The Very Abbreviated 2020 Track And Field Awards

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Even without the Olympics, track and field in some form may still happen in 2020. But given how difficult containing the coronavirus has proven to be, that is not a guarantee even with several months before certain Diamond League meets are set to be contested. And now that the biggest event on the calendar has been postponed, many athletes may choose to throw in the towel on 2020 in order to preserve themselves for next year. As such, it is entirely possible we’ve seen the last of track and field this season.

If that’s the case, here are the award winners from the very abbreviated 2020 season:

MVP: Mondo Duplantis

The 20-year-old compiled a season worth of accolades in the span of a few weeks in February as he broke the pole vault world record twice and cleared 6.00m— something he had never done indoors before 2020— at all five of his competitions between Feb. 4 and Feb. 23. His 6.17m and 6.18m world record jumps in back-to-back weeks each eclipsed the outdoor record as well.

Other nominees: Yulimar Rojas, Christian Coleman, Konstanze Klosterhalfen

Most Improved: Jemma Reekie/Elle Purrier

I couldn’t pick between Reekie and Purrier as both women were similarly ascendent during indoors.

The 22-year-old Reekie transformed herself from a mediocre pro to a superstar by running a 1:57 800m and 4:17 mile this winter, both British records. Reekie’s PBs in those distances before 2020 were 2:01.45 and 4:27.00.

Purrier demolished the U.S. mile American record in running 4:16.85 at the Millrose Games, beating Reekie, Konstanze Klosterhalfen and Gabriela DeBues-Stafford in the process. Although she did make a world final last fall, I'm not sure anyone had the 25-year-old becoming the second-fastest indoor miler of all-time four months later.

Other nominees: Karissa Schweizer, Jake Riley

Comeback: Galen Rupp

Rupp’s status as the top marathoner in the U.S. was in peril when he dropped out of Chicago last October in his comeback from Achilles surgery a year prior, a setback compounded by his former coach, Alberto Salazar, receiving a four-year ban as well. But the 33-year-old rallied under the tutelage of Mike Smith, and on Feb. 29 he dominated the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials with a 42-second victory that proved the Galen Rupp of old was back.

Other nominees: Sally Kipyego, Ronnie Baker, Evan Jager

Top Newcomer: Molly Seidel

While not a rookie in the traditional sense, Molly Seidel bucked our conventional understanding of the marathon by qualifying for her first Olympic team in her marathon debut at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. In her first four years as a pro, the 25-year-old had struggled to recapture the magic of her national title-winning ways as a collegiate at Notre Dame, with an eating disorder curtailing some of her development. But Seidel began to show a knack for road-racing over the last few years, and with the help of occasional training partner Aliphine Tuliamuk, the 26.2 newbie had the confidence to break away from a talented pack with five miles to run in Atlanta.

Other nominees: Randolph Ross, Nick Harris, Terrance Laird

Coach Of The Year: Mike Smith

His Northern Arizona distance squad caught fire this winter with seven guys qualifying for NCAA indoors, and the Lumberjacks had a puncher’s chance to claim the national title before the meet was canceled last minute. Add in Galen Rupp’s commanding victory in Atlanta and Smith could do no wrong through the first few months of 2020.

Other nominees: Ben Rosario, Caryl Smith-Gilbert, Ben Thomas

Want to watch track in 2020? Check out FloTrack 24/7 to get your running fix any time, any day.

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Eugene World Athletics Championships Officially Moved To 2022

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(c) 2020 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved(08-Apr) -- World Athletics and the local organizing committee in Eugene, Ore., jointly announced today that the next World Athletics Championships would be held in 2022, pushed back by a full year due to the one-year postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. These championships, originally scheduled for August 6 - 15, 2021, will now be held from July 15 - 24, 2022, at the new Hayward Field at the University of Oregon which is still under construction. Over 2000 athletes from more than 200 countries are expected to participate.The World Athletics Council approved the new dates this week after what officials said was "extensive discussions with the sport's stakeholders" including organizers of two other major championships due to take place in July and August, 2022: the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, and the multi-sport European Championships in Munich which includes the European Athletics Championships."This will be a bonanza for athletics fans around the world," commented World Athletics president Sebastian Coe through a statement. He pointed out that the World Athletics Championships, Commonwealth Games and European Athletics Championships would be held in rapid succession. "(The fans) will be treated to six weeks of absolutely first-class athletics," Coe continued. "More than 70 of our member federations are part of the Commonwealth, and more than 50 of our member federations are European so our guiding principle in rescheduling the World Championships was to ensure enough space was created around the centerpiece World Athletics Championship for athletes to choose other major events to compete in."With today's announcement, the summer of 2022 schedule will be as follows:July 15 - 24: World Athletics Championships, Eugene, Ore., United StatesJuly 27 - August 7: Commonwealth Games, Birmingham, EnglandAugust 11 - 21: European Championships, Munich, GermanyOregon21, LLC --the local organizing committee-- said that they would have to change their name and rebrand."The new date will require a change in the name of the event from World Athletics Championships Oregon21, along with a rebrand in the coming months including logo adaptation, website content, and the legal name change of the local organizing committee," Oregon21 said in a statement. "The team is ready to continue its work alongside all its partners to deliver a world-class event and to take every advantage of the extra year of planning time that's been given. Although a year later than anticipated Oregon21, LLC looks forward to the opportunity that Oregon has to host this prestigious event and showcase the region to the world."

World Athletics Suspends Olympic Qualification Until December

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World Athletics announced on Tuesday that Olympic qualifying has been suspended until December 1, 2020, meaning that athletes will not be able to achieve qualifying standards or enhance world ranking position for the Tokyo Games until that date.

As COVID-19 Crisis Deepens, Hope Fades For May Running Events

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(c) 2020 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

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