New York City Marathon canceled

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg canceled the New York City marathon Friday after backlash from some who say the city is misusing resources that could help those still struggling in the aftermath of Sandy.

Bloomberg disagreed with the idea that the race would divert resources from the recovery, but gave in to the detractors because it had become a “source of controversy and division.”

“We cannot allow a controversy over an athletic event – even one as meaningful as this – to distract attention away from all the critically important work that is being done to recover from the storm and get our city back on track,” Bloomberg said in a statement.

The New York Road Runners, who organize the event that brings an estimated $340 million to the city, redubbed Sunday’s marathon the “Race to Recovery” and pledged $26.20 to charity for every runner in the race – more than $1 million – and its sponsors had pledged another $1.5 million toward the effort.

An estimated 85 percent of the professional runners had already arrived in New York, including Stanley Kiwott of Kenya who told the USA Today that he started his four city journey from Nairobi on Tuesday.

There’s been no set date for the rescheduled race, but a petition has begun circulating to move it to the spring, which is way too far down the line considering how runners prepare for these races.

This year’s marathon was seen as an important reset button for top U.S. Olympians like Meb Keflezighi and Julie Culley, who begin to prepare for the new four-year Olympic marathon cycle.

Brigid Kosgei, world record holder, to miss London Marathon

Brigid Kosgei
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World record holder Brigid Kosgei withdrew before Sunday’s London Marathon due to a right hamstring injury that has bothered her for the last month.

“My training has been up and down and not the way I would like to prepare to be in top condition,” was posted on Kosgei’s social media. “We’ve decided it’s best I withdraw from this year’s race and get further treatment on my injuries in order to enter 2023 stronger than ever.”

Kosgei, a 28-year-old Kenyan mother of twins, shattered the world record by 81 seconds at the 2019 Chicago Marathon. She clocked 2:14:04 to smash Brit Paula Radcliffe‘s record from 2003.

Since, Kosgei won the 2020 London Marathon, took silver at the Tokyo Olympics, placed fourth at the 2021 London Marathon and won this past March’s Tokyo Marathon in what was then the third-fastest time in history (2:16:02).

Ethiopian Tigist Assefa moved into the top three by winning the Berlin Marathon last Sunday in 2:15:37.

The London Marathon women’s field includes Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei, a winner in New York City (2019) and London (2021), and Yalemzerf Yehualaw, who was the Ethiopian record holder until Assefa won in Berlin.

The men’s field is headlined by Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest male marathoner in history, and Brit Mo Farah, a four-time Olympic champion on the track.

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Dmitriy Balandin, surprise Olympic swimming champion, retires

Dmitriy Balandin
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Dmitriy Balandin, the Kazakh swimmer who pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the 2016 Rio Olympics, retired at age 27.

“Today I would like to announce the end of my sports career,” Balandin said last week, according to Kazakhstan’s Olympic Committee. “I am still inspired. A new phase of my life begins. I have a lot of cool projects in my head that will soon be implemented.”

Balandin reportedly has coaching aspirations.

In 2016, he won the Olympic men’s 200m breaststroke out of lane eight as the last qualifier into the final. He edged American Josh Prenot by seven hundredths of a second and became Kazakhstan’s first Olympic swimming medalist.

He followed that up with 11th- and 17th-place finishes in the breaststrokes in Tokyo last year.

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