#Vote4Squash campaign goes viral worldwide

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While everyone you’ve ever met is upset about wrestling being ousted from the 2020 Olympics Schedule, and the sport’s governing body is going through the painstaking process of attempting to get it reinstated through two IOC votes, squash is the little engine that’s making a strong argument to take wrestling’s spot in the Games.

The World Squash Federation already released its bid video starring world champs Nicol David and Ramy Ashour explaining why squash deserves its chance in the Olympics, and now it’s hoping to continue the worldwide viral campaign on Twitter with the #Vote4Squash hashtag.

“The next few months are crucial to our bid and using social media to demonstrate the huge passion there is for Squash to become part of the Olympic Games is important as we head towards our presentation to the IOC Executive Board in May,” WSF President N. Ramachandran told Around the Rings.

The hashtag has been trending in nations where the sport is popular, like Malaysia, the UK, and Egypt, and tennis star and Olympian Roger Federer is showing his support for his brothers and sister of the racquet by holding up a “Back the Bid” sign on which he’s written, “I am, are you?”

“This is a great initiative and there is a real buzz among all the players competing on the Tours about our Olympic bid,” current world No. 2 Nick Matthew added. “We want to demonstrate to the IOC the global popularity and reach of Squash and I’m sure this online call to action will help to do this.”

Squash will face off against wrestling, karate, wushu, sport climbing, roller sports, and baseball/softball in an IOC executive board vote this may in St. Petersburgh to determine which sports will be brought to a final vote when all the IOC members are on hand for a meeting this September in Buenos Aires.

We dare you not to enjoy this video:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBGox9mV49Y?rel=0&w=614&h=345%5D

Ironman Kona World Championships return for first time in three years, live on Peacock

Ironman Kona World Championship
Ironman
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The Ironman Kona World Championships return after a three-year hiatus with a new format, live on Peacock on Thursday and Saturday at 12 p.m. ET.

The Ironman, held annually in Hawaii since 1978, and in Kailua-Kona since 1981, was not held in 2020 or 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The world championships made a one-time-only stop in St. George, Utah, on May 7 to make up for the 2021 cancellation. The winners were Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt, the Tokyo Olympic triathlon champion, and Swiss Daniela Ryf, who bagged her fifth Ironman world title.

Both are entered in Kailua-Kona, where the races are now split between two days — Thursday for the women and Saturday for the men.

An Ironman includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a marathon — totaling 140.6 miles of racing. It takes top triathletes eight hours to complete. Very arguably, it crowns the world’s fittest man and woman.

WATCH LIVE: Ironman Kona, Thursday, 12 p.m. ET — STREAM LINK

Ryf, 35 and a 2008 and 2012 Olympian, can tie retired countrywoman Natascha Badmann for second place on the women’s list at six Ironman world titles. Only Zimbabwean-turned-American Paula Newby-Fraser has more with eight.

The field also includes German Anne Haug, the 2019 Kona champ and only woman other than Ryf to win since 2015. Brit Lucy Charles-Barclay, the Kona runner-up in 2017, 2018 and 2019, returns after missing the St. George event due to a stress fracture in her hip.

Blummenfelt, 28 and in his Kona debut, will try to become the youngest male champion in Kona since German Normann Stadler in 2005. His top challengers include countryman Gustav Iden, the two-time reigning Half Ironman world champion, and German Patrick Lange, the 2017 and 2018 Ironman Kona winner.

Also racing Saturday is Dallas Clark, a retired All-Pro NFL tight end with the Indianapolis Colts, and Tony Kanaan, the 2013 Indy 500 champion who completed the 2011 Kona Ironman in 12 hours, 52 minutes, 40 seconds.

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Joan Benoit Samuelson, Olympic marathon champ in 1984, runs London Marathon at 65

Joan Benoit Samuelson
Getty
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Joan Benoit Samuelson, the first Olympic women’s marathon champion in 1984, ran her first 26.2-mile race in three years at Sunday’s London Marathon and won her age group.

Benoit Samuelson, 65, clocked 3 hours, 20 minutes, 20 seconds to top the women’s 65-69 age group by 7 minutes, 52 seconds. She took pleasure in being joined in the race by daughter Abby, who crossed in 2:58:19.

“She may have beaten me with my replacement knee, but everybody said I wouldn’t do it! I will never say never,” Benoit Samuelson said, according to race organizers. “I am a grandmother now to Charlotte, and it’s my goal to run 5K with her.”

LONDON MARATHON: Results

Benoit Samuelson raced the 1987 Boston Marathon while three months pregnant with Abby. Before that, she won the first Olympic women’s marathon at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, plus the Boston Marathon in 1979 and 1983 and the Chicago Marathon in 1985.

Her personal best — 2:21:21 — still holds up. She ranks sixth in U.S. women’s history.

Benoit Samuelson plans to race the Tokyo Marathon to complete her set of doing all six annual World Marathon Majors. The others are Berlin, Boston, Chicago and New York City.

“I’m happy to finish this race and make it to Tokyo, but I did it today on a wing and a prayer,” she said, according to organizers. “I’m blessed to have longevity in this sport. It doesn’t owe me anything, but I feel I owe my sport.”

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