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WATCH LIVE: 2019 Ironman Kona World Championships

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The Ironman Kona World Championships — a grueling 140.6-mile triathlon in sweltering Hawaii — stream live on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app on Saturday.

A year after shattering course records, German Patrick Lange and Swiss Daniela Ryf defend their world titles.

The men’s race starts at 6:25 a.m. local time (12:25 p.m. ET) with the 2.4-mile swim. The women start in Kailua Bay water five minutes later. The swim is followed by a 112-mile bike on the Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway and then a marathon to the Kona finish line.

The fastest triathletes will complete the course in eight hours.

NBCSN coverage runs from noon-2 p.m. ET. NBC and NBCSN will also have occasional check-ins throughout the afternoon, culminating with finish coverage around 8:30 p.m. ET.

On Sunday, NBCSN will air a recap show from 2-3 p.m. ET.

WATCH LIVE: Ironman Kona World Championships, 12:25 p.m. ET — STREAM LINK

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NBC’s first Olympic broadcast at 1964 Tokyo Games marks 55th anniversary

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Thursday marked the 55th anniversary of NBC’s debut Olympic broadcast — the first live telecast of an Opening Ceremony. Fittingly, it was of the Tokyo Games.

The Olympics return to Tokyo in July.

Coverage was far different back in 1964. NBC obtained the TV rights for $1.5 million (first time an Olympics surpassed the $1 million barrier) and aired 14 total hours of coverage over 15 days.

In 2014, the IOC awarded NBC Universal the Olympic broadcast rights from 2021 through 2032 — valued at $7.65 billion, plus a $100 million signing bonus for the promotion of Olympism and Olympic values between 2015 and 2020.

In Rio, NBC Universal aired a record 6,755 Olympic programming hours, including live streaming of every Olympic sport on NBCOlympics.com.

The 1964 Tokyo Games were highlighted by Czechoslovakian gymnast Vera Caslavska, who earned three gold medals, including the first of back-to-back all-around titles.

Swimmer Don Schollander won four gold medals, most for an American in any sport since Jesse Owens in Berlin in 1936.

Ethiopian Abebe Bikila became the first repeat Olympic marathon champion, four years after running barefoot through the streets of Rome.

Future Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl champion wide receiver Bob Hayes equaled the 100m world record of 10.06 seconds. And Billy Mills pulled off one of the most memorable upsets in Olympic history, becoming the first (and so far only) American to win the 10,000m.

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MORE: U.S. athletes qualified for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

2019 Ironman Kona World Championships TV, live stream schedule

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A year after shattering course records, German Patrick Lange and Swiss Daniela Ryf defend their Ironman Kona World Championships titles on Saturday, live on NBC Sports.

NBCSN coverage runs from noon-2 p.m. ET, covering the starts of the men’s and women’s 140.6-mile races. NBCSN will also have occasional check-ins throughout the afternoon, culminating with finish coverage around 8:30 p.m. ET.

On Sunday, NBCSN will air a recap show from 2-3 p.m. ET.

TV/STREAM SCHEDULE
Saturday: Ironman Kona race live stream — STREAM LINK
Saturday: NBCSN live coverage: 12-2 p.m. ET — STREAM LINK
Sunday: NBCSN recap show: 2-3 p.m. ET — STREAM LINK

Lange repeated as world champion last year by becoming the first person to break eight hours in Hawaii, taking nine minutes off the men’s record. He then successfully proposed to his girlfriend in the finish area after swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles and running a marathon.

The men’s race is shaping up as a showdown between Lange and countryman Jan Frodeno, the 2008 Olympic champion who won Kona in 2016 and 2017 but was beset by injuries the last two years. Frodeno won the Ironman European Championship on June 30, when Lange was 11th.

Then there’s Brit Alistair Brownlee, the two-time reigning Olympic champion making his Kona debut. Brownlee, undecided on Tokyo 2020, finished second at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships a month ago. Lange was 22nd.

Ryf looks to tie Mark Allen‘s record of five straight Kona titles, a year after she recovered from jellyfish stings in the swim to break her course record by 20 minutes.

She comes to Kona after a typical lead-up — winning the Ironman 70.3 World title for a third straight year. If Ryf has any challengers this year, look out for Brit Lucy Charles-Barclay, who was a distant second in 2017 and 2018.

Two-time U.S. Olympian Sarah True is an intriguing contender. In her Kona debut last year, she was in third place halfway through the marathon but later walked at aid stations and ended up fourth. Her time — 8:43:42 — was also faster than Ryf’s previous course record from 2016.

True led a pair of Ironmans during the marathon in June before collapsing out of the races, including in the final 100-degree mile at the European Championships in Frankfurt, Germany.

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