The Rio Olympics are almost over. The Closing Ceremony is on Sunday. Day 13 of the Rio Olympics was full of action on & off the field.
First up, the news.
It's official. Authorities have hashed out the details of what really went down with the alleged robbery of four American swimmers at gunpoint on their way back to the athletes village in a taxi Sunday morning. Ryan Lochte, Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz, & Jimmy Feigen were involved in a dispute at a gas station. Here's the summary: There was no robbery. It was a cover story to hide the vandalism that resulted from too much partying & language barriers & stupidity.
Video surveillance & testimony from the involved parties show the American swimmers getting out of their taxi, trying to enter an outside bathroom, but it was locked. The inebriated swimmers knock down the locked door, broke a soap dispenser, prompting the manager & security to converge on the area to investigate the noise.
The swimmers tried to leave but entered the wrong taxi before finding their original one. By then, an employee approached the swimmers, who got out of the taxi, went back to the store area where security did point their guns on the swimmers. A customer interpreted & facilitated negotiations, where the swimmers paid an undisclosed amount of money for damages before leaving the area. Police arrived after the matter was resolved.
The spokesperson for the Rio Olympics organizers, who had apologized to the swimmers for allegedly being robbed at gunpoint says to let it go. They were stupid kids who made a mistake. Just move on.
Except they're not kids & it's more than a stupid mistake. They are old enough to know right from wrong. If they are old enough to legally drink, then they are old enough to face the consequences of their actions. Their lie cost valuable police time & resources that could've been better used to reduce real crime & keep people safe.
Instead, they wasted police time & further damaged the image of the Rio Olympics. The games were always going to be challenging to pull off in the city. They didn't need the extra stress worrying about athletes being robbed at gunpoint during the games. Keeping the games running & the athletes & spectators safe was a huge enough task to begin with.
To make matters worse, the British Olympic Committee reports that one of their athletes was robbed on the way back to the athletes village. It confirms all their federation members are currently safe & accounted for. Though no word if the police were notified about this athlete's robbery. But now the big problem is, was the athlete robbed or is this another Lochte tall tale?
You see the problem that the swimmers' lie have caused? Now we start to doubt whether robbery victims are victims or just attention seeking fame whores! It has made policing so much harder & makes it harder for genuine crime victims to come forth. I'm really pissed off about this whole mess. And I don't think that paying a thirty dollar fine is enough. No, those mofos need to apologize & do some serious community service to pay for the dishonor & damages their bullsh*t story has caused! This is the Olympics. You're not just representing yourself, but you're a freakin ambassador to the world! Your actions reflect on us, & you have brought shame & dishonor & embarrassment to America!
Speaking of shame & embarrassment, two athletes have been stripped of their Rio medals for doping! Their samples tested positive for banned substances. The Court of Arbitration for Sport has also disqualified Chinese swimmer Chen Xinyi & Brazilian cyclist Kleber Ramos from the Rio Olympics.
The International Canoe Federation suspended 1000m canoe sprint bronze medalist Serghei Tarnovschi of Moldova after he failed a pre-competition doping test. He was due to compete with his older brother Oleg in an upcoming race.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport reports that Izzat Artykov tested positive for strychnine after winning the bronze medal in the 69-kilogram division. He has been stripped of the medal & kicked out of the games for using a banned substance.
The CAS referred the case to the international weightlifting federation for possible further sanctions against Artykov, who could face a two-year ban from the sport.
Luis Javier Mosquera of Colombia is in line to be upgraded from fourth place to the bronze medal.
In its latest effort to solve the crisis over disputed judging decisions in the Rio Olympic boxing competition, the International Boxing Association on Thursday removed the executive director in charge of the tournament.
Francco Falcinelli, vice president of the AIBA executive board & the chief of the European Boxing Confederation, will oversee the final four days of boxing.
There were a number of controversial calls & decisions during the boxing matches that has alarmed & angered coaches, boxers, national teams, & the crowd. The biggest debacles were Monday's heavyweight final, in which Russian Evgeny Tischenko won a unanimous decision over Kazakhstan's Vasiliy Levit, when it was quite obvious to the crowd & athletes & commentators that Levit outboxed & outpunched & outlasted Tischenko, who was struggling to stay on his feet as Levit attacked him through all the rounds.
Then there was the disastrous bantamweight quarterfinal Tuesday, when the judges made the glaringly wrong unanimous decision to pick a thoroughly beaten Russian Vladimir Nikitin over Michael John Conlan of Ireland. Conlan & the crowd was displeased & booed the ridiculous judges' decision. The crowd encouraged Conlan's profanity laced rant at the corrupt AIBA officials & their obvious match fixing!
