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Rio 2016 Olympic Games Recap: Ayana, Ledecky break records, gold for Nadal

We cover the main talking points on a thrilling seventh day of action at Rio 2016. Almaz Ayana and Katie Ledecky were star performers.

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Almaz Ayana smashed the women's 10,000 metre world record to earn the first athletics gold of Rio 2016 in sensational style. The Ethiopian's time of 29 minutes, 17.45 seconds took more than 14 seconds off the previous milestone, set in 1993 by Wang Junxia.

- The peerless Katie Ledecky was another record breaker as she won the women's 800 metre freestyle by a huge margin on an evening that saw Michael Phelps finish in a three-way tie for second behind Joseph Schooling in the men's 100m butterfly.

- American Michelle Carter sprung a major surprise by ending Valerie Adams' reign as Olympic champion in the women's shot put.

Great Britain set a new world record to edge out Australia in the men's team pursuit final, giving Bradley Wiggins his fifth Olympic gold medal. China also set a world record in the velodrome prior to beating Russia in the final of the women's team sprint.

- Spain's Rafael Nadal and Marc Lopez won the first tennis final of Rio 2016, taking gold in the men's doubles. Nadal also made it through to the semi-finals of the men's singles, while Angelique Kerber will face Monica Puig in the women's singles final on Saturday.

- The United States' reign as Olympic women's football champions came to an end with a quarter-final defeat to Sweden, prompting a bitter reaction from USA goalkeeper Hope Solo. Hosts Brazil squeezed through to the last four by beating Australia on penalties.


"At match point, honestly my hand was shaking, but I was like 'I need to hit the crap out of the ball' and it worked," - Puig was feeling the pressure as she saw off Petra Kvitova. She could become Puerto Rico's first Olympic champion on Saturday.

"There's no question [an Olympic gold is better than winning the Super Bowl]. Winning the gold medal at the Olympics, you're the best in the world at that time. This only comes around once every four years or once in a lifetime. I'm numb right now," - former NFL star Michael Carter reflects on his daughter Michelle's shock shot put triumph. Michael Carter, a former Olympic silver medallist in the shot put himself, now coaches his daughter.

"It was gold or nothing for this team. We are going out now. I'll be hungover tomorrow," - Wiggins intends to enjoy Great Britain's team pursuit triumph.

"Going in to the final round I definitely wasn't as stressed as my family probably were at home," - reigning Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford insists he had his emotions in check after two foul jumps left him in danger of missing Saturday's final. Rutherford ultimately sneaked through as the 10th-best qualifier.


Anthony Ervin of the USA took gold in the men's 50m freestyle, 16 years after winning the same event at the Sydney Olympics.

"It's surreal, kind of absurd and, you know, when I touched, turned around and saw the one next to my name, I kind of smiled and laughed," said the 35-year-old, the oldest individual champion of an Olympic swimming event.


Schooling earned Singapore's maiden Olympic gold by comfortably topping a star-studded field in the men's 100m butterfly final.

A third-placed finish in the men's 20km race walk for Dane Bird-Smith saw Australia claim its 500th Olympic medal. The event was won by Wang Zhen of China.


A packed schedule on Saturday features the finals of the women's 100m and men's 10,000m, while more gold medals will be up for grabs in the velodrome and the swimming programme concludes.


There was an unexpected delay to the women's 50m freestyle semi-finals, which rounded off the action in the pool on Friday.

Fran Halsall, the eventual winner of the first semi-final, explained the change in schedule had been due to several competitors being taken to the Olympic Stadium, rather than the Aquatics Centre.

"I ended up going and having a nice tour around the Olympic Stadium, 40 minutes back to the village and then back to the pool for warm-ups," said Halsall, who will hope for a more routine build-up to Saturday's final.

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