Friday, December 15, 2017
Sports

London Olympics: Clearwater's Zach Railey has tough day on the water; U.S. gymnasts have high and low; U.S. gets first diving medal in 12 years

u.s. gymnasts have day of extremes

On a day the U.S. women's gymnastics team showed it was good enough and deep enough to win the gold medal by leading the qualifiers for the final, there was a loss for words. Jordyn Wieber, the reigning world all-around champion and a favorite to win the gold medal, finished third among the U.S. women Sunday, meaning she wouldn't advance to the final. Only two from each team advance. Americans Aly Raisman, Wieber's close friend and Olympic roommate, and Gabby Douglas will compete in the all-around final. Wieber's consolation is that she qualified for the floor exercise final. Wieber did not have major mistakes in her four routines but was not as sharp as usual, and Raisman gave one her best performances. When Wieber, 17, learned she was the odd woman out, she burst into tears. "It was hard because, of course, I wanted that spot," she said in a statement (she gave a TV interview but left the arena before talking to other reporters). "In the end, it is what it is." Russia, runnerup to the United States at last year's world, was second in team qualifying, followed by China, Romania, Britain, Japan, Italy and Canada. The team final is Tuesday; the scoring starts from scratch.

rough sailing start for clearwater's zach railey

Clearwater 2008 silver medalist Zach Railey had a rough first day on the course off Weymouth, finishing 10th and 15th in his first two Finn races to sit 15th overall. "The second race I made two major mistakes on the first upwind and never got into it," he told U.S. Sailing. "I felt fine, but didn't execute well." In Star, St. Petersburg native Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih of Miami started fifth and 14th to sit 10th overall. The courses were shifty, Fatih said. "We were able to fight back in the first race," he said. "In the second race, it was even more difficult." Anna Tunnicliffe of Plantation, Molly O'Bryan Vandemoer and Debbie Capozzi started with a win and a loss in match racing.

stunning loss ousts spain; britain gets win

Spain was eliminated from the men's soccer tournament, losing 1-0 to Honduras for a second straight defeat that left it with no chance of advancing from the group stage. This is the first time Spain lost its first two group matches at a World Cup, Euro tournament, Confederations Cup or Olympics. Britain got its campaign back on track with a 3-1 victory over United Arab Emirates that knocked the Middle Eastern team out of the tournament. It was Britain's first Olympic victory in 52 years. Britain's Ryan Giggs became the oldest player to score at an Olympics at 38 years, 243 days, breaking an 88-year-old record. Giggs is playing in his first major international tournament.

u.s. gets first medal in diving in 12 years

The medals were silver, but the smiles of Abby Johnston and Kelci Bryant showed they meant much, much more than that. Johnston and Bryant finished second in the women's synchronized 3-meter competition, claiming the first U.S. diving medal since 2000. Their final dive, a backward 21/2 somersault, might have been their best. "My heart rate was going, but I knew Abby was going to do a great dive," said Bryant, who acknowledged she was scoreboard-watching on the final dive in 2008, a mental error that led to an agonizing fourth-place finish. This time, she said, she never peeked. Canada's Emilie Heymans and Jennifer Abel took the bronze, but they and the Americans were far behind China's Wu Minxia and He Zi. Wu's gold was her third in a row in the event.

rhode wins skeet to set record

Kimberly Rhode became the first American with individual medals in five straight Olympics, tying a world record in women's skeet shooting and setting the Olympic mark with 99 points, meaning she missed once in 100 shots. She was eight targets better than silver medalist Wei Ning of China. "It's just been an incredible journey," said Rhode, 33. Track stars Carl Lewis, Al Oerter and Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and wrestler Bruce Baumgartner are the other Americans recognized as individual medal-winners in four straight Summer Olympics. Rhode becomes the eighth U.S. woman with at least five individual medals.

Other sports

• Russia's Maria Sharapova won her Olympic debut, playing under Wimbledon's retractable roof on Centre Court because of rain, beating Israel's Shahar Peer. Britain's Andy Murray returned to the court where he lost this month's Wimbledon final and beat Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka. Serbia's Novak Djokovic also won.

• The defending champion U.S. men's volleyball team opened play by sweeping Serbia 25-17, 25-22, 25-21.

• The South Koreans stayed perfect in women's team archery, winning their seventh straight gold medal. The Americans, second in the ranking round Friday, lost to the Chinese in the quarterfinals.

     
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