Oslo withdraws 2022 Olympic bid after ‘no’ vote

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Oslo’s 2022 Winter Olympic bid is off after Norwegian government voted against financially supporting it, the bid’s director of marketing and communications said Wednesday.

“Yes, it’s off,” Marit Høvik Hartmann said in an email.

IOC executive director Christophe Dubi said Norwegian senior politicians made decisions based on “half-truths and factual inaccuracies,” calling it “a missed opportunity” for Oslo and Norway in a press release.

“It is a missed opportunity to make the most of the 880 million dollars investment the IOC would have made to the Games that would have built a considerable legacy for the people,” Dubi said. “In addition, national sponsorship rights granted by the IOC would have delivered a considerable sum and almost certainly substantially more than the 181 million dollars estimated in the bid. The most recent editions of the Olympic Winter Games (for instance Vancouver and Sochi), which have all either broken even or made a profit, have made sponsorship revenue four times higher than that.

“Earlier this year the Norwegian bid team asked for a meeting with the IOC for an explanation of all aspects of the IOC requirements, including the financial details, and the IOC arranged this for all three bid cities in order to ensure fair play amongst the three bids. Unfortunately, Oslo sent neither a senior member of the bid team nor a government official to this meeting. For this reason senior politicians in Norway appear not to have been properly briefed on the process and were left to take their decisions on the basis of half-truths and factual inaccuracies.

“For a country of such means, full of so many successful athletes and so many fanatical winter sports fans it is a pity that Oslo will miss out on this great opportunity to invest in its future and show the world what it has to offer.”

Oslo was named one of three finalist cities for the 2022 Winter Olympics by the International Olympic Committee in July. The two remaining finalist cities are Almaty, Kazakhstan, and Beijing.

The IOC will vote to select the host city on July 31, 2015, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Krakow, Poland; Lviv, Ukraine and Stockholm previously dropped out of the race.

Oslo hosted the 1952 Winter Olympics. Norway hosted again with the Lillehammer 1994 Winter Games. Lillehammer will host the 2016 Youth Winter Olympics.

Kazakhstan has never hosted an Olympics.

Beijing, which hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics, could become the first city to host both a Summer and Winter Games.

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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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