PHOTOS: Olympics day 3
PHOTOS: Olympics day 3 x
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) – American beach volleyball player April Ross says she didn’t even hear the “Zika!” taunts from the Brazilian fans and she isn’t sure why they’re yelling at her.
The chants directed at the Americans during the Olympics were loudest toward soccer goalkeeper Hope Solo, who posed for a picture wearing mosquito netting and holding bug spray. Similar but more intermittent taunts were directed toward the Americans at the Copacabana beach volleyball venue.
Ross said after she and Kerri Walsh Jennings beat China on Monday night that she hasn’t made any negative comments about Brazil or the Zika threat.
“Tell them they can stop doing that if they want to,” she said.
Ross she said she has gotten four mosquito bites since coming to Rio, “but I’m not worried about it.”
Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross have cruised to 2-0 in the Olympic beach volleyball tournament.
The three-time gold medalist and her new partner, who was the silver medalist in London, beat China 21-16, 21-9 on Monday night. The Americans have one match remaining in the group stage, against Switzerland on Wednesday.
Walsh Jennings and Ross have not quite clinched a spot in the knockout stage of the tournament, but they have guaranteed that they won’t be eliminated in pool play.
Walsh Jennings and former partner Misty May-Treanor never lost a set in winning gold in Athens and Beijing. They lost only one set in London, where they beat Ross and Jennifer Kessy in the championship.
Walsh Jennings and Ross haven’t lost a set in either match in Rio.
A supportive crowd chanted “U-S-A!” and waved American flags for the duo, who played in the featured midnight timeslot for the second straight match.
The French men’s basketball team rebounded from a disappointing loss in its Olympic opener with a convincing 88-60 victory Monday night over China.
France, one of the favorites to medal in Rio after finishing a disappointing sixth at the London Games, lost 87-66 loss to Australia in its first game.
Nando De Colo scored 19 points for France and sparked a 12-0 run in the second quarter to take a 40-21 lead and essentially put the game away. De Colo scored nine straight during the stretch.
China scored just nine points in the second quarter on 4 for 11 shooting from the field. The Chinese fell to 0-2 after losing 119-62 to the United States on Saturday.
Four-time NBA champion Tony Parker scored 14 for France and added eight assists while Rudy Gobert blocked five shots.
Yi Jianlian scored a team-high 19 for China.
Michael Phelps has set his sights on a 20th gold medal by posting the second-fastest time in the semifinals of the 200-meter butterfly.
Phelps went out strong in Monday night’s race, and then backed off a bit in the final 50 to save his energy for Tuesday’s final.
Hungary’s Tamas Kenderesi surged to the wall first in 1 minute, 53.96 seconds.
Phelps was next at 1:54.12, followed by Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh and South African Chad le Clos, the defending Olympic champion.
Four years ago, Le Clos pulled off one of the greatest Olympic upsets when he beat Phelps, who had the lead but glided too long on his finish.
Now, it’s time for the rematch.
They’ve really picked up the production value at the Copacabana beach volleyball venue for the midnight match with defending Olympic champion Kerri Walsh Jennings.
In addition to the usual rock and samba music that has been playing during the breaks since the Rio Games began on Saturday, organizers gave Walsh Jennings and her partner April Ross a professional wrestling-style introduction as Monday night turned into Tuesday morning.
With about 10 minutes before the start of the game against China, the stadium lights were darkened, replaced by searchlights that scanned the sand and the flashlights on fans’ mobile phones. When the lights came on, the crowd broke into a chant of “U-S-A!”
Walsh Jennings and Ross have been the marquee match in each of their first two scheduled appearances in Rio. The midnight local starting time is designed to maximize television viewership in the United States.
The gold medal matches will also be at midnight.
Lilly King of the United States won her showdown with Yulia Efimova after plenty of the bad blood between the two over the Russian’s doping record.
After staring down Efimova in the ready room and giving her a look of disdain on the deck, King led all the way to take the gold with a time of 1 minute, 4.93 seconds.
Efimova, who heard a round of boos and a few cheers during the introductions, settled for the silver in 1:05.50. The bronze went to another American, Katie Meili, at 1:05.69.
