Fifth Avenue Mile headlined by Olympic medalists on NBC Sports

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It’s been six years since Olympic 1500m champion Matthew Centrowitz won the Fifth Avenue Mile. In that stretch, Jenny Simpson has won it five straight times.

Centrowitz and Simpson stand out among 18 total Olympians entered in Sunday’s Fifth Avenue Mile, an annual road mile stretching 20 blocks in New York City adjacent to Central Park. A full elite field is here.

NBC, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app air live coverage at noon ET. NBC Sports Gold airs live, commercial-free coverage.

It’s part of a weekend of track and field action as the outdoor season wraps up (aside from marathons). The IAAF Continental Cup, featuring U.S. 100m champion and Diamond League 200m champion Noah Lyles, airs live on NBC Sports Gold on Saturday (8:20 a.m. ET) and Sunday (8:30).

Centrowitz, who in Rio became the first U.S. Olympic 1500m gold medalist in 108 years, finished sixth, fourth and second in three Fifth Avenue starts since his lone victory in 2012.

Meanwhile, rival Nick Willis of New Zealand took the title three of the last five years. Willis, a double Olympic 1500m medalist, has won the Fifth Avenue Mile four times, tying the men’s record, and goes for No. 5 on Sunday.

Centrowitz and Willis know each other well in New York City, having also been the leading men at the Wanamaker Mile at the annual indoor meet, the Millrose Games, held in February. They’re joined in Sunday’s field by Olympians Lopez Lomong and Boris Berian, among others.

Simpson owns the overall Fifth Avenue record with six titles including the last five in a row. The dominant U.S. female middle-distance runner of the last decade also boasts a world 1500m title and an Olympic bronze medal.

She equaled the event record last year, winning in 4:16.6. Simpson’s competition includes Olympic 3000m steeplechase bronze medalist and world champion Emma Coburn.

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Boglarka Kapas, world champion swimmer, tests positive for coronavirus

Boglarka Kapas
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Boglarka Kapas, the Hungarian swimmer and world 200m butterfly champion, said she tested positive for the coronavirus.

“I don’t have any symptoms yet, and that’s why it’s important for you to know that even if you feel healthy you can spread the virus,” was posted on her social media. “Please be careful, stay at home and stay healthy.”

Nine total members of the Hungarian national team — including swimmers and staff — have tested positive, according to the federation.

Kapas said her first test was negative but a second test showed she had the virus. She was staying in quarantine at home for two weeks.

Kapas, 26, won the 200m fly at last summer’s world championships by passing Americans Hali Flickinger and Katie Drabot in the last 25 meters. She clocked 2:06.78 to prevail by .17 of a second.

Kapas also took bronze in the Rio Olympic 800m freestyle won by Katie Ledecky.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

NHL players: Marie-Philip Poulin is world’s best female hockey player

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The U.S. may have the world’s best women’s hockey team, but NHL players believe Canadian Marie-Philip Poulin is the world’s best player.

Poulin received the most votes out of 496 responses in the 2019-20 NHLPA Player Poll, conducted before the season was suspended. The tally:

Poulin: 39.92%
Hilary Knight (USA): 36.29%
Kendall Coyne Schofield (USA): 15.52%
Emily Pfalzer Matheson (USA): 1.41%
Other: 6.85%

Last year, Knight received the highest percentage of votes from 203 NHL players (27.59), edging Poulin (24.14) with Amanda Kessel third (12.81) and Coyne Schofield and Pfalzer Matheson each receiving 5.91 percent.

Why were Poulin and Knight swapped this year? Perhaps Poulin’s Canadian team winning the debut of the NHL All-Star Skills Competition women’s 3-on-3 game on Jan. 24, even though Knight scored and Poulin did not.

Poulin, now 29, scored both goals in the 2010 Olympic final and the game-tying and -winning goals in the 2014 Olympic final. Even before her Olympic debut at age 18, the daughter of Quebec hospital workers was dubbed “the female Sidney Crosby.”

Knight, 30, led last April’s world championship tournament with seven goals as the U.S. won a fifth straight title. Poulin played 4 minutes, 44 seconds, total at the tournament, missing time with a knee injury.

This spring’s tournament, which was to start Tuesday, was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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