Rome mayor wants 2024 Olympic medal ceremonies in Colosseum

Rome Colosseum

If Rome hosts the 2024 Olympics, the medal ceremonies could be held at the Colosseum, its mayor said Friday.

“We want to rebuild the arena of the Colosseum so that the athletes can be lifted in like the gladiators in the Roman times,” Rome mayor Ignazio Marino said, according to The Associated Press.

Rome 2024 bid officials and Italian president Sergio Mattarella met with International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach on Friday.

Bach liked the idea of holding medal ceremonies at the Colosseum but joked “as long as the lions don’t then arrive,” according to the AP.

When Rome announced its bid in December, venues were proposed in Florence, Naples and Sardinia.

Italian media suggested the Vatican could host events, according to the AP, since the IOC now allows competitions held outside a host nation in exceptional circumstances. Archery in St. Peter’s Square was talked about.

On Friday, the AP reported the Circus Maximus was among the potential sports venues.

Rome hosted the 1960 Olympics, where barefoot Ethiopian Abeba Bikila won the marathon with the finish around the Arch of Constantine, which is near the Colosseum.

The 2024 Olympic host city will be chosen via an IOC members vote in 2017. Rome is joined in the race by Boston and Hamburg, so far. Paris has also taken steps to be among the bidders, 100 years after it last hosted the Olympics.

U.S. Olympic leaders will meet with the IOC in Switzerland next week after Boston 2024 changed its bid leadership this week, according to the AP.

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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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