Rachel Schneider of Sanford celebrates after winning the women’s USA Track and Field 1-Mile Road Championship at the Drake Relays on Wednesday in Des Moines, Iowa. Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

ROAD RACING

Rachel Schneider of Sanford earned her first national championship Wednesday night by winning the USATF 1-Mile Road Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.

Rachel Schneider crosses the finish line to win the women’s mile with a time of 4 minutes, 30.26 seconds. Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

Schneider, 29, took the lead as the runners entered the stadium for the last 600 meters on the Drake University track, then outkicked Shannon Osika to take the women’s title in 4 minutes, 30.26 seconds.

Schneider has achieved the Olympic qualifying standard in three events – 1,500, 5,000 and 10,000 meters – as she prepares for the U.S. track and field trials in June in Eugene, Oregon.

GOLF

LPGA: Jessica Korda shot a 6-under 65 in the HUGEL Air Premia LA Open to break the tournament 36-hole scoring record and increase her lead to three strokes in Los Angeles.

A day after matching the Wilshire Country Club tournament record with a 64, Korda opened her bogey-free second round with birdies on three of her first four holesh. At 13-under 129, she broke the event mark of 8 under set by Moriya Jutanugarn in 2018 in the inaugural tournament.

PGA: Brice Garnett and Scott Stallings birdied eight of their last 11 holes, Viktor Hovland and Kris Ventura birdied nine of their final 12, and both teams shot 10-under 62 to share the first-round lead in the Zurich Classic at Avondale, Louisiana.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Joost Luiten hit a hole-in-one en route to a 7-under 63 that put him in a share of the lead after the first round of the Gran Canaria Open in Las Palmas, Spain.

Luiten aced the par-3 15th hole in a round that also included seven birdies and two bogeys, leaving him tied with Joachim Hansen, Maximilian Kieffer and Robin Roussel.

“It was a perfect number for me to hit a wedge,” Luiten said. “It’s just one of these bonus things that happen sometimes.”

Hansen had a bogey-free round that included five birdies and an eagle. Kieffer offset a double bogey with nine birdies. A group of seven players were a shot behind at the Meloneras Golf Course in the Canary Islands.

TENNIS

BARCELONA OPEN: Rafael Nadal beat Kei Nishikori 6-0, 2-6, 6-2 to advance to the quarterfinals.

Nadal broke Nishikori twice in the decisive set, converting his second match point by driving a forehand winner down the line. The top-seeded Nadal is still searching for his best tennis after being upset in the Monte Carlo quarterfinals by Andrey Rublev. He needed three sets to beat 111th-ranked Ilya Ivashka of Belarus in his first match in Barcelona on Wednesday.

Nadal will face Britain’s Cameron Norrie next. Norrie advanced after David Goffin retired in the second set of their match due to injury.

PORSCHE GRAND PRIX: Simona Halep returned from injury to start her clay-court season with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Marketa Vondrousova to reach the quarterfinals in Stuttgart, Germany.

The third-ranked Romanian was back on court for the first time since a shoulder injury forced her out of the Miami Open last month, and in only her second match since her straight-sets loss to Serena Williams in the Australian Open quarterfinals in February. Halep will face Ekaterina Alexandrova in the quarterfinals after the Russian upset eighth-seeded Belinda Bencic, 6-1, 7-5.

Elina Svitolina came through a tougher test as she beat three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber, 7-6 (4), 6-3.

Karolina Pliskova hit 21 aces as she set up a meeting with top-ranked Ash Barty in the quarterfinals by beating former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-3. Fifth-seeded Aryna Sabalenka swept past Anna-Lena Friedsam, 6-4, 6-2.

FORMER TOP-10 player Carla Suarez Navarro says she finished treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma and is cured of her cancer.

“Another step forward,” the 32-year-old from Spain wrote Thursday on Twitter. “Every word of support gave me strength during the past few months,” she added, ending her message with the words: “I’M CURED!”

Suarez Navarro said in September that she had been diagnosed with cancer and would need chemotherapy. She was ranked as high as No. 6, won two WTA singles titles and reached the quarterfinals at Grand Slam tournaments seven times.

WTA: Tournaments in Italy and Germany were added to the WTA’s 2021 calendar.

The Emilia Romagna Open will be staged in Parma, northern Italy, in the week starting May 17 and includes singles and doubles draws. Also added to the schedule was the Hamburg European Open, an outdoor event on clay starting July 5. It coincides with the second week of Wimbledon and will also be singles and doubles.

FOOTBALL

NFL: The Seattle Seahawks have brought back quarterback Geno Smith on a one-year deal to serve as the backup to Russell Wilson.

Smith has held that role for the past two seasons but has appeared in just one game with Seattle.

• The San Francisco 49ers added two former Raiders defensive linemen, agreeing to contracts with defensive tackle Maurice Hurst and defensive end Arden Key.

SOCCER

GOLF CUP: CONCACAF is avoiding the large population areas of the Northeast and West Coast for the Gold Cup, a championship many top players are likely to skip.

Matches will be played at Arlington, Austin, Dallas, Frisco and Houston in Texas; Glendale, Arizona; Kansas City, Kansas; and Orlando, Florida, in additional to the final on Aug. 1 in Las Vegas, which was previously announced.

CONCACAF said groups will be based in hubs to minimize travel. The tournament starts July 10.

ENGLAND: Jamie Vardy ended his two-month goal drought and Leicester tightened its grip on a Champions League spot with a 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion that pushed the visitors closer to relegation.

