Kerri Walsh Jennings, April Ross

Kerri Walsh Jennings, April Ross win Moscow Grand Slam

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Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross claimed their biggest win of the beach volleyball season, capturing a Grand Slam title in Moscow on Sunday.

Walsh Jennings, a three-time Olympic champion, and Ross, a 2012 Olympic silver medalist, beat top-seeded Brazilians Talita Antunes and Taiana Lima 21-17, 22-24, 15-13 in the final. Walsh Jennings and Ross were the No. 2 seed.

“It is so huge,” Walsh Jennings said in a press release. “Every win is important on the World Tour, and we cherish and learn from every one. I virtually gave away set two because I set like a rookie and I’m so proud with how we stuck together. April didn’t quit on me, she didn’t get mad at me.”

Moscow marked the second of nine Grand Slam events this season. Walsh Jennings and Ross, in their first full season together, were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the first Grand Slam in Shanghai in May after claiming two Grand Slam golds in three events last season. The third Grand Slam is this week in Berlin.

On the men’s side, Beijing Olympic champion Phil Dalhausser and two-time Olympian Sean Rosenthal won their third-place match after losing a semifinal to a 14th-seeded Polish pair. Dalhausser and Rosenthal were the top seed.

“We had one bad match this week and that was the semifinal, but other than that we played really well,” Dalhausser said.

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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.”

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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