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WATCH LIVE: United States/France highlights Saturday’s women’s soccer schedule

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Saturday marks the second day of competition in women’s soccer, and the showcase match includes the United States.

The reigning gold medalists (and World Cup champions) play their second group stage match Saturday afternoon, as they take on France in a Group G showdown in Belo Horizonte. The match kicks off at 4:00 p.m. Eastern, and it will be streamed on NBCOlympics.com and on the NBC Sports app. This will be the second consecutive Olympics in which the two teams have met in the group stage, with the United States winning 4-2 in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. France grabbed a 2-0 lead in that match inside of 14 minutes before the Americans replied with four unanswered goals to grab the win.

WATCH: United States vs. France on NBCOlympics.com

While both teams had little trouble winning their opening matches Wednesday, France tallied four goals in their 4-0 thrashing of Colombia that was even more lopsided than the final margin would indicate. Mads Toppel’s own goal inside of two minutes got France going, and they were unrelenting in their pressing of a Colombian side that was ill-equipped to deal with them. The United States beat New Zealand 2-0, and while their final scoreline wasn’t as impressive as the one posted by France Jill Ellis’ team was in control for much of their match.

Alex Morgan, who scored twice in the win over France in the 2012 Summer Olympics, scored in the 46th minute with captain Carli Lloyd’s header in the ninth minute opening the American account Wednesday night. With both teams opening in Belo Horizonte travel won’t be an issue for either, as the teams did not make the trek to Rio for Friday’s Opening Ceremony.

That’s the second of six matches to be played in women’s soccer Saturday, with Canada taking on Zimbabwe in a Group F match in Sao Paulo. Canada beat Australia 2-0 in their opener, and they’ll be expected to grab all three points against a Zimbabwe side that fell 6-1 to Germany in their Olympic debut. With their loss to Canada, Australia enters Saturday’s matchup with Germany in Sao Paulo in need of a result as they look to advance into the knockout stage.

Playing in Rio Saturday will be hosts Brazil, who face Sweden in the second game of a doubleheader at the Olympic Stadium. Both teams are coming off of wins in their opening matches, with Brazil taking care of China and the Swedes beating South Africa. China and South Africa will meet in the first match at the Olympic Stadium.

All six matches will be available at NBCOlympics.com and on the NBC Sports app.

Saturday’s Olympic Women’s Soccer Schedule (all times Eastern):

2:00 p.m.: Canada vs. Zimbabwe – WATCH LIVE
4:00 p.m.: United States vs. France – WATCH HERE
5:00 p.m.: Germany vs. Australia – WATCH HERE
6:00 p.m.: South Africa vs. China – WATCH HERE
7:00 p.m.: Colombia vs. New Zealand – WATCH HERE
9:00 p.m.: Brazil vs. Sweden – WATCH HERE

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