Chad le Clos wants Michael Phelps’ world records

Chad le Clos, Michael Phelps
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South African swimmer Chad le Clos wasn’t fully satisfied in beating Michael Phelps at the 2012 Olympics. His eyes are now fixed on Phelps’ world records.

“My next goal is to break one of Michael Phelps’ long-course records, eventually, maybe next year at the Commonwealth Games, or in 2015 at the World Championships in (Kazan) Russia,” Le Clos told Agence France-Presse at a Singapore meet. “It’s just about getting faster each year and the most important thing is to make sure that I keep dominating the events that I am dominating, and extending on other events like the freestyles and the individual medley races.”

Le Clos, who out-touched Phelps for Olympic 200m butterfly gold in London, made the comments fresh off breaking the short course world record in the 200m butterfly Tuesday. Le Clos previously broke the mark — not held by Phelps — in August.

Short course races are in 25-meter pools, while long courses are 50 meters, such as the Olympics and World Championships.

Le Clos won both the 100m and 200m butterfly at this summer’s long course World Championships in Barcelona.

His best times are 51.06 and 1:52.96, each more than a second off Phelps’ world records from the fast-suit-buoyed 2009 World Championships — 49.82, 1:51.51.

“Those records are really hard, 49 and 1:51 long course is very difficult,” Le Clos, 21, told AFP. “But if you look at my times over the years, I keep improving. If I don’t ever break them, I will definitely go down trying.”

Phelps, despite going 1-1 against le Clos in London, became friendly with his rival at the Olympics. They said they would go cage diving with sharks in South Africa this past summer.

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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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