Triathlon federation boss wants Olympic races shortened

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The president of the International Triathlon Union wants to reduce the distance of Olympic triathlons, potentially by 50 percent, according to the Times of London.

“It is very attractive to TV, and this is something very important to maintain the sport in the Olympic Games,” ITU president and International Olympic Committee member Marisol Casado said, according to the report, which added that an announcement is expected in the first half of 2017 and that semifinal races could be added, too. “It is something very important for the whole organization to discuss.”

In ITU World Series racing, there are Olympic-distance triathlons including a 1500m swim, 40km bike and 10km run as well as sprint-distance triathlons including a 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run.

Olympic-distance races are won in a little under two hours. The sprints are less than one hour.

“It’s quicker and more dynamic from a spectator point of view, but I’ve lost count of the number of people who have come up to me and said it’s the toughness of the event that appeals,” two-time Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee said, according to the report. “It’d be a real shame to lose that.”

For years, Casado has pushed for a mixed-gender Olympic relay event to be added to the Olympic program and still hopes for Tokyo 2020. The IOC would have to approve any Olympic program changes.

Triathlon debuted at the 2000 Sydney Games.

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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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