Team USA’s Murphy completes sweep of 100, 200 backstroke events

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Having already won the 100 meter backstroke earlier this week, American Ryan Murphy completed the sweep of the Olympic backstroke events Thursday night.

Murphy won the 200 meter back with a time of 1:53.62, holding off a challenge from Australia’s Mitch Larkin over the final 50 meters to do so. Larkin finished in 1:53.96 to earn his first medal of these Olympics after finishing fourth in the 100 back.

WATCH: Ryan Murphy continues USA backstroke dominance

Russia’s Evgeny Rylov, who like Larkin failed to medal in the 100 back, took bronze with a time of 1:53.97 as he just missed out on silver. Murphy’s win extends the United States’ gold medal streak in the 200 back to six consecutive Olympic Games, with Brad Bridgewater beginning the run in 1996. Murphy is also the fifth swimmer to win both the 100 and 200 back in the same Olympics, with the most recent being Aaron Piersol in 2004.

WATCH: Ryan Murphy is golden in 200 backstroke

All five swimmers to accomplish that feat are American. Jacob Pebley finished fifth with a time of 1:55.52.

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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