King was critical of Efimova being allowed to compete in the Rio Games after serving a previous 16-month suspension for doping and testing positive again this year for the now-banned substance meldonium. Possible sanctions over a second violation were put on hold while WADA does more research on the drug.
King didn’t acknowledge Efimova during a raucous victory celebration. Finally, as the two were picking up their credentials at the side of the deck, King gave her rival a quick pat on the shoulder.
The United States has extended its domination of the men’s 100-meter backstroke.
Ryan Murphy gave the Americans their sixth straight gold medal in the event, rallying on the return lap to win with a time of 51.97 seconds Monday night at the Rio Olympics.
Murphy was fourth at the turn, with Australia’s Mitch Larkin setting the early pace.
Larkin couldn’t hold on. China’s Xu Jiayu surged to the silver in 52.31, while another American, David Plummer, stretched for the bronze in 52.40 – just three-hundredths of a second ahead of a fading Larkin.
It was quite a moment for Plummer, who finally made his first Olympic team at age 30. Now, he’s got his first medal.
The Americans haven’t lost the men’s 100 back since the 1992 Barcelona Games.
Give another gold to the Iron Lady.
Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu won the 100-meter backstroke at the Rio Olympics on Monday, adding to her world-record victory in the 400 individual medley.
Hosszu didn’t set a world record in the back, but her time of 58.45 seconds was good enough for a second gold.
Kathleen Baker of the United States settled for the silver in 58.75, while Canada’s Kylie masse and China’s Yuanhui Fu tied for the bronze in 58.76.
Hosszu, whose nickname comes from her grueling schedule, sat up on the lane rope and made a heart sign in the direction of her coach and husband, Shane Tusup.
Sun Yang of China has defied those who complained about his doping past by winning gold in the men’s 200-meter freestyle at the Rio Olympics.
Yang rallied from his customarily slow start to pass South Africa’s Chas le Clos and hold off American Conor Dwyer, touching the wall in 1 minute, 44.65 seconds.
Le Clos, who recently announced that that both of his parents are battling cancer, went out with a totally different strategy. He built a body-length lead over the entire field and tried to hang on. It nearly worked.
But Yang surged to the front, and Le Clos took silver in 1:45.20.
Dwyer claimed the bronze in 1:45.23.
MEDAL ALERT: Lilly King of the United States has won gold in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke at the Rio Olympics. Russia’s Yulia Efimova took the silver, and Katie Meili of the United States claimed the bronze.
Novak Djokovic’s Rio Olympics are over.
The 12-time major champion lost in doubles Monday, a day after he was eliminated in the first round in singles by 2009 U.S. Open winner Juan Martin del Potro. After he and Serbian teammate Nenad Zimonjic fell 6-4, 6-4 to third-seeded Brazilians Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares in the second round, Djokovic confirmed that he won’t play mixed doubles.
The world’s top-ranked player is still seeking his first Olympic gold. He’ll be 33 at the 2020 Games, and he said Monday that “I really hope I will have another shot at the medal.”
Djokovic left the court in tears Sunday night after losing to a resurgent del Potro, whose ranking has fallen to 145th after three left wrist surgeries.
Djokovic’s only Olympic medal is a bronze in 2008 in singles.
MEDAL ALERT: Ryan Murphy of the United States has won gold in the men’s 100-meter backstroke at the Rio Olympics.
MEDAL ALERT: Katinka Hosszu of Hungary has won the gold medal in the women’s 100-meter backstroke, her second gold medal of the Rio Olympics. Kathleen Baker of the United States took the silver, while Canada’s Kylie Masse and China’s Yuanhui Fu tied for the bronze.
MEDAL ALERT: Sun Yang of China has won gold in the men’s 200-meter freestyle at the Rio Olympics.
Missy Franklin was a swimming star at the 2012 Olympics.
She couldn’t even make the final of the 200-meter freestyle in Rio.
Franklin endured another stunning disappointment Monday night when she finished last in her semifinal heat with only the 13th-fastest time among 16 swimmers.
Franklin touched in 1 minute, 57.56 seconds, which was actually slower than her time in the afternoon preliminaries.
