- Associated Press - Monday, August 7, 2017

TRACK AND FIELD

LONDON (AP) - One final time, Usain Bolt peered down the last 50 meters of his lane and saw sprinter upon sprinter running footsteps ahead of him.

One final time, the World’s Fastest Man furiously pumped the arms and legs on his gangly 6-foot-5 frame, desperately trying to reel in all those would-be winners as the finish line fast approached.

This time, the afterburners kicked in but not hard enough. Not one, but two overlooked and underappreciated Americans - Justin Gatlin and Christian Coleman - withstood what was once Bolt’s undeniable late charge.

This time, Bolt finished third in the 100-meter dash at world championships. That’s right: A bronze-medal finish in the going-away party for one of the planet’s most entertaining icons and track and field’s lone shining star.

Gatlin, who actually trailed Bolt at the halfway point, heard boos cascade loudly across the stadium when his winning time, 9.92 seconds, popped up on the scoreboard. The 35-year-old, who has served two doping bans and been widely cast as a villain to Bolt’s hero, went sprawling to the ground with a huge smile. Later, he bowed down to the man he finally defeated.

PERTH, Australia (AP) - Betty Cuthbert, the only runner to win Olympic gold medals in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter sprints, has died following a long battle with multiple sclerosis. She was 79.

Cuthbert was dubbed the “Golden Girl” in Australia after her starring role as an 18-year-old at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, where she won the 100-200 double and anchored Australia’s winning 4x100-meter relay team. She was honored with a statue cast in bronze outside the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the main 1956 Olympic stadium.

Cuthbert was injured during the 1960 Olympics and then retired for 18 months before returning to competition and winning the gold medal in the 400 at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo.

One of Australia’s greatest Olympians, Cuthbert was the country’s first athlete inducted into the international track and field federation’s Hall of Fame. In all, she set nine world records in sprint events.

FOOTBALL

CANTON, Ohio (AP) - As he so often did on the field, LaDainian Tomlinson stole the show.

With a powerful speech calling for “Team America” to be a place for inclusion and opportunity, the great running back of the San Diego Chargers was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The 2017 roster of entrants into the shrine was deeply impressive: fellow running back Terrell Davis; quarterback Kurt Warner; defensive end Jason Taylor; safety Kenny Easley; placekicker Morten Andersen; and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

All spoke eloquently, with bursts of humor and heartwarming stories. But Tomlinson’s words resonated so strongly that he drew several standing ovations not only from the crowd of 13,400, but from his now-fellow Gold Jackets.

SWIMMING

EAST MEADOW, N.Y. (AP) - Ryan Lochte set a meet record with a time of 1 minute, 59.24 seconds in the finals of the men’s 200 meter individual medley at the U.S. Open.

Lochte bested the previous mark of 1:59.26 set by Michael Phelps on Nov. 30, 2006. Xavier Mohammed finished second in 2:00.47, and Sam Stewart was third in 2:01.51.

Lochte, who set the 200 IM world and American record (1:54:00) on July 28, 2011, started well in this race as was in second place at the first turn. After the second turn, the only question was how much Lochte would win by.

The weeklong event at the Nassau County Aquatic Center was Lochte’s first USA Swimming-sanctioned meet after a 10-month suspension for his behavior during an incident at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

SOCCER

PARIS (AP) - With fireworks exploding around him, Neymar emerged on the pitch to present fans with the sight they had been anticipating: the world’s most expensive player in a Paris Saint-Germain kit.

The Brazilian lapped up the adulation of his new home - juggling a ball ahead of the game with the feet that made him the world’s most expensive player, blowing kisses to fans and tossing a jersey into the crowd.

It will be at least another week before Neymar starts earning PSG back some of the 222 million euros ($262 million) spent on acquiring him from Barcelona through performances in matches.

After 24 minutes on the field, Neymar left to make way for his new teammates. Just like the fans, Neymar watched from the stands as PSG opened the French league season against Amiens, a team playing in the top flight for the first time with a far smaller budget.

The reason provided for Neymar’s debut being delayed was that the league did not receive Neymar’s international transfer certificate before Friday night’s deadline despite his move from Barcelona being completed the previous day.

NEW YORK (AP) - David Villa had his first MLS hat trick to help New York City FC beat the New York Red Bulls 3-2.

Villa’s third goal gave New York City (12-7-4) the lead for good in the 75th minute. He drew a foul in the area when Sal Zizzo was shown a yellow card for a high boot and then converted from the spot.

