Ski Jumping - Winter Olympics Day 4

Germany’s Carina Vogt wins inaugural women’s ski jumping gold; U.S. shut out

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The first Olympic gold medal for women’s ski jumping has gone to Germany’s Carina Vogt, while Team USA’s trio of competitors and Japan’s all-world jumper, Sara Takanashi, finished out of the medals altogether on the normal hill.

Vogt, who started ski jumping after watching it on television as a young girl, led the event after the first of two final-round jumps.

On her last, she soared 97.5 meters and earned a score of 120.6 for a two-jump score of 247.4 – enough to beat silver medalist Daniela Iraschko-Stolz of Austria by 1.2 points and bronze medalist Coline Mattel of France by 2.2 points.

Hendrickson, the 2013 world champion, was expected to have a say in the outcome despite just coming back recently from a torn right ACL, MCL, and meniscus that she suffered in an August crash.

But she was not a factor in the end, finishing 21st after a final jump of 91.5 meters led to a score of 217.6 that was behind those of fellow Americans Jessica Jerome (10th, 234.1) and Lindsey Van (15th, 227.2).
She did, however, earn the distinction of being the first woman to ever ski jump in the Olympics.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the night was that Takanashi, who won the World Cup in 2012-13 and had already earned 10 World Cup wins this season going into Sochi, narrowly missed the podium with a fourth-place finish after a score of 243.0.

MORE: Shaun White finishes off the podium in snowboard halfpipe final

WOMEN’S SKI JUMPING – NORMAL HILL FINAL
1. Carina Vogt (GER), 247.4
2. Daniela Iraschko-Stolz (AUT), 246.2
3. Coline Mattel (FRA), 245.2

10. Jessica Jerome (USA), 234.1
15. Lindsey Van (USA), 227.2
21. Sarah Hendrickson (USA), 217.6

U.S. sprinters past, present trade relay barbs

Justin Gatlin
Getty Images
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The only loss for the Americans at the Penn Relays came in the men’s 4x100m, as the U.S. team bobbled its victory away on a bad baton handoff between Tyson Gay and Isiah Young for the final leg, which led to a disqualification.

Mike Rodgers and Justin Gatlin gave the Americans an early lead in the race, and things were moving along well during Gay’s third leg. But the muffed handoff for the final leg cost the Americans. Both the winning Jamaican squad and the second American team surpassed them.

Young finished third, but the team was disqualified because the handoff occurred outside the pass zone. The second U.S. team of Sean McLean, Wallace Spearman, Calesio Newman and Remontay McLain finished in 39.02.

The mistake led to some inflammatory comments from U.S. great Leroy Burrell about continued problems with handoffs by U.S. relay teams.

“Well, I think we’ve got to put our team together a little earlier, possibly,” Burrell said in a television interview. “I think, we’ve had the same coaches working with these guys for many years, and we’ve had failure after failure. So it’s possible that, you know, it might be time for a bit of a regime change with the leadership.

“I think the athletes have to be the catalysts that make that happen. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to get the stick around. I saw thousands of relay teams yesterday — maybe not thousands, but hundreds of relay teams get it around. But the professionals can’t. That’s just not good for our sport.”

Rodgers didn’t take kindly to those remarks.

“People keep pointing their fingers and downing us, but nobody has ever tried to come out there and help us,” he said. “Nobody from the past. Not Carl [Lewis] or Leroy. They haven’t been out there. I can’t really respect their opinions because they’re supposed to be leaders in our sport and in the USA, and they’re not coming out there to drop some knowledge on us, so I don’t care what they have to say.”

Lewis criticized U.S. relays in March.

Gatlin was equally critical of Burrell.

“I’m tired of people who have been part of Team USA take shots at Team USA,” Gatlin said. “To put us in the same boat as high schoolers is insulting.”

Bob Costas’ report 100 days out from Rio (video)

Bob Costas
NBC News
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Bob Costas reported from Rio de Janeiro for NBC News on Wednesday, 100 days out from the Opening Ceremony.

In the clip below, Michael PhelpsSimone Biles and even Brazil soccer legend Pelé comment on preparing for the first Games in South America.

Costas finished the clip with a stand-up from Copacabana Beach, where beach volleyball will take place in August.

VIDEO: Bob Costas picks biggest storyline of Rio Olympics