RIO DE JANEIRO -- Martha Karolyi, the U.S. womens gymnastics national team coordinator since 2000 and overseer of the American Olympic teams transformation into a world power, is an exacting taskmaster. She talks about perfection as if shes never heard the axiom about perfection being the enemy of good.But Tuesday, even Karolyi, a woman with 54 years in the sport, had to admit -- after the American team defended its 2012 team gold medal in a rout of Russia and third-place China on Tuesday at Rio Olympic Arena -- that she could find little fault with this squad.This five-woman group is the best womens gymnastics team that has ever been.I would have to say yes, Karolyi said, knowing that the Americans 8.209-point victory over second-place Russia was the largest in an Olympic womens team final since the Soviet Union defeated Czechoslovakia by 8.997 points at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome. But the USSRs margin comes with an asterisk: Back then, six athletes scores were counted in each event, and the degree of difficulty cant compare to what female gymnasts do today.So when the American teams gold medal was finally won Tuesday, in the most impressive way possible, the 73-year-old Karolyi -- who has announced that she will retire after these Games -- burst into tears when the gymnasts told her they had adopted the nickname The Final Five, partly as a way of honoring her.Its hard to make Martha cry, said 22-year-old Aly Raisman, the captain of the team, who has said that she can feel Karolyis demanding presence in the gym before seeing her.Laurie Hernandez, the 16-year-old baby of the U.S. team, said the teams search for something to replace The Fierce Five nickname of the 2012 gold-medal squad started with a text chat among all five members of the U.S. team -- three-time world champion Simone Biles, Hernandez, Raisman, Gabby Douglas and Madison Kocian -- after they survived the U.S. Olympic Trials last month to earn their spots in Rio.I think [the final pick] was Simone Biles idea, Hernandez said.Karolyi said when the team sprang it on her after their final event Tuesday, it was only the second time in her gymnastics career that she cried. The first, she said, was when Nadia Comaneci and the Romanian team that she and her husband, Bela, coached dominated the 1976 Summer Games in Montreal. Five years later, Martha and Bela sought asylum in the U.S., and beginning with Mary Lou Retton, their first U.S. champion, the American program has never been the same.I am not a sentimental person. I am known as a very tough person, Martha told a crowd of reporters Tuesday, laughing along with everyone else at the enormous understatement. But once the tears started, Karolyi said, I was like, What is happening to me?Biles said, It was so cute. She told us, See? This is why I made you do all of those repetitions in the gym all these years.Numbers can sometimes seem like a dry way of making a case for best ever at anything in sports. When it comes to greatness, its often anecdotal evidence or images in the minds eye that we remember more.But by any measure --- the scores, the eyeball test, the consistently spectacular routines these five women threw out, the amplitude of the skills they perform, their imperviousness to pressure -- its easy to make the case that this team is the best womens team ever assembled. This was such a total domination that by the halfway point of the event, the U.S. was competing only against itself. It was Them vs. Whats Possible, Them vs. Perfection, just as Karolyi had always preached.This is how they responded: They went a perfect 12-for-12 on their routines, without a notable bobble.?They posted the winning team score on all four events.I heard we still wouldve won [the gold] if we had a couple falls, but its still better when you have that magical moment of hitting 12-for-12, Raisman said.But the 12-for-12 wasnt the most impressive thing about this romp. Someone calculated that if Biles four scores, which easily qualified her first for the individual all-around event on Thursday, were removed from the American teams total and replaced with the fourth-best American scores in Sundays qualifier, the U.S. still wouldve won the gold medal. The margin wouldve been just two points, instead of the mind-blowing 8.2. That is beyond remarkable.Also noteworthy is that Douglas and Raisman became the first American women to repeat as Olympic team champions. Biles and Raisman could now go 1-2 in the all-around competition, and Kocian, the reigning world co-champ on bars, is a favorite to win gold when the individual events are held.Biles, a powerful 19-year-old with an old soul and bone-dry sense of humor, finally has her first Olympic gold medal in her first try to add to her three world all-around titles and four U.S. national championships. Just as significantly, everything she did Tuesday augured well for the likelihood that shell win the individual all-around as expected. Her soaring performances on the floor exercise and vault in particular drew gasps from the crowd.Karolyi said one of Biles sky high tumbling passes on the floor was the best tumbling pass Ive ever seen in womens gymnastics.But Im pretty sure if she [Karolyi] sees anything start to crack on the team, shell be back out of retirement,?Biles said with a mischievous smile.Karolyi insisted not so. Then she allowed, I might take a peek in the gym now and then when the national team returns to the ranch just north of Houston that she and Bela own for the monthly training sessions that were also the Karolyis idea.In hindsight, the Karolyis ability to push through their idea of a semi-centralized U.S. system that has allowed the national team members