If there was any doubt as to who won the Conlan vs Nikitin fight, think about this: Conlan had beaten Vladimir Nikitin so thoroughly in their bout that Nikitin could NOT make the Thursday's semifinal with American Shakur Stevenson! Stevenson automatically goes on to Saturday's final against Cuba's Robeisy Ramirez. Stevenson is the first U.S. male to reach a final in Olympic boxing since light-heavyweight Andre Ward in Athens 2004. So thank you, Michael Conlan, for making it so much easier for the US to make the final.
There was wide spread worry within AIBA over the real possibility of fixed bouts that some ranking AIBA authorities asked the IOC to intervene, & they took it as far as calling for Wu Ching-kuo, the president of the AIBA, to resign.
Good news for the American women's relay team: The Jury of Appeals granted a protest by the United States on the outcome of second heat of the women’s 400-meter relay, in which the U.S. relay team was disqualified after dropping the baton.
Americans Tianna Bartoletta, Allyson Felix, English Gardner, & Morolake Akinosun had been disqualified from the heat Thursday morning after Felix was bumped by Brazil's Kauiza Venancio.
The jury ruled that a Brazilian runner had interfered with the Americans second exchange, causing Allyson Felix to fail to pass the baton to English Gardner. The US ran a timed race alone Thursday night, beating 8th place China's time of 42.70 seconds to advance to the final Friday. Brazil was disqualified for obstructing the U.S. Since it was a rerun, the US will take either lane 1 or 8, instead of the favored middle lanes, since they were considered qualifying on time, instead of finishing first in the heats.
Some surprising developments in women's volleyball. Serbia has ousted top ranked America from reaching the gold medal match, beating them in 3-2 sets in the quarterfinals Thursday.
Two-time defending Olympic champion Brazil was also ousted in a five-setter by China in the quarterfinals. Serbia will now face the young Chinese squad led by former U.S. coach Jenny Lang Ping. The US will now face an emerging, powerful Netherlands' team who make a volleyball appearance in the games for the first time in twenty years.
That's the wonderful thrill of the Olympics! You never know who's going to shine & who will come out from nowhere & make the impossible leap to the top.
And now to the sports that were contested Thursday.
Men's K2 canoe 1,000-meter sprint
And Australia, which was second at the halfway mark, then faded to fourth, rallied at the end for the bronze. Ken Wallace, gold at 2008 Beijing K-1 500 m & bronze at 2008 Beijing K-1 1000 m, partnered with Lachlan Tame to make the incredible run for bronze.
Men's canoe single 200-meter sprint
Defending Olympic champion Yuri Cheban of Ukraine has won the gold medal in the men's 200 meters canoe single. The Beijing 2008 c1 500m bronze medalist & London 2012 c1 200m champion beat a furious challenge from Valentin Demyanenko of Azerbaijan in a sprint to the finish line.
Cheban paddled so fast & furious that he fell into the water as he crossed the finish line first. Valentin Demyanenko of Azerbaijan takes the silver.
And Brazil's Isaquias Queiroz got the bronze after a foto finish analysis determined he was third across the mad dash at the finish line. He also fell in the water at the end, but he had the hometown crowd's support.
Men's kayak double 200-meter sprint
Spain's Saul Craviotto and Cristian Toro won the men's double kayak 200m Olympic gold.
A foto finish analysis determined that Liam Heath & Jon Schofield of Great Britain, London 2012 bronze medalists, upgrade to a Rio 2016 silver.
And Lithuania's Aurimas Lankas & Edvinas Ramanauskas captured bronze.
Women's kayak single 500-meter sprint
Hungary's Danuta Kozák wins gold in the k1 500m sprint, becoming the first Hungarian to win four golds! She successfully defends her London 2012 title in the event. She won by over two seconds ahead of her competitors.
Denmark's Emma Jørgensen claims silver. And Lisa Carrington, New Zealand, adds bronze to her two k1 200m golds from London 2012 & Rio 2016.
Women's 470 dinghy
London 2012 silver medalists, British sailors Hannah Mills & Saskia Clark, claim the gold in a race that was postponed from Wednesday due to no wind.
Defending London 2012 champions, New Zealand's Jo Aleh & Polly Powrie take silver. It is a remarkable feat for the Kiwis who suffered two disqualifications in the opening rounds. And France's Helene Defrance & Camille Lecointre grabbed bronze.
Heartbreak for Americans Annie Haeger & Briana Provancha, who were in silver medal contention until they fouled the Japanese boat, earning them penalty turns, dropping them to tenth.
Men's 470 dinghy
Sime Fantela & Igor Marenic won Croatia's first Olympic sailing gold. Mathew Belcher & Will Ryan of Australia take advantage of the Greeks mistake to claim silver. And Panagiotis Mantis & Pavlos Kagialis of Greece took bronze.
