RIO DE JANEIRO (AP/WXII/WNCN) — North Carolina State University sophomore and Olympic newcomer Ryan Held joined Michael Phelps in getting the gold in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay Sunday night in Rio.
Held was overcome by emotion during the playing of the national anthem as the other three more experienced teammates – Phelps, Caeleb Dressel and Nathan Adrian – were all smiles.
Held, swimming third, protected the top spot before handing off to anchor swimmer Adrian, the top sprinter in America. It was never really in doubt at that point, as Adrian touched first in 3 minutes, 9.92 seconds. Defending Olympic champion France took the silver in 3:10.53, while Australia rallied for the bronze in 3:11.37.
The US and France have traded golds in the relay in the past three Olympics.
Held, an Illinois native, and the Wolfpack won a national championship in the same relay event earlier this year.
Phelps earned his 19th gold medal and his 23rd medal overall in his first race in Rio. His split of 47.12 seconds gave the Americans a lead they never relinquished.
Team USA qualified third in the preliminaries earlier Sunday with the help of Held, Anthony Ervin and James Feigen, the latter two of which train with SwimMAC Elite in Charlotte. Feigen was in his second Olympics, while Ervin, who won two medals in Sydney, competes in the 50m freestyle later this week.
The Latest on the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro (all times local):
MEDAL ALERT: Michael Phelps and the United States have captured gold in the men’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay at the Rio Olympics. France claimed the silver and Australia took the bronze.
UPSET ALERT: Top-seeded Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France lose in first round of men’s doubles tournament 7-6 (4), 6-3 to Colombia’s Juan-Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah.
Katie Ledecky has given the United States its first swimming gold medal of the Rio Olympics with a world record in the women’s 400-meter freestyle.
The result was totally expected. Ledecky has dominated the longer freestyle events since winning gold in the 800 free at the London Olympics as a 15-year-old.
She was doing nothing but racing against the clock Sunday night. No problem there.
Ledecky kicked off the first wall with a lead of nearly a body length and steadily pulled away from the overmatched field — as well as the world-record line superimposed on the video screen as her powerful arms churned through the water.
When Ledecky saw the time — 3 minutes, 56.46 seconds — she let out an uncharacteristic scream and pumped her right fist. The 19-year-old crushed the mark of 3:58.37 that she set nearly two years ago on the Gold Coast of Australia, and had been chasing ever since.
Juan Martin del Potro is back.
Top-ranked Novak Djokovic was swept out of the Olympic men’s singles tennis tournament in the first round Sunday by the 2009 U.S. Open champion 7-6 (4), 7-6 (2). Because of three left wrist surgeries, del Potro is ranked just 145th in the world. But when the Argentine is healthy and smacking his signature forehand around the court, his play is worthy of the gold medal match.
It was a raucous atmosphere in the last match of the night on center court, where del Potro fans chanted for him and Brazilians would try to drown out their rivals with cheers for Djokovic.
With the loss, Djokovic is still left seeking his first Olympic gold medal.
Another day, another world record for Britain’s Adam Peaty at the Rio Olympics.
Peaty took gold in the men’s 100-meter breaststroke Sunday night with a time of 57.13 seconds, shattering the mark of 57.55 he set one day earlier in the preliminaries.
Peaty cruisied away from Cameron va der Burgh of South Africa, the defending Olympic champion who took silver this time in 58.69.
The bronze went to Cody Miller of the United States, whose time of 58.87 held off teammate Kevin Cordes.
The crowd at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium went into frenzy at the sight of two Brazilians in the final. But Joao Gomes finished fifth and Felipe Franca was seventh.
MEDAL ALERT-WORLD RECORD: Katie Ledecky of the United States has set a world record in the women’s 400-meter freestyle to win gold at the Rio Olympics. Jazz Carlin of Britain took the silver and Leah Smith of the United States grabbed the bronze.
MEDAL ALERT-WORLD RECORD: Adam Peaty of Britain has set a world record to win gold in the men’s 100-meter breaststroke at the Rio Olympics. Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa earned the silver and Cody Miller of the United States claimed the bronze.
UPSET ALERT: Top-ranked Novak Djokovic loses first-round Olympic tennis match to 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro
Andy Murray and his older brother Jamie exited in the first round of doubles at the Rio de Janeiro Games, making them 1-3 as a team at the Olympics.
The second-seeded British pair lost to Brazilians Thomaz Bellucci and Andre Sa 7-6 (6), 7-6 (14) in front of a loud partisan crowd Sunday night, hours after Andy won his opening singles match as the defending champion in that event.
