France routed Colombia 4-0 to take the lead in Group G of the women’s Olympic soccer tournament at the Rio Games.
France got on the board with an own goal by Colombia’s Carolina Arias two minutes into the match at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, then Eugenie Le Sommer scored in the 14th, Camille Abily added to the lead in the 42nd and Amel Majri closed the scoring in the 82nd.
France and the United States both have three points in Group G but the French have a better goal differential as the Americans defeated New Zealand 2-0 earlier Wednesday at the Mineirao.
France and the U.S. meet on Saturday in Belo Horizonte.
Olympians can now go for their “Pokemon Go” medals.
The hit, augmented reality game, in which players roam around the real-life world to collect virtual monsters and medals, became available in Brazil late Wednesday.
There had been much disappointment among those at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic games that they could not play the “Pokemon Go” game.
But now the Pokemon creatures are popping up everywhere.
Some 30 nations already have the game from U.S. technology company Niantic, which uses characters created by Japanese video game maker The Pokemon Co.
Hope Solo says she was not bothered by fans who chanted “Zika, Zika” at her as the U.S. women’s soccer team defeated New Zealand in its Olympic debut on Wednesday.
The crowd of nearly 10,000 fans at the 60,000-capacity Mineirao Stadium jeered the goalkeeper with the reference to the virus that has scared many athletes ahead of the Rio Games.
“I’m glad the fans had fun,” Solo said. “And if they had fun at my expense, more power to them.”
Solo upset some Brazilians before coming to the Olympics by tweeting a photo of herself wearing a hat with mosquito netting. She also posted a photo of dozens of packs of mosquito repellent that she was packing for her trip to Brazil.
She made amends a few days before the games, blaming the American media for spreading fear about Zika and other problems ahead of the Rio Games. She said the media was being “really tough on people of Brazil.”
The veteran goalkeeper said she didn’t realize during the game that the fans were chanting “Zika,” and thought they were only yelling a common slur that local clubs sometimes use against goalkeepers at goal kicks.
Some of the fans were indeed yelling the slur early in the game, but later the majority of the crowd started with the “Zika” chant, which was also repeated after the final whistle.
“That’s something hopefully they will put behind them and realize that Hope has apologized to the Brazilian people,” U.S. coach Jill Ellis said of the fans. “Sometimes mistakes are made. We are used to getting booed in other countries, so that part of it is not foreign. I hope the Brazilian people appreciate what we are trying to do with the ball and move past that.”
Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan scored a goal in each half as the U.S. women’s soccer team defeated New Zealand 2-0 in its debut at the Rio games on Wednesday, getting off to a solid start in its attempt to win a fourth straight Olympic gold medal.
Lloyd put the Americans ahead with a header in the ninth minute and Morgan added to the lead with a low shot from inside the area less than a minute into the second half at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte.
The U.S. dominated from the start to earn the convincing victory and remain unbeaten in 2016.
The Americans are trying to become the first team to win the Olympics after succeeding at the World Cup. The Olympic tournament is the first major competition for the U.S. since the retirement of key players such as Abby Wambach and Lauren Holiday following last year’s World Cup title in Canada.
The revamped Americans next play France on Saturday, again at the Mineirao.
France and Colombia play the other Group G match later Wednesday, also in Belo Horizonte.
Melanie Behringer scored a pair of goals as three-time bronze medalist Germany routed newcomer Zimbabwe 6-1 in the women’s Olympic soccer tournament at the Rio Games.
The two-time world champions opened a two-goal lead with Sara Dabritz in the 22nd and Alexandra Popp in the 36th before Kudakwashe Basopo scored for Zimbabwe in the 50th.
The Germans continued to dominate in the second half at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo, with goals from Behringer in the 53rd and 78th minutes. Melanie Leupolz added another in the 83rd before the final score came with an own goal by Eunice Chibanda in the 90th.
In the earlier Group F match in Sao Paulo, Canada defeated Australia 2-0.
On Saturday, Germany plays Australia and Zimbabwe faces Canada. Both matches are in Sao Paulo again.
Zimbabwe is playing in the women’ soccer tournament for the first time.
Worried IOC members are grilling the Rio de Janeiro Games organizers about traffic jams, water pollution, security and the absence of signage to give the games its own distinct look.
