USA Gymnastics splits men’s, women’s Olympic trials

McKayla Maroney

The U.S. Olympic trials for men’s and women’s gymnastics will be separate events for the first time in 40 years in 2016, giving the U.S. men two more weeks between the trials and Olympics than in 2012.

The 2016 men’s trials will be June 24-26 in St. Louis, in conjunction with the women’s P&G Championships.

The women’s trials will be July 8-10 in San Jose, Calif., which hosted both the men’s and women’s trials for London 2012.

The men’s P&G Championships will be June 3-5 in Hartford, Conn.

The men’s and women’s combined trials in 2012 were June 28-July 1, with the London Olympics starting July 27.

The Rio Olympics start Aug. 5. So the U.S. men will finish their trials with two more weeks to prepare for Rio than they had for London.

At London 2012, the U.S. men led all nations in team qualifying but faltered to fifth in the final two days later.

“It took a lot out of them, because they didn’t have those couple of weeks, they didn’t have the physical stamina to regroup and get ready for the finals in the way they would have liked,” USA Gymnastics president Steve Penny said, according to The Associated Press. “Two additional weeks will really help them.”

Here’s the calendar for key U.S. gymnastics events in 2016:

June 3-5 — Men’s P&G Championships; women’s Secret Classic, Hartford
June 23-26 — Men’s Olympic trials; women’s P&G Championships, St. Louis
July 8-10 — Women’s Olympic trials, San Jose

The 2016 USA Swimming Olympic trials will be June 26-July 3 in Omaha.

The 2016 USA Track and Field Olympic trials will be July 1-10 in Eugene, Ore.

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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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