Ilia Malinin lands quadruple Axel at jump camp

Ilia Malinin
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Ilia Malinin, the 17-year-old world junior champion from Virginia, landed what appeared to be a clean quadruple Axel, a jump that no skater has hit in competition, at a U.S. Figure Skating jump camp on Thursday.

“It was exhilarating witnessing the ease of #iliamalinin 4A today,” Tom Zakrajsek, a coach of other U.S. skaters, tweeted. “He did two of them and they were both clean, flat backwards. Mark my words the ⁦@ISU_Figure⁩ will have to update their scale of values very soon.”

Malinin is already a renowned jumper whose Instagram handle is @quadg0d.

He previously posted video of a quad Axel without a clean landing. Other skaters have shared videos of landing a quad Axel with the aid of a harness in training. Others have attempted it in competition but not landed it clean.

The Axel is the lone quad jump yet to be landed clean in men’s competition.

Malinin took silver at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in January, hitting five clean quads (three different types) between two programs. He was passed over for the three-man Olympic team because of his lack of senior experience.

Then at junior worlds last month, he attempted four quads in his free skate, landing three clean.

Last December, two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu two-footed a quadruple Axel attempt landing at the Japanese Championships. The jump was well shy of the required four and a half rotations, so it was downgraded to a triple Axel, but it marked the best attempt in competition of any skater to that point.

At the Beijing Olympics, Hanyu fell on a quad Axel attempt. It was deemed under-rotated but not downgraded.

Russian-turned American Artur Dmitriev Jr. has worked on a quad Axel for years but not mastered it. He was credited with an under-rotated quad Axel at January’s nationals, where he stepped out of the landing.

Malinin’s next competition will likely be in the summer or early fall.

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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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