Fukuoka, Doha chosen as World Aquatics Championships hosts

Doha
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The World Championships for swimming, diving, water polo and synchronized swimming will be in Fukuoka, Japan, in 2021 and Doha in 2023.

FINA, aquatics’ international governing body, announced the decisions Sunday for its World Championships, which are held in odd-numbered years. Nanjing, China, was reportedly the only other bidder for the 2021 and 2023 Worlds.

The 2017 World Championships are in Budapest, which was originally to host the 2021 Worlds but took the 2017 edition after Guadalajara, Mexico, gave them up for financial reasons.

The 2019 World Championships are in Gwangju, South Korea.

Hungary, South Korea and Qatar have never previously hosted a World Aquatics Championships.

Fukuoka hosted in 2001, when a 16-year-old Michael Phelps captured his first global title.

The U.S., the nation with the most Worlds medals by far, has never hosted a World Aquatics Championships, which will celebrate their 20th edition in 2023.

MORE: Phelps discusses ‘Curtain of Distraction’ appearance

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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Dmitriy Balandin, surprise Olympic swimming champion, retires

Dmitriy Balandin
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Dmitriy Balandin, the Kazakh swimmer who pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the 2016 Rio Olympics, retired at age 27.

“Today I would like to announce the end of my sports career,” Balandin said last week, according to Kazakhstan’s Olympic Committee. “I am still inspired. A new phase of my life begins. I have a lot of cool projects in my head that will soon be implemented.”

Balandin reportedly has coaching aspirations.

In 2016, he won the Olympic men’s 200m breaststroke out of lane eight as the last qualifier into the final. He edged American Josh Prenot by seven hundredths of a second and became Kazakhstan’s first Olympic swimming medalist.

He followed that up with 11th- and 17th-place finishes in the breaststrokes in Tokyo last year.

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