Michael Phelps and Simone Biles powered their way to more gold medals with rousing routs at the Rio Games on Thursday.
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BILES WINS INDIVIDUAL GOLD
Forget the pressure. Forget the hype. Simone Biles is immune to all of it.
Dynamic on vault. Effortless on beam. Jaw-dropping on floor. Brilliant all over. And now, finally, an Olympic champion.
The 19-year-old American soared to the all-around title on Thursday afternoon, putting the gap between herself and the rest of the world on full display under the Olympic spotlight. Her total of 62.198 was well clear of silver medalist and "Final Five" teammate Aly Raisman and Russian bronze medalist Aliya Mustafina.
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Biles became the fourth straight American woman to win the all-around title and fifth overall while cementing her reputation as the greatest gymnast of her generation and perhaps ever. Her victory was never in doubt and she burst into tears when her long journey to this moment ended when her final total was posted.
PHELPS WINS FOURTH GOLD IN 200m IM, LEDECKY BREAKS OLYMPIC RECORD
Michael Phelps finished a full body-length ahead of the field in the 200-meter individual medley to earn his fourth gold medal of the Rio Games and 22nd overall. Phelps became the first swimmer ever to win the same event at four straight Olympics. U.S. teammate Ryan Lochte led at the midway point before finishing fifth.
Speaking of golds, fellow American Katie Ledecky will be back in the pool for the 800 freestyle, which she set a new Olympic record for on Thursday. She swam the 16-lap event in 8 minutes, 12.86 seconds Thursday, bettering the old mark of 8:14.10 set by Rebecca Adlington of Britain in 2008. Ledecky's time was nearly seven seconds faster than anyone else. The top eight advance to Friday's final. Ledecky is seeking to complete a sweep of the 200, 400 and 800 freestyles for the first time since the 1968 Mexico City Games.
FORT WORTH'S SARAH SCHERER LEAVES RIO WITHOUT MEDALS
Texas Christian University alum Sarah Scherer didn't leave Rio with a medal. She qualified in the women's 50m rifle 3 position but didn't place.
MEN’S VOLLEYBALL STUNS HOST BRAZIL
After two forgettable preliminary matches by the U.S. men's volleyball team and facing the real possibility of near-Olympic elimination, Matt Anderson and the Americans stunned Brazil in four sets Thursday to deny the previously unbeaten host nation a quarterfinal berth.
With Anderson leading the charge for a roster packed with Olympic first-timers, the U.S. delivered its best and most inspired performance yet.
Anderson brought it with his jump serve, his big hitting and reliable passing in a 25-20, 25-23, 20-25, 25-20 victory that left the raucous, flag-waving pro-Brazil crowd at Maracanazinho arena in utter disbelief.
WATER POLO ROLLS TO EASY WIN
U.S. women's team rolled to another easy water polo win at Olympics Thursday with a 12-4 victory over China. The United States was in complete control right from the start, never in danger of losing to overmatched China. It turns out winning isn't the only thing for the defending world and Olympic champions.
"Each game is a gold-medal game," team captain Maggie Steffens said. "Each game is an opportunity for us to represent the USA, and that's the motivation."
Australia faces winless Brazil on Saturday on the final day of the preliminary round. Italy, which leads Group A with four points, takes on Russia, Spain plays against China, and the United States faces Hungary. The quarterfinals begin Monday.