World Champs Medalist Andrei Minakov to Stay in Russia Ahead of Freshman Year at Stanford

Elwanda Tulloch

World Championships silver medalist Andrei Minakov will not be traveling to the United States this coming school year as he will do distance learning in his native Russia during the COVID-19 pandemic. Minakov, who had committed to swim at Stanford University for this fall, confirmed to Swimming World that he will be redshirting for the upcoming season.

“We came to a consensus that it’s probably the best decision for me,” Andrei Minakov said. “I am remotely enrolled and will do remote learning this year. Additionally, I am training here in Russia and preparing for the Olympics at home. I will come to campus in the fall of 2021.”

He is currently training with the Russian national team at Lake Krugloye with coach Sergei Chepik.

“Minakov is training at Krugly, he will not go to the USA now, they gave him the go-ahead for this. While he will train in

Read More

Olympic badminton gold medalist Ayaka Takahashi to retire

Elwanda Tulloch

Badminton star Ayaka Takahashi, a women’s doubles gold medalist at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, is intent on retiring, multiple sources close to her told Kyodo News on Monday.

Takahashi, 30, and her 28-year-old partner Misaki Matsutomo became Japan’s first Olympic gold medalists in badminton when they overcame Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl of Denmark in Brazil, scoring five straight points from 19-16 down in the final game for a dramatic comeback win.

They were facing an uphill battle in the race for the Tokyo Games, however, after finding themselves third in the domestic standings with Japan given up to two slots for the event. The qualifying race that started in April last year was suspended this March following the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Takahashi is expected to hold a news conference in the coming days.

Known for her strong smash from the back court, Nara-native Takahashi formed a

Read More

Olympic badminton gold medalist Ayaka Takahashi retires due to lack of fire

Elwanda Tulloch

Ayaka Takahashi said Wednesday that she lacks the fire to try and defend her Olympic women’s doubles championship at next summer’s Tokyo Olympics and will retire at the end of this month.

While the vast majority of Olympic hopefuls are continuing on for the Tokyo Games, which have been postponed until 2021, Takahashi, a gold medalist at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, decided that she will not.

“I had doubts about my mind and body getting through another year,” Takahashi said in an online news conference where she was joined by her playing partner Misaki Matsutomo.

“When I shared my honest feelings with my partner Matsutomo and (my employer) Nihon Unisys they respected my decision. My parents were understanding as well, and telling them was a big weight off my shoulders,” she said.

The 30-year-old Takahashi and 28-year-old Matsutomo, with the pair nicknamed “Takamatsu,” claimed Japan’s first Olympic badminton

Read More