Baseball, softball still have chance at 2020 Olympics, says IOC president

Jennie Finch

Baseball and softball’s hope of returning for the 2020 Olympics did not end when they lost an International Olympic Committee vote in September.

The sports will be discussed at an IOC Executive Board meeting in December and in Sochi in February, IOC president Thomas Bach said in Tokyo on Wednesday.

“I am open for more flexibility in the Olympic program,” Bach reportedly said. “But first we have to see what the rest of my colleagues in the IOC think.”

In September, the IOC voted for one sport to be added for the 2020 and 2024 Olympics. It chose wrestling over a joint baseball-softball bid and squash.

Going into the vote, there were reports that the losing sports could still be added to the Olympics.

How baseball-softball could get a second chance is outlined by Agence France-Presse.

The question of which sports will be contested should be decided seven years before an Olympics, according to the Olympic charter.

Bach, however, said the seven-year rule can be changed by an IOC vote.

Baseball joined the Olympics in 1992, followed by softball in 1996. They were both voted out by the IOC in 2005, taking effect after the 2008 Olympics.

Jennie Finch learned of IOC vote while leading softball camp with 400 girls

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

Derrick Mein

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

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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