Michael Phelps and Simone Biles powered their way to more gold medals with rousing routs at the Rio Games on Thursday.
Sauntering to the sounds of Latin music befitting the beaches and boulevards of Rio de Janeiro, Biles soared to the women’s all-around gymnastics title.
Hours later, Phelps blew away rival Ryan Lochte and everyone else, for that matter to win his fourth gold medal of the Rio Olympics and 22nd overall with a victory in the 200-meter individual medley.
This was touted as the last showdown between two of America’s greatest swimmers, though there’s never been any question about which one had the upper hand.
Lochte didn’t even reach the podium this time, fading to fifth after leading at the midway point.
Putting the gulf between herself and the rest of the world on full display , the 19-year-old Biles became the fourth straight American woman to win the Olympic all-around title and fifth overall while cementing her reputation as the best of her generation and perhaps ever.
Biles has spent the last three years dominating her sport, winning 15 world championships. The pair’s powerful performances came on a day the Rio Games turned aside the disconcerting lime-like waters at the aquatics center and toward the emerald green fairways as golf returned to the Olympics for the first time in 112 years.
Adilson da Silva of Brazil hit the first Olympic golf shot since 1904 with the opening tee shot. Justin Rose made what is believed to be the first hole-in-one.
The Pacific Island nation of Fiji erupted into celebration after its rugby sevens team defeated Britain 43-7 to capture the country’s first Olympic medal.
Da Silva smiled and removed his cap to wave to the sparse crowd that included more golf officials than fans after his tee shot. Growing up in golf-starved Brazil with little equipment, Da Silva used to make golf clubs out of tree branches as a child.
Pervasive violence is an everyday part of Rio, and a police officer was hospitalized after getting shot in the head when he and two others got lost near a slum. The Justice Ministry said the officer was recovering after four hours of surgery. The incident was the bloodiest of several at the start of South America’s first Olympic Games. Muggings have been reported among Olympic athletes, officials and journalists.