Olympic flame goes under water (video, photos)

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The Olympic flame went under water on the third day of the 100-day PyeongChang torch relay across South Korea.

The flame visited Jeju, the largest of more than 3,000 islands off the southern coast of South Korea.

The Haenyeo, female divers native to Jeju, carried the flame from water onto land. The robot device in the above video is called “Crabster.”

Arirang News has an English report on the torch relay here.

It will go from Jeju to the southeastern port of Busan, the second-largest city in South Korea, and spend the rest of the trek on mainland South Korea.

It will visit Seoul closer to the end of the relay. It will culminate in PyeongChang on Feb. 9, with the lighting of the Olympic cauldron at the Opening Ceremony.

The relay will include 7,500 torch bearers, visiting 17 cities and provinces.

The Olympic flame also went under water in 2000 in the Great Barrier Reef en route to Sydney and in 2013 in Lake Baikal en route to Sochi.

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MORE: 100 Olympic storylines 100 days out from PyeongChang

Images via PyeongChang 2018:

Olympic flame under water

Olympic flame under water

Get a glimpse into the #PyeongChang2018 Olympic Torch Relay routes here!101-day domestic torch relay begins on November 1, when the Olylmpic Flame – lit in Greece on October 24 – arrives in Incheon, #Korea.#LetEveryoneShine🔥

Posted by PyeongChang 2018 – 2018 평창 동계올림픽대회 및 동계패럴림픽대회 on Monday, May 15, 2017

Gregorio Paltrinieri swims second-fastest 1500m freestyle in history

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Olympic champion Gregorio Paltrinieri swam the second-fastest 1500m freestyle in history, clocking 14:33.10 in his native Italy on Thursday.

Paltrinieri, 25, missed Chinese Sun Yang‘s world record from the 2012 Olympics by 2.08 seconds.

The Italian now owns the second- and third-fastest times in history, including his 14:34.10 from the 2016 European Championships, also held at the 2012 Olympic pool in London.

Paltrinieri is a versatile distance swimmer. At last year’s world championships, he finished sixth in the open-water 10km to qualify for the Olympics, then won the 800m free in the pool in a European record time and finished with 1500m bronze, just missing a third straight world title in that event.

German Florian Wellbrock won the 1500m in 14:36.54 at worlds, with Paltrinieri finishing 2.21 seconds back.

Sun, 28, was in February banned eight years stemming from destroying a drug-test sample with a hammer in September 2018. Sun, who focused more on the 200m and 400m frees in recent years, did not race the 1500m at the 2017 or 2019 Worlds.

Top-level swim meets in the U.S. are scheduled to resume in November with the Tyr Pro Series.

MORE: Michael Phelps qualifies for first Olympics at age 15

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Bianca Andreescu to miss U.S. Open

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Bianca Andreescu withdrew from the U.S. Open, citing “unforeseen challenges, including the Covid pandemic” compromising her ability to prepare to defend her Grand Slam title.

“I have taken this step in order to focus on my match fitness and ensure that I return ready to play at my highest level,” Andreescu, a 20-year-old Canadian, posted on social media. “The US Open victory last year has been the high point of my career thus far and I will miss not being there. However, I realize that the unforeseen challenges, including the Covid pandemic, have compromised my ability to prepare and compete to the degree necessary to play at my highest level.”

Andreescu’s absence means the U.S. Open, the first Grand Slam tournament since tennis resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic, will be without both 2019 male and female singles champions.

Rafael Nadal previously announced he would not defend his title, saying he would rather not travel given the global situation. Roger Federer is also out after knee surgery. Women’s No. 1 Ash Barty didn’t enter, either, citing travel concerns.

Last year, Andreescu made her U.S. Open title run as the 15th seed, sweeping Serena Williams in the final. Ranked 208th a year earlier, she became the first player born in the 2000s to win a Slam and the first teen Slam winner since Maria Sharapova at the 2006 U.S. Open.

Andreescu then missed the Australian Open in January due to rehab from a knee injury that forced her to retire during a match at the WTA Finals on Oct. 30. She also missed the French Open and Wimbledon in 2019 following a rotator cuff tear.

MORE: Serena Williams, reclusive amid pandemic, returns to tennis competition

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