Olympic champion to compete in his garden as track meet sets alternative format

Bislett Stadium Oslo Diamond League
Getty Images
0 Comments

A Diamond League track and field meet in Oslo on June 11 will go on without spectators and with athlete restrictions, including Olympic pole vault champion Renaud Lavillenie competing in his home garden.

Also Thursday, the Pre Classic and another Diamond League meet in Paris, both scheduled for June, were postponed due to the coronavirus.

The Diamond League is track and field’s premier circuit, gathering the world’s top athletes every spring and summer around national championships, world championships and the Olympics.

The Diamond League season was due to start April 17, but now eight of the first nine meets have been postponed.

Doha: April 17 (postponed indefinitely)
China: May 9 (postponed indefinitely)
Shanghai: May 16 (now Aug. 13)
Stockholm: May 24 (postponed indefinitely)
Naples, Italy: May 28 (postponed indefinitely)
Rabat, Morocco: May 31 (postponed indefinitely)
Pre Classic (Eugene, Ore.): June 7 (postponed indefinitely)
Oslo: June 11
Paris: June 13 (postponed indefinitely)

The Oslo meet, called the Bislett Games, will be held as “an alternative athletics competition under Norwegian coronavirus regulations,” according to the Diamond League.

Oslo organizers are still in planning stages, but some notable champions are committed to compete at a stadium without fans:

Mondo Duplantis, the freshly minted world-record holder in the pole vault, will compete at Bislett against at least two others. One of them will be former world-record holder Lavillenie, who will compete against them from his garden at his central France home. Duplantis is Swedish but was raised in Louisiana, where he has been training in a backyard pole vault setup.
-Norwegian Karoline Bjerkli Grøvdal will race a 3000m solo — “with the help of wavelight technique” — in a bid to break nine-time New York City Marathon winner Grete Waitz‘s Norwegian record of 8:31.75. Norwegian media reported that she will race with a light in front of her showing the pace to beat Waitz’s time from 1979.
-Norwegian Karsten Warholm (400m hurdles world champion) will race the 300m hurdles, eyeing the fastest time in history in the non-Olympic event of 34.48, in a solo race, according to Norwegian media.
-Swede Daniel Ståhl (discus world champion) will compete against at least two others — a Swede and a Norwegian.

No athletes will fly into Oslo. Rather, foreign athletes will be transported via electric cars from the Swedish border.

MORE: Noah Lyles details training near woods, dog walkers

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

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

Derrick Mein
Getty
0 Comments

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.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Mo Farah withdraws before London Marathon

Mo Farah
Getty
0 Comments

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.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!