WATCH LIVE: U.S.-Russia in World Hockey Championship semifinals — 1 p.m. ET

Jack Eichel

A U.S. team made up mostly of players in their early 20s takes on a more experienced group of Russians, the defending champions, in its penultimate medal-round game. Storyline sound familiar?

The U.S. and Russia clash in the World Hockey Championship semifinals Saturday, streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra at 1 p.m. ET.

WATCH LIVE: U.S.-Russia in Worlds semifinals

The winner faces Canada in the gold-medal game Sunday, live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra at 2:30 p.m. ET. The loser gets tournament host Czech Republic in the bronze-medal game Sunday, on NBC Sports Live Extra at 10 a.m. ET.

The U.S. upset Russia 4-2 in group play May 4, but the Russians have only gotten stronger since.

Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin flew in after his NHL team was bounced from the playoffs Wednesday. He joins a roster that includes four-time Olympian Ilya Kovalchuk, three-time Olympian Evgeni Malkin, St. Louis Blues leading points scorer Vladimir Tarasenko and Sergey Bobrovsky, who was in goal in the U.S.-Russia game at the Sochi Olympics, won by T.J. Oshie‘s shootout heroics.

The U.S. roster includes one Olympian — defenseman Justin Faulk — and, its youngest player, NCAA Player of the Year as a freshman at Boston University Jack Eichel. Its average age is 24.3 years old.

With a win, the U.S. will clinch its best result at a World Championship since 1960. It has won three Worlds medals since 1962, all bronze.

Russia has won the World Championship four of the last seven years, despite losing twice in the Olympic quarterfinals in that span.

Russian forward Artemy Panarin provided bulletin-board material after beating Sweden 5-3 in the quarterfinals.

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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