Katinka Hosszu

FINA names Katinka Hosszu over Katie Ledecky for Swimmer of the Year

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FINA announced Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu as its Female Swimmer of the Year, over American Katie Ledecky, who broke world records in the 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyles in 2014.

Swimming’s international governing body named South African Chad le Clos its Male Swimmer of the Year over Japanese Kosuke Hagino, who won a combined 10 individual medals at the Pan Pacific Championships and Asian Games.

FINA began awarding Male and Female Swimmer of the Year awards in 2010. Of the first eight winners, seven were Americans (the outlier Swede Therese Alshammar in 2010). This is the first year neither winner was American.

In 2013, the awards went to Ryan Lochte and Ledecky via 674 voters made up of FINA National Federations, FINA Committees, media, partners and experts in aquatic sports. This year’s press release didn’t say if the winners were chosen any differently.

Hosszu and Le Clos were the top performers this year in FINA’s World Cup series, global meets that the top U.S. swimmers often skip.

Hosszu, the 2013 World champion in the 200m and 400m individual medley, broke five world records in 25-meter pools this year. Ledecky’s world records came in Olympic-size 50-meter pools.

Hosszu also won six medals at the European Championships, including three individual golds. Ledecky won five gold medals, including four individual golds, at the Pan Pacific Championships, which did not include European swimmers.

Le Clos, who memorably beat Michael Phelps in the 2012 Olympic 200m butterfly, won seven medals at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, including two individual golds. The Commonwealth Games do not include the U.S., China and Japan.

Hagino was the top performer at the Pan Pacific Championships, sweeping the individual medleys, including beating Lochte and Phelps in the 200m IM. Le Clos did not compete at Pan Pacs.

Hagino, 20, was also the best swimmer at the Asian Games, pitting the top swimmers from nations such as China, Japan and South Korea.

South Africa readies to bid for 2024 Olympics

Alistair Brownlee, after Ironman, leans toward Olympic return

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Alistair Brownlee is already the only triathlete with multiple Olympic titles. In July, he is reportedly leaning toward another impressive feat, to win an Olympic gold medal the summer after completing the Kona Ironman World Championships.

The Brit Brownlee said he is “definitely swinging towards” trying to qualify for the Tokyo Games, according to the Times of London. Brownlee’s manager confirmed the stance while noting that his result in the Ironman Western Australia on Dec. 1 will play into the ultimate decision.

Brownlee previously reportedly said he was “50-50” on going for the Olympics and that he had to decide between focusing on the shorter Olympic distance or the Ironman, which includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a marathon.

Other Olympic triathletes transitioned to the Ironman and never went back, such as 2008 Olympic champion Jan Frodeno of Germany and two-time U.S. Olympian Sarah True.

Brownlee finished 21st in Kona on Oct. 12 in 8 hours, 25 minutes, 3 seconds, which was 33:50 behind the winner Frodeno.

Brownlee won four half Ironmans between 2017 and 2018 (sandwiched by a hip surgery), then finished second to Frodeno at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship on Sept. 2.

One other triathlete won an Olympic title after completing the Kona Ironman — Austrian Kate Allen, who was seventh in Kona in 2002, then took gold at the 2004 Athens Games.

MORE: 2019 Kona Ironman World Championships Results

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Alberto Salazar appeals doping ban

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The Court of Arbitration for Sport says it has registered an appeal by track coach Alberto Salazar against his ban for doping violations, though a hearing will take several months to prepare.

CAS says Salazar and Dr. Jeffrey Brown appealed against their four-year bans by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

After a multi-year USADA investigation, Salazar and Brown were found guilty of doping violations linked to the Nike Oregon Project training camp. USADA said Salazar ran experiments with supplements and testosterone, and possessed and trafficked the banned substance.

The case also related to falsified and incomplete medical records that disguised the work.

CAS says Salazar and Brown asked for more time to file “written submissions and evidence,” adding the hearing is “unlikely to take place before March.”

Verdicts typically take at least a further several weeks.

MORE: Mary Cain raises issues from being coached by Salazar

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