United States women take gold in team all-around in dominant fashion

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The United States women’s gymnastics team was the clear favorite to win gold in the team all-around Tuesday evening. They met those expectations and then some at the Rio Olympic Arena, winning gold by more than eight points over silver medalists Russia.

This is the second consecutive team all-around gold medal for the United States, with Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas being members of both teams. Simone Biles, three-time world champion in the individual all-around, Laurie Hernandez and Madison Kocian are all first-time Olympic gold medalists. Biles’ score of 15.8 on the floor exercise sealed the margin of victory record for the “Final Five,” with a gold medal essentially being secured by that point.

The nickname is an homage to Martha Karolyi, who is retiring as coordinator of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team following these Olympics. While there are more medals for the Americans to win in the individual all-around and apparatus events, seeing her team win another team all-around gold medal is a good note for Karolyi to end her career on.

The Americans’ margin of victory of 8.209 points establishes a new Olympic record, surpassing the mark they set four years ago in London. The United States beat Russia by 5.066 in those Olympics. China, which just missed out on a bronze medal in London, took the bronze medal.

Women’s gymnastics competition resumes Thursday with the individual all-around final, with Biles and Raisman representing the United States.

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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