Olympic sports roundup: Day 6
Win puts U.S. in quarterfinals
Diana Taurasi and her U.S. teammates knew they'd be in for a test against Serbia. The result was another blowout win, but the Americans couldn't put it on cruise control like they had in their first two wins. Taurasi scored 22 of her 25 points in the first half to help the United States win 110-84 and advance to the quarterfinals. The United States routed Senegal and Spain in its first two games, winning by an average of 52.5 points. It had a harder time against the hot-shooting Balkan nation. "They are the European champions for a reason," Taurasi said.
Powers move on; U.S. out
Fiji moved into the men's medal round after a 12-7 win over New Zealand and will face an unexpected rival in the semifinals after Japan continued its remarkable run. No. 2-ranked South Africa had a more conventional run, overturning an earlier loss to Australia in a 22-5 quarterfinal win to set up a semifinal against Britain, which needed a try in golden-point extra time to edge Argentina 5-0. The Americans needed a win, a draw or a loss by fewer than five points against Fiji to reach the quarterfinals at the expense of New Zealand, but missed out by one kick.
U.S. breaks medal drought
Nico Hernandez earned the United States its first medal in men's boxing in eight years, though what color medal he gets might not be determined until Sunday. Hernandez assured himself of no worse than a bronze with a unanimous decision over Ecuador's Carlos Quipo in a light-flyweight quarterfinal. Gary Russell beat Richardson Hitchins of Haiti in a light welterweight preliminary by unanimous decision, making the Americans 7-1 at the Games. They have won more fights than they did in 2012, when they were shut out for the first time.
Aussies give U.S. a scare
After facing nothing but pushovers this summer, the Americans faced someone who pushed back. "This is the real world now, and that's good for us," coach Mike Krzyzewski said. Carmelo Anthony had 31 points on the night he became the U.S. men's Olympic career scoring leader, combining with Kyrie Irving for all the U.S. baskets in the fourth quarter of a 98-88 win over Australia. Irving had 19, including a 3-pointer with 1:35 left after Australia had closed within four. Anthony has 293 Olympic points, 20 more than LeBron James, who isn't at these Games.
Second silver for U.S. men
The United States saw a pair of fencers put themselves in position to win unprecedented gold medals. Neither came through. But simply getting to the finals helped show how far the Americans have come in a sport in which they've long struggled. Third-ranked Aron Szilagyi of Hungary beat upstart American Daryl Homer (above) to win gold in men's sabre. Homer got the second silver for the American men in Rio, joining Alexander Massialas. "We're trying to raise the visibility of the sport," Homer said.
Japan's Uchimura rules again
Kohei Uchimura's gold-medal haul keeps growing. The superstar from Japan won the men's all-around title, edging Ukranian Oleg Verniaiev by less than a tenth of the point to capture his second straight Olympic gold. Uchimura trailed heading into the final rotation but put up a dazzling 15.8 points on high bar. Verniaiev followed with a less-challenging routine and hopped forward on the dismount. Uchimura's total was 92.365, Verniaiev's 92.266. Max Whitlock earned Great Britain's first all-around medal in 108 years by taking bronze. American Sam Mikulak recovered from a fall on vault to rally to seventh. Chris Brooks finished 14th.
Americans happy with rain, silver medal
When you're a world-class diver and spend the better part of your life training for the Games, you don't envision that on the day of the Olympic final, you'll be outdoors and it will be raining, 65 degrees and windy, and the pool will be green. But those were the conditions that awaited former University of Miami diver Sam Dorman and the rest of the field at the Maria Lenk Aquatic Center for the 3-meter synchronized event Wednesday. Dorman and partner Mike Hixon were undeterred. In their first international meet together, they won the silver medal with a score of 450.21 points. Great Britain's Jack Laugher and Chris Mears took gold (454.32), and China's Cao Yuan and Qin Kai, the heavy favorites, took bronze (443.70). "Both of us were actually very excited that the weather was bad," Dorman said. "I train in Miami, so I'm used to training in bad weather."