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Samba sensations

News wire services

Musings from the Rio Games:

Nice move

Ambev SA’s pricey sponsorship deal for this year’s Olympics is playing out well in the stands.

The Brazilian beer company has been peddling its Skol brand in souvenir cups, each emblazoned with a different Olympic sport. The strategy has led spectators to guzzle hundreds of reais in beer to get the whole collection of 42.

“Of course I’m buying more beer because of the cups,” said Claudia Maria Dias de Sousa, 58, a physical education teacher from Belem, Brazil. “They’re souvenirs for my friends from the Rio Olympics.”

Dias de Sousa said she has collected eight of the hard-plastic cups. She was overheard requesting a basketball cup. Soccer had sold out. At a basketball game Saturday night a spectator tossed one of the yellow and green cups into a trash bin at half time. Within a minute someone had retrieved it, adding it to a stack of more than 10 he was carrying around.

“People will go for the perception of getting something that’s special and spend the extra money,” said Joe Favorito, a sports marketing expert who teaches at Columbia University in New York. “It’s a great branding opportunity for Skol.”

German twins Anna, left, and Lisa Hahner crossed the finish line together, calling it “one of our biggest sporting moments.”

‘Sisters, sisters’

German twins competing in the Rio marathon last weekend have been criticized for finishing the race holding hands.

Thomas Kurschilgen, sports director of the German Athletics Federation, slammed Anna and Lisa Hahner  and accused them of treating the Olympic marathon like a “fun run” and using it to gain media attention.

The pair finished well off their personal best.

“The Hahner twins Lisa and Anna ended their Olympic marathon race more than 21 minutes behind the winner, more than 15 minutes on their best performance, 81 and 82 (positions),” he said. “It looked as though they completed a fun run and not (an) Olympic (race).”

In a Facebook post, the twins defended their actions, writing “81 and 82. Definitely not what we had hoped for. Are we satisfied? No. Crossing the finish line? Still one of our biggest sporting moments.”

In an email to the New York Times, Anna Hahner insisted crossing the line together was a spontaneous decision.

“In all the marathons we ran together, there was a point in the race we had to split up,” she said. “This was also the case in the Olympic marathon. But then I realized I couldn’t run this pace, and I had to let them go. Lisa was always not far from me. ... It was a magical moment that we could finish this marathon together. We did not think about what we were doing.”

Family affair

Rams defensive end Robert Quinn had a good reason he missed practice Tuesday: He was in Rio watching his sister, Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, compete in the 100-meter hurdles.

“We’ve been talking on and off for the last couple weeks, so I gave him permission a number of weeks ago and he finally made the arrangements,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“It’s the right thing to do, to let him go down.”

Camacho-Quinn, running for Puerto Rico, qualified for the semifinals in 12.70 seconds. In the final, however, she stumbled over a hurdle and was disqualified.

Fisher expects Quinn to return in time for Saturday’s exhibition against the Chiefs.