Olympic 400m preview in Doha? Diamond League live stream schedule

Michael Norman, Fred Kerley
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The men’s sprint scene, clearly defined with favorites in each event two years ago, has since complicated. It’s most crowded in the 400m, where the U.S.’ two fastest men face off in a Diamond League meet in Doha on Friday.

Peacock Premium live streams coverage at 11 a.m. ET.

Michael Norman and Fred Kerley lead a list of anticipated head-to-heads — also Sha’Carri Richardson vs. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in the 100m, Rai Benjamin vs. Abderrahman Samba in the 400m hurdles and Emma Coburn vs. Beatrice Chepkoech in the 3000m steeplechase.

Norman and Kerley may well enter the Tokyo Olympics as favorites, in either order. Even though neither owns an individual gold or silver medal from a global championship.

South African Wayde van Niekerk, who broke Michael Johnson‘s world record in Rio, has been largely absent since tearing an ACL and meniscus playing celebrity tag rugby in late 2017. Last Sunday, he eased up in a race due to tightness in the hip area of the same leg.

Bahamian Steven Gardiner, the 2019 World champion, fell to the track while straining in the final meters of a 400m on May 18. He received treatment on his right ankle area.

Norman was the Alpha in the 400m at this time two years ago after running 43.45 seconds at an early season meet. That made him the joint-fourth-fastest man in history. But injuries followed. He was beaten by Kerley at the 2019 USATF Outdoor Championships and eased up in the semifinals of the 2019 World Championships, where Gardiner won in 43.48.

Kerley, second-fastest in the world in 2017, took bronze behind Gardiner in Doha two years ago. This year, he impressed over 100m, clocking 9.91 seconds to rank second in the world, but remains focused on the 400m for the Olympic Trials next month.

The U.S. went one-two in the men’s 400m at the Olympics in 2000, 2004 and 2008, sweeping the medals in ’04 and ’08. Then a single bronze between 2012 and 2016, when the U.S. won zero Olympic men’s sprint titles overall.

American men could win every Olympic track event from 100m through the 800m (and boast the defending Olympic champion in the 1500m). Whether Norman or Kerley is the one to watch in the 400m is to be decided. The faster man on Friday in Doha stakes an early claim.

Here are the entry lists. Here’s the schedule of events (all times Eastern):

10:58 a.m. — Women’s Pole Vault
11:18 — Women’s Discus
11:38 — Women’s Triple Jump
12:03 — Men’s 400m Hurdles
12:05 — Men’s High Jump
12:14 — Women’s 800m
12:28 — Men’s 1500m
12:37 — Men’s Shot Put
12:42 — Men’s 200m
12:53 — Women’s 3000m Steeplechase
1:14 — Men’s 800m
1:26 — Men’s 400m
1:38 — Women’s 100m
1:48 — Women’s 3000m

Here are five events to watch

Women’s Triple Jump — 11:38 a.m.
Deepest field event of the meet. The top four from both the 2016 Olympics and the 2019 World Championships. That includes Venezuelan Yulimar Rojas, who last Saturday recorded the second-farthest jump in history — 15.43 meters, matching her indoor world record and just seven centimeters off the 26-year-old outdoor world record. Plus Keturah Orji, who in Rio recorded the best Olympic triple jump finish for an American woman — fourth.

Men’s 400m Hurdles — 12:03 p.m.
A matchup including the joint-third-fastest men in history — American Rai Benjamin and Qatari Abderrahman Samba. Benjamin, Samba and Norwegian Karsten Warholm (second-fastest in history) are expected to deliver fireworks at the Tokyo Olympics, but Friday will mark the first time that two of them are in the same race since they made up the podium at the 2019 World Championships, also in Doha. Benjamin, who took silver at worlds after spending days on crutches with a heel bone bruise, clocked 47.13 seconds on May 9, the fastest-ever time that early in a year. Samba raced twice since his 2019 World bronze, a pair of flat 400m on March 31 and last Saturday.

Women’s 3000m Steeplechase — 12:53 p.m.
American Emma Coburn races her first steeple since winning her third consecutive global championships medal at 2019 Worlds (silver). She faces an Olympic-caliber field including world-record holder and world champion Beatrice Chepkoech of Kenya, plus the rest of the top five from 2019 Worlds.

Men’s 400m — 1:26 p.m.
Americans Michael Norman and Fred Kerley may well be the favorites once Tokyo rolls around. They meet here for the first time since September 2019. Norman owns the world’s fastest time in this Olympic cycle (43.45), but he was injured in the summer of 2019, beaten by Kerley at those USATF Outdoor Championships and eased up in the 2019 Worlds semifinals. Kerley took bronze at 2019 Worlds and last month clocked 9.91 for 100m, ranking second in the world this year in that event. Kirani James, the 2012 Olympic champion from Grenada, and Anthony Zambrano, the 2019 World silver medalist from Colombia, are also in the field.

Women’s 100m — 1:38 p.m.
American Sha’Carri Richardson, after taking her first 100m defeat in nearly two years on a blustery Sunday in Great Britain, continues her busy spring of racing. She won’t get another crack at Brit Dina Asher-Smith here, but does face two-time Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica. Richardson has shown the ability to break 10.7 seconds this season if the wind is on her side. No active woman has run that fast.