Villa opened the scoring in the 28th, beating a charging Luis Robles 1-on-1 and tapping a left-footer into the open net.

Bradley Wright-Phillips took a pass Sean Davis cut left and scored from top of the box in 41st minute and rolled in a perfectly placed cross from Tyler Adams from just outside the 6-yard box to give the Red Bulls (11-9-2) a 2-1 lead in the 64th.

Villa tied it in the 72nd minute, racing down the right side, cutting back to evade a defender and blasting it inside the near post.

AKRON, Ohio (AP) - Hideki Matsuyama won the Bridgestone Invitational with the lowest final round in four decades at Firestone Country Club.

Matsuyama birdied his last three holes for a 9-under 61 to erase a two-shot deficit and claim his second World Golf Championships title. Matsuyama also won the HSBC Champions last fall in Shanghai.

He tied the course record held by Jose Maria Olazabal, Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia.

Matsuyama stays at No. 3 in the world, though the 25-year-old from Japan takes plenty of momentum - and pressure - into the PGA Championship next week.

He took the lead with his 15-foot birdie putt on the sixth hole, and no one could keep up with him.

Matsuyama and Dustin Johnson have combined to win the last five World Golf Championships.

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) - I.K. Kim won the Women’s British Open, hanging on with a 1-under 71 for a two-shot victory and her first major championship.

The victory at Kingsbarns Links comes five years after Kim missed a 14-inch putt to win the Kraft Nabisco Championship and then lost in a playoff. She had a six-shot lead going into the final round, and it was hard work.

Jodi Ewart Shadoff of England put enormous pressure on Kim by closing with a 64. She got within two shots of the 29-year-old South Korean, but Kim held her nerve down the closing stretch and closed with nine straight pars.

Kim finished at 18-under 270.

Michelle Wie closed with a 66 and tied for third with Caroline Masson and Georgia Hall.

BOXING

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Vasyl Lomachenko stopped Miguel Marriaga after seven rounds to defend his WBO 130-pound title for the third time in nine months.

Lomachenko (9-1, 7 KOs), the two-time Olympic gold medalist from Ukraine, showcased his virtuosic technical skill and athletic prowess in another one-sided victory.

He knocked down Marriaga (25-3) in the third round and systematically broke the Colombian’s will with precise punching and graceful footwork in the ensuing rounds.

Lomachenko floored Marriaga again in the waning seconds of the seventh, and the challenger’s corner stopped the bout after the bell.

Ray Beltran also fought through two cuts to squeak out a majority decision over Bryan Vasquez before a lively crowd of 4,102 at the downtown Microsoft Theater.

TENNIS

WASHINGTON (AP) - Alexander Zverev dropped his opening set at the Citi Open and had to survive a third-set tiebreaker to avoid an upset in the first round.

From there, the 20-year-old German dominated.

The eighth-ranked Zverev easily dispatched South African veteran Kevin Anderson 6-4, 6-4 to win the Washington event for his fourth ATP title of the year, matching Rafael Nadal’s victory total. Only Roger Federer has more titles this season, with five.

Zverev didn’t lose a set after that opening match against Jordan Thompson and grew stronger as the tournament went on, having little trouble with the hot and humid conditions in Washington or the late nights brought on by rain delays.

The win was Zverev’s first of his career on an outdoor hard court and gives him momentum heading into the U.S. Open, which starts Aug. 28.

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) - Third-seeded Madison Keys outslugged No. 6 CoCo Vandeweghe 7-6 (4), 6-4 to win the Bank of the West Classic in a thrilling display of power and serving by the two young American stars in their first career matchup.

Keys won her third career singles title and first on hardcourt playing under cloudless skies at Stanford. She finally got her chance in the ninth game of the second set, when Vandeweghe surrendered her first service game all week after she saved two break points that game.

Keys, who missed the first two months of the season following surgery on her left wrist, eliminated Wimbledon champion and top-seeded Garbine Muguruza 6-3, 6-2 in just 57 minutes Saturday night to snap Muguruza’s nine-match winning streak and advance to her first final this year.

A day later, Keys needed nearly that amount of time to win the first-set tiebreaker. She brilliantly returned serve and routinely pumped in serves from 114-118 mph to keep Vandeweghe on the defensive.

The 22-year-old Keys had never won a championship on home soil.


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