August 18, 2016

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Usain Bolt and Ryan Lochte commanded the Olympic spotlight Thursday for drastically different reasons.

Bolt is going for an unprecedented third consecutive sweep of the 100- and 200-meter sprints Thursday in an accomplishment that would further elevate his status as the most decorated male sprinter in Olympic history. But for most of the day, all anyone was talking about surrounding the Olympics was an encounter at a gas station restroom in Rio de Janeiro.

Lochte originally said he and his teammates were pulled over in their taxi by men with a badge and robbed at gunpoint during a night of partying Sunday after their competition wrapped up. A law enforcement official now says that account was false and that the incident occurred after Lochte and his teammates vandalized a gas station bathroom, breaking the door and soap dispenser. The official says two security guards pointed guns at the swimmers, but it’s still unclear what exactly happened during the encounter.

The episode served as a distraction from several notable events on the field of competition Thursday, including a dazzling round by American golfer Stacy Lewis and several medals getting handed out in track and field.

Bolt is running in the finals of the 200-meters and going for his third straight sprint double after winning the 100 and 200 in the London and Beijing Games. The Jamaican is heavily favored to pull off the feat again after already winning the 100, but will face competition from Andre de Grasse of Canada and American Lawshawn Merritt, who actually has the year’s best time at 200 meters.

Merritt is a member of a U.S. track and field team that is on a magnificent run in Rio. Kerron Clement won the 400-meter hurdles Thursday in what marked the 20th medal for the U.S. team with 3 ½ days of competition to come. In one session late Wednesday it dubbed the “awesome hour,” the U.S. team added six medals.

Clement was so confident about his chances in the hurdle event that he had his mother bring his American flag from home. He draped himself in the flag soon after his win.

“We had a flag at home and I told her to bring the flag. I knew I was going to win,” Clement said.

In the evening track and field session, American decathlete Ashton Eaton is expected to deliver more gold for the United States when the event wraps up with javelin and 1,500 in the night session. The Olympic and world champion had a 124-point lead over world championship silver medalist Damian Warner.

Other highlights from Day 13 of the Rio Games:

BIRDIE FEST: You know it’s a good day on the golf course when a player starts losing track of the number of birdies they made. Such was the case for Lewis, who carded 11 birdies and shot a 63 on the Olympic Golf Course. Her round could have been better if not for a double-bogey on the 14th hole. And it still wasn’t enough for the lead. Inbee Park of South Korea finished shot a 5-under 66 to lead by one.

ALL IN THE FAMILY: Alistair Brownlee of Britain successfully defended his gold medal in the men’s triathlon. His younger brother Jonathan, who took bronze in London four years ago, moved up to silver.

BMX CRASHES: The BMX competition began on what many riders feared would be a treacherous course. They ended up being right. Several riders crashed in the BMX cycling men’s quarterfinals, including reigning world champion Joris Daudet of France.

VOLLEYBALL UPSET: Serbia stunned the top-ranked U.S. women’s volleyball team that was chasing its first Olympic gold. With star player Foluke Akinradewo injured early, the Americans came back from a 2-1 deficit to force a fifth set before falling 15-13.

BADMINTON : It was a significant day in the badminton competition. Carolina Marin of Spain beat the defending Olympic champion from China to advance to the gold medal singles match. Marin is world No. 1 but her win is significant because China had been badminton’s superpower, sweeping all five gold medals at the 2012 London Games. And Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi of Japan won gold in women’s badminton doubles.

One Comment

  1. Cat Ninja Game

    April 15, 2017 at 1:34 PM

    Usain St Leo Bolt eight-time Olympic gold medalist. I love Bolt. <3