even-without-bolt-and-coleman,-the-olympic-men’s-100m-will-be-fierce

Even without Bolt and Coleman, the Olympic men’s 100m will be fierce

Ahead of the U.S. Olympic track and field trials, CBC Sports’ daily newsletter looks at three Americans who could challenge Canada’s Andre De Grasse for the vacant title of world’s fastest man.

Americans Trayvon Bromell, right, and Noah Lyles are two of the top contenders for the first Olympic 100m gold medal of the post-Bolt era. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

This is an excerpt from The Buzzer, which is CBC Sports’ daily email newsletter. Stay up to speed on what’s happening in sports by subscribing here.

The World’s Fastest Man title is up for grabs

The most talked-about event of the Summer Olympics looks more wide open than it’s been in quite a while. For the first time since 2004, Usain Bolt will not be in the starting blocks for the men’s 100 metres. And his presumed successor, Christian Coleman, won’t be in Tokyo either after getting suspended for missing multiple drug tests.

With the reigning Olympic and world champions both out of the picture, Andre De Grasse has a better chance of becoming Canada’s first Olympic 100m champ since Donovan Bailey in 1996. But just because the field lacks a Bolt- or Coleman-level favourite doesn’t mean it’ll be easy to beat. And you don’t even have to look far for contenders: American sprinters have put down the three fastest times in the world this year.

With the U.S. Olympic track and field trials opening Friday in Oregon, and the men’s 100-metre final running Sunday night, here’s a look at some of the Americans that De Grasse could be up against in Tokyo:

Trayvon Bromell: At the 2015 world championships in Beijing, two men in their early 20s tied for the 100m bronze medal. Their futures looked bright. But their fortunes diverged a year later at the Olympics in Rio, where Andre De Grasse won three medals and Trayvon Bromell experienced disaster. After finishing last in the 100m final, Bromell appeared to anchor the American 4×100 relay team to bronze by holding off a surging De Grasse at the finish line. But the U.S. team was DQ’d because of an illegal exchange by two other runners and, worse, Bromell tore an Achilles at the end. The injury took years to fully heal, but it looks like Bromell is finally back — and then some. He ran 9.77 seconds earlier this month in Florida, making him the seventh-fastest man of all time, and also put down a 9.88 and a 9.92 in the last two months. That gives Bromell two of the top three, and three of the top six, 100m times in the world this year. Right now, he has to be considered the Olympic favourite.

Justin Gatlin: Yes, he’s still a contender at age 39. Just to put in perspective how long Gatlin has been an elite sprinter: he won Olympic 100m gold in 2004 — four years before Bolt’s breakthrough in Beijing — and finished second to Coleman at the 2019 world championships — two years after Bolt retired. In between, Gatlin won two 100m world titles (including a victory over Bolt in his farewell individual race), reached two Olympic podiums in the 100 and served a four-year doping ban — which is why he always gets booed. Even though he’s surely saving himself for Tokyo, Gatlin has run under 10 seconds twice already this year. He’s got a shot to become the oldest man in history to win an Olympic track medal.

Noah Lyles: The reigning 200m world champion wants to be the next Bolt. His goal for the Tokyo Olympics is to win gold in the 100, 200 and 4×100 — just as the greatest sprinter in history did in 2008, ’12 and ’16. Lyles has the talent to pull it off. In addition to his 200m victory at the 2019 worlds, he helped the U.S. 4×100 team win gold. He didn’t compete in the individual 100, but a few months earlier Lyles ran a 9.86 — tying him with Nigeria’s Divine Oduduru for the fastest time of the year by anyone not named Christian Coleman. Lyles should be the Olympic favourite in the 200, but he’ll have to fight for a spot in the 100 at the U.S. trials. Only the top three make it, and Bromell (9.77), Marvin Bracy (9.85), Isiah Young (9.89) Fred Kerley (9.91) and Ronnie Baker (9.94) all have top times well under 10 seconds this year. Lyles’ best this year is a 10.03.

As for De Grasse, he’s gone under 10 seconds with a legal wind just once this year, clocking a 9.99 at a meet in Florida in mid-April. But he’s proven to be at his best in big events, winning a medal in all five individual races he’s entered (100m and 200m) at the Olympics or world championships. For more on how De Grasse is approaching Tokyo, listen to his appearance on the newest episode of the Player’s Own Voice podcast with host Anastasia Bucsis here or wherever you get your pods.

