US women gymnasts golden again; Serena Williams loses

U.S. gymnasts and gold medallists, right to left, Simone Biles, Gabrielle Douglas, Lauren Hernandez, Madison Kocian and Aly Raisman pose for photographs during the medal ceremony for the artistic gymnastics women's team at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The U.S. women’s gymnastics team is golden once more.

Tennis star Serena Williams is headed home.

The top-seeded player in the women’s tennis tournament at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics got upset on Tuesday by Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, deprived of a chance to defend the gold medal she won four years ago in London.

Simone Biles and her acrobatic teammates had a much better day in gymnastics.

The Americans’ second straight Olympic triumph was never in doubt, their score of 184.897 at the Rio Games more than eight points clear of the field. Their day was capped by fan favorite Biles with a boundary-pushing floor exercise that showed just how far ahead they are of everyone else.

Biles, Lauren Hernandez, Gabby Douglas, Madison Kocian and Aly Raisman also gave retiring national team coordinator Martha Karolyi a fitting send off with powerful performances on all the apparatuses.

The golden girls dubbed themselves “The Final Five” in honor of Karolyi’s retirement at the end of the Olympics and the fact that the format is changing for Tokyo in 2020 so that only four team members will take part in the team competition.

The normally stern Karolyi broke down in tears when she was told of the nickname the team adopted.

“I think at this moment we can say that that the United States dominates the world of gymnastics,” Karolyi said.

Russia took the silver medal and China earned bronze.

There is more on tap Tuesday night with Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky and Ryan Lochte in the pool, and the Brazilian women’s soccer team trying to atone for their underwhelming men against South Africa.

At Maria Lenk Aquatics Center, there was more buzz over the color of the water than the diving competition. It had turned amurky green since Monday night’s events.

Chen Ruolin and Liu Huixia didn’t seem to care what color it was. They won the women’s 10-meter synchronized platform title to make China 3-for-3 in the competition so far.

Lochte swam the anchor leg of the 4×200-meter relay, helping the U.S. to a comfortable win in its preliminary heat. Defending Olympic champion Nathan Adrian had a tougher time in the 100-meter freestyle, grabbing the 16th and final spot for Tuesday night’s semifinals.

Phelps will be trying to win his 20th gold medal when he swims in the 200-meter butterfly against South African Chad le Clos, who beat Phelps in London. It may be Phelps’s best event, but he mistimed his finish in London and that allowed le Clos to beat him at the line.

It didn’t sit well with the American superstar, who got off to a rousing start at the Rio Games by leading his 4×100 freestyle team to the gold medal.

“Should be a fun race,” Phelps said.

Williams wasn’t as amused.

The top-seeded American looked out of sorts and irritated, shanking shots from side to side. Williams had five double-faults in one game alone in the 6-4, 6-3 loss to the 20th-ranked Svitolina.

Williams wiped her forehead, picked up her rackets and headed back quickly to the locker room. Svitolina, who had never before played in an Olympics, smiled and stuck her arms out in front of her, palms up, as if waking up from a dream.

Svitolina had won 63 points, but just nine from clean winners. The others came thanks to Williams’ 37 unforced errors and 17 forced errors.

Other highlights from Day 4 at the Rio Games:

MEDAL STRIPPED : A Ukrainian javelin thrower was stripped of his silver medal from the 2012 London Olympics, becoming the latest athlete disqualified after the retesting of stored doping samples. Oleksandr Pyatnytsya tested positive for the steroid turinabol and was retroactively disqualified from the London Games and ordered to return his medal, the International Olympic Committee said.

GRIEVING COACH LEADS US : Adam Krikorian returned to the pool deck for his first game since his brother’s sudden death last week to coach the U.S. to an 11-4 win over Spain in water polo. Maggie Steffens, Courtney Mathewson and Kiley Neushul scored two goals apiece, and Ashleigh Johnson had 11 saves while becoming the first black woman to play water polo for the U.S. in the Olympics.

RUGBY STUNNER : Sonny Bill Williams was helped off with an ankle injury during New Zealand’s shocking 14-12 loss to Japan in its first game of rugby sevens. New Zealand is a 12-time world series champion and one of the top contenders for the first rugby medals awarded at an Olympics in 92 years.

JUDO HISTORY : Hungarian-born Szandra Szogedi made history when she stepped onto the judo mat to become the first judoka to represent Ghana — she obtained citizenship through her husband. But facing Brazilian Mariana Silva in the first round, Szogedi had to deal with a crowd shouting support for her opponent. After less than two minutes, the fight was over: Silva took Szogedi down and caught her in a stranglehold. Afterward, a tearful Szogedi said she was “gutted.”

PELE IMPROVING: Pele tweeted that he hopes to appear at the closing ceremony after missing the opening because of his health. The soccer great was the organizers’ preferred choice to light the cauldron, but first cited sponsorship commitments and later health concerns for staying away.

WORLD-RECORD LIFT: Deng Wei won Olympic gold and set a world record in women’s weightlifting, hoisting 147 kilograms in the clean and jerk and 115 in the snatch for a total of 262. Her clean and jerk lift also broke her world record by 1 kilogram.

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