TSX REPORT: U.S. bringing 592 to Paris; IOC OK with 16 Russians; England and Colombia wins dramatic Euro, Copa America semis

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≡ THE 5-RING CIRCUS ≡

1. Team USA the largest at Paris 2024 at 592 athletes
2. IOC’s “neutrals”: 16 Russians and 16 Belarusians coming
3. U.S. men’s Olympic basketball stars down Canada in ‘Vegas
4. New report estimates $6.6 billion impact of Salt Lake City 2034
5. England, Colombia advance to Euro, Copa America finals

● The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee announced a powerful, 592-athlete team for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, which will be the largest delegation at the Games. More than 250 prior Olympians are part of the team, including 122 Olympic medal winners. It’s the U.S.’s third-largest team ever.

● The International Olympic Committee updated its roster of Russian and Belarusian “neutrals” for Paris 2024. After some tumult, the current count – final or close to it – shows that out of a potential 80 places, some 53 invitations were issued, with 32 acceptances: 16 each for Russia and Belarus.

● In the first exhibition game for the U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team, Canada took an 11-1 lead in the first quarter, but after that the U.S. defense clamped down – especially center Anthony Davis – and romped to an 86-72 win in Las Vegas. Anthony Edwards and Steph Curry led the U.S. with 13 and 12 points, respectively.

● A new study from the Gardner Policy Institute projected a total economic impact of $6.63 billion for the 2023 Olympic Winter Games and Winter Paralympic Games expected to be held in Salt Lake City, Utah. This is actually less than for the 2002 Winter Games (in 2023 dollars) as construction costs have mostly been eliminated.

● England managed a stunning goal at 90+1 to advance to its second UEFA Euro Final in a row with a 2-1 win over the Netherlands in Dortmund (GER). In the Copa America semi in Charlotte, North Carolina, Colombia went up 1-0, then survived playing with 10 men for the entire second half!

U.S. Soccer also fired men’s coach Gregg Berhalter and has started a search, looking for better results on the way to the 2026 FIFA World Cup in the U.S.

Panorama: Paris 2024 (2: Hidalgo says she will swim in Seine next week; Felix championing athlete nursery at Paris 2024 Village) = Athletics (2: “SPRINT” ranked no. 6 on Netflix for first week of release; AIU puts seven-year on marathon star Cherono) = Cycling (2: Vingegaard wins stage, gains 0:01 on Pogacar at Tour de France; Longo Borghini continues lead in Giro d’Italia Women) = Fencing (USA Fencing updates Spectator Code of Conduct) = Gymnastics (U.S. leotards and uniforms presented) = Water Polo (U.S. women suffer first loss in 2024, to Hungary) ●

Errata: Apologies to distance star Karissa Schweizer, left off our list of U.S. Olympic track & field doublers for Paris, in the women’s 5,000-10,000 m (now corrected online)! Thanks to Olympic stat supremo Dr. Bill Mallon for being the first to notice. ●

Memorabilia: Check out a spectacular, 380-item auction of Olympic-related items, including 71 medals and 40 torches at RR Auction’s semi-annual sale, now to 18 July! ●

1.
Team USA the largest at Paris 2024 at 592 athletes

The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee announced a formidable 2024 U.S. Olympic Team for Paris on Wednesday, with 592 athletes, the third-largest American team in history. Facts and figures:

● The team has 278 men and 314 women, the fourth straight Games with more women than men on the U.S. squad.

● U.S. Olympians are from 46 different states, with California (120), Florida (42), Texas (41), and Illinois and Pennsylvania (27) the top five.

● American athletes qualified in 32 of the 33 sports on the program and in 44 disciplines. No U.S. teams qualified in Team Handball (last appearance was in 1996). The U.S. will have entries in 253 of the 329 events in Paris.

● There are lots of returning Olympians – more than 250 – with 122 Olympic medalists and 66 Olympic champions.

● The U.S. roster includes three five-time Olympians: Diana Taurasi (basketball), Steffen Peters (equestrian) and McLain Ward (equestrian). There are four four-time Olympians: Brady Ellison (archery), Gerek Meinhardt (fencing), Stu McNay (sailing) and Vincent Hancock (shooting).

