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.
The long, long wait is over.
Team USA ended their 42-year Olympic medal drought in cross-country skiing Wednesday and they made American cross-country history in the process.
Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall became the first American cross-country skiers to capture a gold medal by winning the women’s team sprint at the Alpensia Cross-Country Centre in PyeongChang, South Korea. Sweden captured silver and Norway took home bronze.
Diggins and Randall are the first American women to win an Olympic medal and join Bill Koch as the only American cross-country skiers to earn an Olympic medal.
The Americans advanced to the finals courtesy of their first place finish in the semifinals, beating Sweden and OAR in the process.
Diggins out-sprinted both the gold and silver medalists of the individual sprint (Stina Nilsson and Maiken Falla, respectively) in the final stretch to take the gold.
Gold: Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins (USA)
Silver: Charlotte Kalla and Stina Nilsson (SWE)
Bronze: Marit Bjoergen and Maiken Falla (NOR)
Click here for a full recap of Team USA’s historic run
Petr Loukal scored the lone shootout goal as the Czech Republic defeated the United States and advance to the medal round.
Jan Kolar and Tomas Kundratek scored in regulation, while Pavel Francouz made 18 saves and stopped all five shootout attempts.
Ryan Donato scored his tournament-leading fifth goal, and Jim Slater added a shorthanded goal as the Olympics come to an end for the United States.