Masters champ would prefer IOC pick wrestling over golf

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The Des Moines Register’s Rick Brown Tweeted Tuesday that he thinks putting golf in the Olympics instead of wrestling is an “absolute joke.” Unfortunately for golf fans, Brown isn’t alone in his opinion. But few could have guess he’d get the support of PGA pro and 2007 Masters champ Zach Johnson.


You could chalk Johnson’s support up to anything from the Iowa blood that runs through his veins – we hear they like wrestling – or the fact that the major winner has little chance of competing in Rio, since it’s not likely an American outside of the top-15* in the world will earn a spot in the Olympic field. Johnson is currently 25th and will be 40-years-old when Rio comes around, but we’ll let you be the judge.

All that said, golf wasn’t actually in jeopardy of being ousted from the Games Tuesday. It’s being admitted into the Olympic program in 2016 for the first time since the St. Louis Games in 1904, and is guaranteed a spot in the Olympics through 2020. And unlike Brown (or Johnson, really), we’re pretty excited to watch.

(*Only two golfers per country are eligible outside the top-15 in the world, but only if a country’s two spots aren’t taken by golfers in those top-15. And America’s almost certainly will be in Rio.)

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

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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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