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Swimming, track and field federations look at flexibility for 2021 World Championships

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The international governing bodies for aquatics (swimming) and track and field are determining the flexibility of the dates of their summer 2021 World Championships now that the Tokyo Olympics will be moved to 2021.

Specific dates for the Tokyo Games have not been determined, but they will be rescheduled beyond 2020 for not later than summer 2021.

The 2021 World Aquatics Championships, which include swimming, diving, water polo and artistic (synchronized) swimming, are scheduled for July 16-Aug. 1 in Fukuoka, Japan.

The 2021 World Track and Field Championships are scheduled for Aug. 6-15 in Eugene, Ore.

FINA, the international governing body for aquatic sports, said it will work with the 2021 Worlds organizing committee, the Japan Swimming Federation and Japanese public authorities to determine date flexibility, if necessary and in agreement with the IOC.

Cornel Marculescu, FINA’s executive director, said there is no chance of the next worlds being bumped back to 2022.

“No, no, no, no, no, no,” he defiantly told The Associated Press by phone.

Marculescu said the IOC is considering two options for the Summer Games, which will have a direct impact on FINA’s next move.

“If they do it in summer, then we (will have to change) the dates (of the world championships),” he said. “If they do it at the beginning of the year, maybe we don’t need to touch the dates. The only thing we do, we wait to see what is the IOC decision.”

World Athletics has been in discussion with its 2021 Worlds organizing committee regarding the possibility of changing dates. The committee “reassured us that they will work with all of their partners and stakeholders to ensure that Oregon is able to host the World Athletics Championships on alternative dates, including dates in 2022,” according to a release.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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MORE: Have the Olympics ever been postponed?

Bobby Joe Morrow, triple Olympic sprint champion, dies at 84

Bobby Joe Morrow
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Bobby Joe Morrow, one of four men to win the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at one Olympics, died at age 84 on Saturday.

Morrow’s family said he died of natural causes.

Morrow swept the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, joining Jesse Owens as the only men to accomplish the feat. Later, Carl Lewis and Usain Bolt did the same.

Morrow, raised on a farm in San Benito, Texas, set 11 world records in a short career, according to World Athletics.

He competed in one Olympics, and that year was named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year while a student at Abilene Christian. He beat out Mickey Mantle and Floyd Patterson.

“Bobby had a fluidity of motion like nothing I’d ever seen,” Oliver Jackson, the Abilene Christian coach, said, according to Sports Illustrated in 2000. “He could run a 220 with a root beer float on his head and never spill a drop. I made an adjustment to his start when Bobby was a freshman. After that, my only advice to him was to change his major from sciences to speech, because he’d be destined to make a bunch of them.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Johnny Gregorek runs fastest blue jeans mile in history

Johnny Gregorek
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Johnny Gregorek, a U.S. Olympic hopeful runner, clocked what is believed to be the fastest mile in history for somebody wearing jeans.

Gregorek recorded a reported 4 minutes, 6.25 seconds, on Saturday to break the record by more than five seconds (with a pacer for the first two-plus laps). Gregorek, after the record run streamed live on his Instagram, said he wore a pair of 100 percent cotton Levi’s.

Gregorek, the 28-year-old son of a 1980 and 1984 U.S. Olympic steeplechaser, finished 10th in the 2017 World Championships 1500m. He was sixth at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.

He ranked No. 1 in the country for the indoor mile in 2019, clocking 3:49.98. His outdoor mile personal best is 3:52.94, ranking him 30th in American history.

Before the attempt, a fundraiser was started for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, garnering more than $29,000. Gregorek ran in memory of younger brother Patrick, who died suddenly in March 2019.

“Paddy was a fan of anything silly,” Gregorek posted. “I think an all out mile in jeans would tickle him sufficiently!”

MORE: Seb Coe: Track and field needs more U.S. meets

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