“You come at the king, you best not miss.”
South Africa’s Chad le Clos attempted some of the same pre-race antics that grabbed headlines ahead of his semifinal heat shared with American Michael Phelps in the 200 butterfly, attempting to stare down the Olympic champion and get into his head. As was the case in the semifinal heat the antics didn’t have their desired effect, as Phelps won the 20th Olympic gold medal of his storied career.
MORE: Watch Phelps’ race and more
Phelps finished the race in 1:53.36, with Japan’s Masato Sakai finishing in 1:53.40 to take silver. Taking the bronze medal was Hungary’s Tamas Kenderesi, who finished the race in 1:53.62.
As for le Clos? At the final turn he was in second place and appeared to be Phelps’ biggest threat during the stretch run. But as le Clos attempted to steal glances at Phelps just one lane over in lane four, he was passed by both Sakai and Kenderesi and failed to medal. Following his win Phelps went with the finger wag that’s become all the rage at the swimming venue this week.
His former USA Swimming teammate Natalie Couglin summed it up even better.
Phelps will look to win a second gold medal on the night, as he’ll be swimming the anchor in the 4×200 freestyle relay. Among Phelps’ (31 years, 41 days old) other accomplishments on the night, he became the oldest swimmer to win an individual gold medal in Olympic history (Netherlands’ Inge de Bruijn was 30 years, 363 days old in 2004), and he’s now the first athlete to win multiple gold medals in four different Olympic games.
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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