Review Category : National Sports

Fencer Becomes First American Olympian to Compete in Hijab

David Ramos/Getty Images(RIO DE JANEIRO) — Saber fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad made history Monday by becoming the first Muslim-American woman to wear a hijab while competing in the Olympics.

Muhammad, a 30-year-old resident of Maplewood, New Jersey, came from behind Monday to best Ukrainian fencer Olena Kravatska, 15-13, before losing later to Cécilia Berder of France, 15-12, in the round of 16.

She spoke to ABC News prior to competing, and called her history-making entry into the games an exciting moment “not just for myself and my family but for our country.”

She described the prejudice that Muslim women face in the U.S. when wearing a hijab, and said that she hoped to “change the conservation” regarding American Muslims by complicating preconceived notions.

Muhammad said that she joined the fencing team because it was a popular sport in her community in New Jersey, and because the sport required her to be covered — something that suited her as a Muslim woman.

She said that the speed of saber fencing also appealed to her.

“I like to think on my feet,” she said of the sport.

Muhammad, who also runs Louella, a clothing label tailored specifically for Muslim women, said that she hoped her story could inspire other American Muslims at home watching her compete.

“I remember being told I didn’t belong,” she recalled, adding that she hoped others would avoid that prejudice.

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Meet Ginny Thrasher: Winner of Team USA’s First Gold Medal in Rio

Joe Scarnici/Getty Images(RIO DE JANEIRO) — American shooter Ginny Thrasher took home Team USA’s first gold medal in the Olympics on Saturday.

In an interview with ABC News’ Matt Gutman following her victory in Rio, the 19-year-old said she wouldn’t be celebrating yet.

“I have to go refocus for my next match,” the teen gold medalist said, adding that she shoots again on Aug. 11.

“After I shoot that match, I’ll be going back, straight to classes for my sophomore year,” the Springfield, Virginia, native, who attends West Virginia University, said. “They start the day after I get back.”

Thrasher beat out China’s Du Li and Yi Siling, who took home silver and bronze, respectively, in the women’s 10-meter air rifle, to win the first gold medal for Team USA in Rio.

“It’s a sport of precision,” Thrasher said of shooting. She described shooting for a perfect score, which would require hitting a target that is as small as the period at the end of this sentence.

“Picture a pencil, and if you take the eraser of that pencil, that’s the very middle of the circle. And then if you took a period in size 12 Times New Roman font, and you put it in the middle of that pencil eraser, that is the 10. So, I have to hit that dot at 10 meters to shoot a 10. Now that’s just a 10.0, if I hit that dot it’s just a 10.0, and then if I hit in the very exact center it’s a 10.9,” Thrasher explained.

Thrasher added that her average during qualification was slightly above a 10.4.

“I mean it’s not an Olympic sport for nothing!” the teenager joked.

Remarkably, Thrasher said she has only been shooting for five years.

“When I was in eighth grade, my grandpa took me out deer hunting,” Thrasher said, “and then the next year I joined my high school’s air rifle team.

“For me, I think that the best part about shooting is you get out of it what you put into it and I’ve had a great five years,” she added. “I absolutely fell in love with the sport of shooting, and I love practicing, I love competing, I love everything about it.”

She told ABC News she felt incredibly proud to represent her country.

“I definitely wasn’t the favorite but for me, I just wanted to go out there and shoot the best that I could. I knew that I was capable of this,” she said.

“Knowing that I had the first gold medal in the entire Rio 2016 Olympics, that was the moment when I thought I am so proud, I am so proud of being American, I am so proud to stand on that podium, to listen to my nation’s anthem and to just be able to represent, and start off this Rio 2016 games on such a positive note,” she added.

The teen added that she hopes this will not be her last Olympics: “I have three more years of NCAA eligibility, and then I’ll be shooting the next year after that aiming for Tokyo.”

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Race Car Driver Bryan Clauson Dies from Injuries Sustained in Wreck

Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — Race car driver Bryan Clauson passed away Sunday night from injuries he sustained during the Belleville Midget Nationals race in Kansas Saturday, his family announced in a statement Monday. He was 27.

“Last night, the 7th of August, we said goodbye to our son, my fiancé, our friend, Bryan Clauson,” Clauson’s family said in the statement, which was posted to his Facebook fan page. “He was surrounded by family and friends and we were grateful that we could experience his final moments with him.”

“Our Bryan fought to the end with the same desire that he demonstrated behind the wheel of all the various race cars he would park in victory lane. However, we were more proud of our Bryan that took a moment to make a young fans day, or demonstrated his uncommon kindness and appreciation toward his friends, family and fans,” the statement continued.

Clauson was in the lead Saturday when his car climbed a guard rail between turns and flipped, ESPN reports. He was then struck by another driver.

“This is one of the darkest days in the history of the United States Auto Club,” United States Auto Club CEO and President Kevin Miller said in a statement. “Not only have we lost one of our greatest USAC Champions, we have lost a true ambassador for all of motorsports.”

“Bryan’s passion for our sport was unparalleled,” Miller added. “He was a leader not only on the track, but in the pits with his fellow competitors. There is a tremendous hole in the hearts of our community today as we grieve his loss along with his family and friends.”

