Zenoorin takes home bronze for Iran

The Olympics always produce stories of blowout wins and unlikely victors, and this year’s Rio games are no exception.

Consider Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin, who the Huffington Post reports not only kicked her competition to the curb in the women’s 57kg taekwondo event on Thursday, Aug. 18, but also became the first Iranian woman to ever win an Olympic medal.

The Huffington Post says that the 18-year-old bronze medalist “fell to the floor and kissed the mat after beating Nikita Glasnovic of Sweden 5-1 in a one-sided contest at the Carioca Arena 3 to secure a breakthrough bronze.”

After earning the country’s fifth medal in the Rio games, Zenoorin expressed her excitement this way, according to the Huffington Post:

“I am so happy for Iranian girls because it is the first medal and I hope at the next Olympics we will get a gold … I am very excited and I want to thank my parents and my coach. They really stand behind me and I am so happy.”

Although the young athlete already made history with her Rio win, she’s sure to be one to watch in forthcoming Olympic games.

Jumping to victory

Every Olympic athlete has to overcome some hurdles to become the champions that we see on television, whether it’s enduring painstaking training or difficult living conditions in their home country. But some athletes literally have to jump over hurdles to get the gold.

Cue Dalilah Muhammad, who became the first woman from the United States to win the gold medal in the 400-meter hurdle Olympic event, according to the Huffington Post. Even through rain, the Huffington Post says the athlete “shot out of the blocks, rose quickest at the first hurdle and never looked like being overtaken.”

Muhammad beat out Denmark’s Sara Slott Petersen who won silver, while Ashley Spencer of the United States took home the bronze medal,  reports the Huffington Post.

Her margin of victory: 0.42 seconds, according to the Huffington Post, finishing the event with a total time of 53.13 seconds.

Congratulations, Dalilah!

 

U.S. Women’s Gymnastics smokes competition

The U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team is on fire — and they are only just getting started.

According to the Huffington Post, the five-member team took home a gold medal on Tuesday, Aug. 9 in Rio de Janeiro in the team all-around competition after posting a nearly 10-point lead over China in the qualifying round. The squad — comprised of  Aly RaismanGabrielle DouglasSimone Biles, Laurie Hernandez and Madison Kocian — won the gold by eight points, with Russia earning a silver medal and China taking home the bronze, reports the Huffington Post.

The “Final Five” (who will be the final team of five gymnasts for the U.S. and the final team Marta Karolyi will coach and coordinate for Team USA, according to TODAY) began their competition at the vault, followed by a turn on the bars and the beam and concluded with floor exercise, says the Huffington Post, with three gymnasts competing in each event. This follows what is known as the “three-up, three-count” format, according to the Huffington Post, who explained the system this way:

“Though the U.S. team has five members, the final is conducted in a format known as ‘three-up, three-count,’ meaning only three gymnasts from each country perform on each event and every score counts toward the team total. (In qualifying rounds, the format is “four-up, three-count,” and the lowest score on each event is dropped from the team total.) So every routine and each deduction is a high-stakes affair. There’s no room for error in the team final.”

But after several flawless performances by each of the teammates, the team secured the gold, which the Huffington Post reports is the second consecutive team all-around gold medal for the United States.

What’s more is that the Huffington Post says each team member has qualified for an individual event final: “Biles on vault, beam and floor; Raisman on floor; Kocian and Douglas on bars; and Hernandez on beam. Biles, Raisman and Douglas took the top three all-around spots in qualifications, though the “two per country” rule means that Douglas will not be allowed to defend her Olympic all-around title on Thursday.”

With many more events still to come for Team USA gymnastics, it’s safe to say that all eyes will be on the Final Five, awaiting their next gold-medal moment.

 

Karmakar to represent India in Rio

Each country seems to have a national hero when the Olympics rolls around, and for India, Dipa Karmakar is the one to watch this year in Rio de Janeiro.

According to NBC, Karmakar has “become the first female gymnast from India to make the Olympics,” posting an all-around score of 52.968 in April during the final Olympic qualifying event.

After the first qualifying events of the Games in Rio, the Times of India reports that the 22-year-old athlete qualified for the individual vault finals in her Olympic debut, placing eighth in the qualifying round.

NBC says Karmakar is a “vault specialist,” coming in fifth in the vault finals at the 2015 world championships. But in the Indian national championships, NBC reports that Karmakar ” the all-around and all four apparatus titles … in 2011, 2013 and 2015.”