Sha’Carri Richardson, Molly Seidel and other big names are not at the world championships

The best runners, jumpers and throwers in the world are all in Eugene, Oregon, this week, competing in the World Championships in Athletics. At least most of them. But not at all.

Some are injured. Some failed to qualify. Some are serving doping bans. Some had visa problems. Some are absent for a combination of reasons, or for no public reason at all.

These are some of the more notable absences.

Sha’Carri Richardson won the 100-meter race at the United States Olympic Trials last year and sought to inherit the mantle of America’s next great sprinter. But things have only gotten worse for her since.

She missed the Olympics last summer due to a positive test for marijuana and has only run sparingly over the past year. At the United States Championships last month, she failed to advance to the first round of qualifying. His attempt to qualify for the 200 m world championships also failed.

Thereafter, she fought with the gathered news media.

In less than two months last year, Cole Hocker won the 1500m at the NCAA championships, won the same event at the Olympic trials and finished sixth at the Tokyo Olympics.

The 21-year-old’s scintillating form continued into 2022. He won the 1,500 at the USA Indoor Championships and skipped the much less prestigious World Indoor Championships to focus on the outdoor championships. .

Alas, his plan went awry in his first run of the 1500m at the United States Championships, when his famous kick let him down in the final 50 meters. Afterwards, his agent said he was injured.

Social media star who finished sixth in the long jump at the Olympics, Tara Davis was unable to compete at the United States Championships due to a knee injury.

As the marathon bronze medalist at the Tokyo Olympics, Molly Seidel was offered her spot at the world championships eight months ago. Since then, however, his run has been hampered by injuries. Seidel dropped out in the middle of the Boston Marathon in the spring, and earlier this month said she had a stress reaction in her sacrum, a bone at the bottom of her spine.

Seidel was replaced in the marathon by Keira D’Amato, who set the American marathon record in Houston earlier this year. D’Amato placed eighth Monday at Oregon and was one of three Americans to finish in the top 10.

The greatest marathoner of all time – he has won 14 of the 16 marathons he has started, including the last two Olympics – Eliud Kipchoge has made a habit of skipping world championships to run marathons much more lucrative big cities. Kipchoge follows the standard elite marathoner schedule of running one in the spring and one in the fall, only veering off in Olympic years.

He will then participate in the Berlin Marathon in September.

Burundian Francine Niyonsaba was one of the best 800 meters runners in the world, winning a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics. But in 2019 it was decided that Niyonsaba could no longer compete in mid-distance events due to its naturally high testosterone levels.

She has since moved on to longer distances and finished fifth in the 10,000m at the Tokyo Olympics, but pulled out of the world championships this week after missing training with a stress fracture.

With her multi-colored hair, Joker and Incredible Hulk masks and incredible strength, Raven Saunders was one of the most memorable characters at last year’s Olympics, winning a silver medal in the shot put .

Saunders was also one of the few athletes to stage a protest in Tokyo, raising her arms in an X while accepting her medal, later saying the gesture was “for the downtrodden”.

Saunders only finished fourth in qualifying, but she will still be in Eugene doing media interviews and playing fantasy athletics.

Back-to-back world pole vault champion Sam Kendricks was expected to be one of the few who could challenge Swedish pole vault champion Mondo Duplantis. But Kendricks underwent knee surgery in early May and did not recover as quickly as expected.

Two athletes have been suspended from competition by the Athletics Integrity Unit – the anti-doping arm of the world athletics federation – on the eve of the world championships.

American Randolph Ross, who won a gold medal in Tokyo in the 400m relay, was provisionally suspended for what the IAU called “conduct during an investigation into a potential breach of information about the location”. A whereabouts violation occurs when an athlete is not where they said they would be when DCOs attempt to check them.

Lawrence Cherono, a Kenyan who is one of the best marathon runners in the world, has tested positive for trimetazidine, a banned heart drug known primarily as the drug teenage Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva tested positive for before the this year’s Winter Olympics.

Tokyo Olympics marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir has withdrawn from the world championships due to a hip injury.

Reigning world and Olympic 400m champion Steven Gardiner wrote on Instagram last week that he had to withdraw due to a tendon inflammation.

It’s unclear why Garrett Scantling, who finished fourth in the decathlon in Tokyo, isn’t competing in Eugene. Scantling qualified for the world championships at the United States Combined Events Championship in April with a score that ranked him the third-best American of all time, behind only Dan O’Brien and Ashton Eaton.

But Scantling was not on USA Track & Field’s world championship entry list, and Scantling, his agent and the national federation have not explained why.

Nearly 100 athletes were still having difficulty entering the United States due to visa issues as of Thursday evening. Some, like Kenyan sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala, barely made it to Eugene in time to compete. Others, like British marathon runner Chris Thompson, had to withdraw.

nytimes sport

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