Verstappen Easily Wins F1 Japanese Grand Prix

Dutch Formula One driver Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing in action during the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit racetrack in Suzuka, Japan, 24 September 2023.  EPA/FRANCK ROBICHON
Dutch Formula One driver Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing in action during the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit racetrack in Suzuka, Japan, 24 September 2023. EPA/FRANCK ROBICHON
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Verstappen Easily Wins F1 Japanese Grand Prix

Dutch Formula One driver Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing in action during the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit racetrack in Suzuka, Japan, 24 September 2023.  EPA/FRANCK ROBICHON
Dutch Formula One driver Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing in action during the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit racetrack in Suzuka, Japan, 24 September 2023. EPA/FRANCK ROBICHON

Runaway series leader Max Verstappen returned to dominant form on Sunday, winning the Japanese Grand Prix and moving a step closer to securing his third consecutive Formula One drivers’ championship.
The Red Bull driver, who missed out on the podium a week ago in Singapore, started from pole and held on for his 13th win of the season.
McLaren driver Lando Norris was second, 19.4 seconds back of Verstappen, while his teammate Australia rookie Oscar Piastri was third for his first F1 podium.
With Verstappen’s win, Red Bull secured this year’s constructors’ title, their sixth overall and second in a row, The Associated Press reported.
Verstappen increased his lead over Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez to 177 points. He could wrap up his third consecutive title at the Oct. 6-9 Qatar Grand Prix.
It was a disastrous day for Perez, who was given a penalty for hitting Haas driver Kevin Magnussen and retired from the race after serving the penalty.
Verstappen saw his record 10-race winning streak come to end at Marina Bay in Singapore and came to Japan determined to get back on top of the podium. Prior to Sunday’s race, he led every session at the fast Suzuka circuit, where he wrapped up last year’s championship in a rain-shortened race.



LeBron James to be Team USA Flagbearer for Paris Olympics

FILED - 02 September 2018, Berlin: Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James speaks during a promotion tour under the name of "More than an athlete." Photo: Carsten Koall/dpa
FILED - 02 September 2018, Berlin: Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James speaks during a promotion tour under the name of "More than an athlete." Photo: Carsten Koall/dpa
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LeBron James to be Team USA Flagbearer for Paris Olympics

FILED - 02 September 2018, Berlin: Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James speaks during a promotion tour under the name of "More than an athlete." Photo: Carsten Koall/dpa
FILED - 02 September 2018, Berlin: Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James speaks during a promotion tour under the name of "More than an athlete." Photo: Carsten Koall/dpa

LeBron James, the NBA's all-time leading points scorer, will be the male flagbearer for Team USA at the Paris Olympics, the USOPC announced on Monday.

James, 39, was picked by his fellow US Olympians for Friday's ceremony on the river Seine. The female flagbearer will be announced on Tuesday.

"It's an incredible honor to represent the United States on this global stage, especially in a moment that can bring the whole world together," Los Angeles Lakers power forward James said in a statement from the USOPC.

"For a kid from Akron, this responsibility means everything to not only myself, but to my family, all the kids in my hometown, my teammates, fellow Olympians and so many people across the country with big aspirations.

"Sports have the power to bring us all together, and I'm proud to be a part of this important moment."

The ceremony on the Seine will be the first time a Summer Olympics has opened outside the main stadium.

James, an Olympic gold medallist in 2008 and 2012, is not the only NBA star set to bear the flag for his country in Paris.

Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player and league champion in 2021, will perform the role for Greece.