Jerry Colangelo doesn’t expect more withdrawals, still awaits LeBron James’ decision

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Following a raft of withdrawals from his potential men’s Olympic roster, USA Basketball director Jerry Colangelo thinks he’s seen the end of it. And even with all the players pulling out, he’s not concerned about a drop off in performance in Rio.

“To the best of my knowledge, as of this moment, we don’t expect any additional attrition due to injuries,” Colangelo told ESPN Radio’s Andy Katz and Rick Klein on Tuesday. “We have been in touch with most all of the players who still remain on our list of candidates. We’re moving quickly toward the selection process and we will name our team no later than June 27th.”

Concern arose last week as four players pulled their names out of consideration for various reasons, bringing the total to eight. James Harden, Russell Westbrook, LaMarcus Aldridge, Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, John Wall, Anthony Davis and Blake Griffin have said they will not compete in Rio

But Team USA is “blessed” with a deep roster, Colangelo said, one that is able to take some hits and remain the gold-medal favorite.

“There should be turnover each time, because that’s what keeps the system purring, if you will,” he said. “The depth that I refer to, we’re blessed with a lot of great players. If you look at our depth chart, you could take a number of hits, as we’re doing right now – and hopefully we’ve seen the end of it. And if that’s true, we’re going to be just fine.”

His stance may change should LeBron James take his name off the roster. The two-time Olympic gold medalist is 31 years old playing in his sixth consecutive NBA Finals, which pushes an already-long season into June. But Colangelo is preparing for life with or without James.

“LeBron, we were advised some time ago that he wouldn’t make his final decision until post playoffs. So honestly, what we’re doing right now is kind of composing a couple of rosters – one with LeBron, one without LeBron. And again, we won’t know until the finals are over,” Colangelo said.

James’ Cleveland Cavaliers extended the 2016 NBA Finals by winning Game 5 Monday night. James scored 41 points. Game 6 is Thursday.

The radio hosts also asked Colangelo about the Zika virus outbreak in Brazil. From the information he’s been given, he said he’s not concerned about his well-being or that of his high-priced players. Not one NBA player has cited Zika as a reason for withdrawal.

“All systems go,” Colangelo said in regard to the virus.

MORE: James Harden is 8th U.S. basketball withdrawal; who remains?

South Korea’s first gold medalist of 2018 PyeongChang Olympics to compete for China

Lim Hyo-Jun
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Lim Hyo-Jun, a short track speed skater who won South Korea’s first gold medal of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, has been cleared to skate for China and was reportedly named to the national team Monday.

Lim, who won the 1500m on the first day of medal competition at the PyeongChang Games, began the process of switching to China after a June 2019 incident where he pulled down a teammate’s trousers, leaving him standing, exposed, in front of female teammates.

Lim, the 2019 World overall champion, was banned from the team for a year and later found guilty of sexual harassment before the verdict was overturned on appeal.

It was reported in March 2021 that Lim was in the process of trying to gain Chinese nationality to compete at the Beijing Winter Olympics, but Lim was not cleared to switch by the International Skating Union until this July. His Chinese name is Lin Xiaojun.

Another star South Korean skater, triple 2006 Olympic gold medalist Ahn Hyun-Soo, switched to Russia after not making the 2010 Olympic team. He then won three golds for the host nation as Viktor Ahn at the 2014 Sochi Games.

China’s national team for the upcoming season reportedly does not include veterans Wu Dajing, the nation’s lone gold medalist across all sports at the 2018 Olympics, and Fan Kexin, a three-time Olympic medalist.

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Brigid Kosgei, world record holder, to miss London Marathon

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World record holder Brigid Kosgei withdrew before Sunday’s London Marathon due to a right hamstring injury that has bothered her for the last month.

“My training has been up and down and not the way I would like to prepare to be in top condition,” was posted on Kosgei’s social media. “We’ve decided it’s best I withdraw from this year’s race and get further treatment on my injuries in order to enter 2023 stronger than ever.”

Kosgei, a 28-year-old Kenyan mother of twins, shattered the world record by 81 seconds at the 2019 Chicago Marathon. She clocked 2:14:04 to smash Brit Paula Radcliffe‘s record from 2003.

Since, Kosgei won the 2020 London Marathon, took silver at the Tokyo Olympics, placed fourth at the 2021 London Marathon and won this past March’s Tokyo Marathon in what was then the third-fastest time in history (2:16:02).

Ethiopian Tigist Assefa moved into the top three by winning the Berlin Marathon last Sunday in 2:15:37.

The London Marathon women’s field includes Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei, a winner in New York City (2019) and London (2021), and Yalemzerf Yehualaw, who was the Ethiopian record holder until Assefa won in Berlin.

The men’s field is headlined by Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest male marathoner in history, and Brit Mo Farah, a four-time Olympic champion on the track.

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