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Records fall, Phelps bags 19th gold
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 09 - 08 - 2016

[gallery size="medium" td_select_gallery_slide="slide" td_gallery_title_input="Records fall, Phelps bags 19th gold" ids="75146,75145,75144,75143"]
Ledecky triumphs by almost five seconds
Britain's Peaty smashes own world record
Jeers for Russia's Efimova and men's team
RIO DE JANEIRO — Michael Phelps picked up his 19th gold medal on a second night of world records in the Olympic pool, with Katie Ledecky cruising to women's 400m freestyle victory and Britain's Adam Peaty running away with the men's 100 breaststroke.
Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom extended Saturday's record spree in winning the 100m butterfly, and Peaty and Ledecky followed suit in the next two finals before the US men's team, with Phelps swimming second, took the 4x100 freestyle relay.
Six swimming world records have now fallen in two days of competition, and the United States moved level with Australia on two gold medals each.
Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, now has 19 golds, two silvers and two bronzes. For his relay teammates Caeleb Dressel and Ryan Held, it was their first Olympic medal.
London Olympics 100 freestyle champion Nathan Adrian swam the final leg for the Americans, touching first ahead of France and Australia.
"On the block I thought my heart was going to explode, I was so hyped, so excited," said Phelps, competing in his fifth Olympics.
Ledecky, the rising US swimming sensation, shaved 1.91 seconds off her own world record on the way to the 400m gold, the first stage of a rare treble she hopes to complete along with the 200m and 800m.
Her time was her 12th world record and was almost five seconds quicker than silver medallist Jazz Carlin of Britain.
Britain's Peaty set his second world record in consecutive days, and seemed surprised by the margin of his victory — 1.56 seconds — over defending champion Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa.
The last British man to win an Olympic swimming gold was Adrian Moorhouse in the same event in 1988, six years before Peaty was born. On a big night for the British team, Jazz Carlin won a silver medal behind Ledecky.
In the butterfly, Sjostrom became the first Swedish woman to win an Olympic gold medal, with Canada's 16-year-old Penny Oleksiak taking silver.
American Dana Vollmer, the 2012 champion, clinched bronze.
In a reminder of the doping controversies that dogged the build-up to the Olympics, there were loud boos for Russian breaststroker Yulia Efimova and the men's relay team.
Efimova, who has served two doping suspensions, succeeded in an appeal last week against being banned from Rio.
She was one of a number of Russians who argued successfully that excluding them from the Olympics would be punishing them again for the same offense.
She qualified second for Monday's 100 breaststroke final, 0.02 seconds behind Lilly King of the US.
In other events, South Korea's archery queens shot brilliantly in swirling winds to fell Russia in the final and extend the nation's unbroken reign in the team event to an eighth successive Games.
The trio of Ki Bo-bae, Choi Mi-sun and Chang Hye-jin were unflappable at the gusty Sambadrome, routing their opponents 5-1 and sending Korean fans in the terraces into raptures.
Ki, the defending champion in the individual event, was magnificent, striking four perfect scores and landing the winning shot to clinch her third gold medal.
Tuiana Dashidorzhieva, Ksenia Perova and Inna Stepanova were thrilled to win silver for Russia, coming through a nerve-jangling shoot-off against Italy.
Taiwan's Le Chien-ying, Lin Shih-chia and Tan Ya-ting held off the Italians in the playoff to capture bronze.
Italian Daniele Garozzo stunned top-ranked American Alexander Massialas to win the gold medal in men's foil fencing.
Garozzo beat Massialas — who was seeking to become the first American man to win at the Olympics in the modern version of the sport — 15-11 to give Italy its second gold of the Rio Games.
Massialas rallied from six points down in the quarterfinals. But he gave up six straight points to Garozzo in the final as the Italian ran away with the match.
Still, Massialas is the first individual Olympic medalist the US has produced in men's fencing since Peter Westbrook won a bronze in 1984.
Russia's Timur Safin took bronze.
Chinese weightlifter Long Qingquan broke the 56kg world record on the way to defeating defending Olympic champion Om Yun Chol of North Korea.
A noisy crowd of more than 4,000 at Riocentro roared as Om made his final attempt in the clean and jerk at 169kg to take the lead. They cheered even louder when Long, the 2008 Olympic champion, hoisted 170kg with the final lift of the night to take the gold medal.
He became the first weightlifter to win Olympic titles eight years apart.
Long joined Om as one of seven men who have lifted three times their own bodyweight. His total of 307kg surpassed Halil Mutlu's world record of 305kg set at Sydney 2000 and handed Om his first defeat since the North Korean won in London in 2012.
Vietnam's Kim Tuan Thach had stood below Om on the podium five times and was expected to take the bronze medal, but he failed with all three clean and jerk attempts.
That let in 20-year-old Thai Kruaithong Sinphet, who took third place 18kg behind Long.


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