Brittany Bowe sweeps at World Sprint Championships (video)

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U.S. Olympian Brittany Bowe swept all four races to easily capture the World Sprint Speed Skating Championship in Astana, Kazakhstan over the weekend.

Bowe, 27, finished first in 500m and 1000m races on Saturday and again in 500m and 1000m races Sunday. Teammate Heather Richardson was second in all four races.

Bowe became the first woman to sweep the races since Germany’s Monique Garbrecht-Enfeldt in 2003, according to Infostrada. Full results are available here.

“I didn’t really think about it race by race,” Bowe told Dutch outlet NOS. “A bit surprised with the 500s, but each 500 I’ve skated this year I’ve gotten better and better.”

The entries did not include the 2014 World Sprint Championships gold and silver medalists, Yu Jing and Zhang Hong of China, or 2010 World Sprint champion and 500m world record holder Lee Sang-hwa of South Korea.

Richardson won the 2013 World Sprint Championship.

Bowe capped a fantastic season. The former Florida Atlantic basketball player also won World Single Distance Championships in the 1000m and 1500m, with a silver behind Richardson in the 500m in the Netherlands in February.

Bowe’s best finish at her Olympic debut in Sochi was eighth. The 2014 U.S. Olympic long-track speed skating team had a top individual finish of seventh, failing to win a medal for the first time since 1984.

Russia’s Pavel Kulizhnikov took the men’s sprint title in Astana. U.S. four-time Olympic medalist Shani Davis withdrew after three of four races.

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

Lim Hyo-Jun
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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
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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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