Usain Bolt signs up for London Grand Prix

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World record Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt has finally confirmed that he’ll race at the London Grand Prix in July at the Olympic Stadium, where last year he became the first man ever to win the 100m and 200m double at consecutive Games.

“I’m looking forward to coming back to the UK, especially with it being a year since winning three golds in the Olympic Stadium,” Bolt said. “The crowd were amazing at the Games and I hope they will be out again… I haven’t competed at the London Diamond League since 2009, but it has always been a great meet with lots of Jamaican support. It almost feels like running at home.”

The reason Bolt hadn’t raced in London since 2009, save for the Olympics, was because he’s typically forced to pay taxes on his appearance fees (now $300,000 per event) and endorsements. But now they’ve created an exemption specifically for “non-resident athletes” to bring back the talent.

All-told, the London field will include 29 Olympic medalists, 12 world champions, and four world record holders. Besides Bolt, familiar faces will include Brits Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis, and Greg Rutherford, as well as Sally Pearson of Australia, Carmelita Jeter of the U.S., and Kirani James of Grenada.

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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