There’s already concern that cycling might be ousted from the Olympics after Lance Armstrong’s doping admission airs on Oprah Thursday, but one badminton champ says his sport might also be facing expulsion after the London scandal and recent mid-match retirements have put them under the microscope.
“The situation has worsened since I started playing badminton at the age of 15. The constant retirements of players do not augur well for the game,” Athens gold medalist Taufik Hidayat told Reuters.
“There is talk that badminton may not make it as a sport in the 2020 Olympics. We must bear in mind that other sports are strongly lobbying to be included.”
Those sports include baseball and softball, as well as squash, which most assume won’t win the spot because the Olympics includes too many racquet sports. Getting rid of badminton before 2020 might change that.
“I have just started my own centre,” Hidayat added. “It caters for eight or nine-year-olds. Now, I am not sure whether they will get a chance to play in the Olympics.”
Two Americans will go from the Rio Olympic track next month to the New York City Marathon on Nov. 6.
Kim Conley, who made her second Olympic 5000m team earlier this month, will debut in the marathon less than three months after her event final in Rio. The full American field for the race is here.
Conley joins fellow two-time Olympian Molly Huddle in making a 26.2-mile debut in New York. Huddle announced her entry June 9, following a trend of recent great U.S. distance runners, and one month later won the Olympic Trials 10,000m.
The New York field will also include Dathan Ritzenhein, a 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympian who failed to make the Rio team. Ritzenhein was the fastest American at the 2015 Boston Marathon in seventh place (2:11:20) but dropped out of the Olympic Trials marathon on Feb. 13 around mile 20.
Sara Hall, the wife of the retired Ryan Hall (fastest American marathoner of all time), will make her New York City Marathon debut on Nov. 6 as well. Sara Hall was the top American at the London Marathon on April 24 in 12th place.
More Rio Olympians could still be added to the New York City Marathon field.
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The Brazil men’s basketball team may be down two of its top four scorers from the 2012 Olympics.
Golden State Warriors big man Anderson Varejao is likely to be withdrawn from the Rio roster (named last week) due to a back injury, according to ESPN.com.
Varejao’s absence would further deplete Brazil in the frontcourt. The team is already without Atlanta Hawks big man Tiago Splitter, who underwent NBA season-ending hip surgery in February.
Splitter and Varejao were the third- and fourth-leading scorers on Brazil’s 2012 Olympic team that was eliminated in the quarterfinals after not qualifying for the Games in 2000, 2004 and 2008.
The Rio roster includes four other NBA players — Leandro Barbosa, Marcelo Huertas, Nenê and Raul Neto.
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