International Olympic President Thomas Bach also turned up the pressure Wednesday by telling organizing committee president Carlos Nuzman and CEO Sidney Levy: “It’s delivery time. Here we go. Now it really starts.”
Nuzman and Levy tried to be reassuring but acknowledged it had been “very difficult” to prepare South America’s first games, which have been plagued by slow ticket sales and worries over the Zika virus, crime and security, and costs.
Away from the games, Brazil is in is deepest recession since the 1930s. And President Dilma Rousseff is facing an impeachment trial after the games end.
Russian Olympic Committee president Alexander Zhukov says he expects “between 272 and 280” Russian athletes to be cleared to compete in the Rio de Janeiro Games.
Zhukov says he expects a ruling later Wednesday from the IOC on which athletes have been approved. The IOC asked the international sports federations to decide which Russian athletes could compete following the scandal over state-sponsored doping.
A three-person IOC panel has the final say on the Russian entries.
Asked how many athletes he expected to compete in Rio, Zhukov says: “I think between 272 and 280.”
The Canadian women’s soccer team took only 20 seconds to make a mark on the Rio de Janeiro Games by scoring the fastest goal ever at the Olympics.
Janine Beckie’s record-breaking goal in Canada’s 2-0 victory over Australia on Wednesday was nine seconds faster than Oribe Peralta’s strike for Mexico in the men’s gold medal match against Brazil four years ago in London.
In Sao Paolo, Canada had to cope from the 19th minute with only 10 women after Shelina Zadorsky was sent off for dragging down Michelle Heyman on her way to goal.
But Canada still prevented Australia from equalizing and captain Christine Sinclair added a second in the 78th.
Brazilian riot police have used tear gas and pepper spray to disperse protesters in the path of the Olympic torch relay north of Rio de Janeiro. The military police have not responded to immediate requests for information.
Hundreds of people were protesting in the neighboring municipality of Duque de Caxias against salary delays of public workers in Rio state. A video shared on social media show people protesting and being hit by tear gas or shrapnel before the torch convoy drove by.
Demonstrations have erupted in the path of the torch relay in the past couple of months in several Brazilian cities. Police have arrested people who threw water buckets at the torch, in attempts to extinguish it.
An evening of protests on Tuesday forced a change in the path in the neighboring cities of Sao Goncalo and Niteroi. A protest involving 50 people stopped the relay in Sao Goncalo, one of the poorest cities of greater Rio. The same happened later in Niteroi.
All of Russia’s weightlifters and 17 of its rowers will miss the Rio Games after the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected their appeals against doping-related suspensions.
A CAS statement said its arbitrators ruled Wednesday that the ban on Russia’s team imposed by the International Weightlifting Federation “was valid and was properly applied in the circumstances.”
The court also dismissed an appeal by Daniil Andrienko and 16 other Russian rowers. It said the decision by the sport’s governing body to deny their entry for the Rio Games was in line with new International Olympic Committee rules.
After the World Anti-Doping Agency accused the Russian government of directing a vast doping cover-up, the IOC said it would not allow Russians to compete in Rio if they had previously been banned for doping, were implicated in the alleged cover-up or had not been tested often enough internationally.
Olympic leaders have approved the addition of five sports to the program of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, including the return of baseball-softball and the introduction of youth-oriented events such as skateboarding and surfing.
The International Olympic Committee voted Wednesday to accept the five-sport package, which also includes karate and sport climbing.
The five, which were proposed for inclusion last year by Tokyo organizers, were approved unanimously by the IOC members.
Under new IOC rules, local organizers can propose the inclusion of at least one additional sport for their games. Wednesday’s approval was for the Tokyo Games only.
The new sports will add 18 events and 474 athletes to the program. The Tokyo Games will now feature 33 sports and about 11,000 athletes, compared to the usual number of 28 sports and 10,500 athletes.
The Williams sisters, Serena and Venus, will be the top seeds in women’s doubles at the Rio Olympics.
In men’s doubles, three-time major winner Andy Murray and his brother Jamie are seeded second, behind the top-seeded French pairing of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut.
In men’s singles, the top seed is Novak Djokovic, with Andy Murray seeded second — mirroring their rankings. Murray is the defending Olympic champion.
