The Latest on the Olympics ahead of the Rio Games (all times local):
Katie Ledecky’s hopes of swimming another relay event at the Rio Olympics took a big hit when she finished seventh in the 100-meter freestyle at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials.
Ledecky was hoping for a top-six finish Friday night, which likely would have assured her of at least swimming in the preliminaries of the 4×100 free relay in Rio.
Nineteen-year-old Abbey Weitzeil claimed her first trip to the Olympics by touching first in 53.28 seconds, while another 19-year-old, Simone Manuel, took the second spot in 53.52. She, too, is an Olympic rookie.
The next four finishers are also likely to swim on the relay, and all are Olympic veterans. Amanda Weir is heading to the Summer Games for the third time after finishing third in 53.75, followed by Lia Neal (53.77), Allison Schmitt (53.87) and Dan Vollmer (53.92).
Ledecky was next at 53.99, an impressive showing given that sprinting isn’t her forte but not quite good enough. Still, she’s already earned spots on the Olympic team in the 200 and 400 free, and will be an overwhelming favorite in her final event of the trials: the 800 free Saturday night.
Since she’ll be in Rio, Ledecky would be available to join the 4×100 free relay if there’s any sort of issues, such as an injury or illness. She’ll be busy enough as it is, also competing in the 4×200 free relay.
Michael Phelps has gotten through his toughest night of the U.S. Olympic swimming trials.
After beating Ryan Lochte in the 200-meter individual medley Friday, Phelps returned to the pool 30 minutes later to post the sixth-fastest time in the semifinals of the 100 butterfly.
That was good enough to send Phelps to the final Saturday night, where he’ll try to lock up a third individual event for the Rio Games.
Phelps also qualified in the 200 fly.
Seth Stubblefield was the fastest qualifier in the 100 fly at 51.26 seconds, just ahead of Tim Phillips (51.28).
Phelps, merely looking to advance on a grueling night, managed a time of 51.83. He should be a lot faster in his final race of the trials.
Sanya Richards-Ross bid a tearful adieu to track after pulling up a little more than halfway through her 400-meter preliminary at Olympic Trials.
The 31-year-old Olympic champion has been dealing with foot and hamstring injuries most of the year. In Friday’s opening round, she made it about 250 meters before pulling up. Moments later, she was blowing kisses to the fans, who gave her a standing ovation.
In the next race, Allyson Felix finished second, with a time of 51.96 seconds, to advance. Felix is dealing with an injured right ankle, but showed no signs of the injury in what amounted to a warmup race for her. She will also try to make it in the 200-meter race next week to go for an Olympic double.
Michael Phelps has won his latest showdown with Ryan Lochte, capturing the 200-meter individual medley at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials.
Phelps led a scintillating race from start to finish Friday night, but Lochte was with him stroke for stroke. As they came to the wall, Phelps pulled slightly ahead to touch in 1 minute, 55.91 seconds.
Lochte was next at 1:56.22 and had no complaints about his consolation prize: an individual race at the Rio Olympics.
The 11-time Olympic medalist injured his groin on the first day of the meet, struggled in his next few races and was down to his final chance to get a swim of his own at the games.
Now, that’s out of the way, which means Phelps and Lochte will carry their longtime rivalry to one more event in South America.
Phelps is a three-time defending gold medalist in the 200 IM and the most decorated athlete in Olympic history.
QUALIFICATION ALERT: Abbey Weitzeil has qualified for the Rio Olympics in the 100-meter freestyle.
QUALIFICATION ALERT: Michael Phelps has qualified for the Rio Olympics in the 200-meter individual medley.
LaShawn Merritt’s plans for trying the 200-400 double: Wait and see.
The 2008 Olympic gold medalist at 400 meters made it easily through the first round of qualifying for the 400 at Olympic track trials. Afterward, the first question he faced was whether he’d be trying for the 200, too.
He has run the world’s fastest time at the distance this year, but has never run the 200 in a major meet.
He said he’s paid the entry fee and filled out all the forms, but will wait to see how he feels after the 400 finals Sunday night.
