First four divers qualify for U.S. Olympic team

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Sam Dorman and Michael Hixon made their first competition diving together an unforgettable one, winning the U.S. Olympic Trials synchronized springboard in Indianapolis on Wednesday night.

They’re joined by women’s synchronized platform winners Amy Cozad and Jessica Parratto as the first four members of the U.S. Olympic diving team. All four are first-time Olympians.

The Trials continue through Sunday (broadcast schedule here).

Dorman and Hixon beat Olympic bronze medalists Troy Dumais and Kristian Ipsen by a comfortable 47.97 points. They came into the finals with a 56.52-point lead after the preliminary and semifinal rounds.

Dorman and Hixon weren’t paired together for Trials until late this spring, after a USA Diving camp to determine the best duos going forward.

“We matched up well,” Dorman said on NBCSN after winning Wednesday.

Dumais, 36, failed in a bid to become the first five-time U.S. Olympic diver. He’ll get another chance in the individual springboard final Saturday. But he will have to erase a 110.05-point deficit there.

Ipsen leads the individual springboard going into the final, followed by Hixon (7.05 points back), Mark Anderson (109.2 behind Hixon) and then Dumais. The top two finishers make the Olympic team.

Dumais’ best chance was in synchro. Now it looks like his decorated Olympic career is complete. His voice cracked in a post-meet NBCSN interview, repeating what he told Ipsen before the competition.

“No matter what, let’s enjoy it,” Dumais said. “Thank you for the memories.”

Cozad knows Olympic Trials heartbreak. She missed the 2012 Olympic team by one spot in the individual platform.

Cozad and Parratto left no doubt Wednesday, winning by nearly 90 points after prelims, semis and finals. Their lead was so large they clinched victory before their last dive.

“End goal is an Olympic medal,” said Parratto, who with Cozad finished ninth at the 2015 World Championships.

Cozad and Parratto could also make the Olympic team individually Saturday.

Parratto, whose mom clutched a stress ball watching her dive Wednesday, leads by 69 points going into that final. Cozad is in third but just .15 behind second-place Murphy Bromberg.

MORE: Athletes qualified for U.S. Olympic team

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

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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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