed meet”. She said she hoped to inspire fellow LGBT and Black people, and those struggling with mental health.

Away from politics, Italy set a second world record in as many days in the men’s pursuit, upsetting favourites Denmark at the Izu Velodrome with an electrifying finish powered by Filippo Ganna that clawed back almost a second in the closing laps.

Cuba went top of the boxing medals table as Arlen Lopez won his second Olympic title, taking the men’s light-heavyweight gold with a cool, skilful performance against the fast-punching and tenacious Ben Whittaker of Britain.

In Enoshima south of Tokyo, Matthew Belcher became Australia’s most successful Olympic sailor of all time as he and team mate Will Ryan of Australia stormed to gold in the men’s 470 sailing class, while Britain’s Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre won the women’s competition to close the regatta.

At Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo Bay, Ana Marcela Cunha of Brazil won gold in the women’s 10km marathon swimming race, edging out the pack, including 2016 Rio winner Sharon van Rouwendaal of the Netherlands.

“I didn’t plan it to happen this way, but I’m extremely happy,” said Cunha, sporting a shock of fluorescent green and yellow hair perfectly colour coordinated with her Brazilian uniform.

Athletes not in the water or indoors continued to roast in the brutal Japanese summer.

With trackside temperatures at the athletics stadium having hit 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) and an archer having collapsed, Sweden and Canada asked organisers to push back the start of Friday’s women’s gold medal soccer match, which is now scheduled for 11 a.m. (0200 GMT)

“It is primarily about the players’ health,” said Marika Domanski Lyfors, the head of Sweden’s women’s team. “There’s a pretty big difference between playing in the afternoon or evening.”

More chill were teen Japanese and British skateboarders, who shredded and soared through the preliminaries in a lively Olympic debut of the women’s park competition.

(Reporting by Amy Tennery and Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Additional reporting by Antoni Slodkowski, Karolos Grohmann, Martyn Herman, Shiho Tanaka, Martin Petty, Philip O’Connor, Mari Saito, Sakura Murakami and Steve Keating in Tokyo and Alan Charlish in Warsaw; Writing by William Mallard; Editing by Ed Osmond and Christian Radnedge)

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Makar gets love from Orr after winning 2022 Norris, Conn Smythe Trophies – NHL.com

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Canuck icons Henrik, Daniel Sedin, Sens star Alfredsson lead 2022 Hockey Hall of Fame class – CBC Sports

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Henrik and Daniel Sedin entered the NHL together.

The superstar twins then tormented a generation of opponents with the Vancouver Canucks throughout dominant careers that included mesmerizing displays of skill, individual accolades and unprecedented team success.

It’s only fitting the talented brothers will walk into the Hockey Hall of Fame side-by-side.

The Sedins headline the class of 2022 elected Monday, one with a decidedly West Coast and Swedish feel that includes former Canucks teammate Roberto Luongo, fellow countryman and former Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, Finnish women’s player Riikka Sallinen and builder Herb Carnegie.

“It’s not what you think about when you when you play the game,” said Henrik Sedin, who along with his brother and Luongo were in their first years of hall eligibility. “We’ve always just put our head down and tried to put in our work.

“What we were most proud of is that we got the most out of our talent.”

“Truly an amazing feeling,” Luongo added on a media conference call. “It feels surreal.”

WATCH | Daniel and Henrik Sedin have numbers retired in Vancouver:

Daniel and Henrik Sedin have numbers retired in Vancouver

2 years ago

Duration 1:42

The Swedish superstars were honoured on Wednesday in an hour-long pregame ceremony.

Alfredsson, who’s has been eligible since 2017, thought he might have to wait at least another year until the phone rang at his home in Sweden.

“It’s such a privilege to be able to play this sport for a living,” he said. “Something I would have played for fun for my whole life without a question.”

“I’m probably the second-best Daniel out of this group,” joked Daniel Sedin, who along with his brother will be 42 when the induction ceremony takes place in November.

“Couldn’t be more honoured.”

Henrik Sedin — selected No. 3 overall at the 1999 draft, one spot behind Daniel — is Vancouver’s all-time leader in assists (830), points (1,070), games played (1,330) and power-play points (369).

The centre won the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP and the Art Ross Trophy as its leading scorer in 2009-10. He added 23 goals and 78 points in 105 playoff games, including the Canucks’ run to the 2011 Stanley Cup final.

If Henrik was the passer on what was one of hockey’s most dangerous lines, Daniel Sedin was the trigger man.

His 393 goals are first in team history, and the winger sits second in assists (648), points (1,041), games played (1,306) and power-play points (367).

Daniel Sedin won the Ted Lindsay Award as the league MVP as voted by NHL Players’ Association members in 2010-11 to go along with the Art Ross Trophy. He added 71 points in 102 playoff games.

“Just watching them work with each other on the ice and literally knowing where they are without even seeing each other was something that always blew my mind,” Luongo said of the Sedins. “They’re great teammates. Everybody loved them, great people.

“Not so great card players, but that’s for another day.”

The hall’s 2020 edition was finally inducted last November after a delay because of the COVID-19 pandemic after officials decided against naming a class of 2021.

The 18-member selection committee met in-person this year for the first time since 2019.

Luongo’s storied career began with Islanders

Luongo started his career with the New York Islanders and wrapped up with the Florida Panthers.

His best moments, however, were on the West Coast.

When he retired, Luongo ranked third in NHL history with 489 wins, a number that’s since been surpassed by Marc-Andre Fleury.

The 43-year-old sits second behind Martin Brodeur in three goaltending categories — games played (1,044), shots against (30,924) and saves (28,409).

