U.S. gets another Olympic ski jumping spot

Decker Dean
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The U.S. Olympic ski jumping team, originally two members, is now up to five athletes.

Decker Dean was the latest addition, giving the U.S. four men, enough to also participate in the men’s team event.

The U.S. will extend its streak of competing in every Olympic men’s ski jumping team event, which was added in 1988, according to Olympedia.org.

MORE: U.S. Olympic athlete roster across all sports

Kevin Bickner was the first ski jumper to qualify for the Olympic team by winning trials on Christmas. The U.S. earned a second men’s place by the time quota spots were announced last week.

When other nations chose not to use spots, the U.S. moved up the reallocation list, receiving two more men’s spots and its first women’s spot (Anna Hoffmann).

The second and third men’s spots went to Patrick Gasienica and Casey Larson after 17-year-old Erik Belshaw, the second American in Continental Cup standings, declined a spot. Dean was next up in the Continental Cup standings.

The U.S. last put a man into the top 10 at the Olympics in 1984, not counting the team event, according to Olympedia. The last U.S. man to finish in the top 10 of an individual World Cup was 2002.

The U.S.’ lone Olympic ski jumping medal came in 1974. That medal was actually awarded for the 1924 Chamonix Winter Games. It was learned 50 years later that a math error denied American Anders Haugen a bronze medal, and the IOC corrected the results.

h/t @TeamUSATracker

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

Lim Hyo-Jun
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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

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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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