Roundup: Biles captures third gymnastics gold medal

News wire services
United States' Simone Biles celebrates on the podium after winning vault gold during the artistic gymnastics women's apparatus final Sunday.

Simone Biles spent Sunday morning in the warm-up gym thinking not of history but perfection.

When it didn’t happen — and really, it never does in gymnastics anymore — the 19-year-old star settled for a pretty sweet consolation prize: a third gold medal in Rio.

Twisting and flipping through the air with explosive precision, Biles easily captured gold in the women’s vault final Sunday. Her two-vault average of 15.966 was more than .7 better than Russia’s Maria Paseka.

“I wanted to stick a vault so badly and it didn’t happen,” Biles said. “I can be disappointed about that but I can’t be disappointed with the gold.”

... During the first 116 years of the Olympics, Great Britain won exactly zero gold medals in gymnastics. Max Whitlock changed that with two during the span of an hour — in men’s floor exercise and pommel horse.

... Russia’s Aliya Mustafina ended the U.S. women’s team dominance atop the podium, defending uneven bars title. She edged American Madison Kocian in a tight final (15.900-15.833).


Northern Michigan lifter snags 75kg+ bronze medal

Sarah Robles (Northern Michigan) won the United States’ first weightlifting medal in 16 years with bronze in the women’s over-75kg division.

Robles lifted 286 total, with 126 in the snatch and 160 in the clean and jerk. After her final lift, she sank onto her knees and gave a roar of delight before blowing a kiss to the crowd.

The last U.S. medal winners in weightlifting were Tara Nott and Cheryl Haworth in 2000.

China’s Meng Suping won gold (130kg).

Beach volleyball

Too close for comfort, No. 1 Brazilians survive Swiss

Brazilians Larissa and Talita advanced to the women’s beach volleyball semifinals, rallying after losing the first set and surviving a handful of match points in an epic second set.

The No. 1 seeds beat Switzerland’s Joana Heidrich and Nadine Zumkehr, 21-23, 27-25, 15-13. The swiss team was two points from victory in the second but couldn’t overcome the favorites and their supportive crowd.


Seven-time world champ from Iran shocked in opener

The first match of the wrestling tournament produced one of the biggest upsets the Rio Games likely will see.

Unheralded Japanese wrestler Shinobu Ota stunned Iran’s Hamid Soryan, a seven-time world champion, 5-4, in a Greco-Roman bout.

The loss was the second straight international flame-out for Soryan, who has won six world titles in addition to gold at the London Games in 2012.

At last year’s World Championships in Las Vegas, Soryan was flagged for excessive brutality and ruled ineligible for a medal.

... Ismael Borrero Molina won the gold medal in 59kg Greco-Roman division, giving Cuba at least one wrestling title in each of the last seven Olympics.

Water polo

End of an era as Azevedo’s water polo run sinks

When the U.S. men’s water polo team concluded its Rio schedule, the reality captain and five-time Olympian Tony Azevedo could be done was, in fact, very real.

The Americans finished with a 10-7 victory over Italy, but their 2-3 overall record didn’t advance them in the tournament.

For this part, Azevedo said he wasn’t ready to declare himself officially retried as an Olympian.

“Right now I’m just pretty depressed,” he said.

Medal musings

Jason Kenny defeated Callum Skinner in an all-Britain final to defend his individual sprint gold medal and win his second gold in Rio.

Kenny and Skinner combined with Philip Hindes to win the team sprint. It was Kenny’s fifth Olympic gold medal and sixth overall.

... Great Britain’s Giles Scott clinched the gold medal in the Finn class with a race to spare.