Diamond League

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More Diamond League track and field meets postponed

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Every Diamond League track and field meet scheduled for May has been postponed due to the coronavirus.

Meets in Stockholm (May 24), Naples, Italy (May 28) and Rabat, Morocco (May 31) were suspended indefinitely.

“An alternative calendar for the 2020 season is to be announced in due course,” according to the Diamond League.

The news comes 10 days after the first three Diamond League meets of the year were postponed:

Doha: April 17 (postponed indefinitely)
China: May 9 (postponed indefinitely)
Shanghai: May 16 (now Aug. 13)

The next scheduled Diamond League meet is the Prefontaine Classic on June 7 in Eugene, Ore.

The Diamond League is a 15-meet, global outdoor track and field series that usually runs from April to September with a break during the Olympics. It is the the primary circuit for the world’s top athletes.

MORE: Noah Lyles details training near woods, dog walkers

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Diamond League track and field early season meets called off

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The first three Diamond League track and field meets of the year will not be held in April and May as originally scheduled:

Doha: April 17 (postponed indefinitely)
China: May 9 (postponed indefinitely)
Shanghai: May 16 (now Aug. 13, four days after the Olympics end)

“It is forbidden to enter Qatar from a number of countries and the government in Doha has suspended all national and international events for a period of 30 days,” according to a Diamond League press release. “While the number of new infections is now decreasing in China, the fact remains that preparations for the meetings have been set back by several weeks and the closed borders and travel restrictions make it impossible to organize international top level competitions.”

The Doha and first China meets could be rescheduled after the Diamond League Final in Zurich, which is still scheduled for Sept. 9-11.

The Diamond League is a 15-meet, global outdoor track and field series that runs from April to September with a break during the Olympics. It is the the primary circuit for the world’s top athletes. Now, the first scheduled meet is May 24 in Stockholm.

MORE: Olympic sports events affected by coronavirus

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Noah Lyles, denying nature’s call, wins Diamond League 200m title

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Noah Lyles and Michael Norman are cemented as favorites for the world championships in three weeks after winning Diamond League Finals titles in Brussels on Friday.

Lyles, whose only 200m loss since the 2016 Olympic trials was to Norman in June, won in 19.74 seconds (as it began raining) and said he slowed before the finish line to prevent wetting himself, according to the BBC.

“No lie I was clenching my butt the whole time,” Lyles tweeted, adding, “What a chaotic race. Nearly everything that could happen, happened. … Two pins to fix my race number were not fixed well and lost while I was sitting down, and, to be honest, I had to go to the toilet. My stomach was growling although I went to the restroom before.”

He became the first man to break 19.8 five times in one year. Usain Bolt did it four times in one year. Lyles won the Diamond League 100m title last week and plans to race the shorter sprint at Olympic trials, but not at worlds in Doha.

Norman, who is focusing on the 400m and will not race the 200m at worlds or the Olympic trials, won in 44.26 seconds on Friday.

It was well off his 2019 world-leading time of 43.45 but a nice bounce back after he almost pulled out of the USATF Outdoor Championships in July with an unspecified strain. Norman was beaten by Fred Kerley at nationals, but topped Kerley by two tenths on Friday. The U.S. has the six fastest men in the world this year and could sweep the medals in Doha.

Full Brussels results are here.

The track and field season continues next week with The Match, a Ryder Cup-style meet featuring Olympic champions Allyson FelixMichelle Carter and Brittney Reese suiting up for Team USA. The two-day meet airs live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold on Monday and Tuesday from 12-3 p.m. ET.

Also Friday, Brit Dina Asher-Smith notched her first career 100m win over 2008 and 2012 Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, according to Tilastopaja.org. Asher-Smith, 23, clocked 10.88 seconds and remains fourth-fastest in the world this year. Jamaicans Elaine Thompson (absent from Brussels) and Fraser-Pryce top the rankings with 10.73 clockings from June.

Jamaican Danielle Williams scored her second straight win over world-record holder Keni Harrison in the 100m hurdles. Williams, who owns the fastest time in the world this year of 12.32 seconds, prevailed in 12.46. Harrison, who has the world record of 12.20, was a distant second in 12.73.

Ethiopian-born Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan comfortably won a star-studded 5000m in 14:26.26, beating world champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya for the first time. It’s unknown which event(s) that Hassan, who broke the mile world record in July, will enter at worlds.

Ajeé Wilson consolidated favorite status for worlds by taking the 800m in 2:00.25. Again, the field did not include any of the Rio Olympic medalists who are barred from the event under the IAAF’s new testosterone cap.

Double Olympic champion Christian Taylor reasserted his claim as the world’s top triple jumper, soaring 17.85 meters for the Diamond League title. Four different men had won the four Diamond League meets going into the finals. American Will Claye still owns the top triple jump in the world this year of 18.14, but he was second to Taylor in Brussels.

Rio gold medalist Katerina Stefanidi of Greece cleared 4.83 meters to beat a pole vault field that included Americans Sandi Morris (Olympic and world silver medalist) and Jenn Suhr (2012 Olympic champion). Suhr still owns the world’s top clearance this year (4.91).

German Malaika Mihambo beat 2012 Olympic champion Reese in the long jump, leaping 7.03 meters. Mihambo owns the best jump in the world this year at 7.16 and is favored to break the U.S. streak of seven straight Olympic or world titles.

On Thursday, New Zealand’s world champion Tom Walsh relegated Olympic gold medalist Ryan Crouser to third in the shot put. Walsh threw 22.30 meters, more than a foot shy of Crouser’s best throw in the world this year from April. Crouser bettered Walsh in their two other head-to-heads this season.

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