Accessibility links

USA

Day 3 of Rio Games: US Swimmers Set Olympic Records, Win Gold

  • VOA News

Britain's Siobhan-Marie O'Connor, left, and United States' Maya DiRado smile as they check their times after a women's 200-meter individual medley heat during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Monday, Aug. 8, 2016.

Britain's Siobhan-Marie O'Connor, left, and United States' Maya DiRado smile as they check their times after a women's 200-meter individual medley heat during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Monday, Aug. 8, 2016.

Two Team USA swimmers set new Olympic records Monday night while winning gold medals in breast stroke and back stroke events.

Ryan Murphy, 21, won the men's 100 meters backstroke race with a time of 51.97 seconds, a new Olympic record, but just short of the world record of 51.94 set by compatriot Aaron Peirsol in 2009 before non-textile bodysuits were banned from competition.

Murphy’s win continues U.S. domination in the event, which it has won in six successive Olympics dating back to Atlanta in 1996.

19-year-old Lilly King took the gold medal in the women's won gold in the women's 100-meter breaststroke with a time of 1:04.93, another new Olympic record. The win for King became personal after she struck up a bit of a rivalry with disgraced Russian drug cheat Yulia Efimova, 24, during the preliminary rounds.

The two engaged in some back-and-forth finger-wagging and dirty looks during the semifinals of the event, but the King refused to back down and after the race had some choice words for Efimova, who took second place.

United States' gold medal winner Lilly King is flanked by Russia's silver medal winner Yulia Efimova, left, and United States' bronze medal winner Katie Meili during the ceremony for the women's 100-meter breaststroke final during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016.

United States' gold medal winner Lilly King is flanked by Russia's silver medal winner Yulia Efimova, left, and United States' bronze medal winner Katie Meili during the ceremony for the women's 100-meter breaststroke final during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016.

I hope I did [make a statement about doping]," King in an interview with NBC after the race. "We can still compete clean and do well at the Olympic Games, and that's how it should be."

Efimova -- the reigning world champion -- was jeered after winning her heat in the 100-meter breaststroke preliminaries after serving a 16-month suspension for doping and then testing positive this year for the now-banned pharmaceutical meldonium.

She and six other Russian swimmers were initially banned from the Rio games following reports from the World Anti-Doping Agency identifying a state-sanctioned doping scheme for Russian athletes. The Olympic International Committee reinstated her and several other high-profile Russian swimmers in the past week.

American swimming star Katie Ledecky smashed her own world record in the 400 meter freestyle event Sunday at the Rio Olympic Games.

United States' Katie Ledecky, left, is congratulated by United States' Leah Smith after winning the gold medal in the women's 400-meter freestyle setting a new world record during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016

United States' Katie Ledecky, left, is congratulated by United States' Leah Smith after winning the gold medal in the women's 400-meter freestyle setting a new world record during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016

The U.S. men's swimming team won a gold medal in the 4x100 relay. Michael Phelps, who gave the team the lead swimming a fast second leg, earned his 19th gold medal as the most decorated athlete in Olympic history.

Phelps took second place in the men's 200 meter butterfly semifinals, where he holds the world and Olympic records.

Adam Peaty of Britain also set a world record for the men's 100 meter breaststroke with a time of 57.13 seconds to win gold. Earlier, Sweden's Sara Sjostrom broke the world record in the women's event.

Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first U.S. Olympian to compete while wearing a hijab, made her Olympic debut during the fencing competition. She won her first match but was eliminated in her second bout.

Ibtihaj Muhammad of the United States reacts after losing against Cecilia Berder of France in the women's individual saber fencing event at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 8, 2016.

Ibtihaj Muhammad of the United States reacts after losing against Cecilia Berder of France in the women's individual saber fencing event at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 8, 2016.

Growing up black and Muslim in the U.S. state of New Jersey, 28-year-old Ibtihaj Muhammad says she loved sports, but often struggled to find her place.

Muhammad began fencing in 1999 at the age of 13. She set her sights on the American national team in 2007 when she realized there were no minorities represented. In 2011, Muhammad became the first female Muslim athlete to represent the United States.

She is ranked second in the United States and 12th worldwide.

Rugby made its Olympic debut as well. The top four women’s-sevens teams are set to compete for gold medals, among them Canada, Britain, Australia, and New Zealand.

The U.S. men's basketball team, a 119-62 winner over China on Sunday, defeated Venezuela 113-69 Monday.

The U.S. women's basketball team routed Senegal 121-56 in the opening round of competition on Sunday and defeated Spain 103-63 Monday.

Winds up to 25 kilometers an hour forced a 90 minute postponement of Sunday's tennis matches at the Barra complex in Rio de Janeiro. Top ranked Brazilian Thomaz Belluci, who opened at center court, said the competition marked "the first time of my life that I played in such terrible conditions."

At other events, media helicopters were grounded during the women's cycling competition, and rowers were ordered to stay off the water after competitors complained high winds that capsized a boat Saturday should have forced postponement Sunday as well.

XS
SM
MD
LG