Sunday, 16 July 2017 13:33

Team USA Version Of Olympic Channel Launches

A regionalised version of the Olympic Channel has launched today in the United States, offering year-round programming of Olympic sports from around the world.

The "Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA" will highlight American athletes and teams.

A partnership between the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and NBCUniversal has led to the regionalised Channel’s development.

"It is one of the major milestones of our Olympic Channel evolution when we come with a linear channel launch in the USA in partnership with our wonderful partners," Mark Parkman, general manager of the Olympic Channel, said

"This is the next step in what we have envisioned to be a global digital platform that takes it to a more localised level here in the States in partnership with NBC and the USOC to give people an amazing content experience through global content origination, the live events that NBC will have, the events that the USOC will have."

The Channel is expected to reach more than 35 million homes and will include Olympic-themed original content produced by all three parties.

This will include programmes produced by the Olympic Channel, archival footage from both the IOC and NBC’s libraries of Olympic features and documentaries.

There will also be original Team USA programming produced by USOC which has promised to provide "authentic, wide-ranging and athlete-focused coverage of the Olympic Movement in the US".

The new linear cable channel will be available to most subscribers of Altice, AT&T DirecTV, Comcast, Spectrum, and Verizon at launch.

It will also be available on streaming services, including DirecTV Now, Fubo, Hulu, Sony PlayStation Vue and YouTube TV.

The Channel opened with a launch special, a 30-minute programme hosted by NBC Sports' Mike Tirico.

It included an athlete round-table with Olympic medallists Shaun White, Kelly Clark and Gus Kenworthy.

The round-table will be moderated by Olympic figure skating gold medallist Tara Lipinski.

"The hurdle that I'm excited about that we can clear is that when you see people compete at the Olympics, win or lose, you get this lull and gap in time when you don’t know what they are up to or what they are doing," said White, a two-time snowboard halfpipe gold medallist.

"Then, all of a sudden, you see them again and you think, 'Oh, I guess they didn’t retire.'

"I am very excited about having a channel to display all those things that I have been up to, and my competitors, I'm sure, will feel the same way."

A preview of the World Aquatics Championships and World Athletics Championships, which will supply significant programming during the network’s first few weeks, will also take place.

In 2009 USOC attempted to create its own Olympic Network channel but was met with criticism and the plans were eventually shelved.

The IOC and its then President Jacques Rogge were so outraged that it was claimed Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games suffered as a result.

The USOC had worked for nearly three years on constructing a network, which would have given access to about 10 million homes.

USOC leaders claimed it would increase interest in the Olympic Movement and act as a complement to NBC.


Team USA Set For Pan-Am Junior Championships

TRUJILLO, Peru -- Team USATF’s brightest young stars are set to compete at the 2017 Pan American Junior Championships in Trujillo, Peru. The three-day meet kicks off Friday, July 21 and runs through Sunday, July 23.

The 85-athlete roster is highlighted by some of the most accomplished juniors in the United States, including high school stars Tara Davis (Agoura, California), Tyrese Cooper (Miami Gardens, Florida) and Adrian Piperi (The Woodlands, Texas) as well as rising NCAA talent Taylor Werner (Bloomsdale, Missouri) and Brandee’ Johnson (Suffolk, Virginia).

On the women’s side, the team is highlighted by the U.S high school record holder in the hurdles, Tia Jones (Marietta, Georgia) and Davis, the American junior record holder in the long jump. While this will be Jones’ first time representing Team USATF at Pan Am Juniors, she won bronze in the event at the IAAF U20 Championships in 2016 and set a world youth best at the 2016 USATF Junior Championships in Clovis last June. Davis is also no stranger to international competition. The Agoura, California native brought home a gold medal in the long jump from the IAAF World Youth Championships in 2015.

Joining Davis and Jones in the sprint events will be Brandee’ Johnson, who recently completed a stellar freshman season at the University of Florida. Johnson was the bronze medalist in the 400m hurdles at the IAAF World Youth Championships in 2015 and represented Team USATF at the IAAF U20 Championships last year.

