Aquatics Centre on London's Olympic Park
Remember this place? The venue for this week's British championships swimming.

Olympic links: 16 April, 2015

Headlines

Snowboarder Morgan lands world’s first quad cork, Kenya’s only female Olympic boxer ‘needs money for surgery after hit-and-run’, Phelps faces media for first time since ban expired, South African sprinter banned, Las Vegas welcomes dressage and showjumping, Rio may rent Russia’s anti-aircraft defences.

Athletics

The approved entry standards for Rio 2016 have been published.

World champion hurdler Jana Pittman has been filmed in training one day before giving birth.

South African sprinter Simon Magakwe has reportedly been banned for two years after refusing to undergo an out-of-competition doping test.

Badminton

Malaysian former world number one Lee Chong Wei has resumed training after facing a world governing body panel in relation to his positive drugs test last August:

With the decision only due in three weeks, Lee looks certain to miss the Sudirman Cup in China in May. Lee may also be late for the qualifying rounds for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

“The qualifying rounds for the Olympics start on May 1 and my ranking has dropped to 40-something, possibly 50,” he said. “It won’t be easy to catch up; that’s why I need to keep up with my training and fitness.”

Just two weeks ago, Lee’s ranking was 14th.

Malaysia’s newly-appointed chief national coach Morten Frost is determined to do all he can to help the 32-year-old win Malaysia’s first Olympic gold. The four-time All England champion is shaking things up a little by making Lee train under Indonesian coach Hendrawan.

“He is an outstanding player; he is very unique,” said Frost. “I have absolutely no doubt he can make it despite getting a bit older. I think it’s time to make some changes to see whether other inputs, other people and ways of thinking can inspire him for the last leg – the two major tournaments, the World Championships and the Olympics in 2016.”

Lee has maintained his innocence even after both his urine samples tested positive for dexamethasone.

Bobsleigh

While this article is primarily about cars – featuring Canadian bobsledder Kaillie Humphries – it also provides a useful overview of which car manufacturers are doing what when it comes to bobsleigh research and development.

Boxing

Elizabeth Andiego, Kenya’s first and only female Olympic boxer, is “in dire need of financial help” to pay for leg surgery after a hit-and-run involving a motorbike:

She is admitted at Nairobi’s Kenyatta National Hospital, where she was rushed after suffering horrific injuries when their bike was hit along Mombasa Road on Monday night.

According to her close friend, Laventer Oguta, the mother of one finished her gym session in Nairobi’s CBD when another friend offered her a ride home on his motor bike to Syokimau, at the outskirts of the capital.

“On their way, a cab, from Kenatco I believe hit them. The impact was so hard that the rider’s helmet shattered and he has a fracture in the skull. One of her legs was shattered and the other broken as the taxi took off.

“At the moment, I have left her waiting for an operation since she does not have the finances. All she is talking about is what will happen to her child because her house is due for rent today (Tuesday). She’s not worried about her legs or the injuries,” Oguta told Capital Sport.

“She represented this country at the Olympics and it’s time for Kenyans to show their appreciation. As you know, boxing does not pay and she has been scrapping for a living, depending on her legs to assist her child,” the distraught friend added.

The world governing body of amateur boxing signs an interesting ‘exclusivity’ deal with Cuba:

A memorandum signed today between AIBA and the Cuban Boxing Federation (FCB) commits that all FCB boxers will only compete in AIBA-approved competitions, including the World Series of Boxing (WSB) and AIBA Pro Boxing (APB).

Both AIBA and the FCB have agreed that Cuban boxers will not be allowed to compete in any non-AIBA professional boxing competitions in order to protect them from being exploited by professional promoters as diplomatic doors with Cuba begin to open.

Indian boxer MC Mary Kom may miss out on the 2016 Olympic qualifiers if she fails to report to an ongoing national camp:

Taking a tough stand against the alleged ‘indiscipline’ of the five-time world champion, Boxing India (BI) has excluded Mary Kom’s name from the national camp list. The Manipuri boxer failed to turn up for any of the camps organised by the BI post her 2014 Incheon Asian Games heroics.

