Tag: 2016 Rio Olympic Games

Gymnastics Champion Simone Biles to Carry Flag for Team USA in Rio Olympics Closing Ceremony

simone biles (on bar)

article via eurweb.com

In addition to her five gold medals, Simone Biles is now poised for another super Rio Olympics experience.  She’s been chosen as the Team USA flag bearer for closing ceremony on Sunday.

“It’s an incredible honor to be selected as the flag bearer by my Team USA teammates,” Biles said in a statement. “This experience has been the dream of a lifetime for me and my team and I consider it a privilege to represent my country, the United States Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics by carrying our flag. I also wish to thank the city of Rio de Janeiro, and the entire country of Brazil, for hosting an incredible Games.”

This quite an honor for Miss Biles as she is only the second American gymnast to carry the flag in an opening or closing ceremony after Alfred Jochim in 1936.

Though it was largely expected given her dominance in the sport over the past three years, Biles’ competition here was a resounding success, reports USA Today Sports.

She led the Americans to a second consecutive team gold medal by an eye-popping eight points before winning the all-around title, gold medals on vault and floor exercise and bronze on balance beam.

Her five medals matches marks set by Nastia Liukin in 2008, Shannon Miller in 1992 and Mary Lou Retton in 1984.

Her success here only added to the consensus that she’s the best gymnast of her time and probably the best ever. None other than Bela and Martha Karolyi, Retton and Aimee Boorman, Biles’ longtime coach, think the case is clear.

Biles, 19, entered these Games as the three-time defending world all-around champion. Her 10 gold medals earned over that span is a record for any gymnast, and she has 14 total medals from world championship competition.


To read full article, go to: http://www.eurweb.com/2016/08/simone-biles-carry-us-flag-olympics-closing-ceremony-sunday/

Allyson Felix Leads 400M Relay Team to Gold, Becomes Most Decorated Woman in U.S. Track and Field History

Tianna Bartoletta and Allyson Felix, right, celebrate after winning gold in the women's 400-meter relay at the 2016 Summer Games.
Tianna Bartoletta and Allyson Felix, right, celebrate after winning gold in the women’s 400-meter relay at the 2016 Summer Games. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

article by Helene Elliott via latimes.com

Allyson Felix became the first U.S. woman to win five gold medals in track and field when she anchored the U.S. women’s 400-meter relay team to victory in the 2016 Rio Olympics Friday night.

Recovering from an apparent first-round disqualification that was reversed on appeal but consigned the U.S. team to Lane 1, Tianna Bartoletta, English Gardner, Tori Bowie and Felix won in 41.01 seconds. Jamaica was second, in 41.36, with Britain third in 41.77.

Felix has won eight Olympic medals overall, making her the most decorated woman in U.S. track and field history, but her only individual gold came from the 200 in 2012.  She lost the 400 in Rio on a desperate but legal dive by Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas.

“It was just special. I felt like we were really strong tonight,” Felix said of the relay’s resilience. “The adversity made us even more determined and we just kept fighting all the way, through…. Sometimes adversity makes you stronger.”

Felix still has Saturday’s 1,600-meter relay left. The U.S. women’s 1,600-meter relay team had the top first-round time — 3:21.42 — and qualified for Saturday’s final.  Jamaica (3:22.38) had the second-best time.

To read more, go to: http://www.latimes.com/sports/olympics/la-sp-oly-track-field-20160819-snap-story.html?track=lat-email-latimessports

Dalilah Muhammad Makes U.S. History With 400-Meter Hurdles Gold Medal Win

Team USA Delilah Muhammad, Olympic Gold Medalist in the 400-M hurdles. (photo via bet.com)

article via bet.com

Everywhere you look in these Rio Games, there’s #BlackGirlMagic making Olympic history.

Count Dalilah Muhammad as the latest.

On Thursday night, the 26-year-old New York City native became the first American in Olympic history to win a gold medal in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 53.13 seconds.Her teammate, Ashley Spencer, won the bronze medal with a time of 53.72 seconds.

Winning the gold medal is one thing. Making history while doing it took the accomplishment to another level for Muhammad.

To read more, go to: #BlackGirlMagic: Watch Dalilah Muhammad Make History With Her 400-Meter Hurdles Gold Medal Win | Dalilah Muhammad | Sports | BET

100-Meter Hurdlers Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali and Kristi Castlin Claim USA’s 1st-Ever Women’s Track & Field Olympic Sweep

(L-R) Bronze medalist Kristi Castlin, gold medalist Brianna Rollins and silver medalist Nia Ali react after the women’s 100-meter hurdles final on day 12 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on Aug. 17, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro. (photo via teamusa.org)

article by Karen Rosen via teamusa.org

RIO DE JANEIRO – Sweep!  Team USA became the first nation in Olympic history to win all three medals in the women’s 100-meter hurdles.

