Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Tori Bowie

Five events to watch at Zurich Diamond League

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The Diamond League season continues in Zurich on Thursday, four nights removed from the conclusion of the World Championships in Beijing.

Many World champions are in action at the first of two finals meets, where Diamond League titles will be determined. More on those season-long title races here. The full Zurich schedule and entry lists are here.

Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin won’t race in Zurich but could line up in Brussels on Sept. 11, although in separate events. Allyson Felix is also scheduled for Brussels and not Zurich.

Here are five events to watch in Zurich on Thursday (all times Eastern):

Men’s long jump — 2:20 p.m.

Christian Taylor, fresh off winning the World triple jump title with the second-farthest mark in history, will try to test Olympic and World champion Greg Rutherford in the long jump.

Rutherford, who won the World title with an 8.41-meter leap, is unlikely to worry about Taylor, whose personal best in the shorter jump is 8.19 meters. Instead, Americans Jeff Henderson, Marquis Dendy and Mike Hartfield will look to bounce back from finishing outside the top eight in Beijing.

Women’s 100m — 2:29 p.m.

Olympic and World champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has won the 100m at her last five competitions, and the streak should continue here. She won’t have to face World 100m silver medalist and 200m gold medalist Dafne Schippers in Zurich.

If anyone is to challenge the Jamaican, it’s Tori Bowie, who took 100m bronze in her Worlds debut last week, one tenth behind Fraser-Pryce. The Zurich field also includes veteran Veronica Campbell-Brown, who was third in the 200m and fourth in the 100m in Beijing.

Men’s 400m — 2:46 p.m.

The top six finishers from the World Championships are in this race, including South African gold medalist Wayde van Niekerk, who will look to follow up his 43.48-second performance in Beijing that made him the fourth fastest man of all time in the one-lap race.

The previous two World champions, American LaShawn Merritt and Grenada’s Kirani James, were .17 and .30 behind the South African in Beijing. They should be the top competition in Zurich.

Women’s 3000m — 3:19 p.m.

The field is a gathering of middle-to-long distance running elite. From the 1500m ranks, Ethiopian World champion and world-record holder Genzebe Dibaba, the 2011 World champion Jenny Simpson and the American record holder Shannon Rowbury.

From the 3000m steeplechase is American Emma Coburn, who was fifth at Worlds. Then there’s the World champions at the 5000m and 10,000m — Ethiopian Almaz Ayana and Kenyan Vivian Cheruiyot.

Men’s 1500m — 3:43 p.m.

The field includes all three Worlds medalists, plus U.S. Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano and Kenyans Silas Kiplagat, the fastest man in the world in 2014, and Caleb Ndiku, the World 5000m silver medalist.

With Kiplagat and Ndiku plus World gold and silver medalists Asbel Kiprop and Elijah Manangoi, a Kenyan sweep of places one through four is not out of the question.

World Championships Top Tens: Quotes | Performances | Storylines

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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MORE: U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials results