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Bolt, "the main man" touches down in Rio

28 July 2016, 16:20

London — Usain Bolt has touched down in Rio de Janeiro, ready to fine-tune his preparations for another bid at an Olympic double in the 100- and 200-meter sprints.

The 29-year-old Jamaican has won six Olympic gold medals — the 100, 200 and sprint relays at Beijing in 2008 and at London in 2012 — and is the undisputed star of track and field.

The official website of the Rio Games noted Bolt's arrival on a flight from London with the headline: "The main man has landed."

The Olympics formally begin with the opening ceremony on Aug. 5, and the track program starts Aug. 12. Bolt is set to open his program in preliminaries of the 100 on Aug. 13.

When the New England Patriots reported for training camp on Wednesday, Nate Ebner wasn't with them.

The special teams player has taken a leave of absence to play for the U.S. Olympic rugby team.

"It's a great opportunity for him to follow his passion, participate in the Olympic Games," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. "We're pulling for him to bring back something around his neck."

Ebner played rugby but not football in his first two years at Ohio State before walking onto the football team as a junior. He was selected by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2012 draft and has appeared in 57 NFL games, mostly on special teams.

Also read: Bolt ready for key test ahead of Olympics

Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater noted that Ebner's father was a college rugby player. Jeff Ebner was murdered during an attempted robbery in 2008.

"That connection with father and son is bigger than sport itself," Slater said. "I know this means a great deal to him and we're all excited for him."

Slater said he's in the market for an Ebner rugby jersey.

The IOC's new Olympic Channel will be launched next month following the closing ceremony of the Rio de Janeiro Games.

The International Olympic Committee says the digital channel will go live on Sunday, Aug. 21.

The channel, which will operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, is designed to promote Olympics sports between each games and engage with young audiences. It will provide a mix of live sports coverage, historic Olympic footage from the IOC's archives, news programming and a platform for Olympic bid cities.

The project, the brainchild of IOC President Thomas Bach, was approved by the full IOC in December 2014.

The channel will be available via a mobile app and at olympicchannel.com.

The International Table Tennis Federation has cleared the three Russian table tennis players who qualified for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics to compete.

In a news release issued on Wednesday, the ITTF said its investigation included individual tests outside the Russian anti-doping system. Also, the ITTF said the World Anti-Doping Agency confirmed none of the qualified players were implicated in the McLaren report.

The table tennis players are Alexander Shibaev, Polina Mikhailova and Maria Dolgikh.

The International Weightlifting Federation says 11 more weightlifters, including six silver and bronze medalists, have tested positive in retests of samples from the 2012 London Olympics.

The IWF said Wednesday in a statement that all 11 athletes, who include four Russians, have been provisionally suspended until their cases are closed.

So far, weightlifters have produced a total of 31 positives in doping retests carried out on samples taken at the 2008 Games in Beijing and the London Games.

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.

- AP


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