RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The third day of the Rio Games featured a first: fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad made history Monday by becoming the first American to compete in the Olympics wearing a hijab.
Muhammad, sporting a plain black Muslim head scarf under a red, white and blue mask, was a winner in her opening bout in the women’s sabre tournament, beating Olena Kravatska of Ukraine 15-13 before losing in the next round to Ceclia Berder of France.
Muhammad, a New Jersey native who started fencing in part because the uniform allowed her to adhere to the tenets of her faith, also competes in the team event later this week.
The mayor of Rio de Janeiro called for residents to carpool Monday, the first workday during the Olympics competition schedule that features medal action in gymnastics, swimming, fencing, women’s rugby, judo and more.
In early action, the U.S. women’s basketball team routed Spain 103-63, its 43rd consecutive victory in the Olympics.
A day after adding a record 19th gold medal to his collection, Michael Phelps swam in preliminaries of the men’s 200 meter butterfly, where he holds the Olympic record, and fellow American Katie Ledecky is focusing on the women’s 200 meter freestyle. She crushed her own world record in the 400 freestyle Sunday night, touching nearly 5 seconds ahead of her closest pursuer.
Other highlights from Day 3 of the Rio Games:
GOLF DEBUT : The first Olympic golf shot in 112 years will be hit by the lone Brazilian in the men’s field. The International Golf Federation tapped into what few Olympic roots it has Monday by selecting Adilson da Silva to be the first to tee off Thursday when golf returns to the Olympic program. Also in the opening threesome: Graham DeLaet of Canada, which IGF President Peter Dawson referred to as the defending champion at the Olympics. George Lyon of Canada won the gold medal at the St. Louis Games in 1904.
DJOKOVIC DOLDRUMS : Novak Djokovic’s first-round Olympic exit has left not only the No. 1 tennis player in tears but got attention in Serbia. Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic offered on Monday a few words of consolation: “Thank you Novak!” Djokovic shook his head and placed his palm over welling eyes on his way to the locker room after his 7-6 (4), 7-6 (2) setback Sunday night against Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina. Djokovic can still win a medal for Serbia at the Olympics in Brazil as he plays doubles with Nenad Zimonjic.
BILES BROUHAHA : NBC gymnastics announcer Al Trautwig has come under fire on social media over comments he made about the adoptive parents of American gymnast Simone Biles. The 19-year-old gymnast was adopted by her maternal grandfather, Ron Biles, and his wife, Nellie, after spending time in foster care. Simone Biles refers to them as her parents. Trautwig on air has referred to Nellie and Ron as Simone’s grandparents.
RUSSIAN DOPING: Two of Russia’s top track and field athletes have failed in a bid to have their ban from the Olympics put on hold by a Swiss court. Sergei Shubenkov, the world 110-meter hurdles champion, says he and two-time Olympic pole vault gold medalist Yelena Isinbayeva applied to Swiss federal court to be allowed to compete in Rio. Russia was banned from global track and field, including the Olympics, in November over widespread doping.