Rio Recap: Day Nine

We’re past the halfway mark, and the U.S. has 69 total medals, including 26 gold. Here’s what went down on Sunday:

Star of the day: Usain Bolt, Jamaica, Track and Field

Usain Bolt is still the fastest man alive, and won the 100m dash for the third straight Olympics. He is the first person to ever three-peat. A picture of Bolt so far ahead of the field (and smiling) quickly became a meme:

Also shining brightly: Dipa Karmakar, India, Gymnastics

Dipa Karmakar may not have medaled in the vault final, but she’s made history as the first female Indian gymnast to ever compete in the Olympics, and the first to qualify for an event final. Karmakar attempted the ultra-difficult Produnova vault, and very nearly landed it. She wound up in fourth place by about a tenth. She’s got guts, and hopefully plays a big role in developing the gymnastics culture in India. Sometimes, it’s not just about medals.

Gold3n Simone:  Simone Biles won the first-ever vault gold medal for the United States in convincing fashion, with an average that was seven tenths higher than silver-place Maria Paseka from Russia. Switzerland’s Giulia Steingruber won the bronze, the first-ever medal for a Swiss female gymnast. This is Biles’ third gold medal in Rio, and with 17 medals in World Championship and Olympic competition, she is now the most decorated gymnast in American history.

(Mixed) Double the fun: The U.S. took both the gold and silver in the mixed doubles competition. Jack Sock and Bethanie Mattek-Sands defeated Venus Williams and Rajeev Ram in the gold-medal match.

Naddour ends 32-year drought:  Alex Naddour took the bronze on the pommel horse, the first American medal on the event since 1984. Naddour, who was an alternate for the 2012 games in London, was visibly emotional on the podium.

Marvelous Max:  Great Britain’s Max Whitlock had a day for the ages, winning gold in both the pommel horse and floor exercise. His win in floor exercise was the first-ever Olympic gold medal in gymnastics for Great Britain, and he followed it up about two hours later with a victory on the pommel horse. Teammate Louis Smith won the silver medal on the pommel horse.

Kocian sticks the landing to earn silver:  The uneven bars final was the only one without a true favorite, and the field was pretty close. Aliya Mustafina from Russia was able to defend her 2012 title from London, and American Madison Kocian was second by less than a tenth after a nearly-flawless routine. Germany’s Sophie Scheder took the surprise bronze following mistakes from co-world champion Daria Spiridonova from Russia.

She dove her way into his heart: China’s He Zi won the silver medal in 3m springboard, but definitely won gold in the game of life. Her boyfriend proposed to her following the medal ceremony. (She said yes.)


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