● There are three 16-year-olds on the team, of which the youngest is Artistic gymnast Hezly Rivera; equestrian Peters is the oldest on the team at age 59.

● There are at least six sets of siblings on the team, including twins Annie and Kerry Xu (badminton), Brooke and Emma DeBerdine (field hockey), Alex and Aaron Shackell (swimming), Gretchen and Alex Walsh (swimming), Juliette and Isabella Whittaker (track & field) and Chase and Ryder Dodd (water polo).

The team as announced is a little smaller than the originally-anticipated 616 athletes, but is still the third-largest ever, trailing Atlanta 1996 (646) and 621 in Tokyo in 2021. This year’s team is larger than the 588 in Beijing for 2008 and 576 in Sydney in 2000.

The track & field team of 120 is 20.2% of the entire squad (!), while there will be just one athlete – Jess Davis – in modern pentathlon. There are 52 swimmers allowed (8.8%), the second-largest team, and adding in Artistic (8), Diving (11) and Water Polo (26), the aquatics sport group has 97 athletes. That means that track and the aquatic sports account for 36.7% of Team USA.

France announced a team of 571 on Monday, second-largest to the U.S., and Australia – already revving up for the 2032 Brisbane Games – announced a squad of 460.

The U.S. led the medal table at 113 in Tokyo (39-41-33) and has won at least 100 medals in each of the past five Games, from Athens 2004 through Tokyo. The American team has won the most medals in each Games beginning with Atlanta in 1996, or seven in a row.

2.
IOC’s “neutrals”: 16 Russians and 16 Belarusians coming

A new revision of the International Olympic Committee’s Individual Neutral Athlete Eligibility Review Panel roster of invited “neutral” athletes from Russia and Belarus was posted on Tuesday (9th), covering 12 sports in which there were quota places won or qualifications on time. If this isn’t the final list, it’s really close:

Canoeing (28 June for 5 quota places):
● 3 for Russia (3 invited, 3 accepted)
● 2 for Belarus (2 invited, 2 accepted)

Cycling/road (15 June for 4 places):
● 3 for Russia (3 invited: 2 accepted, 1 declined, new invite accepted)
● 1 for Belarus (1 invited: accepted)

Gymnastics/trampoline (15 June for 3 places):
● 1 for Russia (1 invited: 1 accepted)
● 2 for Belarus (2 invited: 2 accepted)

Judo (28 June for 12 places):
● 12 for Russia (4 invited; 4 declined)

Modern Pentathlon (27 June for 2 places):
● 2 for Belarus (none invited)

Rowing (27 June for 2 places):
● 2 for Belarus (2 invited, 2 accepted)

Shooting (27 June for 3 places):
● 3 for Belarus (2 invited, 2 accepted)

Swimming (3 July per qualifying standards):
● 1 invitation for Russia (1 accepted)
● 3 invitations for Belarus (3 accepted)

Taekwondo (15 June for 5 places):
● 4 for Russia (none invited)
● 1 for Belarus (1 invited, 1 accepted)

Tennis (27 June for 10 places):
● 8 for Russia (8 invited: 4 accepted, 4 declined; 5 new invites, 3 accepted, 2 declined)
● 2 for Belarus (2 invited, 2 declined)

Weightlifting (15 June for 4 places):
● 4 for Belarus (2 invited, 2 accepted)

Wrestling (15 June for 26 places):
● 16 for Russia (10 invited: 1 accepted, 9 declined)
● 10 for Belarus (6 invited: 1 accepted, 5 declined)

There have been only modest changes this week, with two added invitations for Russian canoers, an extra invitation and acceptance for a Russian in tennis, an acceptance for Belarus by 2023 Worlds men’s 65 kg silver medalist Georgiy Gurtsiev in Taekwondo, and an apparent acceptance by Russian wrestler Shamil Mamedov – the 2023 World Freestyle 65 kg bronze medalist – after the Russian federation said none would go. The head of the Russian wrestling federation said Mamedov’s decision is “not final.”

