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Badminton player earns Olympic spot after act of sportsmanship

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Hungarian badminton player Laura Sarosi saw her act of sportsmanship rewarded Sunday when she made it into the Rio Olympics.

Rewind to the European Championships three weeks ago and this story, via multiple reports:

Sarosi, now ranked No. 70 in the world, was playing Germany’s Karin Schnaase, who is now ranked No. 26.

In the first set, one of Schnaase’s shoes came apart. She was not allowed to leave the court to find a new shoe without being disqualified.

Unlike Schnaase, Sarosi did have an extra pair of shoes in her courtside bag, the same size as Schnaase, and graciously offered a replacement to her opponent.

Schnaase went on to win the match and keep Sarosi from crucial Olympic qualifying points.

As a result, Sarosi did not automatically qualify for the Rio Games, becoming the second alternate. Schnaase was already in via her higher world ranking.

A petition was started, but in the end it wasn’t necessary. Sarosi earned a spot in Rio on Sunday, when the World Badminton Federation announced reallocations of Olympic spots based on players doubling up in events.

(h/t @OlympicStatman)

MORE: USA Badminton names largest-ever Olympic team

Bolt’s London Olympic spikes stolen

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DERBY, England (AP) A signed pair of running shoes worn by eight-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt has been stolen from an address in Linton, Derbyshire.

The white, blue and red spikes were used by the Jamaican great in a 100 meters heat at the 2012 Games, Derbyshire Police said.

“The spikes are part of an extensive collection that I have built-up over the last 10 years,” the victim said. “There are only four or five pairs of spikes that have been signed from the London 2012 Olympics, they are absolutely irreplaceable.”

The victim did not want to be named.

A 35-year-old man has been charged in connection with the theft. The shoes have yet to be recovered.

Bolt, 31, who retired after the 2017 world championships in London, won the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay titles at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics, although he later lost the 2008 relay gold after a team-mate was disqualified for doping.

Anne Donovan, basketball Hall of Famer, gold medalist, dies at 56

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Anne Donovan, a Hall of Fame basketball player and Olympic gold medalist, has died of heart failure at age 56.

Donovan coached the Storm to a 2004 WNBA title.

“While it is extremely difficult to express how devastating it is to lose Anne, our family remains so very grateful to have been blessed with such a wonderful human being,” Donovan’s family said in a statement, according to reports. “Anne touched many lives as a daughter, sister, aunt, friend and coach.

Donovan, a 6-foot-8 center, made the 1980 U.S. Olympic team (as its youngest player after her freshman year at Old Dominion) that ended up missing the Moscow Games due to the U.S. boycott.

She then earned gold with the U.S. in 1984 and 1988, being the oldest player on the latter team at 26. She was inducted as a player into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995 and into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999.

Donovan later was an assistant coach for the 2004 Olympic champion team and head coach for the 2008 Beijing team that took gold. She also was the first female head coach of a WNBA champion team with the Storm in 2004.

“USA Basketball mourns the passing of Anne Donovan,” USA Basketball said in a statement. “She played for her first USA Basketball team in 1977 and during her Hall of Fame, 31-year USA career, she was a member of five U.S. Olympic teams and four USA World Championship teams as an athlete and coach, culminating in leading the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team to gold as our head coach in Beijing. She used to say she bled red, white and blue. As much as we remember her accomplishments in the game, we mourn a great friend who will be greatly missed.”