2016 Olympics Aug. 7 recap: Stanford’s Ledecky sets world record, wins gold
RIO DE JANEIRO -- A record-breaking night in the pool highlighted another busy day of action on Sunday in Brazil for the 2016 Olympics. For the second straight day, athletes with Pac-12 ties got their hands on some gold. Take a look at the top results from Pac-12 athletes on Day 2 of the summer games.
True to form, the soon-to-be Stanford star Katie Ledecky started strong and left the competition in her wake during the 400 freestyle final on Sunday night. The 19-year-old shattered the world record and posted a mark of 3:56.46. She finished so early that she was pumping her fist before silver medalist Jazz Carlin (4:01.23) touched the wall.
Ledecky picks up her first gold of the 2016 Games, about 24 hours after helping Team USA claim the silver in the 4x100-meter free relay. She still has a chance at three more golds, coming in as the favorite for the 200-meter free, 800-meter free and 4x200-meter free relay.
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) August 8, 2016
Current Cal Golden Bear Kathleen Baker hasn’t shrunk in the spotlight of her first Olympics. The 19-year-old from North Carolina won her 100-meter backstroke prelim and semifinal with identical times of 58.84 to advance to Monday’s final. A night after winning the Pac-12’s first gold medal, USC alumna Katinka Hosszu (59.84) recorded the second-fastest time in the event and is in line for another trip to the podium.
Former Cal star swimmer Dana Vollmer entered the pool arena with her arms raised high on Sunday evening, as she looked to defend her gold medal in the 100m butterfly from London. But Vollmer’s time of 56.63 earned her the bronze after Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom set a world record with a mark of 55.48.
The action-packed night at the Olympic Aquatic Center culminated with an entertaining 4x100-meter freestyle relay race that featured the return of Michael Phelps. While the Olympic legend opened up a lead with an impressive second leg for Team USA, it was Cal alum Nathan Adrian who closed it out as the Americans won with a 3:09.92 mark to secure Phelps' 19th gold medal. Adrian, 27, has now won the gold medal in three-consecutive Olympics. Cal's Anthony Ervin also received a medal after swimming in the prelims to give the USA a shot at the gold in the finals.
When you touch the wall and realize you've won GOLD!!! pic.twitter.com/k9fYo8IjKL
— U.S. Olympic Team (@TeamUSA) August 8, 2016
Cal star Ryan Murphy might only be 21, but he’s in line to bring back some hardware to Berkeley after swimming the 100m backstroke in 52.49 to qualify with the fastest time in Monday’s final for Team USA.
Kevin Cordes, formerly of the Arizona swimming program, burst off the blocks in the 200m breast stroke final on Sunday night, but couldn’t keep pace with the podium finishers. While Great Britain’s Adam Peaty set a world record (57.13), Cordes recorded a 59.22, falling 0.36 seconds short of adding to Team USA’s medal count.
Alexander Massialas carried huge expectations into Sunday’s 64-man tournament in the foil fencing competition as the top-ranked male in the world. After breezing through the first two rounds, he ran into some major trouble in the quarterfinals, falling behind 14-8 behind Italy’s Giorgio Avola, just one point away from elimination. But Massialas stayed alive with a scintillating 7-0 run to advance to the semis, where he defeated Great Britain’s Richard Kruse, 15-9.
In the final, Massialas, the two-time NCAA champ at Stanford, suffered a 15-11 loss to Daniele Garozzo after giving up a 6-0 run late in the quick-moving match. Garozzo was fired up after the major upset, while Massialas failed to capture the first-ever gold medal in the modern men’s foil event by an American.
It's been QUITE the journey for @AMassialas!
— U.S. Olympic Team (@TeamUSA) August 7, 2016
Team USA flexed in the first day of competitions on Sunday. Incoming UCLA freshman Madison Kocian helped steal the show for the Americans, posting the highest uneven bar score of the night.
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) August 8, 2016
When Toni-Ann WIlliams stepped onto the mat Sunday, she became the first woman gymnast to represent her parents’ native Jamaica. Ditto for her Univerisity, Cal, whose coach Justin Howell was there as Williams made history. Williams might have finished 54th in the all-around with a score 50.966, but it was a groundbreaking effort for the Golden Bear, who wrapped up her sophomore season earlier this year.
WOMEN’S BEACH VOLLEYBALL
UCLA Bruin Lauren Fendrick and partner Brooke Sweat lost a 2-1 match to Poland during windy conditions at Copacabana Beach on Sunday morning, as Team USA suffered its first loss in beach volleyball in Rio.
Tough one. Ready to clean up our side for the next one. Loving all the love and support. Keep that flowing. https://t.co/7vwbs0XHGt
— Lauren Fendrick (@LaurenFendrick) August 7, 2016
Arizona State fans might have been cheering for Nigeria on the hardwood Sunday night, as former Sun Devil Ike Diogu took the floor for the African nation. Digou scored 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds but Argentina claimed a 94-66 win. Oregon hoops alum Chamberlain Oguchi also played for Nigeria but went 1-for-8 for 5 points.
Team USA, coached by UCLA’s John Speraw and featuring four Pac-12 alumni, suffered a stunning 3-0 sweep against Canada to open up the competition in Rio.
Ex-USC tennis star Steve Johnson and Jack Sock knocked off Chile’s Julio Peralta and Hans Podlidnik-Castillo, 2-0, on Sunday as double tennis action got underway in Rio.