Canada names Olympic men’s hockey coach

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Willie Desjardins was named Canada’s men’s hockey coach for the Olympics on Tuesday, three months after the Vancouver Canucks fired him after three seasons.

Desjardins, 60, will coach the first Canadian Olympic team without NHL participation since the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Games.

Sean Burke, a 1988 and 1992 Canadian Olympic goalie, is the general manager.

With NHL players, Canada won the 2010 and 2014 Olympic titles. In PyeongChang, Canada can become the first nation to three-peat as Olympic men’s hockey champion since the Soviet Union in 1976.

Canada will use a series of tournaments in the next several months to evaluate players before it names its 25-man Olympic team.

Former NHL players Cam BarkerBen Scrivens and Max Talbot all played last season in the Russian KHL, which does take an Olympic break. All three will play for Canada in games in Russia in August.

Players in the American Hockey League, the top NHL feeder league, who aren’t on NHL contracts will also be eligible for PyeongChang.

Every Canadian Olympic men’s coach in the NHL participation era was also an NHL head coach that season — Marc Crawford (1998), Pat Quinn (2002 and 2006) and Mike Babcock (2010 and 2014).

The U.S. Olympic men’s hockey coach is expected to be announced in early August.

MORE: NHL releases schedule with no Olympic break

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Olympian Derrick Mein ends U.S. men’s trap drought at shotgun worlds

Derrick Mein
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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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