Australian women get record, 400m relay gold

Led by quite a sister act, the Australians have set a world record in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay to beat an American squad anchored by Katie Ledecky at the Rio Olympics.

Simone Manuel and Abbey Weitzeil put the United States ahead at the midway point Saturday night, but Bronte and Cate Campbell were simply too strong on the final two legs. Younger sister Bronte surged past Dana Vollmer before handing off to Cate, who pulled away from Ledecky to win in 3 minutes, 30.65 seconds - breaking the mark of 3:30.98 the Aussies set two years ago.

The U.S. had to settle for silver in an American-record time of 3:31.89, extending a gold medal drought in the event that goes back to the 1996 Atlanta Games.

Canada took the bronze in 3:32.89.

The relay victory came on the heels of Mack Horton's victory in the men's 400 freestyle, capping an impressive first night for an Australian team that captured only one swimming gold medal in London four years ago.

___

Carmelo Anthony says his US men's basketball teammates need to accept responsibility and move on after reports that three players visited a legal brothel in Rio de Janeiro.

"What's done is done. We have time off and guys did what they did. We accept those responsibilities and move on," said Anthony, a four-time Olympian and the elder statesmen of the team. The Americans dominated China 119-62.

Anthony was responding to questions about a TMZ report that several players thought they were walking into a spa on their day off Wednesday night, but wound up in a brothel.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski did not address the situation during his postgame news conference.

___

Sarah Sjostrom of the Sweden is the top qualifier in the women's 100-meter butterfly.

Sjostrom posted a time of 55.84 seconds in the second semifinal heat Saturday night, just off her world record of 55.64. Emma McKeon of Australia was next at 56.81, followed by Japan's Rikako Ikee (57.05) and Dana Vollmer (57.06) of the United States.

Vollmer is the defending Olympic champion and coming back after having her first child last year.

The other American in the field, Kelsi Worrell, failed to qualify for Sunday night's final. She was ninth at 57.54.

___

Amber Hearn scored in the first half and New Zealand hung on to defeat Colombia 1-0 on Saturday night in Belo Horizonte.

Known as the Ferns, New Zealand made it to the quarterfinals at the London Games. The team dropped its group-stage opener to the United States on Wednesday.

The victory was costly because Abby Erceg was shown a red card late in the match, meaning that she won't be able to play on Tuesday when New Zealand faces France in Manaus.

Colombia dropped to 0-2 in the group stage, and faces a tough challenge on Tuesday against the top-ranked United States.

___

Katinka Hosszu finally claimed her first Olympic medal - and set a world record for good measure.

The Hungarian star, known as "The Iron Lady" for her grueling schedule, crushed the former mark in the women's 400-meter individual medley Saturday night at the Rio Games. She led all the way and touched in 4 minutes, 26.36 seconds, easily eclipsing the record of 4:28.43 held by China's Ye Shiwen.

Hosszu had time to turn toward the scoreboard and savor her triumph before Maya DiRado of the United States touched in 4:31.15 to take the silver medal. Mireia Belmonte Garcia of Spain claimed the bronze in 4:32.39.

This triumph was especially sweet for Hosszu, who had captured nine medals - including five golds - at the world championships but never won an Olympic medal.

Now, she has the best one of all.

Elizabeth Beisel of the U.S., the silver medalist at the 2012 London Games, finished sixth.

___

10:45 p.m.

Australia's Mack Horton has won the gold medal in the men's 400-meter freestyle at the Rio Olympics, holding off rival Sun Yang of China.

What happened after the race was even more dramatic.

Horton grabbed the lead for good on the next-to-last lap and held off the hard-charging Sun, the defending Olympic champion. But the bad blood between the two was on display for all to see as Horton celebrated after the race without even acknowledging the runner-up.

In fact, they climbed out of the pool side by side without so much as a passing glance.

After the prelims of the men's 400 freestyle, Horton was asked about a reported incident between the two at the practice pool earlier in the week. The Aussie said Sun "splashed me to say hello, and I didn't respond because I don't have time for drug cheats."

Sun served a three-month suspension for using a banned stimulant in 2014.

___

Venus Williams faded as her opening match at her record fifth Olympics dragged past 3 hours and she lost 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) to Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium.

The 36-year-old American - owner of four gold medals and seven Grand Slam titles - labored at times and even showed frustration by shouting "Ridiculous!" after dropping one point Saturday night.

With U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry watching, the fifth-seeded Williams was broken while serving for the victory at 5-3. She was two points from the win four times but could not close out Flipkens, who is ranked 62nd and only once reached the semifinals of a major tournament.

When the match ended, Flipkens reacted as if she'd won gold, even getting down on the ground to kiss the white five-ring Olympic logo on the green court.

Williams is the first tennis player to participate in singles at five Summer Games.

___

Kosuke Hagino of Japan has ended the United States' dominance in the men's 400-meter individual medley, holding off American Chase Kalisz to win the gold medal at the Rio Olympics.

Hagino and Japanese teammate Daiya Seto raced away from the field on the butterfly and backstroke legs before Kalisz began to close the gap. The American surged past Seto on the breaststroke and set his sights on Hagino.

But the Japanese swimmer, who won bronze in this event at the 2012 London Games, held on to win in 4 minutes, 6.05 seconds. Kalisz settled for the silver in 4:06.75, while Seto grabbed the bronze in 4:09.71.

Hagino became the first non-American to win the 400 IM since Tamas Darnyi of Hungary at the 1992 Barcelona Games.

Ryan Lochte was the defending Olympic champion, but he finished third at the U.S. trials and didn't event qualify. Michael Phelps was the champion in 2004 and 2008, but he's dropped the 400 IM from his program. Tom Dolan was a back-to-back champion in 1996 and 2000.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)



 
Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus