Frenchman wins Youth Olympics dunk contest gold medal

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Basketball at the Youth Olympics is a little different than usual international competition. The team format is three on three, and medals were awarded in a men’s dunk contest and women’s shootout at the Nanjing Games on Thursday.

France’s Karim Mouliom, a 6-foot, 4-inch, 18-year-old, won gold in the dunk contest (no Americans were in the field), where the three judges included 2008 Olympic silver medalist and former Toronto Raptors forward Jorge Garbajosa.

Mouliom’s most memorable dunk came in the final round in a head-to-head showdown with Slovenia’s Ziga Lah. Mouliom lined up three Hungarian women’s players and leaped over them for a one-handed slam. It scored three 10s from the judges.

Mouliom earlier attempted to dunk with sunglasses on, “cookie jar” style with his forearm inside the rim like Vince Carter at the 2000 NBA Slam Dunk Contest.

Other dunks channeled Dee Brown‘s “no-look” from 1991, Isaiah “J.R.” Rider‘s between-the-legs jam from 1994 and Karl Malone, who often dunked with one hand behind his head.

Spain’s Lucia Togores Carpintero won the shootout by hitting five of 12 shots, including a long-distance effort worth three points. American Katie Lou Samuelson won bronze, making four shots and losing a tiebreaker for silver because she took four tenths of a second longer than a Slovenian to attempt all 12 shots.

More than 60 women took part in the shootout qualifying, with the top four women advancing to the finals.

The Youth Olympics continue with coverage on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday.

Youth Olympics broadcast schedule

Mikaela Shiffrin wins Aspen World Cup slalom

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With a slalom win today in Aspen, Colo., Mikaela Shiffrin broke some of the barriers she had been chasing.

“I don’t know if the stars will ever align like that again,” Shiffrin said in a media conference after being told she won with the biggest margin of victory in the history of women’s slalom since 1968: 3.07 seconds. “I don’t think [my competitors] are going to let me get away with three seconds ever again.”

En route to her fourth consecutive slalom World Cup title – which would tie the record for the most with Switzerland’s Vreni Schneider from 1992-95 – she became the first female skier to win four World Cup slalom races in a row since Austria’s Marlies Schild did it in the 2011-12 season.

In addition, Shiffrin became the first female skier from the U.S. to win a slalom World Cup race in Aspen. And she’s now tied with France’s Perrine Pelen for sixth overall with total slalom World Cup victories.

“I was pissed after I made that ridiculous mistake yesterday,” Shiffrin said to media, referencing yesterday’s giant slalom crash. Both her and Lindsey Vonn crashed and did not finish in Aspen’s giant slalom. “I tried to use that anger today.”

Shiffrin called the mistake a “brainfart” and Vonn dismissed it because “giant slalom isn’t [her] strongest event.”

But, Shiffrin added that she already has her mind set on tomorrow, where she races slalom again, on NBC at 3 p.m. ET. The complete of the Olympic sports schedule is here.

“I just as quickly have to go back and settle in,” she said. “Tomorrow is a new race. I have to find a different motivation and try to take the same mentality and keep fighting.”

Slovakia’s Veronika Velez Zuzulova was second behind Shiffrin, followed by Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter.

By finishing behind Shiffrin in Aspen, Zuzulova extends her slalom World Cup podium finish streak to four.

Hansdotter has the second-most second place World Cup slalom finishes at 13 total, including today’s race. Only Pernilla Wiberg, of Sweden, has more with a total of 14.

MORE: Shiffrin, Vonn discuss friendship and rivalry

Fencing great Valentina Vezzali fails to qualify for Rio 2016

Mario Monti, Valentina Vezzali
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TURIN, Italy (AP) – Six-time Olympic champion fencer Valentina Vezzali has failed to qualify for next year’s Rio de Janeiro Games.

The 41-year-old Vezzali was eliminated in the second round of the foil event at the Trofeo Inalpi meet Saturday, while Italian teammate Arianna Errigo reached the semifinals and gained the necessary points to qualify.

Vezzali won at least one gold at the last five Olympics in either individual or team foil. She has a total of nine Olympic medals and 25 at world championships.

Her second son was born in 2013, the year in which she also became a member of Italy’s parliament.

Vezzali told the Gazzetta dello Sport this week that “I had another son and it was really difficult to come back. … I don’t think I have anything else to prove.”

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