Brianna Rollins won the gold, Nia Ali the silver and Kristi Castlin, with a furious finish, took the bronze Wednesday night.  “It’s like a sisterhood,” said Rollins, who trains with Castlin and has also known Ali for years.  “I’m so grateful and blessed that we were able to accomplish this together.”

And Team USA swept without world-record holder Keni Harrison, who did not make the U.S. team from a loaded field at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Track and Field.

“You could pretty much equate us to a Dream Team,” Castlin said after the trials.

Following the race, the three Team USA athletes huddled on the track just past the finish line, waiting for the results: Rollins at 12.48 and Ali at 12.59 popped up quickly in the top two positions. There was a pause, then an outpouring of applause as Castlin came up next at 12.61.

“I knew I was in second, but I didn’t know what else happened,” Ali said. “So when we looked up at the screen, we were like, ‘Did we do it? Did we do it?’ and then we saw Kristi’s name come up, and it was like, ‘Yes!’”  “We all had a good feeling that it was going to be her.”

Castlin, known as a “closer,” came from as far back as seventh place to edged Cindy Ofili of Great Britain by .02 seconds.

“I really couldn’t breathe for one second,” Castlin said. “My thing was not so much a bronze for myself but really just upholding the team. We came into this together. Track and field, a lot of times athletes go into it as individuals. But we had a different perspective. We came into it as a team, for girl power, for USA. So we were able to do the first sweep in U.S. women’s history. It feels good to be a history-maker.”

The sweep was the 61st in U.S. Olympic track and field history going back to 1896, and the first in the sport since the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, when Americans conquered the podium in the men’s 400-meter and 400-meter hurdles. It was also the first for Team USA on the women’s side in track and field.

To read full article, go to: http://www.teamusa.org/News/2016/August/17/100-Meter-Hurdlers-Claim-Team-USAs-First-Ever-Womens-Track-And-Field-Olympic-Sweep

U.S. Gymnastics Sensation Simone Biles Soars to Fourth Gold Medal in Rio Olympics

Simone Biles nailed her signature move, The Biles, to win the gold medal in the floor exercise. (Credit: Dmitri Lovetsky/Associated Press)

article by Victor Mather and Lela Moore via nytimes.com

RIO DE JANEIRO — For anyone who doubted her after a subpar performance on the balance beam, Simone Biles sent an emphatic message on Tuesday: She is unbeatable in the floor exercise.

Biles bounced back from a bronze medal performance on the beam to dominate the floor, completing her Rio Olympics with four gold medals and the bronze. She is the fourth American female gymnast to win five medals in a single Olympics, joining Mary Lou Retton (1984), Shannon Miller (1992) and Nastia Liukin (2008).

Biles scored a 15.966 in the floor, considered her best event.

Her signature floor move is the Biles, a double layout with a half-twist and a blind landing. She performed the move nearly perfectly, adding a stag leap, which she had left out of her performance in the team event but included in the individual all-around.

Her score dwarfed those of her competitors. Her teammate Aly Raisman won the silver medal with a routine slightly less difficult than Biles’s, sticking every landing on every tumbling pass. The bronze medal went to Amy Tinkler, the first female gymnast from Britain to compete in a floor final.

Raisman earned her sixth Olympic medal and her third at these Games. She won the team gold and the silver in the individual all-around, behind Biles, who also won the vault.

Tuesday’s victory put Biles in an exclusive club. Just three female gymnasts before her — Ecaterina Szabo of Romania (1984), Vera Caslavska of Czechoslovakia (1968) and Larisa Latynina of the Soviet Union (1956) — had also won four gold medals in one Olympics.

To read full article, go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/16/sports/olympics/rio-schedule-simone-biles-results.html

Jamaica’s Usain Bolt Wins 3rd Consecutive 100M Olympic Gold in Rio

Usain Bolt of Jamaica wins 3rd consecutive Gold Medal in men's 100M race (photo via usatoday.com)
Usain Bolt of Jamaica (l) wins 3rd consecutive Olympic Gold Medal in men’s 100M race (photo via usatoday.com)

article by Sean Gregory via time.com

On a pleasant Sunday night in Rio’s Olympic Stadium, Usain Bolt, the fastest human in history, became the first to ever win the 100-m sprint in three straight Olympic Games, finishing with a time of 9.81. Justin Gatlin of the United States, the 2004 Olympic champion, took an early lead but fell just short of completing his late-career comeback with another Olympic gold, taking silver with a time of 9.89. Canada’s Andre de Grasse won bronze in 9.91.

