Daily Olympian: USA Nabs 1-2-3 in Women's Hurdles, Walsh Jennings Bows Out with Bronze
Track medals aplenty on Wednesday but there was also drama away from the games as two U.S. swimmers were barred from leaving Brazil as local police questioned their accounts of being robbed at gunpoint last week.
With the Rio Olympics quickly drawing to a close, competition heats up on the track and in Copacabana. The Americans had an especially strong haul in the track and field competition on Wednesday, sweeping the competition in the women's 100m hurdles.
Did Lochte Lie?
New doubts have emerged about American swimmer Ryan Lochte's allegations that he was part of a group that was held up at gunpoint on Sunday. Late on Wednesday evening Brazilian officials pulled fellow Team USA swimmers Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz off a plane as they prepared to fly home. While Lochte was also ordered to stay in the country, he had already returned home to the States. The whereabouts of the fourth swimmer, Jimmy Feigen, were not known.
Wednesday was a good night to be a hurdler on Team USA. The U.S. women nabbed gold, silver and bronze in the 100m hurdle race. Brianna Rollins took first place, Nia Ali came in second and Kristi Castlin nabbed third place. It was the United States' first gold on the track in Rio.
Bronze Not Bad
After a disappointing loss against Brazil's Agatha and Barbara, Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross were able to nab a bronze medal after defeating the host country's other team, Larissa and Talita. It was the first time that Walsh Jennings has taken home anything but gold in beach volleyball at the Olympics.
Can Women's Water Polo Repeat?
The U.S. women's water polo team beat Hungary in the semifinals on Wednesday, clearing the path to Olympic gold. They will play Italy on Friday for the gold, and a win would make them the first women's water polo team to win back-to-back Olympic championships. The U.S. has won a medal in women's water polo every games since it became an Olympic sport in 2000.
For a few brief hours on Wednesday morning, Ezekiel Kemboi was able to savor a third place win in the men's steeplechase. After competing in the race, the London gold-medal winner announced his retirement. But later that afternoon the two-time Olympic champion was stripped of his bronze medal for stepping outside the track, a decision that the International Olympic Committee made after fourth-place finisher Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad of France filed an appeal claiming that Kemboi cut a turn short by stepping outside his lane. Kemboi's disqualification meant that Mekhissi-Benabbad was awarded the bronze medal. USA's Evan Jager took the silver, becoming the first American to medal in the steeplechase since 1984.
Love in Rio
There have been multiple engagements during the games (American triple jumper Will Claye proposed to fellow track athlete Queen Harrison after winning silver on Monday) and now Tinder is revealing more details about all the hookups happening inside the Olympic Village. Last week, the popular dating app revealed that matches near the athlete housing jumped up 129 percent during the first weekend of the Olympics. The most popular sports? According to Tinder, the men's sports that got the highest ratio of right-swipes were tennis, weightlifting and gymnastics. The women's sports that were most popular with Tinder users were table tennis, field hockey and rowing.
What's on Today
Primetime: All eyes will be on Usain Bolt on Thursday as he looks to claim his third Olympic gold in his signature event, the men's 200m. He will also represent Jamaica in the 4x100m relay to close out his Rio schedule. Elsewhere in track and field, Ashton Eaton will take the field for the last day of the men's decathlon competition. A win would mean that Eaton, who is leading the field, would join his wife, women's heptathlon bronze-medal winner Brianne Theisen-Eaton, as a Rio medalist.
Elsewhere, teams from Italy and Brazil will compete for men's beach volleyball gold.
Daytime: USA's Kerron Clement will look to medal in the final of the men's 400m hurdles. Medals will also be handed out in the men's field hockey competition and women's diving 10m platform.