BI secretary general Jay Kawli said that unless Mary Kom reports to the camp and takes part in the trials, it would be difficult for the federation to include her in the future camps, including that for the Olympic qualifiers.

BI had also lodged a protest with Manipur’s boxing association. Even then she failed to show up at the camp. Incidentally, Mary Kom was included in the camp as a ‘special case’ after she didn’t take part in the National Boxing Championship held in Raipur last year.

Cycling

Chris Hoy says Bradley Wiggins has a “99% chance” of breaking the hour record:

Tour de France winner and four-time Olympic champion Wiggins, 34, will try to beat Rohan Dennis’ mark of 52.4km (32.5m) at London’s Olympic velodrome on 7 June.

“If Bradley really sets his mind to it you would not bet against him breaking the world record,” said Hoy. “Everything he has set out to achieve he has.”

Video: GB’s Liam Phillips previews the BMX World Cup season.

Equestrian

The World Cup Finals of dressage and showjumping begin in Las Vegas today. Yours truly prepared a short preview for CNN with a gallery of how some horses made their way from Amsterdam to Vegas via Boeing 777. There’s a preview dedicated to GB’s Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro here.

Gymnastics

GB’s Claudia Fragapane and Ellie Downie both qualified for the all-around final at the Europeans in Montpellier.

Rio 2016

The latest Rio Olympic Park construction progress video.

Thirty-two tons of dead fish have now been cleared out of the Olympic rowing and canoeing lagoon. (Presumably there comes a point at which they run out of fish left alive in the area?)

Brazil may rent Russian anti-aircraft defence systems for the Olympics:

Negotiations to buy three Pantsir-S1 batteries and two Igla batteries were launched in 2012 and were ratified in 2014 during a visit to Moscow by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

Defence Minister Jacques Wagner said at a press conference held at the LAAD defence fair that the effort to buy the systems “is being maintained” but he admitted that Brasilia had suffered setbacks that make it impossible for the anti-aircraft batteries to be acquired before the Games.

Wagner said that Brazil must analyze the “budgetary questions” related to the purchase of the air defence batteries, a deal that is estimated to be worth $1 billion.

Snowboarding

British athlete Billy Morgan has become the first snowboarder ever to land a quad cork (includes video).

Swimming

Day two of the British championships: Jazz Carlin won the 400m freestyle, Roberto Pavoni swam a lifetime best to take 200m medley gold, and Michael Jamieson blamed “self-doubt” for his poor form.

Much Michael Phelps analysis as he faced the media at the Pro Swim Series in Arizona, his first such appearance since his six-month ban expired:

The 18-time Olympic gold medalist is smiling more. He says he’s even walking a little taller. He’s only worrying about controlling what he can control.

“Everyone has the right to believe whatever they want,” Phelps said Wednesday, speaking for the first time publicly since his six-month USA Swimming ban expired. “I know exactly how I feel now and exactly how I wake up and go through my everyday life. If somebody doesn’t believe the words that are coming out of my mouth, that’s not my choice. I know the only person I can control in any situation is myself.

“I of course would like to show everybody in the world that I am in a different place and I am much better than I ever have been. I understand that’s going to take a lot of time, for me to be able to prove to whoever I need to prove to that I am different, that I have changed. This week will be the first week I can start that.”

Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that Phelps will not be allowed to participate in the 2015 world championships, a punishment handed down alongside the six-month ban after his drunk-driving offence.

Phelps also went into a little detail with journalists about his engagement to Nicole Johnson.

This is an excellent, detailed profile of Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszu if you have a few minutes spare.

Meet Fu Kang, the Thai teenager aiming for Rio in breaststroke.

Swimmers make the best lovers, apparently.

Other news

IOC president Thomas Bach is reportedly “baffled by India’s lack of sporting success” and will meet the country’s prime minister later this month to argue for more athlete funding.