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U.S. women’s soccer stars discuss wage-discrimination complaint

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Five star U.S. women’s soccer players are filing a wage-discrimination complaint against U.S. Soccer with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission seeking equal pay with their male counterparts.

U.S. Olympic champions Carli LloydHope SoloAlex Morgan and Becky Sauerbrunn appeared on TODAY to discuss the move Thursday morning (video here). Megan Rapinoe was also involved in the complaint.

U.S. women are paid between $3,600 and $4,950 per game, while men receive $6,250 to $17,625. Women receive 44 percent of what their male counterparts earn for making the World Cup team, according to TODAY, citing the complaint.

“We’ve proven our worth over the years,” said Lloyd, whose hat trick propelled the U.S. to victory in the 2015 Women’s World Cup Final. “The pay disparity between men and women is just too large. We want to continue to fight. The generation of players before us fought, and now it’s our job to keep on fighting.”

Solo said “not much has changed” with regards to equal-pay issues in the decade-plus she’s been on the national team.

“We’ve continued to be told we should be grateful just to have an opportunity to play professional soccer,” Solo said. “It’s about equality. It’s about equal rights. It’s about equal pay.”

Their attorney, Jeffrey Kessler, said that players were told “it was irrational” when they asked for the same treatment as men’s players.

Morgan was asked by Matt Lauer if players would boycott games or strike.

“I think that’s why we’re here taking this action and filing this complaint,” Morgan responded ahead of the Rio Olympics, which begin Aug. 3 for women’s soccer. “Every single day we sacrifice just as much as the men. We work just as much. We endure just as much physically and emotionally. Our fans really do appreciate us every day for that. We saw that with the high last summer. We’re asking and demanding now that our federation, our employer really, step up and appreciate us as well.”

On TODAY, the players laughed when asked if they had heard from male players.

“I’m sure they are in support of us,” said Morgan, whose husband, Servando Carrasco, plays in MLS.

Kessler said that in 2015 the U.S. women’s national team made over $16 million for U.S. Soccer, while the men’s team caused a $2 million loss. Last year was a World Cup year for the women, but not for the men.

“We are disappointed about this action,” U.S. Soccer said in a statement. “We have been a world leader in women’s soccer and are proud of the commitment we have made to building the women’s game in the United States over the past 30 years.”

MORE: Carli Lloyd ranks Olympic final-winning goals, World Cup hat trick

Danielle Perkins is first U.S. boxer to win world title in 3 years

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Danielle Perkins became the U.S.’ first world champion boxer in this Olympic cycle, taking the heavyweight crown in Russia on Sunday.

Perkins, a 37-year-old who played college basketball at George Mason and St. John’s, improved from bronze in 2018 to earn her first world title, blanking defending world champion Yang Xiaoli of China 5-0 in Sunday’s final.

Video of the bout is here.

Perkins was slated to fight Yang in the 2018 World semifinals but withdrew due to medical reasons, according to USA Boxing.

The heavyweight division is 81+kg, but the heaviest Olympic weight division is capped at 75kg.

The last American to earn a world title was Claressa Shields in 2016, before she repeated as Olympic champion in Rio and moved to the professional ranks.

The Olympic trials are in December in Louisiana, after which winners will fight internationally in early 2020 in bids to qualify for the Tokyo Games.

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MORE: IOC strips Olympic status from boxing body AIBA

Brigid Kosgei shatters marathon world record in Chicago

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Kenyan Brigid Kosgei shattered a 16-year-old world record in the women’s marathon by 81 seconds, winning the Chicago Marathon in 2:14:04 on Sunday.

Brit Paula Radcliffe had held the record of 2:15:25 set at the 2003 London Marathon. Kenyan Mary Keitany holds the female-only record of 2:17:01 from the 2017 London Marathon. Both Kosgei and Radcliffe, the only women to break 2:17, ran with men in their record races.

Radcliffe’s record was the longest-standing for the men’s or women’s marathon of the last 50 years.

Kosgei did it one day after Eliud Kipchoge became the first person to run a sub-two-hour marathon in a non-record-eligible event in Vienna. She won by a gaping 6 minutes, 47 seconds over Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh.

Kosgei, who won Chicago in 2018 and the London Marathon in April, came in highly favored. The 25-year-old tuned up with the fastest half-marathon ever by a woman (by 23 seconds) on Sept. 8 on a non-record-eligible course.

“2:10 is possible for a lady,” Kosgei said after Sunday’s record.

Jordan Hasay, the top U.S. woman in the field, stopped after feeling a sharp hamstring strain after two miles. Hasay, who was coached by Alberto Salazar before his ban in a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency case, is one of several women in contention for the three Olympic spots at the Feb. 29 trials in Atlanta.

Kenyan Lawrence Cherono won the men’s race by one second over Ethiopian Dejene Debela in 2:05:45.

The U.S.’ top marathoner, Galen Rupp, dropped out around mile 23 after straining a calf around the sixth mile. Rupp, who was also coached by Salazar, was racing for the first time since the 2018 Chicago Marathon and Achilles surgery.

Mo Farah, the defending champion and four-time Olympic track gold medalist, finished eighth in 2:09:58. He also dropped from the leaders before the halfway point.

American Daniel Romanchuk and Swiss Manuela Schar won the wheelchair races.

Romanchuk, 21, repeated as champion. He has also won Boston London and New York City in the last year. Schar distanced decorated American Tatyana McFadden by 4:14, though McFadden did qualify for the Tokyo Paralympics with her runner-up finish (as did Romanchuk).

The fall major marathon season concludes with the New York City Marathon on Nov. 3, featuring defending champions Mary Keitany and Lelisa Desisa and 2018 Boston Marathon champion Des Linden.

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MORE: Chicago Marathon results