Gabby Douglas

Gabby Douglas explains move to California from Iowa

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NEW YORK — Olympic all-around champion Gabby Douglas is training in California, without a coach yet, and her plan is still to return to competition at the 2014 U.S. Championships.

In August, Douglas left Iowa and the coach who guided her to double Olympic gold, Liang Chow, to join her family in California. Douglas, a Virginia native, had been living with a host family in Iowa.

“I went to the gym and said goodbye to everyone,” Douglas said at the Right To Play Gymnastics Festival on Sunday. “It was a really sad moment for me because I love that gym, and it’s a really great program. Some part of me wanted to be connected with my family because I hadn’t been with them in a very long time. So it was a bittersweet moment.”

She had resumed training with Chow in his West Des Moines gym in May after a post-Olympic break.

“She was a little upset,” Chow’s wife, Liwen Zhuang, told the Des Moines Register about Douglas’ goodbye at the gym. “I guess that’s a family decision for her.”

Liwen was caught “off-guard somewhat,” according to the newspaper.

“We were not really sure for a long time, because we heard from other people first,” she said. “Nothing was really confirmed. We didn’t really know for sure. We heard some rumors.

“It’s kind of awkward.”

Douglas said she still emails and texts with her former coach Chow.

“It was really tough for the both of us,” she said.

Douglas has already done interviews in California, including with Entertainment Tonight. She was a judge on the “So You Think You Can Dance” season finale Sept. 3.

Asked about her next coach, she said she was “still figuring it all out.”

“A lot of decisions,” she said. “But a good thing is I’m training. … Any coach is definitely a possibility out in L.A.”

Douglas became the first U.S. woman to win both team and individual all-around Olympic gold last year, in addition to being the first African-American woman to win the all-around.

Two members of the Fierce Five are expected to be named to the World Championships team this week — McKayla Maroney and Kyla Ross. The other two, Jordyn Wieber and Aly Raisman, did not compete this year.

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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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