Rio Day 4: ‘Final Five’ American Gymnasts Dominate, Phelps, Ledecky Win Gold, More

Michael Phelps earns 21st gold medal, tying the overall count of Ethiopia

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The American women gymnasts dominated, Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky won gold, the diving pool became a diving pond and a Brazilian rugby player got a surprise proposal. In case you missed any of the Olympic glory and the heartbreak from Day 4 at Rio 2016, here are the highlights.

The Final Five Takes Gold
The U. S. Women's Gymnastics Team — dominated by the phenomenal Simone Biles — won a second consecutive Olympics gold on Tuesday, and in recognition of the smaller team size that takes effect in Tokyo in 2020 immediately branded themselves as the "Final Five."

"They might be the last team of 5, but we’ll be talking about the Final Five for years to come,” USA Gymnastics tweeted after the win."

Biles, Laurie Hernandez, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and Madison Kocian were expected to outshine the competition and they did. The team beat their nearest rivals, the second place Russians, by a record 8.209 points. China came in third.

Raisman, the team captain, and Douglas became the only two U.S. women to take three Olympic gold medals. The women won on every apparatus — the vault, the uneven bars, the balance beam — and in the floor exercise. They ended with the floor exercise, during which Biles performed the move that has come to be known as the "Biles" — a double layout with a half twist.

Phelps Wins 21st Gold, Ledecky wins 2nd
U.S. swimmers won dramatically Tuesday as Michael Phelps took his 20th and 21st Olympic gold medals Tuesday, in the 200-meter butterfly and the 4 by 200-meter freestyle relay and Katie Ledecky got her second gold medal, in the 200-meter freestyle.

Phelps tied the overal medal count of the country of Ethiopia after the U.S. swimmers won the relay race. Earlier, in the butterfly he went up against his longtime rival Chad le Clos of South Africa, to whom he lost in London in 2012 by five hundredths of a second. Tuesday night, silver medalist Masato Sakai was only four hundredths of a second off Phelps' 1 minute, 53.36 seconds. Tamas Kenderesi of Hungary won bronze.

Le Clos fell to fourth and failed to win a medal.

On the women's side, Ledecky said she sensed Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom, winner of the 100-meter butterfly in Rio, close behind her and had to "dig deep." She beat Sjostrom by about four-tenths of a second.

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"That's the closest I've gotten to having to throw up in the middle of a race," Ledecky said afterward.

Ledecky won her other Rio medals in the 400-meter freestyle, where she got a gold and set a world record, and with teammates Dana Vollmer, Simone Manuel and Abbey Weitzeil in the 4 by 100-meter freestyle relay, where the team took a silver.

Ledecky is the favorite for the 800-meter freestyle in which she is the defending Olympic champion.

Gold, silver, bronze
A mysterious color change took place overnight at the outdoor diving pool at the Rio Olympics, leaving even the athletes at a loss. What had been a clear light blue became a murky green.

David Boudia, a silver-medal winner from the United States, wondered on Twitter about the diving "pond." Was St. Patrick’s Day being celebrated out of season?

Olympic organizers said in a statement that tests had determined that the water posed no risk to athletes but could not explain the color change, saying only that it was being investigated.

"If it were green and yellow, we would know it was a patriotic thing," a spokesman for the organizing committee, Mario Andrada joked to The Associated Press, referring to Brazil's national colors. "We did test the water using the same parameters we do every day, and the results were exactly the same as we got when the pool was blue."

The Canadian team leader, Mitch Geller, said he suspected algae.

Whatever the cause, Tuesday’s competition went on and a pair of Chinese divers, Chen Ruolin and Liu Huixia, won the women’s synchronized 10-meter platform event. Chen told The AP that it did not affect them.

Diving events are being held outdoors for the first time since the Athens Games in 2004.

Tennis Upset, Again
Serena Williams is out. The tennis superstar lost in round three of the singles competition against Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina on Tuesday.

Williams and her sister Venus had already been defeated in doubles on Sunday.

Williams took a lead in the first set, but she made a number of unforced errors and moved sluggishly.

Until Tuesday, Williams had won all four matches she had played against Svitolina, dating back to 2012.

Williams won the Wimbledon Championships last month.

But Who’s Counting?
U.S. Equestrian Phillip Dutton won a bronze medal in individual eventing on Tuesday in advance of his birthday next month. Which birthday? His 53rd.

The oldest American competitor, Dutton is a six-time Olympian who twice won gold for his native Australia before becoming an American citizen. This was his first individual medal.

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Dutton, who rode Mighty Nice, is not the oldest competitor in Rio. That was Sir Mark Todd of New Zealand, another equestrian whose disastrous showing on Tuesday cost his team an eventing medal. New Zealand came in fourth.

Hanging Up His Shoes
In one of the most emotional moments of the Rio Games so far, Colombian weightlifter Óscar Figueroa won his country's first gold medal of the games Monday night, ending his Olympic career on a high note.

After securing the gold but failing to break his Olympic record on his final lift, Figueroa fell to his knees with tears of joy, raising his hands to the cheering crowd. He then took off his shoes and left them on the mat, honoring a weightlifting tradition to signal his retirement from the sport.

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The 33-year-old won the gold medal in the men's 62 kg (136.6 lbs) weight class, lifting a total of 318 kg (701.1 lbs). Figueroa took home the silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics with a total lift of 317 kg.

Figueroa's touching move continued to gain attention on social media on Tuesday. 

Rugby Returns to the Olympics
Men's rugby returned to the Olympic Games Tuesday for the first time since 1924, when Team USA took home the gold.

The U.S. men's team is defending its Olympic champion title, a gold won nearly a century ago. The rugby sevens team lost its first game against Argentina 17-14, but it ended the day with a 26-0 blowout of the Brazil team.

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The team includes Carlin Isles, a former track sprinter and known as the "fastest man in rugby," and Nate Ebner, an NFL safety for the New England Patriots.

[NATL]Proposal on the Pitch! Olympic Rugby Player Gets Engaged

On the women's side, Brazilian rugby player Isadora Cerullo did not get a medal after Monday night's first women's ruby sevens final,  but she did get something special: a marriage proposal.

After the medal ceremony ended, Marjorie Enya, Cerullo's girlfriend and a manager at Rio's Deodoro Stadium, where the competition was held, grabbed the microphone.

Television cameras and photographers captured the happy moment, which is making the rounds on social media.

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