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Rio Day 7: US Swimmers Aim for Strong Finish, Track & Field Begins

  • VOA News

United States' Michael Phelps celebrates winning the gold medal in the men's 200-meter individual medley during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Aug. 11, 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

United States' Michael Phelps celebrates winning the gold medal in the men's 200-meter individual medley during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Aug. 11, 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Team USA swimming veteran Michael Phelps and new-comer Katie Ledecky look to continue their dominance in the water Friday and close out the swim portion of the Olympics on top.

Phelps, fresh off a gold medal performance in the 200 meter medley Thursday, competes in the 100 meter butterfly, while Ledecky will end the night in the 800 meter freestyle.

Should she win, Ledecky will have swept the 200, 400 and 800 meter freestyle races in Rio. A win for Phelps would give him his fifth gold medal in Rio and his 23rd gold medal of his Olympic career.

Ethiopia's gold medal winner Almaz Ayana, left, and Ethiopia's bronze medal winner Tirunesh Dibaba celebrate after the women's 10,000-meter final during the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 12, 2016.

Ethiopia's gold medal winner Almaz Ayana, left, and Ethiopia's bronze medal winner Tirunesh Dibaba celebrate after the women's 10,000-meter final during the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 12, 2016.

Track & Field, Women's Soccer

The first track and field medals of 2016 were awarded Friday, with Ethiopian runner Almaz Ayana taking home the gold for Ethiopia and setting a new world record, 29:17.45., for the women's 10,000-meter race.

In the afternoon, the final in the men’s 20-kilometer walk will take place, followed later in the night by the women’s shot put final.

Women’s football (soccer) heads into the quarterfinals, where Sweden and the United States were tied 1-1 after more than an hour of play.

Later, Germany and China will face off. Canada plays France in the afternoon and Brazil faces Australia in the evening.

Other medal events included both men’s and women’s rowing, with England, France, and the Netherlands taking home gold medals.

Men’s and women’s shooting, men’s boxing, men’s tennis and both men’s and women’s judo will hold finals into the evening.

United States' Simone Biles bites her gold medal for the artistic gymnastics women's individual all-around final at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 11, 2016.

United States' Simone Biles bites her gold medal for the artistic gymnastics women's individual all-around final at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 11, 2016.

Thursday Highlights:

In Thursday's competition, American gymnast Simone Biles officially became the best gymnast in the world.

Biles won the women’s individual all-around contest, while her equally talented teammate Aly Raisman took the silver medal. Russian Aliya Mustafina earned the bronze.

The 19-year-old Biles is now the fourth straight American woman to win the all-around title and fifth overall, while taking her place as the greatest gymnast of her generation and perhaps of all time.

Phelps scores 22nd gold medal

Phelps earned his 22nd career gold medal in the 200 meter individual medley. His wins gave him his fourth straight individual medley title at the Olympics.

American swimmer Simone Manuel tied for gold in the 100 meter freestyle, sharing the title with Penelope Oleksiak of Canada, after both swimmers touched the wall at exactly 52.70 seconds. Manuel is the first African-American to earn a swimming medal.

China continued its dominance in table tennis as Ma Long, the best player in the world, beat his teammate, Zhang Zike in the championship. The win marked the third straight time the Chinese team has won both gold and silver at the Olympics.

Fiji's players pray after winning the men's rugby sevens gold medal match against Britain at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 11, 2016.

Fiji's players pray after winning the men's rugby sevens gold medal match against Britain at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 11, 2016.

Judo, Rugby, Track Cycling

American Kayla Harrison successfully defended her Olympic judo title in the women's 78-kilogram division, beating France's Audrey Tcheumeo in a tense final. With just six seconds left, Harrison caught Tcheumeo's arm in an armlock and forced Tcheumeo to tap out in submission, automatically winning the contest.

The Fiji men’s rugby team won the country’s first-ever gold medal after handily defeating Britain in the championship rugby sevens match 43-7. Rio marks the first time rugby has been played at the Olympics since 1924.

Britain won the first gold medal of the track cycling program at the Rio Olympics, rallying past New Zealand in the final of the men's team sprint by the slimmest of margins.

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