Men's 49er skiff
In the men's 49er class, New Zealand's Peter Burling & Blair Tuke sail to gold. They only needed to finish the medal race to claim the gold that was theirs based on points from the earlier races. They add to a London 2012 silver.
Silver went to Nathan Outteridge & Ian Jensen of Australia, defending London 2012 champions. And Germany's Erik Heil & Thomas Ploessel took bronze.
Women's 49er skiff
Brazilian sailors Kahena Kunze & Martine Grael get the host nation a gold on the last day of the regatta. New Zealand's Alex Maloney & Molly Meech claimed silver. Denmark's Jena Hansen & Katja Steen Salskov-Iversen take bronze.
The Brazilians' coach & Martine's father, Torben, won five Olympic medals for Brazil, including two golds at Atlanta 1996 & Athens 2004 in the star class sailing event.
The Graels have a storied Olympics & sailing history as Danes who migrated to Brazil. Torben's brother Lars is a bronze medalist from Seoul 1988 & Atlanta 1996 in the tornado class. And his grandfather Preben & his twin Erik Schmidt won gold at the Pan-American games in Chicago 1959 & silver at Sao Paolo 1963. And the family sailing dynasty continues with the new generation carrying on their sea legacy.
The Chinese dominance in badminton is over. In the women's doubles gold medal match, Japan's Misaki Matsutomo & Ayaka Takahashi of Japan defeat Danish pair Christinna Pedersen & Kamilla Rytter Juhl. It was a heated match that saw all four players being summoned by the umpire & the umpire even talking to the coaches. The Danes won the first set. But Japan rallies in the second. In the final set, Japan was down 16-19, but they dug deep & found the energy to deliver five straight points, winning the gold! The Danes take silver for their marvelous effort.
In the bronze medal match, South Korean shuttlers Jung Kyung-Eun & Shin Seung-Chan defeated China’s Tang Yuanting & Yu Yang to claim bronze in the women’s badminton doubles, winning 2 sets to none.
Men's doubles bronze match
Marcus Ellis & Chris Langridge of Great Britain annihilated Chinese hopes as they beat Chai Biao & Hong Wei in the men's doubles bronze medal match to secure Great Britain's third Olympic Games badminton medal & its first since 2004.
The Chinese dominance has so thoroughly collapsed that defending London 2012 champion, Li Xuerui of China, injured her left knee in a decisive semifinal defeat Thursday from Spain's Carolina Marin, the top ranked player in the world. Marin got her revenge for losing to Li in the preliminary rounds at London 2012. Marin will face Pusarla V. Sindhu of India for the gold match Friday.
And since Li can't compete in the women's singles bronze match, Japan's Nozomi Okuhara wins bronze by default!
The Chinese hope of a five golds sweep has been reduced to two, if Lin Dan, defending London 2012 champion, survives a much anticipated match on Friday against Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei in the men's singles semi-final--a repeat of the past two gold medal matches, won on both occasions by Lin. It doesn't look good as Lin has struggled in the rounds as top ranked Lee cruised through.
The only other gold medal hope for China rests in the men's doubles gold medal match, where the Chinese pairing of Fu Haifeng & Zhang Nan will take on Malaysia's Goh V Shem & Tan Wee Kiong on Friday.
Field hockey (men)
In the gold medal field hockey match, Argentina defeats Belgium 4-2. Argentina takes gold & Belgium, silver. It is the first time both nations played for gold.
Meanwhile, two time defending Olympic champions Germany tied Netherlands 1-1 in the bronze match. Germany defeated the Netherlands, 4-3, in a shootout to take the bronze.
|Competitors take to the water during the Men's Triathlon at Fort Copacabana on Day 13 of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games on August 18, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Aug. 17, 2016 - Source: Buda Mendes/Getty Images South America)|
The bronze went to Henri Schoeman, South Africa.
Women's 10-meter platform
China claims the top two spots in women's 10m platform diving, with 15 year old phenom Qian Ren taking gold, & 17 year old Yajie Si, silver.
Canada's Meaghan Benfeito, an Olympics veteran at 27, takes the bronze, her first individual medal, to go with the bronze she won earlier in the Rio 2016 10m synchronized event, successfully defending the first bronze she & her partner won at London 2012. She now has three bronzes total!
Men's light-heavyweight 81kg gold medal match
Julio César La Cruz, Cuba, defeated Adilbek Niyazymbetov, Kazakhstan, 3-0 to take his country's first ever light heavyweight gold. Adilbek Niyazymbetov repeats a London 2012 silver.
