Zbigniew Brodka

Poland presidents, Olympic champions urge public support for Winter Olympic bid

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Polish political and athletics giants are encouraging Krakow residents to vote in favor of a 2022 Winter Olympic bid Sunday.

Former president Lech Walesa and Winter Olympic greats Justyna KowalczykAdam Malysz and Zbigniew Brodka were among 47 names endorsing a letter published on the Krakow 2022 website.

“The Olympic Winter Games constitute an ambitious challenge requiring widespread public and organisational mobilisation,” the letter said. “Through the Games, Krakow can make its presence felt in the world in a unique manner and make our dreams come true. The legacy of the Games will be appreciated by all and enjoyed for many years ahead.”

Krakow and Oslo are hoping for public and political support to move forward with 2022 Winter Olympic bids. The other cities that submitted bids by the March deadline were Almaty, Kazakhstan; Beijing and Lviv, Ukraine.

The International Olympic Committee’s executive board will decide which cities advance to a final stage of bidding in July.

The IOC will vote to select the host city on July 31, 2015, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Paris to launch feasibility study into 2024 Olympic bid

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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