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U.S., British Olympic officials to discuss Ryder Cup-style, multisport event

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LONDON (AP) — American and British Olympic leaders will firm up plans for a multisport event between the countries at a meeting in New York later this month.

The trans-Atlantic rivals, who finished one-two in the Rio Olympic medal standings, are exploring plans for a biennial contest that will alternate between the countries featuring about a half-dozen sports. The first event could be staged in 2019 as part of preparations for the following year’s Tokyo Olympics.

“The question now is to identify which sports this works best for and speaking to those sports and our stakeholders about it,” British Olympic Association chief executive Bill Sweeney said at the organization’s London headquarters.

Although the United States is strong in swimming and track, Britain is a powerhouse in cycling and rowing.

“A number of our sports have said they are interested in doing it and the concept is based around a home-and-away series, every two years, as we see in the world of golf,” Sweeney said.

The Ryder Cup was as a U.S.-Britain contest until 1979 when players from across Europe were also welcomed.

British Olympic sports have had their funding cut from UK Sport, despite the country finishing second in Rio, because of a decline in National Lottery sales.

The sports showdown with the United States could plug further funding shortfalls in the future. European Olympic rights holder Eurosport and American broadcaster NBC are involved in the planning discussions.

“[It] will give us another opportunity to generate additional revenue that we can pump back into the system,” Sweeney said. “It’s a very live conversation but, like most things, when you try to set them up there are lots of negotiations that need to happen.”

The Americans won 121 Olympic medals in Rio, while Britain collected 67 for its best performance outside London.

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Sarah Hammer, four-time Olympic cycling medalist, retires

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Three-time Olympian Sarah Hammer, one of the most decorated track cyclists in U.S. history, is retiring after a prolific career spanning more than two decades.

The 34-year-old Hammer announced Monday that she’s stepping away from competitive riding to focus on the training facility that she founded in Colorado Springs with her coach and husband, Andy Sparks.

Hammer began riding at age 8 and won her first junior title in 1995. She briefly walked away from the sport in 2003, citing burnout, but returned to make the U.S. team for the 2008 Beijing Games.

Focusing on endurance events, Hammer won four Olympic medals and eight world titles and set two world records. Her team pursuit of a silver medal at the 2012 London Games — won with teammates Jennie Reed, Dotsie Bausch and Lauren Tamayo — was chronicled in the documentary “Personal Gold: An Underdog Story.”

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How to watch Berlin Marathon world-record attempt

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The 26.2-mile world record could fall at the Berlin Marathon on Sunday, live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold.

The NBC Sports Gold stream starts at 2:30 a.m. ET, with NBCSN coverage beginning at 3 a.m.

The time to beat is 2:02:57, the world record set by Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in 2014, also in Berlin.

Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge is the headliner of three candidates to lower that mark.

He won Berlin in 2015 in 2:04:00 with his insoles infamously slipping out the back of his shoes and flopping the last half of the race.

Kipchoge then prevailed at the 2016 London Marathon in 2:03:05, eight seconds shy of Kimetto’s world record, and the Rio Olympics in 2:08:44 in conditions not suitable for a fast time. He won the Olympic marathon by 70 seconds, the largest margin of victory since Frank Shorter won in 1972.

Then on May 6, Kipchoge ran 2:00:25 on an Italian Formula One race track in a bid to become the first person to run 26.2 miles in under 2 hours. It was contested under special conditions that made it ineligible for record purposes with pacers entering mid-race.

Berlin is the world’s fastest record-eligible marathon.

With its pancake-flat roads, the German capital was the site of the last six times the men’s 26.2-mile world record was lowered in the last 14 years, coming down from 2:05:38 to the current mark of 2:02:57.

Kipchoge will also benefit from a strong field.

He will likely be pushed to a fast time, if not beaten, by Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, who won the 2016 Berlin Marathon in 2:03:03, the second-fastest time ever.

And by Kenyan Wilson Kipsang, who ran three of the eight fastest marathons ever.

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