Sunday, August 14, 2016

Rio 2016 Day 8 Summary: Mo Farah defends 10,000m crown, Monica Puig makes history for Puerto Rico

* Mo Farah became Britain's first athlete to win three Olympic golds on the track. He tripped and fell during the 10,000m race. Got up, made his way back to the front, attacked in the last 100m and took the gold with a time of 27:05.17. He is just the fourth man to defend his 10,000m title at the Olympics.

* Bahraini 21-year-old Ali Khamis stole the last spot in the 400m final with a 44.49 run in the semi-finals, that were topped by Kirani James (44.02).

"My rivals were stronger than me, I tried but the last 100m were tough, I wasn't as fast as I needed to be. But thankfully I set a new Bahraini national record," said Khamis, who seemed to slow down towards the end to miss out on a top-two spot in his semi, but he advanced anyway as one of the fastest third-place finishers.

"I still not to be more experienced to keep it up in the last 100m. Hopefully I can improve my time in the final. Making a final at the Olympics, as a Bahraini, and an Arab is a huge honour"

* Michael Phelps closed the curtain on his one-of-a-kind career, helping USA win gold in the 4x100m medley relay, which saw Ryan Murphy set a world record in the opening leg backstroke. Phelps retires from swimming with 28 Olympic medals - 23 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze.

The 31-year-old, who flirted with the idea of retirement after London 2012, won five golds and one silver in Rio.

"This is how I wanted to finish my career. I've lived a dream come true. Being able to cap it off with these Games is just the perfect way to finish," said Phelps, who was watched on by his fiancee Nicole and his son Boomer on an emotional night at the Aquatics Stadium.

* Usain Bolt started his campaign, strolling into the 100m semi-finals, so did two-time doping offender Justin Gatlin, who was fastest of the bunch with a 10.01.

Gatlin hit back at teenage swimmer Lilly King, who said she didn't believe people who have tested positive for banned substances and have served doping suspensions should be competing in Rio, when she was asked if she thought her fellow American, Gatlin should be there.

"I don't even know who Lilly King is - she does swimming, not track and field. I'm not worried about that," Gatlin fired back on Saturday.

* In discus, Germany's Christoph Harting took his brother's crown after winning gold, four years on from when his older sibling Robert Harting took gold at the same event in London 2012. Now that's one overachieving family.

* Jamaican 24-year-old Elaine Thompson clinched 100m gold in stunning fashion, outclassing the field with a 10.71. American Tori Bowie took silver with a 10.83 while two-time defending gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce completed the podium, grabbing bronze with a 10.86. 

* In handball, Egypt squandered a three-goal advantage to succumb to a 27-27 draw. Egypt face Germany in their last group-stage match, with very little chance of advancing. Here's what Pool B looks like at the moment with just one round of matches left. The top four nations advance to the quarter-finals.
* In the last night of swimming, Gregorio Paltrinieri grabbed Italy's first swimming gold medal of the Rio Olympics with a convincing victory in the men's 1,500m freestyle. Paltrinieri threatened Sun Yang's world record before he finally touched in 14:34.57, with America's Connor Jaeger second (14:39.48) and another Italian, Gabriele Detti, third (14:40.86).

* American Jeff Henderson claimed gold in a drama-filled men's long-jump in which a trailing left hand on the very last jump cost compatriot Jarrion Lawson the title.

Henderson managed a best of 8.38m, finishing 1cm ahead of South African Luvo Manyonga, with defending champion Greg Rutherford of Britain taking bronze (8.29). Lawson finished fourth but his final jump went beyond that of Henderson's, only for his left hand's contact in the sandpit to ruin the real reading.

* In tennis, world No34 Monica Puig became Puerto Rico's first-ever Olympic gold medalist, and Puerto Rico's first female Olympic medalist, by defeating Angelique Kerber 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 in the final.

With wins over French Open champion and world No4 Garbine Muguruza, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, and world No2 and reigning Australian Open champion Kerber en route to gold, this was a sensational run from Puig.

