LONDON – (Reuters) The annual London Marathon which was due to take place on April 26 has been postponed to October 4 because of coronavirus, the organisers said on Friday, marking the latest in a long line of major international sport events disrupted by the pandemic.“The world is in an unprecedented situation grappling with a global pandemic of COVID-19 and public health is everyone’s priority,” event director Hugh Brasher said in a statement.Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge, who unofficially broke the two-hour marathon barrier in Vienna last October, welcomed the news.“I fully respect the decision made by the organisation as safeguarding the health of the world always takes our top priority,” he wrote on Twitter.“To the thousands of runners who with me have devoted the last months of our lives towards this goal I would like to say: Be proud of the work you have put into this journey, keep smiling and seek your next goal.”The postponement delays the highly-anticipated showdown between Kipchoge and Ethiopian rival Kenenisa Bekele, the only men to go under two hours, two minutes for the distance.The marathon was intended to be an Olympic qualifying event for Team GB. British Athletics said it would hold a separate marathon trial for the Tokyo Games “in a closed location, with limited numbers” potentially around April 25 to 27.The Boston Marathon, another one of the six World Marathon Majors, also announced its postponement on Friday, rescheduling from April 20 to mid-September.
View this post on Instagram You would think that as Ring of Honor world champion, Jay Lethal has a lot on his mind. But for him, there is just one thing right now that matters.“I’m trying to focus on keeping the belt until Madison Square Garden because, right now, that’s all everybody can see,” admitted Lethal. “We’ve got tunnel vision. Everything is leading to the Garden.” One of my fav picturesA post shared by Jay Lethal (@thelethaljay) on Aug 31, 2018 at 8:10pm PDTThere have been some big names that recently left the company with The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson), Cody Rhodes, and Adam Page leaving at the end of 2018 to be founding blocks of the new All Elite Wrestling promotion. It’s nothing new to ROH, which has seen plenty of talent come and go over the years from the likes of Samoa Joe and Bryan Danielson (now Daniel Bryan in WWE) to AJ Styles and Adam Cole.“I feel that Ring of Honor has always been in the rebuilding phase,” said Lethal. “Ring of Honor, in all the time I’ve known it, it’s never been fully settled. It’s always in this rebuilding phase because other rosters out there constantly pluck from the Ring of Honor roster to make their roster better. Look at all of the companies out there and their champions. Most of them came through and from Ring of Honor.“I think the winning formula is you don’t try and replace those guys,” he continued. “How do you replace The Young Bucks? How do you replace a Cody Rhodes or an AJ Styles? That hole in your tapestry is going to be there, but you have to have sense enough to know that hole leaves some character. That hole has done some great work and you don’t try to cover that up. It just adds character.”In the meantime, ROH has been aggressive in signing talent. That includes Jeff Cobb, Mark Haskins, PCO and Brody King along with Mexican stars Bandido and Rush with a roster that still includes Dalton Castle, Marty Scurll, Mark and Jay Briscoe and others along with a continuing partnership with NJPW.“Ultimately, it’s the fans that win because this is going to lead to some fresh and cool things that not only did you not think were possible before, not only some things that you didn’t know you wanted to see until you saw them, but to keep fans interested, you have to give them something that they’ve never seen before,” said Lethal.He continued: “With there being so many options for wrestlers, there’s so many options to give them something they’ve never seen before whether it’s two guys from different sides of the world that you never thought they’d be in the same ring because they’ve always worked for two separate companies. Now, there’s a dream match that we didn’t know would have been a dream match because it’s never been possible. The fans are going to be the ultimate winners and if the wrestlers can make a few extra bucks, kudos to them.”For now, Lethal continues to have tunnel vision looking towards the G1 Supercard on April 6 at Madison Square Garden. A lot can happen between now and then, but that hasn’t stopped him from thinking about the historic show.“To me, it’s all about walking in as the champion,” explained Lethal. “If I don’t leave as the champion, that wouldn’t be too heart breaking for me, but going in as the champion, they could never take anything away from me after that. If I can hold onto this belt — we do have one more pay-per-view in March, I have to get through that first. If I can walk into Madison Square Garden as the champion, that’s what I would really like. Winning the big one in Madison Square Garden, that would be cool, but to me, being the first Ring of Honor champion walking into Madison Square Garden and defending the belt, that’s the coolest part to me.”Lethal has already put together a short list of who he would like to face at the Garden that includes both ROH and NJPW stars.