So, with the entry deadline of 8 July now passed, the “neutral athlete” project looks like this:

● 80 qualifying places total (+2) across 12 sports
● 53 invitations: 30 Russians and 23 Belarusians
● 32 acceptances: 16 Russians and 16 Belarusians

This will be the smallest “Russian team” since London 1908, when it sent six athletes, and the smallest Belarusian team ever (first competed as an independent in 1996). At Tokyo 2020, Russia sent 334 and Belarus sent 103.

3.
U.S. men’s Olympic basketball stars down Canada in ‘Vegas

The first look at the U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team came at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Wednesday, against 2023 FIBA World Cup bronze winners Canada, with a raucous crowd and improving play that ended with a 86-72 win for the Americans.

The game started slowly for the U.S., which missed its first six shots and the Canadians ran off to an 11-1 lead. Steph Curry finally got a three-pointer for the first American field goal after five minutes of frustration. But the U.S. was rusty and had eight turnovers in the quarter, with Canada hitting 8-18 shots and maintaining a 21-14 edge at the quarter, with seven points off the bench by Kelly Olynyk.

The U.S. got even at 21 on a Joel Embiid free throw with 7:34 to go in the second quarter and took a 28-23 lead with 6:17 to go as the defense ratcheted up and Devin Booker hit back-to-back jumpers. The U.S. ball movement was excellent, and the defense was tighter – six blocks – and by the end of the half, American shooting was up to 53% for the game, with just three turnovers and a 41-33 halftime lead. Anthony Edwards and Jayson Tatum had eight points each to lead the U.S., while Dillon Brooks had eight for Canada, which was down to 31% shooting from the floor by halftime.

The third quarter was uneven, with the U.S. increasing its lead when it took care of the ball and then Canada closing back in when the ball went awry. Center Anthony Davis was strong on both sides of the ball late in the quarter, and had 10 points and 11 rebounds by the end of the quarter. Edwards hit a big three to cap a 9-0 run at the end of the quarter for a 69-54 lead at the end of three for 11 points, just behind team leader Curry (12). U.S. shooting was up to 54.6% (30-55) with Canada held to 34.0% (18-53).

The U.S. defense, rebounding and unselfish passing assured the American victory, but it was hardly a masterpiece. Davis was impressive, with the 10 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks and a constant presence in the lane. Edwards finished with 13, Curry had 12 and Jrue Holiday had 11, as the U.S. out-rebounded Canada, 53-48, shot 50.7% and had 25 assists on 37 made baskets on the way to 86-72 final.

R.J. Barrett had 12 to lead Canada (which finished at 33.8% shooting), with 10 each for Brooks and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

This was the first of a five-game tune-up schedule for the U.S. men. Next up are games in Abu Dhabi (UAE) with Olympic contenders Australia on 15 July and Serbia on 17 July.

L.A. Clippers star Kawhi Leonard withdrew from the U.S. men’s Olympic team on Wednesday over health concerns, and was replaced by Boston Celtics’ 6-4 guard Derrick White.

An integral part of the Celtics’ NBA title effort, White, 30, averaged 15.2 points, 5.2 assists and 4.2 rebounds this past season and was named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team for the second consecutive season. He will join Boston teammates Jayson Tatum and Jrue Holiday on the Olympic squad.

4.
New report estimates $6.6 billion impact of Salt Lake City 2034

Two weeks before the expected vote to formally award the 2034 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games to Salt Lake City, Utah, an updated report from the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah has estimated that a total economic impact of $6.63 billion will flow from that event.

The Gardner Policy Institute has been following the economic aspects of the Salt Lake City bid since a project to land the 2030 Winter Games was started a decade ago. With the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games bid set for election in Paris on 24 July by the International Olympic Committee, the updated projections looked at the plan actually reviewed by the IOC.

In brief, the $6.63 billion total comes from:

● +$4.1 billion in gross direct spending
● –$1.5 billion in out-of-state spending and displacement
● +$2.6 billion in net in-state spending due to the Games
● +$4.0 billion in indirect and inducted economic impact
● +$6.6 billion in total economic impact

Essentially, the study projects that for every dollar of the $2.6 billion in net, in-state spending on the 2023 Games will generate $1.54 in long-term economic activity through the wages paid to workers and contracts with companies that see further rounds of spending by those workers and companies in the future (beyond 2034).