The 22-year-old Puig was sobbing through the national anthem on the podium and admitted she didn't know all the words. Puig was born in San Juan but has been living in Florida for a long time. She struggled with the words to "La Borinquena".

"My dad emailed me the lyrics but I didn't really have time to memorise them. I heard people singing and I was choking up. I heard the words. I would have started singing if I wasn't choking," she said.

* In men's singles, Juan Martin del Potro's fairytale run, that started with him taking out world No1 Novak Djokovic in the first round, continued as he overcame Rafael Nadal 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 to reach the gold medal match. He faces defending champion Andy Murray while Nadal will fight Kei Nishikori for the bronze.

* Another Kuwaiti won a shooting medal this week, following Fehaid Al Deehani's double trap gold, as Abdullah Al Rashidi took bronze in skeet. Unfortunately both shooters were competing under the Olympic flag with Kuwait suspended by the IOC.

* Pernille Blume, who quit swimming after being told she was too short, gave Denmark its first gold in the Olympic pool in 68 years with a surprise win in the 50m freestyle. Despite going into the final as the fastest qualifier, the 22-year-old was not considered the favourite because she had primarily been a relay swimmer.

"I enjoy swimming the 50m free, it's so much fun but I'd always been told I'm too small to be a 50m free swimmer and I should probably be a 200m swimmer," said the 1.71m Blume. "So I had to take a break from all this and just figure out how I wanted things to go. If I was going to spend so much time doing this, I was going to enjoy it so that's why I came back."

* Poor Nadezhda Bazhina! The Russian diver landed flat on her back during the women's 3m springboard competition, achieving the dubious distinction of scoring a rare "0.0" score. The sad thing is that Bazhina was on course to qualify for Sunday's final before committing the howler. But as she came down for her final spring off the board Bazhina's left foot almost missed it completely, throwing her out of whack.

**Sources include AFP**

Rio 2016 Day 7 Summary: Historic night in the pool, Egyptians Farida Osman and Ahmed Akram suffer heartbreak, Ayana smashes world record on the track

* The night session at the Aquatics Stadium was one we're going to remember forever. It literally had everything, upsets, comebacks, and even the first triple-tie in Olympic history. Let me walk you through it.

Remember Anthony Ervin (above), who won a dead-heat 50m freestyle in Sydney 2000 as a 19-year-old? Well, Ervin quit swimming for 10 years, came back, and on Friday, reclaimed the 50 free gold he had won 16 years earlier but this time he didn't have to share it. At the age of 35, he is now the oldest swimmer to win individual gold at the Olympics.

* Michael Phelps swam the very last individual race of his career when he jumped in the pool for the 100m butterfly. It is an event he had won three times in a row and he was looking to sign off with a bang.

After taking four gold medals earlier this week in the 200 fly, 200 IM, 4x100 free relay and 4x200 free relay, Phelps was hoping to go five for five. A 21-year-old from Singapore called Joseph Schooling had other ideas.

Schooling in the photo above was 14 years old when he went up to his idol Phelps to take a picture with him while the American was in Singapore for a training camp en route to the Beijing 2008. On Friday, Schooling beat Phelps with a time of 50.39 seconds, which broke the Olympic record Phelps had set in the 100 fly in Beijing 2008.

If that's not enough of a story, Phelps ended up tying for silver with his rivals Chad Le Clos and Laszlo Cseh, with all three clocking 51.14 seconds.

In his last individual race, Phelps was beaten by a Singaporean he inspired and shared the podium step with two swimmers he viciously battled in some of the most important races of his career.

It's an ending that is equally ironic and poetic - just the way I like it!

* Another unbelievable moment came courtesy of Maya DiRado, who stopped Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu from capturing a fourth gold of the week by catching her at the last millisecond to win the 200m backstroke. It was a stunning race.

* Track and field kicked off with an explosion as we got to witness the greatest 10,000m race in history. Ethiopian Almaz Ayana, running just the second 10,000m of her career, smashed a 23-year-old world record by more than 14 seconds - clocking 29.17.45 - in a race that saw four woman clock the four fastest times in history.
Unfortunately, with the lack of trust in the cleanliness of the sport at the moment, Ayana's performance raised doping suspicions but she insists "I praise the lord, the lord gives me everything. My doping is my training, my doping is Jesus - otherwise I'm crystal clear."

