Olympic Qualification Window Reopens For Road Athletes September 1

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(c) 2020 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

(28-Jul) -- World Athletics announced today that the qualifying window for marathon and race walk events for next summer's Tokyo Olympics would reopen on September 1, three months earlier than previously announced. The world governing body for athletics and road running made the decision because of concern from athletes that fewer and fewer qualifying opportunities were available due to the global pandemic. So far this year, hundreds of good quality road running events have been cancelled or postponed.

The suspension of Olympic qualification for track events, however, remains in force and runs through November 30. Also, the accrual of points for World Athletics Rankings and the automatic qualification through Gold and Platinum Label marathons based on finish place remains suspended until November 30.

Still, with dozens of quality marathons cancelled for the fall --including Platinum Label events like Berlin, Chicago, and New York-- the number of actual qualifying opportunities for the September through November period remains very small. The re-scheduled Virgin Money London Marathon remains on the schedule for October 4, and race director Hugh Brasher said yesterday that he and his team would make the final go, no-go decision over the next 10 days.

"Most of the major marathons have already been cancelled or postponed for the remainder of this year and the evolution of the pandemic makes it difficult to predict if those scheduled for the first half of next year will be able to go ahead," commented World Athletics president Sebastian Coe in a statement. "That situation, combined with the fact that endurance athletes in the marathon and race walks can only produce a very limited number of high-quality performances a year, would really narrow their qualifying window without this adjustment."

Today's decision has no impact on USA athletes. The United States Olympic Marathon team was already selected on February 29, when the Olympic Trials were held in Atlanta and the top-3 men and women earned Team USA berths. All six athletes who finished on the podium --Galen Rupp, Jake Riley, Abdi Abdirahman, Aliphine Tuliamuk, Molly Seidel and Sally Kipyego-- ran under the Olympic Games qualifying standards of 2:11:30 for men and 2:29:30 for women and have locked in their team spots.

For athletes from other nations, the technical conditions for marathon qualification remain in force. Athletes must compete on a World Athletics-certified course, and the course cannot have an elevation loss greater than 42.195 meters (no restriction on start/finish separation, however). Athletes must wear shoes which conform to World Athletics regulations (sole thickness cannot exceed 40 millimeters).

Separately, World Athletics also revised the regulations covering competition footwear for track events. The sole thickness of competition shoes is limited to 25 millimeters for events of 800-meters and longer, including the steeplechase.

NCAA Division III Fall Championships Canceled

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The Division III Presidents Council has called off all national championships for fall sports, including cross country. 

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Tamaal Myers Is Ready For His Encore At AAU

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One of the most anticipated races of the AAU Junior Olympic Games this week is led by an athlete that few might know about. 

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Confidence Is Key For Aly Conyers Ahead Of The AAU JO Games

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With less than one week until the AAU Junior Olympic Games, Heathwood Hall's (SC) Aly Conyers is ready to see the results of her season's -- or to some, pandemic -- training finally pay off.

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AAU Junior Olympic Games Performance Lists

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The 2020 AAU Junior Olympic Games begin on Wednesday, August 5th in Brevard County, Florida. Check out the full schedule for the meet here and see the performance list for all events and age groups below.

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Valarie Allman Breaks Discus American Record

WOW: Texas Throwers & U.S. Discus Champ

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On Saturday, Valarie Allman improved her personal best by three meters in the discus, breaking the American record in the process. Allman’s first round toss of 70.15m in Rathdrum, Idaho bettered Gia Lewis-Smallwood’s 69.17m throw from 2014. 

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Big Friendly 3 Recap: Donavan Brazier Cracks 1:43 Opener

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The third edition of the Big Friendly, dubbed “The Big Friendly 3: Revenge of the Friendly,” went down on Friday night in Portland, Oregon, although the word revenge was not quite fitting as the stars from previous friendlies once again shined.

Flagstaff Community Rallies To Support Tommy River Puzey

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Two months ago a local Flagstaff runner, Tommy River Puzey was admitted to the ICU with respiratory issues. After several weeks of testing and a lung biopsy, doctors discovered the presence of a very rare and aggressive form of Lymphoma.

Organizers Recommend 2021 World XC Championships Be Postponed

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Organizers of next year's World Athletics Cross Country Championships, scheduled for March 20, in Bathurst, Australia in New South Wales, are recommending that these championships be postponed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.  The board of the local organizing committee has made the recommendation to the World Athletics Council as "a result of biosecurity measures and travel restrictions currently in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Australia," according to an official statement released today.  Australian borders are currently closed to foreign visitors to prevent the spread of the virus.

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Five Best From The Weekend: Miller-Uibo Shows Range, Bromell Beats Lyles

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Until the Diamond League formally returns on Aug. 14 in Monaco, finding track results is an exercise in internet sleuthing and social media stalking. Grassroots meets that are humble in appearance have been heavy on star power as the pandemic has forced athletes to compete at venues that don’t typically house a cast of world and Olympic champions. So bootleg race videos and wind-assisted marks have become the norm in a season that certainly has no precedent.

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