Rie Kaneto, the Rio Olympic 200m breaststroke champion, has retired, according to Japanese media.
Kaneto, 29, will reportedly announce the news formally at a March 16 press conference, forgoing trying to make the Japanese team for the Tokyo Games in two years.
Kaneto entered Rio with the fastest time in the world in 2016 in the 200m breast.
She delivered in the final, overtaking Australian Taylor McKeown after 100 meters and taking gold over Russian Yulia Efimova by 1.67 seconds to become the oldest Olympic breaststroke champion in 60 years.
Kaneto skipped the 2017 Japanese Championships and 2017 World Championships. Efimova won the 2017 World title, with Americans Bethany Galat and Lilly King taking second and fourth.
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MOSCOW (AP) Lina Cheryazova, the first woman to win an Olympic aerials skiing gold medal, has died. She was 50.
Officials in the Russian city of Novosibirsk, where Cheryazova was living for the last two decades, said she died “following a lengthy illness,” without giving further details.
Competing for Uzbekistan, Cheryazova won gold with a triple flip when aerials skiing debuted on the Olympic program in 1994 in Lillehammer.
Shortly after winning, she learned her mother died three weeks before.
Cheryazova’s career was derailed later that year when she suffered a serious head injury while training in the United States, and spent days in a coma. She retired after failing to qualify for the 1998 Winter Olympics.
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In the final biathlon event of the 2018-19 season, American Clare Egan recorded her first career World Cup podium finish, placing third in the mass start in Oslo, Norway. She hit 19 of 20 targets and crossed the finish line 10.4 seconds behind winner Hanna Oberg of Sweden. Norway’s Tiril Eckhoff finished second.
Egan, 31, made her Olympic debut at the 2018 PyeongChang Games, but considered retiring from biathlon at the end of the last season. “I decided that I wanted to do one more year, just for fun, just to see how much I could learn and how good a biathlete I could become,” Egan said in a U.S. Biathlon press release.
Her decision to continue has paid off: since the start of the 2018-19 season, Egan has posted the top eight finishes of her career (including three top-10 results). She concludes the season ranked 18th in the overall World Cup standings.
“I skied much faster this year than I have in the past and I think that was due to finally finding a good balance in my training, between working hard and resting. I did not train more, but the quality was much higher. I’m very excited for the next season,” Egan told U.S. Biathlon.