Let's hope that's true.

* Thirty-two years after her father won a silver medal for shot put in the 1984 Olympics, Michelle Carter can now claim family bragging rights after going one better and striking gold here on Friday.

The 30-year-old from California stunned two-time champion Valerie Adams of New Zealand in a dramatic shot put final at Rio's Olympic Stadium, recording a personal best with her last throw of 20.63m.

It was a sensational victory for Carter, a professionally qualified make-up artist who also campaigns to improve attitudes towards body image via a sports-confidence camp called “You Throw Girl”.

Carter is trained by her father Michael, who went on to have a successful career in American football with the San Francisco 49ers after switching from track and field following his silver in the 1984 Games.

“I'll be going around the house saying ‘Yeah daddy - I got you!’. It feels awesome,” a delighted Carter said.

“Me and him have a running joke. I've won more high school championships, he's won more college championships. I always told him it's going to take the cake if I win the Olympic gold, and today it's happened.”

* Rafael Nadal became just the second player, after Nicolas Massu, to win both men's singles and men's doubles gold at the Olympics as he triumphed with his good friend Marc Lopez in the doubles final on Friday, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 over Romanians Horia Tecau and Florin Mergea. Nadal, a singles gold medalist in Beijing 2008, also advanced to the semis in singles, where he takes on Juan Martin del Potro.

* Bahraini 21-year-old Ali Khamis blasted into the 400m semi-finals on the track with the third-fastest time of the night, clocking 45.12 seconds. * Egyptian boxer Hosam Bakr defeated Cameroonian Dieudonne Wilfried Seyi Ntsengue in the 75kg middleweight action to advance to the quarter-finals, where he takes on Mexico's Misael Rodriguez. Bakr is one win away from a medal.

* Saudi Arabia's first female Olympic sprinter Kariman Abuljadayel was in 100m preliminaries action on Friday. She clocked a slow time of 14.61 seconds but that is definitely not the point.

When Saudi was pressured by the IOC in London 2012 to send females or else they'd ban it from the Games, the Saudis conceded and sent Sarah Al Attar (800m) and Wojdan Shaherkani (judo. At the time, I was worried that Saudi Arabia was just doing that to appease the IOC and that in Rio we would barely get any Saudi women at the Games.

But I was wrong. This time, there are four Saudi Arabian women in Rio and Abuljadayel is one of them. I've been getting so many comments about her slow time, but again, that is not the point.

Hailing from a country that does not encourage women to take up sport, Abuljadayel sprinting down the track in Rio, dressed in clothes she is comfortable in, that do not compromise her beliefs is HUGE.

 * Back to swimming, Egypt's Farida Osman and Ahmed Akram both suffered heartbreak in the 50 free and 1,500 freestyle respectively. Osman placed 18th in the heats, missing out on the semi-finals by a mere 0.09 seconds. Her time of 24.91 seconds is a personal best and a new African record.

"I know I was so close to making it back to semis but I'm really happy with my overall performance in Rio. Performing at such a high stage is something I'm definitely proud of. Rio made me very excited for what to come in Tokyo insha2allah," Osman told me in a text message after her race.

Akram, a Youth Olympics champion, placed 11th in the heats to miss out on the eight-man final. His time of 14:58.37 in Rio was slower than the 14:53.66 he swam to place fourth in the final at the World Championships in Kazan last year and set a new Egyptian record.

**Sources include AFP**

Rio 2016 Day 6 Summary: A tale of two Simones, Phelps continues to flourish in his farewell party

* Simone Biles. Simone Biles. Simone Biles. It may have been the most predictable gold medal of the Games so far but that did not make it any less enchanting to watch. The 19-year-old American gymnast took individual all-around gold on Thursday to grab a second of a possible five gold medals in Rio.

Biles has won the last three consecutive all-around World titles but this is her first Olympics and she did not disappoint.

