STATUS QUO — August

THE LATEST in the aches, pains & eligibility departments:

There will be no World Champs vault defense for Sam Kendricks after knee surgery. (GLADYS CHAI/ASVOM AGENCY)

Still dealing with bursitis in his right foot ,and owning a WC Wild Card, Donavan Brazier chose not to run the 800 semis at USATF after being fastest in the heats.

Rio gold medalist Michelle Carter announced her retirement at age 36 after finishing 8th in the USATF shot.

Michael Cherry withdrew from the USATF 400, but still is planning to compete at Worlds, tweeting, “Disappointed I couldn’t compete at USA’s but I will be back in a couple of weeks.”

After her 3-foul performance in the USATF long jump Tara Davis revealed, “I’ve been dealing with a knee injury all season. It’s been really bad and it’s been almost like an injury never happened. Yesterday I was doing approaches during my pre-meet and landed funny going through the sand. With that being said I’m currently heading home to get treatment and figure out what’s really going on.”

Sprinter Joe Fahnbulleh has given up his two remaining outdoor seasons of NCAA eligibility at Florida, signing with a South African agent.

Steepler Leah Falland missed USATF, explaining, “My foot started actin’ up at a very inconvenient time, so I wasn’t able to get fit enough to race.”

What Olivia Gruver said about her withdrawal from the USATF vault during the third height: “My jumping felt great on Friday and mentally I’ve never been more ready. But my body had another idea. Due to injury I had to stop mid-competition.”

JuVaughn Harrison has revealed that he’s been bothered most of the outdoor season by a heel injury.

As last year’s overall DL 400 winner, Quanera Hayes had a Wild Card to the WC, and ran the USATF heats, but for as-yet-unknown reasons she was left off Team USA.

Cole Hocker had been dealing with a foot injury and had been forced to cross-train for the 14 days prior to his failure to qualify out of the USATF 1500 heats. “Evidently the two weeks of cross training was just enough time for me to lose that last bit of sharpness that is so valuable in these championship races,” he said. “I don’t intend on ending my season here. I plan on getting fully healthy and continuing to race late into the summer.”

No WC vault defense for Sam Kendricks, who had knee surgery in May (see “Last Lap”).

Florida sprinter Jacory Patterson pulled up in his 200 heat at the USATF meet.

Citing a stress reaction in a metatarsal Colleen Quigley pulled out of the steeple final.

Garrett Scantling, the USATF decathlon champ, was left off the Worlds roster, but no explanation was given.

A stress reaction in her sacrum will keep Molly Seidel out of the WC marathon, and she gave up her spot to Keira D’Amato.

Kentucky’s Abby Steiner has announced that she will not use her last season of eligibility, in anticipation of a soon-to-be-announced pro contract (see “Last Lap”).

A 4:06.32/9:32.69 performer at 1500/steeple, Alexina Teubel had to pull out of both USATF events with an undisclosed injury.

Favored coming in, Gabby Thomas was only 8th in the USATF 200. She then revealed that she struggled after sustaining a grade 2 hamstring tear in practice two weeks earlier, saying “When your body is doing things that it’s never done before, you’re at risk. That’s where I was headed.”

Isaac Updike, last year’s OT steeple 5th-placer, had to withdraw from USATF because of the lingering effects of a case of COVID he caught a month earlier. “I’ve done everything possible to try to be ready to race today,” he said. “My entire life revolves around this one weekend every year and to not be ready to compete is devastating.”


They’ll Miss The World Champs…

Caroline Agnou, the Swiss Recordholder in the heptathlon has a knee problem, but is hoping to be ready for the Euros.

The French recordholder in the marathon, Morhad Amdouni, has missed training because of an unknown injury.

Sweden’s Meraf Bahta, the former Euro 5000 champ, pulled out because of injury.

Reports say that Cuba’s World Indoor champion Juan-Miguel Echevarría is no longer training as a long jumper, and is instead performing as a singer.

Jonathan Hilbert, the Olympic silver medalist in the 50K walk, withdrew from the German team because of illness.

Sprinter Andrew Hudson has switched his allegiance from the U.S. to Jamaica, winning their 200 trials. However, he was left off the team because WA has ruled his switch isn’t official until July 28.

