Katie Ledecky, Ryan Lochte notch wins at Mesa Grand Prix

Ryan Lochte

Katie Ledecky and Ryan Lochte won their second events in as many days at the Arena Grand Prix in Mesa, Ariz., prevailing in the 200m freestyle on Friday night.

Ledecky, 17, clocked a personal best 1 minute, 56.27 seconds to edge 2012 Olympic champion Allison Schmitt by .63 of a second. It’s a key result for Ledecky, who is the reigning world champion in the 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyles and Olympic champion in the 800m freestyle.

Ledecky actually qualified to swim the 200m free at last year’s World Championships, but dropped it from her program. Missy Franklin was the only American faster than Ledecky in the 200m free last year. The 200m free appears to be the only event in which they could go head to head moving forward. Franklin is not competing in Mesa.

“I’m just getting stronger and doing a little better in the shorter races,” Ledecky said on Universal Sports. “I’m really happy with how my training’s paying off with those.”

Lochte, an 11-time Olympic medalist, took his 200m free in 1:49.48, coming from behind after 150m to clip South African Darian Townsend by .46. Lochte, coming off aggravating a knee injury in February, scratched out of the 200m backstroke final.

Olympic 100m free champion Nathan Adrian won the 50m free in 21.73. Michael Phelps swam butterfly in the 50m free in afternoon prelims, not advancing to the night finals session.

Natalie Coughlin, who owns 12 Olympic medals over three Games, was third in the women’s 50m free, .38 behind winner Cheyenne Coffman.

2012 Olympic silver medalist Elizabeth Beisel won the 400m individual medley in 4:39.68, more than three seconds ahead of second-place Becca Mann, a rising star at 16. Caitlin Leverenz, who was sixth at the London Games, took fourth. Beisel also took third in the 200m backstroke behind winner Clara Smiddy.

Two-time world silver medalist Tyler Clary similarly dominated the men’s 400m IM by more than three seconds over Conor Dwyer. Clary also finished second in the 200m back behind Russian Arkady Vyatchanin.

U.S. hockey captain talks about Michael Pineda first pitch reference

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.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

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.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!