Qualifying for the 200 starts next Thursday.
Missy Franklin has advanced to the final of the 200-meter backstroke, giving her a chance to claim a second individual event in Rio.
Franklin won her semifinal heat at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials in 2 minute, 8.63 seconds. She already qualified for the Olympics in the 200 free, while missing out in three other events that she qualified for in 2012.
The only one faster than Franklin was Maya DiRado, who touched first in the other semifinal heat in 2:08.14.
DiRado already swept the 200 and 400 individual medley, and now she’s positioned to claim a third individual race at the first and only Olympics of her career. The 23-year-old has lined up a job and plans to retire after Rio.
Another defending Olympic champion has gone down at the U.S. swimming trials.
Tyler Clary finished third in the 200-meter backstroke behind California Aquatics teammates Ryan Murphy and Jacob Pebley, who will represent the U.S. team at the Rio Games.
Murphy grabbed the lead on the second lap and pulled away to win easily in the 1 minute, 53.95 seconds. He completed a sweep of the backstroke events, having also won the 100.
Pebley held on for the second spot, touching in 1:54.77.
Clary was next at 1:55.33, ending his hopes of defending the gold medal he won in London.
QUALIFICATION ALERT: Ryan Murphy has qualified for the Olympics in the 200-meter backstroke.
Amy Acuff has made her last competitive high jump.
The 40-year-old veteran of five Olympics called it a career — for real, this time — after failing to move on in the preliminaries at U.S. Track and Field trials.
She was in semi-retirement but went back into training so she could take one more run through Hayward Field in Eugene. She knew her chances were slim to make another Olympics but, nonetheless, wanted to finish what she started.
Acuff, who is starting a software company that will track performance of track and field athletes, says she’s looking forward to taking a casual run instead of beating herself up in training.
America’s newest high jump star, world indoor champion Vashti Cunningham, moved through easily to Sunday’s final.
Lilly King has swept the breaststroke events at the U.S. Olympics swimming trials.
King won the 200-meter breast on Friday night, touching the wall in 2 minutes, 24.08 seconds. The 19-year-old from Indiana had already won the 100 breast, ensuring her of two individual events at the Rio Games and a likely spot on the 4×100 medley relay.
Molly Hannis, a 24-year-old who swims for Tennessee Aquatics, took the second spot in the 200 breast at 2:24.39. She will be competing in her first Olympics at Rio.
QUALIFICATION ALERT: Lilly King has qualified for the Rio Olympics in the 200-meter breaststroke.
Anthony Ervin and Nathan Adrian were the top two qualifiers for the 50-meter freestyle final at the U.S. Olympic trials.
Ervin led the way in 21.55 seconds at age 35; Adrian was second quickest in 21.60. Both men are already on the team, with Ervin still seeking an individual event to go with his relay duty and Adrian set to defend his 100 free title from the London Games.
Cullen Jones, silver medalist four years ago, was third quickest in 21.93 at age 32. Jimmy Feigen was fourth in 22.02 going into Saturday’s final.
It’s gotta be the spikes for 800-meter runner Boris Berian.
With his dispute involving Nike resolved, Berian donned a new pair of New Balance spikes when he won his first-round heat at the U.S. Track and Field trials Friday.
Berian said after the race a big weight was lifted from his shoulders once Nike recently its lawsuit against him over what brand of gear he wears. He recently inked a shoe deal with New Balance, his new gear arriving just days ago.
The 23-year–old used to flip burgers at a McDonald’s in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to make ends meet while he trained. Now, he’s a favorite to earn an Olympic spot for Rio.
Action is underway at the U.S. Track and Field trials, and 40-year-old Adam Nelson is still in the mix for a trip to his fourth Olympics.
Nelson, who came out of retirement to compete this year, was among the 12 men who made it through to tonight’s shot put finals. The top three finishers will punch tickets to Rio.
Also in the mix is Joe Kovacs, who won the gold medal at world championships last year, and 38-year-old Reese Hoffa, who took bronze in London four years ago.
Three years ago, the wrestling community was forced to contemplate life without the Olympics.
