Cameron Bock is surprise Winter Cup gymnastics winner

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Cameron Bock, a University of Michigan senior, was the surprise winner of the Winter Cup, the first significant U.S. gymnastics meet of the Olympic year.

Bock tallied 84.15 points, prevailing by nine tenths over Riley Loos, a Stanford sophomore.

“I view this competition as the first step in the Olympic process,” Bock said on NBCSN. “It’s not the direct qualification process, but I view it as a good stepping stone to get on that team.”

Yul Moldauer, the 2017 U.S. all-around champion and most decorated man in the field, finished third after a major mistake off a high bar handstand attempt.

Full results are here.

Bock, 22, placed seventh in the all-around at the 2018 U.S. Championships. He didn’t compete at the 2019 Nationals after earning two medals at the Pan American Games days earlier.

Bock, fourth in the 2019 NCAA Championships all-around, could become the first man to make an Olympic team coming off an NCAA season since Sam Mikulak, a fellow California native who also attended Michigan, in 2012.

“[Bock’s] stock just went way up,” NBC Sports analyst Nastia Liukin said. “You have to think that he just put his name pretty far up that list.”

Athletes are preparing for the national championships in June in Fort Worth, Texas, and the Olympic Trials three weeks later in St. Louis. The Olympic team will be four men, plus up to two more in individual events only.

Winter Cup lacked three of the five men from the team that finished fourth at the 2019 World Championships — six-time U.S. all-around champion Mikulak, Akash Modi and Trevor Howard, all Olympic team contenders.

Winter Cup continues with women’s competition on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app.

Rio Olympic team gold medalist Laurie Hernandez headlines the field, competing for the first time since the 2016 Games. Recent world championships team gold medalists Jade Carey, Suni Lee and Riley McCusker are also entered.

Simone Biles skipped the Winter Cup while focusing on training and is expected to next compete at a World Cup in Tokyo in May. She last competed at the October 2019 World Championships.

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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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