U.S. gymnasts hit the road; Leyva aims for Broadway

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Lest you thought the London Games was your final shot to catch gymnastics until 2016, fear not: the U.S. athletes will kick off on the three-month, 40-city “Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions.” This seems a misnomer since the men’s team is also included, but we’ll let it slide. The tour kicks off Saturday in San Jose.

The varying cast includes Gabby Douglas and the Fab Five or Fierce Five or whatever we’re calling them these days (we prefer “the Freshman”… just floating it out there), as well as Beijing standouts Nastia Liukin, Chellsie Memmel, and Alicia Sacramone, and men’s team members Jake Dalton, John Orozco, and Jonathan Horton, among others.

Curiously absent from the group is Danell Leyva, who won bronze on the high bar in London. Apparently he’s more interested in a future on the stage and is looking into adding his talents to the infamous “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” Broadway production after saying he was wowed by the stunts when he saw the show.

“He has designs on one of the nine Spidey roles who do the bulk of the swinging around the theater,” a crew member told the New York Post. “The ladies of ‘Spider-Man’ are drooling at the possibility.”

His gift. His curse.

Olympian Derrick Mein ends U.S. men’s trap drought at shotgun worlds

Derrick Mein
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Tokyo Olympian Derrick Mein became the first U.S. male shooter to win a world title in the trap event since 1966, prevailing at the world shotgun championships in Osijek, Croatia, on Wednesday.

Mein, who grew up on a small farm in Southeast Kansas, hunting deer and quail, nearly squandered a place in the final when he missed his last three shots in the semifinal round after hitting his first 22. He rallied in a sudden-death shoot-off for the last spot in the final by hitting all five of his targets.

He hit 33 of 34 targets in the final to win by two over Brit Nathan Hales with one round to spare.

The last U.S. man to win an Olympic trap title was Donald Haldeman in 1976.

Mein, 37, was 24th in his Olympic debut in Tokyo (and placed 13th with Kayle Browning in the mixed-gender team event).

The U.S. swept the Tokyo golds in the other shotgun event — skeet — with Vincent Hancock and Amber English. Browning took silver in women’s trap.

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Mo Farah withdraws before London Marathon

Mo Farah
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British track legend Mo Farah withdrew before Sunday’s London Marathon, citing a right hip injury before what would have been his first 26.2-mile race in nearly two years.

Farah, who swept the 2012 and 2016 Olympic track titles at 5000m and 10,000m, said he hoped “to be back out there” next April, when the London Marathon returns to its traditional month after COVID moved it to the fall for three consecutive years. Farah turns 40 on March 23.

“I’ve been training really hard over the past few months and I’d got myself back into good shape and was feeling pretty optimistic about being able to put in a good performance,” in London, Farah said in a press release. “However, over the past 10 days I’ve been feeling pain and tightness in my right hip. I’ve had extensive physio and treatment and done everything I can to be on the start line, but it hasn’t improved enough to compete on Sunday.”

Farah switched from the track to the marathon after the 2017 World Championships and won the 2018 Chicago Marathon in a then-European record time of 2:05:11. Belgium’s Bashir Abdi now holds the record at 2:03:36.

Farah returned to the track in a failed bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, then shifted back to the roads.

Sunday’s London Marathon men’s race is headlined by Ethiopians Kenenisa Bekele and Birhanu Legese, the second- and third-fastest marathoners in history.

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