Mo Farah

Mo Farah withdraws from Commonwealth Games

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The Commonwealth Games lost one more big star as competition began Thursday.

Mo Farah, the British 5000m and 10,000m Olympic and World champion, withdrew due to illness. He was scheduled to race the 5000m and 10,000m at Hampden Park in Glasgow next week.

“I have taken the tough decision to withdraw from the Commonwealth Games. The sickness I had two weeks ago was a big setback for me,” Farah said in a statement. “I really wanted to add the Commonwealth titles to my Olympic and World Championships, but the event is coming a few weeks too soon for me as my body is telling me it’s not ready to race yet.”

Farah’s absence adds to several other stars missing the Games, including Yohan Blake of Jamaica, Mark Cavendish of the Isle of Man and Katarina Johnson-Thompson of England.

Kenyan Olympic 800m champion David Rudisha and Jamaican sprinters Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce are the remaining headliners in track and field. Bolt and Fraser-Pryce may only compete in relays though.

Queen photobombs Commonwealth Games athlete’s selfie

U.S., Great Britain to hold track and field dual meet

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The U.S. and Great Britain go head-to-head in a track and field meet on July 21 at the London Olympic Stadium.

“The Meet” will include nine running, jumping, hurdles and relay events and last two hours. Specific events and athletes will be announced early next year.

The U.S. topped the overall medal standings at every Olympics and world outdoor championships since 2004.

Great Britain is one of three countries to earn at least five medals at every Olympics and worlds since 2007, joining the U.S. and Kenya.

British athletes made six podiums at the just-completed worlds at the London Olympic Stadium, including in all four relays. The other two medals came from Mo Farah, who is moving to road racing and marathons after this season.

“The Meet” is similar to swimming’s “Duel in the Pool,” a biennial head-to-head competition between the U.S. and rival Australia from 2003 through 2007 and between the U.S. and Europe between 2009 and 2015.

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Maria Sharapova gets U.S. Open wild card

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NEW YORK (AP) — Maria Sharapova was granted a wild-card invitation for the U.S. Open’s main draw on Tuesday and will take part in a Grand Slam event for the first time in more than 1 ½ years.

Sharapova is among eight women given entry into the 128-player field by the U.S. Tennis Association — and by far the most noteworthy.

The former No. 1-ranked player and owner of five major titles, including the 2006 U.S. Open, has not entered a major tournament since the Australian Open in January 2016, when she tested positive for the newly banned drug meldonium.

That led to a 15-month doping ban, which expired in April. She returned to the tour, but her ranking — currently 148th — was too low to allow entry into major tournaments, and the French Open denied her a wild card. Sharapova planned to try to qualify for Wimbledon, but the 30-year-old Russian wound up skipping the grass-court portion of the season because of an injured left thigh.

Sharapova has been participating in tournaments via wild-card invitations, beginning in April on red clay at Stuttgart, Germany. She’s only played nine matches this season.

Sharapova was 19 when she won her U.S. Open trophy. Two years before, at 17, Sharapova won her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon. She has since completed a career Grand Slam and become one of the most recognizable — and marketable — athletes in the world.

The U.S. Open starts in Flushing Meadows on Aug. 28.

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