Rio Olympics Daily Preview: August 15

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Three United States quarterfinalists hope to become semifinalists on Day 10, as women’s field hockey, women’s water polo and men’s beach volleyball pairing Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena all take to their respective surfaces.

Only Dalhausser and Lucena should really be tested, as they’ll face powerful Brazilian duo Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt.

One of the most grueling events in track cycling also begins on Day 10. The Omnium, with its six races being held over two days, tests riders’ versatility as well as endurance. Team USA’s Sarah Hammer returns after a performance at the London Olympics where she won silver in the Omnium, missing the top podium spot by just one point.

Also, the event finals in gymnastics continue.  On Day 10 catch the men’s rings, men’s vault and women’s balance beam.  Look for Simone Biles to again contend for another individual medal in Rio, this time on beam, though Laurie Hernandez wouldn’t mind challenging her.


What to Watch: Day 10, Aug 15

8:30 a.m. EDT – WATCH LIVE – Track and Field: Day 10 Morning Session

Women’s 3000m Steeplechase final

Team USA’s Emma Coburn has molded herself into a world class steeplechase runner with the third fastest time on the planet in 2016. She hopes she can come to Rio and become the first American to win a medal in a race known for its obstacles of fences and water.


Women’s Track Cycling: Omnium  – WATCH LIVE –

9:59 am ET – 10km Scratch Race

3:30 pm ET – 3km Individual Pursuit

5:17 pm ET – Elimination Race

Derived from the Latin word meaning “all,” the Omnium is track cycling’s multi-race event.  Cyclists race on the velodrome (vélo is French for bike) in six separate races with names like scratch, elimination, individual pursuit, time trial, flying lap and points over two days.

Riders receive points at the end of each race, but just like in golf, lowest score wins. Returning to the Olympics, London gold medalist Laura Trott of Great Britain will look to defend her title against London silver medalist Sarah Hammer of the U.S. in the Omnium.


Field Hockey Women’s quarterfinals  – WATCH LIVE –

9 a.m. EDT – Game 1 – New Zealand vs. Australia

11:30 a.m. EDT – Game 2 – USA vs. Germany

5 p.m. EDT  – Game 3 – Great Britain vs. Spain

7:30 p.m. EDT  – Game 4 – Netherlands vs. Argentina


1 p.m. EDT – WATCH LIVE – Gymnastics: Event finals Day 2

Men’s rings final

Women’s balance beam final

Men’s vault final

On the second day of event finals in gymnastics, the women’s balance beam competition belongs to the two-time world beam champion Simone Biles on paper, but fellow American Laurie Hernandez and Brazil’s Flavia Saraiva are among those who will hope to dethrone Simone.

On the men’s side Brazil’s Arthur Zanetti will look to repeat as “Lord of the Rings” in front of a home crowd.

In the men’s vault final, 35-year-old Marian Dragulescu of Romania will aim to cap off his comeback — he’s retired multiple times since winning three medals at the 2004 Olympics — with a gold medal.

 


Water Polo Women’s quarterfinals  – WATCH LIVE –

1:10 p.m. EDT – Game 1 – Brazil vs. USA

2:30 p.m. EDT – Game 2 – Australia vs. Hungary

5:20 p.m. EDT – Game 3 – Russia vs. Spain

6:40 p.m. EDT – Game 4 – Italy vs. China


Beach Volleyball Men’s quarterfinals  – WATCH LIVE –

3 p.m. EDT – Game 1 – Dalhausser/Lucena (USA) vs. Alison/Bruno (BRA)

4 p.m. EDT – Game 2 – Nummerdor/Varenhorst (NED) vs. Brouwer/Meeuwsen (NED)

10 p.m. EDT – Game 3 – Nicolai/Lupo (ITA) vs. Liamin/Barsuk (RUS)

11 p.m. EDT – Game 4 – Krasilnikov/Semenov (RUS) vs. Diaz Gomez/Gonzalez Bayard (CUB)


7:15 p.m. EDT – WATCH LIVE – Track and Field: Day 10 Evening Session

Women’s 200m round 1

Men’s 800m final

Women’s 400m final

Allyson Felix hopes to find herself with a center lane assignment in the final of the women’s 400m, her only solo event for Rio after she lost out on a chance to defend her 200m Olympic title at Trials by photo finish.

In her place, Tori Bowie, Jenna Prandini, and Deajah Stevens will represent the U.S. in the first round of the women’s 200m prelims during the evening session of Day 10 in Rio.

Snowboarders sue coach, USOPC in assault, harassment case

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Olympic bronze medalist Rosey Fletcher has filed a lawsuit accusing former snowboard coach Peter Foley of sexually assaulting, harassing and intimidating members of his team for years, while the organizations overseeing the team did nothing to stop it.

