Simone Biles goes wire to wire at Secret Classic

Simone Biles
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Simone Biles cemented her favorite status for the P&G Championships by running away with the Secret Classic all-around title Saturday, her first meet since winning the World Championships all-around in October.

Biles, 17, scored 61.7 points at the tune-up meet in Hoffman Estates, Ill., beating 2012 Olympian and reigning World all-around silver medalist Kyla Ross by 1.65.

“I just came in here with a positive mind, and I’ve been out for a while, so I just tried to hit all four and have fun with it,” Biles said on Universal Sports. “I hope [U.S. National Team coordinator Martha Karolyi] was smiling.”

Biles led the field with a 15.8 on floor exercise and a 15.9 on vault, where she landed an Amanar (Ross performed a double twisting Yurchenko, one-half less twist than an Amanar). Biles also scored a 14.75 on uneven bars and closed with a 15.25 on balance beam, matching Ross for the highest score on that apparatus.

Biles was slated to compete in the American Cup in March and the Pacific Rim Championships in April, but pulled out of both meets due to a shoulder aggravation. She also had ankle surgery after the World Championships.

Biles and Ross will be the headliners at the P&G Championships, Aug. 21-24 in Pittsburgh. The team for October’s World Championships in Nanning, China, will be named later this summer.

McKayla Maroney determined for Rio 2016 despite knee surgery

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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