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Mack Horton, Olympic 400m free champion, struggles at Australia swim trials

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Mack Horton, one of the two active Australian swimmers with an individual Olympic title, failed to qualify outright for any individual events for next month’s world championships.

Horton, who memorably beat Sun Yang in the Rio Olympic 400m freestyle, finished second in that event at Australia’s trials this week. Normally, that would be enough to make the team for a major international meet.

But Horton’s time — 3:46.47 — was .33 off the Australian federation’s minimum standard (though he is ranked eighth in the world this year). He took gold in Rio in 3:41.55.

He could still be put on the team in the 400m free, but for now the lone Australian swimmer in that event at worlds will be Jack McLoughlin, the only man to get under the time standard at trials. Full meet results are here.

Horton also finished fifth in the 200m free at trials, which could send him to worlds in South Korea as a 4x200m free swimmer. Horton was third in the 800m free in hist last event on Tuesday. Horton, the 2017 World bronze medalist in the 1500m free, did not enter that event this week.

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MORE: Australian ‘Missile’ retires from swimming

2026 Winter Olympic host: Milan-Cortina

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Italy will host the 2026 Winter Olympics, with Milan-Cortina winning an IOC vote over a Swedish-Latvian bid centered on Stockholm-Are.

After Winter Games in Vancouver (2010), Sochi (2014), PyeongChang (2018) and Beijing (2022), they return to a traditional European site for the first time since Italy hosted in Torino in 2006.

The two bids were left after five others dropped out for various reasons, all in 2018: Calgary, Canada; Erzurum, Turkey; Sapporo, Japan; Graz, Austria and Sion, Switzerland.

With the 2024 and 2028 Summer Games hosts both decided two years ago (Paris for 2024, Los Angeles for 2028), next up is the 2030 Winter Games. The U.S. has already said that if it bids, it will be with Salt Lake City, which held the 2002 Winter Olympics.

MORE: Tokyo 2020 Olympic master schedule

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Japan’s gymnastics worlds team: no Kohei Uchimura, Kenzo Shirai

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Not only is Kohei Uchimura going to miss the world championships, but so is 11-time world medalist Kenzo Shirai.

Japan finalized its five-man team for October’s worlds in Stuttgart, Germany, following a national-level meet this past weekend. Uchimura, arguably the greatest gymnast in history, was already out of the running, sidelined with his latest round of injuries.

Shirai, reportedly slowed by a left ankle injury this season, did compete this weekend. But he finished fifth on floor exercise and third on vault, his two best events, and did not earn one of the last two spots on the world team.

Uchimura, a two-time Olympic all-around champion with six world all-around titles, misses worlds for the first time since 2007. Shirai, a 22-year-old with four world titles between floor and vault, had competed in every worlds since debuting in 2013, just after his 17th birthday.

Without their two stars, Japan sends a relatively inexperienced team. Kazuma Kaya and Wataru Tanigawa, both 22, are the only men who have been to a worlds (and were part of the 2018 silver-medal team). The youngest member is 17-year-old Daiki Hashimoto.

Japan has earned a team medal at every Olympics and world championships since 2003, a streak bettered only by the U.S. women.

MORE: Olympic gymnastics team sizes return to five for Paris 2024

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