Gracie Gold withdraws from nationals

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Two-time U.S. champion Gracie Gold announced Wednesday that she will not be participating in the 2019 nationals later this month in Detroit.

The 2014 Sochi Olympic team bronze medalist competed just once this season on the Grand Prix circuit in Russia. She withdrew after the short program at Rostelecom Cup.

Gold told her followers that she’s “trusted the process” since returning to competitive skating, but is choosing instead to look at the long-term goals for her career. She wrote:

Since my return to competitive skating, I’ve had one mantra: Trust the Process. While difficult at times, coming back to skating has been the best decision I could have made. A large part of trusting the process has me looking more at the big picture of my career. My goal is the 2022 Olympics in Beijing. With that being said, I have decided it is in my best interest to withdraw from the 2019 championships. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but ultimately the right one. 

I have already begun preparations for next year. This is a great opportunity for me to get a jump start on the season. I want to thank everyone for their support this past season, as the feedback I have received has been quite tremendous. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

I wish everyone the best of luck at the Championships. See you all soon. 😘

Earlier this week, her new coach took to Instagram to write how proud he was of his pupil. He said:

Gracie ,
As you know it takes time for me to trust someone but recently you showed me that I can trust you 🙂 I wanted to say publicly how proud I’m of you because I know what you went through the last 2 years and to see you building your way back is inspirational, since Russia you are a totally different athlete and that shows me that next season you will be back ! Keep pushing like you have been doing in the last few weeks and you will get what you want the most . You have my full support and I’m so exited to be part of this journey . @graciegold95 #thequeenwillbeback #iceworks #usfs #cantwaittoseeyousuceed #letsdoit

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Since my return to competitive skating, I’ve had one mantra: Trust the Process. While difficult at times, coming back to skating has been the best decision I could have made. A large part of trusting the process has me looking more at the big picture of my career. My goal is the 2022 Olympics in Beijing. With that being said, I have decided it is in my best interest to withdraw from the 2019 championships. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but ultimately the right one. I have already begun preparations for next year. This is a great opportunity for me to get a jump start on the season. I want to thank everyone for their support this past season, as the feedback I have received has been quite tremendous. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I wish everyone the best of luck at the Championships. See you all soon. 😘

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MORE: Karen Chen to skip nationals

As a reminder, you can watch the U.S. Championships live and on-demand with the ‘Figure Skating Pass’ on NBC Sports Gold. Go to NBCsports.com/gold/figure-skating to sign up for access to every ISU Grand Prix and championship event, as well as domestic U.S. Figure Skating events throughout the season. NBC Sports Gold gives subscribers an unprecedented level of access on more platforms and devices than ever before.

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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

Mo Farah
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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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