Part of that future spending from Games activity will be taxes paid to state, local and Federal governments. New state revenues are estimated at $167.2 million over the life of the project, against $146.2 million in costs for a net of $21.0 million. At the local level, $138.1 million in revenue is projected, against $108.8 million in expenses, for a $29.3 million net.

Capital spending on venues is low, due to the use of existing facilities and estimated at only $31.179 million for the organizing committee.

The report also noted comparisons to the 2002 Winter Games, which was actually a larger economic enterprise (amounts upgraded to 2023 dollar values):

● +$4.3 billion in gross direct spending
● –$1.2 billion in out-of-state spending and displacement
● +$3.1 billion in net in-state spending due to the Games
● +$7.5 billion in total economic impact

A study of the impact of the 2002 Winter Games in the period from 2003-17 vs. 1987-2001 showed that, post-Games, skier days rose 45%, National Park visits rose 34% and Salt Lake City International Airport traffic rose 30%. Visitor spending in the area rose by 66%, thanks in part to the higher profile enjoyed due to the Games.

The 2002 Games generated a cash surplus – in 2002 dollars – of $163 million and created an endowment of $76 million for the upkeep of the venues and promotion of sport in the state by the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation. And that’s how Salt Lake City maintained its sites, to be ready for a new Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2034.

5.
England, Colombia advance to Euro, Copa America finals

Two wild games concluded the semifinals at the UEFA Euro 2024 in Germany and Copa America championship in the U.S., with England scoring late to advance and Colombia scoring early and then hanging on while playing with 10 men for the entire second half.

The England-Netherlands match-up in Dortmund got crazy early, with midfielder Xavi Simons taking possession and scoring in the seventh minute on a right-footed, sliding rocket from the top of the box that rose on a line and into the England goal for a 1-0 lead.

England got on the attack, and an attempt to block a Harry Kane shot in front of the Dutch goal resulted in a bad foul on Kane’s exposed foot by defender Denzel Dumfries that resulted – after a video review – in a penalty for England. Kane converted with a hard, right-footed shot that quickly found the corner of the Dutch net for a 1-1 tie in the 18th.

There were more chances, with Dumfries saving a goal on a shot by English forward Phil Foden that got by the keeper, but was stopped on the goal line in the 23rd! Then Dumfries got a great header off a corner in the 30th, but it hit the far left post!

And Foden sent a screamer from right to left in the 32nd that clanged off the left post from the right side of the field. England enjoyed 63% of possession in the half and had seven shot attempts to three, but only one goal apiece.

The second half had more probing attacks, but few chances. In the 65th, Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk’s shot from the middle of the box was saved by English keeper Jordan Pickford after a perfect cross from the far post by substitute striker Joey Veerman. Then midfielder Bukayo Saka scored for England in the 79th on a final of a pass from the endline by defender Kyle Walker, but Walker was called offsides.

Then a strike from nowhere, as English sub striker Ollie Watkins, took a pass at the right side of the box, then whipped around Dutch defender Stefan de Vrij and sent a right-footed shot on a line to the far side of the Dutch goal, past the out-stretched hand of keeper Bart Verbruggen for the 2-1 lead at 90+1. Dreamland!

And that’s how it ended, with England on to face Spain on Sunday, having had 59% of possession and a 9-7 edge on shots. It will be the second straight final for the English, which lost to Italy, 3-2, in extra time in 2021; England has never win the European title.

The drama hardly ended, with more in store at the Colombia-Uruguay Copa America semifinal in Charlotte, with Colombia taking the lead in the 39th minute on a header by midfielder Jefferson Lerma at the left side of the Uruguayan goal, served up on a James Rodriguez cross for Rodriguez’s sixth assist of the tournament.

But calamity – or so it seemed – befell Colombia at 45+1, as defender Daniel Munoz got a second yellow card in about 15 minutes, this time for an elbow aimed at midfielder Manuel Ugarte.

So, Colombia had to protect a 1-0 lead with 10 men for the entire second half. Somehow, they did.

Uruguay pressed and pressed, but the Colombians not only repelled most of the attacks, they set themselves up for additional chances for scores, only to miss open nets or see saves by Uruguay’s Sergio Rochet, with one save ending with the ball clanging off the underside of the crossbar.

