Sprinter false starts on purpose at track worlds (video)

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Brazil’s Rosangela Santos has a shoulder tattoo of a star with the word “WINNER” inside of it, but her goal in the world championships 200m semifinals was to be disqualified.

Mission accomplished.

Santos, 26, said she false started on purpose on Thursday after feeling unfit during warm-up in order to save her strength for the 4x100m relay on Saturday, according to

The website reported that the IAAF determined that neither Santos nor Brazil would be booted from the 4x100m for not giving an honest effort in the 200m.

Santos already had the result of her life in the 100m in London, finishing seventh after breaking the South American record in the semifinals. She ran 10.91 in the semis, lowering her personal best by .13, but dropped to 11.06 in the final.

Still, Santos became the first Brazilian woman to make an Olympic or world 100m final after bowing out in the semifinals at the 2015 Worlds and Rio Olympics.

Santos is weaker in the 200m. She is ranked 78th in the world this year and was among the slower qualifiers into the semifinals.

Brazil is not a medal favorite in the women’s 4x100m. It has one woman ranked in the top 50 in the 100m in the world this year (Santos) and two in the top 100.

In Rio, the Brazilian women were disqualified from the 4x100m heats for bumping Allyson Felix, which led to the U.S.’ famous solo relay re-run. Brazil crossed the finish line fourth in its heat before the DQ.

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U.S. women into gold-medal match at beach volleyball worlds

Lauren Fendrick
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April Ross, a two-time Olympic medalist, and Lauren Fendrick will play for gold at the world beach volleyball championships, less than three months into their new partnership.

The Americans rallied past Canadians Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes 19-21, 21-16, 15-11 in Friday’s semifinals in Vienna.

Ross and Fendrick, who paired after Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings split three months ago, will play Olympic champions Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst of Germany in Saturday’s final.

The last U.S. women’s pair to earn a world medal was Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor, who took silver in 2011. Walsh Jennings, 38, is missing worlds after dislocating her five-times surgically repaired right shoulder in a match with new partner Nicole Branagh two weeks ago.

Ross won the 2009 World title and 2012 Olympic silver with former partner Jennifer Kessy and 2016 Olympic bronze with Walsh Jennings.

Beijing Olympic champion Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena lead the men’s teams in Saturday’s quarterfinals. In fact, they are the only team from the Rio Olympic quarterfinals still alive.

Dalhausser and former partner Todd Rogers were the last U.S. men to earn world medals — bronze in 2009 and gold in 2007.

Reigning Olympic and world champions Alison and Bruno were upset by Canadians Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk in the round of 16. That matched the Brazilians’ worst finish since June 2015.

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Rio Olympic velodrome damaged by fire

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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The track and roof of the Rio Olympic velodrome was damaged in a fire Sunday when the building was struck by a small, hand-made hot-air balloon.

A charred area could be seen on the roof of the structure, and shots from TV network Globo showed a 20- to 30-meter portion of wood track surface had burned.

The racing surface was made of special Siberian wood, a requirement that made the velodrome one of the last venues to be ready for the Olympics.

The Brazilian sports ministry confirmed the incident with no injuries reported. In a statement it said the damage was being evaluated.

Despite being illegal, the release of the hand-made balloons — or lanterns — is common in Brazil. The balloons often cause fires when they land.

The incident took place just a few days short of the one-year anniversary of the Rio Games, which opened Aug. 5.

The velodrome cost about $45 million and, like a half-dozen other sports arenas in the Olympic Park, is struggling to find a use. Many of the arenas are boarded up, and the park in suburban Barra da Tijuca is largely vacant with few amenities for visitors.

Brazil spent about $13 billion in public and private money to hold last year’s Olympics, with some reports suggesting the overall cost is closer to $20 billion.

The costs are a flashpoint because Brazil is going through its deepest recession in a generation.

The state of Rio de Janeiro has been late paying teachers, police and pensions, and the military has been arriving in Rio over the last few days to try to control the city’s soaring violence.

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