Akihiro Yamaguchi

For Japan’s Yamaguchi, swimming too fast is a problem

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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.

Paralympic swimmer disqualified for Olympic rings tattoo

Josef Craig
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British Paralympic champion Josef Craig was disqualified from a race because he didn’t cover up an Olympic rings tattoo on his chest at the IPC European Championships on Sunday.

Craig, 19, was disqualified because of an International Paralympic Committee swimming rule that states, “body advertisements are not allowed in any way whatsoever (this includes tattoos and symbols).”

Craig, who did not have the tattoo when he took gold at London 2012, has since competed at the European Championships with the Olympic rings tattoo covered.

If people attend the Paralympics, which are held weeks after the Olympics at the same venues, they will very often see the Paralympic Agitos logo where the Olympic logo once appeared.

It is visual proof that the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee are separate entities.

At the London Paralympics, American Rudy Garcia-Tolson earned silver in a 200m individual medley with an Olympic rings tattoo visible near his left shoulder-blade.

An IPC spokesperson said the rule pertaining to the Paralympics — which covers all sports — was new going into 2012 and will be fully enforced for the first time in Rio.

MORE: London gymnastics medalist gets elaborate Olympic tattoo

Missy Franklin reads emotional letter to parents (video)

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Missy Franklin broke into tears reading a letter to her parents in a mock press conference in a spot for Minute Maid, one of the four-time Olympic champion’s sponsors since turning professional a year ago.

It was filmed in April near her home in Denver.

Franklin has split time training and competing and working with companies including GoPro, Laureus, Minute Maid, Speedo, United Airlines, Visa and Wheaties.

Franklin has said the sponsor commitments will curtail in the middle of May, when she starts a blackout period to focus on training for the U.S. Olympic Trials, which are June 26-July 3 in Omaha and air on NBC Sports.

VIDEO: Franklin revisits ‘biggest sacrifice’ in GoPro series finale