Mark Cavendish joins Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome on British Olympic cycling team

Mark Cavendish, Bradley Wiggins
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Mark Cavendish will get a third shot at his first Olympic medal.

The 26-time Tour de France stage winner was named as part of the British Olympic track cycling team on Friday, a squad headlined by Bradley Wiggins, who shares the British record of seven Olympic medals.

Two-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome, a 2012 Olympic time trial bronze medalist, headlines the road team.

Great Britain dominated track cycling at the London Games, winning seven of a possible 10 gold medals. Great Britain won no more than four gold medals in any other sport at those Games.

Cavendish was not part of that success story. After finishing a disappointing ninth with Wiggins in the 2008 Olympic madison event, he focused solely on the road race at the 2012 Olympics and suffered another letdown, 29th place.

This time last year, Cavendish’s outlook for Rio was not strong, as the road-race course did not suit his sprint prowess.

He returned to track cycling last August and set his sights on the omnium, a six-race event. The madison was taken off the Olympic program after 2008.

Cavendish finished sixth at the world championships this year. He was not certain to make the Olympic team, partially because the single British Olympic omnium rider must be available at least as a reserve for the team pursuit.

Cavendish has less recent experience in the team pursuit, where the Brits are defending Olympic champions and world silver medalists behind Australia the last two years.

In Rio, Cavendish could once again ride with Wiggins if they’re both called upon for the same four-man team pursuit round.

Cavendish is also expected to race in the Tour de France that runs from July 2-24, though he could bow out early to rest up for the Olympics, which open Aug. 5.

Rio is expected to be the final Games for Wiggins, age 36, who with a medal will break his tie with Chris Hoy to become the most decorated British Olympian of all time.

MORE: 100 Olympic storylines as Rio Games approach

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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