Sports

Images of Rio

1 FOR YOU, SON

Swimming great Michael Phelps regained his cherished 200m butterfly Olympic crown, dominating a grudge match with Chad le Clos in which the 2012 champion from South Africa was relegated to fifth place.

Phelps, 31, held off the challenge of young rivals Masato Sakai of Japan and Tamas Kenderesi of Hungary - then enthralled the Olympic Aquatics Stadium crowd with a climb into the stands to share his moment of triumph with three-month-old son Boomer, snuggled in the arms of his mother Nicole Johnson with Phelps' mother Debbie, at their side.

2 DOWN BUT NOT OUT

World-record holder Yohann Diniz's courageous effort in the 50km race walk ended in an eighth-place finish and a stretcher.

The Frenchman set a torrid pace in the sultry heat and led by 1min 40sec at the halfway stage.

He soldiered on through severe intestinal trouble before collapsing at the 38km mark, only to rise and finish the race, 5min 45sec behind winner Matej Toth of Slovakia.

3 SPECTACLE FOR THE SLUMS

The Rio Olympics threw the economic disparities of Brazil into sharp relief. The Aug 5 opening ceremony at the Maracana was low on technology and high on invention - thanks to the economic constraints faced by the recession-hit nation. But the festivities seemed a world away from those watching the fireworks from the Mangueira favela, a slum where some of the poorest live, less than a kilometre from the iconic stadium.

4 GIFT FOR THE GREAT LEADER

North Korean gymnast Ri Se Gwang had tears in his eyes as he stood to attention on the podium, giving a military-style salute as his national anthem blasted out in honour of his vault gold.

The two-time world champion crushed his rivals with the hardest combination then lauded North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

"It does not mean anything to me," he said. "It is a gift that I present to my country."

5 FRENCH HORROR

A horrifying injury to French gymnast Samir Ait Said in men's vault qualifying shocked competitors and prompted questions about a scoring system that pushes athletes to try increasingly dangerous moves.

Ait Said snapped the lower part of his left leg in an awkward landing, suffering a double tibia and fibula fracture.

Ait Said had also missed the 2012 Games after breaking his right leg in a vault.

6 FROM BEGGAR TO BRONZE

Middleweight Misael Rodriguez (left) begged for money on Mexico City's streets and buses to fulfil his dream of reaching the Rio Olympics, saying the trip was "well worth all the pain" - despite coming away not with gold but bronze in a division won by Cuba's Arlen Lopez.

7 SPORTSMANSHIP, PLEASE

Egyptian judoka Islam El Shehaby was jeered out of the Olympic arena after refusing to shake hands with his Israeli opponent Or Sasson (far left), or make the customary post-bout bow. The snub reverberated beyond Rio, with the International Olympic Committee saying the Egyptian Olympic committee "strongly condemned" El Shehaby's action and he was given a strong reprimand.

8 LIGHTNING BOLT STRIKES THRICE

Usain Bolt danced for joy with his Jamaican teammates after anchoring them to a 4x100m victory that sealed his Olympic "triple-triple" - his third straight sweep of the 100m, 200m and 4x100m golds. Bolt, who says Rio was his last Olympics, departed with nine gold medals, level with Carl Lewis and Paavo Nurmi for the most haul among track and field athletes.

"We wanted to win to make Usain immortal and he is immortal," said relay teammate Yohan Blake. - AFP.

Triumphant Britons return home

Great Britain's triumphant Olympic team returned home from the Rio Games in a gold-nosed aircraft yesterday, as officials trumpeted their success the "best sporting achievement" in the country's history.

Some 320 athletes and support staff travelled back from Brazil in the British Airways Boeing 747 with "victoRIOus" emblazoned on the side, and the airline ordered an extra 77 bottles of champagne for the 11-hour flight.

Team GB's medal haul was their biggest for more than a century, with 67 in all including 27 golds, putting them behind only the United States in the overall standings.

"I think it is the best sporting achievement by any team in British sporting history," said British chef de mission Mark England, flanked by team members, at a press conference at London's Heathrow Airport.

Adam Peaty, who started the British gold rush by smashing his own world record to win the 100 metres breaststroke swimming title, added: "It's great to be back on British soil again and I can't wait to inspire the next generation of British athletes."

But BOA chief executive Bill Sweeney cautioned against hopes Britain could replace the Americans at the head of the standings at the 2020 Games in Tokyo.

"Topping the Americans may be a long shot, it's just been an incredible moment," Sweeney said.

"No team have done what we have - improve five Games in a row, medals-wise.

"Tokyo will be tough... Japan are stronger than the Brazilians, China will bounce back, there will be a full Russian team and Australia will be strong. However, we have a young team, so the potential is there."

- AFP.

2016 Rio Olympics