Jordan Spieth has said winning an Olympic gold medal would be comparable to wearing his Green Jacket. Bubba Watson, who slipped that Green Jacket on Spieth for winning the Masters in April, offered a slightly different take.
“I would say it would be a little bit bigger than a Green Jacket,” the 2012 and 2014 Masters champion Watson said, according to TeamUSA.org. “It’s more rare. The game of golf hasn’t seen it in years.”
First-time Masters winners traditionally receive the Green Jacket, which they can keep for one year, then return it and wear it only when at Augusta National.
“I get to keep that [Olympic] gold medal for life,” Watson said, according to the website. “I don’t have to give it back after a year.”
Spieth, ranked No. 1 in the world and coming off winning two majors, the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup this season, is all but assured to be ranked inside the top 15 in the world, and among the top four Americans, on the world rankings cutoff date to determine the Olympic golf field on July 11.
That will be the criteria to make the first U.S. Olympic golf team in 112 years.
Watson, the second-best American at No. 4 overall in the world, is in slightly riskier shape and will compete with Rickie Fowler, Zach Johnson, Dustin Johnson and others for a maximum of three more U.S. spots.
Watson’s wife, the former Angie Ball, reportedly missed her chance to play for Canada’s basketball team at the Sydney 2000 Olympics due to injury.
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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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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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