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LA 2024 Olympic bid details, venue plans updated

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Los Angeles 2024 published its updated Olympic bid strategy and concept plan on Tuesday, the file it’s required to (and did) submit to the International Olympic Committee by Wednesday.

Two key numbers were published in the bid book — the 81 percent of Los Angeles residents who support hosting the Olympics, according to an August poll, and the 97 percent of venues that already exist, are planned as permanent venues by private investors or will be temporary facilities.

The proposed dates of the Olympics remain unchanged from last summer’s bid announcement — July 19-Aug. 4, the same dates as the Atlanta 1996 Olympics and the failed Boston 2024 bid.

A difference from last year’s bid book is a trimming of venue clusters from five to four (consolidating the Hollywood cluster), plus several sports venue changes (most notably gymnastics moving from Staples Center to the Forum).

Baseball and softball, proposed to be included in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, were mentioned in the previous bid book as being played at Dodger Stadium if they were in the 2024 Olympic program. Neither sport is mentioned in the new bid book.

There’s been a tweak to basketball. In the original bid book, preliminary basketball games were slated for UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion and finals at Staples Center. Later in October, LA 2024 bid chairman Casey Wasserman said other California venues could hold basketball games.

Now, Staples Center is the only listed basketball venue.

The to-be-constructed Los Angeles Rams stadium could also be part of the LA 2024 plan.

“Over the coming months LA 2024 will work with the stadium owner to further explore these opportunities,” Tuesday’s bid book said.

Also, preliminary soccer matches will be held across the U.S., but the Rose Bowl remains a soccer venue, according to the new bid book.

The four clusters in the new bid book:

Downtown Cluster
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Track and Field)
New MLS Stadium (Diving, Swimming, Synchronized Swimming)
Staples Center (Basketball)
Los Angeles Convention Center (Boxing, Fencing, Handball, Judo, Table Tennis, Wrestling)
USC’s Galen Center (Badminton, Taekwondo)
Microsoft Theater (Weightlifting)
Also: Archery, Road Cycling, Marathon, Race Walk

Valley Cluster
Sepulveda Basin (Canoe Slalom, Equestrian, Modern Pentathlon, Shooting)

Coastal Cluster
Santa Monica Beach (Beach Volleyball, Open-Water Swimming, Triathlon)
UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion (Volleyball)
UCLA’s North Athletic Fields (Field Hockey)
UCLA’s Los Angeles Tennis Center (Water Polo)

South Bay Cluster
StubHub Center Soccer Stadium (Rugby)
Tennis Stadium (Tennis)
VELO Sports Center (Track Cycling)
Also: BMX

Other Venues
The Forum (Gymnastics)
Rose Bowl (Soccer)
Wilson Golf Course (Golf)
LA Waterfront (Sailing)
Lake Casitas (Rowing, Canoe/Kayak)
Santa Monica Mountains (Mountain Bike)

MORE: 2024 Olympic bidding coverage

Katie Ledecky extends 5-year win streak

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Katie Ledecky extended a five-year domestic win streak by taking the 200m freestyle at the Tyr Pro Swim Series at Bloomington on Saturday.

In her last full meet before July’s world championships, Ledecky clocked 1:55.80 to beat training partner Simone Manuel by 1.44 seconds for her second win in as many days. Ledecky is also entered in Sunday’s 800m free on the last day of the meet.

Ledecky, who also cruised to a 400m free victory on Friday, ranks third in the world in the 200m free this year, behind Australian Ariarne Titmus and Swede Sarah Sjöström (the Olympic silver medalist who is not expected to race the 200m free at worlds).

Ledecky, a five-time Olympic champion, hasn’t lost a 200m, 400m, 800m or 1500m free final at a domestic meet since Allison Schmitt beat her in a 200m free on Jan. 18, 2014 when Ledecky was 16 years old.

BLOOMINGTON: Full Results

But Ledecky lost the two biggest 200m frees of this Olympic cycle so far, at the 2017 World Championships and the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships. Italian veteran Federica Pellegrini handed Ledecky her first individual final defeat at a major international meet at 2017 Worlds.

