Akihiro Yamaguchi’s biggest problem is that he swims too fast.
The 18-year-old Japanese swimmer recently broke the 200m breaststroke world record by more than a quarter of a second – quite a drop. But almost two months after resetting the mark, Yamaguchi is having trouble in his training pool.
And by that we mean there are too many people in the water.
“There has been a sharp rise in the number of people using the pool after I broke the world record,” Yamaguchi told Reuters. “I haven’t been able to find my top speed and my form is still not where it should be. I don’t have that explosiveness.”
Yamaguchi said the sudden jump in numbers is affecting his workouts.
Disruptions aside, Japan’s national coach Norimasa Hirai thinks Yamaguchi is better than four-time Olympic breaststroke champion Kosuke Kitajima was at age 18. Yamaguchi will race against some of the fastest swimmers in the world at the Short-Course World Championships in December, so we’ll get a sense of how accurate the comparison is then.
“This is the dawn of a new age for Japanese swimming,” Hirai said.
Japan won 11 swimming medals in London, the second highest total behind the United States’ 31.
Puma has introduced the “BeatBot,” a self-driving, line-following robot that runners can program to move at a specific pace around a track.
That means one could race against a robot-version of Usain Bolt‘s 100m world record of 9.58 seconds, with BeatBot’s top speed at just over 27 miles per hour.
The BeatBot can also navigate track curves, as shown in the video above.
Puma plans to roll out BeatBot to various track programs around the world over the year.
MORE: Bolt, Ashton Eaton set for showdown
Several U.S. Olympic champions highlight the Penn Relays and Drake Relays fields, live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra on Saturday.
At the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, the U.S. 4x100m, 4x200m and 4x400m pools include:
Justin Gatlin: 2004 Olympic 100m champ
Tyson Gay: Olympic 100m, fourth place
Carmelita Jeter: Olympic 100m silver medalist
Jeremy Wariner: 2004 Olympic 400m champ
Sanya Richards-Ross: Olympic 400m champ
Also competing will be two-time Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, 2008 Olympic 100m silver medalist Kerron Stewart and 2015 World 200m silver medalist Elaine Thompson for Team Jamaica.
STREAM: Penn Relays: 12:30-3 p.m. ET
Next is the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, including:
- 2008 Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt versus 2012 Olympic champion Kirani James in the 400m
- World Indoor champion Vashti Cunningham in the high jump. Cunningham, 18, is the daughter of retired NFL Pro Bowl quarterback Randall Cunningham.
- 2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper-Nelson versus 2013 World champion Brianna Rollins in the 100m hurdles.
STREAM: Drake Relays: 3-5 p.m. ET
MORE: Full NBC Olympic trials broadcast schedule