U.S. medal haul has customs agents working OT
Sat., Aug. 20, 2016
The Rio Games will go down as the best on foreign soil for the Americans, who topped their mark of 110 medals at a road Olympics set in Beijing eight years ago.
When Saturday’s events were complete, the U.S. was at 116 medals in Rio. Two more were guaranteed Sunday, one from men’s basketball and the other from women’s boxer Claressa Shields.
The U.S. has 31 medals in track and field, with only Sunday’s marathon left. Kenya has 12, Jamaica 11.
And swimming was even more one-sided, with 33 medals for Americans there, compared with 10 for second-place Australia.
All that’s left in the medal race to decide is the overall winning margin, which will be the largest at a non-boycotted Olympics since the U.S. won 67 more medals than anyone else at the 1932 Los Angeles Games.
Women’s 800 meters
It was predicted. That didn’t make it any less impressive, or any less contentious.
Caster Semenya won the Olympic title in the 800 meters Saturday with no one close to challenging her, a result that will only stoke the complex debate over whether women with much higher levels of testosterone than normal should be allowed to compete unchecked.
Semenya of South Africa won her first Olympic gold in a personal-best of 1 minute, 55.28 seconds, a national record and one of the top 20 times ever in the two-lap race. She said it was about running a race and winning a gold medal, and not about the debate over testosterone and the IAAF’s desire to regulate it in some women.
“We’re not here to talk about IAAF, we’re not here to talk about some speculations,” Semenya said. “It’s not about looking at people, how they look, how they speak, how they run. It’s not about being muscular. It’s all about sports.”
Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba took silver over a second behind the dominant Semenya, with Kenya’s Margaret Wambui collecting the bronze for an all-African podium.
As she wobbled along on a flat tire four years ago in London, Gwen Jorgensen promised to turn that heartbreak at Hyde Park into a conquering of Copacabana Beach at the Rio Games.
She crushed both the course and the competition Saturday, giving the U.S. its first Olympic triathlon gold medal by cruising across the finish line in 1 hour, 56 minutes, 16 seconds.
That was 40 seconds ahead of silver medalist Nicola Spirig of Switzerland, who won gold at the 2012 Games after Jorgensen’s flat tire relegated her to a 38th-place finish.
Vicky Holland outsprinted British teammate Non Stanford for the bronze.
Just by stepping on the court Saturday, Foluke Akinradewo showed how the U.S. women’s volleyball teams has stuck together despite losing in the semifinals. She returned from an injury to her left leg that forced her out early in the semifinal loss to Serbia. The star middle blocker took charge as the top-ranked Americans bounced back two days later to beat the Netherlands 25-23, 25-27, 25-22, 25-19.
After Kim Hill’s ace on match point, the U.S. women fell into an embrace. Kiraly hugged his coaches and brought the women into a huddle for one last cheer.
Reserve setter Courtney Thompson (UW), the Americans’ inspirational motivator, joined Dietzen in announcing immediately after the match that her volleyball days are done.
Inbee Park’s first victory of the season might just be the biggest of her career – a gold medal in women’s golf.
Park made three straight birdies early in the final round, never let anyone closer than three shots the rest of the way and closed with a 5-under 66 for a five-shot victory at Olympic Golf Course.
Lydia Ko of New Zealand didn’t stand a chance, and neither did anyone else.
Ko, the No. 1 player in women’s golf, at least made an 8-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a 69 to claim the silver. Shanshan Feng of China shot 69 and took the bronze.
Cuba’s Robeisy Ramirez won a split-decision victory over Shakur Stevenson in the Olympic bantamweight boxing final, denying the U.S. its first men’s gold medal in the sport since 2004.
The silver medal for Stevenson is the highest Olympic prize won by a U.S. male boxer since 2004, when Andre Ward captured the light-heavyweight title. And Claressa Shields’ medal, combined with Nico Hernandez’s bronze in the light flyweight division, make the Rio Olympics the most productive for USA Boxing since Athens, when the U.S. also won two medals.
Men’s water polo
Dusan Mandic scored four times, Branislav Mitrovic made 12 saves and Serbia dethroned Croatia with an 11-7 victory in the men’s water polo final.
Serbia was the favorite coming into the Rio Games, increasing the pressure on the players to bring home the country’s first Olympic title in perhaps its favorite sport. The former Yugoslavia won three gold medals and Serbia and Montenegro lost in the 2004 final in Athens, but Serbia finished third in each of the previous two Olympics.
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