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LeBron James to skip Rio Games, according to report

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LeBron James will not participate in his fourth Olympics, opting instead to rest this summer after winning the NBA championship with his Cleveland Cavaliers, according to Cleveland.com.

James’ agent, Rich Paul, told USA Basketball director Jerry Colangelo of his client’s decision Thursday, according to the report. It comes the same day as numerous reports on other players are being revealed.

“I could use the rest,” James said.

This month marked the sixth straight season James’ team advanced to the NBA Finals. He’s played 128 playoff games over the past six years, the equivalent of another one and a half seasons. James is 31 years old.

He was a late addition to the 2004 U.S. Olympic team after finishing his rookie year at 19 years old. The Americans won bronze that year, followed by gold medals in 2008 and 2012. He could have become one of the first players to win three Olympic men’s basketball gold medals, but without James, only Carmelo Anthony now has that chance.

James is the all-time leading scorer for the U.S. Olympic men’s team, with 273 points scored in 24 games (11.4 per game). He’s tied with David Robinson for the most games played. James also leads in field goals made (113) and assists (88), and is second in rebounds (95).

The 2016 U.S. Olympic men’s basketball roster will be officially announced no later than Monday. Colangelo is still waiting on a decision from James’ Cavaliers teammate, Kyrie Irving, who was the 2014 FIBA World Cup MVP.

Previously, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, LaMarcus Aldridge, Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, John Wall, Anthony Davis and Blake Griffin withdrew for various reasons.

MORE: U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team solidifies 10 of 12 roster spots

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

Danielle Perkins
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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