Rio Roundup: Men, women add to U.S. gold medal haul with big swimming wins

RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 13 (UPI) — The United States won its 1,000th gold medal Saturday night — the first nation to do so — when Simone Manuel solidly won the women’s 4×100 swimming relay, and the U.S. mens 4×100 meter swimming relay team set a new Olympic record to help Michael Phelps grab one more gold medal before retiring.

After becoming the greatest Olympian in history two nights ago, Phelps claimed one more gold in what is expected to be his final Olympic race — which he and his teammates made sure was not much of a contest.

Ryan Murphy gave the U.S. an early half-second lead in the 4×100 meter relay, setting a world record as Cody Miller jumped in. Miller kept the U.S. in contention despite their lead narrowing before Phelps took his turn in the pool. Phelps got a small lead, which Nathan Adrian turned into a huge lead — and helping the team set a new Olympic record for the race.

The only challenge to the Americans came from Great Britain, who lost by more than a full second to take the silver. Australia won the bronze medal just behind Great Britain.

Women’s 4×100 relay

U.S. swimmer Simone Manuel won her second gold medal Saturday night in the 4×100 meter relay, helping the American team win the race for the second straight Olympics. The win gives Manuel two golds and two silvers at the Rio Olympics.

Kathleen Baker led the Americans with the backstroke, with Lilly King keeping the race close while swimming the breaststroke. But the team did not take the lead until Dana Vollmer swam the fly. Manuel dominated the last stretch of the race after inheriting a solid lead from Vollmer, helping the team finish two seconds ahead of the rest of the field.

Australia and Denmark, who took the silver and bronze medals, were separated by one one-hundredth of a second in the race’s finish.

Women’s 100 meter dash

Jamaica retained the gold medal in the Olympic 100 meter spring in Rio de Janeiro Saturday night, but Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce did not repeat — her teammate Elaine Thompson took the race.

Thompson was never challenged in the race, winning by one-tenth of a second as her lead widened before she crossed the finish lane. Fraser-Pryce, who has won gold in the race at the last two Summer Olympics, was seeking to become the first woman in track to win three gold medals in a row.

Fraser-Pryce wound up taking bronze after American runner Tori Bowie lunged at the finish line to narrowly snatch the silver medal.

Women’s beach volleyball

The quarterfinals are set for women’s beach volleyball after Russia beat Spain 2 to 0 and Brazil beat China 2 to 0 in the day’s late matches.

Sunday’s quarterfinals matches include two Brazilian teams, one facing Switzerland and the other facing Russia, while Germany faces Canada in the second match of the day and the United States will play Australia in the day’s last match.

Women’s heptathlon

The two-day, seven-event heptathlon wrapped up Saturday night, with Nafissatou Thiam of Belgium taking gold on points, despite losing the 800 meter race. Known as a weak runner, Thiam won big on throwing event and setting a personal best in the long jump.

Great Britain’s Jessica Ennis-Hill won the silver medal in the event, after handily winning the 800 meter and finishing in the top three of the 100 meter hurdles, high jump and 200 meter race. Although she’d entered the day with a 72-point lead int he heptathlon, Ennis-Hill ended up losing the overall event by 35 points because of weak performances in the throwing events.

Brianne Theisen-Eaton of Canada took third in the heptathlon, finishing more than 100 points behind Ennis-Hill.

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