The Latest: Serbia tells athletes: Avoid Kosovo flag, anthem

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The Latest on the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro (all times local):

9 a.m.

Serbia has advised its athletes competing at the Rio Olympics to withdraw from any medal award ceremonies if they have to share the podium with athletes from breakaway Kosovo.

Serbia has never recognized Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence from it.

Serbian Sports Minister Vanja Udovicic says Sunday on the state TV website that the final decision is up to the athletes themselves, while the government has issued only a recommendation. Udovicic concedes that the issue is "complex."

Kosovo was officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee in 2014. It has sent eight athletes to Rio, some of whom competed for Albania at the 2012 London Olympics.

Udovicic says Serbia's government didn't want to undermine its athletes but "we cannot listen to the (Kosovo) anthem and watch their flag."


8 a.m.

The American women are heavily favored to repeat as gold medalists in gymnastics in Rio de Janeiro — but the real drama will be which of the three Americans in the all-around gymnastics competition will miss out on the final.

That's because each country can enter just two competitors in the final, leaving Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman to battle for those two places.

The event starts with a subdivision that includes 41-year-old Oksana Chusovitina of Uzbekistan, who will be competing in her seventh Olympics, a record for a gymnast. Her best chance to make an impact is reaching the vault finals, where she will compete against American Laurie Hernandez, among others.

The 16-year-old Hernandez was born as Chusovitina was planning to compete in her third Olympics in 2000.


7 a.m.

At the Olympic Aquatic Center pool, Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, looks to add to his record 22 medals. He's expected to be back in the pool Sunday night for the medal round of the men's 4x100 relay.

American Katie Ledecky swims in semifinals in the women's 400 meter freestyle on Sunday — and the world record holder looks to be a lock for the final.


6 a.m.

All the stars are coming out for Day 2 of the Olympic tennis tournament.

Those playing matches include No. 1 seeds Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Serena Williams of the United States, as well as 2012 gold medalist Andy Murray of Great Britain.


6 a.m.

The famed soccer players of Brazil, who have been booed by their own fans at the Olympic tournament, face Iraq on Sunday and are looking to rebound from a disappointing opening 0-0 draw with South Africa in Group A at the men's soccer tournament. Brazil is favored to win gold in men's soccer, but faces enormous pressure from its hometown fans.

Defending champion Mexico, meanwhile, faces newcomer Fiji to try to pick up its first win in the men's Group C division.


6 a.m.

Women road cyclists are in the medal hunt on Sunday, a day after the difficult, sometimes treacherous, hills and roads around Rio de Janeiro caused all sorts of problems and crashes for the men.

A strong Dutch squad includes reigning gold medalist Marianne Vos and Anna Van Der Breggen, while Americans Evelyn Stevens and Kristin Armstrong, British star Lizzie Armitstead and Poland's Katarzyna Niewiadoma are also in the field.

They will be tackling a slightly shorter version of the men's course, which featured some hairpin turns that were so tight TV cameras on motorbikes could not keep track of all the athletes.


AP Summer Games website:
comments powered by Disqus