With third-ranked Roger Federer and fourth-ranked Stan Wawrinka both out with injuries, fifth-ranked Rafael Nadal is third in the Olympic men’s singles seedings announced by the International Tennis Federation, the sport’s governing body.
In women’s singles, top-ranked Serena Williams is the top Olympic seed. Williams is the defending champion in singles and in doubles with Venus.
The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo will be continually be compared to the games the city held 52 years ago.
Toshiro Muto, the CEO of the 2020 games, says “the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo had a very large impact to Tokyo and Japan” two decades after the Second World War.
Muto and Yoshiro Mori — the president of the organizing committee — briefed IOC members on Wednesday about preparations with Rio’s games opening on Friday.
Mori promises the games will “the most innovative games in history” and he says 50 percent of the venues “currently now exist.”
Muto says the new national stadium will be completed in November of 2019. He also points out that “four years is a timeframe that focuses the mind.”
Muto also made a large promise — there will be “no waste” — and he used the Japanese word “motainai” for emphasis.
Rising gymnastics star Laurie Hernandez is turning professional ahead of the Summer Olympics.
The 16-year-old from Old Bridge, New Jersey announced Wednesday she is giving up her amateur status just days before helping Team USA vie for a second straight Olympic gold. Hernandez had verbally committed to competing collegiately at Florida before signing with Shade Global Inc.
Hernandez says it was “not an easy decision to make” but it allows her to focus entirely on gymnastics and enjoying the sport she loves.
The U.S. junior champion in 2015, Hernandez put together a strong showing during the US Championships and the Olympic Trials. She finished second to three-time world champion and Olympic teammate Simone Biles at trials while also posting the top score on balance beam.
Three-quarters of the U.S. Olympic men’s golf team is in Connecticut this week, playing in the final PGA Tour event before Rio de Janeiro.
Bubba Watson, Patrick Reed and Matt Kuchar will go out as a trio on Thursday and Friday for the first two rounds of the Travelers Championship.
That means, unlike teammate Rickie Fowler, they will miss the opening ceremony Friday in Rio. They expect to fly out after Sunday’s final round, putting them in Brazil well before the Aug. 11 start of the Olympic golf competition.
All three say they will be trying to focus on this week’s tournament, but acknowledged that might not be easy to do. Much of their Team U.S.A. gear was waiting for them when they arrived this week at the TPC River Highland course.
IOC President Thomas Bach has led a mourning ceremony for the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches slain at the 1972 Munich Olympics, a tribute that a widow of the one of the victims says brings “closure for us.”
Bach read out of the names of each of the 11 Israelis who died after the raid by Palestinian gunmen in the athletes’ village in Munich. He then led a minute of silence during Wednesday’s inauguration of a “place of mourning” in the athletes village in Rio de Janeiro.
With two widows of the Israeli victims and several current Israeli team members looking on, Bach said the Munich massacre “was an attack not only on our fellow Olympians but also an assault on the values that the Olympic Village stands for.”
After his remarks, an emotional Bach hugged Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano, the widows of fencing coach Andre Spitzer and weightlifter Yossef Romano.
Families of the Munich victims have campaigned for years for the International Olympic Committee to give special recognition to the Israeli dead.
Ankie Spitzer says “we waited for this for 44 years, to have this remembrance and recognition of our loves ones.”
She adds: “This is closure for us.”
Bach also read out of the name of Nodar Kumaritashvili, the Georgian luger killed in a training crash on the eve of the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.
Two days before the opening ceremony of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, the sporting action has begun in the spiritual home of soccer with Brazil’s national sport being played.
A women’s soccer game between Sweden and South Africa started in front of a sparse crowd at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
But the venue should be fuller when host Brazil, led by Marta, plays China later on Wednesday.
Kevin Durant can count one Olympic title before the Rio Games begin — he’s the highest paid athlete competing in Rio
The NBA superstar topped a list from Forbes released Wednesday of the athletes with the most earnings between June 2015 and June 2016. Durant earned $56.2 million during that period. He played for Oklahoma City last season, then signed with the Golden State Warriors as a free agent this offseason.
The list tallied both total earnings and salary or prize money.
