Ibtihaj Muhammad

Ibtihaj Muhammad’s unique path to Olympic history (video)

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Behind an American flag-themed mask, Ibtihaj Muhammad is changing the face of U.S. fencing. And of Team USA as a whole.

Muhammad, a 30-year-old sabre fencer, will compete in her first Olympics in Rio. And she will do so wearing a hijab, which no American has donned in Olympic competition.

Still, Muhammad says she receives backlash.

“Just last week, I was walking with my teammate, and a man told me that I look suspicious,” Muhammad said in a TODAY interview published Friday. “He started asking me if I was going to blow something up.”

Muhammad has received plenty of press since qualifying for the Games in February, but the focus must be squarely on the Games.

She is ranked No. 8 in the world in her discipline.

With two other U.S. women ranked in the world top 24, including two-time Olympic champion Mariel Zagunis, her best shot at a medal is in the team event. Muhammad, Zagunis and two others combined to earn bronze at the 2015 World Championships and gold in 2014.

VIDEO: Miles Chamley-Watson takes fencing to New York City streets

New Zealand sweeps Rugby World Cup Sevens, celebrates with haka

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SAN FRANCISCO — New Zealand has won a World Cup Sevens double for the second time after the men’s team beat England 33-12 in San Francisco on Sunday to follow the Black Ferns’ win in the women’s tournament.

The New Zealand teams won the men’s and women’s titles in Russia in 2013 and again were dominant.

Sione Molia scored two of New Zealand’s five tries in the men’s final, and South Africa held off Olympic champion Fiji 24-19 to take bronze.

The weekend results mean New Zealanders are the men’s and women’s World Cup holders in the traditional 15-a-side rugby and the sevens.

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MORE: U.S. women get fourth at Rugby World Cup Sevens

Tour de France rider expelled for punching cyclist

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CARCASSONNE, FRANCE (AP) — Team Sky rider Gianni Moscon was expelled from the Tour de France on Sunday after he appeared to deliberately hit a fellow cyclist during the race.

The Italian lashed out at French rider Elie Gesbert of Team Fortuneo while both were competing during Stage 15 from Millau to Carcassonne.

“I’m sorry for today’s incident, and I totally regret my actions,” Moscon said. “I would like to personally apologize to Elie Gesbert…. What happened was wrong and was a bad example coming from me to everyone, and I want to publicly apologize. … I make no excuse for it and accept the decision of the race organizers.”

Team Sky director Dave Brailsford said the team would consider taking further action against Moscon after the Tour concludes next weekend.

The 24-year-old Moscon was suspended by Sky for six weeks last year for using a racial slur against an opponent.

His expulsion leaves Sky with seven riders.

Sky’s Geraint Thomas is leading the race ahead of teammate Chris Froome after 15 of 21 stages.

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