Kenya omits fastest active men’s, women’s marathoners from Olympic team

Mary Keitany
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Kenya named its six-person Olympic marathon team on Tuesday. It includes neither the men’s world-record holder nor the second-fastest woman of all time.

The team, according to its Twitter account:

Eliud Kipchoge — Berlin, London winner
Stanley Biwott — New York winner
Wesley Korir — top Kenyan at Boston (fourth)

Jemima Sumgong — London winner
Visiline Jepkesho — Paris winner
Helah Kiprop — Tokyo winner

Missing from the men’s team is world-record holder Dennis Kimetto, as reported last week to little surprise.

Tuesday’s revelation was that the women’s team does not include Mary Keitany, the 2014 and 2015 New York City Marathon winner and second-fastest woman of all time. Only the retired Paula Radcliffe has bettered Keitany’s 2:18:37 from the 2012 London Marathon.

Keitany won the 2014 and 2015 New York City Marathons but struggled in her last 26.2-mile race, finishing ninth in London on April 24. She also finished fourth at the London Games.

Instead, the roster includes Jepkesho, whose only major marathon was a 20th-place finish at the 2015 World Championships. Jepkesho, 28, won the Paris Marathon in 2:25:53 on April 3.

Kiprop won the World Championships silver medal last year and the Tokyo Marathon in 2:21:27 on Feb. 28, a personal-best time.

Keitany and Chicago Marathon winner Florence Kiplagat were on a reported preliminary roster last week but were relegated to reserves in Tuesday’s announcement.

For the second straight Olympics, all of Kenya’s runners will be making their Olympic marathon debut. Kipchoge earned 5000m bronze in 2004 and silver in 2008.

In 2012, Kenya’s Olympic team did not include Patrick Makau, then the world-record holder, or Geoffrey Mutai, who then had the fastest 26.2-mile time ever (but on a course that wasn’t record eligible).

MORE: Boston Marathon winners not assured Olympic spots

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

Mo Farah
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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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