Olympics bottle-thrower to stand trial

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One would hope that we as a general population have been convinced to stop doing stupid things at sporting events, but Ashley Gill-Webb allegedly threw a plastic beer bottle on the Olympic track in London mere seconds before the men’s 100m final back in August, and now we have to start over.

Gill-Webb, 34, was arrested from his seat after the incident, likely to save him from any retribution from the fans, which included Dutch judo athlete Edith Bosch sitting directly behind him.

But the alleged tosser pleaded not guilty Wednesday to the charges of using threatening words or behavior with intent to cause harassment, alarm, or distress, and will stand trial on Jan. 3 in Stratford, east London, near the stadium.

And while his actions likely had no effect on the race – Usain Bolt, who won, said he didn’t notice. Bronze medalist Justin Gatlin noted a brief distraction, but still ran a lifetime best – let us at OlympicTalk urge you once again: please do not throw things on any tracks, fields, courts, or other playing surfaces.

It does not make you cool and it’s already the reason we have to drink beer out of plastic, instead of the much-preferred glass bottle. And pretty soon we’ll have no beer at all, thanks to guys named Ashley.

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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