Rio round-up: Bolt, Lochte, Jordan, Iran and Brazil's 'Mammoth' gold
A day of drama sees Usain Bolt defend his 200m crown, US swimmers retract their Rio robbery story, Brazil claim volleyball gold and Jordan and Iran win first ever medals
Bolt now one win away from historic ‘Treble Treble’
Usain Bolt wrote another chapter of improbable Olympic history with a third consecutive 200m crown on Thursday. Bolt, who just days earlier had become the first man in history to win three 100m titles in a row, surged to victory in the 200m in 19.78sec at the Olympic Stadium. Canada's Andre De Grasse took silver in 20.02sec, just ahead of France's Christophe Lemaitre, who nicked bronze in 20.12.
The win left the 29-year-old Bolt just one win away from his targeted "triple triple" -- a repeat of his sweep of 100m, 200m and 4x100m golds at the 2008 and 2012 Games. With a third consecutive sweep in sight on Friday, the world's fastest man argued he should be in the pantheon of sporting heroes with Pele, Muhammad Ali and Michael Phelps. "I am trying to be one of the greatest. Be among Ali and Pele," he declared in the seconds after the win.
‘Mammoth’ volleyball celebrations as Brazil take gold
Alison "The Mammoth" Cerutti and Bruno Schmidt sparked wild scenes at a rain-soaked Copacabana stadium as they powered to men's beach volleyball gold at the Rio Olympics on Friday. The hulking, 6ft 8ins (2.03m) Cerutti, a losing finalist in 2012, and his new partner Schmidt thumped Italy's Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo 21-19, 21-17, prompting joyous celebrations.
Brazil's public has shown signs of ambivalence toward the Olympics but the country can now celebrate a fifth gold medal, sealed at its most famous beach. "It's incredible. This is place is like the Maracana of beach volleyball," Cerutti said, comparing the Copacabana venue to Rio's iconic football stadium.
US apologises over swimmers’ fabricated story
US Olympic authorities apologized to Brazil on Thursday as two US swimmers were allowed to go home having retracted a fabricated story about being mugged in Rio. Four US swimmers, including six gold medal hero Ryan Lochte, have been at the centre of a media storm in Brazil since claiming they were held up at gunpoint in a Rio gas station in the early hours of Sunday. Amid growing doubts, however, a Brazilian judge issued an order Wednesday that all four swimmers be kept in Brazil while the story was probed.
"They stopped at a gas station to use the restroom, where one of the athletes committed an act of vandalism," the US statement said. "An argument ensued between the athletes and two armed gas station security staff, who displayed their weapons, ordered the athletes from their vehicle and demanded the athletes provide a monetary payment. Once the security officials received money from the athletes, the athletes were allowed to leave."
Rio de Janeiro's police chief Fernando Veloso called on the athletes to apologize.
First ever medals for Jordan and Iran, but Jones takes taekwondo gold
It was a historic day in the Olympic taekwondo competition on Thursday as Ahmad Abughaush won Jordan's first ever Games medal and Kimia Alizadeh claimed a first women's medal for Iran. Abughaush beat Alexey Denisenko of Russia 10-6 to win the men's under-68kg division while Alizadeh landed bronze in the women's under-57kg category by beating Nikita Glasnovic of Sweden 5-1.
That weight division saw Briton Jade Jones retain her Olympic crown, easily despatching Eva Calvo of Spain 16-7 in the final. Great things have been expected of Alizadeh, who won the Youth Olympics two years ago and last year took bronze at the world championships, beating Jones in the quarter-finals. But the Briton came up trumps in Rio. "It feels unbelievable. I didn't realise how much pressure I would feel but to pull this off is amazing," Jones, 23, told the BBC.
Olympics medals table after Thursday's competition (gold, silver, bronze; total):