The distance events will be highlighted by Werner and Michelle Magnani (Moorpark, California), both of whom have represented the United States internationally before. Werner was eighth at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country Challenge and capped a tremendous freshman campaign at the University of Arkansas, qualifying for all three NCAA Championships and earning All-American honors at the 2016 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships. Magnani of Oklahoma State University earned all Big-12 honors in cross country and was the USATF Junior Cross Country Champion in 2017. She represented Team USATF at the IAAF U20 Cross Country Championships finishing 37th.

On the men’s side, the roster is highlighted by the 2015 IAAF World Youth Champion in the shot put, Piperi and Cooper, the high school national champion at 200 and 400 meters. Piperi, a University of Texas signee, is the 2017 UIL Texas 6A State Champion and the 2017 USATF Junior Outdoor runner-up. Cooper completed an impressive 200-400 double at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals, winning the 200m in 20.99, just 34 minutes before he won the 400m title in 45.89.

In the distance events, IAAF U20 Cross Country team member Alec Haines (Stillwater, Oklahoma) will represent Team USATF in the 5000m. Haines capped a successful first year at Oklahoma State University with a pair of top-10 finishes at the Big-12 Indoor Track and Field Championships in the mile and 3000m to go along with his 2017 USATF Junior Outdoors title in the 5000m.

Pan American Junior Championships - Team USATF Roster

First

Last

Event

Hometown

Obiageri

Amaechi

Discus Throw

Princeton, NJ

Joseph

Anderson

110m Hurdles

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Sanaa

Barnes

High Jump

Keller, TX

Laurie

Barton

800m

Clemson, SC

Timothy

Bason

3000m Steeple

Plainsboro, NJ

Rachel

Baxter

Pole Vault

Orange, CA

Tarrik

Brock Jr

100m

Winnetka, CA

Cravont

Charleston

4x100m Relay

Charlotte, NC

Liam

Christensen

Javelin Throw

Mt Pleasant, SC

Nayeli

Cisneros

10k Race Walk

Elgin, IL

Caitlin

Collier

800m

Jacksonville, FL

Cameron

Cooper

800m

Detroit, MI

Tyrese

Cooper

200m

Miami Gardens, FL

Tierra

Crockrell

Heptathlon

Calabasas, CA

Steven

Cross

10,000m

Merritt Island, FL

Gabriele

Cunningham

200m

Raleigh, NC

Tate

Curran

Pole Vault

Redondo Beach, CA

Tara

Davis

100mH/Long Jump

Agoura, CA

Carson

Dingler

Pole Vault

Bolingbroke, GA

Samantha

Drop

5000m

Lancaster, PA

Sarah

Edwards

3000m Steeple

Bellingham, MA

Eric

Edwards Jr

110m Hurdles

Houston, TX

Taylor

Ewert

10k Race Walk

Beavercreek, OH

Rhesa

Foster

Long Jump

Clovis, CA

Kyle

Garland

Decathlon

Philadelphia, PA

Jordan

Geist

Shot Put

Cabot, PA

Katelyn

Gochenour

Javelin Throw

Logan, IA

Abigail

Green

3000m

Bethesda, MD

Isaiah

Griffith

Triple Jump

Lincoln, NE

Alec

Haines

5000m

Stillwater, OK

Justin

Hall

Long Jump

Blue Springs, MO

Quincy

Hall

400m Hurdles

Visalia, CA

Alexandra

Harris

3000m Steeple

Stony Point, NY

Cameron

Haught

10k Race Walk

Enon, OH

Joshua

Hernandez

Hammer Throw

El Paso, TX

Brian

Herron

4x400m Relay

Decatur, GA

Dennis

Hicks

Triple Jump

Northridge, CA

Isaiah

Holmes

High Jump

Roseville, CA

Sean

Hooper

4x400m Relay

Fort Worth, TX

Terrell

Jackson

800m

Memphis, TN

Courtney

Jacobsen

Hammer Throw

East Greenwich, RI

Brandee’