Women's freestyle 53 kilogram
A big upset in women's 53kg wrestling freestyle. Sixteen time & reigning world champ, three time defending Olympic champion Saori Yoshida hoped to be the second woman to win four golds in the event as teammate Kaori Icho had achieved, being the first four times gold medal winner in the same category across four Summer Games, & the second ever wrestler, male or female, to win four golds.
But those dreams came to a surprise halt when Helen Louise Maroulis gave notice to the rest of the world as she won the United States' first ever wrestling gold! Saori Yoshida, Japan, will take silver.
The bronzes went to Natalya Sinishin, Azerbaijan, & Sofia Magdalena Mattsson, Sweden.
Women's freestyle 63 kilogram
After a surprising loss to the US in the 53kg division, Japan's Risako Kawai dominated Maryia Mamashuk, Belarus, who settles for silver. Risako Kawai takes gold for Japan.
The bronzes went to Yekaterina Larionova, Kazakhstan, & Poland's Monika Ewa Michalik.
Women's freestyle 75 kilogram
Erica Elizabeth Wiebe, Canada, takes gold, leaving silver to Guzel Manyurova, Kazakhstan. Bronzes went to Fengliu Zhang, China , & Ekaterina Bukina, Russia.
Men's 68 kilogram
Ahmad Abughaush, Jordan, wins gold by defeating Alexey Denisenko, Russia, 10-6, leaving Russia the silver.
The first bronze was won Joel Gonzalez Bonilla, Spain, who defeated Edgar Contreras, Venezuela, 4-3.
The second bronze was claimed by Lee Daehoon, South Korea, who defeated Jaouad Achab, Belgium, 11-7.
Women's 57 kilogram
In the women's 57kg division, the gold went to Jade Jones, Britain, who defeated Eva Calvo Gomez, Spain, 16-7. Spain takes silver.
The first bronze was claimed by Hedaya Wahba, Egypt, who defeated Raheleh Asemani, Belgium, 1-0, & the second bronze was won by Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin, Iran, who defeated Nikita Glasnovic, Sweden, 5-1.
Track and Field
So much has happened in track & field Thursday. Here are the highlights:
Men's 400-meter hurdles
Kerron Clement of the US, former two time world champion & Beijing 2008 silver medalist, won the men’s 400-meter hurdles gold in a season-best time of 47.73 seconds. Boniface Mucheru Tumuti of Kenya was second in 47.78 seconds, & Yasmani Copello of Turkey third in 47.92.
Ryan Crouser, United States, set an Olympic record in the shot put for gold (22.52), 73-10 1-2.
Silver went to Joe Kovacs, world champion, United States, (21.78), 71-5 1-2.
And Bronze was claimed by indoors world champion Tomas Walsh, New Zealand, (21.36), 70-1.
Ashton Eaton, United States, 8893 points, successfully defends his London 2012 title, the second person to ever do so, after Britain's Daley Thompson in 1984. His points tied the Olympic record set by Czech Republic's Roman Sebrle at the 2004 Athens Games.
Only 59 points separated silver medalist Kevin Mayer, France, 8834, from Ashton Eaton in first place. Mayer put on a late surge to pass Damien Warner for the second spot.
And Damian Warner, Canada, 8666, claimed bronze.
The gold was won by Sara Kolak, Croatia, (66.18), 217-1 1-2.
Silver went to Sunette Viljoen, South Africa, (64.92), 212-12.
Bronze went to Barbora Spotakova, two time defending Beijing 2008 & London 2012 champion, Czech Republic, (64.80), 212-7 1-4.
Women's 400-meter hurdles
Men's 200 meters
Usain Bolt of Jamaica has won a third sprint double, winning the 200m plus the 100m earlier in the week. Bolt ran 200m in 19.78 seconds. Gold to Jamaica.
Silver went to Andre de Grasse, Canada, 20.02. He adds to a 100m bronze.
And in a foto finish, Christophe Lemaitre, France, 20.12 edged out Great Britain's Adam Gemili in a photo finish after both were given a time of 20.12 seconds. Lemaitre gets bronze.
In the men's bronze medal match Alexander Brouwer & Robert Meeuwsen, Netherlands, defeated Konstantin Semenov & Viacheslav Krasilnikov, Russia, 23-21, 22-20.
Over in the men's gold medal match, crowd favorites Cerutti Alison & Oscar Schmidt Bruno, Brasil, overcome the rain & injuries to win gold by defeating Nicolai Paolo & Lupo Daniele, Italy, 21-19, 21-17. Paolo & Daniele settle for silver.
And those were the highlights of Olympics on Thursday. Sunday is the closing ceremony. Only a few more events are left. Just a few more chances to achieve Olympic glory, before it's another four years for the next summer games at Tokyo 2020