Standing just 1.45m the bubbly Texan scored highest on three of four rotations - beam, vault and floor - leading a USA 1-2, with Aly Raisman taking silver.

Five golds would see Biles overtake Soviet gymnast Larissa Latynina (1956), Czech Vera Caslavska (1968) and Romanian Ecaterina Szabo (1984), who have all won four at the same Games.

Feast your eyes on Biles' floor routine from Thursday (she can elevate to a height that is 2 feet higher than anybody else can, and had she fallen TWICE, she still would have taken gold):

Biles has an incredible backstory. Born in Columbus, Ohio, Biles moved to Texas at the age of three to be brought up along with her younger sister by her maternal grandparents Ron and Nellie Biles. The couple adopted the children after their mother was struggling with alcohol and drug addiction. Two other siblings were adopted by Ron's sister.

Raisman's silver is also an enormous achievement and was brilliant to see. She had missed out on the all-around podium in London 2012 after a tiebreak for third spot with Aliya Mustafina. She found redemption in Rio.

*Another Simone from the United States stole the show in Rio - Simone Manuel, who became the first African-American female swimmer to win Olympic gold when she triumphed in the 100m freestyle on Thursday.
Manuel shared her gold with Canada's Penny Oleksiak who remarkably touched the wall in the same time - an Olympic record of 52.70 seconds.

"I'm super glad with the fact that I can be an inspiration to others and hopefully diversify the sport. But at the same time I would like there to be a day where there are more of us and it's not Simone 'the black swimmer,'" Manuel said after her victory. "Because the title 'black swimmer' makes it seem like I'm not supposed to be able to win a gold medal, I'm not supposed to break records, and that's not true because I work just as hard as anyone else and I love the sport and I want to win just like everybody else."

* Michael Phelps continued to sink more records in his final Olympics before retirement. He became the first swimmer to win the same individual title four Games in a row by triumphing in the 200m IM. It was the 22nd Olympic gold medal of his career, and 26th overall. Only two other Olympians have managed to win the same gold four times in a row: Carl Lewis in the long jump and Al Oerter in the discus.

"To be able to come back and win my fourth 200 IM in a row, I don’t even know how to put that into words," said Phelps.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Rio 2016 Day 5 Summary: An epic day for Arabs at the Olympics

* August 10, 2016 will go down in history as the day Egypt won two Olympic medals in the span of four hours. Few things have warmed my heart more than watching 18-year-old weightlifter Sara Ahmed lift some inconceivable weights to take bronze in the 69kg category in Rio on Wednesday. Apparently they wouldn't postpone her school finals for her, nor allow her to take them in Brazil, so she decided to skip them and it proved to be a wise decision.

Sara is the second-ever Egyptian Olympic medallist, and the first to receive one on the Olympic podium after weightlifter Abeer Abdelrahman received her silver belatedly because the IOC stripped all three medallists from London 2012 last month.

A few hours later, Mohamed Ihab took bronze in the 77kg category. This was Egypt's first men's weightlifting Olympic medal since 1948.
* After getting double trap bronze in Sydney, and trap bronze in London, Kuwait's Fehaid Al Deehani is finally an Olympic gold medallist as he triumphed in the double trap. Al Deehani is Kuwait's only Olympic medallist. He made his Games debut in Barcelona 1992 and has three medals from six appearances. The sad part was that he couldn't lift the Kuwaiti flag nor listen to the Kuwait national anthem because he was competing as an independent athlete under the Olympic flag. Why? Kuwait is suspended by the IOC for government interference in sport.
Al Deehani didn't even know he was going to be able to compete in Rio because of all the drama with the IOC and he said his preparation was sub-par. He was also due to compete in the Trap earlier in the week but someone messed up and didn't sign him up. After all that, even though there is a bittersweet undertone to the whole thing, the 49-year-old can go home with a gold medal. What a legend!

* Check out Nijat Rahimov's celebration after stealing the gold from China's Lu Xiaojun with a world record lift. Best. Celebration. Ever!
* It was an epic night for Arab women as Tunisia's Ines Boubakri won foil fencing bronze. Anyone who has watched her all day will have been taken by her true grit.

