NFL games in London’s Olympic Stadium?

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We can’t imagine the NFL placing a permanent resident in London anytime soon – although excommunicating Jacksonville to the other side of the Atlantic seems practical, if not appealing – but after another successful NFL showcase in London, the city’s mayor is looking to lock some American football games into Olympic Stadium.

“The mayor and his team have held a number of meetings with senior executives in the last few days to explore further opportunities involving the NFL and London,” read a statement from Boris Johnson’s office. “The talks were exploratory. We are at an early stage, but the signs are encouraging.”

English citizens were treated to a 45-7 drubbing by the New England Patriots over the hapless St. Louis Rams Sunday at Wembley Stadium, which has an exclusive deal with the NFL through 2016.

The quirky Johnson, who also serves as the head of the London Legacy Development Cooperation, would love to see NFL games added to the Olympic Stadium schedule come 2017. Some have floated the idea of a permanent NFL tenant in the eventual future, but even mentioning it seems premature at this point.

For now it seems English football will fill the void as West Ham remains the leading contender to take over the space when the stadium is reopened in 2014, following $467 million spent renovating the newly dubbed Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford.

However, good news! The two sides have agreed to add a second NFL game in London during the 2013 season, which the mayor’s office estimates will bring in an additional $71 million in revenue capital next year.

WATCH LIVE: London Marathon

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Watch the world’s best distance runners chase world records at the London Marathon, live on NBCSN and commercial free on the NBC Sports Gold “Track and Field Pass” for subscribers on Sunday at 3:30 a.m. ET.

NBCSN coverage also streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for subscribers.

WATCH LIVE: London Marathon
NBCSN coverage — STREAM LINK
NBC Sports Gold commercial free — STREAM LINK

Sunday’s race start times (ET)
3:55 – Elite Wheelchair Races
4:00 – World Para Athletics Marathon World Cup ambulant races
4:15 – Elite Women’s Race
5:00 – Elite Men’s Race, Mass Race

The men’s field features arguably the two greatest distance runners of all time — Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge and Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele.

Kipchoge, the Rio Olympic marathon champ, ran the fastest marathon ever recorded — 2:00:25 in Nike’s sub-two-hour attempt last May in non-record-eligible conditions.

Bekele is the second-fastest marathoner in history under legal conditions, having run six seconds shy of Kenyan Dennis Kimetto‘s world record of 2:02:57 from 2014.

In the women’s race, Kenyan Mary Keitany, already the world-record holder in a women’s-only race, looks to take down Brit Paula Radcliffe‘s world record with male pacers set in London 15 years ago. That time is 2:15:25.

Keitany is challenged by Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba, the third-fastest female marathoner in history behind Keitany and Radcliffe.

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Teddy Riner, dominant judoka, to skip 2018, 2019 Worlds

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French judoka Teddy Riner, arguably the world’s most dominant athlete, will reportedly skip the next two world championships before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

French coach Franck Chambily said Riner will compete a light international schedule the next two years ahead of what would be his fourth Olympics, according to Agence France-Presse.

Riner, a 29-year-old, 6-foot-8-inch native of Guadeloupe, is undefeated since 2010 with a reported 144-match winning streak. That includes Olympic titles in 2012 and 2016 and world titles in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

Before the streak, Riner also earned world titles in 2007, 2009 and 2010, plus an Olympic bronze at age 19 in 2008.

He could compete through the 2024 Paris Games.

“When I am invincible, I will stop,” Riner said in 2013, according to The Associated Press.

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