Canada’s Andre De Grasse has earned his reputation as a big-race sprinter. (Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images )

Quickly…

The Canadian men’s soccer team has a huge match tonight. A win or a draw vs. Haiti will advance Canada to the final round of regional qualifying for the 2022 World Cup — a stage it hasn’t reached since the run-up to the 1998 event. Canada won the opening leg of its second-round matchup 1-0 on Saturday in Haiti. Due to the federal government’s travel restrictions, Canada’s “home” leg is being played just outside Chicago tonight at 9 p.m. ET. The winners of the three second-round matchups in the CONCACAF region will move on to a final round that includes Mexico, the U.S., Jamaica, Costa Rica and Honduras — the region’s top five teams.

A Grey Cup rematch kicks off the CFL’s comeback season. Defending champion Winnipeg hosts Hamilton on Aug. 5, which will be the first CFL game since the Blue Bombers beat the Ticats in the November 2019 title game. The league confirmed yesterday it will play a shortened 14-game schedule (down from the usual 18) after cancelling the entire 2020 season due to the pandemic and delaying the start of the 2021 campaign. The Grey Cup game will be held a few weeks later than usual, on Dec. 12 in Hamilton. Read more about the 2021 schedule here.

Cristiano Ronaldo became the European Championship’s all-time leading scorer. The 36-year-old Portugal star scored a pair of late goals in today’s 3-0 win over Hungary to reach 11 for his career. Ronaldo is playing in his fifth Euro. He helped Portugal win its first title in 2016, the last time the tournament took place. The scoring record was previously held by French great Michel Platini. Read a recap of Tuesday’s matches here.

And finally…

An American runner blamed her positive steroid test on a burrito. Shelby Houlihan, who holds the U.S. women’s records in the 1,500 and 5,000 metres, revealed yesterday that the Court of Arbitration for Sport has upheld her four-year ban for testing positive for the anabolic steroid nandrolone. In an Instagram post, Houlihan claimed the positive test was “most likely” triggered by a burrito she bought from an “authentic Mexican food truck that serves pig offal.” That’s organ meat, and Houlihan argued it’s known to cause false positives for nandrolone. Read more about her case here.

You’re up to speed. Talk to you tomorrow.

cfl-return-to-play-finally-gives-blue-bombers-an-opportunity-to-defend-grey-cup-title

CFL return to play finally gives Blue Bombers an opportunity to defend Grey Cup title

The CFL’s board of governors voted Monday in favour of starting a 14-game 2021 season Aug. 5. And it will open with the Blue Bombers hosting Hamilton in a Grey Cup rematch.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Hamilton Tiger-Cats will open the 2021 CFL season on Aug. 5 in Winnipeg. The Bombers defeated the Tiger-Cats to win the Grey Cup on Nov. 24, 2019, the last CFL game played before the league cancelled the 2020 campaign due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Derek Leung/Getty Images/File)

It’s been a long time coming, but Willie Jefferson and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are finally getting the chance to defend their Grey Cup title.

Winnipeg defeated the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 33-12 in 2019 for its first CFL title since 1990. But that was also the league’s last game after it cancelled plans for an abbreviated ’20 campaign due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CFL’s board of governors voted Monday in favour of starting a 14-game ’21 season Aug. 5. And it will open with the Blue Bombers hosting Hamilton in a Grey Cup rematch.

“It feels like we’re starting over again but at the end of the day we were the last ones to hoist that trophy,” Jefferson said during a conference call Tuesday. “We are defending champions.

“Somebody is going to want to be the champion for 2021 and we don’t want them to take it. We want to keep it in Winnipeg.”

WATCH | CFL to return in summer for abbreviated 2021 season:

After being forced to cancel its last season, the CFL is returning this summer, but the league will be challenged by bringing in fans safely and attracting a younger audience. 2:03

Plenty has happened since the Bombers were presented with the Grey Cup. Offensive co-ordinator Paul LaPolice and veteran quarterback Matt Nichols are gone, with LaPolice now serving as Ottawa’s head coach and Nichols having signed with the Redblacks as a free agent.

However, the Bombers will have to wait to face LaPolice and Nichols as Ottawa isn’t on Winnipeg’s regular-season schedule this year. Jefferson jokingly suggested that maybe LaPolice pulled strings to avoid having to face his former team.

“I guess that’s just a good thing for him just to try to stay away from us as a team … and just try to keep a loss out of that loss column,” Jefferson quipped.

The Bombers (11-7) finished third in the West Division in 2019 and advanced to the Grey Cup with road playoff wins over Calgary (35-14) and Saskatchewan (20-13). Winnipeg native Andrew Harris anchored the team’s emphatic championship victory, rushing for 134 yards and scoring two touchdowns in being the first-ever player to be named both the game MVP and top Canadian.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ Willie Jefferson celebrates winning the 107th Grey Cup against the Hamilton Tiger Cats in 2019. (Todd Korol/The Canadian Press)

The ’19 season was also a stellar one for six-foot-seven, 248-pound Jefferson. The Bombers’ defensive lineman was named the league’s top defensive player after registering 24 tackles, a career-high 12 sacks, one interception and six forced fumbles.

