Sun Yang’s bid for history denied in 800m freestyle (video)

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In 2015, Katie Ledecky completed the “Ledecky Slam” by becoming the first swimmer — male or female — to win the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyles at one worlds.

Sun Yang has come close to the same feat, but again this year was derailed despite winning the 400m and 200m frees in Budapest earlier this week.

Sun finished fifth in the 800m freestyle final, eight seconds behind Italian winner Gabriele Detti. The controversial Sun had won the 800m free at the 2011, 2013 and 2015 Worlds, but is clearly now better at the shorter distances.

Detti, 22, overtook Poland’s Wojciech Wojdak in the last 50 meters and added to Italy’s strong recent history in distance freestyles.

Gregorio Paltrinieri, the Olympic 800m free champion and 2015 World 1500m champion, took bronze. Detti was third in the Rio Olympic 400m and 1500m frees.

Paltrinieri and Detti are clearly the swimmers to beat in Sunday’s 1500m free, though Sun owns the world record and won Olympic and world titles in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Sun, 25, remains on nine world titles in individual events, trailing only Ryan Lochte (10) and Michael Phelps (15).

Men’s 800m Freestyle Results
Gold: Gabriele Detti (ITA) — 7:40.77

Silver: Wojciech Wojdak (POL) — 7:41.73
Bronze: Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA) — 7:42.44
4. Henrik Christiansen (NOR) — 7:44.21
5. Sun Yang (CHN) — 7:48.87
6. Felix Auboeck (AUT) — 7:51.20
7. Florian Wellbrock (GER) — 7:52.27
8. Zane Grothe (USA) — 7:52.43

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Swimming short-course records in peril as FINA recognizes ISL times

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In the debut season of the International Swimming League, six U.S. short-course records have fallen. USA Swimming has recognized the new circuit’s times from the outset.

International body FINA, which at first threatened to ban swimmers who participated in the ISL and then said it would not recognize records from the team-based league, which debuted in October and will hold its first final meet Dec. 20-21 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, is now recognizing those times, and the effects on its statistics have been drastic.

MORE: Ledecky sets U.S. record in ISL debut

This morning, a downloaded list of the top times in the world this year included no ISL times. By the afternoon, times from the ISL’s meet over the weekend in College Park, Md., accounted for most of the times on the lists, including the top 10 in the women’s 50m freestyle and women’s 100m freestyle.

So far, the ISL hasn’t figured into the top five on many all-time FINA lists. But the best short-course times are typically posted near the end of the year, and the ISL has two meets remaining.

The U.S. record book has already changed. In October, Katie Ledecky set the 400m freestyle record (3:54.06) and Melanie Margalis set the 200m medley mark (2:04.18).

In College Park this weekend, Margalis also set the U.S. 400m medley record (4:24.46) and Ian Finnerty set two records the 50m breaststroke (25.99), with runner-up Michael Andrew also beating the previous record, and the 100m breaststroke (56.29). Also, Caeleb Dressel set the 50m butterfly record (22.21).

Only half of the swimmers in the ISL will advance to the final, and qualification isn’t necessarily in their hands. After the College Park meet, the Cali Condors and LA Current clinched spots in Las Vegas. That’s bad news for Andrew (New York Breakers), Finnerty (DC Trident) and Ledecky (DC Trident).

Dressel, Margalis and Lilly King — all representing the Condors — will have another shot at records in Vegas. 

FINA, as usual, is running its World Cup circuit during the fall and early winter, and some swimmers — including overall World Cup champions Vladimir Morozov and Cate Campbell — are pulling double duty between the World Cup and ISL.

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IOC announces deal with Airbnb to add housing for future Olympics

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The International Olympic Committee has moved to help with the scramble to house the influx of athletes, staff and spectators with each Olympics, making a deal with online housing broker Airbnb to add accommodations for the Games through 2028.

“The agreement includes accommodation provisions that will reduce costs for Olympic Games organizers and stakeholders, minimize the need for construction of new accommodation infrastructure for the Olympic Games period, and generate direct revenue for local hosts and communities,” the IOC announced.

Airbnb’s partnership also includes accommodation for disability athletes for the Paralympic Games, and the company will join large global companies such as Coca-Cola, Visa and Panasonic as worldwide Olympic partners.

Athletes also will have a chance to make money by hosting travelers.

“As an Olympian host, you can create and lead an experience inspired by your expertise and interests,” reads an explanation on the Olympic athlete support portal Athlete365.

Outside the Olympics and Olympic athlete experiences, the IOC and Airbnb are pledging to work together on long-term support to refugees.

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