Madison Hubbell, Zachary Donohue win dance gold at U.S. International Classic

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Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue won the ice dance event at the U.S. International Classic on Saturday, the first true weekend of figure skating competition for the 2018-19 season.

Hubbell and Donohue, the reigning U.S. champions and 2018 Worlds silver medalists, scored 197.42 points overall. Their free dance is set to a medley of songs from the 1996 film “Romeo and Juliet.”

“We are proud of ourselves that after a tough season and a long tour [with Stars on Ice], we have pushed ourselves to be ready by this competition again,” Hubbell said. “We are really excited for this year.”

Americans Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko finished second with 174.04 total points while Japan’s Misato Komatsubara and Tim Koleto tallied 142.93 points to finish third.

Japan’s Satoko Mihyahara took the ladies’ crown, the only woman in the field to break the 200-point barrier in Salt Lake. Miyahara scored 201.23, with South Korea’s Eunsoo Lim scoring 187.30 points for second place. She was joined on the podium by South Korean teammate Yelim Kim, who totaled 176.65 points.

At Lombardia Trophy, another figure skating competition happening this weekend in Italy, Japan’s Olympic silver medalist Shoma Uno ran away with the men’s title. He scored 276.20 overall points to notch the victory, just over 25 points ahead of second-place finisher Dmitri Aliev of Russia.

One of Italy’s home teams, Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri, were crowned champions in the ice dance field. They scored 193.28 points, while American sibling duo Rachel Parsons and Michael Parsons edged out Spain’s Sara Hurtado and Kirill Khaliavin for second place, 170.68 to 169.47.

Many top skaters next compete on the Grand Prix circuit, which kicks off October 19-21 with Skate America in Everett, Washington. All of the Grand Prix action can be found streaming live on NBC Sports’ Gold Figure Skating Pass. Check out the full Gold Figure Skating Pass schedule.

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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