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WATCH LIVE: Men’s 50 free, women’s 200 back among Thursday’s qualifying heats

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Preliminary heats in four swimming competitions will be held Thursday afternoon, beginning with the ultimate sprint that is the 50 meter free. The men hit the pool in this event Thursday, with Americans Nathan Adrian and Anthony Ervin among those looking to qualify for the semifinal round. Also in the competition is France’s Florent Manaudou, the reigning Olympic champion in the 50 meter free.

The 11 men’s 50 free heats will be followed by four heats in the women’s 800 free, an event won by American Katie Ledecky in London four years ago. Ledecky’s back to defend her gold medal, with silver medalist Mireia Belmonte Garcia also swimming in the qualifying heats. Leah Smith, who swam on the United States’ 4×200 free relay gold medal team with Ledecky, is also competing in the 800 free and Great Britain’s Jazz Carlin is also expected to contend for a medal.

WATCH LIVE: Men’s 50 free, women’s 800 free, men’s 100 butterfly, women’s 200 back preliminary heats — 12 p.m. Eastern

Michael Phelps will be swimming in the 100 butterfly, an event he’s won in each of the last three Olympic Games. South Africa’s Chad le Clos will also be swimming in the 100 butterfly, and it will be interesting to see what his mindset is after drifting out of medal contention in the 200 butterfly after spending so much time focusing on Phelps. The final qualifying heats will be in the women’s 200 back, with Americans Missy Franklin and Maya DiRado among the medal contenders in the field.

Franklin won gold in this event four years ago, and Australians Emily Seebohm and Belinda Hocking and Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu are among the other competitors expected to contend.

Chicago Marathon canceled; one major marathon left in 2020

Chicago Marathon
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The Chicago Marathon, scheduled for Oct. 11, was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, becoming the fourth World Marathon Major called off this year.

Organizers cited the challenge of staging the 45,000-runner event “out of concern for the safety of event participants, volunteers, event staff and spectators.”

Previously, major marathons were canceled in Berlin (originally scheduled for Sept. 27), Boston (April 20, then Sept. 14) and New York City (Nov. 1). The London Marathon, originally scheduled for April 26 and postponed to Oct. 4, remains scheduled.

The other World Marathon Major, Tokyo, took place on its scheduled date of March 1 but with elite runners only.

Last year, Kenyan Brigid Kosgei won Chicago by taking 81 seconds off Paula Radcliffe‘s 16-year-old women’s marathon world record. Kosgei clocked 2:14:04.

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MORE: U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials results

Figure skating Grand Prix events in China remain scheduled

Grand Prix Final
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Figure skating Grand Prix events in China in November and December remain scheduled, the International Skating Union announced Monday, four days after reports about international sporting events in China being canceled through the end of 2020.

A notice about sports events, issued Thursday by the General Administration of Sport of China, made an exception for Beijing Winter Olympic test events and other preparations for the first Winter Games in China in February 2022.

The Grand Prix Final, the second-most prestigious annual figure skating competition, is still scheduled for December in Beijing because it is an Olympic test event.

Furthermore, the Cup of China, one of six events across the globe that determines Grand Prix Final qualifiers, remains scheduled for November in Chongqing because it is related to the Final.

“Like for all other five ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating events in the different countries, this is of course subject to finding the necessary logistical, medical and safety solutions to hold the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating events as planned,” according to the ISU.

The ISU previously announced it set a deadline to decide on possible event cancellations: 12 weeks before an event starts. For the first Grand Prix Series competition, Skate America in Las Vegas, the decision deadline is Aug. 1.

The ISU council will meet virtually on Aug. 3 to decide on further action for upcoming competitions.

MORE: Tai Babilonia, a Winter Olympic original, credits skating trailblazer

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