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  • 16 Aug
    导出博客文章RIO DE JANEIRO -- Katie Ledecky is racing herself in the 400-meter
    freestyle.Yulia Efimova and the U.S. mens relay team are just glad to have a
    shot at a medal.Coming back after anchoring the Americans to a relay silver on
    the opening day of swimming, Ledecky nearly broke her own world record in the
    preliminaries Sunday, setting herself up as the overwhelming favorite to capture
    her first gold medal of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.Ledecky posted a time of 3
    minutes, 58.71 seconds, actually backing off a bit on the closing lap to
    conserve energy for the late-night final. She just missed her mark of 3:58.37
    set in 2014.No one is even close to Ledecky. The next-fastest qualifier was
    Britains Jazz Carlin, who was more than 4 seconds behind.Thats the easiest its
    felt to go under 4 minutes, Ledecky said, barely breathing hard. So that bodes
    well for tonight.Efimova heard a smattering of boos at the Olympic Aquatics
    Stadium after winning her heat, having only been cleared to compete days before
    the games.Revelations of a state-sponsored doping system in her native Russia
    led to Efimova being banned from Rio because of a previous 16-month suspension
    for doping, not to mention another positive test this year for the now-banned
    substance meldonium. That result was placed on hold while world anti-doping
    officials conduct further studies on the drug.After appealing their penalties,
    Efimova and up to six other Russian swimmers were quietly approved to compete in
    Rio. She posted the second-fastest time in the preliminaries at 1:05.79, just
    one-hundredth of a second behind American Lilly King.Stopping briefly in the
    mixed zone, the reigning world champion answered a single question from The
    Associated Press.Well, I dont know what to say, Efimova said, smiling and
    shrugging her shoulders. I mean, I was crazy the last half-year and just dont
    understand whats going on and everything. Im just happy to be here and Im ready
    to race.When pressed on criticism from rival swimmers and coaches, she smiled
    and walked away.Meanwhile, the Americans made up for a debacle at last years
    world championships by easily qualifying for the final of the mens 4x100
    freestyle relay.The team of Jimmy Feigen, Ryan Held, Blake Pieroni and Anthony
    Ervin posted the second-fastest time in the prelims at 3:12.38.Russia was the
    top qualifier at 3:12.04, setting up what figures to be a thrilling,
    four-country fight for the gold medal. Australia and defending Olympic champion
    France are also in the mix after qualifying third and fourth.Now, the real fun
    begins as the countries break out their big guns for the evening final. The U.S.
    figures to come back with Nathan Adrian, Caeleb Dressel and 18-time gold
    medalist Michael Phelps, who could be joined by Ervin after the 35-year-old
    posted the fastest individual time in the prelims (47.65).Australia rested up
    Cameron McEvoy, France has Florent Manaudou in reserve, while Russia can turn to
    Vladimir Morozov -- another of the doping-tainted swimmers given last-minute
    approval to compete in Rio.The U.S. didnt even qualify for the final of the
    4x100 free relay last year at the worlds in Kazan, an embarrassing setback for
    the worlds most dominant swimming nation.Thats ancient history, man, Ervin
    said.Assuming Phelps joins the relay for the final, as hes done at the last
    three Olympics, hell have a good shot to add to his already staggering haul of
    18 golds and 22 medals overall.In other preliminaries, Kathleen Baker of the
    U.S. was fastest in the womens 100 backstroke, Chinas Sun Yang led the way in
    the mens 200 freestyle and Camille Lacourt of France set the pace in the mens
    100 back.---Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 .
    His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/paul-newberry .
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    . The Dutchmans tenure got off to a poor start when referee
    Guido Winkmann awarded a penalty within two minutes for Niklas Starks clumsy
    challenge on Alexandru Maxim.DENVER -- A person with knowledge of the situation
    says the Denver Nuggets have traded Kosta Koufos to the Memphis Grizzlies and
    have also dealt their first-round pick in Thursday nights draft to the Utah
    Jazz. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because
    the deals hadnt been announced. The Nuggets didnt want to pay another young
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    Gobert, whom they selected with the 27th pick, to the Jazz for cash and the 46th
    pick, the person said. They also traded Koufos to the Grizzlies for forward
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