Doha waterfront
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World championship women’s marathon still on despite heat and humidity

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The track and field organizing body IAAF showed confidence Friday that its preparations for Qatar’s harsh weather will be sufficient, announcing that the women’s marathon scheduled just before midnight local time (5 p.m. EDT) will proceed as scheduled.

The IAAF statement says the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature, a measurement of heat that factors humidity, wind and sunlight into the equation, will be below 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit), which falls within the range organizers expected.

READ: World championships open with early heats and hot marathon

Still, the IAAF left open the possibility of a late change: “Any decision to alter the starting time of the event will be made by 10.30pm, on the recommendation of the IAAF Medical Delegate.”

Plans to beat the heat include an increase in the usual number of stations at which runners can pick up drinks. The race will be run on a loop along the Doha waterfront.

Runners set to compete include defending champion Rose Chelimo of Bahrain and Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich, who ran the third-fastest women’s marathon of all time earlier this year in Dubai.

The Olympic Channel will carry the race live. NBC Sports Gold will have extended coverage starting at 4:30 p.m. EDT.

NBCSN will have live coverage of the day’s other events, including early rounds of the men’s 100m and the women’s pole vault, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. EDT, and NBC Sports Gold will stream live coverage of every event over the 10-day meet.

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Susie O’Neill, Australian great, answers Katie Ledecky by balancing beer while swimming

Susie O'Neill
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Katie Ledecky‘s feat of balancing a glass of chocolate milk while swimming reverberated Down Under, where one of Australia’s Olympic legends attempted to mimic it with a cup of beer.

Susie O’Neill, an eight-time Olympic medalist from 1992-2000 known as Madame Butterfly, accepted a challenge put forth by her fellow radio show hosts. In video shared across Australian media, she took 13 strokes before the beer came off her head, just before reaching a wall.

“It’s actually not as hard as I expected,” O’Neill said in an Instagram Live. “Well, it was pretty hard.”

O’Neill, 47, said backstrokers sometimes train with a water bottle on their foreheads to stay straight. But O’Neill, a freestyler and butterflier, never balanced anything on her head while training.

MORE: O’Neill in tears watching Sydney Olympic defeat for first time

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Figure skating Grand Prix Series will be held as ‘domestic’ competitions

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Figure skating’s Grand Prix Series will go ahead as scheduled this fall, with modifications due to the coronavirus pandemic, the International Skating Union decided Monday.

Each of the series’ six tops around the globe will be “a domestic run event,” limited to skaters of the event’s host country, who regularly train in the host country and from a respective geographical area. The number of disciplines and skaters at each event are to be worked out.

The Grand Prix Series, held annually since 1995, is a six-event fall season, qualifying the top six skaters and teams per discipline to December’s Grand Prix Final. The annual stops are in the U.S., Canada, China, France, Russia and Japan, leading up to the Final, which is held at a different site each year.

The Final is the second-biggest annual competition after the world championships, which are typically in late March. The Final is still scheduled for Beijing, though whether or when it can be held will be discussed.

The series begins in late October with Skate America, which debuted in 1979 and has been held every year since 1988 as the biggest annual international competition in the U.S. Skate America’s site is Las Vegas, just as it was in 2019.

Skaters typically compete twice on the Grand Prix Series (three times if they qualify for the Final). ISU vice president Alexander Lakernik said skaters will be limited to one start in the six-event series before the Final, according to TASS. The ISU has not confirmed or denied that report.

The January 2021 U.S. Championships are scheduled for San Jose, Calif. The March 2021 World Championships are set for Stockholm.

In July, the ISU canceled the Junior Grand Prix Series for skaters mostly ages 13 to 18, including two-time U.S. champion Alysa Liu. Other early season senior international competitions scheduled for September were also canceled or postponed.

MORE: World’s top skater leaves famed coach

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