US men grab hoops gold again on Rio's final day
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) —
The Brazilians closed out the Rio Games in style Sunday. So did the U.S. men's basketball team.
Kevin Durant scored 30 points and helped the Americans rout Serbia 96-66 for their third straight gold medal. That capped an Olympics in which the U.S. dominated the medal tables, both the gold (46) and overall totals (121).
Their 51-medal margin over second-place China is the largest in a non-boycotted Olympics in nearly a century.
"This experience has been the dream of a lifetime for me," said U.S. gymnast and closing ceremony flagbearer Simone Biles, who won five medals, four of them gold, in her first Olympics.
After a few close calls in Rio de Janeiro, including a 94-91 win over Serbia in pool play, the U.S. sent Mike Krzyzewski out with a third gold medal. Carmelo Anthony's third gold made him the most decorated male in Olympic basketball history.
Brazil also rallied at the end.
The country's determined men's volleyball team won another sensational gold right next door to where Neymar and Co. did it less than 24 hours earlier in a thrilling penalty shootout against 2014 World Cup champion Germany.
Brazil beat mighty Italy 25-22, 28-26, 26-24 for the home team's first Olympic men's volleyball title since Athens in 2004.
In other highlights of Day 16, American wrestler Kyle Snyder won gold, becoming at 20 the youngest Olympic wrestling champion in U.S. history. And middleweight Claressa Shields became the first American boxer of either gender to win two Olympic boxing gold medals.
Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya sloshed his way to the gold medal in the men's Olympic marathon as Rio de Janeiro began its grand goodbye to the 2016 Games in clammy conditions that did nothing to dampen Brazil's frenzied mood. Feyisa Lelisa of Ethiopia finished second for the silver, and American Galen Rupp took bronze in his second marathon and Olympic debut.
The race began in an early morning drizzle while the host nation was still basking in Neymar's kiss and impossible-to-forget penalty kick that secured the gold medal in soccer.
The nation desperately needed something to celebrate after demoralizing World Cup and Copa America failures and a host of economic, political and health woes that dominated the lead-up to South America's first Olympics.
A blustery storm swept in before the start of the closing ceremonies, where Rio de Janeiro was to hand the torch to Tokyo, host of the 2020 Games.
Other highlights as the Rio Games came to a close:
DOUBLE GOLD : French fighter Tony Yoka joined fiancee Estelle Mossely as gold medal winners, defeating Britain's Joe Joyce in a super heavyweight bout Sunday. Mossely won lightweight gold on her 24th birthday on Friday and was in the stands shouting encouragement for Yoka. Mossely took off and made a golden leap into Yoka's massive arms, just as she did after her victory.
GASOL'S GOODBYE? : Pau Gasol scored 31 points in what might have been his final Olympic game and Spain added a bronze to its collection on Sunday with an 89-88 win over Australia, again denied its first medal inside the rings. Sergio Rodriguez made two free throws with 5.4 seconds left and the Spaniards, who captured silver in 2008 at Beijing and the London Games, got the defensive stop they needed.
MIXED BAG : Brazil managed to pull off South America's first Olympics under difficult economic and political conditions, with the competitions, venues, athletes, friendly hosts, TV images and Rio's scenic backdrops all rising to the occasion. But there were also empty seats, ticket fiascos, spread-out venues, green water, street crime, traffic chaos and lack of a clear Olympic feel in the parks.