Tokyo Olympics: Key dates, events on road to Opening Ceremony

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Tokyo Olympics dates: Key events on the 100-day road to the Tokyo Olympic Opening Ceremony on July 23 …

French Open
May 30-June 13, Paris
Expected to be the last tennis tournament before the Olympic tennis qualifying cutoff. Novak DjokovicRafael NadalRoger FedererNaomi Osaka and Serena Williams are all but assured singles places in Tokyo. Notable unknowns: Venus Williams and Coco Gauff, both significantly outside of qualifying among the top four U.S. women at the moment. But both also candidates for up to two doubles-only Olympic spots.

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U.S. Olympic Diving Trials
June 6-13, Indianapolis
The top two per individual event and each winning synchronized event pair go to Tokyo, provided the U.S. qualifies remaining quota spots at the FINA World Cup in Tokyo in May. David Boudia is the headliner. The four-time Olympic platform medalist switched to the springboard after a February 2018 concussion and was fifth at the 2019 World Championships.

U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials
June 13-20, Omaha
The top two per individual event qualify for Tokyo, plus extras in the 100m and 200m freestyles for relays. Katie Ledecky, four-time Rio gold medalist, could make the team in five events, including the Olympic debut of the women’s 1500m freestyle. Simone Manuel is a candidate for six events after winning seven medals at the 2019 Worlds. And Caeleb Dressel, who earned eight medals at the 2019 Worlds, might qualify in seven races when including relays.

U.S. Open (Men)
June 17-20, Torrey Pines, Calif.
The U.S. boasts 10 of the world’s top 12 male golfers, but only four can go to Tokyo. The U.S. Open is the last Olympic qualifier, after which the world rankings determine the Tokyo field. As of now, the U.S. qualifiers are projected to be Justin ThomasCollin Morikawa, Bryson DeChambeau and Xander Schauffele. World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is passing on the Olympics.

U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials
June 18-27, Eugene, Ore.
The top three per individual event (in most cases) qualify for Tokyo. World 200m champion Noah Lyles is the favorite to win the men’s 100m and 200m, following the suspension of world 100m champion Christian ColemanAllyson Felix, a nine-time medalist, eyes a fifth Olympic team (her first as a mom) and to break Carl Lewis‘ record of 10 medals for a U.S. track and field athlete.

ON HER TURF: Young U.S. female athletes who can make history in Tokyo

Women’s PGA Championship
June 24-27, Atlanta Athletic Club (Johns Creek, Ga.)
The last LPGA Tour event before the world rankings determine the Olympic field. Nelly KordaDanielle KangLexi Thompson and Jennifer Kupcho are currently the U.S. qualifiers, but major championships can significantly alter rankings.

U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials
June 24-27, St. Louis
USA Gymnastics re-combined the men’s and women’s trials to the same weekend, three weeks after the national championships in Fort Worth, Texas. This could be the last domestic competition of Simone Biles‘ career. The U.S. men’s and women’s teams — up to six gymnasts per gender — will be named shortly after the end of competition.

Tokyo Olympics
July 23: Opening Ceremony
The Games officially open inside the Olympic Stadium, two days after competition starts with preliminary softball and soccer games. On July 24, 16 consecutive days of medal competition begin in Tokyo, which previously hosted in 1964.

ON HER TURF: Tokyo Olympics storylines in women’s sports

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IOC recommends how Russia, Belarus athletes can return as neutrals

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The IOC updated its recommendations to international sports federations regarding Russian and Belarusian athletes, advising that they can return to competitions outside of the Olympics as neutral athletes in individual events and only if they do not actively support the war in Ukraine. Now, it’s up to those federations to decide if and how they will reinstate the athletes as 2024 Olympic qualifying heats up.

The IOC has not made a decision on the participation of Russian or Belarusian athletes for the Paris Games and will do so “at the appropriate time,” IOC President Thomas Bach said Tuesday.

Most international sports federations for Olympic sports banned Russian and Belarusian athletes last year following IOC recommendations to do so after the invasion of Ukraine.

Bach was asked Tuesday what has changed in the last 13 months that led to the IOC updating its recommendations.

He reiterated previous comments that, after the invasion and before the initial February 2022 recommendations, some governments refused to issue visas for Russians and Belarusians to compete, and other governments threatened withdrawing funding from athletes who competed against Russians and Belarusians. He also said the safety of Russians and Belarusians at competitions was at risk at the time.

Bach said that Russians and Belarusians have been competing in sports including tennis, the NHL and soccer (while not representing their countries) and that “it’s already working.”