As a bubbly, 17-year-old high schooler, Franklin won four golds and a bronze at the London Games. But she’s endured a mystifying loss of form since turning pro last summer, struggling just to qualify for two individual events and a relay at the U.S. trials.
In 2012, Franklin competed in seven Olympic events. Now, all she’s got left is the 200 backstroke and a likely spot on the 4×200 free relay team.
FAILED TO QUALIFY: Missy Franklin has failed to qualify for the final of the women’s 200-meter freestyle at the Rio Olympics.
Australian cyclist Melissa Hoskins was released from the hospital hours after a terrifying crash in training, and she still hopes to compete in the team pursuit competition later this week.
The team of Hoskins, Ashlee Ankudinoff, Georgia Baker, Amy Cure and Annette Edmondson were at race speed of nearly 60 kph (37 mph) when they clipped wheels Monday at the end of the back straight. Edmondson stayed on her bike as the other riders fell hard behind her on the banked wooden surface.
Hoskins was put in a back brace as a precaution and taken to a Rio de Janeiro hospital for an examination. Tests revealed no broken bones and she was released several hours later.
Ankudinoff, Baker and Cure walked off the track and were treated for bruises and floor burns.
China shot the ball so well against Senegal nothing helped the African nation, as it attempted to bounce back from a 65-point opening loss in women’s basketball. Despite a small but enthusiastic section of stomping, clapping and singing fans, China rolled to 101-64 win.
Mengran Sun and Ting Shao scored 17 points each as China evened its record in group play.
China (1-1) scored the first 11 points of the game and looked ready to rout Senegal just like the Americans did Sunday. Senegal (0-2), still looking for its first Olympic victory, gave fans reason to cheer by pulling within 34-33 on a 3-pointer by Diodio Diouf with 4:41 left in the second quarter.
The Chinese went on a 9-0 run capped by a couple buckets by Nan Chen and led 47-38 at halftime. They led 73-53 at the end of the third and finished off the win after shooting 56 percent.
World record holder Chen Lijun pulled out of the men’s weightlifting 62-kilogram class because of leg cramps, which opened the class for Oscar Albeiro Figueroa Mosquera of Colombia to win gold at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Chen says he pulled out during the snatch round after he found treatment on the cramp to be “pretty useless.”
Mosquera lifted 142 kilograms in snatch, 176 in clean and jerk and won gold with a total score of 318 kilograms. He was the silver medalist four years ago at the London Games.
Eko Yuli Irawan of Indonesia won silver – one spot better than the bronze he won in London, and Farkhad Kharki of Kazakhstan won bronze in his Olympic debut.
The U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team surged after a slow start, beating Venezuela 113-69 on Monday night as Carmelo Anthony passed Michael Jordan for third place on the Americans’ career scoring list.
The game was tied at 18 after one quarter but the Americans soon took control and powered their way to a second straight win to start the tournament.
Paul George scored 20 points and Jimmy Butler had 17 for the Americans. Anthony finished with 14, passing Jordan’s total of 256 points late in the first half. Anthony now has 262 points and the four-time Olympian trails only LeBron James (273) and David Robinson (270).
The Americans play again Wednesday against Australia, which also is 2-0.
One destroyed racket – and one poor set – later, Serena Williams is safely into the third round of the Rio Olympics as she bids for a second consecutive singles gold medal.
The No. 1-seeded American struggled for quite a while Monday night before emerging with a 7-6 (5), 6-2 victory over France’s Alize Cornet.
Williams started off by taking the first three games, but then dropped five of the following six. During that troublesome stretch, Williams reacted to losing two games in a row by mangling her equipment, slamming it against the back of her sideline chair.
Later, she was forced to erase a pair of set points for Cornet, who had won four of their previous seven matchups.
But Williams claimed the last three points of the tiebreaker, raced to a 3-0 lead in the second set and was on her way.
No tennis player ever has won two Olympic singles golds – let alone two in a row.
There’s another Savon in the boxing tournament with the hope of fighting for Olympic gold.
