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Yevgenia Medvedeva out of Grand Prix Final

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Olympic figure skating favorite Yevgenia Medvedeva will miss next week’s Grand Prix Final with a leg injury, according to the Russian Figure Skating Federation.

Medvedeva, undefeated for two years, will be replaced in the six-skater field by Japanese Satoko Miyahara, the first alternate.

Medvedeva revealed last week that her right leg was in a cast after an MRI showed bone cracks in her right foot.

Medvedeva said then that she planned to compete in the Grand Prix Final unless a doctor ruled her out.

One of Medvedeva’s choreographers said Friday that the skater would have competed if the Olympics were happening now, but she deserves a spot on the three-woman Russian Olympic team for February even if her injury keeps her out of the Russian Championships later this month, according to Russian news agency TASS.

Medvedeva, 18, is on the best run in women’s skating since Katarina Witt dominated in the 1980s.

She won her two Grand Prix events this season despite rare falls in both free skates.

Medvedeva said she first felt right leg pain before her opening Grand Prix in Moscow in October, undergoing an MRI that determined a cracked bone.

She skated anyway and won by a comfortable 15 points.

She still felt pain before her second Grand Prix in Japan three weeks ago. After winning by 12 points, she underwent another MRI in Japan and flew home to Moscow and was put in a cast.

The Grand Prix Final is the biggest event between now and the Olympics and the second biggest annual event after the world championships. It’s the most exclusive competition, taking the top six per discipline from the fall Grand Prix series.

With Medvedeva out, the favorites are world junior champion Alina Zagitova of Russia, world silver medalist Kaetlyn Osmond of Canada and Olympic bronze medalist Carolina Kostner of Italy.

They’re joined in the field by Russian Maria Sotskova and Wakaba Higuchi and Miyahara of Japan.

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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