Uruguayan super sub striker Luis Suarez hit the post in the 71st with a try for a tie and a flurry of shots in the 88th either went wide, or were saved by Colombia’s Camilo Vargas.

Uruguay finished with 62% of possession, but the tenacious, high line from Colombia created opportunities as well and both sides had 11 shots. There were 24 fouls in the game, 13 by Colombia as they held on to the lead.

This will be Colombia’s third final, with a win in 2001 over Mexico, and a loss to Peru in the 1975 home-and-away series decider. Uruguay will play Canada in the third-place match on Saturday.

The UEFA Euro 2024 final will be Sunday at 3 p.m. Eastern from the Olympiastadion in Berlin, with the Copa America final in Miami Gardens, Florida at 8 p.m. Eastern.

The U.S. Soccer Federation announced Wednesday afternoon that Coach Gregg Berhalter has been excused immediately and that the federation will conduct a search.

Berhalter’s teams were 44-17-13 record in 74 matches, and oversaw the return of the American men’s team to the FIFA World Cup in 2022. However, the team did not reach a competitive level against the top teams in the world and failed to advance out of the group stage at the 2024 Copa America, being played in the U.S.

USSF Sporting Director Matt Crocker (WAL) said in a statement:

“Our immediate focus is on finding a coach who can maximize our potential as we continue to prepare for the 2026 World Cup, and we have already begun our search process.”

≡ PANORAMA ≡

● Olympic Games 2024: Paris ● With the French legislative elections over, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo told France Inter radio that she will fulfill her promise to swim in the Seine River, promoting the enormous purification project undertaken during her term.

“Yes, of course,” she said. “I’ll go swimming next week.”

French President Emmanuel Macron also promised to swim in the river prior to the Games, but has been busy with the elections, in which his party was voted out of power, although his term will continue to 2027.

IOC Athletes Commission member Allyson Felix (USA) confirmed a new program at the Paris Olympic Village, an “Olympic Nursery,” designed to support athletes competing at the Games, who have small children.

The venture, which had been previously announced by the IOC and Paris 2024, is being sponsored by Pampers, a Proctor & Gamble brand; P&G is an Olympic TOP sponsor. Felix told CBS News:

“I just knew how difficult it was to compete at the top level after I had my daughter, and some practical things were really hard.

“And so when I joined the Athletes Commission of the IOC, I really wanted to be that voice for athlete moms, and just take away one less thing for them to worry about in the pressure of competition.”

● Athletics ● World Athletics noted that the “SPRINT” documentary series was the sixth-most-watched program on NETFLIX during its first week of release from 2-8 July.

Some 2.4 million views were made, with 10.0 million hours viewed. The series follows the sport’s star sprinters during 2023 on the Diamond League circuit and at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest (HUN).

Two more notable sanctions for doping from the Athletics Integrity Unit, with Kenyan star Lawrence Cherono – the 2019 Boston and Chicago Marathons winner with a 2:03:04 best from 2020 – banned for seven years for three doping violations, “including Tampering for attempting to mislead the investigation.”

Cherono, now 35, has not competed since 2022. The details:

● “Cherono was provisionally suspended on 16 July 2022 – the date from which his ban will begin – after testing positive for Trimetazidine in an out-of-competition test on 23 May 2022.”

● “In attempting to explain the positive test, Cherono initially said he had been given the antibiotic Erythromycin and was also injected with an unknown substance by a doctor to treat stomach problems, but then also attempted to implicate his training colleagues for the failed test, claiming they were ‘jealous of his success.’”

● “However, in a subsequent written statement, Cherono said he had been inadvertently given Trimetazidine in the form of Carvidon tablets by his wife – instead of the painkillers he had requested – to treat muscle pain following training on 22 May 2022.”

These statements proved to be false, so in addition to four years for the trimetazidine positive, four years was added for the false statements, reduced by one year for his agreement to admit his violations, for a seven-year total from 16 July 2022.

French marathoner Mehdi Frere (2:05:43 in 2023) was banned for two years for “whereabouts failures,” with the suspension dated from 22 February 2024.

● Cycling ● A wild scene in stage 11 of the 111th Tour de France on Wednesday, with race leader and two-time winner Tadej Pogacar trying to race away from two-time defending champ Jonas Vingegaard, but instead Vingegaard won in a final sprint.

