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USOC looks at bids for 2024, 2026

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For the USOC, It’s time to get serious about bringing the Olympics back to American soil.

The USOC held a meeting Thursday regarding the 2024 and 2026 Games, and said it will start exploring which Olympics they’ll prepare to go all-in on, and which city will get its support.

“We’re going to view 2013 as more informational, if you will,” CEO Scott Blackmun told the Associated Press. “We’ll be smarter at the end of the year than we are in the beginning. But we don’t expect to make substantive announcements in 2013.”

Los Angeles, Dallas, and Tulsa have all expressed strong interest in hosting the 2024 Summer Games, with New York, San Francisco, and Chicago also seemingly interested after recent failed bids.

Salt Lake City, which in 2002 was the last city to host an American Olympics, wants another winter go ’round in 2026, and could do it at a low cost since it already has most of the necessary venues and infrastructure in place, but Reno/Tahoe and Denver also want to host.

Whichever city gets the go-ahead, the USOC would like to make the domestic battle in-expensive. Chicago spent roughly $10 million in the lead up to being the first city eliminated as host of the 2016 Games.

“We definitely recognize that we want to have a more cost-effective process this time around than we’ve had in the past. It needs to be a little more informal, a little less expensive.”

Katie Ledecky helps Bryce Harper celebrate NL East title (video)

Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper, right, and Mark Melancon, left, celebrate after clinching the National League East following a 6-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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The Washington Nationals won the National League East title last night for the third time in five years.

Reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper donned a Katie Ledecky swim cap during the beer-soaked celebration to protect his hair, which he reportedly spends 30 minutes grooming before games.

Ledecky, a native of Bethesda, Maryland, is a longtime fan of the Nationals. Earlier this year, she had Harper hold her five Olympic medals from Rio while she threw the first pitch at a Nationals game.

Ledecky, who is currently taking classes at Stanford, Tweeted her approval of Harper’s headgear:

MORE: Katie Ledecky declines waffle maker on ‘Ellen’ to stay NCAA eligible

Kenenisa Bekele misses marathon world record by six seconds (video)

Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele crosses the finish to win the 43th Berlin Marathon in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
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BERLIN (AP) — Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia pulled away from Wilson Kipsang of Kenya late in the race to win the Berlin Marathon just outside the world record time on Sunday.

Bekele’s winning time of two hours, 3 minutes and 3 seconds was six seconds outside Dennis Kimetto‘s world record, also set in Berlin in 2014 and is the second best time.

“I wanted to set a personal best and it’s a fantastic time, but it’s a little disappointing to miss the world record by so little,” Bekele said after the race.

Bekele and Kipsang opened a considerable lead over the rest of the field and ran shoulder-to-shoulder until Bekele pulled away with about two kilometers to go.

Kipsang finished 10 seconds behind Bekele in 2:03:13, faster than the 2:03:23 he clocked in winning the race in 2013, in what was then a world record.

Evans Chebet of Kenya was third in 2:05:31.

Bekele is considered one of the greatest distance runners of all time. He won three Olympic titles and five world championship golds and is the world record holder over 5,000 and 10,000 meters.

But he had been slow getting into the marathon, with his previous best of 2:05.04 set in his debut in winning the Paris race in 2014. He was third in London in April, after battling an Achilles’ tendon injury.

Bekele broke the Ethiopian record for the marathon, previously held by the great Haile Gebrselassie, who won the Berlin Marathon and set a world record of 2:03.59 in 2008.

Aberu Kebede led an Ethiopian sweep in the women’s race in 2:20:45. Birhane Dibaba was second in 2:23:58 and Ruti Aga third in 2:24:41.

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