August 13, 2016 10:42:01 am
No gold for Hope Solo, but plenty of bitterness. And a big scare for the U.S. men’s basketball team.
The United States women’s soccer team was eliminated by Sweden in a penalty shootout in the quarterfinals Friday, a startling loss for the four-time Olympic champions.
The US goalkeeper criticized the Swedes for the way they played in beating the Americans 4-3 in a penalty shootout following a 1-1 draw _ a result that means the world’s top-ranked team will miss out on an Olympic gold-medal match in women’s soccer for the first time.
Solo was angered by Sweden’s defensive style and branded the team a “bunch of cowards.”
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“The best team did not win today,” she said. “I strongly and firmly believe that.”
Said Sweden coach Pia Sundhage: “It’s OK to be a coward if you win.” Sundhage once coached Solo when the Swede was in charge of the U.S. national team.
Carmelo Anthony, Kyrie Irving & Co. survived their second straight strong challenge at the Rio de Janeiro Games, fending off Serbia 94-91 when Bogdan Bogdanovic missed a 3-pointer from the left wing with 2 seconds left that would have tied it.
Kevin Durant grabbed the rebound to keep the Americans unbeaten 48 hours after they barely escaped against Australia.
Seeking their third straight gold medal, the Americans built an early 18-point lead but couldn’t put away the Serbs, who lost by 29 to the U.S. in the 2014 Basketball World Cup final.
Even as another round of rain made for a steamy day once the skies cleared in Rio, South America’s first Olympics lingered under clouds of grief, doping and disrespect.
Brazil’s government declared a day of official mourning for a Rio Olympics police officer who died after being shot in the head making a wrong turn into one of the city’s slums.
A Chinese swimmer, Polish weightlifter and Bulgarian steeplechaser have been sanctioned for doping offenses , which are being handled by the Court of Arbitration for Sport for the first time.
And in a serious breach of judo etiquette with political overtones, an Egyptian judoka refused to shake the hand of his Israeli opponent after his loss.
Day 7 of the Rio Games features a heavy slate of medal action in swimming, track and field, track cycling, fencing, judo and more.
Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia set a world record in the 10,000 meters with a stunning solo run to win the first gold medal in track.
Rafael Nadal, the singles champion at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and Spain teammate Marc Lopez won the men’s doubles title. Nadal also reached the semifinals in his bid for a second Olympic singles gold, overcoming his Brazilian opponent and a racous, flag-waving home crowd.
Also, Michael Phelps looks to add to his gold medal haul in the men’s 100 meter butterfly finals 24 hours after winning the 200 individual medley final for his fourth gold of 2016.
American teammate Katie Ledecky will return to the pool for the 800 freestyle, where she set an Olympic record Thursday. She’s looking to complete a sweep of the 200, 400 and 800 freestyles for the first time since the 1968 Mexico City Games.
Other highlights from Day 7:
BRONZE BOXER : Nico Hernandez’s chance for a gold medal ended Friday when he lost to Uzbekistan’s Hasanboy Dusmatov. With a gnarly gash over his left eye, Hernandez had blurred vision and needed stitches. His consolation: his bronze medal in the light flyweight division ends a medal drought for the American boxers that stretched to 2008.
PUIG’S PUSH : Tennis player Monica Puig is one victory from Puerto Rico’s first gold medal in Olympic history. Puig continued her surprising run by reaching the women’s singles final, eliminating two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 1-6, 6-3. Puig is ranked 34th and unseeded but is assured of no worse than a silver medal.
AUTO ACCIDENT : A German Olympic canoe coach is fighting for his life after a car accident left him with serious head injuries. Stefan Henze, a canoe slalom silver medalist at the 2004 Games, underwent emergency surgery in a Rio de Janeiro hospital. He and a team official were heading to the athletes village when their taxi was in a wreck.
THE SWAMP : In another embarrassment for the Maria Lenk Aquatics Center, a planned practice session had to be called off to give officials more time to clean the green-tinged water _ a four-days-and-counting scenario that prompted American diver Abby Johnson to dub it “the Swamp.”
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