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United States women take gold in team all-around in dominant fashion

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The United States women’s gymnastics team was the clear favorite to win gold in the team all-around Tuesday evening. They met those expectations and then some at the Rio Olympic Arena, winning gold by more than eight points over silver medalists Russia.

This is the second consecutive team all-around gold medal for the United States, with Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas being members of both teams. Simone Biles, three-time world champion in the individual all-around, Laurie Hernandez and Madison Kocian are all first-time Olympic gold medalists. Biles’ score of 15.8 on the floor exercise sealed the margin of victory record for the “Final Five,” with a gold medal essentially being secured by that point.

The nickname is an homage to Martha Karolyi, who is retiring as coordinator of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team following these Olympics. While there are more medals for the Americans to win in the individual all-around and apparatus events, seeing her team win another team all-around gold medal is a good note for Karolyi to end her career on.

The Americans’ margin of victory of 8.209 points establishes a new Olympic record, surpassing the mark they set four years ago in London. The United States beat Russia by 5.066 in those Olympics. China, which just missed out on a bronze medal in London, took the bronze medal.

Women’s gymnastics competition resumes Thursday with the individual all-around final, with Biles and Raisman representing the United States.

Jordan Wilimovsky qualifies for Tokyo Olympics in open-water swimming

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Open-water swimmer Jordan Wilimovsky is the first male athlete on the 2020 U.S. Olympic team.

Wilimovsky, who placed fourth and fifth in two distance events at the 2016 Rio Games, joined fellow open-water swimmers Haley Anderson and Ashley Twichell in qualifying for Tokyo via the world championships in Gwangju, South Korea.

Wilimovsky, 25, placed fifth in the 10km event on Tuesday. Anderson and Twichell were second and sixth in the women’s 10km on Sunday. Top-10 finishers at worlds qualified for Tokyo.

German Florian Wellbrock won by two tenths of a second over French Olympic bronze medalist Marc-Antoine Olivier after 1 hour, 47 minutes in the water. Wilimovsky led with 600 meters left. Olympic 1500m freestyle champion Gregorio Paltrinieri also qualified for Tokyo in the open-water 10km by finishing sixth.

The other American, David Heron, was 25th, missing the Olympic team, but he can try again in the 1500m free in the pool at the Olympic trials next June.

Wilimovsky missed a medal in the Rio Olympic 1500m in the pool by 4.17 seconds, taking fourth. Three days later, he was fifth in the open-water 10km, 1.2 seconds out of bronze.

Wilimovsky, a Malibu native who redshirted at Northwestern to train for Rio, earned gold and silver in the 10km at the 2015 and 2017 World Championships.

A U.S. man has never earned an Olympic open-water medal. The event debuted at Beijing 2008.

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Ted Ligety scales back race schedule

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Two-time Olympic champion Ted Ligety is scaling back his race schedule as he enters the final portion of his decorated Alpine skiing career.

Ligety, a 34-year-old who has endured many injuries since his last World Cup win in 2015, said he will race strictly giant slaloms this year. The World Cup season starts in late October.

“So it’ll be a little bit easier schedule on my body,” Ligety said in a KPCW radio interview in his native Park City, Utah. “I’ll be able to be home a little bit more as well, and then we see. I mean, I would like to keep going as long as I feel like I can win races and feel healthy. That’s really the biggest part, and nowadays I have a 2-year-old son, and there’s more factors than there was when I was 25 years old.‚ÄĚ

Ligety, nicknamed “Mr. GS” for his giant slalom prowess, has a 2014 Olympic gold medal and three world titles in that event.

He also owns an Olympic combined title from 2006 and world titles in the super-G and combined from 2013, but he hasn’t won a race in one of those disciplines since January 2014. And since then, he has undergone back and knee surgeries and dealt with hip problems.

“There’s a lot of hard miles on my body up to this point, but I’m still enjoying it,” said Ligety, whose 321 World Cup starts are the most among active Olympic medalists now that Lindsey Vonn¬†and¬†Aksel Lund Svindal¬†have retired.¬†“Right now, I feel really healthy and trying to get to a point where I feel I can win races. That’s the goal right now.‚ÄĚ

Ligety, a four-time Olympian, has not publicly committed to a 2022 Olympic run.

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