Foremost on Jefferson’s mind is returning to Winnipeg and becoming reacquainted with everyone associated with the organization. CFL training camps are slated to open July 10.

“One of the most memorable things I will do when I get back is walk into the stadium, see my locker, see coach O’Shea [head coach Mike O’Shea], coach Rich [defensive co-ordinator Richie Hall] and seeing the other coaches,” Jefferson said.

“The players, the training staff, the equipment staff and then just walking through the tunnel to the field.”

Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ Andrew Harris was an important part of the 2019 championship victory, rushing for 134 yards and scoring two touchdowns. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

And Jefferson is also looking forward to showing younger players — including two draft classes that have yet to play a down in the CFL — the nuances of pro football.

“It’s time to become a pro,” he said. “That’s something that I can’t wait to show the young guys.

“Just being able to show them this is what it is, to step on the field and put my cleats on, put my helmet on, put my jersey on and do everything as an organization. I just can’t wait to do all of that.”

Quarterback Zach Collaros was also an important figure in Winnipeg’s championship run. The Bombers acquired the 32-year-old Stuebenville, Ohio, native from Toronto on Oct. 9, 2019 and he started their final four games — the last regular-season contest and all three in the playoffs — posting a perfect 4-0 record.

WATCH | A throwback to the Bombers celebrating their Grey Cup victory:

Blue Bombers players and fans celebrate Grey Cup championship title in downtown Winnipe 2:35

Collaros said while he’s very happy to have the chance to continue his CFL career, he admitted the uncertainty of the situation weighed on him.

“I was cautiously optimistic this was going to happen but I’d be lying to you if I said I probably didn’t think about it every day,” Collaros said. “What if this doesn’t happen? Should I look into doing something else? What’s my next step?’

“Nobody in our league is making money you can retire on so you’re always thinking about that next step, ‘How can I feed my family. How can you support everybody?”‘

Like Jefferson, Collaros was disappointed that Winnipeg won’t play Ottawa this season.

“I’m very grateful to Paul and Matt, obviously, for their guidance when I first got there,” Collaros said. “Just being able to speak the same language with coach LaPo, being around some of the same people and being able to learn from them made it easier for us to communicate.

“Matt and I have been in the league for a long time so we’ve been around a lot of the same guys and seen the same coverages. Anytime you have a veteran in the room, you talk ball with them and it makes your life a lot easier and a lot better. It was a real joy and pleasure working with those guys.”

Collaros said he spent much of his time away from the field working out and preparing for whenever a season would begin. While he’ll have to work on timing and becoming familiar with new offensive co-ordinator Buck Pierce (who remains the club’s quarterback coach), Collaros said the break had some benefits.

“Obviously, the less wear and tear you have, the longer you can play,” Collaros said. “As a football player you get hit a lot but at the same time [if] you can cut down on the wear and tear of those hits, it probably works in your favour.”

Collaros doesn’t expect enthusiasm to be lacking once training camp starts. And when the season opens, many teams will measure themselves against the defending-champion Bombers.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros says he’s excited to get back on the field and play Hamilton. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

“I think any time you’re the defending champion you’re definitely going to have a target on your back,” Collaros said.

“But I don’t think that will be an issue with the group of people we have in the locker room.

“It will be a very workmanlike environment, we’ll approach things day to day like we always have. I think obviously Hamilton is going to be a huge challenge … but we’ll be ready.”

shelby-houlihan,-barred-us.-runner,-says-tainted-burrito-led-to-positive-doping-test

Shelby Houlihan, barred U.S. runner, says tainted burrito led to positive doping test

Shelby Houlihan, the American record holder in the women’s 1,500 and 5,000 metres, was banned for four years after failing to prove that tainted pork caused her positive test for an anabolic steroid, sport’s highest court said Tuesday.

American runner Shelby Houlihan’s four-year ban for testing positive for the anabolic steroid nandrolone rules her out for this summer’s Olympics, the 2024 Paris Olympics and first track world championships to be held in the United States, next year in Eugene, Ore. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters/File)

Shelby Houlihan, the American record holder in the women’s 1,500 and 5,000 metres, was banned for four years after failing to prove that tainted pork caused her positive test for an anabolic steroid, sport’s highest court said Tuesday.

Houlihan blamed a pork burrito bought at a Mexican street food truck when she revealed her doping case in an announcement on her Instagram account Monday.