Now back on the program, the world’s oldest sport will be showcased again at the Rio Games. American Jordan Burroughs is the favorite in the 74 kilogram freestyle division. Adeline Gray enters with a 37-match winning streak.
Wrestling quickly restructured its once-woeful international leadership, implementing new rules to emphasize scoring and embracing gender equity by adding two new women’s weight classes.
The IOC took notice, returning wrestling to the Olympic roster just eight months after kicking out the sport in 2013.
Mountain bike rider Jaroslav Kulhavy trained so hard for the Olympics that he didn’t have time to finish work on a new house.
It took a broken left hand to finally slow him down on the mountain bike, though it’s not the kind of break he needed as he works to get back atop the medal stand in Rio. There is little time to rest with some of cycling’s best-known names looking to unseat the Czech champion.
In March, Kulhavy had surgery on the hand he broke during a race in Cyprus. After a five-week recovery, he was back on the World Cup circuit in May.
There are two familiar foes awaiting him. Nino Schurter of Switzerland and Julien Absalon of France. Schurter won silver in 2012 and bronze in 2008.
Absalon, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, had his hopes dashed for another first-place finish in London by a flat tire.
German public broadcasters say thieves in Brazil have stolen technical equipment worth about 400,000 euros ($445,400) that was intended for use at the Rio Olympics.
ZDF and NDR issued a joint statement that the gear was inside two shipping containers being transported by tractor-trailer Friday from Rio’s port to a storage facility.
The broadcasters say the driver was unharmed, but the vehicle has disappeared along with its haul.
The two stations say the equipment was insured and can likely be replaced before the start of the Olympics in five weeks.
Michael Phelps qualified sixth fastest in the 100-meter butterfly heats at the U.S. Olympic trials.
The 18-time Olympic gold medalist was third in his heat with a time of 51.87 seconds. Phelps’ rival, Ryan Lochte, qualified in ninth at 52.66.
Grabbing a bit of glory as top qualifier was Matthew Josa with a time of 51.61. The 21-year-old swims for Division III Queens University in his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Second fastest was Tim Phillips in 51.68 and Seth Stubblefield was third at 51.70. The top 16 moved on to the semifinals.
Phelps is the defending Olympic champion in the 100 fly; Lochte didn’t qualify in the event four years ago.
Phelps has a busy evening ahead of him. He will swim the 200 individual medley final at 9:45 p.m., followed by the 100 fly semifinals around 10:15 p.m.
Lochte says he’s not sure he’ll swim the 100 fly semis because it’s mostly a fun event for him. He’s focused on the 200 IM, where he and Phelps will resume their long rivalry in the final.
Katie Ledecky swam to the fastest qualifying time in the 800-meter freestyle at the U.S. trials.
She touched in 8 minutes, 10.91 seconds, finishing 10.73 seconds ahead of Leah Smith, who qualified second in 8:21.64.
Ledecky’s time was third fastest in the world this year and the Maryland teenager owns the 10 fastest times in the event’s history.
Ashley Twichell and Haley Anderson qualified third and fourth for Saturday’s final. They are open-water swimmers competing in pool events this week. Anderson is already on the Olympic team for the 10-kilometer open-water race in Rio.
The World Anti-Doping Agency’s Olivier Niggli began his role as director general this week, succeeding David Howman.
In 2014, Niggli became WADA’s chief operating officer and helped implement the new world anti-doping code and the development of the compliance program.
Niggli says “our ability to protect the world’s clean athletes grows stronger and stronger, thanks to an ever-expanding network of global partners that are increasingly united in the pursuit to catch dopers.”
He says the agency is bolstering investigative work and will start a new whistleblower program by November. He notes “numerous questions are being asked of the anti-doping community” and WADA will hold a think tank in September.
Niggli first joined WADA as the agency’s legal director in 2002.
Caeleb Dressel topped the 50-meter freestyle qualifying at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials.
The 19-year-old sprinter swam in 21.76 seconds. He already made the team by finishing second in the 100 free on Thursday.
