Similar to how wrestling’s semifinals match losers don’t square-off against one another, tennis officials are considering eliminating bronze medal matches for Rio to lighten the load on the world’s best pros.
That would mean handing out two bronze medals, like they did when the event first returned to Seoul in 1988 after a 64-year hitatus from the Games.
Officials are also considering adding a third set tie-break after London spectators witnessed the two longest matches in Olympics history this summer.
International Tennis Federation president Francesco Ricci Bitti, in Rome for the European Olympic Committees meeting, told the AP that the matches in London were “very balanced and very long and that ruins the scheduling somewhat.”
Tennis legend Roger Federer needed a full 4 hours, 26 minutes – including a 36 game third set – to knock-off Juan Martin Del Potro in the semis. That marathon came three days after French star Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Canada’s Milos Raonic to set the previous record with a 3 hours, 57 minutes second-round bout.
Co-Olympic super-G bronze medalist Jan Hudec was granted a request by Alpine Canada to represent the Czech Republic next season after being left off Canada’s national team.
Hudec, 34, wasn’t eligible for Canada’s national team after racing once in 2015-16 due to the latest of his many knee surgeries, according to Alpine Canada.
“It is important to know that we continued to work with Jan after the team selection was announced, and let him know that we were more then willing to find accommodation that would enable him to return to the team,” Alpine Canada said in a press release. “However, at this stage of Jan’s career, he is making a decision that can best meet his desire to fulfill and lead a different way of life, that reaches beyond ski racing.”
The International Ski Federation must still grant Hudec’s request. Hudec was born in the Czech Republic.
At the Sochi Olympics, Hudec shared bronze with Bode Miller in the super-G. He is also the 2007 World Championships downhill silver medalist and a two-time winner of World Cup races.
The 2016-17 Alpine skiing World Cup season is expected to begin in Soelden, Austria, in late October.
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Estonian sisters Leila, Liina and Lily Luik are set to become what is believed to be the first set of triplets to compete in an Olympics, according to Games historians.
The Luiks, identical triplets born Oct. 14, 1985, remain the only Estonian women to meet the Olympic qualifying time for the marathon. And since a nation can send three qualified athletes to the Olympic marathon, all three are in line to go to Rio.
The Estonia athletics federation’s qualifying cutoff is Wednesday. It doesn’t believe any other Estonians will register an Olympic qualifying time by then.
With most marathons taking place on weekends, it appears the Luiks are safe, even though none has run faster than 2:37, and the Olympic medal winners will likely be running in the low-to-mid 2:20s.
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