A case that went ahead in secret for five months was published days before the start of U.S. Olympic track and field trials in Eugene, Ore., where the top three in each event earn a spot to the postponed Tokyo Games. Houlihan finished 11th at the 2016 Rio Olympics in the 5,000.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport confirmed Tuesday its panel of judges “unanimously determined that Shelby Houlihan had failed” to prove how the anabolic steroid nandrolone got into her system.

The case was fast-tracked with the consent of all parties to be heard on June 4 by video link with the court in Lausanne, Switzerland. The verdict was announced without a detailed verdict.

It stayed confidential until Houlihan’s own announcement of the positive doping test and ban that runs to January 2025. It also rules her out of the 2024 Paris Olympics and the first track worlds to be held in the United States, next year in Eugene.

The 28-year-old Houlihan said she received an email from the Athletics Integrity Unit on Jan. 14, notifying her that a drug testing sample returned a finding for nandrolone.

She said she’s since learned it has “long been understood by WADA [World Anti-Doping Agency] that eating pork can lead to a false positive for nandrolone, since certain types of pigs produce it naturally in high amounts. Pig organ meat [offal] has the highest levels of nandrolone.”

Houlihan made a list of all the food she ate leading up to a Dec. 15 test that detected the anabolic steroid.

“We concluded that the most likely explanation was a burrito purchased and consumed approximately 10 hours before that drug test from an authentic Mexican food truck that serves pig offal near my house in Beaverton, Oregon,” the Bowerman Track Club athlete wrote. “I notified the AIU that I believed this was the source.”

Houlihan says she passed polygraph

An email and text were left with her agent.

Houlihan added that “although my levels were consistent with those of subjects in studies who were tested 10 hours after eating this source and WADA technical guidelines require the lab to consider it when analyzing nandrolone, the lab never accounted for this possibility. They could have reported this as an atypical finding and followed up with further testing. The anti-doping experts I have reached out to say they should have. I did everything I could to prove my innocence.”

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@BowermanTC

She said she passed a polygraph and had a hair sample analyzed by toxicologists.

“WADA agreed that test proved that there was no buildup of this substance in my body, which there would have been if I were taking it regularly,” Houlihan wrote. “Nothing moved the lab from their initial snap decision. Instead, they simply concluded that I was a cheater and that a steroid was ingested orally, but not regularly. I believe my explanation fits the facts much better — because it’s true. I also believe it was dismissed without proper due process.”

Houlihan said she was informed last Friday that CAS “did not accept my explanation of what had occurred and has subsequently banned me from the sport for four years.”

The court said in a statement its judges decided by a 2-1 majority the athlete had not proven her claim that her case and sample were improperly managed.

“I feel completely devastated, lost, broken, angry, confused and betrayed by the very sport that I’ve loved and poured myself into just to see how good I was,” Houlihan wrote.

She set the American 1,500 record of three minutes 54.99 seconds at the world championships in Doha, Qatar, on Oct. 5, 2019.

Last July, Houlihan broke the U.S. 5,000 mark with her time of 14:23.92 in Portland, Ore.

“I want to be very clear. I have never taken any performance enhancing substances,” Houlihan wrote. “I’m not interested in cheating. I don’t do this for the accolades, money, or for people to know my name. I do this because I love it.”

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Ronaldo sets record for most goals at tourney, leading Portugal over Hungary

Portugal great Cristiano Ronaldo set the record for most career goals at the European Championship with his 10th in the 87th minute Tuesday and added another in injury time to give the defending champions a 3-0 victory over host Hungary.

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his second goal in Portugal’s 3-0 victory over host Hungary in Euro 2020 soccer action in Budapest on Tuesday. His first goal set the record for the most career markers at the tournament with 10, surpassing Michel Platini. (Attila Kisbenedek/Reuters)

Cristiano Ronaldo’s record-setting day came in front of the first packed crowd of this year’s European Championship.

The Portugal great set the record for most career goals at the tournament with his 10th in the 87th minute from the penalty spot to move ahead of Michel Platini. He added another in injury time to give the defending champions a 3-0 victory over Hungary on Tuesday.

Ronaldo’s goals, however, weren’t the only interesting part of the game. On the fifth day of the Euro 2020 tournament, this was the first match played in a full stadium.

The 67,215-capacity Puskas Arena was packed with mostly Hungarian fans, and they made their presence known throughout the match. Hungary is the only one of the 10 countries hosting matches at the tournament to allow full crowds.

That gave Ronaldo plenty of witnesses to history.