* Fabian Cancellara rolled back the years to claim a second Olympic time trial gold, with Dutchman Tom Dumoulin taking silver and Tour de France champion Chris Froome settling for bronze.

* Chris Mears and Jack Laugher won a first-ever diving gold for Britain as they showed there's more to British diving than Tom Daley, taking gold in the 3m springboard synchro.

Rio 2016 Day 4 Summary: Phelps takes his medal tally to 25, Ledecky outsprints Sjostrom, UAE gets a medal

* UAE got its second-ever Olympic medal and first since 2004 through naturalized-Moldovan Sergiu Toma who took bronze in the under-81kg judo. His achievement has been met by mixed reaction on social media from Emiratis due to Toma being Moldovan.
The UAE judo federation says they have been naturalizing athletes to inspire the young Emirati generation. I wrote about how there's a way for Toma to become a role model for UAE youth and not just be that Moldovan who won a medal for the Emirates.
* Simone Biles, arguably the most dominant gymnast the world has ever seen, captured a first of five possible gold medals by helping the USA win the women's team title. If you haven't seen Biles perform before, head to Google immediately and watch her floor routines. You're welcome!
* Top seed and defending champion Serena Williams crashed out to world No20 Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-3 in tennis singles, after earlier losing alongside her sister Venus in doubles. It appears is carrying a shoulder injury, which would explain the eight double faults she hit, five of them in one game to get broken late in the second set. No3 seed Garbine Muguruza also was sent packing, getting humbled 6-1, 6-1 by Puerto Rico's Monica Puig.

* Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal is alive in singles, doubles and mixed doubles. Will the Spaniard, who is playing for the first time since May, get a medal? Or three?

* Japan shocked New Zealand 14-12 in rugby sevens but that wasn't all the misery suffered by the Kiwis that day. They also lost Sonny Bill Williams, who was ruled out of the rest of the tournament with an Achilles' injury.

* China took their Rio diving record to three-for-three as Chen Ruolin and Liu Huixia took 10m platform synchro gold. The victory was a record fifth career Olympic gold medal for Chen, tying the mark set just two days earlier by team-mate Wu Minxia.

Malaysia won a first Olympic diving medal by taking silver in the same event courtesy of Pandelela Rinong and Cheong Jun Hoong. Guess what their government is giving them in return? They will share a RM300,000 cash incentive and a monthly lifetime pension of RM3,000. Now that's what I call true government support for athletes.

* Anna Korakaki picked up Greece’s first gold at the Rio Olympics, and first since Athens 12 years ago, in women’s 25m pistol.

* In handball, Egypt pulled off a sensational victory over Sweden - beating them for the first time - 26-25 with some heroic displays from flag-bearer Ahmed El Ahmar, Mohamed Sanad and Yehia El Deraa. Not to mention, goalkeeper Felfel (aka Mr. Spicy as the beIN Sports commentator kept calling him).

* I'm saving the best for last. Michael freakin' Phelps. The American beast won his 20th and 21st gold medals, triumphing in a thrilling 200m butterfly with a 1:53.36 in a race that saw his rival Chad Le Clos (who upset Phelps in the 200 fly in 2012) miss out on the medals entirely. Phelps then helped USA win the 4x200 free relay. When he won the 200 fly, he sat on the rope in the pool and waved to the crowd, urging them to "bring some noise" and they obliged.
At 31, Phelps became the oldest individual swimming gold medallist in Olympic history. At his final Games, he made sure to soak up the atmosphere. We are truly lucky to be living in this era and witnessing all this live. As for Le Clos, him finishing fourth reminded me of what he told me in our interview from last year. Check it out here.

One of my favourite things about the whole night was watching Kevin Durant and his fellow Team USA basketball players cheer on Phelps like ultimate fanboys. 
* In the same night, Katie Ledecky did something truly amazing as she kept her quest for a freestyle sweep alive. She outsprinted the best sprinter in the world, Sarah Sjostrom, to win the 200 free. A quick reminder that Ledecky is 19 years old.

