Vladimir Putin, Alexander Lukashenko

Vladimir Putin speaks on U.S.-Russia disallowed goal controversy

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Yesterday, Russian hockey fans vented their frustrations outside the U.S. Embassy in Moscow over Russia’s disallowed goal in their game against Team USA on Saturday.

But their president wasn’t as angry as they were about the subject.

Vladimir Putin has spoken about the controversial call, which led to an eight-round shootout and a 3-2 U.S. win when T.J. Oshie scored the game-winner.

While noting that “referees sometimes make mistakes,” Putin was relatively pragmatic in his comments.

“You and I shouldn’t forget that sport isn’t only about skill but also about the athletes’ courage, and even a good slice of luck,” he said according to R-Sport.

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With less than five minutes remaining in the third period of Saturday’s game, it appeared Russia had taken a 3-2 lead after Fedor Tyutin put a shot past U.S. goalie Jonathan Quick.

However, the referees called “no goal,” citing that the goal itself had come loose from the ice beforehand.

The call set off howls of protest from the Russian crowd at the Bolshoy Ice Dome, and after the game’s conclusion, multiple Russian players claimed that Quick had dislodged the net himself.

Both teams were able to get wins in their next games on Sunday; the U.S. cruising over Slovenia, the Russians winning in a shootout over Slovakia.

Kerri Walsh Jennings, April Ross beat top-ranked Brazilians for first time

Kerri Walsh Jennings, April Ross
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Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross beat Brazil’s best beach volleyball team for the first time and extended the longest winning streak of their partnership in winning the Moscow Grand Slam on Sunday.

“That just shows our growth,” Ross said. “We’re still on the up and up.”

Walsh Jennings, a three-time Olympic champion, and Ross, an Olympic silver medalist, beat world No. 1 Larissa and Talita 22-20, 22-20 in the final for their third straight international title.

Walsh Jennings and Ross have now won 22 straight FIVB World Tour matches, the best run of their three-year parternship. Walsh Jennings last reached a streak this long from 2007 to 2010, when she won 78 straight international matches with Misty May-Treanor and Nicole Branagh, according to BVBInfo.com

The Americans had lost all three of their previous matches (one a one-set exhibition) versus Larissa and Talita:

Feb. 27, 2015 — 26-24 in Rio de Janeiro
Aug. 23, 2015 — 21-18, 21-16 in Long Beach, Calif.
March 20, 2016 — 22-20, 21-19 in Vitoria, Brazil

Larissa and Talita, seeking to become Brazil’s first Olympic women’s beach volleyball champions in 20 years, have won 12 of their 20 international tournaments since pairing in July 2014.

The FIVB World Tour continues in Hamburg, Germany, next week, the final event in Olympic qualifying. Walsh Jennings and Ross are expected to play there.

Walsh Jennings and Ross and Larissa and Talita are already qualified for the Rio Games.

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Joe Kovacs goes wild after winning Pre Classic shot put (video)

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Joe Kovacs put together an incredible series of throws to win the Pre Classic shot put on Friday night, and he topped it off with perhaps an even more impressive celebration.

The World champion Kovacs, who is listed at 6 feet and 276 pounds, let out bellowing roars and a “Hell yeah!” after his final throw of 22.13 meters.

Kovacs threw farther with every throw in Eugene, Ore., on Friday night:

20.41
20.49
21.26
21.57 (farthest in the world this year)
21.66 (farthest in the world this year)
22.13 (farthest in the world this year)

Kovacs has come a long way in four years. He finished fourth at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials with a then-personal-best throw of 21.08 meters. His last throw Friday night would have won the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.

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