“The question, which has been discussed in many of these consultations, is why should what is possible in all these sports not be possible in swimming, table tennis, wrestling or any other sport?” Bach said.

Bach then read a section of remarks that a United Nations cultural rights appointee made last week.

“We have to start from agreeing that these states [Russia and Belarus] are going to be excluded,” Bach read, in part. “The issue is what happens with individuals. … The blanket prohibition of Russian and Belarusian athletes and artists cannot continue. It is a flagrant violation of human rights. The idea is not that we are going to recognize human rights to people who are like us and with whom we agree on their actions and on their behavior. The idea is that anyone has the right not to be discriminated on the basis of their passport.”

The IOC’s Tuesday recommendations included not allowing “teams of athletes” from Russia and Belarus to return.

If Russia continues to be excluded from team sports and team events, it could further impact 2024 Olympic qualification.

The international basketball federation (FIBA) recently set an April 28 deadline to decide whether to allow Russia to compete in an Olympic men’s qualifying tournament. For women’s basketball, the draw for a European Olympic qualifying tournament has already been made without Russia.

In gymnastics, the ban has already extended long enough that, under current rules, Russian gymnasts cannot qualify for men’s and women’s team events at the Paris Games, but can still qualify for individual events if the ban is lifted.

Gymnasts from Russia swept the men’s and women’s team titles in Tokyo, where Russians in all sports competed for the Russian Olympic Committee rather than for Russia due to punishment for the nation’s doping violations. There were no Russian flags or anthems, conditions that the IOC also recommends for any return from the current ban for the war in Ukraine.

Seb Coe, the president of World Athletics, said last week that Russian and Belarusian athletes remain banned from track and field for the “foreseeable future.”

World Aquatics, the international governing body for swimming, diving and water polo, said after the IOC’s updated recommendations that it will continue to “consider developments impacting the situation” of Russian and Belarusian athletes and that “further updates will be provided when appropriate.”

The IOC’s sanctions against Russia and Belarus and their governments remain in place, including disallowing international competitions to be held in those countries.

On Monday, Ukraine’s sports minister said in a statement that Ukraine “strongly urges” that Russian and Belarusian athletes remain banned.

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Summer McIntosh breaks 400m freestyle world record, passes Ledecky, Titmus

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Summer McIntosh broke the women’s 400m freestyle world record at Canada’s swimming trials on Tuesday night, becoming at 16 the youngest swimmer to break a world record in an Olympic program event since Katie Ledecky a decade ago.

McIntosh clocked 3 minutes, 56.08 seconds in Toronto. Australian Ariarne Titmus held the previous record of 3:56.40, set last May. Before that, Ledecky held the record since 2014, going as low as 3:56.46.

“Going into tonight, I didn’t think the world record was a possibility, but you never know,” McIntosh, who had quotes from Ledecky on her childhood bedroom wall, said in a pool-deck interview moments after the race.

McIntosh’s previous best time was 3:59.32 from last summer’s Commonwealth Games. She went into Tuesday the fourth-fastest woman in history behind Titmus, Ledecky and Italian Federica Pellegrini.

She is also the third-fastest woman in history in the 400m individual medley and the 11th-fastest in the 200m butterfly, two events she won at last June’s world championships. She is the world junior record holder in those events, too.

MORE: McIntosh chose swimming and became Canada’s big splash

McIntosh, Titmus and Ledecky could go head-to-head-to-head in the 400m free at the world championships in July and at the 2024 Paris Olympics. Titmus is the reigning Olympic champion. Ledecky is the reigning world champion, beating McIntosh by 1.24 seconds last June while Titmus skipped the meet.

The last time the last three world record holders in an Olympic program event met in the final of a major international meet was the 2012 Olympic men’s 100m breaststroke (Brendan Hansen, Kosuke Kitajima, Brenton Rickard).

Ledecky, whose best events are the 800m and 1500m frees, broke her first world record in 2013 at 16 years and 4 months old.

McIntosh is 16 years and 7 months old and trains in Sarasota, Florida, which is 160 miles down Interstate 75 from Ledecky in Gainesville.

McIntosh, whose mom swam at the 1984 Olympics and whose sister competed at last week’s world figure skating championships, is the youngest individual world champion in swimming since 2011.

In 2021, at age 14, she became the youngest swimmer to race an individual Olympic final since 2008, according to Olympedia.org. She was fourth in the 400m free at the Tokyo Games.

NBC Olympic research contributed to this report.

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