Golden again, US women capture Olympic gymnastics title

U.S. gymnasts and gold medallists, right to left, Simone Biles, Gabrielle Douglas, Lauren Hernandez, Madison Kocian and Aly Raisman raise their hands during the medal ceremony for the artistic gymnastics women's team at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The U.S. women’s gymnastics team proved golden once more.

The Americans’ second straight Olympic triumph was never was never in doubt, their score of 184.897 at the Rio Games more than eight points clear of the field. Their night was capped by Simone Biles with a boundary-pushing floor exercise that showed just how far ahead they are of everyone else.

Biles, Lauren Hernandez, Gabby Douglas, Madison Kocian and Aly Raisman also gave retiring national team coordinator Martha Karolyi powerful performances on all the apparatuses.

United States' Lauren Hernandez performs on the floor during the artistic gymnastics women's team final at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)
United States’ Lauren Hernandez performs on the floor during the artistic gymnastics women’s team final at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)

Russia took the silver medal and China earned bronze.

There is more on tap Tuesday night with Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky and Ryan Lochte in the pool, and the Brazilian women’s soccer team trying to atone for their underwhelming men against South Africa.

At Maria Lenk Aquatics Center, there was more buzz on social media over the color of the water than the diving competition. It had turned a murky green since Monday night’s events.

Chen Ruolin and Liu Huixia didn’t seem to care what color of water they were hitting. They won the women’s 10-meter synchronized platform title to make China 3-for-3 in the competition so far.

Lochte swam the anchor leg of the 4×200-meter relay, helping the U.S. to a comfortable win in its preliminary heat. Defending Olympic champ Nathan Adrian had a tougher time in the 100-meter freestyle, grabbing the 16th and final spot for Tuesday night’s semifinal.

Phelps will be trying to win gold medal No. 20 when he swims in the 200-meter butterfly against South African Chad le Clos, who beat Phelps in London. It may be Phelps’s best event, but he mistimed his finish in London and that allowed le Clos to beat him at the line.

It didn’t sit well with the American superstar, who got off to a rousing start at the Rio Games by leading his 4×100 freestyle team to the gold medal.

“Should be a fun race,” Phelps said.

Le Clos is ready, too.

“May the best man win,” he said. “I’ll race my heart out.”

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