South Koreans lash out at skating officials after Victor Ahn’s Russian gold

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Olympic short track legend Victor Ahn, who won three gold medals for South Korea at the 2006 Torino Olympics as Ahn Hyun-Soo but switched allegiance to Russia in 2011, took the gold yesterday in the 1000m.

And the citizens in his native country are far from pleased about it.

According to Reuters, Korea’s skating union has been attacked by fans and media members alike in the wake of Ahn’s victory.

Furthermore, South Korea’s president, Park Gyun-hye, has now given orders to find how Ahn fell out with the union and wound up competing under the Russian flag.

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Interesting to note is that, unlike the union, Ahn himself has taken little heat for his decision to compete for Russia.

A Korean teacher’s comments that were run in local media would appear to represent the fans’ thoughts: “I am glad to see Ahn smiling, but somebody has got to explain why he is holding a Russian flag.”

Last night, Ahn explained that he sought, in his words, “to train in the best possible environment and I proved my decision was not wrong.”

He also may have foreshadowed a future reveal of the details behind his departure from the South Korean team.

“I will share everything I had in mind after Sochi is over,” he said.

Two words: Stay tuned.

Eliud Kipchoge, two races shy of his target, to make Boston Marathon debut

Eliud Kipchoge Berlin Marathon
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World record holder Eliud Kipchoge will race the Boston Marathon for the first time on April 17.

Kipchoge, who at September’s Berlin Marathon lowered his world record by 30 seconds to 2:01:09, has won four of the six annual major marathons — Berlin, Tokyo, London and Chicago.

The 38-year-old Kenyan has never raced Boston, the world’s oldest annual marathon dating to 1897, nor New York City but has repeated in recent years a desire to enter both of them.

Typically, he has run the London Marathon in the spring and the Berlin Marathon in the fall.

Kipchoge’s last race in the U.S. was the 2014 Chicago Marathon, his second of 10 consecutive marathon victories from 2014 through 2019.

He can become the first reigning men’s marathon world record holder to finish the Boston Marathon since South Korean Suh Yun-Bok set a world record of 2:25:39 in Boston in 1947, according to the Boston Athletic Association.

In 2024 in Paris, Kipchoge is expected to race the Olympic marathon and bid to become the first person to win three gold medals in that event.

The Boston Marathon field also includes arguably the second- and third-best men in the world right now — Kipchoge’s Kenyan training partners Evans Chebet and Benson Kipruto. Chebet won Boston and New York City this year. Kipruto won Boston last year and Chicago this year.

American Des Linden, who won Boston in 2018, headlines the women’s field.

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2024 Tour de France to end with Nice time trial due to Paris Olympics

2024 Tour de France Nice
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The 2024 Tour de France will end on the French Riviera instead of the French capital because of the Paris Olympics.

The finish of cycling’s marquee race leaves Paris for the first time since 1905.

Tour organizers said on Thursday the last stage of its 111th race will take place in the Mediterranean resort of Nice on July 21. Five days later, Paris opens the Olympics.

Because of security and logistical reasons, the French capital won’t have its traditional Tour finish on the Champs-Elysees. Parting with tradition of a sprint on the Champs-Elysees, the last stage will be an individual time trial along Nice’s famed Promenade des Anglais.

The start of the 2024 race, which will begin for the first time in Italy, was brought forward by one week, a customary change during an Olympic year. The Tour will start on June 29 in Florence.

Nice has hosted the Tour 37 times, including its start twice, in 1981 and in 2020. Two years ago, the start was delayed until Aug. 29 due to lockdowns and travels bans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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