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Gymnasts Shine At Rio Games, U.S. Swimmers Robbed At Gunpoint

  • RFE/RL

Kenyan gold-medalist Jemima Jelagat Sumgong poses after the podium ceremony for the women's marathon at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Sambodromo in Rio de Janeiro on August 14.

Kenyan gold-medalist Jemima Jelagat Sumgong poses after the podium ceremony for the women's marathon at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Sambodromo in Rio de Janeiro on August 14.

Kenyan runner Jemima Jelagat Sumgong brought her country its first-ever gold medal in an Olympic women's marathon, finishing undeterred after a protester jumped out onto the course, while 19-year-old U.S. gymnast Simone Biles won her third gold of the Rio Games with a women's vault victory and Jamaica's Usain Bolt became the first person to win three straight Olympic 100-meter titles.

Outside the arenas on August 14, Ryan Lochte and three other U.S. swimmers said they were robbed at gunpoint by assailants posing as police and Russian long jumper Darya Klishina challenged her suspension over doping suspicions at an hours-long hearing.

Sumgong's winning woman's marathon time of 2 hours, 24 minutes, 4 seconds also gave Kenya its first gold medal of the Rio de Janeiro Games. When she and other leaders had about a kilometer to go, a man waving a sign jumped over railings on the right side of the road, but police on motorbikes cut him off and he leaped over fencing on the other side.

In the 100 meters final, Bolt clocked 9.81 seconds, just .08 ahead of Justin Gatlin of the United States.

The win took Bolt a step closer to his goal of winning a historic "triple-triple" combination of gold in the 100 meter, 200 meter and the 4x100 meter relay in three consecutive Olympics.

With swimming events ending on August 13 -- after U.S. superstar Michael Phelps won his fifth gold medal at Rio and his 23rd Olympic gold overall, the kind of career his coach Bob Bowman said the world may see "once in 10 generations" -- gymnastics took the fore.

Biles, a Texan seeking an unprecedented five women's golds in Rio, scored a combined 15.966 after two powerful vaults to beat out world champion Maria Paseka of Russia, who got the silver with a combined 15.253. Biles's three golds are the most for a female U.S. gymnast in a single Olympics.

Competing in her seventh Olympics at age 41, Uzbek gymnast Oksana Chusovitina finished seventh. She said afterward that she'll be back -- she will soon start training for the 2020 games in Tokyo.

Italy's Niccolo Campriani become the first shooter to win two gold medals in Rio, edging Russia's Sergei Kamensky on his final shot to repeat as Olympic champion in men's 3-position rifle.

Russia fared better on the tennis court, where seventh-seeded Yekaterina Makarova and Yelena Vesnina won the gold medal in women's doubles by beating Timea Bacsinszky and Martina Hingis of Switzerland, 6-4, 6-4. The silver medal for Hingis comes at age 35, two decades after her last Olympics.

Russian wrestler Roman Vlasov won gold for the second Olympics in a row, taking first at 75 kilograms in the Greco-Roman event.

In the "agony of defeat" category, six-time world champion Hamid Soryan of Iran was upset in his opening Greco-Roman wrestling bout, stunned 5-4 by Shinobu Ota of Japan in the 55-kilogram category. Soryan was trying to repeat his gold-medal performance of the 2012 London Games.

Uzbek boxer Hasanboy Dusmatov wrapped himself in the Central Asian country's flag and was carried around the arena in celebration of the gold medal he earned in the light-flyweight division by beating Yurberjen Martinez of Colombia by unanimous decision.

Dusmatov and Mahammatkodir Abdullev, who won in Sydney in 2000, are the only boxing gold-medal winners from Uzbekistan.

Hours after the final swimming events of the Games, gold-medalist Ryan Lochte and three other U.S. swimmers reported being robbed at gunpoint.

Lochte said the assailants put a gun to his head during the robbery, which occurred when they were returning from a party in a taxi that was pulled over by armed men posing as police.

The Russian doping scandal continued to color the Rio Games as long jumper Klishina made a last-ditch bid to compete, attending a hearing before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) at a beachside hotel after the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) retracted her eligibility on August 13.

While the rest of the Russian track-and field team was barred from the Games over allegations of a widespread, state-sponsored doping program, Klishina had initially been the only one allowed to compete, but the IAAF said new evidence had come to light.

Klishina's lawyer, Paul Greene, told the Associated Press that the IAAF case against Klishina relied on confidential evidence from a report on Russian doping by World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren, and that scratch marks found on bottles containing drug test samples she gave in Russia are a key piece of evidence.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko called Klishina's suspension "inhuman" and said it was a "provocation," suggesting he believed it was a political decision or a plot.

"Their target now is Russian sports," Mutko told the TASS news agency on August 14.

With reporting by AP, Reuters, AFP, and TASS
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