Cristiano Ronaldo 🤩

⚽️ All-time EURO top scorer (11 goals)
🇵🇹 All-time top scorer for Portugal (106 goals)
👕 First player to appear at 5 EURO final tournaments
👏 First player to score at 5 consecutive EURO final tournaments #EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/rjJ7C5iXo1

@EURO2020

The Juventus forward was playing in his fifth European Championship, dating back to Euro 2004. He entered this year’s edition even with Michel Platini at nine goals, but that only latest 87 minutes.

Ronaldo scored his first goal after Rafa Silva was fouled by Willi Orban in the area and the referee whistled for a penalty.

Nearing men’s international goal record

Ronaldo, who had missed an easy chance near the end of the first half, shot to the right of goal and got his record.

The second came when he combined with Silva in front of goal and then skipped around Hungary keeper Peter Gulacsi before rolling the ball into an empty net with his left foot.

Ronaldo is now only three behind former Iran striker Ali Daei’s men’s record of 109 international goals.

Portugal defender Raphael Guerreiro scored the opening goal three minutes before Ronaldo’s first with a shot that deflected off a defender and wrong-footed Gulacsi.

The fans made the most of their attendance and the resounding noise went up several levels when Hungary nearly took the lead in the 80th minute.

“It was amazing. Football without a crowd, I don’t even think I have an expression for that,” Portugal coach Fernando Santos said. “But I need to thank the 4,000 Portugal fans who were here because I heard them more than anything else.”

WATCH | Canada ready for World Cup qualifying against Haiti:

John Molinaro joins Signa Butler to talk about Canada’s run in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, how they stack up against Haiti and where Alphonso Davies should play 6:27

France defeats Germany through own goal

Mats Hummels’ return to the national team went better for France than it did for Germany.

The experienced defender was recalled by Germany coach Joachim Low for the European Championship for his leadership qualities, but he ended up scoring an own-goal Tuesday to give France a 1-0 victory at the European Championship.

Hummels was attempting to stop Lucas Hernandez’s cross from reaching France forward Kylian Mbappe when he diverted the ball into his own net with his shin in the 20th minute.

Both teams had chances to score. Ilkay Gundogan wasted Germany’s best opportunity of the first half when he couldn’t direct his shot on target.

France twice put the ball in the net in the second half but both were called back for offside. Mbappe sent a curling shot inside the far post midway through the half and then set up Karim Benzema for another late in the match.

Benzema was playing in his first competitive game for France since a World Cup quarterfinal loss to Germany in 2014.

🇫🇷 France are now unbeaten in their last 6 games against Die Mannschaft 👏#EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/rSDpKgjvsT

@EURO2020

Mbappe also had a penalty appeal waved off in between the offside goals — Hummels had timed his tackle perfectly when the 22-year-old Frenchman would have been through on goal.

Germany had never previously lost an opening game in the group stage at the European Championship.

Low started with the same lineup from the 7-1 rout of Latvia in Germany’s final warm-up game, but his team had no answer to Paul Pogba, who disrupted the team’s buildup play.

Pogba also provided incisive passes for France’s fearsome forward trio of Mbappe, Benzema and Antoine Griezmann.

🌟 Paul Pogba scoops the prize after an impressive display in Munich 🔥@Heineken | #EUROSOTM | #EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/ayaDQu0tKP

@EURO2020

While Germany pushed hard in the second half, France always looked the likelier to score.

Low, who is stepping down after the tournament, sent on forwards Leroy Sane and Timo Werner late in the match, and then Kevin Volland as a last resort, but none could make a difference.

Germany’s next coach, Hansi Flick, was among some 14,000 spectators in attendance.

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Rowing Canada to send largest Olympic team in 25 years to Tokyo

Rowing Canada will send its largest Olympic team in a quarter-century when the athletes arrive in Tokyo, the organization announced Tuesday.

Canada’s Caileigh Filmer, left, and Hillary Janssens captured gold in the women’s pair event at the 2018 world championship. (Darko Vojinovic/Associated Press)

Rowing Canada will sent its largest Olympic team in a quarter-century when the athletes arrive in Tokyo, the organization announced Tuesday.

In total, 29 athletes will be competing, including 10 boats.

There will also be five alternates going to Tokyo. 

It’s the biggest team since the 1996 Atlanta Games, when Canada also sent 10 crews.

That team was led by Tokyo’s chef de mission Marnie McBean and her partner, the late Kathleen Heddle. The pair became the first Canadians to win three career Olympic gold medals. Canada also won six rowing medals in Atlanta.

“With so much uncertainty as to whether these Olympic Games would actually happen, this announcement is so surreal,” said Caileigh Filmer, 2018 world champion in the women’s pair. “I am thrilled to get to represent Team Canada and race my heart out in Tokyo.

