Shaun White has worst X Games finish since 2000

Shaun White
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Shaun White finished 11th at the Winter X Games on Thursday night, his worst halfpipe result at the event since his debut at age 13 in 2000.

The two-time Olympic halfpipe champion was unable to notch a clean run in two attempts, both times losing all of his momentum after failing to fully rotate and land one of his tricks. White’s best score was a 29.66, placing 11th out of 12 riders.

Australian Olympian Scotty James won with a 90-point run featuring back-to-back double cork 1080s, according to ESPN. Full results are here.

White was considered a medal favorite in his X Games return after missing last year’s event due to a dispute with organizers.

He won both of his contests in the 2015-16 season, including notching his biggest air out of the halfpipe of his career at the U.S. Open last March.

White did, though, have offseason ankle surgery and failed to make the final at his only other contest this season, using a Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, Colo., as a “test run” in December.

White, 30, wasn’t quite at the form Thursday required to win his ninth X Games halfpipe title and first since 2013. He nearly matched James in soaring 21 feet above the halfpipe. He tried a new trick in his first run, a switch frontside double cork 1440, according to ESPN, but was unable to pull it off.

VIDEO: White’s first run | White’s second run

White’s biggest rivals struggled, too.

The 2014 and 2015 X Games champion Danny Davis was fifth, Olympic silver medalist Ayumu Hirano was ninth and Olympic champion Iouri Podladtchikov was 10th.

White is expected to compete next week at his home pipe at Mammoth Mountain, Calif.

Also Thursday, 16-year-old U.S. Olympic hopeful Hailey Langlund won snowboard big air by becoming the first woman to land a double cork at the X Games, according to ESPN.

Olympic slopestyle champion Jamie Anderson was fourth. Big air makes its Olympic debut in PyeongChang.

MORE: Mark McMorris ups risk for 2 golds in PyeongChang

*Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that the U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain, Calif., in February is an Olympic qualifier. It is for ski and snowboard slopestyle and snowboard slopestyle, but not snowboard halfpipe.

Diana Taurasi returns to U.S. national basketball team

Diana Taurasi
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Diana Taurasi is set to return to the U.S. national basketball team next week for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics, signaling a possible bid for a record-breaking sixth Olympic appearance in 2024 at age 42.

Taurasi is on the 15-player roster for next week’s training camp in Minnesota announced Tuesday.

Brittney Griner is not on the list but is expected to return to competitive basketball later this year with her WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury (also Taurasi’s longtime team, though she is currently a free agent), after being detained in Russia for 10 months in 2022.

Taurasi said as far back as the 2016 Rio Games that her Olympic career was likely over, but returned to the national team after Dawn Staley succeeded Geno Auriemma as head coach in 2017.

In Tokyo, Taurasi and longtime backcourt partner Sue Bird became the first basketball players to win five Olympic gold medals. Bird has since retired.

After beating Japan in the final, Taurasi said “see you in Paris,” smiling, as she left an NBC interview. That’s now looking less like a joke and more like a prediction.

Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve succeeded Staley as head coach last year. In early fall, she guided the U.S. to arguably the best FIBA World Cup performance ever, despite not having stalwarts Bird, Griner, Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles.

Taurasi was not in contention for the team after suffering a WNBA season-ending quad injury in the summer. Taurasi, who is 38-0 in Olympic games and started every game at the last four Olympics, wasn’t on a U.S. team for an Olympics or worlds for the first time since 2002.

Next year, Taurasi can become the oldest Olympic basketball player in history and the first to play in six Games, according to Olympedia.org. Spain’s Rudy Fernandez could also play in a sixth Olympics in 2024.

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Mo Farah likely to retire this year

Mo Farah
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British track legend Mo Farah will likely retire by the end of this year.

“I’m not going to go to the Olympics, and I think 2023 will probably be my last year,” the 39-year-old Farah said, according to multiple British media reports.

Farah, who swept the 5000m and 10,000m golds at the Olympics in 2012 and 2016, was announced Tuesday as part of the field for the London Marathon on April 23.

Last May, Farah reportedly said he believed his career on the track was over, but not the roads.

London might not be his last marathon. Farah also said that if, toward the end of this year, he was capable of being picked to run for Britain again, he would “never turn that down,” according to Tuesday’s reports.

It’s not clear if Farah was referencing the world track and field championships, which include a marathon and are in Budapest in August. Or selection for the 2024 British Olympic marathon team.

The fastest British male marathoner last year ran 2:10:46, ranking outside the top 300 in the world. Farah broke 2:10 in all five marathons that he’s finished, but he hasn’t run one since October 2019 (aside from pacing the 2020 London Marathon).

Farah withdrew four days before the last London Marathon on Oct. 2, citing a right hip injury.

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’s best London Marathon finish in four starts was third place in 2018.

Farah returned to the track in a failed bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, then shifted back to the roads.

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