Leaks, electrical outages found in Rio Olympic athletes village

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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Australia’s Olympic team leader is keeping the delegation’s 700 athletes or staff out of the Athletes Village for at least two days, citing electrical and plumbing problems in the sprawling complex less than two weeks before the start of the games in Rio de Janeiro.

“Electricity and water is not a good combination,” Kitty Chiller told reporters Sunday, when the village was set to be officially opened for athletes.

Chiller said this was her fifth Olympics, and she came down hard on village preparations.

“I have never experienced a village in this state – or lack of state – of readiness at this point in time,” she said.

The 31-building village is expected to house 18,000 athletes and officials at the height of the games. It was not clear how many athletes were housed in the village on Sunday.

This is the latest problem for the games, which have been hit by concern about the Zika virus, security threats, water pollution and severe budget cuts.

Chiller and Australian team spokesman Mike Tancred described a wide array of plumbing, electrical and cleaning issues at the Village. Tancred said 10 of the 31 buildings were determined to be inhabitable.

“We’re having plumbing problems, we’ve got leaking pipes,” Tancred told AP. “We’ve got electrical problems. We’ve got cleaning problems. We’ve got lighting problems in some of the stairwells. We did a stress test on Saturday, turned on the taps and flushed the toilets, and water came flooding down the walls.”

Chiller listed the same problems, and added more.

“There was a strong smell of gas in some apartments and there was ‘shorting’ in the electrical wiring,” she said. “We have been living in nearby hotels because the village is simply not safe or ready.”

Chiller said six Australian athletes due to arrive Monday and 50 on Tuesday would temporarily stay in hotels or other accommodation. She said she hopes they can move into the village quickly, and sounded encouraged.

“I am reasonably confident that we will be able enter the village on Wednesday,” she said.

She described other amenities in the village as among the best.

“This is one of the most beautiful villages I’ve ever been in,” she said. “It looks spectacular. There are just teething issues in some of the service inside the building.”

Several teams are hiring tradesmen to fix the problems, and some may look for compensation from organizers.

Italian team leader Carlo Mornati said his national Olympic committee, CONI, had been hiring workmen to carry out repairs for days.

“Among these unfinished areas are also a few apartments in block 20, the one to be used by Italy, and where manual workers, electricians, plumbers and bricklayers – hired by CONI officials there as a matter of urgency – have been working over the past few days so that the athletes’ accommodation can be brought up to normal conditions as soon as possible,” he said in a statement.

The U.S. Olympic Committee acknowledged there were small problems.

“As is the case with every games, we’re working with the local organizers to address minor issues and make sure the village is ready for Team USA athletes,” spokesman Patrick Sandusky told the AP.

The International Olympic Committee and local organizers held emergency talks Sunday and said athletes with unfinished rooms would “be placed in the best available accommodation in other buildings,” estimating that fixing the problems “will take another few days.”

Local reports said about 5 percent of the 3,600 apartments had gas, water and electrical faults, and some were without toilet fixtures.

Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes took a shot at the Australians at the opening on Sunday.

“This is an incredible village, more beautiful and better than Sydney,” he said, referring to the 2000 Olympics in Australia. He said he was tempted to put “a kangaroo jumping outside” to make them happy.

The village contains tennis courts, soccer fields, seven swimming pools with mountains and the sea as a backdrop.

The apartments are to be sold after the Olympics with some prices reaching $700,000. The development cost about $1.5 billion, built by Brazilian billionaire Carlos Carvalho.

New Zealand team leader Rob Waddell said he was disappointed the village wasn’t quite ready “and it hasn’t been easy.”

“Our team has had to get stuck in to get the job done,” Waddell said. “It’s been fair to say there has been more work than we anticipated with the building … but we’ve got it to a space now that it will be just fine for athletes when they turn up.”

New Zealand’s Olympic rowing champion Mahe Drysdale, who said he was the first athlete from any country to enter the village, added facilities were in need of a few “finishing touches.”

“Already taken ownership of the Village being the very first athlete from any country to arrive and get through the gates,” Drysdale said on Instagram. “All is good.

“Few finishing touches still to be made but when you arrive at 5am on opening day, you can’t expect it to be perfect.”

MORE: Ready or Not: Rio Olympics open doors at Athletes Village

U.S. women’s basketball team scores most points in FIBA World Cup history

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SYDNEY — A’ja Wilson and the U.S. put on quite a show, breaking the World Cup scoring mark in a record rout of South Korea.

Brionna Jones scored 24 points and Wilson added 20 to help the U.S. beat South Korea 145-69 on Monday. Shakira Austin’s layup with 9 seconds left helped the Americans break Brazil’s record of 143 points set in 1990.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been part of a team that can score the basketball like this,” Wilson said. “This is crazy, we put up 145 points. I think when you look at us and just knowing how talented we are, we just came together and we play together very, very well.”

The U.S. always has the most talented and deepest roster of any team in the World Cup with 12 WNBA stars on the roster. Still, the Americans had never come close to that sort of offensive output during it’s storied World Cup history. The previous team record was 119 points against Angola in 2014 and China in 2006. The scoring margin was also the biggest in U.S. history as well surpassing the 75-point win over Angola in 2014.

