U.S. unlikely to win medal count after medal-less Day 15

1 Comment

On the next-to-last day of the Sochi Olympics, the U.S. finally had its streak of earning at least one medal on each day of medal events snapped.

For those hoping to see the Americans top the medal count, it couldn’t have come at a worse time.

Three medal events are on tap for tomorrow’s final day of competition: Four-man bobsled, the men’s mass start in cross-country skiing, and the men’s hockey gold medal game.

As we saw today, the U.S. men’s hockey squad is heading back home with nothing after losing their bronze medal match with Finland. And the skiing event doesn’t have an American among the true contenders.

That leaves only Steven Holcomb and his team of bobsledders as the last legit chance for the U.S. to get one more piece of hardware. They’re currently .01 of a second off the bronze medal position after today’s first two runs.

But even if Holcomb and Co. get a 28th medal for the U.S., it won’t be enough to overtake Russia, which has 29 medals so far and could land two more tomorrow in bobsled (they’re currently first in the four-man) and in cross-country.

Third in the overall medal count is Norway, which has 26 medals but is tied with the Russians for the most golds with 11. Competitors from both nations are expected to figure heavily into the outcome of tomorrow’s mass start.

Canada is fourth overall with 24 medals, but could take third in the golds outright if their men’s hockey team can defeat Sweden tomorrow morning.

But one figures Canucks from Vancouver to the Maritimes won’t really care all that much about where their country winds up in the medal count; they just want their team to beat the Swedes.

Really, really badly.

MEDAL COUNT – Feb. 22
(Country – Gold/Silver/Bronze – Total Medals)

1. Russia – 11/10/8 – 29
2. Norway – 11/5/10 – 26
3. Canada – 9/10/5 – 24
4. United States – 9/7/11 – 27
5. Netherlands – 8/7/9 – 24
6. Germany – 8/6/5 – 19
7. Switzerland – 6/3/2 – 11
8. Belarus – 5/0/1 – 6
9. Austria – 4/8/5 – 17
10. France – 4/4/7 – 15
11. Poland – 4/1/1 – 6
12. China – 3/4/2 – 9
13. Korea – 3/3/2 – 8
14. Sweden – 2/6/6 – 14
15. Czech Republic – 2/4/2 – 8
16. Slovenia – 2/2/4 – 8
17. Japan – 1/4/3 – 8
18. Finland – 1/3/1 – 5
19. Great Britain – 1/1/2 – 4
20. Ukraine – 1/0/1 – 2
21. Slovakia – 1/0/0 – 1
22. Italy – 0/2/6 – 8
23. Australia – 0/2/1 – 3
24. Latvia – 0/1/2 – 3
25. Croatia – 0/1/0 – 1
26. Kazakhstan – 0/0/1 – 1

2016 Olympic silver medalist Shakur Stevenson wins pro boxing debut

Leave a comment

CARSON, Calif. (AP) U.S. Olympic silver medalist Shakur Stevenson has won his professional debut, beating Edgar Brito by technical unanimous decision in the sixth round.

Stevenson largely controlled his debut bout Saturday night at the famed outdoor ring south of downtown Los Angeles. The fight was stopped moments after the sixth round began when the ringside doctor ruled Brito was cut too badly to continue after an earlier clash of heads.

Brito was docked a point for head-butting Stevenson in the third round, but the challenger otherwise did little to dampen the debut of the touted featherweight from Newark, New Jersey.

Stevenson won every full round on every judge’s scorecard, peppering Brito with the quick hands and agility that have made him one of the most hyped prospects in recent U.S. boxing history.

“Before the fight, they told me not to go for the knockout,” Stevenson said. “Getting rounds in was more important. I give myself an `A.”‘

Eight months ago in Rio de Janeiro, Stevenson became the first American man to win anything bigger than a bronze medal in the past three Olympics. Stevenson reached the bantamweight final before losing a close decision to Cuba’s Robeisy Ramirez, a two-time Olympic champion.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. traveled to Brazil to watch, and he predicted Stevenson would become the next big name to challenge his legacy. Stevenson considered signing with Mayweather’s promotional company before choosing Top Rank and promoter Bob Arum.

“It was great work,” Arum said after Stevenson’s debut. “He worked hard. He came through. He got the win. He will only get better.”

Stevenson was accompanied to the ring in Carson by Olympic gold medal-winning Americans Andre Ward and Claressa Shields, and his ring-walk song was “Hail Mary,” by Tupac Shakur. Stevenson’s mother named him after the rapper, who died nine months before her son was born.

Stevenson started out on a Top Rank card featuring three world title fights. He will fight again May 20 in New York, and he plans to train with junior welterweight champion Terence Crawford in Colorado Springs in the interim.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Ashton Eaton competes on ‘American Ninja Warrior’

[twitter-follow screen_name=’nbcolympictalk’ show_count=’yes’ text_color=’00ccff’

Kenya’s Mary Keitany wins London Marathon with second-best time in history

Leave a comment

LONDON (AP) — Kenyan runner Mary Keitany broke Paula Radcliffe’s women-only marathon world record on Sunday with a third victory in London, while Daniel Wanjiru won the men’s race for the first time.

The 35-year-old Keitany completed the 26.2-mile (42.2-kilometer) in 2 hours, 17 minutes and 1 second to shave 41 seconds off Radcliffe’s 12-year-old mark.

The retired British athlete still remains a world-record holder. Radcliffe fought six years ago with the IAAF to ensure her 2003 marathon time of 2 hours, 15 minutes, 25 seconds — with two male pacemakers — was still recognized as a record rather than just a world-best.

Keitany was on track to break that outright world record halfway through Sunday’s race in the British capital in sunny conditions, but the pace eased up. She still ran to victory to seize the women-only record. Tirunesh Dibaba was 55 seconds behind Keitany while fellow Ethiopian, Aselefech Mergia, was third.

“It was very fast pace and I tried to follow it,” Keitany said. “I think the course has changed a little bit and it felt better than before. The weather was really good this year. Last year it was very, very cold. My body felt fit enough and I have trained well and I tried to push all the time. I’m very happy with the finish time. Parts of the course are hilly but I train in a very similar area in Kenya so it was not too different for me.”

The women’s marathon was missing its defending champion. Keitany’s compatriot, Jemima Sumgong, tested positive for the blood booster EPO in a surprise out-of-competition doping test in Kenya in February.

The men’s race saw the 24-year-old Wanjiru winning his first major marathon in 2 hours, 5 minutes, 48 seconds. That was nine seconds faster than Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia, while Bedan Karoki was third.

The men’s and mass race had a royal start, with Prince William, wife Kate and brother Harry pressing a button to sound the klaxon.

There was a British winner in the wheelchair race, with David Weir storming to his seventh victory in the event to end four years of frustration since his last success. The 37-year-old Weir retired from track competition last year after the six-time Paralympic champion failed to win a medal at the Rio de Janeiro Games.

“It’s the first time I’ve felt comfortable in years,” Weir said. “It’s been a tough four months personally. I’ve had a lot of background problems in my personal life. It’s been tough, especially after Rio. I needed to focus and sort out my head. I knew I had it in the last corner. All I was thinking was ‘win, win, win.'”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Olympic hurdles champion banned one year in strange case