2019 Doha World Track and Field Championships
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2019 World Track and Field Championships Week set for Olympic Channel

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The 2019 World Track and Field Championships launch an 11-week series of 2019 World Championships Weeks on Olympic Channel on Monday, highlighting competition across Olympic and Paralympic sports.

Next week’s coverage includes 50 hours of programming from the track and field worlds, held in Doha last September and October. All coverage will stream on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for subscribers.

At the meet, the U.S. earned 14 gold medals (tying its record) and 29 total medals, a promising sign for success at the first post-Usain Bolt Olympics in Tokyo.

American stars included veterans — Allyson Felix broke her tie with Bolt for most career world titles, Dalilah Muhammad lowered her 400m hurdles world record and Christian Taylor earned his sixth global triple jump title.

And newcomers — sprinters Christian Coleman (100m), Noah Lyles (200m) and Grant Holloway (110m hurdles) were among the first-time world champions.

Moms were also impressive, from Felix at her first international meet since having daughter Camryn to Nia Ali (100m hurdles champ) and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (100m champ).

The next 2019 World Championships Week broadcasts will feature swimming (week of May 18) and gymnastics (week of May 25).

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DAY SESSION TIME (ET) KEY EVENTS
Monday Day 1 8 p.m. Men’s 100m Heats
Day 2 11 p.m. Men’s 100m, Women’s Hammer
Tuesday Day 3 8 p.m. Women’s 100m, Mixed 4x400m
Day 4 11 p.m. Men’s 400m Hurdles, Women’s 800m
Wednesday Day 5 8 p.m. Men’s 200m, 800m, Pole Vault
Day 6 10:30 p.m. Men’s 110m Hurdles, Women’s 200m
Thursday Day 7 8 p.m. Women’s 400m, Decathlon
Day 8 11 p.m. Women’s 400m Hurdles, Men’s 400m
Friday Day 9 8 p.m. 4x100m Relays, Men’s Shot Put
Day 10 9 p.m. 4x400m Relays, Women’s 100m Hurdles
Saturday Day 1 1 p.m. Men’s 100m Heats
Day 2 4 p.m. Men’s 100m, Women’s Hammer
Day 3 5 p.m. Women’s 100m, Mixed 4x400m
Day 4 8 p.m. Men’s 400m Hurdles, Women’s 800m
Day 5 11 p.m. Men’s 200m, 800m, Pole Vault
Sunday Day 6 1 p.m. Men’s 110m Hurdles, Women’s 200m
Day 7 4:30 p.m. Women’s 400m, Decathlon
Day 8 7:30 p.m. Women’s 400m Hurdles, Men’s 400m
Day 9 10 p.m. 4x100m Relays, Men’s Shot Put
Day 10 11 p.m. 4x400m Relays, Women’s 100m Hurdles

Mark Spitz takes on Katie Ledecky’s challenge

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Swimmers around the world took on Katie Ledecky‘s milk-glass challenge since it became a social media sensation, including one of the few Americans with more Olympic gold medals.

Mark Spitz, who won seven golds at the 1972 Munich Games, took 10 strokes in an at-home pool while perfectly balancing a glass of what appeared to be water on his head.

“Would’ve been faster with the ‘stache, @markspitzusa, but I still give this 7 out of 7 gold medals,” Ledecky tweeted.

Spitz joined fellow Olympic champions Susie O’Neill of Australia and American Matt Grevers in posting similar videos to what Ledecky first shared Monday.

In Tokyo next year, Ledecky can pass Spitz’s career gold-medal count of nine if she wins all of her expected events — 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyles and the 4x200m free relay.

Then she would trail one athlete from any country in any sport — Michael Phelps, the 23-time gold medalist who has yet to post video of swimming while balancing a glass on his head.

MORE: Spitz puts Michael Phelps’ career in perspective

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Serena Williams, reclusive amid pandemic, returns to tennis eyeing Grand Slam record

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Serena Williams travels with “like 50 masks” and has been a little bit of a recluse since early March and the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I don’t have full lung capacity, so I’m not sure what would happen to me,” Williams said Saturday, two days before the start of the WTA’s Top Seed Open in Lexington, Ky., her first tournament since playing Fed Cup in early February. “I’m sure I’ll be OK, but I don’t want to find out.”

Williams, 38, has a history of blood clots and pulmonary embolisms. She faced life-threatening complications following her Sept. 1, 2017, childbirth that confined her to a bed for six weeks. She said her daily routine was surgery and that she lost count after the first four.

More recently, Williams enjoyed “every part” of the last six months at home in Florida, her longest time grounded since her teens.

“I’ve been a little neurotic, to an extent,” on health and safety, she said. “Everyone in the Serena bubble is really protected.”

Williams is entered to play next week in Lexington and at consecutive tournaments in New York City later this month — the Western & Southern Open and U.S. Open, the latter starting Aug. 31.

Williams is the highest-ranked player in the Lexington field at No. 9. Others include 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens, older sister Venus Williams and 16-year-old Coco Gauff.

She has been bidding ever since having daughter Olympia to tie Margaret Court‘s record 24 Grand Slam singles titles, albeit many of Court’s crowns came before the Open Era and, notably at the Australian Open, against small fields lacking the world’s best players. Williams reached the last two Wimbledon and U.S. Open finals, losing all of them.

She showed her seriousness in committing early to this year’s U.S. Open by installing a court at home with the same surface. Three of the top 10 female singles players already said they will skip the U.S. Open due to travel and/or virus concerns, including No. 1 Ash Barty.

“Tennis is naturally a socially distanced sport, so it was kind of easy to go back and just walk on my side of the court and have my hitter walk on his side of the court,” Williams said.

The French Open starts two weeks after the U.S. Open ends. Williams was asked if she will fly to Europe for tournaments this autumn.

“I see myself doing it all, if it happens,” she said.

The Tokyo Olympics are too far away to make plans.

“We’ll have to kind of wait to see what happens in the fall,” she said. “One thing I have learned with this pandemic is don’t plan.”

MORE: Past U.S. Open champions get wild cards

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