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Allison Schmitt to compete for first time since Rio Olympics

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Allison Schmitt, an eight-time Olympic medalist, will race at this weekend’s USA Swimming Pro Series meet in Mesa, Ariz., her first competition since the Rio Olympics.

The headliners include Schmitt and fellow individual Olympic champions Nathan AdrianRyan Murphy and Matt Grevers, plus Chase Kalisz, who swept the individual medleys at the 2017 World Championships.

It was possible that Katie Ledecky could make the Pro Series meet her professional debut, but she did not enter.

The Mesa meet runs Thursday through Sunday, with live coverage of finals on Olympic Channel (Friday) and NBCSN (Saturday).

Schmitt, now 27, earned medals in all five of her events at the 2012 Olympics, including gold in the 200m freestyle and the 4x100m medley and 4x200m free relays.

She struggled with depression between London and Rio. She also failed to qualify for the biggest meets of 2013 (World Championships), 2014 (Pan Pacific Championships) and 2015 (World Championships).

Schmitt rebounded to make the Rio Olympic team in the 4x100m and 4x200m free relays, earning silver and gold medals at her third Games.

While Schmitt remained in the drug-testing pool last year to stay eligible for meets, she did not compete. In September, longtime friend and training partner Michael Phelps teased at a potential Schmitt comeback with Instagram posts referencing the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Dara Torres, Jenny Thompson and Amanda Beard are the only U.S. female swimmers to compete in four Olympics.

After Mesa, the Pro Series moves to Indianapolis (May 16-19), Santa Clara, Calif. (June 7-10) and Columbus, Ohio (July 6-8) on the road to the U.S. Championships in July and Pan Pacific Championships in August.

The Pan Pacific Championships are the major international meet of the year, featuring top swimmers from nations outside Europe.

Times from nationals and Pan Pacs determine the U.S. team for the 2019 World Championships in South Korea.

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Is it true?!! @coach_bowman @arschmitty

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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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