* Hungary’s “Iron Lady” Hosszu completed the IM double by winning the 200m final in 2:06.58, making it three golds and counting. She went to Rio having never won an Olympic medal in three previous appearances. She now has three golds. And counting.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Rio 2016 Day 3 Summary: Cold war in the pool as Lilly King edges Yulia Efimova

* There was madness in the pool in Rio as 19-year-old American Lilly King backed up her comments about doping offender Yulia Efimova by beating the Russian in the 100m breaststroke, clocking an Olympic record 1:04.93.

Before the race, King had called out Efimova for her doping past (the Russian was suspended for 16 months for failing a drug test in 2014 and was suspended this year for testing positive for meldonium before the ban was lifted because they were unsure whether she had stopped taking the drug before or after it was added to the list of prohibited substances on January 1, 2016).

Efimova was banned from Rio up until the last second and was reinstated in mysterious fashion, without anyone really knowing how and why. She's been getting booed at each of her races in Rio and King did not back down in her stance that athletes who have previously tested positive for a drug should not be at the Olympics.
And while Efimova, who was in tears while talking to the press after taking silver, likened the atmosphere in Rio to the "Cold War", King insists her stance is not "anti-Russian". Asked if she thought her fellow American, two-time doping offender Justin Gatlin should be at the Olympics, King said: "Do I think someone who has been caught for doping should be on the team? No, I don’t."

It's been very interesting seeing how outspoken the swimmers have been about their disdain for their cheating colleagues, which is not necessarily the case in track and field where not everyone is calling out Gatlin publicly. With Mack Horton calling Sun Yang a "drugs cheat" and King ripping Efimova to shreds, there's definitely been an added element of intrigue in the pool this week.

* Sun Yang shrugged off his critics and won a stacked 200m freestyle on Monday night, with a time of 1:44.65 with Chad le Clos (essentially a "fly guy" as he puts it) taking silver with 1:45.20 and American Conor Dwyer taking bronze with 1:45.23. World champion James Guy missed the podium coming fourth in 1:45.49.

* China's Chen Aisen and Lin Yue, teaming up for the first time at an Olympics, won 10m synchro gold in diving with Americans David Boudia and Steele Johnson taking silver and Brits Tom Daley and Daniel Goodfellow snagging bronze. Daley and Goodfellow fell into the pool as they celebrated and Daley, who took individual bronze in London, continues to be the happiest-looking bronze medalist I've ever seen.

We all know Daley has superstar status in the UK, and with his engaged to Dustin Lance Black, he probably is in the US as well. But the fact that UK media splashed Daley's face all over the newspapers and websites, paying little attention to his synchro partner, Goodfellow, was not right. It prompted Goodfellow's mother to call out the media on ignoring her son. So in the spirit of giving the young British diver the recognition he deserves, here's his BBC Rio Postcard video:

* Brazil got its first gold thanks to judoka Rafaela Silva who upset world No1 Sumiya Dorjsuren in the under-57kg final.

* Croatian army officer Josip Glasnovic won a tense shoot-off to secure gold in men's Trap shooting. Egypt's Ahmed Kamar suffered heartbreak in the semi-finals when he lost a shoot-off against Britain's Edward Ling to miss out on advancing to the bronze medal match. Kamar ended up placing fifth overall which is a tremendous achievement. 

Monday, August 8, 2016

Rio 2016 Day 2 Summary: Wu Minxia smashes five records in one perfect day of diving

* China’s Wu Minxia etched her name further in the Olympics history books by smashing not one but five records on Sunday, thanks to her 3m synchronized springboard gold alongside Shi Tingmao.

Wu passed legends like American Greg Louganis and "big sister" Guo Jingjing as the most decorated diver in history with an unprecedented five diving gold medals. She is the first man or woman to win seven diving medals in total, and is now the only diver to win four golds in a single event.

At the age of 30, she also became the oldest women's winner in Olympic diving history. Wu also now joins Emilie Heymans (CAN) as the only two women to win diving medals at four different Olympics.
* Majlinda Kelmendi won Kosovo's first ever Olympic gold medal at its maiden Games on Sunday and the judoka will be thanked for a very long time for helping put her country's name on the international map.

