Bernard Tomic, Nick Kyrgios put ‘on watch’ by Australia Olympic Committee

Bernard Tomic, Nick Kyrgios
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SYDNEY (AP) — Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios may have to improve their behavior on and off the tennis court if they hope to represent Australia at the Rio Olympics.

Both players have been put on notice by Australian chef de mission Kitty Chiller, who described Tomic’s behavior at a tournament in Madrid this week as “appalling,” after he deliberately gave up a match point — with the handle of his racket facing forward — and later said he didn’t care because at the age of 23 he was already worth $10 million.

“It goes against every … value that all the Olympians live by, it goes against everything that we’ve been trying to build in this team,” she said. “I would not want to see any of our Olympic team members behave in that way.”

Chiller said at the AOC’s annual general meeting Saturday that “there’s a few athletes that are on watch and those two names are among them.”

“Every athlete is under the microscope now,” Chiller added.

She also said the AOC had been watching the ongoing behavior of Kyrgios, who has regularly abused umpires, opponents and spectators.

Tennis Australia has until late June to nominate its team for Rio, with world No. 21 Kyrgios and No.22 Tomic the country’s highest-ranked players and best chance for a medal.

But Chiller stressed that Tennis Australia can only nominate players of “good standing” within their sport, while the AOC has the final say.

“It’s their responsibility to determine whether it’s appropriate to nominate them,” she said. “If any athlete from any sport is nominated, we look at everything … including behavior, including the disrepute clause. We have the ability to take that into consideration whether we proceed to select the nomination or not.”

“Based on the last 48 hours, all I can comment on is that is not behavior that I would want any team member in a team that I’m responsible for to exhibit.”

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

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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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