Fletcher is a plaintiff in one of two lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Thursday. One names Foley, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, the U.S. Ski & Snowboard team and its former CEO, Tiger Shaw, as defendants. Another, filed by a former employee of USSS, names Foley, Shaw and the ski federation as defendants.

One of the lawsuits, which also accuse the defendants of sex trafficking, harassment, and covering up repeated acts of sexual assault and misconduct, allege Foley snuck into bed and sexually assaulted Fletcher, then shortly after she won her bronze medal at the 2006 Olympics, approached her “and said he still remembered ‘how she was breathing,’ referring to the first time he assaulted her.”

The lawsuits describe Foley as fostering a depraved travel squad of snowboarders, in which male coaches shared beds with female athletes, crude jokes about sexual conquests were frequently shared and coaches frequently commented to the female athletes about their weight and body types.

“Male coaches, including Foley, would slap female athletes’ butts when they finished their races, even though the coaches would not similarly slap the butts of male athletes,” the lawsuit said. “Physical assault did not stop with slapping butts. Notably, a female athlete once spilled barbeque sauce on her chest while eating and a male coach approached her and licked it off her chest without warning or her consent.”

The USOPC and USSS knew of Foley’s behavior but did nothing to stop it, the lawsuit said. It depicted Foley as an all-powerful coach who could make and break athletes’ careers on the basis of how they got along off the mountain.

Foley’s attorney, Howard Jacobs, did not immediately return requests for comment from The Associated Press. Jacobs has previously said allegations of sexual misconduct against Foley are false.

In a statement, the USOPC said it had not seen the complaint and couldn’t comment on specific details but that “we take every allegation of abuse very seriously.”

“The USOPC is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of Team USA athletes, and we are taking every step to identify, report, and eliminate abuse in our community,” the statement said.

It wasn’t until the Olympics in Beijing last year that allegations about Foley’s behavior and the culture on the snowboarding team started to emerge.

Allegations posted on Instagram by former team member Callan Chythlook-Sifsof — who, along with former team member Erin O’Malley, is a plaintiff along with Fletcher — led to Foley’s removal from the team, which he was still coaching when the games began.

That posting triggered more allegations in reporting by ESPN and spawned an AP report about how the case was handled between USSS and the U.S. Center for SafeSport, which is ultimately responsible for investigating cases involving sex abuse in Olympic sports. The center has had Foley on temporary suspension since March 18, 2022.

The AP typically does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault unless they have granted permission or spoken publicly, as Fletcher, Chythlook-Sifsof and O’Malley have done through a lawyer.

USSS said it was made aware of the allegations against Foley on Feb 6, 2022, and reported them to the SafeSport center.

“We are aware of the lawsuits that were filed,” USSS said in a statement. “U.S. Ski & Snowboard has not yet been served with the complaint nor has had an opportunity to fully review it. U.S. Ski & Snowboard is and will remain an organization that prioritizes the safety, health and well-being of its athletes and staff.”

The lawsuits seek unspecified damages to be determined in a jury trial.

Oleksandr Abramenko, Ukraine’s top Winter Olympian, tears knee, career in question

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Aerials skier Oleksandr Abramenko, who won both of Ukraine’s medals over the last two Winter Olympics, is out for the season after a knee ligament tear and said he might not return to competition at all, according to Ukrainian media.

Abramenko, 34, won gold at the 2018 Olympics — Ukraine’s second-ever individual Winter Olympic title after figure skater Oksana Baiul in 1994 — and silver last year.

He competed once this season, placing 10th at a World Cup in Finland on Dec. 4, and then flew with the Ukrainian national team to stay in Utah ahead of World Cups in Canada in January and at the 2002 Olympic venue in Park City this weekend. The area also hosted many Ukraine winter sports athletes this past summer.

Abramenko missed the competition in Canada two weeks ago due to injury and then wasn’t on the start list for today’s aerials event in Park City. He is set to miss the world championships later this month in Georgia (the country, not the state).

Abramenko said he needs surgery, followed by a nine-month rehabilitation process, similar to an operation on his other knee six years ago, according to Ukraine’s public broadcaster. He said he will see how the recovery goes and determine whether to return to the sport at age 35, according to the report.

Abramenko is already the oldest Olympic men’s aerials medalist and come the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games will be older than all but one male aerialist in Olympic history, according to Olympedia.org.

At last year’s Olympics, Abramenko, Ukraine’s flag bearer at the Opening Ceremony, was hugged after the aerials final by Russian Ilya Burov, who finished one spot behind Abramenko for a bronze medal. A week later, Russia invaded Ukraine.

A week after that, Abramenko posed for a photo sitting on a mattress in a Kyiv parking garage with his wife and 2-year-old son published by The New York Times.

“We spend the night in the underground parking in the car, because the air attack siren is constantly on,” Abramenko texted, according to the newspaper. “It’s scary to sleep in the apartment, I myself saw from the window how the air defense systems worked on enemy missiles, and strong explosions were heard.”

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