The Marathon Project gives top U.S. runners one more race in 2020


For Sara HallJared Ward and Scott Fauble, the year in marathoning didn’t start as they hoped at February’s Olympic Trials. They can end it on a much better note.

The Marathon Project was “born out of necessity,” organizers said in a September announcement. It becomes reality on Sunday morning, live on USATF.TV+ at 9:45 ET. NBCSN airs coverage from 8-9:30 p.m.

Every major marathon originally scheduled for fall 2020 and spring 2021 has been canceled or postponed, leaving top road runners who didn’t qualify for the Tokyo Olympics with calendars emptier than usual.

Enter HOKA NAZ Elite coach Ben Rosario, agent and former competitive distance runner Josh Cox and Big River Race Management’s Matt Helbig.

“We wanted to look back at 2020 and know that we did everything within our power to help not only the athletes, but also the sport,” Cox said in a release announcing The Marathon Project.

They came up with a race that takes place on a flat, 4.3-mile loop in Chandler, Ariz., with about 50 men and 50 women.

The fields include some of the top Americans who did not make the Tokyo Olympic team at the Feb. 29 trials in Atlanta.

The biggest name is Hall, who dropped out in the 23rd mile of trials. Then on Oct. 4, Hall placed second at the postponed-from-April London Marathon in 2:22:01. a personal best and the eighth-fastest time ever by a U.S. woman.

If conditions are ripe Sunday, and Hall is fit, she could challenge Deena Kastor‘s American record of 2:19:36 from 2006. Kastor and Jordan Hasay (2:20:57) are the only U.S. women to break 2:21 in a marathon.

Hall is joined by Stephanie BruceEmma Bates and Kellyn Taylor, who finished six-seven-eight at trials. And Keira D’Amato, who on Nov. 24 broke the women’s-only American record for 10 miles (51:23).

The men’s race features Fauble and Ward, who were arguably the second and third favorites going into the Olympic Trials. Fauble, the third-fastest U.S. marathoner in this Olympic cycle, finished 12th. Ward, sixth at the Rio Olympics, was 27th over the rolling hills of Atlanta.

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Coco Gauff into French Open quarterfinals, where Iga Swiatek may await

Coco Gauff French Open

Coco Gauff swept into the French Open quarterfinals, where she could play Iga Swiatek in a rematch of last year’s final.

Gauff, the sixth seed, beat 100th-ranked Slovakian Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 7-5, 6-2 in the fourth round. She next plays Swiatek or 66th-ranked Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko, who meet later Monday.

Gauff earned a 37th consecutive win over a player ranked outside the top 50, dating to February 2022. She hasn’t faced a player in the world top 60 in four matches at Roland Garros, but the degree of difficulty is likely to ratchet up in Wednesday’s quarterfinals.

Swiatek won all 12 sets she’s played against Gauff, who at 19 is the only teenager in the top 49 in the world.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Women | Men | Broadcast Schedule

Also Monday, No. 7 seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia dispatched 36th-ranked American Bernarda Pera 6-3, 6-1, breaking all eight of Pera’s service games.

Jabeur, runner-up at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open last year, has now reached the quarterfinals of all four majors.

Jabeur next faces 14th-seeded Beatriz Haddad Maia, who won 6-7 (3), 6-3, 7-5 over Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo, who played on a protected ranking of 68. Haddad Maia became the second Brazilian woman to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal in the Open Era (since 1968) after Maria Bueno, who won seven majors from 1959-1966.

Pera, a 28 year-old born in Croatia, was the oldest U.S. singles player to make the fourth round of a major for the first time since Jill Craybas at 2005 Wimbledon. Her defeat left Gauff as the lone American singles player remaining out of the 35 entered in the main draws.

The last American to win a major singles title was Sofia Kenin at the 2020 Australian Open. The 11-major drought matches the longest in history (since 1877) for American men and women combined.

In the men’s draw, 2022 French Open runner-up Casper Ruud reached the quarterfinals by beating 35th-ranked Chilean Nicolas Jarry 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-5. He’ll next play sixth seed Holger Rune of Denmark, a 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (7) winner over 23rd seed Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina.

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U.S. earns first three-peat in Para hockey world championship history

Para Ice Hockey
International Paralympic Committee

The U.S. trounced rival Canada 6-1 to become the first nation to three-peat in world Para hockey championship history.

Tournament MVP Declan Farmer scored twice, and Josh Misiewicz, David Eustace, Jack Wallace and Kevin McKee added goals. Jen Lee made eight saves in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, on Sunday.

Farmer, who had nine goals in five games for the tournament, also scored twice in Paralympic final wins over Canada in 2018 and 2022 and the last world championship final against Canada in 2021. Farmer, 25, already owns the career national team record of more than 250 points.

The U.S. beat Canada in a third consecutive world final dating to 2019, but this was the most lopsided gold-medal game in championship history. The U.S. also won the last four Paralympic titles dating to 2010.

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