Even though he’s run the fastest 100-m in history––9.58 seconds, at the 2009 world championships––Bolt insists this is his weakest event. He has a funny way of showing it. “This is what I came here for,” Bolt said after the race. “This is the first step in the right direction. I’m happy and I’m proud of myself. It wasn’t perfect execution, but I got it done.”

The 100M, known as the fastest ten seconds in sports, was relatively slow by Bolt’s lofty standards. In 2012, the American Tyson Gay ran 9.80 and only managed to finish fourth. Bolt blamed the times on the quicker than usual turnaround, less than 90 minutes, between the semifinals and finals. “It was really stupid,” Bolt says. “I don’t know who decided that. I was really stupid.”

Whatever the pace, Bolt luxuriated in his victory. Fans screamed for him before the race. During his warmup, while his opponents were lingering at the starting line, Bolt jogged out about 30 meters down the track, turned around and held his arms up, soaking in the adulation as if he were royalty. He shimmied for the cameras, pointed, tried his best to be a showman. The act works.

When the starting gun blasted, Bolt knew he was off his game. “I kind of felt dead at the start,” he said. Gatlin took an early lead, but Bolt never panicked and passed him shortly after the halfway mark. The win in hand, Bolt pounded his chest before the finish. He grabbed a stuffed Olympic mascot afterward and paraded it around the stadium, mugging for selfies with adoring fans. As is his tradition, he hammed it up on the track with his “lighting-bolt” poses.

Bolt has always performed best on the biggest stages. And none are bigger than the Olympics, where he’s now won 7 straight golds, in 7 races, over three Games. He’ll shoot to go an incredible nine-for-nine later in the week, with the 200-m final Thursday night, and the 4 X 100 relay on Friday. “I really want the 200-m world record,” says Bolt, who set the mark, 19.19 seconds, at that same 2009 world championship meet. “If I can get a good night’s rest after the semifinals, it’s possible that I could. I’m going to go out there and leave it all on the track.”

To read full article, go to: http://time.com/4451806/usain-bolt-gold-rio-2016-olympics-100-meters-gatlin-blake/

Elaine Thompson keeps Queen of the Track Title, and 100M Gold, in Jamaica – LA Times

Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson celebrates after winning the women’s 100-meter dash on Saturday night. (Buda Mendes / Getty Images)

article by Helene Elliott via latimes.com

The good citizens of Banana Ground, Manchester Parish, Jamaica, might still be partying in honor of their most famous resident, Elaine Thompson, now known as the world’s fastest woman.

Thompson, raised by her grandmother in that remote Jamaican community, ended the Olympic reign of her compatriot, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, with a strong and powerful performance Saturday in the women’s 100-meter dash. Pulling away over the last 30 meters from Fraser-Pryce — who won gold in the two previous Games — and from American Tori Bowie, Thompson won in 10.71 seconds before a joyful crowd at Olympic Stadium.

Bowie, a first-time Olympian, finished second in 10.83 seconds. Fraser-Pryce, she of the green-and-yellow hair dyed to show her Jamaican pride, won bronze with a time of 10.86 seconds.

Thompson, 24, wasn’t sure how to celebrate at the finish line, but she knows the folks back home rejoiced for her. “There is a big screen back home in my community in Jamaica. I can’t imagine what is happening there right now,” she said, smiling.

Fraser-Pryce, who was hampered by a toe injury and was in tears after her semifinal Saturday afternoon, said she was happy the Olympic title stays in the island nation. She didn’t want to discuss the injury other than to call this her greatest medal ever because she had to fight hardest. “I don’t want to take someone’s shine. This is Elaine’s time,” she said.

To read more: Elaine Thompson keeps queen of the track title, and 100-meter gold, in Jamaica – LA Times

Daryl Homer Scores 1st Silver Medal for U.S. in Men’s Saber since 1904

Daryl Homer celebrates victory over Matyas Szabo of Germany in the men’s individual saber quarterfinal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Carioca Arena 3 on Aug. 10, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro. (photo via teamusa.org)

article by Rebecca Harris via teamusa.org

RIO DE JANEIRO — As he was being chased down, nearly tripping off of the strip entirely, American saber fencer Daryl Homer somehow snuck his blade into German fencer Matyas Szabo’s ribs for a point during his quarterfinal bout. The point was heralded with chants of “U-S-A” from the audience, with the painted faces and bodies usually reserved for American football games, not for what could be called modern-day dueling.

