Centrowitz takes gold in 1500, first American winner since 1908

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In a 1500 meter final run at a slower pace than many anticipated, the U.S. streak of 108 years without a gold medal in the event came to an end.

Matthew Centrowitz, who finished fourth in the 1500 four years ago in London, took gold with a time of 3:50.00. Centrowitz going into the final lap, and he managed to hang on despite the best efforts of reigning Olympic champion Taoufik Makhloufi of Algeria. Makhloufi took silver with a time of 3:50.11.

Centrowitz“I didn’t ever dream of actually winning”

Taking bronze was New Zealand’s Nicholas Williams, who at 3:50.24 beat Ayanleh Souleiman of Djibouti by five one-hundredths of a second for the final medal spot. Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop, who was expected to be a medal contender entering the race, finished sixth. Fellow Kenyan Ronald Kwemoi, also seen as a medal contender before the race, fell during the race and could not recover, finishing 13th with a time of 3:56.76.

American Ben Blankenship was unable to join Centrowitz on the medal stand, as his time of 3:51.09 placed him eighth.

Centrowitz is the son of Matthew Sr., who competed in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal but did not get to compete in 1980 due to the American boycott of those Summer Olympics in Moscow.

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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