Sochi gold medalists eliminated from Canada Olympic curling trials

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Brad Jacobs‘ reign as Olympic curling champion will end in February.

His team that won gold in Sochi was eliminated from the Canada Olympic Trials on Thursday night.

Jacobs, Ryan Fry, E. J. Harnden and Ryan Harnden are 3-4 at the trials in Ottawa with one game left.

Jacobs cannot mathematically get back into the top three (out of nine teams) to advance to the winner-goes-to-Pyeongchang playoffs.

“We came out here knowing that our fate was in our own hands and didn’t perform,” Jacobs said, according to the Canadian Press.

The Canadian Olympic curling team is one of the hardest to make of any Winter Games sports.

Three different Canadian skips won the last three Olympic titles and then lost the Olympic Trials four years later. In 2013, Jacobs’ team became the first to go undefeated at a Canada Olympic Trials.

Brad Gushue, who skipped gold-medal teams at the 2006 Olympics and 2017 Worlds, has clinched one of two spots in Saturday’s semifinal.

The semifinal winner will face a team skipped by Kevin Koe, who also skipped world champion teams in 2010 and 2016. Koe’s team is undefeated through seven games at trials.

Jacobs and Co. can do no more than watch Sunday’s final to see who will succeed them as Canada’s Olympic team.

“It’s a big surprise, it’s an incredible surprise,” Team Jacobs coach Caleb Flaxey said, according to the Canadian Press. “We didn’t expect to be in this situation.”

In the women’s tournament, Sochi gold medalist Jennifer Jones and world champion Rachel Homan play each other in the final round-robin session Friday night. Both are likely to make the three-team playoffs.

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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
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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