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Pioneering women’s boxer Nicola Adams retires due to eye concern

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British boxer Nicola Adams, the first athlete to win a gold medal in Olympic women’s boxing, announced her retirement Wednesday in an open letter to the Yorkshire Evening Post.

“I’m immensely honoured to have represented our country – to win double Olympic gold medals and then the WBO championship belt is a dream come true,” Adams wrote. “But it’s not without taking its toll on my body, and aside from the expected aches and pains I’ve been advised that any further impact to my eye would most likely lead to irreparable damage and permanent vision loss.”

Adams took up women’s boxing in an era in which opponents were hard to find. She was in her mid-20s by the time meaningful European and world competition emerged. By 2011, she was the top flyweight in Europe and a two-time world championship silver medalist.

In 2012, the first-ever Olympic competition, taking place in her home country, was stacked. Her semifinal opponent was Indian legend Mary Kom, who had won five world championships at a slightly lower weight class. Adams had beaten her at the previous world championship and did so again, winning a comfortable 11-6 decision under the points system used at the time. She then knocked down three-time world champion Ren Cancan of China in a dominant 16-7 win to take gold.

In 2016, she won her only world championship and then repeated as Olympic champion, beating Ren again in the semifinals and defeating France’s Sarah Ourahmoune in the final.

Her plaudits in her home country went well beyond the ring. In 2012, The Independent named her the most influential LGBT person in Britain. She was awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in 2013 and elevated to OBE (Officer) in 2016.

She turned professional for a brief but successful career, winning her first five fights and claiming the interim WBO flyweight title before taking a draw in what would be her final fight in September against Mexico’s Maria Salinas.

“Hanging up my gloves was always going to (be) hard, but I have never felt luckier,” Adams wrote. “And I’m so immensely proud of how far the sport has come.”

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U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials set new dates in 2021 in Omaha

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The U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials, originally scheduled for June 21-28 in Omaha, will now be June 13-20, 2021 at the same venue.

The Olympic Trials event schedule will remain the same across the 15-session, eight-day meet.

The top two finishers per individual event are in line to qualify for the Tokyo Games. Usually, the top six finishers in the 100m and 200m freestyles also qualify for relays.

Trials will be one week earlier in relation to the Olympics, which moved from July 24-Aug. 9, 2020 to July 23-Aug. 8, 2021.

As of Friday, 1,213 athletes have achieved the 2020 qualifying times to swim at trials. USA Swimming anticipates those swimmers will remain qualified for 2021. Updated trials qualifying standards will be released before swimming competition resumes.

Around 1,800 swimmers qualified to compete at the 2016 Olympic Trials.

Omaha, announced as host in May 2017, will hold the trials for a record fourth straight time.

The trials were first held at the CHI Health Center Center (then the Qwest Center) in 2008, after they were in Long Beach, Calif., in 2004 and Indianapolis in 1992, 1996 and 2000.

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Olympic triathlon champion to do Ironman at home

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German Jan Frodeno announced on April 1 that he wanted to complete an Ironman triathlon at home. Turns out he wasn’t joking.

Frodeno, the 2008 Olympic champion and three-time Ironman Kona world champion, plans to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run a marathon on Saturday, all at his home in Girona, Spain, to fundraise for hospital workers fighting the coronavirus.

“If you would have said this to me 10 years ago, I would have called you insane but special times call for special measures,” was posted on Frodeno’s Instagram. “The idea is not to race, nor is it a call for you to try this at home. It’s about showing that you can do a lot of things in your own four walls, despite restrictions.”

Frodeno said he wants to complete the Ironman between sunrise and sunset. Shouldn’t be a problem. Last year, Frodeno won Kona in 7:51:13 to break the course record.

The event is set to be live streamed on Frodeno’s Facebook page.

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