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Pac-12 to Rio

Coverage of the Pac-12
student-athletes, coaches and alumni
who competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics

2016 Olympics Aug. 14 recap: Klay Thompson catches fire in Team USA's win vs. France

Anthony L. Solis/Pac-12 Conference

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Without any swimming to wrap up the evening, track and field takes over as the primetime event for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. On Sunday night, Usain Bolt was the main attraction as he won his third straight Olympic gold medal 100m dash, getting some competition from a former Pac-12 sprint star along the way.

Stakes are also growing in a variety of sports, as teams are advancing to knockout rounds or being eliminated in group stages. Take a look at the top Pac-12 headlines from Day 9 in Rio.


Now that’s the Klay Thompson that we all know.

Through the first four contests of Team USA’s group stage, Thompson was ice cold from the field -- going a combined 4-of-26 from the field for a total of 11 points. But he looked like a true Splash Brother in Sunday’s 100-97 win over France, guiding the U.S. to its second straight 3-point victory. True to form, the former Washington State Cougar caught fire from behind the arc, hitting 7-of-13 trifectas en route to a game-high 30 points.

"We don't worry about Klay,” said new Golden State warriors teammate Kevin Durant. “We know he can get hot at any time. He was great. He gave us a huge lift. We needed it."

Former USC basketball star DeMar DeRozan added 9 points off the bench in his highest scoring performance of the tournament thus far. Team USA is 5-0 through the group stage and will get back to the court on Wednesday for the quarterfinals.

Ex-WSU players Aron Baynes (8 pts, 7 reb) and Brock Motum (5 pts, 4 reb) also helped Australia roll past Venezuela with an 81-56 victory. Andrew Bogut (Utah) added 10 points and 6 boards for the Boomers, who went 4-1 in group play to grab the No. 2 seed in the quarterfinals.


Allyson Felix has still got it. Competing in her fourth Olympics, the USC alum claimed the top time in 400m semifinals (49.67 seconds) and is headed to Monday’s final. Felix will be going for the seventh Olympic medal of her career, and fifth gold.

"I wanted to get a solid effort and try to make a run at a good lane tomorrow,” Felix said. “I wanted to bump up the intensity tonight."

In the same event, Oregon track alum Phyllis Francis finished fifth with a time of 50.31 to qualify for the finals.

A couple of former Sun Devils took part in the women’s marathon, as Desiree (Davila) Linden placed seventh (2:26.08) and Amy (Hastings) Cragg finished ninth (2:28.25).


No one is catching up to Usain Bolt, who claimed his third consecutive 100m dash Olympic gold on Sunday with a time of 9.81. But former USC track star Andre De Grasse was close, claiming the bronze for Canada with a mark of 9.91, behind American silver medalist Justin Gatlin (9.89). De Grasse is the first Canadian to medal in the 100m in 20 years.

"Racing the fastest man in the world, ever, and Gatlin,” De Grasse said. “These guys are spectacular. I'm speechless. They're probably jumping up and down screaming back home in Canada."


Soon-to-be UCLA Bruin Madison Kocian will head to Westwood with two Olympic medals this fall, after securing the silver medal in the uneven bars event on Sunday with a score of 15.833. Russian Aliya Mustafina took the gold with a 15.900 mark, just edging out the talented Kocian. Combined with the gold medal she helped win with USA’s “Final Five” in the team competition, Kocian had an impressive Olympics.

"I just took a deep breath in, trying to take in the atmosphere here,” Kocian said of her final meet before college. “I'm just so honored to be here at the Olympic Games."



Team USA already had a spot to the quarterfinals wrapped up, but faced China on Sunday in the final match of the group stage. Once again, former Stanford volleyball star Foluke Akinradewo had a big day with 13 kills, as the Americans claimed a 3-1 victory. Up next for Team USA is Tuesday’s quarterfinals match with Japan.

“They are the world's best defensive team,” said coach and former UCLA player Karch Karaly. “The rallies go on forever, it's like a cardio workout trying to play Japan. They are well coached and they are just a very good volleyball team, very good technically."


Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross look unstoppable. Playing in front of a fired-up crowd in another midnight match on Copacabana beach, the American duo claimed a 2-0 victory (21-14, 21-16) over Australian teammates Louise Bawden and Taliqua Clancy. Walsh Jennings and Ross dictated the match once again, mixing in some remarkable recovery points along the way. With the victory, they advance to Tuesday’s semifinals.


Despite topping Italy, 10-7, on Sunday to wrap up the group stage, Team USA (2-3) wasn’t able to advance to the knockout rounds due to early struggles in the tourney. With the loss could come the end of an era, as it was possibly Tony Azevedo’s final Olympic match. The Pac-12 Player of the Century from Stanford captained the squad in his fifth summer games, one of only seven Team USA Olympians in Rio to be competing since Sydney.

"Right now I'm just pretty depressed,” Azevedo said after the loss. “I'm going to spend all day at the beach tomorrow and then go home. I'll finish my professional career here in Brazil and then I'll decide what I want to do in the future."

Azevedo, 34, scored a pair of goals on Sunday along with fellow Cardinal alum Bret Bonanni and UCLA’s Josh Samuels.


UCLA student Iris Wang faced a stiff test on Sunday with a showdown against reigning gold medal winner Xuerui Li. With a bid to the round of 16 on the line, Wang (2-1) was swept 2-0 (21-16, 21-12) to be eliminated in her first Olympics.


Stanford’s Lucy Davis jumped on her beloved horse, Barron, for the individual and team jumping competitions on Sunday. Through the first qualifier, she is tied for 27th after recording 4 faults. She was also one of four riders on the mixed team for the U.S., helping America rank tied for eighth with a combined 8 faults.

[Related content: Follow the Pac-12 to Rio]


The Olympic golf competition in 112 years is over following Sunday’s final round. While Great Britain’s Justin Rose (-16) took home the gold medal, Cal product and Korean athlete Byeong-Hun An (-6) finished tied for 11th and Washington golf alum Cheng-Tsung Pan (-1) placed tied for 30th for Taiwan.


Competing in her second Olympics, Stanford’s Mariya Koroleva and partner Anita Alvarez recorded an 86.4333 in the free duet prelims and sit in ninth place, 11.6334 points behind Russian leaders Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina. The duo will be back in the pool on Monday with the duets technical routine competition.

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