Yevgenia Medvedeva out of Russia figure skating nationals after hospitalization

Evgenia Medvedeva
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Yevgenia Medvedeva will miss the Russian Figure Skating Championships in two weeks after being hospitalized and sidelined most of November and early December with an illness.

Medvedeva, an Olympic silver medalist and two-time world champion, confirmed an earlier report that she was diagnosed with the coronavirus, according to Russian news agency TASS.

She also said she had serious lung problems earlier this fall, which came after she was out more than a month with a back injury, according to TASS and Russia’s figure skating federation.

The 21-year-old said she returned to the ice this week but that it was impossible to be ready for nationals on two weeks of prep, according to the federation.

The Russian Championships are shaping up to be another showdown among the nation’s new generation of teens — Aliona KostornayaAnna Shcherbakova and Aleksandra Trusova, the world’s top three skaters last season in their senior international debuts, and Kamila Valiyeva, who can compete on the senior international level in the Olympic season.

Yelizaveta Tuktamysheva, the 2015 World champion who won Rostelecom Cup last month, is also among the contenders.

Olympic gold medalist and reigning world champion Alina Zagitova hasn’t competed in more than a year and is not entered at nationals.

Medvedeva or Zagitova could still technically be named to the three-woman team for March’s world championships, but those spots are expected to go to the top three finishers at nationals, assuming they are age eligible. The top two are guaranteed spots.

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South Korea’s first gold medalist of 2018 PyeongChang Olympics to compete for China

Lim Hyo-Jun

Lim Hyo-Jun, a short track speed skater who won South Korea’s first gold medal of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, has been cleared to skate for China and was reportedly named to the national team Monday.

Lim, who won the 1500m on the first day of medal competition at the PyeongChang Games, began the process of switching to China after a June 2019 incident where he pulled down a teammate’s trousers, leaving him standing, exposed, in front of female teammates.

Lim, the 2019 World overall champion, was banned from the team for a year and later found guilty of sexual harassment before the verdict was overturned on appeal.

It was reported in March 2021 that Lim was in the process of trying to gain Chinese nationality to compete at the Beijing Winter Olympics, but Lim was not cleared to switch by the International Skating Union until this July. His Chinese name is Lin Xiaojun.

Another star South Korean skater, triple 2006 Olympic gold medalist Ahn Hyun-Soo, switched to Russia after not making the 2010 Olympic team. He then won three golds for the host nation as Viktor Ahn at the 2014 Sochi Games.

China’s national team for the upcoming season reportedly does not include veterans Wu Dajing, the nation’s lone gold medalist across all sports at the 2018 Olympics, and Fan Kexin, a three-time Olympic medalist.

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Brigid Kosgei, world record holder, to miss London Marathon

Brigid Kosgei

World record holder Brigid Kosgei withdrew before Sunday’s London Marathon due to a right hamstring injury that has bothered her for the last month.

“My training has been up and down and not the way I would like to prepare to be in top condition,” was posted on Kosgei’s social media. “We’ve decided it’s best I withdraw from this year’s race and get further treatment on my injuries in order to enter 2023 stronger than ever.”

Kosgei, a 28-year-old Kenyan mother of twins, shattered the world record by 81 seconds at the 2019 Chicago Marathon. She clocked 2:14:04 to smash Brit Paula Radcliffe‘s record from 2003.

Since, Kosgei won the 2020 London Marathon, took silver at the Tokyo Olympics, placed fourth at the 2021 London Marathon and won this past March’s Tokyo Marathon in what was then the third-fastest time in history (2:16:02).

Ethiopian Tigist Assefa moved into the top three by winning the Berlin Marathon last Sunday in 2:15:37.

The London Marathon women’s field includes Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei, a winner in New York City (2019) and London (2021), and Yalemzerf Yehualaw, who was the Ethiopian record holder until Assefa won in Berlin.

The men’s field is headlined by Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest male marathoner in history, and Brit Mo Farah, a four-time Olympic champion on the track.

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