The Murrays had their chances to extend the 2-hour match, holding five set points in the second tiebreaker, but failed to convert any.
The unseeded Brazilian duo needed seven match points to close the deal.
The Murray brothers also lost in the first round of the 2012 London Olympics, and in the second round four years earlier in Beijing.
Andy is a three-time Grand Slam champion in singles, including a second Wimbledon title a month ago.
Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden has broken her own world record in the women’s 100-meter butterfly to take gold at the Rio Olympics.
Sjostrom led right from the start and touched in 55.48 seconds, breaking the mark of 55.64 she set at last year’s world championships. She sat on the edge of the deck, pumping her arms in the air, and then appeared to be overcome by tears as she climbed to her feet.
This was her first Olympic medal, after she finished fourth in the 100 fly at the London Games four years ago, missing out on the bronze by just 23-hundredths of a second.
It was the fourth swimming world record of the Rio Games.
Penny Oleksiak of Canada took the silver in 56.46, edging out defending Olympic champion Dana Vollmer. The American, who had her first child last year, settled for the bronze this time in 56.63.
MEDAL ALERT-WORLD RECORD: Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden has set a world record to win gold in the women’s 100-meter butterfly at the Rio Olympics. Penny Oleksiak of Canada took the silver and Dana Vollmer of the United States claimed the bronze.
Michael Phelps will be going for his 23rd Olympic medal at the Rio Games.
As expected, Phelps was picked for the 4×100-meter freestyle relay Sunday night. He will swim the second leg, after Caeleb Dressel leads off the Americans.
Ryan Held goes third as the only holdover from the group that posted the second-fastest qualifying time during the preliminaries, a bit of a surprise after Anthony Ervin put up the quickest time among the afternoon swimmers.
Nathan Adrian, the country’s best sprinter, will anchor the relay. The Americans figure to face a stout challenge from Australia, Russia and defending Olympic champion France, who are all breaking out their big guns for the 4×100.
Cameron McEvoy is anchoring for the Australians, Vladimir Morozov is going for the Russians, and the French have Florent Manaudou and Jeremy Stravius rested up and ready to go.
Sadiq Umar scored a first-half goal and Nigeria defeated Sweden 1-0 to become the first team to guarantee a spot in the quarterfinals of the men’s soccer tournament.
Umar netted the winner in the 40th minute in the jungle city of Manaus to leave Nigeria atop Group B with six points, securing one of the top two spots in the group regardless of the result in its final game against Colombia.
In Group A, Robert Skov scored in the 69th-minute to give Denmark a 1-0 win over South Africa. Denmark squandered several good chances until Skov finally got on the board to leave his nation atop the group with four points from two games.
And Jonathan Calleri scored a 70th-minute winner to give 10-man Argentina a 2-1 victory over Algeria in Group D. Calleri also set up Angel Correa’s goal in the 47th as Argentina won its first game and kept alive its chances of advancing to the quarterfinals.
Long Qingquan of China set a world record in winning the gold medal in the men’s weightlifting 53-kilogram category at the Rio de Janeiro Games.
Long’s total score of 307 kilograms set the record and was aided by his final lift in clean and jerk of 170 kilograms. The previous record was 305 kilograms set at the Sydney Games in 2000.
He was leading the competition after snatch and all the way through clean and jerk until Om Yun-Chol of North Korea lifted 169 kilograms on his final attempt to tie Long for the lead.
Long then came out for his final lift, raised his bar and celebrated the gold medal by pumping his fists in the air.
Om took silver with 303 kilograms and Sinphet Kruaithong of Thailand won bronze.
Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten sustained three small fractures to her spine and is in intensive care at a Rio de Janeiro hospital after her crash during the women’s Olympic road race.
Van Vleuten was leading on the fast, slippery downhill toward the final stretch when she appeared to lock up her brakes. She tumbled onto the road and lay on the pavement as the field swept past.
Chef de Mission Maurits Hendriks and team doctors were with van Vleuten Sunday night, and said she was conscious and speaking. It was still unknown when she would be released.
Her compatriot Anna van der Breggen went on to win the gold medal.
Serena and Venus Williams lost an Olympic doubles match for the first time, stunned in the opening round of the Rio Games by the Czech Republic’s Lucie Safarova and Barbora Strycova 6-3, 6-4.
The Williams sisters entered Sunday’s match with a 15-0 career record in the Olympics, winning the gold medal in women’s doubles every time they entered the event: in 2000, 2008 and 2012.
The American duo was seeded No. 1 in Rio and coming off a 14th Grand Slam championship together, at Wimbledon a month ago.
UPSET ALERT: Three-time doubles gold medalists Serena and Venus Williams lose in first round of Olympics.