Luongo twice won 40 games with the Canucks, including an eye-popping 47 victories in 2006-07, and made at least 70 appearances in four straight seasons.

“He was the difference for us to get the next level,” Henrik Sedin said. “If you’re talking about a winner, he’s the guy.

“Never took a day off.”

A finalist for the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top netminder on three occasions, Luongo sat behind only Sidney Crosby in Hart Trophy voting following his 47-win campaign.

The Montreal native won two Olympic gold medals, leading Canada to the top of the podium in Vancouver in 2010 before backing up Carey Price in Sochi four years later.

“It’s a really, truly humbling experience,” Luongo said before adding of the Sedins: “And the best part of the whole thing is that I get to go in with two of my favourite teammates of all time and two of the greatest people I know.”

Alfredsson scored 444 goals in 18 seasons

Alfredsson put up 444 goals, 713 assists and 1,157 points during his 18 NHL seasons.

The face of the Senators for a generation in the nation’s capital won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s rookie of the year in 1996, and added 100 points in 124 playoff contests.

“We looked up to the way he plays hockey and what kind of person he is,” Henrik Sedin said.

Alfredsson, who won Olympic gold with the Sedins in 2006 and led Ottawa to the 2007 Cup final, thanked Senators fans for helping him get over the hall hump, including a social media campaign this spring that included boosts from the organization and former teammates.

“Really special with the support I’ve had from Ottawa throughout my career from the beginning until this day,” said the 49-year-old, who owns the franchise record for goals, assists and points. “They’ve been a real big supporter of mine and trying to help me get into the Hall of Fame.

“They’re behind me all the way … it goes both ways.”

Sallinen played 16 seasons with the Finnish women’s national team, winning Olympic bronze in both 1998 and 2018.

She added a silver at the 2019 world championships to go along with six third-place finishes. In all, the 48-year-old scored 63 goals and added 59 assists in 81 games for her country.

Hall of Fame selection committee chair Mike Gartner, who was inducted in 2012, said on the media call that Sallinen had yet to be informed of the honour, but quipped she should pick up the phone and dial in if she was listening.

Carnegie, who died in March 2012 at age 92, has often been mentioned as the best Black hockey player to never play in the NHL.

Following a long career in senior hockey where he faced racism that kept him from achieving his ultimate dream, Carnegie founded Future Aces, one of Canada’s first hockey schools, in 1955.

He was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2001, the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 2014, and was also named to the Order of Ontario and the Order of Canada.

“This is so important to so many people out there who believed in my father,” said Herb Carnegie’s daughter, Bernice. “Whether he was golfing or whether he was in business or whether he was working with thousands upon thousands of young people, it always came back to hockey and how his how he learned so much from the game.

“I am so proud.”

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Report: Nets’ Kyrie Irving opting into $37M player option for 2022-23 season – Sportsnet.ca

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NEW YORK — Kyrie Irving has decided to exercise his $36.9 million option for the coming season and will remain under contract with the Brooklyn Nets, two people with knowledge of his decision said Monday.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because the Nets had not confirmed the decision publicly.

The Athletic first reported Irving’s decision. “Normal people keep the world going, but those who dare to be different lead us into tomorrow. I’ve made my decision to opt in. See you in the fall,” the outlet quoted Irving as saying.

On Twitter, Irving posted a separate statement: “I know who I am,” was the message there.

For now, that still means a member of the Nets.

The seven-time All-Star averaged 27.4 points and 5.8 assists this past season for the Nets, with whom he has spent the last three seasons. He’s about to enter the final season in a four-year, $137 million deal with Brooklyn.

Irving had until Wednesday to inform the Nets of his opt-in decision. It closes one element of the ongoing saga regarding Irving’s future, which has been one of the biggest storylines as the league prepares for the start of free agency later this week.

He appeared in only 29 regular-season games this past season, largely because of his decision to not be vaccinated against COVID-19. That made him ineligible to play in most of Brooklyn’s home games, until getting an exemption to New York City’s mandate in the spring.

The Nets entered this past season thinking they would have a core of Irving, Kevin Durant and James Harden. It didn’t work out anywhere near as planned; Irving wasn’t with the team for the majority of the season, Harden ended up getting traded to Philadelphia, the Nets needed to survive the play-in tournament just to make the playoffs and wound up getting swept in the first round by eventual Eastern Conference champion Boston.

Back in March, Irving was asked if he was planning to return to Brooklyn for next season. He gave no indication otherwise.

“I love it here,” Irving said at the time. “Once that summertime hits, I know that we’ll have some conversations. But there’s no way I can leave my man 7 anywhere.”

Summertime hit. The conversations apparently didn’t go as first planned.

And “my man 7” — that meant Durant, who wears jersey No. 7 for the Nets — may have been seeing his point guard departing, a move that certainly could have led to Durant pondering his own future in Brooklyn.

But with Irving presumably back, and with Ben Simmons — who didn’t play at all this season and was acquired by the Nets in the Harden trade — set to team up alongside Irving and Durant this coming season, Brooklyn could quickly return to contender status.

Irving could have made this all go away over the weekend, or at least turned the full boil down closer to simmer, when asked by Complex News at the BET Awards if he still wants to play for the Nets. He declined to answer. He wasn’t rude about it, did it with a smile, but didn’t provide so much as a hint.

A tiny one came Monday when the clip was posted to Instagram and Irving was among those to comment.

“When I smile like that, it means there’s more to the story,” Irving wrote Monday, several hours before his opt-in decision was revealed. “I’ll have my time to address things.”

NBA free agency opens Thursday at 6 p.m. ET.

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