Erislandy Savon, the nephew of three-time Olympic gold medalist Felix Savon, opened with a unanimous decision victory in a heavyweight bout.
Felix Savon won gold medals in 1992, 1996 and 2000, one of only three fighters to accomplish the feat. He’s one of the all-time great Cuban amateur fighters.
Erislandy Savon said he was proud to represent his family and Cuba in the Olympics.
There’s no gold around his neck yet, just in his mouth – he had gold-capped bottom teeth that weren’t hit very much by British fighter Lawrence Okolie. Savon won 30-27 on the scorecards.
He had knocked out Okolie three months ago in the World Series of Boxing final. Okolie was proud he went from a tough defeat to a competitive bout against the same fighter in just six weeks.
“I faced those demons and I knew millions of people were going to watch that,” he said.
The International Judo Federation says Kosovo’s first Olympic judo champion, Majlinda Kelmendi, may be facing sanctions in France for failing to comply with a drug test in June.
During her training ahead of the Rio Games, Kelmendi apparently refused to comply when asked by the French anti-doping agency to provide an out-of-competition sample.
The IJF says in a statement that the procedure is being contested by Kelmendi and her coach but “looks questionable at the level of the IJF.” In an email, judo’s governing body said that if there were to be sanctions leveled against Kelmendi – who won her country’s first ever Olympic medal on Sunday – they would only apply in France.
The Kosovo Olympic team could not immediately be reached for comment.
MEDAL ALERT: Australia has won the first gold medal for rugby sevens at the Olympics, beating archrival New Zealand 24-17 in the women’s final Monday night.
The women’s world series champions conceded an early try to Kayla McAlister but rallied with two tries before halftime and another two after the break to take a 24-5 lead.
Emma Tonegato’s early equalizer for Australia was contentious after she appeared to fumble as she crashed over in the corner but referee Alhambra Nievas awarded it after checking with both assistant referees.
Evania Pelite scored in the corner on the stroke of halftime, moments after New Zealand star Portia Woodman was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on.
Ellia Green and Charlotte Caslick scored for the Australians before New Zealand cut the margin with late tries from McAlister and Woodman.
Ghislaine Landry led Canada to the bronze medal, scoring two tries and landing four conversions in a 33-10 win over Britain.
Japan is off to its best start in women’s basketball in 20 years after routing host Brazil 82-66 Monday night for a second straight victory.
The Japanese didn’t qualify in 2008 or 2012 and won only once in 2004. Now they are a win from matching their three victories in Atlanta when Japan went 3-5 and finished seventh.
Japan led 47-33 at halftime. The Japanese built that lead to as much as 27 in the third before Brazil went on a 12-4 run to get within 66-47, giving the home fans a reason to roar and stomp their feet. Mika Kurihara ended the run with her 3 with 1:15 left in the quarter.
Brazil never got closer than 16 the rest of the way, though fans stuck around and cheered to the final seconds.
Ramu Tokashiki, who plays for the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, led Japan with 23.
Beach volleyball has been one of the top tickets at the Olympics, but the venue at Copacabana beach has been sprinkled liberally with empty seats.
With four matches per session, fans are apparently coming to see their favorite team and then leaving. Never was that more clear than Monday, following Brazil’s three-set loss to Austria. With fans streaming out of the 12,000-seat venue, the public address announcer invited those staying behind to move down to better seats.
Another problem has been the late matches. Saturday’s match featuring defending champion Kerri Walsh Jennings and her partner April Ross began at 12:34 a.m. Sunday morning. The times are set to draw maximum viewership in the United States, but the empty white seats look bad on TV.
A day after getting stuck for 40 minutes in an athletes’ village elevator before upsetting No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the Rio de Janeiro Games tournament’s first round, del Potro was back on court Monday and produced a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 victory over Portugal’s Joao Sousa with the help of 16 forehand winners.
That match started 15½ hours after del Potro finished beating Djokovic in straight sets Sunday night. Earlier that day, the 6-foot-6 Argentine found himself trapped while trying to get from one floor to another – until getting rescued by countrymen competing in handball in Brazil.
Asked if he took an elevator before facing Sousa, del Potro replied with a laugh: “Not today.”