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USA takes gold in men’s 4×400 relay

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After missing out on a gold medal in surprising fashion four years ago, the U.S. men’s 4×400 team reclaimed the top spot Saturday night.

Arman Hall, Tony McQuay, Gil Roberts and LaShawn Merritt were in control for most of the race, with the exception of a stumble by Roberts during the final straightaway on the third leg. Roberts maintained his balance however, and once he got the baton to Merritt the Americans were back on track. The U.S., which finished in 2:57.30, has won three of the last four men’s 4×400 relay Olympic gold medals.

Taking silver was Jamaica with a time of 2:58.16, and Bahamas stormed past Botswana to take bronze in 2:58.49. Botswana appeared headed to a bronze medal finish, but anchor Gaone Maotoanong ran out of gas down the stretch and was ultimately passed by the Bahamas and Belgium to finish in fifth. Six teams finished the race in less than three minutes, a first for the Olympic final, with Belgium and Botswana both establishing new national records.

Brazil, which landed in the final after three teams were disqualified following the qualifying heats, finished eights.

The Bahamas took gold in this event in London four years ago.

Yuzuru Hanyu to miss Japan Figure Skating Championships

Yuzuru Hanyu
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Yuzuru Hanyu, the reigning Olympic and world figure skating champion, will miss his national championships this week after suffering ankle and knee injuries this fall, according to Japanese media citing the Japan Skating Federation.

Hanyu can (and very likely will) be named to Japan’s three-man Olympic team despite missing nationals.

Hanyu has reportedly been off the ice for more than one month since a Nov. 9 practice fall.

“It is an important selection competition, and the Olympics are a big goal, so with that in mind we would like to think things through together,” Japan Skating Federation director Yoshiko Kobayashi said last week, according to Kyodo News.

Hanyu, who turned 23 on Dec. 7, fell on a quadruple Lutz attempted and then favored his right ankle in a Nov. 9 practice at a Grand Prix event (video here).

He skated the run-through for his free skate, although he elected not to do any more jumps.

“I have been told by the doctor that I need 10 days of complete rest,” Hanyu said in a statement on Nov. 12, according to Kyodo. “Following that, it will take three to four weeks to return and get back to where I was.”

Hanyu and world silver medalist Shoma Uno are favored to lead Japan’s Olympic men’s figure skating team. The third spot is likely to go to Takahito Mura or Keiji Tanaka.

Hanyu competed twice this season.

He posted a world-record short program score in his debut at a small September event in Canada, but struggled to fifth place in the free skate and finished second overall behind two-time world champion Javier Fernandez of Spain.

He then finished second to U.S. champion Nathan Chen at the first Grand Prix event of the season in Moscow in October.

Chen is the only undefeated male singles skater this season.

Hanyu won four straight national titles before missing last season’s event with the flu.

He was still named to Japan’s team for worlds, where he won his second title in four years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Green Bay Packers pull another Olympic sport TD celebration

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We’re halfway to a decathlon of Olympic sport touchdown celebrations over the last two seasons.

After the hurdles, the long jump, the bobsled and the relay came the race walk on Sunday.

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams, once part of a three-man bobsled team, led three other teammates in a race walk after scoring in Sunday’s loss to the Carolina Panthers. (Adams later left the game with a concussion.)

Adams won the race walk, which was much, much shorter than the standard Olympic distances of 20km and 50km, over teammates Jordy NelsonRandall Cobb and Geronimo Allison.

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