Japan wins team all-around; United States fails to medal

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Having won an Olympic gold medal in the individual all-around as the last six individual all-around world championships, Japan’s Kohei Uchimura is considered by some to be the greatest male gymnast of all time. Uchimura arrived in Rio intent on not only experiencing more individual success, but also leading his nation to gold in the team all-around after getting silver in Beijing and London. Monday afternoon that mission was accomplished, as Japan won the gold medal in the men’s team all-around competition.

Japan’s score of 274.094 was more than two points better than that of silver medalist Russia, which finished with a score of 271.453. Winning the bronze medal was China, which finished with a score of 271.122.

As for the United States, a team that entered the Olympics expected to contend for a medal was doomed by a bad start to the competition. The Americans posted scores of 43.757 (floor exercise) and 43.699 (pommel horse), with that floor exercise score placing them last after the first rotation. On the floor exercise Alex Naddour fell on his final tumbling pass, and Sam Mikulak stepped out of bounds twice during his routine.

Despite quality scores on the vault and parallel bars, with Mikulak and Jake Dalton performing well on the vault and Mikulak, Danell Leyva and Chris Brooks doing so on the parallel bars, the hole proved to be too deep to climb out of. The United States finished fifth in the team all-around, with their score of 44.441 on the horizontal bar being the final nail in their coffin in regards to earning a medal.

Great Britain, which won a bronze medal in the team all-around in London, finished fourth.

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

Derrick Mein

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

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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