Bernard Lagat competes in World Speedgolf Championships (video)

Bernard Lagat

Two-time Olympic medalist Bernard Lagat was plenty fast in his World Speedgolf Championships debut.

He had a little more trouble with his clubs, though.

Lagat, one of the world’s greatest middle distance runners, improved nine strokes from his first round Saturday to his second round Sunday, playing 18 holes each day.

He finished in 24th and last place.

The more seasoned Nick Willis, the 2008 Olympic 1500m silver medalist for New Zealand, placed 13th.

“I think I got one par today,” Lagat said, excitedly, Sunday. “That got me motivated.” defines speedgolf:

Speedgolf is pretty much just what it sounds like; golf played at a very fast pace. Competitors play 9 or 18 holes and run between shots. Scores are calculated by adding the time taken to complete the round and the total strokes taken. For instance, if a competitor shoots a golf score of 80 and it takes 60 minutes to complete their round, their Speedgolf score (SGS) would be 140 (80 + 60).

Competitors generally carry 5-6 clubs in a small bag, wear athletic golf attire, put on their running shoes and they are ready to go.

The only real differences from traditional golf are the flagstick is left in when putting and lost balls are dropped anywhere on the line of flight of the previous shot with a one-shot penalty.

Lagat totaled 219 strokes and was actually much slower than the winner, Rob Hogan, who has run five miles in 30:12, according to Hogan ran the course in 39:31 while shooting a 77 on Saturday. In contrast, Lagat’s better day, Sunday took 47:38 with 110 strokes.

Lagat said his first round Saturday was his “first time all the way through” the 18 holes at Bandon Dunes in Oregon.

“Of course I was nervous,” said Lagat, adding he lost at least one golf ball and was confused at which green to hit at one point. “When you don’t know how to do something, and you’re in front of people who know how to do it. … Even when I’m teeing off like this, I’m thinking to my head, somebody knows that I’m doing something wrong.

“Once I (teed) off, I’m like, ‘Nobody’s going to care now. I’m going to go.'”

It sounds like Lagat’s golfing days aren’t over.

“Nick (Willis) used the word, ‘I’m hooked,'” Lagat said. “And I think I’m hooked.”

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Amazing view of the ocean- Bandon Dunes.

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Asafa Powell markets his calendar for the ladies (photos)

South Korea’s first gold medalist of 2018 PyeongChang Olympics to compete for China

Lim Hyo-Jun

Lim Hyo-Jun, a short track speed skater who won South Korea’s first gold medal of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, has been cleared to skate for China and was reportedly named to the national team Monday.

Lim, who won the 1500m on the first day of medal competition at the PyeongChang Games, began the process of switching to China after a June 2019 incident where he pulled down a teammate’s trousers, leaving him standing, exposed, in front of female teammates.

Lim, the 2019 World overall champion, was banned from the team for a year and later found guilty of sexual harassment before the verdict was overturned on appeal.

It was reported in March 2021 that Lim was in the process of trying to gain Chinese nationality to compete at the Beijing Winter Olympics, but Lim was not cleared to switch by the International Skating Union until this July. His Chinese name is Lin Xiaojun.

Another star South Korean skater, triple 2006 Olympic gold medalist Ahn Hyun-Soo, switched to Russia after not making the 2010 Olympic team. He then won three golds for the host nation as Viktor Ahn at the 2014 Sochi Games.

China’s national team for the upcoming season reportedly does not include veterans Wu Dajing, the nation’s lone gold medalist across all sports at the 2018 Olympics, and Fan Kexin, a three-time Olympic medalist.

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Brigid Kosgei, world record holder, to miss London Marathon

Brigid Kosgei

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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