The Egyptian women’s beach volleyball team of Nada Meawad and Doaa Elghobashy took the court for their match against Germany on Sunday night wearing long sleeves and long pants.
Elghobashy also had her head covered by a hijab.
It was a stark contrast to the usual beach volleyball uniform — bikinis for women and boardshorts for men. Although the International Volleyball Federation used to have standards regulating the size of uniforms, those were loosened heading into the London Olympics to allow full sleeves and pants.
FIVB spokesman Richard Baker said Sunday night that the move was made to open up the game culturally.
By one measure, it’s worked. Baker said there were 169 different countries involved in the Continental Cup qualifying process for the 2016 Olympic, compared to 143 for London.
The U.S. women’s gymnastics team’s going away party for national team coordinator Martha Karolyi is off to a near perfect start.
The women breezed to the top of the leaderboard in Olympic preliminaries Sunday afternoon. Their total score of 185.238 was nearly 10 better than second-place China through four subdivisions, a massive gap in a sport where the margins are often measured in fractions.
Three-time world champion Simone Biles led the way. Her all-around total of 62.366 was more than two points clear of teammate Aly Raisman.
Defending all-around champion Gabby Douglas finished third but will not compete in the all-around final due to rules that stipulate a two-gymnast maximum per country.
Karolyi is retiring after closing ceremonies. Her team put on a dominant display at Rio Olympic Arena, cementing their status as heavy favorites to back up the team gold the “Fierce Five” won in London four years ago.
New Zealand survived a tough encounter against an energized U.S. team to win their quarterfinal 5-0 and join world series champion Australia, Canada and Britain in playing off for the first Olympic medals in rugby sevens.
Rugby is back in the Olympics for the first time since the last 15-a-side tournament in 1924, this time in the condensed sevens format in Rio de Janeiro and with women’s and men’s medals at stake.
The Australians rebounded from a surprising 12-12 draw with the United States in the last game of the pool stage to trounce Spain 24-0 on Sunday night and set up a semifinal match against Canada.
The British advanced 26-7 over Fiji and then watched as semifinal opponent New Zealand struggled to put away the Americans. Portia Woodman’s try broke the deadlock for New Zealand just before halftime.
The Americans dropped into the classification matches for 5th-8th places.
Officials say the bullet that flew through the roof of a media tent at the Olympic Equestrian Center came from a nearby slum and was aimed at a police blimp.
A bullet pierced the roof of the tent on Saturday and landed on the floor. The competition was not disrupted and nobody was hurt.
Organizing committee spokesman Mario Andrada said Sunday that the bullet “came from a community far from here, they were aiming at the police blimp which carried cameras.”
Security has been increased nearby and from the areas where officials say the bullet originated.
Andrada said the Minister of Defense confirmed the Rio Games were “never the target.”
Brothers Erik and Kawika Shoji and the young U.S. men’s volleyball team lost its Olympic opener in straight sets to Canada on Sunday night.
The No. 5-ranked Americans watched as the hard-hitting and 12th-ranked Canadians celebrated at Maracanazinho arena in the first pool-play match for both countries.
Tied 23-23 in the third set, Canada held on after ending the second set on a 10-2 run.
Canada also beat the U.S. in a five-setter for the Champions Cup title in May 2015 at Detroit, before the Americans won on the way to last year’s World Cup crown in Japan.
Eight of the 12 U.S. players are in their first Olympics.
Serge Gnabry scored two minutes into second-half injury timeout to give Germany a 3-3 draw against South Korea in a thrilling match at the men’s Olympic soccer tournament.
South Korea had taken the lead with a goal by Hyunjun Suk in the 87th, but Gnabry got the equalizer in one of the game’s last plays at the Arena Fonte Nova Stadium in Salvador.
Gnabry also had netted in the 33rd after South Korea opened the scoring with Heechan Hwang in the 25th. Davie Selke put the Germans ahead in the 55th but Heungmin Son evened the match again just two minutes later.
South Korea and Mexico, which routed Fiji 5-1 earlier Sunday at the Arena Fonte Nova, lead Group C with four points each. Germany has two points and Fiji zero.
Mexico plays South Korea in its final group game, while Germany faces Fiji.
Italian Daniele Garozzo stunned top-ranked American Alexander Massialas on Sunday to win gold in men’s foil fencing.
Garozzo beat Massialas ?— who was seeking to become the first American man to win at the Olympics in the modern version of the sport —? 15-11 to give Italy its second gold of the Rio Games.
Massialas rallied from six points down in the quarterfinals. But he gave up six straight points to Garozzo in the final as the Italian ran away with the match.