“I’ve never had a singles match with (Hiroshi) Tanahashi or (Kazuchika) Okada,” said Lethal. “When I think back to some of my favorite matches, there’s one that sticks out to me and that’s the first time I won the Ring of Honor championship against Jay Briscoe. That match meant a lot to me for several reasons, but one of the most important ones is that every time with Jay Briscoe, he forces me to dig down deep and bring out something special. He really makes me perform at my highest level and something I didn’t know was possible. Any one of those three would be amazing, but then again, I’d love to be in that spot with anybody.”That includes a possible champion versus champion match with newly crowned IWGP Heavyweight Champion Jay White.“That would be incredible,” said Lethal. “I would love it. In fact, Ring of Honor has its New Japan shows with the roster traveling to Japan for our yearly ‘Honor Rising’ event. I’ll get to see and congratulate Jay White in person.”Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a year There are plenty of possibilities, but Lethal has to keep the ROH world championship until the momentous date.“That’s all I can think about,” Lethal said. “In fact, in the history of the business, I think the coolest stories have been when it comes to that big show — winning the big one at the big one.”Brian Fritz can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @BrianFritz and listen to his Between The Ropes podcast on iTunes. The show he is referring to is the G1 Supercard, a huge co-branded event featuring the stars of both Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling taking place on April 6 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearThis marks the first time that a non-WWE wrestling show will take place inside the world’s most famous arena. The excitement around the event has been so high that when tickets went on sale last August, the show sold out in less than 20 minutes.While Lethal and the rest of Ring of Honor are focused on the historic event, there’s plenty of other business before then. That includes the fourth annual “Honor Rising” event with ROH and NJPW teaming up for two nights of action at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan on Feb. 22-23.#ROH17 is already stacked with many more matches to come!Fri Mar 15 – LIVE on PPV & for #HonorClub VIPBe there LIVE: https://t.co/[email protected] pic.twitter.com/BBpfoNMJAb— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) February 16, 2019Add to that the ROH 17th Anniversary pay-per-view where Lethal will defend the ROH world title against Matt Taven, who has been claiming since last summer that he is the real world champion, even carrying around his own customized title. That show will take place on Friday, March 15th at Sam Town’s Live in Las Vegas and airing live on pay-per-view and for members of the subscription-based Honor Club streaming network via ROHWrestling.com.Lethal — now a two-time ROH World Champion — recently made history of his own, breaking the record for the most combined days as champion and surpassing Samoa Joe’s record of 645 days.While he was aware of the record, Lethal had no idea that he was anywhere close to breaking it.“When I was pulled aside and they said you know, you’re about to beat Joe’s record of holding the belt for a certain amount of time, I said, ‘No way! That’s insane!’” Lethal exclaimed. “I remember being in Ring of Honor when Joe was champion and I was his protégé and I would come to the ring holding his towel. I didn’t think anyone would ever beat his record.”Lethal has achieved high status in ROH to the point where you can’t tell the history of the promotion without his name being one of the first mentioned. He still remembers his first tenure in ROH early in his career from 2003-2006 when he felt like the young guy who didn’t belong in that spot yet.“I really felt like my skills and my time in the wrestling business, I shouldn’t have been in Ring of Honor,” said Lethal. “I somehow had slipped through the cracks, but luckily I was there and I was learning every chance that I got because there’s so many people to learn from.”He added: “I can only begin to imagine how cool it would be if there’s someone now in Ring of Honor, someone who just came from our Ring of Honor dojo, one of the younger guys who are now in the shoes that I was in and in a few years will be a major player. I like to think stories like that constantly go on. It’s never ending. There’s going to be someone here who probably doesn’t feel like they belong just like I did, their experience level is not where it should be, but everybody you step in the ring with in this company, there’s something to learn from.”The 33-year-old Lethal began his second world title reign last summer when he defeated former champion Dalton Castle, Cody Rhodes, and Matt Taven in a Fatal Four-Way match. This time around, he feels like it’s a more important achievement to win the title again.“It’s proof, in my opinion, that what you did the first time and what I particularly did the first time that I was Ring of Honor champion, was at least interesting enough to try it again,” explained Lethal. “This one means more to me that the first time because it proves, not from a fan standpoint or from my standpoint, but from the company I work for and represent that from their mind, I should have another go because what I did the first time was at least interesting enough to have a second go around.” Last November, Lethal signed a new multi-year contract with Ring of Honor. For him, there was never a question of where he wanted to be.“Here’s the thing that made me fall in love with them,” Lethal explained. “Even when I was just that kid that didn’t feel like I belonged, my skill level was nowhere near a CM Punk or Austin Aries or Alex Shelley at the time, but yet I was still wrestling with those guys. Even then, this company has always gone above and beyond for me. This company has always taken great care of me. I’ve never had a reason to even dream about wanting to go somewhere else. I love this place.”