Three of the top five athletes on the list are tennis players: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Kei Nishikori. Durant is one of four basketball players in the top 10, including Carmelo Anthony, Kyrie Irving and Paul George.
Usain Bolt, at No. 6 with $32.5 million, is the only athlete in the top 10 known mainly for Olympic accomplishments.
The U.S. men’s and women’s basketball teams arrived in Rio de Janeiro Wednesday to compete at the Olympic games.
The men’s team was taken to the Port of Rio, where the players boarded a cruise ship, Silver Cloud, their home for the duration of the Olympics.
The new president of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang says: “I assure you our preparations are firmly on track.”
Lee Hee-beom took over the top spot in May — the second leadership change in two years — and told IOC members attending a general assembly meeting that a high-speed train line to serve the resort was on schedule and would be completed in June of 2017.
The head of the coordination commission for the Korean games, Gunilla Lindberg, says $615 million in sponsorships had been lined up, 81 percent of the revenue goal. She said the sponsorships would reach 90 percent of the goal by the end of the year.
Both IOC president Thomas Bach and Lindberg each praised Lee as a “high-energy” leader who would boost preparations.
Lindberg said recent changes at the top “hopefully will help us overcome the remaining hurdles.”
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Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes carried the Olympic torch on Wednesday after an evening of protests forced a change in the path of the torch relay in the neighboring cities of Sao Goncalo and Niteroi.
Paes received the flame from former sailor and Olympic medalist Lars Grael.
On Tuesday a protest involving 50 people stopped the relay in Sao Goncalo, one of the poorest cities of greater Rio.
The protesters were demanding improvements in education and healthcare. The same happened later in Niteroi.
Venus and Serena Williams have arrived in Rio de Janeiro.
The two-time defending Olympic women’s doubles gold medalists got their accreditations processed after flying in Wednesday morning. The sisters have a combined eight golds between them, four apiece. Each has a singles gold, and they teamed up for doubles gold in 2000, 2008 and 2012.
Serena had a Harry Potter book with her for her flight. Venus tried to stifle a few yawns, and there was no fanfare even for superstars like them.
After being processed, the sisters headed off to get their luggage — just like everyone else.
The Olympic flame hitched a ride on a tour boat to finally reach Rio de Janeiro.
The relay from Greece to Brazil reached its final city on Wednesday with plenty of fanfare and much more to come. Sailors, journalists and even viewers live on Periscope watched the flame arrive in the Olympic host city from Niteroi, just across a short channel leading into Guanabara Bay.
The flame will make its way to Maracana Stadium for the opening ceremony on Friday. The relay began with a ceremonial lighting in Ancient Olympia, Greece, on April 21.
The most decorated athlete in Olympic history will carry the United States flag during the opening ceremony for the Rio Games.
Michael Phelps was selected in a vote by members of the U.S. Olympic team. The decision was announced Wednesday morning.
Phelps was a logical choice heading into his fifth Summer Games. He has won 18 golds and 22 medals overall, far more than any other athlete.
Phelps skipped the opening ceremony at the last three Olympics to rest up for the grueling 400-meter individual medley, which is held the next day.
But with that event no longer a part of his program, Phelps is available to carry the flag in Friday night’s ceremony at the Maracana.
Phelps says he is “humbled by the significance of carrying the flag and all that it stands for.”
The International Olympic Committee says it expects total revenue to reach $5.6 billion for the four-year period ending in 2016.
That’s an increase from $5.2 billion during the previous period between 2009 and 2012.
The IOC’s income has climbed steadily since 2000. The total revenue for 2001-2004 was $3 billion, and it increased to $3.9 billion for 2005-2008.
The IOC also reported reserves of $874 million, money that is set aside to keep the IOC running in the event the games cannot be held.
Pope Francis says he hopes the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro will inspire athletes and spectators alike to pursue solidarity.
He told pilgrims Wednesday at his weekly audience at the Vatican that the world is “thirsty for peace, tolerance and reconciliation.”
He is hoping the games, which begin later this week, can inspire everyone to pursue a prize that is “not a medal but something more precious — achieving a civilization in which solidarity reigns, founded on the recognition that we are all members of one human family.”
A delegation from Brazil at the audience cheered when his remarks in Italian were translated into Portuguese.
AP Summer Games website: http://summergames.ap.org