Johnson

400m Hurdles

Suffolk, VA

Tia

Jones

100m Hurdles

Marietta, GA

Josephus

Lyles

400m

Clermont, FL

Michelle

Magnani

1500m

Moorpark, CA

Symone

Mason

100m

Miami, FL

Arria

Minor

4x400m Relay

Denver, CO

Jasmine

Moore

Triple Jump

Grand Prairie, TX

Nathan

Mylenek

3000m Steeple

Clarkston, MI

Samantha

Noennig

Shot Put

Mayville, WI

Ariel

Okorie

Heptathlon

Junction City, KS

Gabriel

Oladipo

Discus Throw

Missouri City, TX

Sydney

Otto

Javelin Throw

De Pere, WI

George

Patrick

Decathlon

Brentwood, TN

Dylan

Peebles

200m

Raleigh, NC

William

Petersson

Javelin Throw

Frisco, TX

Adrian

Piperi

Shot Put

The Woodlands, TX

Cory

Poole

400m Hurdles

Gainesville, FL

Aidan

Reed

10,000m

Cedar City, UT

Jaevin

Reed

400m

Frisco, TX

Madeleine

Reed

1500m

Highland Village, TX

Sha’Carri

Richardson

4x100m Relay

Dallas, TX

Syaira

Richardson

4x100m Relay

Suffolk, VA

Cole

Riddle

Pole Vault

Surprise, AZ

Takyera

Roberson

400m

Conroe, TX

Jaimie

Robinson

Triple Jump

Chicago, IL

Jelena

Rowe

High Jump

Sauk Village, IL

Masai

Russell

400m Hurdles

Upper Marlboro, MD

Anthony

Schwartz

4x100m Relay

Pembroke Pines, FL

Zach

Shinnick

400m

Glendora, CA

Rebekah

Smith

4x100m Relay

Irmo, SC

Justice

Summerset

High Jump

Tucson, AZ

Laulauga

Tausaga-Collins

Discus Throw

Spring Valley, CA

Cooper

Teare

1500m

Alameda, CA

Cameron

Thompson

Hammer Throw

Cortlandt Manor, NY

Hannah

Truniger

5000m

Watertown, MN

Eduardo

Uria

10k Race Walk

McAllen, TX

Eric

van der Els

1500m

Norwalk, CT

Ja'Mari

Ward

Long Jump

Centreville, IL

Turner

Washington

Discus Throw

Tucson, AZ

Taylor

Werner

3000m

Bloomsdale, MO

Maxwell

Willis

100m

Highland Village, TX

Alyssa

Wilson

Hammer/Shot

Jackson, NJ

Nicholas

Wolk

5000m

McMurray, PA

Kyle Levermore

Communications Intern, USATF


Thompson Hunts Another Big Win

RABAT, Morocco:

OLYMPIC champion Elaine Thompson will lead the charge for Jamaica at today's Diamond League meet in Rabat, Morocco.

It's the tenth in the series and 14 Jamaicans will be in action in a meet where eight reigning Olympic champions will be on show.

This is the penultimate Diamond League meet before the London World Championships and for most of these athletes their final competition, so they will want to send out strong messages before going to London.

Thompson, the Diamond League leader in the women's 100 metres will be gunning for 14 straight wins in the event. With a world leading 10.71 seconds and fresh off her 10.94 run a week ago in London she looks well set to continue her winning run.

The vastly improved Marie-Josee Ta Lou of Cote d'Ivoire who was a close second to Thompson in Paris will be hoping to surprise the Jamaican. The Trinidad and Tobago pair of Kelly-Ann Baptiste and Michelle Lee Ahye, Nigeria's Blessing Okagbare and Jamaica' s Christania Williams and Jura Levy are also in the line up.

An event which will attract a lot of attention today will be the women's 400m. Two Jamaicans are in the field, Rio de Janeiro Olympics bronze medallist, Shericka Jackson and Diamond League leader Novlene Williams Mills.

Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas has been in solid form this season, going sub 50 seconds twice over the distance, 49.77 seconds in Shanghai and 49.86, 11 days ago in Budapest. She is now ranked number three on the IAAF top list or the event, behind the United States duo of Quarena Haynes and Allison Felix. It was a confident Miller -Uibo who spoke at the IAAF press conference yesterday.