Homer lost the gold-medal bout to Aron Szilagyi of Hungary, 15-8. He became the first U.S. medalist in men’s saber since Peter Westbrook won a bronze medal in 1984 and the first U.S. men’s silver medalist since William Grebe in 1904.

The U.S. has never won gold in men’s saber.“I wouldn’t have found an access point to fencing without Peter,” he said. Homer’s journey into fencing was a happy accident and he owes partial thanks to Westbrook. Homer came across the sport in a book one day. He took one look at the shiny masks and vests and told his mom he wanted to fence. She wasn’t a fan of the idea until she saw Westbrook in a TV commercial.  Westbrook actually gave Homer entrée into the sport through his Peter Westbrook Foundation, which teaches fencing to New York area kids of color.

To read more, go to: Daryl Homer Scores Team USA’s First Men’s Saber Silver Since 1904

Simone Biles Leaps into History as 1st American Woman to Win Olympic Gold in Vault Competition

Simone Biles flying high during  Olympic Vault finals in Women's Gymnastics (photo via nytimes.com)
Simone Biles flying high during Olympic Vault finals in Women’s Gymnastics (photo via nytimes.com)

article by Bill Chappell via npr.org

With two main goals already accomplished – gold medals in both the team competition and in the individual all-around – Simone Biles turned to the vault to grab more Olympic gold Sunday.

Going last in a field of eight gymnasts, Biles needed an average score of more than 15.253 to claim gold. She unleashed a soaring Amanar on her first vault, taking only a small hop backwards as she landed. Score: 15.900.

For her next vault, Biles turned to a Cheng — a difficult vault that, compared to the Amanar, is worth an extra tenth of a point on the judges’ scale — and performed it nearly flawlessly. Her score was the highest of the group: 16.033.

In the final, each athlete performs two vaults; the scores are then averaged. For instance, while Switzerland’s Giulia Steingruber started strong with a 15.333, she scored a 14.900 on her second attempt, dropping her final score to 15.216. She held on for a bronze medal behind Maria Paseka of Russia.

As U.S. Gymnastics tells us, with today’s gold medal, Biles sets a U.S. record for the most gymnastics gold medals in one Olympics for a female athlete. She also becomes the first American woman to win gold on the vault.

If you’re unsure what an Amanar and a Cheng are, NBC can help clear that up:

“The Amanar consists of a round-off onto the springboard, back handspring onto the vault table and then a flip with two and a half twists in the straight body position. It’s the vault that McKayla Maroney made famous at the London Olympics and is worth 6.300 points.”

“The Cheng is worth 6.400 points. It consists of jumping onto the springboard, doing a half twist before pushing off the vault with your hands, then doing a flip with one and a half twists.”

Coming into this competition, Biles, 19, was also expected to face tough challenges from North Korea’s Hong Un Jong – the 2008 gold medalist in this event — as well as Canada’s Shallon Olsen, 16.

To read full article, go to: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetorch/2016/08/14/489989606/simone-biles-wins-third-gold-medal-of-rio-games-on-the-vault

Jemima Sumgong Wins 1st Gold for Kenya in Olympic Women’s Marathon

Jemima Jelagat Sumgong of Kenya celebrates her victory in the women’s marathon. (Photo: Jack Gruber, USA TODAY Sports)

article via usatoday.com

RIO DE JANEIRO — Accomplishing a distance-running first for Kenya, a nation known for distance running, is no easy feat. So Jemima Sumgong‘s accomplishment Sunday at the Rio Olympics was indeed an accomplishment.Sumgong beat 156 competitors along a picturesque course on the sweltering streets of Rio, surging in the final 2 kilometers to claim Kenya’s first gold in the Olympic women’s marathon.It was an accomplishment that was nearly derailed, and not by the competition. Less than a mile from the finish line, a man with a sign jumped over the railings ahead of Sumgong and dashed onto the course.

Police officers immediately cut off the protester, who leaped over the fence and ran away.”I was scared,” Sumgong said initially. “I thinking he could maybe … he could grab one of my colleagues.”But she ran on undeterred.Sumgong finished in 2 hours, 24 minutes, 4 seconds. Kenya-born Eunice Kirwa of Bahrain was second (2:24:13), and world champion Mare Dibaba of Ethiopia (2:24:30) was third.

Shalane Flanagan (2:25.26), who hung on with the lead pack for about 40 kilometers, finished sixth to lead all three Americans in the top 10.  Des Linden (2:26:08) was seventh, and Amy Cragg (2:28:25) was ninth.

To read full article, got to: Jemima Sumgong of Kenya wins Olympic women’s marathon