China bypasses Olympic diving champions for World Championships team

He Chong

All three active Chinese divers with individual Olympic gold medals will not compete individually at the World Championships this summer, according to Xinhua News Agency, a testament to the nation’s extraordinary depth.

He Chong, the three-time reigning World champion on the 3m springboard and 2008 Olympic champion, was left off the roster entirely after underperforming at national trials.

Chen Ruolin, the two-time reigning Olympic women’s platform champion who won platform medals at the last four World Championships, will compete only in the synchro platform at Worlds in Kazan, Russia, according to the report.

Wu Minxia, the 2012 Olympic women’s springboard champion, will also compete only in synchro at the World Championships. Wu, who earned individual springboard medals at every Worlds from 2001 through 2011, also did not compete individually at the 2013 World Championships.

Si Yajie, the 2013 World champion in women’s platform at age 14, was also left off the individual platform team but will compete in the new mixed-gender synchro platform and team events.

The Chinese roster of individual divers for this summer’s Worlds is led by men’s platform stars Qiu Bo, the two-time defending World champion, and Yang Jian. They are primary competition for U.S. Olympic champion David Boudia and British Olympic bronze medalist Tom Daley.

He Zi, who swept the women’s 1m and 3m springboard at 2013 Worlds, is entered in both events again this year.

In 2013, China won nine of 10 gold medals at Worlds after sweeping all 10 at the 2011 Worlds.

USA Diving names Worlds roster

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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