Still, Massialas is the first individual Olympic medalist the U.S. has produced in men’s fencing since Peter Westbrook won a bronze in 1984.
Russia’s Timur Safin took bronze.
Portugal’s Education Minister was robbed at knifepoint while walking near the posh Ipanema beach in the latest mugging involving foreign officials and athletes attending the Rio games.
Tiago Rodrigues told Portugal’s RTP television network that he was with other officials from Portugal’s Olympic delegation when the group was confronted on a busy street near their hotel Saturday afternoon by two individuals with a knife and demanding their belongings.
Onlookers reacted and the thieves tried to escape but were caught by police. All the belongings were recovered.
The incident follows the assault of two rowing coaches from Australia and other security scares involving teams or tourists from China, Sweden and Great Britain.
Italy’s Fabio Basile has taken the gold medal in the men’s 66-kilogram judo division on Sunday, upsetting the top-ranked Baul An of South Korea in the final.
Basile ended the match just over a minute and a half into the fight after catching An off-guard and flipping him onto his back for an immediate victory.
Baul had been dominant all day in his other matches and looked shocked when Basile caught him in the match-ending ippon throw.
After being announced the winner, Basile embraced a shaken Baul before then being hoisted by his coach in victory.
The Italian had already been so relieved to make it through his closely fought semifinal against Slovenian Adrian Gomboc that he deliberately paused after leaving the mat to kiss his coach on the head.
They started their day by rescuing tennis star Juan Martin del Potro from a broken elevator, but Argentina’s handball players couldn’t save themselves from defeat in their opening game.
Del Potro’s spokesman says the team helped former U.S. Open champion out of the elevator in the athletes’ village due to a power outage, hours before he was due to play against world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.
Argentina’s handball team kept pace well with Denmark, the 2012 European champion, to go into halftime at 10-10, but struggled in the second half to lose 25-19.
Argentina also had to cope with an often hostile Brazilian crowd.
Both teams can still reach the quarterfinals if they finish in the top four in preliminary round Group A.
William Fox-Pitt leads after the dressage phase of the eventing competition, just 10 months after being put into an induced coma following a fall.
Fox-Pitt, who only returned to competitive action in early April, rode Chilli Morning to a score of 37 on Saturday and no-one could top that when the second group of riders competed Sunday.
Christopher Burton of Australia and Santano II remain second, 0.6 penalties behind the Briton.
Mathieu Lemoine rode Bart L into third place with 39.2 penalties, replacing Olympic individual champion Michael Jung who slipped to fifth on 40.9 after German teammate Ingrid Klimke scored 39.5.
Germany, which is bidding for a third straight Olympic title, still leads the team competition, with France moving from fourth to second and Australia falling to third.
German tennis player Dustin Brown says he tore two ligaments in his left ankle in his first-round match.
Brown had to retire against Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci in the second set Sunday. Brown won the first set 6-4, and the second was even at 4-all when he stumbled while approaching the net and rolled his ankle.
After having the ankle retaped, Brown tried to play two more points, but once Bellucci hit a winner that he couldn’t even take a step toward, the German tossed away his racket and trudged toward the net.
Brown later tweeted that doctors told him two ligaments on the outside of his ankle were completely torn.
Brown, ranked 86th, is best known for upsetting Rafael Nadal in the second round at Wimbledon last year.
Tobias Figueiredo and Paciencia scored first-half goals as Portugal rallied to defeat Honduras 2-1 for its second straight win at the men’s Olympic soccer tournament.
Honduras got the lead only one minute into the match with a goal by Alberth Elis, but Figueiredo equalized in the 21st and Paciencia netted the winner in the 36th.
With the win at the Olympic Stadium, Portugal moved close to a spot in the tournament’s quarterfinals. It can secure a spot in the next round in advance depending on the result of the match between Argentina and Algeria, which play later in the day.
Kosovo’s Majlinda Kelmendi has won her country’s first-ever Olympic medal — and it’s a gold.
Kelmendi defeated Italy’s Odette Giuffrida in the women’s 52-kilogram judo division final in a tight Sunday contest marked by aggressive grip-fighting as both competitors struggled to get a decisive hold on the other’s uniform.
Kelmendi only managed to score once, but it was enough. After her victory was announced, Kelmendi hugged Giuffrida and then walked off the mat in tears. Wearing a blue uniform that matched some of the Kosovo flags being waved in the arena, a teary Kelmendi waved to the crowd and raised her arms in victory.
The bronze medals were won by Japan’s Misato Nakamura and Natalia Kuziutina of Russia.
AP Summer Games website: http://summergames.ap.org