Vardy had not scored in his previous 11 games but opened the scoring in the 23rd minute, with Jonny Evans and Kelechi Iheanacho adding goals before the break.

The win strengthened Leicester’s hold on third place, putting the Foxes four points clear of Chelsea and West Ham.
West Brom remained nine points from safety in 19th place with six games left.

SPAIN: Angel Correa and Yannick Carrasco scored as Atletico Madrid defeated Huesca 2-0 to regain sole possession of the Spanish league lead, while Lionel Messi scored twice as Barcelona stayed in the title race with a 5-2 victory over Getafe.

Atletico is three points ahead of Real Madrid and five points ahead of Barcelona, which has a game in hand.

ITALY: Ten-man Atalanta wasted a chance to move into second place in Serie A, settling for a 1-1 draw at Roma.

Third-place Atalanta, which extended its unbeaten streak to six games, remained one point behind second-place AC Milan.

GERMANY: German teams will be confined to “quarantine training camps” so the season can be finished on time after a spate of coronavirus cases sidelined teams and put pressure on the schedule.

Bundesliga club Hertha Berlin and three second-division clubs have all had to postpone games this month after virus outbreaks in their squads. More cases could mean there’s no time to reschedule before the leagues have to close for the European Championship in June.

The German Football League, which oversees the top two men’s divisions, said it will mandate “quasi quarantine” from May 3, with players and staff allowed to spend time only at home or at club facilities. From May 12, they’ll move into a “quarantine training camp” shut off from the outside world for the last two rounds of games.

It’s a return to the bubble format which helped the Bundesliga restart first among Europe’s big leagues in the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic last year. The Bundesliga is due to end on May 22 but more time is needed to hold promotion-relegation playoffs before clubs release players for Euro 2020.

MLS: The New York Red Bulls have signed Polish forward Patryk Klimala to a four-year contract with an option for a fifth season.

The MLS team announced the transfer from Celtic, adding that the 22-year-old Klimala will fill a young designated player and international spot on its roster.

Klimala signed with Celtic in January 2020. He made 29 appearances for the Scottish Premiership team and had three goals and one assist.

OLYMPICS

TOKYO GAMES: Athletes who make political or social justice protests at the Tokyo Olympics were promised legal support by a global union and an activist group in Germany.

The pledges came one day after the International Olympic Committee confirmed its long-standing ban on “demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda” on the field of play, medal podiums or official ceremonies. Raising a fist or kneeling for a national anthem could lead to punishment from the IOC. The Olympic body’s legal commission should clarify what kind of punishment before this year’s games, which open on July 23.

The IOC’s athletes’ commission cited support to uphold Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter from more than two-thirds of about 3,500 replies from consulting athlete groups.

“This is precisely the outcome we expected,” said Brendan Schwab, executive director of the World Players Association union. “The Olympic movement doesn’t understand its own history better than the athletes.”

While the IOC said cases would each be judged on merits, athletes who follow the iconic salutes by American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics still could be sent home. “Any athlete sanctioned at the Tokyo Olympics will have the full backing of the World Players,” Schwab told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Australia.

The independent group representing German athletes pledged legal backing for its national team.

“Should German athletes decide to peacefully stand up for fundamental values such as fighting racism during the Olympic Games, they can rely on the legal support of Athleten Deutschland,” Johannes Herber, the group’s chief executive, said in a statement.

The IOC erred by trying to regulate the place where a protest might take place instead of the statement’s content, Schwab said, adding athletes’ freedom of expression in Olympic venues “should be respected, protected and indeed promoted.”

TORCH RELAY: Tokyo Olympics organizers said a policeman tested positive for COVID-19 a day after his assignment last week at the Olympic torch relay.

It is the first positive test connected to the relay since it began March 25 from northeastern Fukushima prefecture. Organizers say the policeman, who is in his 30s, was assigned to control traffic on the April 17 leg in southwestern Kagawa prefecture. They said the officer developed symptoms and tested positive the next day. Local health authorities are investigating.

Officials say the policeman was wearing a mask and taking social-distancing precautions and other measures.

The report comes as Japan is preparing to declare a third state of emergency in western metropolitan areas around Osaka, and in Tokyo. It is expected on Friday and is being re-instated after current measures failed to slow the latest resurgence fueled by a new, more contagious variant of the virus detected earlier in Britain. Japan had 541,496 cases and 9,710 deaths as of Tuesday. These results are good by global standard but poor in Asia. Without compulsory lockdowns, people in Japan have become less cooperative with preventive measures.

The organizers said all participants and officials are taking the best precautions and that the case will not affect the subsequent legs of the torch events. The torch relay involves 10,000 runners crisscrossing Japan for four month, ending at the arrival at the National Stadium on July 23 to kick off the scheduled opening ceremony.

RUSSIA: Russian gold medalists at the Tokyo Olympics are set to hear music by Tchaikovsky as the replacement for their national anthem, which has been banned as punishment for state-backed doping. The International Olympic Committee said Thursday it approved Piano Concerto No. 1 by Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky for use at the Tokyo Games this year and the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

It was proposed by Russian Olympic officials after their first choice, the patriotic folk song “Katyusha,” was blocked by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. It was previously used at skating world championships this year.

A CAS ruling last year banned Russia’s flag, anthem and team name from the next two Olympics in the latest punishment for an extensive doping program and cover-ups, including at previous Olympic Games and testing laboratories in Moscow and Sochi.


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