THE LATEST in the aches, pains & eligibility departments:
Andy Bayer has retired at age 31. A finalist in the Doha steeple, where he placed 12th, the Indiana grad was cut by Nike and stopped training in January. “I feel like I had accomplished a lot of what I wanted,” he told the IndyStar. “I was proud of my career, basically. While making an Olympic team would be great, it’s still just a sport and another thing. And I felt like setting up for my family to succeed was more important to me.”
2-time NCAA decathlon champion Curtis Beach has announced his retirement at age 30, saying, “Wrapping up the track career. Over the past year, I had more fun coaching and trail running than training for the decathlon. Huge thank you to all those who spent countless hours with me to make this pursuit possible and so much fun over the years. On to different track stuff!”
His ban was originally due to run until May 13 of ’22, but after a CAS appeal was only partially successful Christian Coleman (see “Last Lap”) will now have his penalty end on November 14 of this year.
After spraining her left ankle early in the indoor season, Kentucky quartermiler Alexis Holmes is ready to compete again.
Long sprinter Obi Igbokwe has been banned for 30 months after a positive for a steroid metabolite. USADA said the 2½-year sentence was decided upon, rather than the standard 4-year sanction, in part because of “the substantial assistance that Igbokwe provided.” The penalty was backdated to begin on May 26, ’20, and any results achieved since then have been disqualified.
A 10.23 sprinter in high school, Kentucky’s Langston Jackson still hasn’t gotten the chance to run the 100 for the Wildcats, despite taking 4th in the SEC Indoor 60 in ’20. His coaches say he’s now recovered from the hamstring injury that shut him down indoors and will return to competition.
KC Lightfoot (see “Last Lap”) has turned pro at age 21 and will no longer vault for Baylor; he has signed with Puma.
The year’s fastest high school 2-miler at 9:47.95, Sydney Thorvaldson (Rawlins, Wyoming) hasn’t raced since February because of a stress reaction.
German decathlete Arthur Abele will be challenged to make Tokyo. Still needing the Olympic standard, he is due for shoulder surgery in May.
World hammer silver medalist Quentin Bigot of France was hit by C19 in March and will pass on May’s Euro Throwing Cup, saying, “I have developed symptoms that have laid me out for a good dozen days, and have prevented me from continuing my preparation normally.”
Jamaica’s Akeem Bloomfield was felled by a bad-looking hamstring pull at the Miramar meet, but an MRI showed no major damage. “My right glute and hamstring contracted really bad and as of right now are just really inflamed,” he says. “I am expected to make a full recovery and hopefully I will be back in training soon.”
Euro 60 champ Ajla Del Ponte has contracted COVID but still expects to compete at the World Relays.
Yohan Diniz, the 50K walk WR holder, plans to retire after the Olympics. The Frenchman will be 43.
Hammer thrower Bence Halász of Hungary, the bronze medalist from Doha, has had knee surgery.
German javelinist Andreas Hofmann had elbow surgery early in the year and in planning on resuming normal training this month, with hopes of competing in Tokyo.
Russian high jumper Yelena Kulichenko is in the process of transferring to Cyprus.
Clarence Munyai, who blazed a South African Record 19.69(A) last year, injured a hamstring in April.
Yekaterina Zavyalova, the ’12 Olympic silver medalist at 800 who had a 2-year ban from a ’14 positive test, is in the process of transferring allegiance to Turkey at age 30, where she will compete under the name Guliyeva. She married Turkish 19.76 sprinter Ramil Guliyev in ’19.
8 years — Yelena Soboleva (Russia, 1500);
4 years — Lyukman Adams (Russia, TJ), Natalya Antyukh (Russia, 400H), Oksana Kondratyeva (Russia, HT), Anastasiya Mazurina (Belarus, HT), Andrey Silnov (Russia, HJ), Patrick Terer (Kenya, distance), Ivan Ukhov (Russia, HJ);
30 months — Obi Igbokwe (U.S., sprints);
2 years — Ophélie Claude-Boxberger (France, steeple), Marina Pospelova (Russia, 800);
18 months — Christian Coleman (U.S., sprints). □