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WATCH LIVE: U.S. women look to continue 4×400 dominance

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The U.S. women have dominated the 4×400 meter relay, as they’ve won each of the last five Olympic gold medals. The last time they didn’t win: 1992, when the Unified Team took gold with the Americans finishing second. Courtney Okolo, Taylor Ellis-Watson, Francena McCrory and Phyllis Francis ran their qualifying heat in 3:21.42, the best time of any quartet. And given the recent history in the event, the U.S. will be expected to once again take gold regardless of who runs in the final.

For the final, the order for the U.S. will be Okolo, Natasha Hastings, Francis and Allyson Felix.

As for the men’s 4×400, while the U.S. has won four of the last six Olympic gold medals it was the Bahamas who came out on top in London in 2012. Only Jamaica posted a better qualifying time than the American team, and those two nations are viewed as the favorites going into the final. The lineup for the U.S. in the final will be Arman Hall, Tony McQuay, Gil Roberts and LaShawn Merritt.

WATCH LIVE: Track and field finals (Women’s high jump, men’s javelin, men’s 1500, women’s 800, men’s 5000, women’s 4×400, men’s 4×400) — 7:10 p.m. Eastern

In the women’s high jump final, Americans Vashti Cunningham, Chaunte Lowe and Inika McPherson are all looking to get onto the medal stand. Cunningham is the daughter of former NFL quarterback Randall Cunningham, and at just 18 years old a big night in Rio could be a harbinger of things to come in the sport. In the men’s javelin the U.S. streak of not having a medalist in the event since 1972 will continue as no American qualified for the final, but reigning gold medalist Julius Yego of Kenya advanced to the final so there’s the chance of a repeat.

In the men’s 5000 Great Britain’s Mo Farah is looking to win a second gold medal in Rio as he took the 10,000, and a win would mean a second consecutive Olympic 5000/10,000 double for Farah. Americans Paul Chelimo, Bernard Lagat and Hassan Mead are among those looking to keep Farah from winning yet another Olympic gold medal. In the men’s 1500 Ben Blankenship and Matthew Centrowitz are part of the field, but so is reigning Olympic champion Taoufik Makhloufi of Algeria.

The women’s 800 final is also on the schedule, with Kate Grace being the lone American in the field. South Africa’s Caster Semenya, who took silver in the 800 in London, will run in the final as will Kenya’s Margaret Wambui.

Eliud Kipchoge sets next marathon

Eliud Kipchoge
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Eliud Kipchoge will race the London Marathon on April 26 before he is expected to defend his Olympic title in Japan on Aug. 9, which would mark the shortest break between marathons of his career.

Kipchoge, who in his last 26.2-mile effort became the first person to break two hours at the distance, won all four of his London Marathon starts, including breaking the course record in 2016 and 2019.

His time this past April 28 — 2:02:37 — is the third-fastest time in history. Kipchoge has the world record of 2:01:39 set at the 2018 Berlin Marathon. His sub-two-hour marathon in Vienna on Oct. 12 was not in a record-eligible race.

Kipchoge’s previous shortest break between marathons came in 2016, when he also ran London and the Olympics. The Olympics will be two weeks earlier in 2020 than in 2016.

Kipchoge, 35, has won 11 of 12 marathons since moving to road racing after failing to make Kenya’s 2012 Olympic track team.

He has yet to race the two most prestigious marathons in the U.S. — Boston and New York City — but has said they are on his bucket list.

MORE: Eliud Kipchoge opines on shoe technology debate

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Canadians become first female doubles luge team in World Cup

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WHISTLER, British Columbia (AP) — Caitlin Nash and Natalie Corless made luge history Saturday, becoming the first female team to compete in a World Cup doubles race.

The 16-year-olds from Whistler combined to finish 22nd in a field of 23 sleds, though that seemed largely irrelevant. There have been four-woman teams in what is typically called four-man bobsledding, but luge has never seen a pairing like this until now.

The German sled of Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken won the race in 1 minute, 16.644 seconds. Germany’s Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt finished second and the Russian team of Vsevolod Kashkin and Konstantin Korshunov placed third for their first medal of the season.

The U.S. team of Chris Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman placed 11th.

But the story was the Canadian teens, who qualified for the World Cup event on Thursday. They were nearly a half-second behind any other finisher and almost 2.7 seconds back of Eggert and Benecken. But they’ll forever be able to say that they were winning the race at one point — a technicality because they were the first ones down the hill at the Whistler Sliding Center, but accurate nonetheless.

The only sled they beat was the Italian team of Ivan Nagler and Fabian Malleier, who crashed in the second heat.

There are women’s singles and men’s singles races on the World Cup luge circuit, but there is no rule saying doubles teams must be composed of two men. There have been more female doubles racers at the junior level in recent years, and it was generally considered to be just a matter of time before it happened at the World Cup level.

That time became Saturday.

Canada had the chance to qualify a second sled into the doubles field because some teams typically on the circuit chose to skip this weekend’s stop, and Nash and Corless got into by successfully finishing a Nations Cup qualifying race on Thursday.

They were 11th in that race out of 11 sleds, more than a full second behind the winner and nearly a half-second behind the closest finisher. But all they had to do was cross the line without crashing to get into Saturday’s competition, and earned their spot in the luge history books as a result.

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MORE: Top U.S. bobsled driver pregnant, to miss season