Jason Smyth retains world’s fastest Paralympian title

Getty Images

Irish sprinter Jason Smyth received a text message from his wife back home after his Paralympic 100m first-round heat Thursday.

“Could you make the gap a little bit bigger because my heart was about to stop,” she told Smyth, the two-time defending Paralympic 100m champion in the T13 division for visually impaired athletes.

Smyth did as he was told. The fastest Paralympian of all time won his third straight 100m gold medal, clocking 10.64 seconds. That time was well off his IPC world record of 10.46 seconds set at the London Games, but Smyth did not need to be in record form Friday.

He won by a comfortable .14, after prevailing in his first-round heat by .05 the day before, worrying his wife back home with the couple’s baby daughter.

“This year there was more pressure, but I’ve been to the Paralympics before and I know how to handle it,” Smyth said. “I know that I’m better than the other guys.”

Smyth, 29, has actually run as fast as 10.22 seconds in 2011, which came outside of para-athletics competition. The Rio Olympic qualifying minimum time was 10.16 seconds.

Smyth may well be years off from his best times, but he is looking at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics already.

“I’ve had a few injuries during the last couple of years, so I have kind of seen this year as the first one in a five-year cycle,” he said.

MORE: Rio Paralympics broadcast schedule

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.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

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.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!