With the Olympic Games set to kick off at the end of July, preparations for the Games are beginning in all sports, not just in swimming. In this series, SwimSwam looks at some of the leading news from outside of swimming as athletes around the world continue to prepare and qualify for the rescheduled Olympic Games which are due to begin in Tokyo on July 23rd, and Paralympic Games, which are scheduled to begin August 24th.
Olympic Champ Mo Farah Misses Out Of Qualification, Says He Won’t Retire
Four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah has said he won’t be retiring after he missed out on Olympic qualification in his main event, the 10,000m.
The 38-year-old Briton is the reigning champion in both the 5,000m and 10,000m events from the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics, but will not be defending his titles in Tokyo.
He missed the qualification time for the 10,000m race by 19 seconds while competing at the British Championships in Manchester, England.
While speaking to Talksport after the race, he said: “At the moment in my career, I feel like I’m not finished yet,” he told Talksport.
“I know I can do it and I will not end it like this. I want to end it with something massive. Although obviously nothing is going to be as big as the Olympics, I want to come back out and do something great.”
He continued, emphasising that overcoming hurdles is part of what makes him a ‘champion’.
“That’s what makes us champions. You have to continue, you have to go over many hurdles and you have to push on. At the moment, it’s tough, but I will continue. You’ll see that smile again.”
Acknowledging his disappointment, he continued: “As a sportsman you’ve just got to get a hold of it, you’ve got to own it, move on and see what you can do – and I know I can do more, that’s the frustrating part.
“The Olympics only come around every four years and when the opportunity comes you’ve got to take it. But this is the reality now, I’m not going. I’m so disappointed.”
USA Basketball Announces Men’s Olympic Team
The 12-man USA Olympic basketball team was announced this week which sees now three-time Olympian Kevin Durant at the helm.
The 12-man team is:
- Bam Adebayo
- Kevin Durant
- Bradley Beal
- Devin Brooker
- Jerami Grant
- Draymond Green
- Jrue Holiday
- Zach LaVine
- Damian Lillard
- Kevin Love
- Khris Middleton
- Jayson Tatum
Of the team – who are firm favourites to secure gold at this year’s Games – Durant, Love, and Green have all competed at an Olympic Games before.
If the team is successful in their bid for a win it would be the fourth consecutive Olympic gold for the men’s US basketball team.
Tennis Stars Continue To Withdraw From Games
A flurry of tennis aces have removed their names from the Olympic conversation less than one month ahead of the Games are set to begin.
Halep and Shapovalov are the latest players to declare they won’t be participating with both individuals citing injuries as the reason behind their decisions.
Halep is recovering from a calf injury which she says won’t be healed in time for the event, while Wawrinka has undergone surgery on his left foot which leaves him out of Olympic contention.
Halep was due to be the flag bearer for her native Romania at the upcoming Games which begin on July 23rd.
The pair join a steadily growing list of tennis players to make the same announcement. Thiem has ruled himself out as he looks to defend his US Open title later this year, while Nadal’s decision stems from a desire to prioritise his health and prolong his career.
Four-time Olympic champion Serena Williams has said that the tricky practicalities of taking her daughter Olympia to the Games have been one of the main factors in her decision to withdraw.
Separately, Williams has also been forced to withdraw from ongoing competition Wimbledon 2021 due to injury.