The 211 km route to La Lioran included four nasty climbs in the final third of the race and Pogacar raced down from the top of the Puy Mary Pas de Peyrol with 30 km left, with a pack of seven chasing. Pogacar maintained a 30-second lead going into the penultimate climb, but was finally caught by Vingegaard near the summit and the two races to the finish line, with Vingegaard declared the winner.

Both crossed in 4:58:00, with Remco Evenepoel (BEL), still second overall, in 4:58:25 with Slovenian star Primoz Roglic. Overall, the race changed a little, with Evenepoel falling from 33 seconds down to +1:06, and Vingegaard moving from 1:15 down to 1:14 down; Roglic went from 1:36 behind to 2:05 behind.

Thursday’s stage 12 is mostly downhill along a 203.6 km route to Villeneuve-sur-Lot and should be for the sprinters.

The 35th Giro d’Italia Women is halfway through, with home favorite Elisa Longo Borghini continuing to lead, as she has done from the start. She won the first stage on Sunday in a sprint over Grace Brown (AUS), then has stayed near the front with finishes of ninth, fourth and eighth.

Fellow Italian Chiara Consonni won stage 2 at the head of a big sprint, then Niamh Fisher-Black (NZL) took the uphill-finishing third stage by six seconds over three pursuers, including Longo Borghini. On Wednesday, Canada’s Clara Emond blew up the 134 km stage to Urbino with a 40 km solo for a 17-second win in 3:35:45. But Longo Borghini stayed with the other overall contenders and maintained her 13-second edge on Lotte Kopecky (BEL) and 38 seconds on Cecile Uttrup Ludwig.

The race finishes on Sunday in L’Aquila.

● Fencing ● The USA Fencing Board is out to remove bad behavior from the sport in the U.S. and this means spectators, too. At its latest Board meeting, a “Spectator Code of Conduct” was updated, which instructs spectators to, among other things:

● “Act appropriately and remain orderly so I do not disturb the smooth running of the competition. I will remember to enjoy the competition – regardless of the outcome – and will not taunt or disturb other spectators.”

● “Support the officials, event organizers, and coaches by trusting their judgment and integrity. I understand that continually vocalizing criticism so that it detrimentally affects the good order of the competition is a violation of fencing rules.”

● “Never physically contact a referee or tournament organizer in any way that can be interpreted as unwelcome or in an aggressive or confrontational manner.”

And the prohibitions extend onto social media as well:

“Do not engage, nor encourage others to engage in malicious or threatening language aimed at any member or USA Fencing staff member verbally or in writing whether hard copy or electronic communication, including e-mail or on any social media sites. I will not tag other members in social media posts with the intent to harass.”

Violations could result in removal from the venue or other action.

● Gymnastics ● USA Gymnastics and GK Elite unveiled the leotards and uniforms to be worn by the U.S. team in Paris, and which are available for sale now. The women’s uniforms received special extras:

“The women’s leotards are each adorned with thousands of luminous Swarovski crystals, providing world-class sparkle to every athlete’s look that will ensure U.S. gymnasts stand out on the competition mat. The eight leotards feature more than 47,000 Swarovski crystals, some attached by hand at GK’s Pennsylvania-based production facility. Along with crystals, pearls will be featured on USA Gymnastics leotards for the first time as a tribute to the host city of Paris.”

● Water Polo ● Tokyo Olympic women’s bronze medalists Hungary got the jump on the three-time defending Olympic women’s champions from the U.S. and won Tuesday’s friendly match in Berkeley, California by 10-8.

The visitors got off to a 3-0 lead at the quarter and 5-2 at the half and the U.S. could not catch up. Rachel Fattal, Maddie Musselman and Jewel Roemer all scored twice and Ashleigh Johnson had 10 saves, but four goals from Kamilla Farago proved to be too much.

It was the first loss of the year for the U.S. women (17-1), who defeated Hungary, 8-7, in the final at the 2024 World Aquatics Championships in Doha (QAT) in February, and won a friendly on 5 July by 12-8. Next up: the Olympic opener in Paris vs. Greece on 27 July.

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