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Mao Asada vows to skate on after disastrous Japan Nationals

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It appears three-time world champion Mao Asada will not end her career with a 12th-place finish at the Japanese Championships.

Asada said she will stick with her plan to compete next season after her worst result in 14 career nationals appearances over the weekend, according to Japanese media.

“I wasn’t able to put together my best performances in either the short program or the free, so there’s a lot of frustration,” Asada said, according to Kyodo News.

Asada, now 26 years old, has been competing at senior nationals since she was 12. She finished third or higher in her last 11 nationals appearances. Before this year, her last time off the podium was in 2003, when she was eighth at the age of 13.

Asada, reportedly dealing with a left knee injury this year, saw an awful season bottom out in Osaka over the weekend.

Over two programs, she fell twice, singled two jumps and had her patented triple Axel downgraded in the free skate. She was eighth after the short program and 12th-best in the free skate.

Asada ended up 40.45 points behind Satoko Miyahara, who captured her third straight national title and earned one of three berths for the world championships. Wakaba Higuchi and Mai Mihara will join Miyahara at worlds in Helsinki in three months, according to Japanese media.

Asada also had her worst Grand Prix season in the fall, finishing sixth at Skate America in October and ninth at Trophée de France in November.

Asada took Olympic silver in 2010 and world titles in 2008, 2010 and 2014.

Shoma Uno won the men’s national title with Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu sidelined by the flu. Uno, Hanyu and Keji Tanaka were named to the world championships team, according to Japanese media.

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Joseph Schooling eyes Michael Phelps’ world record at world champs

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Shortly after Joseph Schooling upset Michael Phelps in the Rio Olympic 100m butterfly, the Singapore swimmer made his next goal quite clear.

Take Phelps’ 100m butterfly world record.

Schooling repeated that claim after returning to the University of Texas for his junior season in November and again following March’s NCAA Championships, where he was beaten by Caeleb Dressel in the 100-yard butterfly.

The goal is apparently an imminent one.

Schooling said he believes he can break Phelps’ record at the world championships in Budapest in July, according to Channel News Asia. It would require lowering his personal best by more than a half-second.

“I’m looking forward to that race, and deep down I think if I do what I know I can do, if I execute everything well perfectly, I’d have a really good shot,” Schooling said Thursday, according to the report.

Schooling, 21, hasn’t raced a 100m butterfly since the Olympics, where he clocked 50.39 seconds. That broke Phelps’ Olympic record of 50.58 set at the 2008 Olympics. It’s the fifth-fastest time ever.

All of the top four times, including Phelps’ world record of 49.82, were set in 2009 at the peak of the high-tech swimsuit era.

“My dad told me 50.39 is a world record in a textile suit, but I want the world record on paper,” Schooling reportedly said less than a week after his Olympic title in August. “My next goal is breaking 49.8.”

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MORE: Phelps joins gold medalists in swim race, but no comeback

Aly Raisman calls out airport worker for ‘muscles’ comment

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Three-time Olympic champion Aly Raisman called out a male airport security worker who she says questioned whether she had enough muscles to be a gymnast.

Raisman posted on Twitter on Wednesday that after a female Transportation Security Administration worker said she recognized Raisman by her biceps, a male employee said, “I don’t see any muscles.” Raisman called the encounter “rude & uncomfortable.”

Raisman, who turned 23 Thursday, says she works “very hard to be healthy & fit.” She says that if a man can’t compliment a girl’s muscles, he’s sexist.

Raisman didn’t say where or when the airport exchange took place.

Raisman previously authored a powerful social media post about body image, shouting out “to all the boys from 5th-9th grade who made fun of me for being ‘too strong’” in November.

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