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Rio Olympics 2016: Team USA Swimmer Missy Franklin Reveals Her Favorite Things

ABC News(RIO DE JANEIRO) — U.S. swimming star Missy Franklin is preparing to make a splash in Rio.

The four-time Olympic gold medalist holds the world record in the 200-meter backstroke and is the first U.S. woman to swim seven events in an Olympics. This year, she will compete in the 200-meter backstroke and the 200-meter freestyle and look to defend her title.

But what does the bubbly 21-year-old Colorado native enjoy when she’s out of the pool? Good Morning America sat down with Franklin ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games and put her through a lightning round of questions to discover her favorite snack, pre-meet pump up song, must-see TV show and more.

Watch her in the hot seat in the video below:

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Scoreboard Roundup — 8/7/16

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:


L.A. Dodgers 8, Boston 5
N-Y Mets 3, Detroit 1
Chi Cubs 3, Oakland 1


N-Y Yankees 3, Cleveland 2
Minnesota 6, Tampa Bay 3
Baltimore 10, Chi White Sox 2
Texas 5, Houston 3, 11 Innings
Kansas City 7, Toronto 1
Seattle 3, L.A. Angels 1


Arizona 9, Milwaukee 3
Miami 10, Colorado 7 (Ichiro gets 3,000th hit)
Philadelphia 6, San Diego 5
Cincinnati 7, Pittsburgh 3
Washington 1, San Francisco 0
Atlanta 6, St. Louis 3

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Denny Hamlin Wins at Watkins Glen

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images(WATKINS GLEN, N.Y.) — Denny Hamlin won the Sprint Cup Series’ road course race at Watkins Glen International on Sunday.

He and Martin Truex Jr. dueled on the final lap of the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen, until contact from Brad Keselowski’s car caused Truex’s car to spin out. Truex finished seventh.

Joey Logano, Keselowski, AJ Allmendinger and Tony Stewart rounded out the top five.

Here are the top 10 drivers in the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen, held Sunday in Watkins Glen, New York:

1. Denny Hamlin
2. Joey Logano
3. Brad Keselowski
4. AJ Allmendinger
5. Tony Stewart
6. Kyle Busch
7. Martin Truex Jr.
8. Jamie McMurray
9. Trevor Bayne
10. Matt Kenseth

Here’s an updated look at the standings:

1. Kevin Harvick — 709 points.
2. Brad Keselowski — 687 points.
3. Kurt Busch — 658 points.
4. Kyle Busch — 634 points.
5. Carl Edwards — 626 points.
6. Joey Logano — 612 points.
7. Jimmie Johnson — 577 points.
8. Martin Truex Jr. — 577 points.
9. Denny Hamlin — 576 points.
10. Matt Kenseth — 569 points.
11. Austin Dillon — 549 points.
12. Ryan Newman — 537 points.
13. Chase Elliott — 533 points.
14. Jamie McMurray — 517 points.
15. Kyle Larson — 508 points.
16. Kasey Kahne — 488 points.

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Michael Phelps Wins 19th Olympic Gold Medal with Team USA’s 4×100 Free Relay Victory

Ian MacNicol/Getty Images(RIO DE JANEIRO) — Michael Phelps has won his 19th Olympic gold medal.

Phelps helped Team USA win gold in the 4×100 Freestyle Relay on Sunday along with Caeleb Dressel, Ryan Held, and Nathan Adrian.

France finished second with Australia in third.

The win also marked the star swimmer’s 23rd overall medal (19 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze) in the Olympic games.

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Williams Sisters Lose Olympic Doubles Match for the First Time

Cameron Spencer/Getty Images(RIO DE JANEIRO) — Venus and Serena Williams were surprisingly knocked out in the doubles in Rio.

The famous tennis sisters both lost their first round match on Sunday in the tennis doubles competition in straight sets (6-3, 6-4).

It marked the first time the two have ever lost a doubles match at the Olympics.

The Williams sisters have three gold medals to their name (2000, 2008, 2012).

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Russia’s Entire Paralympic Team Banned from Upcoming Games

THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The entire Russian team has been banned from competing in the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in September as a punishment for the country’s failure to comply with anti-doping regulations.

The decision is to ensure “fair competition,” Philip Craven, president of the International Paralympic Committee, said Sunday in Rio. “This is vital to the integrity and credibility of Paralympic sport, and in order to achieve this it is fundamental that each member abides by the rules,” he said.

“I believe the Russian government has catastrophically failed their para-athletes. Their thirst for glory at all costs has significantly damaged all sport,” Craven added. “The medals over morals attitude disgusts me.”

The international committee’s governing board made the decision unanimously after evaluating evidence and allowing the Russian Paralympic Committee to present its case both in writing and in person and determined that the Russian committee was unable to ensure compliance with and enforcement of anti-doping codes.

The problem of doping among Russian athletes was exposed by World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren last month. His report followed an earlier investigation into doping cover-ups in Russian track and field.

The Russian Paralympic Committee now has 21 days to appeal the decision, according to the International Paralympic Committee’s suspension policy.

“This decision has placed a huge burden upon all our shoulders, but it’s a decision we’ve had to take in the best interests of the Paralympic Movement,” Craven said.

Russia finished second in the medal standings at the 2012 London Paralympics.

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