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Frances Tiafoe, Taylor Fritz exit French Open, leaving no U.S. men

Frances Tiafoe French Open

Frances Tiafoe kept coming oh so close to extending his French Open match against Alexander Zverev: 12 times Saturday night, the American was two points from forcing things to a fifth set.

Yet the 12th-seeded Tiafoe never got closer than that.

Instead, the 22nd-seeded Zverev finished out his 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-1, 7-6 (5) victory after more than 3 1/2 hours in Court Philippe Chatrier to reach the fourth round. With Tiafoe’s exit, none of the 16 men from the United States who were in the bracket at the start of the tournament are still in the field.

“I mean, for the majority of the match, I felt like I was in control,” said Tiafoe, a 25-year-old from Maryland who fell to 1-7 against Zverev.

“It’s just tough,” he said about a half-hour after his loss ended, rubbing his face with his hand. “I should be playing the fifth right now.”

Two other American men lost earlier Saturday: No. 9 seed Taylor Fritz and unseeded Marcos Giron.

No. 23 Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina beat Fritz 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-5, and Nicolas Jarry of Chile eliminated Giron 6-2, 6-3, 6-7 (7), 6-3.

There are three U.S women remaining: No. 6 Coco Gauff, Sloane Stephens and Bernarda Pera.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Women | Men | Broadcast Schedule

It is the second year in a row that zero men from the United States will participate in the fourth round at Roland Garros. If nothing else, it stands as a symbolic step back for the group after what seemed to be a couple of breakthrough showings at the past two majors.

For Tiafoe, getting to the fourth round is never the goal.

“I want to win the trophy,” he said.

Remember: No American man has won any Grand Slam title since Andy Roddick at the 2003 U.S. Open. The French Open has been the least successful major in that stretch with no U.S. men reaching the quarterfinals since Andre Agassi in 2003.

But Tiafoe beat Rafael Nadal in the fourth round of the U.S. Open along the way to getting to the semifinals there last September, the first time in 16 years the host nation had a representative in the men’s final four at Flushing Meadows.

Then, at the Australian Open this January, Tommy Paul, Sebastian Korda and Ben Shelton became the first trio of Americans in the men’s quarterfinals in Melbourne since 2000. Paul made it a step beyond that, to the semifinals.

After that came this benchmark: 10 Americans were ranked in the ATP’s Top 50, something that last happened in June 1995.

On Saturday, after putting aside a whiffed over-the-shoulder volley — he leaned atop the net for a moment in disbelief — Tiafoe served for the fourth set at 5-3, but couldn’t seal the deal.

In that game, and the next, and later on, too, including at 5-all in the tiebreaker, he would come within two points of owning that set.

Each time, Zverev claimed the very next point. When Tiafoe sent a forehand wide to end it, Zverev let out two big yells. Then the two, who have been pals for about 15 years, met for a warm embrace at the net, and Zverev placed his hand atop Tiafoe’s head.

“He’s one of my best friends on tour,” said Zverev, a German who twice has reached the semifinals on the red clay of Paris, “but on the court, I’m trying to win.”

At the 2022 French Open, Zverev tore ligaments in his right ankle while playing Nadal in the semifinals and had to stop.

“It’s been definitely the hardest year of my life, that’s for sure,” Zverev said. “I love tennis more than anything in the world.”

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2023 French Open women’s singles draw, scores

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At the French Open, Iga Swiatek of Poland eyes a third title at Roland Garros and a fourth Grand Slam singles crown overall.

The tournament airs live on NBC Sports, Peacock and Tennis Channel through championship points in Paris.

Swiatek, the No. 1 seed from Poland, can join Serena Williams and Justine Henin as the lone women to win three or more French Opens since 2000.

Having turned 22 on Wednesday, she can become the youngest woman to win three French Opens since Monica Seles in 1992 and the youngest woman to win four Slams overall since Williams in 2002.

FRENCH OPEN: Broadcast Schedule | Men’s Draw

But Swiatek is not as dominant as in 2022, when she went 16-0 in the spring clay season during an overall 37-match win streak.

She retired from her last pre-French Open match with a right thigh injury and said it wasn’t serious. Before that, she lost the final of another clay-court tournament to Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.

Sabalenka, the No. 2 seed, is her top remaining challenger in Paris.

No. 3 Jessica Pegula, the highest-seeded American man or woman, was eliminated in the third round. No. 4 Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan, who has three wins over Swiatek this year, withdrew before her third-round match due to illness.

No. 6 Coco Gauff, runner-up to Swiatek last year, is the best hope to become the first American to win a Grand Slam singles title since Sofia Kenin at the 2020 Australian Open. The 11-major drought is the longest for U.S. women since Seles won the 1996 Australian Open.

MORE: All you need to know for 2023 French Open

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2023 French Open Women’s Singles Draw

French Open Women's Singles Draw French Open Women's Singles Draw French Open Women's Singles Draw French Open Women's Singles Draw