Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Sports

London Olympics: Clearwater's Zach Railey done in Olympic sailing; St. Petersburg native Mark Mendelblatt makes sailing medal race; U.S. women make soccer semis

Track and field begins with rare repeat

T omasz Majewski of Poland successfully defended his shot put title, winning the first gold medal of the track and field program Friday. He is only the second man to repeat in the event; the other was American Parry O'Brien in 1952 and 1956. Taking bronze for his first Olympic medal in three tries was American Reese Hoffa. Tirunseh Dibaba of Ethiopia became the first back-to-back women's 10,000-meter champion. She stormed across the finish line in a 2012 world-best 30 minutes, 20.75 seconds, and was running her victory lap before the final runners finished. Britain's Jessica Ennis electrified the crowd with the biggest first-day points tally in heptathlon history, 4,158. She had a 184-point lead over Lithuanian Austra Skujte. World champion Carmelita Jeter of the United States led six women under 11 seconds in the 100 meters into today's semifinals. Tahmiha Kohistani, Afghanistan's only female Olympian, ran a personal best 14.42. In the women's 400 heats, Brunei's first woman at the Games, Maziah Mahusin, had a national record 59.28. She didn't advance. Defending men's long jump champion Irving Saladino of Panama didn't qualify for the final, keeping Carl Lewis the only man to have won the title more than once. Qualifying for the 12-jumper final was former Gator Will Claye. In the men's 400 hurdles, former Gator Kerron Clement advanced to the semifinals.

Defending men's gold medalists out

Defending beach volleyball gold medalist Phil Dalhausser saw the Italian points pile up on the scoreboard and knew his and Todd Rogers' hopes for a repeat were over when Rogers' final touch fell short of the net. "It's a little bit different when you win. It takes about a month for it to sink in," Dalhausser, who grew up in Longwood, said after the Americans lost to Italy in two games in the round of 16. "When you lose, it smacks you right in the face the second the ball hits the sand." Americans Jennifer Kessy and April Ross beat Switzerland's Simone Kuhn and Nadine Zumkehr to advance to the quarterfinals of the women's tournament.

Mendelblatt in medal race; zach railey done

St. Petersburg native Mark Mendelblatt and Miami's Brian Fatih advanced to the Star medal race off Weymouth and Portland, but Clearwater's Zach Railey saw his Olympics end in Finn. Mendelblatt and Faith were third and 11th in their sailing races to sit sixth overall. The medal race is Sunday. Railey, the 2008 silver medalist, was 12th and 19th, finishing two spots out of the 10-boat medal race. "This week hasn't gone the way we planned," he told USA Sailing. "We prepared well. … To not do well here is very upsetting." His sister Paige went 21st and 20th to sit ninth, with two races left to secure a medal-race spot.

U.S. moves into semifinal matchup with Canada

Goals by former Gator Abby Wambach and Sydney Leroux lifted two-time defending gold medalist United States to a 2-0 win over New Zealand in the soccer quarterfinals at Newcastle. In Monday's semifinal, the Americans meet Canada, which defeated Great Britain 2-0. In the other semi, Japan faces France. Japan, last year's World Cup winner, beat Brazil 2-0, and France defeated Sweden 2-1. Wambach, 32 and playing in her third Olympics, has scored in every game at this tournament. "I'm playing pain-free for the first time in a while," she said. "It means everything." The Americans never looked to be in danger but were unable to put the game out of reach of hard-working New Zealand until three minutes from the end of normal time on Leroux's goal.

Familiar look for the finals

A month after they met in the final at Wimbledon, Roger Federer and Andy Murray meet on Center Court again Sunday for gold. Switzerland's Federer, the Wimbledon winner, played for 4 hours, 26 minutes to beat Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 19-17. Britain's Murray beat Serbia's Novak Djokovic 7-5, 7-5 in front of a roaring home crowd. "I'll be desperate to win on Sunday," Murray said. Del Potro and Djokovic play for bronze. The women's final has Wimbledon winner Serena Williams against Maria Sharapova. None of the finalists has won gold before.

Other sports

• Temple Terrace's Emil Milev was 13th after the second round of the 25-meter rapid fire pistol qualifications and didn't make the final. "I wasn't paying attention. I was missing a couple of details," the five-time Olympian said. "The result was very disappointing."

• A few hours after the U.S. men's boxing team thought it was done at the Olympics with its worst performance ever, Errol Spence got a reprieve. His loss to Indian welterweight Krishan Vikas was overturned by the sport's governing body after a U.S. protest. The body ruled Vikas had committed nine holding fouls in the third round and intentionally spit out his mouthpiece in the second, which should have resulted in point deductions.

   
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