Olympic roundup: Golf, rugby provide some firsts
Thu., Aug. 11, 2016
Adilson da Silva of Brazil hit the first Olympic golf shot since 1904 with the opening tee shot. Justin Rose made what is believed to be the first hole-in-one.
The Pacific Island nation of Fiji erupted into celebration after its rugby sevens team defeated Britain 43-7 to capture the country’s first Olympic medal.
Rugby is back in the Olympics for the first time since 1924.
Golf is back after an even longer absence.
Da Silva smiled and removed his cap to wave to the sparse crowd that included more golf officials than fans after his tee shot. Growing up in golf-starved Brazil with little equipment, Da Silva used to make golf clubs out of tree branches as a child.
Marcus Fraser of Australia had the first that mattered the most on the Olympic Golf Course – the first-round lead. Fraser shot an 8-under 63 that stood for a three-shot advantage over Henrik Stenson of Sweden and Graham DeLaet of Canada.
The only one of four Americans in the 60-man field to break par was Matt Kuchar (69). Rickie Fowler started with a double bogey and shot 75, beating only two players. Patrick Reed shot 72 and Bubba Watson had a 73.
The world’s top four players – Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy – skipped the Rio Game s because of Zika fears and safety concerns.
More violence around the games in Rio
Pervasive violence is an everyday part of Rio, and a police officer was hospitalized after getting shot in the head when he and two others got lost near a slum. The Justice Ministry said the officer was recovering after four hours of surgery.
The incident was the bloodiest of several at the start of South America’s first Olympic Games. Muggings have been reported among Olympic athletes, officials and journalists.
Some different kind of hazards on course
The course where Olympic golf made its return features all the normal pratfalls like bunkers and sloping greens. There are also native animals such as capybaras, caimans and corujas. The capybara is the world’s largest rodent, albeit an herbivore. The caiman, a small crocodile, and the corujas are burrowing owls, some of whom have taken up residence in the course’s bunkers.
Venus Williams extends her Olympics stay
Venus Williams’ Rio Olympics is still going – just barely. Upset in the first round in singles and doubles while battling a virus, the four-time gold medalist was a late entrant into mixed doubles. She and teammate Rajeev Ram faced two match points Thursday and saved both in rallying from a set down for a 6-7 (4), 7-6 (3), 10-8 tiebreak win over Kiki Bertens and Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands.
Belgian sailor becomes ill after racing on bay
A Belgian woman who won a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics has become sick after racing on polluted Guanabara Bay, the first sailor to fall ill from the waters that were heavily scrutinized leading to the Rio Games. Evi Van Acker reported feeling sick after Wednesday’s races. Her poor performances have put her at risk of missing out on a medal in the Laser Radial class. Her coach said he believes Van Acker contracted a severe intestinal infection while training in Rio in July that sapped her energy.
No need to panic, Brazilian soccer fans
In a scary scene for Brazilian fans at the team’s arrival in Sao Paulo for the quarterfinals of the Olympic soccer tournament, superstar Neymar limped heavily with his ankle wrapped up. But the Brazilian football confederation said exams conducted on the star striker’s right foot on Thursday showed no serious injuries. Neymar is expected to practice on Friday and be fully fit to play in Saturday’s match against Colombia.
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