Basketball World Cup switches up schedule

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Soccer may still be the world’s No. 1 sport, but basketball has been making headway for years.

Now, in order to enjoy some exclusivity on the world stage, FIBA has decided to switch up the schedule for its newly dubbed World Cup of Basketball so that it doesn’t have to compete for airtime with the famous soccer competition of a similar name.

The event will be held every four years starting in 2019 and will offer an automatic spot into the Olympics for the tournament winner.

“The new competition format will give more prominence to the FIBA Basketball World Cup,” officials explained in a release. “The modification of the current system is essential to further stimulate the global growth of basketball, increase its visibility around the world and further develop FIBA’s National Federations.”

FIBA will hold continental championships every four years, instead of every two, starting in 2017, and will also add the “Road to the FIBA Basketball World Cup,” which will be a home-and-home qualification among three and four-team divisions vying for spots in the big tournament.

The governing body some of the modifications to the schedule were done in hopes to alleviate concerns about player injury and fatigue by reducing the summer workload between professional seasons.

Olympic Track and Field Trials leave Eugene

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The U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials are leaving Eugene, Ore., for the Los Angeles area.

Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) in Walnut, Calif., 20 miles east of LA, will host the 10-day event in 2020.

Eugene, which hosted the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Trials, and Sacramento, host in 2000 and 2004, also bid for the USA Track and Field (USATF) event.

“USATF’s board of directors voted to award the Olympic Trials to Mt. SAC based upon its desire to take the sport’s biggest event to the country’s second-largest media market; the historical strength of the sport in the Los Angeles area; Mt. SAC’s record of hosting elite track events that produce top performances; and a $62 million upgrade to Mt. SAC’s Hilmer Lodge Stadium that will enable the venue to expand to a seating capacity of more than 21,000,” USATF said in a press release.

Mt. SAC previously hosted the 1960 Olympic Trials and annually hosts a popular relays meet in April.

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MORE: Van Niekerk breaks another Michael Johnson record

Wayde van Niekerk breaks another Michael Johnson record

Wayde van Niekerk
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Wayde van Niekerk broke another Michael Johnson record, running the fastest-ever 300m in Ostrava, Czech Republic, on Wednesday.

Van Niekerk, who broke Johnson’s 400m world record of 43.18 in Rio with a 43.03, ran 30.81 seconds in Ostrava. Video is here.

Johnson’s previous world best in the rarely contested event was 30.85, clocked at altitude in Pretoria in 2000, his final season.

Van Niekerk previously ran 31.03 over 300m in Kingston, Jamaica, last year. At the time, only Johnson and Usain Bolt (30.97 in 2010, also in Ostrava) had run faster in the non-Olympic event.

Johnson, also the former 200m world-record holder (lowered by Bolt in 2008 and 2009), is left with one world record still standing from the 1993 World Championships 4x400m relay.

Van Niekerk is preparing for the world championships in August in London, where he is expected to contest the 200m and 400m.

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MORE: Van Niekerk gets his wish for world champs