Namibian sprinter Christine Mboma will miss the Worlds, though the Commonwealth Games are still possible now that she is recovering from a thigh tear. Said her coach, “We are starting training, and it’s like rehab training; we will take it step by step. As far as the injury is concerned, it’s fairly healed but we will look at doing reconstruction in the off-season, but there is a 50-50 call on that decision.”

Spain’s Adel Mechaal has COVID and while he will miss the 1500 he hopes to recover in time to race the 5000, in which the heats start 2 days after the 1500 final.

Reynier Mena, the Cuban sprinter who surprised with his 19.63 in a high-altitude meet, will not be at the Worlds as he is trying to get Portuguese citizenship.

Spanish hurdler Orlando Ortega will miss the Worlds because of injury.

French tripler Melvin Raffin, 6th at the World Indoor, is injured.

Heptathlete Carolin Schäfer was not named to the German team for lack of fitness..

Czechia’s Euro Indoor shot champ Tomáš Staněk is out because of an ankle problem.

Top-rated javelinist Johannes Vetter is out with shoulder problems (see “Last Lap”).

Laura Weightman, 7th in the Doha 5000 in ’19, missed the British Champs with a soleus injury.


More On The International Front…

Andre De Grasse is trying to recover from COVID in time. The Olympic 200 gold medalist missed the Canadian Champs, and said, “I was pretty down and out. And that first week of training when I went back, I didn’t feel great. Lungs, hard to breathe. It takes a lot to kind of get back. I had a cough, fatigue, things like that.”

Reigning world long jump champ Tajay Gayle landed badly in the Jamaican Championships and was taken away in a wheelchair. Said coach Paul Francis, “We have been working assiduously. His treatment has begun, and as we get a bit closer, we will have a clear view of what his situation is.”

French hurdler Wilfried Happio was assaulted while warming up for his national championship race. An individual got around security and punched him in the face several times, leaving him coughing up blood. Police made an arrest in the case, and Happio recovered enough to win the 400H some 20 minutes later.

Oly 100 champ Lamont Marcel Jacobs pulled out of the Stockholm DL at the last minute because of reported discomfort in his leg, described by his coach as “a little pain in his glute muscle.”

Darya Klishina, Russia’s ’17 World long jump silver medalist, has given birth to a son.

Distance star Konstanze Klosterhalfen missed the German Champs with COVID but is planning on running Worlds.

Saying, “I picked up a bug about a week ago and I’m still recovering,” Eilish McColgan missed the British championships She says she had COVID in March, “and that completely floored me.” Still, she’s entered in both the 5 and 10 for Eugene.

Aussie miler Stewart McSweyn had a bout with pericarditis in March, after what he says was getting a COVID booster shot too soon after having had the virus itself. “I wasn’t sure whether I’d be back this season, whether I was going to be at the level I want to perform the following season, whether I would maybe even get back to my best at all.”

Laura Muir reports that her hip is nearly recovered from her spring injury: “I’m getting pretty close.”

Things just keep piling on for Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare, who was originally banned for 4 years for doping but now faces an 11-year penalty after tampering charges (see “Last Lap”).

Britain’s Shara Proctor, silver medalist in the ’15 Worlds long jump, has retired at 33.

Olympic high jump co-champ Gianmarco Tamberi has split from his coach/father: “We are well below technical expectations and there was an exchange of views on what was not working so far in the preparation, and a diversity of views emerged.” Tamberi has also been bothered by a left leg injury.

Adelle Tracey has switched from British to Jamaican citizenship. She won the Jamaican 1500 title recently and will be in Eugene.

Sardana Trofimova, the Russian national champion in the marathon, is seeking WA approval for her nationality switch to Kyrgyzstan.

Tokyo decathlon gold medalist Damian Wagner skipped the Canadian champs with knee problems.

Still recovering from his hamstring tweak in early June, WR holder Karsten Warholm has moved to his pre-Worlds training camp in Berkeley: “I’m still undergoing rehabilitation, but it’s going the right way. At the same time, it is clear that I need the time to be 100% ready for the competition.”

Austrian discus thrower Lukas Weißhaidinger missed the Stockholm DL with a back problem.


Doping suspensions…
4 years — Alex Wilson (Switzerland, sprints);
3 years — Joel Maina (Kenya, distance).
1 additional year — Blessing Okagbare (Nigeria, sprints—now banned for 11 years). □

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