The U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, where a record 600-plus runners are expected to race for three Olympic team spots per gender, air live on NBC Sports on Saturday.
NBC has live coverage of the men’s and women’s races in Atlanta from 12-3 p.m. ET. NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app live stream the action, plus NBC Sports Gold for subscribers.
The men start at 12:08, followed by the women at 12:20. They will finish at the 1996 Olympic Centennial Park after a hilly 26.2 miles unlike any major marathon course in the world.
The favorites: Defending champion Galen Rupp leads a men’s field, looking to make a fourth Olympic team and repeat as trials champion. Rupp, a two-time Olympic medalist, last completed a marathon in Chicago on Oct. 7, 2018.
Achilles and calf injuries followed, plus losing career-long coach Alberto Salazar to a doping suspension. Rupp, who was not implicated in wrongdoing and has a clean drug-testing record, showed strong form at a half marathon three weeks ago.
Other contenders include Rio Olympic marathoner Jared Ward, Rio Olympic 10,000m runner Leonard Korir and potential first-time Olympian Scott Fauble.
Wild cards include Olympic veterans Bernard Lagat, 45, and Abdi Abdirahman, 43, both looking to break Lagat’s record as the oldest U.S. Olympic runner in history.
The 2018 Boston Marathon champion Des Linden is the only woman in the field with Olympic marathon experience. She’s among a handful of strong contenders for three Olympic spots. Linden could become the first woman to make three U.S. Olympic marathon teams.
The others include Molly Huddle, the American 10,000m record holder, and potential first-time Olympians Sara Hall, Jordan Hasay and Emily Sisson.
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