NHL All-Star Weekend to feature women’s 3-on-3 event

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A person with direct knowledge of the plans confirmed to The Associated Press that women’s national team players representing the United States and Canada will compete in a three-on-three event at the NHL All-Star game in two weeks.

The person spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity Monday because the NHL isn’t scheduled to announce its plans until later this week. ESPN.com first reported the news Sunday night.

It’s unclear when the three-on-three scrimmage will be held during the weekend of festivities in St. Louis, Missouri. The all-star game, featuring a series of three-on-three games, will be played Jan. 25, a day after the annual skills competition.

The addition of a women’s three-on-three game is seen as the next step in the league’s bid to promote women’s hockey.

Last year, four women players were invited to take part in all-star game weekend events in San Jose, California.

It was where American forward Kendall Coyne Schofield made headlines by becoming the first woman to participate in the skills competition. Replacing injured Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon, Coyne Schofield finished seventh out of eight in the fastest skater competition.

In December 2015, teams representing the Canadian Women’s Hockey League and the U.S.-based National Women’s Hockey League played an exhibition game in the lead up to the Winter Classic in Boston.

This year, the three-on-three scrimmage will feature some of the world’s highest-profile players representing their respective countries.

The latest development comes at a time the women’s game is in flux after the six-team CWHL folded last spring, leaving only the five-team NWHL.

The CWHL’s demise eventually led to more than 200 of the world’s top players announcing they wouldn’t play professionally in North America — including the NWHL — this season. They also formed the Professional Women’s Hockey Players’ Association to push for establishing a single league with a sustainable economic model.

The PWHPA has since launched a series of barnstorming tours around North America, with its most recent stop in Toronto this past weekend. The NWHL is in the middle of its fifth season and featuring teams made up of patchwork rosters.

A large majority — if not all — of the players taking part in the NHL All-Star three-on-three game will be PWHPA members.

The U.S. and Canada are still playing exhibitions and are expected to take part in the world championship in Nova Scotia from March 31-April 10.

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MORE: NHL given deadline on 2022 Olympic hockey participation

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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