The win was also the 26th in a row in World Cup play for the Americans, who haven’t lost since the 2006 semifinals when they fell to Russia. The U.S. also won 26 in a row from 1994-2006. The Soviet Union holds the World Cup record with 56 straight wins from 1959-1986.

MORE: FIBA World Cup Results

What started with Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi and Sylvia Fowles has now been passed on to Breanna Stewart and Wilson. A legacy of excellence that doesn’t look like it’s ending anytime soon.

The U.S. (4-0), which has been playing stellar defense, was challenged by South Korea early. The teams were trading baskets for the first 8 minutes and it was tied at 21 before the Americans took control, scoring the final 11 points of the period.

Kahleah Copper came off the bench for the first time of the tournament and scored six points during that spurt. The Americans kept the streak going to start the second quarter, scoring nine of the first 11 points to put the game away.

By the time the game reached the half the U.S. was up 68-40, including scoring 44 points in the paint against the undersized Koreans.

“We were trying to get the ball inside,” Jones said. “We had an advantage there.”

The only suspense in the second half was how many records the Americans could break. They took down their own scoring mark on Sabrina Ionescu’s 3-pointer with 6:15 left in the game and kept putting up points with Austin’s layup capping off the contest.

Other records broken on Monday included the 62 field goals made, 36 assists and 94 points in the paint.

“Our size was a problem for them and I thought we shared the ball,” U.S. coach Cheryl Reeve said.

The Americans were well rested for the game after having their first day off of the tournament on Sunday.

Despite the rout, South Korea (1-3) can still advance to the quarterfinals with a win over Puerto Rico on Tuesday.

Leeseul Kang, who had 37 points in a win over Bosnia and Herzegovina, scored 10 points. Hyejin Park had 17 to lead the team.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup schedule, results

FIBA Women's World Cup
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The U.S. goes for its fourth consecutive title at the FIBA World Cup in Sydney — and eighth global gold in a row overall when including the Olympics.

A’ja Wilson, a two-time WNBA MVP, and Breanna Stewart, the Tokyo Olympic MVP, headline a U.S. roster that, for the first time since 2000, includes neither Sue Bird (retired) nor Diana Taurasi (injured).

The new-look team includes nobody over the age of 30 for the first time since 1994, before the U.S. began its dynasty at the 1996 Atlanta Games. The Americans have won 52 consecutive games between worlds and the Olympics dating to the 2006 Worlds bronze-medal game.

The field also includes host Australia, the U.S.’ former primary rival, and Olympic silver medalist Japan.

Nigeria, which played the U.S. the closest of any foe in Tokyo (losing by nine points), isn’t present after its federation withdrew the team over governance issues. Spain, ranked second in the world, failed to qualify.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Round
Wed., Sept. 21 8:30 p.m. Puerto Rico 82, Bosnia and Herzegovina 58 Group A
9:30 p.m. USA 87, Belgium 72 Group A
11 p.m. Canada 67, Serbia 60 Group B
Thurs., Sept. 22 12 a.m. Japan 89, Mali 56 Group B
3:30 a.m. China 107, South Korea 44 Group A
6:30 a.m. France 70, Australia 57 Group B
8:30 p.m. USA 106, Puerto Rico 42 Group A
10 p.m. Serbia 69, Japan 64 Group B
11 p.m. Belgium 84, South Korea 61 Group A
Fri., Sept. 23 12:30 a.m. China 98, Bosnia and Herzegovina 51 Group A
4 a.m. Canada 59, France 45 Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia 118, Mali 58 Group B
Sat., Sept. 24 12:30 a.m. USA 77, China 63 Group A
4 a.m. South Korea 99, Bosnia and Herzegovina 66 Group A
6:30 a.m. Belgium 68, Puerto Rico 65 Group A
Sun., Sept. 25 12:30 a.m. France 74, Mali 59 Group B
4 a.m. Australia 69, Serbia 54 Group B
6:30 a.m. Canada 70, Japan 56 Group B
9:30 p.m. Belgium 85, Bosnia and Herzegovina 55 Group A
11:30 p.m. Serbia 81, Mali 68 Group B
Mon., Sept. 26 12 a.m. USA 145, South Korea 69 Group A
2 a.m. France 67, Japan 53 Group B
3:30 a.m. China vs. Puerto Rico Group A
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Canada Group B
9:30 p.m. Puerto Rico vs. South Korea Group A
11:30 p.m. Belgium vs. China Group A
Tues., Sept. 27 12 a.m. USA vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
2 a.m. Canada vs. Mali Group B
3:30 a.m. France vs. Serbia Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Japan Group B
Wed., Sept. 28 10 p.m. Quarterfinal
Thurs., Sept. 29 12:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
4 a.m. Quarterfinal
6:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
Fri., Sept. 30 3 .m. Semifinal
5:30 a.m. Semifinal
11 p.m. Third-Place Game
Sat., Oct. 1 2 a.m. Final