Ledecky dropped to third in the 200m free at Pan Pacs in Tokyo last year, beaten by younger swimmers Taylor Ruck of Canada and Rikako Ikee of Japan.

Ruck, who like Ledecky trains at Stanford, is in Bloomington, but she chose not to swim the 200m free on Saturday. She instead swam the 200m backstroke about 45 minutes after the 200m free and was upset by 17-year-old Regan Smith. Smith won in 2:06.47, moving to No. 3 in the world this year.

In other events Saturday, Ella Eastin captured the 400m individual medley in 4:37.18, taking 1.25 seconds off her personal best and moving to fifth in the world this year. Eastin is not on the world championships team after an untimely bout with mono before qualifying meets last summer.

Blake Pieroni won the men’s 200m free in 1:47.25. No American ranks in the top 20 in the world this year. World silver medalist Townley Haas did not enter Bloomington.

MORE: Olympic breaststroke champion faces ban for missed drug tests

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Noah Lyles wins duel with Christian Coleman in Shanghai

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Noah Lyles won the first of what will hopefully be multiple head-to-heads with Christian Coleman this season, taking a 100m at a Diamond League meet in Shanghai on Saturday.

Both U.S. sprint phenoms clocked 9.86 seconds, with Lyles coming from about fifth place at 50 meters to edge Coleman by .006 with a lean.

“This was a message to myself,” Lyles said, according to the IAAF. “The 100 has never been my dominant thing so I wanted to make sure this year that everybody knew I was a 100 and 200 runner, and not just a 200 runner kind of running the 100.”

It’s a personal best for Lyles. Coleman has run 9.79.

Lyles, undefeated in outdoor 200m races since finishing fourth at the 2016 Olympic Trials at age 18, beat Coleman for the first time in three career senior 100m head-to-heads.

While Lyles prefers the 200m, Coleman has said he hopes to qualify for this fall’s world championships in both the 100m and 200m.

If Coleman follows through on that, he and Lyles will face off in the 200m at the USATF Outdoor Championships in July. Saturday marked Coleman’s first individual race since Aug. 31.

“It is always a struggle to get in good form after such a long time away from competition, so I didn’t have any specific expectations for today,” Coleman said. “In general I am fine with 9.86 today.”

Full Shanghai results are here. The Diamond League next visits Stockholm on May 30.

In other events, Qatar’s Abderrahman Samba won his anticipated duel with Rai Benjamin in a matchup between the second- and third-fastest 400m hurdlers in history. Samba, who took up the event full-time two years ago, clocked 47.27 seconds, which would have been the fastest time in a decade if not for Samba and Benjamin’s rapid times last June.

Benjamin, born in the Bronx and raised partly in Antigua and Barbuda, was passed before the last hurdle and crossed in 47.80. Last June, Benjamin won the NCAA title in 47.02, then matching Edwin Moses as second-fastest in history. Samba ran 46.98 later that month.

Kevin Young remains the longest-standing world-record holder in men’s track racing, setting 46.78 in the 1992 Olympic final.

Sydney McLaughlin, who in Rio became the youngest U.S. track and field athlete to compete at an Olympics in 44 years, was an impressive second in the 400m in her Diamond League debut. The 19-year-old pro, whose focus is the 400m hurdles, clung to world 400m silver medalist Salwa Eid Naser in the final straight and crossed in 50.78, just .13 back of Naser.

Naser hasn’t lost to anyone other than Olympic and world champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo in the last two years. Miller-Uibo was absent from Shanghai.

U.S. champion Aleia Hobbs won her senior international 100m debut in 11.03 seconds, beating a field that included Olympic champ Elaine Thompson. Hobbs did so two weeks after fracturing a wrist playing laser tag. Thompson, who last won a Diamond League race in 2017, was third in 11.14.

Ethiopian Yomif Kejelcha won a battle among the three fastest active 5000m runners, bounding from Selemon Barega to win by .55 in 13:04.16. Barega won last year’s Diamond League Final in 12:43.02, the world’s fastest time in 13 years.

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