Olympic Games

Hungary will withdraw its bid to host the 2024 summer Olympics, government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs told Reuters on Wednesday, after a meeting between Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Budapest Mayor Istvan Tarlos and the Hungarian Olympic committee.

Bidding alongside powerhouses Los Angeles and Paris, Budapest had been considered a long-shot candidate, pinning its hopes on the International Olympic Committee's Agenda 2020 initiative.

After local opponents of the candidacy last week submitted a quarter of a million signatures on a petition for a referendum on the bid, Tarlos had suggested the city might quit the race.

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 Australia's bronze medallist Shane Perkins stands with his medal during the victory ceremony after the track cycling men's sprint finals at the Velodrome during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 6, 2012. REUTERS/Paul Hanna

Australian two-time world champion track cyclist Shane Perkins has switched allegiance to Russia in a bid to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

The Melbourne-born 30-year-old won a sprint bronze at the 2012 Olympics in London but missed out on selection for last year's Games in Rio de Janeiro.

"The Russian Cycling Federation has given me another opportunity to chase my dreams of Olympic representation in Tokyo 2020 which has special significance to me as my father (Darryl Perkins) raced the Olympics in Tokyo 1964," he said in a post on his Facebook page on Wednesday.

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Semenya not thrilled about golden upgrade (February 13, 2017)
[ Source: Reuters ]

 South Africa's Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games gold medalist, Caster Semenya shows her medal after arriving at the O. R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa August 23, 2016. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Caster Semenya is not excited about the prospect of having her 2012 Olympic and 2011 world championships silver medals upgraded to gold in the wake of Mariya Savinova-Farnosova doping ban, the coach of the South African 800 meters athlete said on Sunday.

Russian Savinova-Farnosova was stripped of her titles on Friday when the Court of Arbitration for Sport imposed a four-year ban saying there was "clear evidence" she used performance-enhancing drugs.

Semenya finished second behind the Russian in both Daegu in 2011 and London 2012 and is now set to become a double Olympic champion after her victory in Rio de Janeiro last year.

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Olympic Games

With the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics less than a year away, athletes at the World Speed Skating Championships in South Korea have been impressed by the Gangneung venue which will host the event next year, said organizing chief Lee Hee-beom.

The Games will be held in South Korea from Feb. 9-25, 2018 with Pyeongchang staging the mountain events, while the coastal city of Gangneung will be used for figure skating, curling, ice hockey, speed and short track skating events.

A powerhouse Dutch team, including Olympic long track champions Sven Kramer and Ireen Wust, have been in the ascendancy in Gangneung during the Olympic test event, posting quick times despite the venue being close to sea level.

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Los Angeles, promoting itself as a bargain, seeks 2024 Olympics (January 26, 2017)
Alex Dobuzinskis [ Source: Reuters ]

Olympic Games

Los Angeles city leaders committed on Wednesday to hosting the 2024 Olympics if the city wins an international competition to do so, hoping a budget-conscious plan that does not require building new venues will bring the Games back for the third time.

Los Angeles, which hosted the Olympics in 1932 and 1984, is competing against Paris and Budapest for the 2024 Summer Games. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is expected to name the host city in September at a meeting in Peru.

With a 13-0 vote on Wednesday, the City Council committed to signing the final contract with Olympic organizers if Los Angeles is chosen.

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Olympic Games

Darts should be an Olympic sport and "ticks all the boxes" for inclusion in future Games, according to England's World Cup winning former rugby coach Clive Woodward.

The former British Olympic Association director of elite performance wrote in Wednesday's Daily Mail that darts was growing in popularity worldwide and it was time it "stepped up to the Olympic oche".

It could be a very long wait, however. There are currently 37 officially recognized Olympic sports and darts, a game that has long been played by drinkers in English pubs and bars, is not one of them.

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 2016 Rio Olympics - Athletics - Victory Ceremony - Men's Decathlon Victory Ceremony - Olympic Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 19/08/2016. Gold medalist Ashton Eaton (USA) of USA reacts on the podium. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Two-time Olympic decathlon champion Ashton Eaton announced his retirement on Wednesday, saying he had given everything he could to the sport.

"I give everything to the decathlon. I did all I could. Thank u for making it the best time of my life. I'm retiring," said Eaton on his Twitter account.

The 28-year-old American, who holds the world record in both the decathlon and indoor heptathlon events, won gold in the multi-event discipline at the 2012 London Olympics and successfully defended his crown at the Rio Games last August.

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