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Usain Bolt sets deadline on continuing soccer career

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Usain Bolt said he will decide by the end of November whether to sign with a new soccer team or end his pursuit of the sport altogether.

“I got a lot of offers from different clubs,” Bolt said in a video interview in London on Wednesday. “Now we’re just trying to figure out what. We’ll make a decision before the end of November if I’m going to go to another club, or if I’m just going to call that dream quits.”

Bolt refused to specify where the offers are from in an Associated Press interview.

The eight-time Olympic champion practiced with teams in five countries since retiring from track and field last year but hasn’t signed a professional contract. His latest and most prolonged training stint was with the Central Coast Mariners of Australia’s top league.

Bolt trained and played preseason exhibitions with the club on a tryout deal from August to October.

The Mariners announced on Nov. 2 that they would not sign Bolt after failed negotiations, unable to bridge the financial gap for a player they did “not have the luxury” to play in regular-season matches.

Bolt thanked the Mariners staff, players and fans in a statement.

“For making me feel so welcome during my time there. I wish the club success for the season ahead,” Bolt said two weeks ago.

Bolt said in the summer that he turned down offers from teams in France and Spain, but not in the top division. He preferred Australia, where he didn’t have to learn a language. His long-time dream has been to play for Manchester United.

“I’ve talked to [Premier League stars Paul] Pogba and all these guys, [Raheem] Sterling, all these guys, and they are happy to see that I’m trying, ‘Come on, you can do it,'” Bolt said in a recent Sky Sports interview. “This is not about all about the money. This is a dream, and I want to try and see how good I can be.”

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2022 Pan Pacific Championships canceled as swimming calendar shifts

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The Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, a quadrennial major international meet, will not be held in 2022 “out of respect for the recent changes to the international sporting calendar,” according to a press release.

The Pan Pacs’ charter nations — the U.S., Australia, Canada and Japan — agreed to the move. The 2026 event will be held in Canada, which was supposed to be the 2022 host.

The decision came after the 2021 World Championships were moved to May 2022, following the Tokyo Olympics moving from 2020 to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The quadrennial multi-sport Commonwealth Games — which includes Australia and Canada, but not the U.S. or Japan — are scheduled for July 27-Aug. 7, 2022.

“Organizing a third major championships in that window presented several challenges,” according to the Pan Pacs release.

Pan Pacs mark the third-biggest major international meet for U.S. swimmers, held in non-Olympic, non-world championships years.

MORE: Caeleb Dressel co-hosts a podcast. It’s not about swimming.

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Boston Marathon canceled for first time after 123 years; virtual event planned

Boston Marathon
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The Boston Marathon, held every year since 1897, has been canceled as an in-person event for the first time. It will be held as a virtual race instead due to the coronavirus.

“While we cannot bring the world to Boston in September, we plan to bring Boston to the world for an historic 124th Boston Marathon,” Boston Athletic Association (BAA) CEO Tom Grilk said in a press release.

The world’s oldest annual marathon had been postponed from April 20 to Sept. 14, it was announced March 13.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said he first considered canceling the postponed marathon during a coronavirus surge in April.

“We were maxed out in our hospital emergency rooms,” Walsh said Thursday. “I realized that the downside of the curve, which we were on, the backside of the curve, is going to be going for some time. The concern of a second surge made me have some real reservations about can we have the marathon or not.”

Walsh said experts said a potential second surge would be between August and October. He held out hope to hold the race until talking with the BAA last week.

All participants originally registered for Boston will be offered a full refund of their entry fee and have the opportunity to participate in the virtual alternative, which can be run between Sept. 7-14.

More details, including entry information, will be announced in the coming weeks.

It’s the biggest alteration to the Boston Marathon, which was inspired by the marathon’s debut at the first modern Olympics in 1896. Previously, the biggest change came in 1918, the last year of World War I. The marathon was still held on Patriots’ Day in April but as a 10-man military relay race.

The original 2020 Boston elite fields included two-time U.S. Olympian Des Linden, the 2018 Boston winner who was fourth at the Feb. 29 Olympic Trials, where the top three earned Olympic spots.

London is the world’s other major spring marathon. It was rescheduled from April 27 to Oct. 4. Its original fields for April were headlined by the two fastest men in history — Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge and Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele. It’s unknown if they will remain in the field, should London happen.

The fall major marathon schedule

Boston — Sept. 7-14 (virtual event)
Berlin — TBD (will not be held as planned on Sept. 27)
London — Oct. 4
Chicago — Oct. 11
New York City — Nov. 1

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