Anthony Ervin, the 2000 Olympic champion, was second fastest in 21.80. He qualified to swim a relay at the Rio Games at age 35 by finishing fourth in the 100 free and is seeking to compete in an individual event.
Cullen Jones, silver medalist four years ago in London, was third quickest in 21.84. Jones is down to his last chance to make the team after he failed to secure a top-four finish in the 100 free.
Nathan Adrian, the 100 free winner at trials, was fourth in 21.96. Also advancing to the evening semifinals was Jimmy Feigen in fifth.
Olympic champion David Rudisha finished third place in the 800 meters at the Kenyan trials, but the world-record holder was still selected to defend his title in Rio.
Rudisha finished behind Alfred Kipketer and Ferguson Rotich. They took the two automatic places in the event, leaving Rudisha to fill the selectors’ wild-card pick. Officials said before the trials they would pick Rudisha no matter what.
Rudisha trailed in fifth at the final turn and was forced wide to get a clear run down the straight away to finish third.
Rudisha produced one of the memorable Olympic performances when he broke the world record at the 2012 London Games, but he’s had a slow start to this season.
The head of Brazil’s anti-doping body has been sacked after the Rio de Janeiro laboratory was suspended by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
The Brazilian agency confirmed that Marco Aurelio Klein will be replaced by Rogerio Sampaio, a former judoka who won a gold medal in the 1992 Barcelona Games.
WADA suspended the lab last Friday for failing to meet its standards. It didn’t elaborate.
Sampaio is expected to meet WADA officials next week, with the aim of lifting the suspension within weeks.
If the Rio lab is not reinstated in time for the Olympics in August, the IOC’s options for drug testing include Los Angeles; Salt Lake City; Bogota, Colombia; Havana; and Mexico City.
The Russia men’s quadruple sculls team was disqualified from the Rio Olympics for a doping violation and replaced by New Zealand.
The World Rowing Federation says the banned substance trimetazidine was found in a urine sample given by rower Sergei Fedorovtsev in an out-of-competition test on May 17. He competed a week later at the final Olympic qualifying regatta in Switzerland, where Russia finished first to qualify for Rio.
New Zealand finished third behind Russia and Canada in the qualifying event. Canada also qualified by finishing second, joining the top eight crews who secured their Olympic places at the 2015 world championships in France.
The New Zealand crew was confirmed to go to Rio by the national Olympic committee.
Serbia and France are good enough to win men’s basketball medals at the Olympics. First, they have to get there.
The final three places in the 12-team field are on the line in the three Olympic Qualifying Tournaments next week. Serbia and France, who won silver and bronze two years ago in the Basketball World Cup, will be among the favorites to earn berths after falling short last summer.
The new format to fill out the Olympics has 18 countries still in the running for spots in Rio. Six teams will be in each tournament, and the three winners will be Brazil bound.
Some teams still trying to get there are better than a few who have already qualified. Four of the world’s top 10 will be competing, including France (5th), Serbia (6th), Turkey (8th) and Greece (10th).
Russian whistleblower Yulia Stepanova was cleared by track and field’s world governing body to compete as a neutral athlete in the European championships and the Rio Olympics.
While her participation in next week’s European meet is assured, it remains uncertain whether the IOC will accept the decision for the Olympics.
The IAAF said its doping review board accepted Stepanova’s application to compete as an independent athlete under “exceptional eligibility” rules.
The 800-meter runner provided evidence to the World Anti-Doping Agency of widespread cheating in Russia that led the IAAF to bar the country’s track and field athletes from international competition, including the Rio Games.
The Olympics will become a tangible reality on Friday, when one of its so-called “Mega” souvenir shops opens on Copacabana Beach.
Bring plenty of cash, at least for anything more than a keychain that sells for 25 Brazilian reals ($8). A commemorative gold medal will sell for around $2,000.
Olympic merchandising is big business.
Rio’s head of licensing and retail sales, Sylmara Multini, says organizers hope to sell merchandise worth about 1 billion Brazilian reals ($310 million).
The 19,300 square-foot layout on Copacabana is one of three huge stores. The largest will be a store in the Olympic Park.
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