Honduras’ Lozano stars in Olympic-opening win over Algeria

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First half goals from Romell Quioto, Anthony Lozano and Marcelo Pereira led Honduras to an impressive opening Olympic win over Algeria at the Estádio Olímpico João Havelange in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday.

Sofiane Bendebka and Baghdad Bounedjah scored Algeria’s goal in the 3-2 loss.

Honduras move atop Group D for at least a few hours, with Portugal and Argentina set to kickoff at 5 p.m. EDT.

MORE: Highlights/match replay here

Honduras took advantage of a razor-thin onside run from Lozano, who then made an ankle-breaking cut in the box. His shot was saved, but Quioto would work the rebound over the line to make it 1-0 in the 13th minute.

An unlikely goal in many ways came next, as defender Pereira then headed a ball from the edge of the 18 that looped over Farid Chaal, who was only starting because of a tournament-ending injury to Abdelkader Salhi.

Algeria woke up in the second half, though Honduras’ physical if foul happy style was a proper obstacle to the African side’s comeback.

The two combustible sides saw their tempers reach boiling points in the 56th minute, crowding around an injured player as the referee attempted to keep things sane.

Algeria nabbed a goal via a gutty header from Bendebka with more than 20 minutes to play, but Honduras pulled one back thanks to another error on Chaal. The Algerian keeper spilled an easy cross right onto the foot on Lozano, who simply loved the chance to score from the six.

Bounedjah made a cool chest trap on a 85th minute cross before passing the ball inside the right post as Algeria pulled within one.

Diana Taurasi returns to U.S. national basketball team

Diana Taurasi
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Diana Taurasi is set to return to the U.S. national basketball team next week for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics, signaling a possible bid for a record-breaking sixth Olympic appearance in 2024 at age 42.

Taurasi is on the 15-player roster for next week’s training camp in Minnesota announced Tuesday.

Brittney Griner is not on the list but is expected to return to competitive basketball later this year with her WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury (also Taurasi’s longtime team, though she is currently a free agent), after being detained in Russia for 10 months in 2022.

Taurasi said as far back as the 2016 Rio Games that her Olympic career was likely over, but returned to the national team after Dawn Staley succeeded Geno Auriemma as head coach in 2017.

In Tokyo, Taurasi and longtime backcourt partner Sue Bird became the first basketball players to win five Olympic gold medals. Bird has since retired.

After beating Japan in the final, Taurasi said “see you in Paris,” smiling, as she left an NBC interview. That’s now looking less like a joke and more like a prediction.

Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve succeeded Staley as head coach last year. In early fall, she guided the U.S. to arguably the best FIBA World Cup performance ever, despite not having stalwarts Bird, Griner, Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles.

Taurasi was not in contention for the team after suffering a WNBA season-ending quad injury in the summer. Taurasi, who is 38-0 in Olympic games and started every game at the last four Olympics, wasn’t on a U.S. team for an Olympics or worlds for the first time since 2002.

Next year, Taurasi can become the oldest Olympic basketball player in history and the first to play in six Games, according to Olympedia.org. Spain’s Rudy Fernandez could also play in a sixth Olympics in 2024.

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Mo Farah likely to retire this year

Mo Farah
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British track legend Mo Farah will likely retire by the end of this year.

“I’m not going to go to the Olympics, and I think 2023 will probably be my last year,” the 39-year-old Farah said, according to multiple British media reports.

Farah, who swept the 5000m and 10,000m golds at the Olympics in 2012 and 2016, was announced Tuesday as part of the field for the London Marathon on April 23.

Last May, Farah reportedly said he believed his career on the track was over, but not the roads.

London might not be his last marathon. Farah also said that if, toward the end of this year, he was capable of being picked to run for Britain again, he would “never turn that down,” according to Tuesday’s reports.

It’s not clear if Farah was referencing the world track and field championships, which include a marathon and are in Budapest in August. Or selection for the 2024 British Olympic marathon team.

The fastest British male marathoner last year ran 2:10:46, ranking outside the top 300 in the world. Farah broke 2:10 in all five marathons that he’s finished, but he hasn’t run one since October 2019 (aside from pacing the 2020 London Marathon).

Farah withdrew four days before the last London Marathon on Oct. 2, citing a right hip injury.

Farah switched from the track to the marathon after the 2017 World Championships and won the 2018 Chicago Marathon in a then-European record time of 2:05:11. Belgium’s Bashir Abdi now holds the record at 2:03:36.

Farah’s best London Marathon finish in four starts was third place in 2018.

Farah returned to the track in a failed bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, then shifted back to the roads.

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