Rachel Schneider crosses the finish line on Monday to clinch a spot in the Tokyo Olympics by finishing third in the women’s 5,000 meters at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials in Eugene, Ore. Kevin Morris photo

While Rachel Schneider will get somewhat of a break from the heat in her next event at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials because of a revised schedule, Ben True will forgo his final chance to make this U.S. Olympic team.

Schneider, a Sanford native who has already qualified for the Olympics by finishing third in the 5,000 meters on Monday in Eugene, Oregon, was scheduled to race again Saturday night in the 10,000. Instead, with potentially record temperatures about to reach the Pacific Northwest for the next three days, the 10,000 has been moved to a morning time slot, along with the men’s and women’s 20-kilometer racewalk and the men’s 5,000 final.

The forecast high for Eugene is a high of 100 degrees on Saturday and 107 degrees on Sunday. The racewalks will start at 7 a.m. local time on Saturday, two hours before originally scheduled.

Steven Smith of South Portland is entered in the men’s 20K racewalk.

The women’s 10,000, which includes Schneider and Emily Durgin of Standish, is now scheduled for 10 a.m. local time.

North Yarmouth native Ben True, now 35, poses with his wife and former Olympic triathlete Sarah True, who is due in mid-July. Tris Wykes photo

The 35-year-old True, of North Yarmouth, was scheduled to run in the preliminary round of the 5,000 on Thursday night but has scratched from that race. True placed fourth in the 10,000 last Friday, missing an Olympic berth by one position.

“Ben had intended to come back for the 5,000,” wrote True’s agent, Dan Lilot, by email. “But he collided with a competitor during the 10,000, causing the area around his right knee to swell up a bit, and his hamstring to tighten up.”

Lilot said True received treatment in the days following Friday night’s race, but he didn’t see sufficient improvement. True returned to his home in New Hampshire on Wednesday.

The final for the men’s 5,000 will now start at 10 a.m. local time on Sunday. Both the men’s 5,000 and women’s 10,000 finals had originally been scheduled for late afternoon starts.

Schneider said on Tuesday that if the heat is unbearable, she would have to consider withdrawing from the 10,000.

Already buoyed by qualifying for her first Olympic team, Schneider said she will return to Flagstaff, Arizona, after the trials to prepare for the Games in Tokyo.

“It feels a little unbelievable,” she said. “Even though I’ve worked so hard for this and felt ready to do this, it does feel like a dream come true.”

After a two-day break, action at the trials resumes Thursday with finals in the women’s shot put and women’s steeplechase.

Japan’s Emperor Naruhito is concerned the Olympics in Japan could cause a significant increase in coronavirus cases. The Imperial Household Agency of Japan via AP

JAPAN’S EMPEROR Naruhito is “extremely worried” that the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics could accelerate the spread of the coronavirus, the head of the Imperial Palace said with the Games opening in one month.

The games will bring thousands of foreign athletes, officials, sponsors and journalists to Japan during a pandemic, despite caution raised by experts about the risk of infections and the public’s persistent calls for cancellation or further postponement. Yasuhiko Nishimura, grand steward of the Imperial Household Agency, told a news conference that the Emperor has voiced concerns.

“His majesty is extremely worried about the current situation of the COVID-19 infections,” Nishimura said. “While there are voices of unease among the public, I believe (the emperor) is concerned that holding the Olympics and Paralympics … may lead to the expansion of the infections.”

The delayed games open July 23, and the Paralympics begin a month later.

Nishimura also urged the organizers to “take every possible anti-virus measures so as not to cause the spread of the infections at the Olympics and Paralympics, where the emperor serves the Honorary Patron.”

The emperor is the symbol of the state with no political power. But like his father, Naruhito has gained broad popularity and his words are highly respected.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is determined to hold the Olympics despite concerns from the public and public health experts.

Adding to their concern, officials in Izumisano, a western Japan town hosting the nine-member Ugandan Olympic team for training, said a second member of the team tested positive for the virus. The first, reportedly a coach, was detected upon arrival Saturday in Tokyo. The rest of the team have been isolating at an Osaka hotel.

Naruhito, 61, also expressed his concern about the pandemic in his speech at an academic award ceremony Monday: “In order to overcome this challenge, it is important for all of us, in and outside of Japan, to bring our hearts together and cooperate.”

Under the plan before a one-year postponement, Naruhito was scheduled to declare the start of the Olympics at the opening ceremony, but details, including his presence at the games, are yet to be finalized, palace officials said.

TENNIS: Two-time defending champion Andy Murray will attempt to win his third consecutive Olympic gold medal after being named to the British team. Murray, 34, will compete in singles and doubles, at his fourth games overall.

Murray is the only men’s player with two gold medals in singles. He beat Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro in the final at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games after topping Roger Federer in straight sets for gold at the 2012 London Olympics. The former top-ranked player is preparing for Wimbledon next week. He’s ranked 119th.

Dan Evans was also selected to compete in singles and doubles for Great Britain. The 26th-ranked Evans will partner with Neal Skupski, and Murray will play with Joe Salisbury in doubles. Heather Watson and Australian-born Johanna Konta were selected to play singles, and they will partner for doubles. It will be the third Olympics for Watson and the second for Konta.

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

Daily Headlines

  • Sign up and get the top stories to begin the day delivered to your inbox at 6 a.m.