to train at home most of the time but reconvene five or six days a month at the ranch, which is now an official national team training site, was the flash point that started this all.Once there, gymnasts are required to perform pressure sets with Karolyi and a team of evaluators watching them. Their personal coaches come along to the camp, which sparked an unprecedented level of cooperation and an exchange of ideas, rather than the club vs. club mentality that used to prevail. As Karolyi has often said, it doesnt hurt that the gymnasts get to look at what their competition is up to and then say to themselves, Uh-oh, this one over there is gaining on me. Or I better get stronger at this.In the end, perhaps the most remarkable achievement is how everyone -- the gymnasts, their coaches, Karolyi herself -- bought into the idea of subjugating individual ambitions for the good of the group.Bela Karolyi has said that under the old U.S. system, the clubs created only queens of their own little gyms who collapsed when they faced the rest of the world. Those days are gone.We believe success comes from not only doing well for yourself but for your team and then putting a lot of hard work behind that, Biles said Tuesday. We all support each other. We all get ready together. Were like sisters. ... And I think well share a bond forever.Why not? For now and until further notice, theyre the best there has ever been. Damion Ratley Jersey
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. Supported by three-run homers from Jayson Werth and Wilson Ramos, the young right-hander went seven strong innings in the Washington Nationals 8-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night.JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The PGA Tour said Monday it would follow a new rule that bans the anchored putting stroke used by four of the last six major champions, asking instead Monday for a temporary reprieve for those who play the game for fun. The announcement Monday after a PGA Tour board meeting is the final piece of confirmation from a major golf organization for Rule 14-1b, which will take effect Jan. 1, 2016 when the next "Rules of Golf" is published. The rule makes it illegal for players to attach the end of the club to their body would making a stroke. Adam Scott used a long putter held against his chest when he won the Masters. Ernie Els (British Open) and Webb Simpson (U.S. Open) used a belly putter last year. Keegan Bradley in the 2011 PGA Championship was the first major champion with a belly putter. The Royal & Ancient Golf Club and U.S. Golf Association proposed the new rule Nov. 28 and allowed for a three-month comment period. It formally adopted the rule May 21. Finchem said in February the tour was opposed to the new rule because there were no data to suggest an advantage and no "overriding reason to go down that road." The tours opinion was shaped by a players-only meeting earlier that month. "In making its decision, the policy board recognized that there are still varying opinions among our membership, but ultimately concluded that while it is an important issue, a ban on anchored strokes would not fundamentally affect a strong presentation of our competitions or the overall success of the PGA Tour," Finchem said in a statement. "The board also was of the opinion that having a single set of rules ... applicable to all professional competitions worldwide was desirable and would avoid confusion." The decision to go along was not a surprise. The common ground by all sides was the importance of golf being played under one fundamental set of rulees, as has been the case for hundreds of years.dddddddddddd The wrinkle that came out of the tours meeting was asking the R&A and USGA to give amateurs more time to adjust away from the anchored stroke. PGA of America president Ted Bishop was among those concerned that banning the stroke used for long putters would force too many people to quit the game out of frustration, at a time when golf is worried about decreasing participation. "The policy board continues to believe that extending the time period the ban would go into effect for amateurs would be beneficial for golf participation and the overall health of the game," Finchem said. Finchem cited the USGA changing the groove configuration for irons in 2008. It was effective for elite play in 2010, but does not apply to recreational play until 2014. But the decision on grooves was an equipment issue. Anchoring is a change in the actual rules of golf. For the USGA and R&A, which set the rules for the 600-year-old game, to allow amateurs more time to use anchored strokes would be created two sets of rules. The PGA of America also said it would follow the new rule, while expressing concern about amateurs. "We continue to feel strongly that the amateur player needs a longer period of adjustment to this rule," Bishop said. Neither Finchem nor Bishop recommended a date for amateurs. Finchem also sounded a warning that the tour reserves the right to make its own rules for its players, and that the USGA pledged "open and effective communication" on any future discussions on the rules. "It is not inconceivable that there may come a time in the future when the policy board determines that a rule adopted by the USGA, including in the area of equipment, may not be in the best interests of the PGA Tour, and that a local rule eliminating or modifying such a USGA rule may be appropriate," he said. Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys China Jerseys Wholesale Cheap NFL Autographed Jerseys Wholesale Authentic Jerseys Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys 2019
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