"I am coming to bring it on tomorrow (today) as I fear no one in the event and I am happy people are running fast because this will keep me on my toes," said the Bahamian who is eyeing sub 49 seconds in the event this season.

our Jamaicans will be involved in the women's 400m hurdles where there are two sections. Ristananna Tracy and her sister, Nikita will compete in the B final while new National champion Ronda Whyte, in her first Diamond League appearance, will face countrywoman, Janieve Russell in the A final. Russell is the fastest Jamaican in the event this season.

Kimberly Williams will be the other Jamaican female in action today as she will compete in the triple jump.

Jamaica will have two entrants in the men's 200m as Warren Weir and Rasheed Dwyer will go up against he likes of Andre De Grasse of Canada, Diamond League leader in the event Ameer Webb of the United States and Fred Kerley the USA champion in the 400m.

National shot put champion Odayne Richards will compete in his pet event while little known Tajay Gayle, formerly of Papine High, will line up in the men's long jump.

Schedule for Jamaicans

12 p.m: Shot put Men - Odayne Richards

12:10 p.m: Triple jump Women - Kimberly Williams

12:52 p.m: 400m hurdles B final (Women) - Ristananna Tracy, Nikita Tracy

1:03 p.m: 400m Hurdles A final (Women) A final- Ronda Whyte, Janieve Russell

1:30 p.m: Long jump Men - Tajay Gayle

1:50 p.m: 200m Men - Warren Weir, Rasheed Dwyer

2:12 p.m: 100m Women - Elaine Thompson, Jura Levy, Christania Williams

2:37 p.m: 400m Women,- Novlene Williams Mills, Shericka Jackson


Blake Reassures Fans After Pulling Out Of Rabat DL

Raymond Graham, Gleaner Writer

RABAT, Morocco:

Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake is reassuring fans that he will be ready for next month's World Championships in London, England, after his withdrawal from tomorrow's IAAF Diamond League meet in Rabat.

Blake was pulled from the meet after feeling pain in his groin during a training session on Friday for what is being described as precautionary measures.

Addressing reporters at a press conference on Saturday, shortly after it was revealed that the 2011 World 100m champion would not take his lane in the men's 100m at the latest Diamond League stop, Blake explained what exactly led to the decision but underlined his belief that he will be ready in time to push for a medal at the August 3 - 14 World Championships.

 

Blake said he felt tightness in the groin area during his training session but does not believe the situation is serious. He will be heading to Germany for assessment and treatment.

"After doing a few run throughs, I felt some discomfort in my groin and with the World Championships coming up I decided not to take any risk by competing at the meet tomorrow," said Blake, who only last season returned from a couple injury-plagued seasons to finish fourth in the 100m final at the Rio Olympics.

"I am very sorry to disappoint the fans but I am confident that I will be ready for the big show and I will still be going to Germany for some assessment to be made," added Blake.


Olympic champions collide in Rabat

Rio 2016 winners in the women’s 400m and 800m go head to head over one lap in Diamond League clash

Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya steps down to 400m to take on a strong one-lap line-up in Rabat as the IAAF Diamond League series moves to Morocco on Sunday.

Semenya faces Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas, plus Quanera Hayes and Natasha Hastings of the United States in a fascinating sprint clash.

With the IAAF World Championships only a month away, Olympic 100m and 200m champion Elaine Thompson will also be sharpening up in Rabat. Seven days after she won at the Diamond League in London wearing “splats” (a combination of racing flats and spikes), the Jamaican races 100m against a line-up that includes Briton Daryll Neita.

Thompson also won in Rabat 12 months ago when the Moroccan venue became the first Diamond League event to be held on African soil.

Elsewhere, Canadian sprint star Andre de Grasse tackles a 200m field that includes Briton Zharnel Hughes.

The 100m, meanwhile, sees former world champion Yohan Blake of Jamaica take on Britons Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake and CJ Ujah.

Further Brits in action in Rabat include Laura Weightman in the 1500m, Eilidh Doyle in the 400m hurdles and Robbie Grabarz in the high jump.