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WATCH LIVE: NYRR Millrose Games — Will Kejelcha break the mile record?

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Last  year’s Millrose Games saw Courtney Okolo and Ajee’ Wilson smash records. Can Yomif Kejelcha do the same on Saturday afternoon at the 112th NYRR Millrose Games during the Wanamaker Mile?

Kejelcha, a 21-year-old Ethiopian who is a two-time World Indoor Champ, excels at 3,000 and 5,000 meters. But he ran 3:51.70 at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix two weeks ago. Three seconds faster and he’ll break a 22-year-old world record in the indoor mile.

Watch the coverage on NBC Sports Gold by clicking here. Watch the NBC coverage by clicking here.

But he’s far from the only highlight today.

Full press release of the event is below.

STAMFORD, Conn. – February 7, 2019 –  Live coverage of the 2019 USATF Indoor Championship Series continues with the historic 112th Millrose Games this Saturday, Feb. 9, starting at 4 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold’s “Track and Field Pass” and at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBC from The Armory’s New Balance Track & Field Center in Washington Heights, New York.

The 112th Millrose Games is the third event in the 2019 USATF Indoor Championship Series and is the world’s longest-running indoor track and field competition. The event is highlighted by the running of the “Wanamaker Mile,” named after Rodman Wanamaker, the department store owner who created the Millrose Games in 1914.

Leigh Diffey will call the Millrose Games on NBC, joined by four-time Olympic medalist and analyst Ato Boldon, Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards-Ross, distance analyst Craig Masback, field events play-by-play reporter Paul Swangard, and track and field reporter Lewis Johnson.  

2016 Olympic 800m bronze medalist Clayton Murphy and last year’s fastest mile-runner, Edward Cheserek, will headline the Wanamaker Mile for the men. Ethiopia’s two-time indoor world champion Yomif Kejelcha will also compete, with his sights on breaking the 22-year-old world record in the indoor mile (3:48.45).

U.S. Olympian and reigning Wanamaker Mile champion, Colleen Quigley, will compete alongside her training partner and last year’s runner-up Kate Grace in the women’s race.

In addition, Olympic gold medalist English Gardner will headline the 60m, and Olympic medalist Emma Coburn will compete in the women’s 3000m.

Highlighting the competition in the field events are American shot putters Ryan Crouser and Joe Kovacs, who won gold and silver, respectively, at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Coverage of the 2019 USATF Indoor Championship Series continues Saturday, Feb. 23 with the USATF Indoor Championships live at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app, and NBC Sports Gold’s “Track and Field Pass.”

Asbel Kiprop, Olympic 1500m champ, banned four years

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Kenyan Asbel Kiprop, the 2008 Olympic 1500m champion and a three-time world champ, was banned four years after testing positive for EPO in November 2017, according to track and field’s doping watchdog organization.

The ban is backdated to Feb. 3, 2018, when the 29-year-old was provisionally suspended after the failed test.

Kiprop repeatedly denied doping since last May, when he first acknowledged the positive test. Most recently, a 3,000-word defense from his lawyer was posted on Kiprop’s Facebook page.

Kiprop’s defenses included saying he was a victim of extortion and that he was offered “a reward” of becoming an anti-doping ambassador if he admitted guilt. The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), the IAAF’s independent organization to monitor doping and corruption, denied the latter last May.

A disciplinary panel dismissed six defenses from exonerating him, including the possibility his sample was spiked, in handing out the four-year ban.

Kiprop, the pre-eminent 1500m runner of the last decade, can appeal the ban.

At 19, he finished second in the Beijing Olympic 1500m but was upgraded to gold a year later after Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi failed a drug test. He is the youngest Olympic 1500m medalist of all time, according to the OlyMADMen.

Kiprop went on to earn three straight world titles in the 1500m in 2011, 2013 and 2015, matching the feats of retired legends Noureddine Morceli and Hicham El Guerrouj.

He struggled in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, finishing last in the London final with a hamstring injury and sixth in the Rio final won by American rival Matthew Centrowitz.

Kiprop has targeted El Guerrouj’s world record of 3:26:00, missing the mark by .69 of a second in 2015.

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Maggie Nichols is second woman in 20 years to repeat as NCAA all-around champ

Maggie Nichols
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Oklahoma junior and world champion gymnast Maggie Nichols became the first woman to repeat as NCAA all-around champion in 12 years, returning from a heel injury to compete on all four events for the first time since January on Friday.

Nichols, a Rio Olympic hopeful before being beset by a torn meniscus in 2016, joined 2004 Olympic silver medalist Courtney Kupets as the only women to win back-to-back NCAA all-arounds in the 2000s.

A junior, Nichols can next year join Jenny Hansen as the only women to three-peat in NCAA history.

Oklahoma goes for a third team title in four years on Saturday night against UCLA (featuring Olympic champions Madison Kocian and Kyla Ross), LSU and Denver.

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NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships Individual Results
All-Around
1. Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma) — 39.7125
2. Lexy Ramler (Minnesota) — 39.6625
2. Kyla Ross (UCLA) — 39.6625
4. Sarah Finnegan (LSU) — 39.65
5. Kennedi Edney (LSU) — 39.6

Vault
1. Kennedi Edney (LSU) — 9.95
1. Derrian Gobourne (Auburn)
1. Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma)
1. Kyla Ross (UCLA)

Uneven Bars
1. Sarah Finnegan (LSU) — 9.95

Balance Beam
1. Natalie Wojcik (Michigan) — 9.95

Floor Exercise
1. Alicia Boren (Florida) — 9.95
1. Lynnzee Brown (Denver)
1. Brenna Dowell (Oklahoma)
1. Kyla Ross (UCLA)