Russia kiss

Russian sprinters deny kiss on podium was out of protest

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Two members of the Russian women’s 4×400-meter relay team who gained attention for kissing at the World Track and Field Championships denied it was out of protest of Russia’s anti-gay law.

One of the 4×400 team members called one of the published images a photographer’s “sick fantasy,” according to R-Sport.

The photograph to the right is of Ksenia Ryzhova and Yulia Guschina kissing, according to R-Sport. It was reported previously that it was of Ryzhova and Tatyana Firova.

“The storm of emotions going through us was incredible,” Ryzhova said, according to The Associated Press. “And if we, accidentally, while congratulating each other, touched lips, excuse me. We think the whole fuss is more of a sick fantasy not grounded in anything.”

All four members of the 4×400-meter final team exchanged kisses on the podium after receiving their gold medals (video here).

“Yesterday I got calls from probably 20 different media outlets and instead of congratulating us for the gold medal, they decided to insult me and Julia (Guschina) and the entire federation,” Ryzhova said at a Moscow press conference Tuesday, according to R-Sport.

Ryzhova said she and Guschina have no personal relationship and are both married.

Video: Entire Russian 4×400 team kisses on podium

Brazil fires coach of Rio Olympic soccer gold medalists

BRASILIA, BRAZIL - AUGUST 04: Rogerio Micale coach Brazil at Mane Garrincha Stadium on August 4, 2016 in Brasilia, Brazil. (Photo by Celso Junior/Getty Images)
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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil’s football confederation has fired the coach who ledNeymar and company to the country’s first Olympic football gold medal in Rio de Janeiro.

Confederation spokesman Gregorio Fernandes confirmed on Monday that youth division coach Rogerio Micale was removed after Brazil failed to qualify for the next Under-20 World Cup.

In nine games in the South American U20 championship, Brazil won three, drew four, and lost two, ending in fifth position.

Micale started with Brazil U20s in May 2015, shortly before the U20 World Cup inNew Zealand, where Brazil lost the final to Serbia.

After Dunga was removed as coach in June 2016, Micale took over Brazil’s Olympic team.

Micale’s contract was recently extended to the 2020 Olympics.

His successor has not been picked.

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MORE: Neymar reflects on Rio Olympic shootout

North Korean member of IOC expects team at PyeongChang Olympics

VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 12:  Song Chol Ri of North Korea carries the national flag during the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics at BC Place on February 12, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
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The North Korean member of the International Olympic Committee believes a North Korean delegation will be at the PyeongChang Olympics, according to Kyodo News.

“There is no reason why we won’t come and no reason why we can’t,” IOC member Chang Ung said last week at the Asian Winter Games in Japan, according to the news agency. “We will proceed according to the Olympic Charter.”

An IOC spokesman previously said that the first step toward possible North Korean participation in the PyeongChang Olympics would be the North Korean Olympic Committee’s response to its invitation to the Winter Games sent out two weeks ago.

The IOC sends invitations to National Olympic Committees around the world coinciding with one year out to an Olympics.

However, it’s not a certainty that North Korea will qualify any athletes for the Winter Games. Despite winning at least four medals at every Summer Games since boycotting Seoul 1988, it didn’t have any athletes at the Sochi Olympics and just two at Vancouver 2010.

North Korea has zero top performing international winter sports athletes and few who even appear at major competitions.

North Korean short track speed skater Choe Un Song ranks No. 123 in the world after appearing in one World Cup this season in Beijing. A pairs figure skating team is ranked No. 54. A different North Korean pairs team missed a Sochi berth by 1.5 points at the last qualifying competition.

Nations without qualified athletes are still able to enter one man and one woman in the Summer Olympics in swimming and track and field. But no such exception applies in the Winter Games.

The IOC has given no indication that an exception could be made to invite a non-qualified North Korean athlete to PyeongChang.

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MORE: PyeongChang 2018 daily schedule highlights