Phil Knight: I would have tried to sign Roger Bannister

Roger Bannister
AP
0 Comments

It’s no surprise that Nike co-founder Phil Knight, when asked by USA Today which athlete he wished he could have signed to his company from before it was founded in 1964, picked a track and field star.

His answer to the hypothetical question was Roger Bannister, who in 1954 became the first human to run a mile in under four minutes.

“Track and field has a special place in my heart, No. 1,” Knight, a former University of Oregon runner who announced at age 77 earlier this year he was stepping down, told the newspaper. “No. 1, breaking the four-minute mile …

“A lot of people said it was impossible. I was a junior in high school [when Bannister broke the four-minute barrier] and my history teacher says, ‘The stopwatches were wrong, a human being can’t run that fast.'”

Bannister, now 86, ran a mile in 3 minutes, 59.4 seconds at Oxford on May 6, 1954. He also finished fourth in the 1500m at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics and won gold medals in the 1954 Commonwealth Games and European Championships.

His shoes from the sub-4-minute mile were recently auctioned.

MORE TRACK AND FIELD: Video: Roger Bannister’s sub-4-minute mile

Olympian Derrick Mein ends U.S. men’s trap drought at shotgun worlds

Derrick Mein
Getty
0 Comments

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
Getty
0 Comments

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!