U.S. men do the 'dominating thing' to make semifinals
This was the U.S. men's team that everyone expected to see, now right where it was expected to be — in the semifinals. And a familiar foe will be waiting. Emphatically ending a stretch of three straight close games, the Americans advanced by sprinting past Argentina 105-78 Wednesday night. "Our whole thing was dominating," forward Carmelo Anthony said. Turning a slow start into an early ending with a 27-2 run in the first half — a stretch in which Jimmy Butler (above) had a key 3-pointer — the Americans put away one old rival and set up a meeting with another. They play Spain on Friday in a rematch of the past two gold-medal games. Spain advanced by routing France 92-67. Kevin Durant scored 27 for the Americans, who had played three straight close games for the first time under coach Mike Krzyzewski, setting off a round of questions at home and in Brazil about what was wrong with the U.S. team. … Sue Bird and the U.S. women received good news when an MRI exam revealed that the team captain and point guard had just a knee sprain. Bird was hurt in the second quarter of Tuesday's 110-64 win over Japan in the quarterfinals. She sat out the second half. Bird wasn't at practice Wednesday and was listed as day to day. The United States faces France in the women's semifinals tonight.
Park back in form for leaderboard spot
Facing top competition for the first time in two months, Inbee Park was flawless in a round of 5-under 66 that left her one shot behind Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand as the women's competition began. South Korea's Seiyoung Kim also shot 66. Park of South Korea last competed on a big stage two months ago at the Women's PGA Championship. She missed the cut and skipped the next two majors because of a thumb injury that has been bothering her all year. Lexi Thompson was the top American at 3 under. Gerina Piller was 2 under and Stacy Lewis 1 under. No. 1-ranked Lydia Ko of New Zealand was 2 under.
Brazil's men to play for gold medal
Brazil's celebrated men's team rolled to a 6-0 win over Honduras in the semifinals to earn a spot in the gold-medal match. Empty seats have been prevalent across Rio de Janeiro but not at Maracana Stadium, where fans packed in to watch Neymar and Co. They didn't have to wait long, with Neymar scoring 15 seconds into the game. It was the fastest goal in men's Olympic history, and Brazil led 3-0 going into halftime. Neymar added a goal on a penalty kick in stoppage time, and Gabriel Jesus (above) also scored twice for Brazil, which goes for gold against Germany, which beat Nigeria 2-0 in the other semifinal. Germany's senior team trounced Brazil 7-1 in the semifinals of the World Cup in Rio two years ago.
Equestrian silver; another gold chance
The United States got the silver medal in equestrian show jumping, recovering from a late blow, going down to three riders after Elizabeth Madden pulled out on Wednesday morning because of an injury to her horse, Cortes 'C.' France won gold, finishing the two-round competition on three faults, two fewer than the Americans. … It will be Kiley Neushul (above) and United States versus Italy for women's water polo gold. The Americans beat Hungary 14-10 in the semis. Italy advanced with a 12-9 win over Australia. … Boxer Claressa Shields will medal again. The 2012 gold medalist assured herself of a medal with a 3-0 decision over fellow middleweight Iaroslava Iakushina of Russia to advance to the semis. Both losing semifinalists receive bronze medals. … The American men's volleyball team topped second-ranked Poland 25-23, 25-22 25-20 to gain the semis. It plays Italy on Friday.
Bronze for Walsh Jennings and Ross
Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross won the women's bronze medal, coming back after losing the first set to beat Brazilians Larissa Franca Maestrini and Talita Rocha at Copacabana. The win for the Americans came less than 24 hours after Walsh Jennings lost on the Olympic beach for the first time in 27 matches over four Summer Games. Walsh Jennings, a three-time gold medalist, delivered a pair of blocks for the final two points in the bronze-medal game to win 17-21, 21-17, 15-9. Brazil's loss still leaves the home country with two beach volleyball medals at the Games. Walsh Jennings and Ross lost their semifinal late Tuesday to Brazil's Agatha and Barbara, who played Germany's top-ranked Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst for the gold late Wednesday.
Walsh Jennings and Ross fall in semifinals
American Kerri Walsh Jennings' quest for a fourth consecutive gold medal in beach volleyball ended early this morning on Copacabana beach. Walsh Jennings and partner April Ross lost to Brazilian duo Agatha and Barbara 22-20, 21-18 in the semifinals. Walsh Jennings won gold with partner Misty May-Treanor in the 2004, '08 and '12 Olympics. This time the American duo will face another Brazilian pair, top seeds Talita and Larissa, for the bronze medal at 9 tonight. Talita and Larissa lost 21-18, 21-12 to Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst, who clinched Germany's first-ever Olympic medal in women's beach volleyball. Brazil will also have a male duo in Thursday's gold-medal match, as Alison and Bruno beat Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen 21-17, 21-23, 16-14. The host nation faces Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo in the final; the Italians beat Russia's Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Konstantin Semenov in three sets.