Kaitlyn Farrington of U.S. wins gold in snowboard halfpipe; Bright gets silver, Clark gets bronze

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Kaitlyn Farrington has become the second of three American snowboarders to win gold in Sochi after making the U.S. Olympic Team via a win in the final Olympic qualifying event.

Last month, both Farrington and Sage Kotsenburg punched their tickets to Sochi through victories at Mammoth Mountain, California.

Now, four days after Kotsenburg won in men’s slopestyle, Farrington (pictured, center) has followed suit in the women’s halfpipe.

VIDEO: Farrington wins gold

The Idaho native, who advanced to the final after posting the best semifinal score, improved upon a solid first run to take the lead with a second-run that got her a 91.75.

It would prove just enough to win, as Vancouver 2010 gold medalist Torah Bright of Australia (pictured, right) missed a second consecutive gold by a mere one-quarter of a point (second run of 91.50).

VIDEO: Watch Farrington’s golden run

Kelly Clark (pictured, left), the 2002 gold medalist in Salt Lake City, was the last to try and unseat Farrington. Clark hit the ledge and fell on her first run, but came back with a 90.75 on her second that was enough to get her the bronze. It’s her third career medal in her fourth Olympics.

VIDEO: Clark goes down hard during first run

Clark’s effort knocked teammate and 2006 Torino winner Hannah Teter off the podium. Teter had the overall lead following the first run with a 90.50 but fell on her second run, opening the door for Bright and Clark to come away with medals.

But atop the podium is 24-year-old Farrington, who, like Kotsenburg, is making her Olympic debut in Sochi. Her parents did everything they could to help her along the way, even selling off all of the cows from their family farm to help fund her training.

VIDEO: Torah Bright settles for silver

Now, they can say they raised an Olympic champion.

WOMEN’S SNOWBOARDING – HALFPIPE FINAL
Best of two runs
1. Kaitlyn Farrington (USA), 91.75
2. Torah Bright (AUS), 91.50
3. Kelly Clark (USA), 90.75
4. Hannah Teter (USA), 90.50
5. Rana Okada (JPN), 85.50
6. Xuetong Cai (CHN), 84.25
7. Sophie Rodriguez (FRA), 79.50
8. Shuang Li (CHN), 73.25
9. Jiayu Liu (CHN), 68.25
10. Mirabelle Thovex (FRA), 67.00
11. Queralt Castellet (ESP), 61.75
12. Ursina Haller (SUI), 48.75

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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