The 25-year-old sank to her knees in tears after beating Italy's Odette Giuffrida by yuko in the women's 52kg final. She ran to hug a small group of supporters chanting "Kosovo, Kosovo!"

“I have always wanted to show the world that Kosovo is not just a country that has gone through war,” she said with the Kosovo flag draped around her shoulders. This is the first Olympic Games where Kosovo is officially recognized by the IOC and with its athletes allowed to carry its flag.
* Here's the ultimate highlight from the swimming night session. Ladies and gentlemen, meet China's Fu Yuanhui who made the 100m backstroke final. She ended up getting tied bronze. WATCH THIS:

* Michael Phelps won a record-extending 23rd Olympic medal and a 19th gold after helping USA win the 4x100m freestyle relay in the early hours of Monday morning. Katie Ledecky won the 400m freestyle, smashing the world record by almost two seconds (she swam 3:56.46), Sarah Sjostrom won the 100m butterfly in a world record time (55.48s) while Adam Peaty obliterated his own world record to win the 100m breaststroke (in 57.13s) and provide Britain with its first male swimming gold medallist in 28 years.

* Nada Meawad and Doaa Elghobashy made history for their country as the first Egyptian female beach volleyball team to compete at the Olympics. Choosing not to compete in the typical two-piece outfit worn by most players, the Egyptian pair had permission to play while dressed in conservative wear. They lost in two sets to their German opponents but perhaps helped change perceptions or opened some minds of the people who were watching them.
* Anna van der Breggen overcame the "shock" of seeing Dutch team-mate Annemiek van Vleuten sprawled motionless in the road before going on to claim Olympic cycling gold.
Van der Breggen powered to victory in the women's 137km Games road race around Rio on Sunday, but only after van Vleuten crashed out spectacularly when leading with just 10km to ride.
Van Vleuten looked to be heading for victory but tumbled head over heels in a stomach-churning fall that left her in a crumpled heap on the side of the road, motionless.
She suffered concussion and three fractures to her lower back but tweeted that she is going to be okay. 

* Thirteen-year-old Gaurika Singh, the youngest athlete at the Rio Olympics, won her heat in the women's 100 metres backstroke Sunday after getting into a flap over a torn swimsuit.
The Nepali schoolgirl, who survived the killer earthquake that claimed 9,000 lives in her native country in April last year , quickly changed into a new costume before plunging into the pool for her moment of glory.

*Playing for the first time in over two months, Rafael Nadal eased past Federico Delbonis 6-2, 6-1 to reach the second round in the Olympics tennis tournament and set up a meeting with Andreas Seppi of Italy. Strong winds postponed play on the outside courts on Sunday (and canceled all of the rowing action) but defending champions Andy Murray and Serena Williams both survived, unscathed. Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci blasted officials however for forcing players to play in ugly conditions. Bellucci advanced after his opponent Dustin Brown was forced to retire in the second set (the German had won the first) with an injured ankle.
“It was almost impossible,” said Bellucci. “I don't know how they allowed us to play like this. I have never played in these conditions. The wind was so fast and the match became ugly.”
*Juan Martin del Potro delivered the biggest upset of the tennis tournament so far, taking out top-seeded Novak Djokovic 7-6 (4), 7-6 (2) in what was a sensational display in front of a raucous crowd of Latin Americans cheering on the popular Argentine. And to think, Del Potro's preparation for the first round encounter involved him getting stuck in an elevator for 40 minutes at the Athletes' Village before getting rescued by Argentina's handball team.
The win was Del Potro's second over Djokovic in Olympic play having denied the Serb the bronze medal in London 2012. After years of suffering through injuries and undergoing wrist surgeries, it's amazing to see Del Potro thrive on the big stage.

*In swimming, Yannick Agnel's 200m freestyle title defence came to a crashing halt as he failed to make it through the preliminary heats. The Frenchman swam the final individual race of his international career, failing to reach the semi-finals, placing 19th with a time of 1:47.35. He is set to retire from international competition after the 4x200m relay in Rio.

**Sources include AFP**