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Usain Bolt begins quest for 3rd Olympic gold at Jamaican Trials

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Usain Bolt spent a few minutes on the grassy infield of National Stadium after his race Thursday night, putting himself through some very slow cool-down jogs.

It was an easy end to an easy night.

Officially beginning his quest for a third consecutive Olympic gold medal in the 100-meter dash, Bolt cruised his way through the quarterfinals at the Jamaica National Senior Championships – which serve as his country’s trials to decide who goes to the Rio Games in August.

No one has ever won three golds in the 100, which is what both Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce could do in Rio. They’ll be among the favorites to qualify for the team on Friday night, when the 100 semifinals and finals are held about two hours apart for both the men and women. The 200-meter qualifiers are Saturday and the semis and finals in that event come when the meet ends Sunday.

Bolt completed his quarterfinal in a jog-for-him time of 10.15 seconds. Fraser-Pryce won her quarterfinal in 11.38 seconds.

“It was about advancement,” Jamaican sprint star Veronica Campbell-Brown said.

True. Thursday was little more than an obligatory dress rehearsal for Bolt and the other top Jamaicans. He changed clothes trackside after his race, left his flimsy white plastic chair without a word and headed to the infield for a brief workout that was capped by some photos with fans – even some policemen. As he walked back across the track and into the night, a song blared throughout the stadium’s speaker system.

“Mi nah falla nobody,” was the lyric.

Even when translating the lyrics from Patois to English, the message was clear.

No, Bolt doesn’t follow anybody, and doesn’t plan to anytime soon, either. He wasn’t the fastest on Thursday night – that distinction went to Nickel Ashmeade, who won his heat in 10.07 seconds, though certainly no one would label him as the favorite for Friday.

The closest thing Bolt had to trouble on Thursday was a false start in his heat, though it didn’t seem to affect him whatsoever. Jamaica’s biggest track names – Bolt, Fraser-Pryce, Campbell-Brown, Yohan Blake and Asafa Powell – all advanced out of the quarters with ease.

An NCAA champion earned his trip to Rio, when Arkansas’ Clive Pullen – a Kingston native who was the Division I indoor champion this past winter – won the triple jump and did so while hitting the Olympic qualifying standard. He’s the first Jamaican to earn a triple-jump Olympic spot in 44 years.

“To do it on home soil is a blessing,” Pullen said.

Pullen was already daydreaming about walking into the opening ceremony in Rio in the same group as Bolt.

“Cannot wait,” Pullen said.

NBA participation in Tokyo Olympics could be limited, Adam Silver says

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NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the Tokyo Olympics’ effect on the league’s schedule planning for 2021 is unclear, but that it’s possible that Olympic participation may be limited.

“There are a lot of great U.S. players, and we may be up against a scenario where the top 15 NBA players aren’t competing in the Olympics, but other great American players are competing,” Silver told Bob Costas on CNN on Tuesday. “Obviously, there are many NBA players who participate in the Olympics from other countries. That’s something we’re going to have to work through. I just say, lastly, these are highly unique and unusual circumstances. I think, just as it is for the Olympic movement, it is for us as well. We’re just going to have to sort of find a way to meld and mesh those two competing considerations.”

Silver said his best guess is that the next NBA season starts in January with a goal of a standard 82-game schedule and playoffs. A schedule has not been released.

In normal NBA seasons that start in late October, the regular season runs to mid-April and the NBA Finals into mid-June.

The Tokyo Olympic Opening Ceremony is July 23. If an NBA season is pushed back two or three months to a January start, and the schedule is not condensed, the Olympics would start while the NBA playoffs are happening.

The current NBA season is in the conference finals phase in an Orlando-area bubble after a four-month stoppage due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is a factor in our planning,” Silver said of the Olympics. “It would be tough for us to make a decision in January based on the Olympics happening on schedule when that’s so unclear.”

The NBA has participated in every Olympics since the 1992 Barcelona Games. Monday was the 29th anniversary of the announcement of the first 10 members of the original Dream Team on an NBC selection show (hosted by Costas).

Before the NBA era, U.S. Olympic men’s basketball teams consisted of college players.

MORE: When Michael Jordan lost in wheelchair basketball to Paralympian

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2020 French Open TV, live stream schedule

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Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams can each tie Grand Slam singles titles records at the French Open, with daily live coverage among NBC Sports, Peacock and Tennis Channel.

NBC coverage starts Sunday with first-round action at Roland Garros, its 38th straight year covering the event. Tennis Channel airs the majority of weekday coverage. Peacock, NBC Universal’s new streaming service, has middle weekend broadcasts.

All NBC TV coverage alo streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app.

Nadal is the primary men’s storyline, favored to tie Roger Federer‘s male record of 20 major titles and extend his own record of 12 French Open crowns. Federer is absent after knee operations earlier this year.

The Spaniard’s primary competition is top-ranked Novak Djokovic, the 2016 French Open champion whose only defeat in 2020 was a U.S. Open default for hitting a ball that struck a linesperson in the throat.

Williams bids again to match the overall Grand Slam singles mark of 24 held by Australian Margaret Court. Williams, a three-time French Open champion, lost in the third and fourth round the last two years and is coming off a U.S. Open semifinal exit.

The women’s field is led by 2018 champion Simona Halep but lacks defending champion Ash Barty of Australia, not traveling due to the coronavirus pandemic. Also out: U.S. Open winner Naomi Osaka, citing a sore hamstring and tight turnaround from prevailing in New York two weeks ago.

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MORE: How Jay-Z, Beyonce helped Naomi Osaka come out of her shell

French Open TV Schedule

Date Time (ET) Network Round
Sunday, Sept. 27 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
12-3 p.m. NBC
Monday, Sept. 28 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
Tuesday, Sept. 29 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
Wednesday, Sept. 30 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Second Round
Thursday, Oct. 1 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Second Round
Friday, Oct. 2 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Third Round
Saturday, Oct. 3 5 a.m.-12 p.m. Tennis Channel Third Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Sunday, Oct. 4 5 a.m.-12 p.m. Tennis Channel Fourth Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Monday, Oct. 5 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Fourth Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Tuesday, Oct. 6 6 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tennis Channel Quarterfinals
Wednesday, Oct. 7 6 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tennis Channel Quarterfinals
Thursday, Oct. 8 5 a.m.-2 p.m. Tennis Channel Women’s Semis
11 a.m. NBC, NBCSN
Friday, Oct. 9 5 a.m.-4 p.m. Tennis Channel Men’s Semis
11 a.m. NBC, NBCSN
Saturday, Oct. 10 9 a.m. NBC Women’s Final
Sunday, Oct. 11 9 a.m. NBC Men’s Final