Filmer and partner Hillary Janssens captured gold medal at the 2018 world championship in the women’s pair event. They followed that up with a bronze medal at the 2019 world championships in Linz, Austria. Filmer represented Canada at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, finishing fifth in the women’s eight. 

“It’s truly an amazing feeling to be named to my third Olympic team,” said Olympic silver medallist, Will Crothers. “We are so fortunate to be able to do what we do while representing a country that is so well respected on the international stage. It’s also special to be representing all of the athletes that have come before us and our organization as there are so many amazing people that get the athletes to the start line. There’s a lot of medal potential on this team, and I can’t wait to watch everybody pour everything they have onto the course in Tokyo!”

Crothers in new crew combination

Crothers was a member of the men’s eight who won silver at the London 2012 Olympic Games. He will sit in the stroke seat of the men’s four, a new crew combination which recently qualified for Tokyo at the last Olympic qualifier in Lucerne, Switzerland.

The veteran crew on the men’s side will include the pair team of Conlin McCabe and Kai Langerfeld.

Will Crothers was part of the men’s eight rowing team that earned a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

McCabe won silver in the eight in his Olympic debut at London 2012. He and Langerfeld were both in the four that made the final four years ago in Rio.

Rowing will take place from July 23 to July 30 at the Sea Forest Waterway venue.

“It would come as no surprise to anyone that this is a special nomination announcement to me,” said McBean. “This rowing team is strong and I’m so excited to see them race in Tokyo. I’m sure the success at the recent Olympic qualifier, where Canadian rowers secured three of the three quota spots they raced for, is a great harbinger for the rest of the team and shows the quality of the training they have been able to do.”

WATCH | Marnie McBean reflects on the parntership with Kathleen Heddle:

Three-time Olympic rowing champion Kathleen Heddle died of cancer at age 55. Her rowing partner Marnie McBean had some heartfelt words to say about her friend and teammate. 1:11

Canada’s rowing team

  • Susanne GraingerLondon, Ont. (women’s coxed eight) 
  • Kasia Gruchalla-Wesierski — Calgary (women’s coxed eight) 
  • Kristen Kit — St. Catharines, Ont. (women’s coxed eight) 
  • Madison Mailey — Lions Bay, B.C. (women’s coxed eight) 
  • Sydney Payne — Toronto (women’s coxed eight) 
  • Andrea Proske — Langley, B.C. (women’s coxed eight) 
  • Lisa Roman — Langley, B.C. (women’s coxed eight)
  • Christine Roper London, Ont. (women’s coxed eight)
  • Avalon Wasteneys — Campbell River, B.C. (women’s coxed eight)
  • Stephanie Grauer — Vancouver (women’s four) 
  • Nicole HareCalgary (women’s four) 
  • Jennifer Martins — Toronto (women’s four) 
  • Kristina Walker — Wolfe Island, Ont. (women’s four)
  • Jakub Buczek — Kitchener, Ont. (men’s four) 
  • Will Crothers — Kingston, Ont. (men’s four)  
  • Luke Gadsdon — Hamilton (men’s four) 
  • Gavin Stone — Brampton, Ont. (men’s four) 
  • Caileigh Filmer — Victoria, B.C. (women’s pair)  
  • Hillary Janssens— Cloverdale, B.C. (women’s pair)
  • Kai Langerfeld — North Vancouver, B.C. (men’s pair) 
  • Conlin McCabeBrockville, Ont. (men’s pair)
  • Jessica Sevick — Strathmore, Alta. (women’s double sculls) 
  • Gabrielle SmithUnionville, Ont. (women’s double sculls)
  • Patrick Keane — Victoria, B.C. (men’s lightweight double sculls)
  • Maxwell Lattimer Delta, B.C. (men’s lightweight double sculls)
  • Jennifer Casson — Kingston, Ont. (women’s lightweight double sculls) 
  • Jill Moffatt — Bethany, Ont. (women’s lightweight double sculls)
  • Carling Zeeman — Cambridge, Ont. (women’s single sculls)
  • Trevor Jones — Lakefield, Ont. (men’s single sculls)
  • Joshua KingOttawa (alternate) 
  • Ivy Elling Quaintance — Sidney, B.C. (alternate) 
  • Trish Mara Victoria, B.C. (alternate) 
  • Morgan Rosts — Jordan, Ont. (alternate) 
  • Rebecca Zimmerman — Toronto (alternate)

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Bangladesh end WC qualifying campaign with a 0-3 loss to Oman

Bangladesh suffered a 0-3 defeat to Oman in their final fixture of the World Cup Qualifying campaign at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha, Qatar on Tuesday. 

The overall sixth defeat in eight matches meant Bangladesh finished bottom of Group E with only two points, four less than fourth-placed Afghanistan and five points less than India, who qualified for Asian Cup Qualifiers directly after finishing third on the back of a 1-1 draw against Afghanistan in the day’s first match.

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The charges of Jamie Day will now have to go through the play-off path in a bid to qualify for the Asian Cup group stage, a stage Bangladesh failed to reach in the previous edition.

The men in red and green were expectedly under tremendous pressure throughout even though Branko Ivankovic brought nine changes in Oman’s playing eleven that beat Afghanistan 2-1 last Friday. The fact that Bangladesh conceded 11 corners just in the first half of the game shows Oman’s dominance.

Oman, who are 104 places ahead of Bangladesh in FIFA ranking, simply had superior ball possession throughout the match. Oman kept Bangladeshi defenders on their toes by using both flanks and breaking the two-line defensive wall time and again before succeeding in the 22nd minute.

Bangladesh, missing the services of four regular players including captain Jamal Bhuiyan, looked shaky to defend deep, allowing the opponent players to exchange more passes in the attacking third to break the backline.

The men in red and green survived from conceding in the 18th minute when Mohammad Ibrahim cleared a goal-bound header from Amjad Al Harthi off the goalline after keeper Anisur Rahman Zico failed to grip a corner.

However, the charges of Day could not stop Oman four minutes later when Khalid Khalifa Al-Hajri, availing a through pass, controlled the ball nicely to square it for unmarked Mohammed Mubarak Al-Ghafri, who just had to tap in from inside the six-yard box to break Bangladesh’s resistance.

After conceding the opener, Bangladesh altered their defensive approach a bit and came close to leveling the margin in the 29th minute when left-back Yeasin Arafat saw his goal-bound header brilliantly tipped over by goalkeeper Faiyz Issa.

Surviving the close call, Oman created two more effective moves with keeper Zico thwarting a Mohsin Al Khalidi free-kick for a corner in the 37th minute while the far post denied Ahmed Al Kaabi to save Bangladesh from conceding a second goal just before half-time.

After resumption, Oman kept their tempo intact to make the Bangladesh backline helpless. Jameel Al Yahmadi saw his placing shot go narrowly wide with keeper Zico beaten in the 56th minute before Khalid Khalifa Al Hajri struck a brace in the 61st and 81st  minutes due to sloppy defending by Bangladesh.

The margin could have widened had Oman not rattled the crossbar twice and had Ibrahim not made another goal-line save in the second half. 

The only satisfaction for Day’s men was that they could avert the humiliation they suffered in the reverse fixture by losing 1-4 in November, 2019.  

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Ronaldo moves past Platini as all-time leading scorer at Euros

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo netted twice against Hungary to move beyond France’s Michel Platini as the record goalscorer at European Championship finals, taking his tally to 11 at the Puskas Area in Budapest on Tuesday.

Ronaldo and Platini had been locked on nine goals apiece before the tournament, but the Portuguese winger’s double late on against the Hungarians added to his growing tally of records.

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Ronaldo had missed a superb opportunity in the first half when he fired over from close range with the goal at his mercy.

But when offered the chance from the penalty spot on 87 minutes, he made no mistake.

He rifled the ball into the corner of the net and set off for one of his trademark celebrations, which drew plenty of whistles from the capacity 67,000 mostly Hungarian fans in the stadium.

There was still time to add a second in injury time at the end of the game as he took a pass near the six-yard box and danced past a couple of home defenders as well as goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi to score.

The 36-year-old has now also extended his record as the only player to score in five separate Euros finals, and has also played the most games, with the match against Hungary being his 22nd since he made his debut in 2004.

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Record-breaking Ronaldo strikes late as Portugal sink Hungary

Portugal skipper Cristiano Ronaldo celebrated becoming the first player to appear in five European Championships with a brace as they got their title defence off to a winning start with a 3-0 victory over a determined Hungary on Tuesday.

Ronaldo’s 87th-minute penalty after a foul on Rafa Silva meant he overtook Michel Platini for most European Championship goals scored, taking his tally to 10, after Raphael Guerreiro’s deflected goal had given them the lead three minutes earlier.

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Ronaldo, who missed a sitter in the first half, then delivered the final blow to a spirited Hungary side with a goal after a brilliant Portugal move in stoppage time.

Before Portugal’s goal rush, Hungary thought they had snatched a first win over the visitors in their 14th meeting much to the delight of a packed stadium when Szabolcs Schon had the ball in the net. But the winger’s effort was disallowed for offside in the build-up. 

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Italy look to make it 10

Having impressed the watching continent in their opening win, Italy now take on local rivals Switzerland tonight at Rome’s historic Stadio Olimpico.

