U.S. ATHLETES SHINE

U.S. ATHLETES SHINE: Team USA won 44 medals, several of them in Olympic sports, over 11 days of competition at the World Games that wrapped up Sunday in Birmingham, Alabama.

The World Games, in its 11th edition, brought together approximately 3,500 athletes to compete in 223 medal events across 34 sports. While some sports are already established on the Olympic program, many are new to Olympic sports fans, while some might be making a case for future inclusion.

Emma Hunt just missed out on qualifying for the Olympic debut of sport climbing last year at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, but the 19-year-old from Woodstock, Georgia, has been making her case for the coming quad so far this year.

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That continued on Sunday when she defeated Poland’s Natalia Kałucka in the women’s speed final. The win was Hunt’s first in international competition in 2022, though she’s been among the top six in each of the four world cups so far this year and twice finished as runner-up.

The former youth world champ has also broken her own U.S. record multiple times this season.

Climbing in Tokyo was contested in a combined format, with each athlete performing all three climbing styles: bouldering, lead, and speed. At the 2024 Games in Paris, the sport will have two medal events for men and women: speed, and a combined bouldering-lead event.

Hunt, ranked No. 3 in the world, is an early favorite to lead Team USA into the Olympic Games Paris 2024.

U.S. Athletes Shine In Winning 44 Medals At The World Games In Birmingham

Brady Ellison is no stranger to the Olympics, having won three medals over four Games as a recurve archer. The 33-year-old kept it up at his third World Games, earning his third straight silver medal on July 12 after also doing so in 2013 and 2017.

“I shot well all weekend,” Ellison told USA Archery. “I just had two mental mistakes that will haunt me for a little bit.”

Birmingham also featured the World Games debut of breaking, a sport that will also make its Olympic debut in Paris. Also known as breakdancing, the sport features athletes called B-boys and B-girls performing to upbeat music and being judged on creativity, technique, variety, musicality, performance, and personality in a one-on-one format known as battles.

Three Americans made the medal rounds in Birmingham, with Victor Montalvo beating Jeffrey Louis in the B-boys final, and Sunny Choi falling to Japan’s Ami Yuasa in the B-Girls gold-medal battle, both on July 10.

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U.S. athletes had the most success in Muaythai, also known as Thai boxing, where they won eight total medals, two of them gold. Water skiers and wakeboarders also added seven medals for Team USA, with four of them being gold.

Among the other sports not in the Olympics, Team USA also won gold medals in bowling, flag football, flying disc, roller inline hockey, softball, tumbling gymnastics, and with

Experience prevailed on day four of the World Championships with Kenyan runner Faith Kipyegon and Venezuelan triple jumper Yulimar Rojas among the Olympic champions standing on top of the podium in Eugene, Oregon on Tuesday.

Morocco’s Soufiane El Bakkali backed up his Tokyo 3,000 meters steeplechase win by ending Kenya’s dominance in the world while Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim had high jump gold all to himself this time.

Kipyegon, the winner of the last two Olympic 1,500-meter titles, finished with a remarkable time of 3 minutes, 52.96 seconds to regain her world crown.

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Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay took silver while Laura Muir, runner-up at the Tokyo Olympics, won bronze to collect Britain’s first medal of the championship.

“I have to say I am thankful for my second gold medal,” said Kipyegon, who won the 2017 title and picked up silver in 2019, a year after having a baby.

Rojas dominated the triple jump from start to finish and cruised to gold after jumping 15.47 meters to claim her third straight world title.

Jamaican Shanieka Ricketts collected her second consecutive world silver while American Tori Franklin delighted the home crowd by clinching bronze.

In the steeplechase, el Bakkali produced a tactical masterclass to win his first world title and keep a Kenyan off the top spot for the first time since 2005.

Lamech Girma of Ethiopia, silver medallist in Tokyo, finished runner-up while 2019 world champion Conseslus Kipruto of Kenya won bronze.

Qatar’s Barshim, who famously shared Olympic gold with Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi last year, won an unprecedented third straight world high jump title after clearing a world-leading 2.37 meters with ease.

World indoor champion Woo Sang-hyeok of South Korea took silver and Ukraine’s Andriy Protsenko collected bronze.

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Double Olympic champion Nafissatou Thiam of Belgium pulled out a last-gasp victory over Dutch rival Anouk Vetter to reclaim her world heptathlon title.

Vetter, who finished behind Thiam in Tokyo, had to settle for silver again while American Anna Hall won bronze.

In the morning session, Gotytom Gebreslase won the women’s marathon in a world championship-record time of 2 hours, 18.11 minutes, and claim a second marathon title for Ethiopia in Eugene after Tamirat Tola triumphed in the men’s event Sunday.

“Tola’s win yesterday motivated me a lot today,” said Gebrselassie, who finished ahead of Kenya’s Judith Korir while Lonah Salpeter of Israel secured bronze.

Three Japanese athletes and one coach tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, taking the total number of cases in the delegation up to 15.

Organizers have made it mandatory for all workforce, technical and medical officials, and media to wear masks in indoor spaces as a cautionary measure.

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