The Azzurri were made to work for their opening win against Turkey, an own goal breaking the deadlock before Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne wrapped up an ultimately comfortable 3-0 victory.

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That was Italy’s ninth victory in a row, all with a clean sheet, and they will be looking to make it ten for only the second time in their history – the first having come in qualifying – against a Swiss side who were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw against Wales.

While the Azzurri effectively need only a point to progress, their less illustrious neighbours are seeking their first win of Euro 2020, following a frustrating draw with Group A counterparts Wales.

On opening night, Italy lived up to both their pre-tournament billing and a stirring opening ceremony, as Roberto Mancini’s men swept past a much-fancied Turkey side on home soil.

“We had a good game against Turkey. It was important to start well in Rome, and I think it is a satisfaction for everyone who is with us: for the fans and all Italians. It was a beautiful evening, so I hope there are many others like it. There is still a long way to go; we have to play six more games like this [to win the title], starting with the one against Switzerland,” said Mancini.

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Cricket’s future trapped between ignorance and false promises

Alleged corruption in domestic cricket has been a long-running plague that is at the root of the rot in Bangladesh’s cricketing structure, with bias and favoritism a consistent feature of lower-tier cricket.

The issue came to the fore again when premier all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan committed a Level 3 offence according to the BCB Code of Conduct twice. First, when he kicked the stumps out of rage after the umpire denied an LBW appeal and again when he uprooted the stumps and slammed them on the ground in a fit of rage shortly after the first incident during a Bangabandhu Dhaka Premier Division T20 League (BDPL) match earlier this week.

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Mohammedan skipper Shakib was rightly penalised, even though the magnitude of the punishment left something to be desired as it was not the top all-rounder’s first instance of unfathomable behaviour on or off the cricket field. For his actions, he received a three-match ban and was fined Tk 5 lacs.

While Shakib’s actions were inexplicable and unpardonable in every way, it was obvious that his reaction to an alleged intentional wrong call from the umpire would spread like wildfire and catch eyes given the premier all-rounder’s global reach. But even before the unprecedented incident from Shakib, this tournament has been a far cry from what should be an ideal domestic cricket league.

Unfortunately, like lower-tier cricket tournaments, allegations of bias and a questionable approach from batsmen have persisted in the league from the beginning. Only Shakib’s outrage, however inexcusable, made the picture more vivid for general eyes.

Eyebrows were raised when Pritom Kumar of Old DOHS Sports Club decided to leave Sujon Howlader’s wide yorker when his team needed three to win off the final delivery during a fourth-round fixture of the tournament. Umpire Ali Arman allowed it as a legal delivery but what felt odd was how Old DOHS were not animated after such a close-call. The questionable batting approach at such a crucial juncture also caused confusion as it was expected the batsman would at least have a go at any delivery that comes his way, especially when the target was reachable and the team had seven wickets in hand.

Before this, in one of the second round fixtures, Old DOHS batsmen displayed questionable approach against the influential Abahani Limited. Having restricted a star-studded Abahani to a mediocre 135-run total, a sluggish batting approach from the likes of Anisul Islam Emon, Rakin Ahmed and Mahmudul Hasan Joy saw Old DOHS fall 22 runs behind despite having seven wickets in hand.

Another instance of sluggish batting was noticed during Partex Sporting Club’s game against Old DOHS in the third round. Partex, who were yet to register a win after the completion of ninth round of the tournament, scored only 77 in 15 overs in a curtailed game. Interestingly, all the Partex players who batted, barring just one, batted well below a strike rate of 100, leaving them having six wickets to spare at the end.

All these incidents only suggest that the BDPL has been questionable even before Shakib’s outburst. However, what was more hilarious than the suspect on-field incidents was how the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) reacted. First, they enacted a whole drama about sanctioning Shakib with a ban despite what should have been a straightforward decision. The board took almost a day to announce their verdict, whereas ICC-mandated rules for such offences are very clear.

Then again, BCB president Nazmul Hassan seemed to have been perplexed at the prospect of news of alleged corruption in the domestic circuit. He formed a committee to investigate and even threatened to shut down the league if the allegations proved true. Such a reaction and approach is hilarious at best considering how BCB has been ignorant of all these alleged corruptions as they let them continue under their nose despite repeated media reports in the past.   

However, interestingly, the BCB said it found no evidence of alleged biasness or corruption in the league after their board meeting yesterday.

The sad and most unfortunate part is that the BCB promising to get to the bottom of the issue is nothing new, with alleged misdoings rampant in the domestic league over the years. In between the BCB’s false promises and continuation of the same old alleged unfairness, it is the young prospects of Bangladesh cricket who are losing their way and falling victim to such a flawed cricketing process.