organizers a final pep talk ahead of the first games | Forum

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RIO DE JANEIRO -- The weight of expectation is a heavy burden for any young athlete predicted to scale to the pinnacle of her profession. Air Max 2018 Shoes . It felt like that here Friday night, watching the talented young American Madison Keys go down in a hard-fought heap to German veteran Angelique Kerber, the battle-tested No. 2 seed in the womens Olympic tennis tournament.Keys, 21, having just slipped into the pro tours top 10 after a stellar summer, came to the semifinals after winning a pair of tight three-set matches. But this time, her power wasnt enough to pull her through. A simple narrative sat behind the 6-3, 7-5 score: mistakes. Keys came in flurries. All told, she struck 41 unforced errors, many coming at the worst moments.Im obviously not happy with that, she said later, tears welling in her eyes. Im disappointed, but [Kerber] played well. Its frustrating when you have 10 break points and dont convert one. Its tough also because she was playing so well. ... She is just not giving you anything.Kerber, 28, the 2016 Australian Open champion and Wimbledon runner-up, played with few misfires. She had only eight unforced errors in the match. To call it German efficiency would be both cliché and very true. She always seemed in the right spot. Late in the match, she fended off a series of break points that might have sent matters into a winner-take-all third set.Keys was devastated by this loss. Once the final point was done, she slammed a ball into the center-court seats. She covered her face with a towel while walking off the court. Speaking to reporters, her voice cracked, and she looked like she was about to cry. The Games mattered -- they mattered a lot.Still, Rio isnt over for her yet. Keys still has a bronze-medal chance. She faces off Saturday against a two-time Wimbledon singles champ, Czech Petra Kvitova. You can walk from this tournament and still be on a high, Keys said. That is what I am going to focus on.Rio, one can assume, will likely be a mere speed bump for the tall right-hander. Maybe it will add to the motivation that has fueled her steady improvement to No. 9 in the world, a rise that has many predicting greatness. The future looks bright. Her game is maturing at an opportune time. Serena Williams remains at the top of womens tennis, but at 34, she cant play forever, can she?Keys should end up leaving this electrified stage having taken another step toward joining Serena among the games best. Maybe Keys will one day scale to the pinnacle -- No. 1. The land Serena and, before that, sister Venus have so long owned.But the future can wait. Right now there is Saturday -- and the simple matter of a medal to be won.It would mean everything, Keys said. No matter what, I am going to go out and try to win the bronze. Wholesale Air Max Store . -- If this was Aaron Gordons final home game at Arizona, and it almost certainly was, then he went out in style. Discount Air Max 2018 Online .  Breaking three of his own world records on his way to winning in Paris, Chan silenced the critics and left the audiences standing in appreciation and awe. http://www.cheapairmax90.net/ . It might not have mattered. While the Dodgers are preparing for the playoffs, the Padres showed their future has promise behind two rookies. RIO DE JANEIRO -- A three-person International Olympic Committee panel will make a final ruling on which individual Russian athletes are allowed to compete in the Rio de Janeiro Games.The IOCs ruling executive board, which met Saturday for the final time before Fridays opening of the games, said the panel will decide on the entry of Russian athletes whose names have been forwarded to compete by their international sports federations and approved by an independent arbitrator.This panel will decide whether to accept or reject that final proposal, IOC spokesman Mark Adams said. We want to make it absolutely clear that we are the ones making the final call.The move comes amid a doping scandal that has led to the exclusion of more than 100 Russian athletes connected to state-sponsored cheating. More than 250 Russian athletes have been cleared to compete by the federations.The panel will have to make its ruling before the opening ceremony, just six days away.Were working on a very, very tight timeline, Adams said. It has to be finished by Friday at the very latest.The panel will consist of three executive board members: Turkeys Ugur Erdener, chairman of the IOC medical commission; Germanys Claudia Bokel, head of the athletes commission; and Spains Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr., a vice president of the modern pentathlon federation.Adams said the panel will review every athlete cleared by the federations but would not reopen the cases of those who have been barred. An arbitrator from the Court of Arbitration for Sport will make an initial ruling before the final decision goes to the IOC panel.This review board panel will look at every single decision, every single athlete, to make sure the IOC is happy with the decision thats been taken, Adams said. Its very important that the IOC makes the final decision based on independent advice.Saturdays meeting came less than a week after the IOC board decided not to ban Russias entire team from the games because of state-sponsored doping. Rejecting calls by more than a dozen anti-doping agencies for a complete ban on Russia, the IOC left it to the federations to vet which athletes could compete or nnot. Black Air Max 90 2018. The Russians banned so far include the 67 track and field athletes barred as a whole by the IAAF and more than 30 others rejected under new IOC eligibility criteria. Russias eight-member weightlifting team was kicked out of the games on Friday for what the international federation called extremely shocking doping results that brought the sport into disrepute.The IOC has been roundly criticized by anti-doping bodies, athletes groups and Western media for not imposing a total ban on Russia. Pressure for the full sanction followed a World Anti-Doping Agency report by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren that accused Russias sports ministry of overseeing a vast doping conspiracy involving the countrys summer and winter sports athletes.IOC president Thomas Bach has defended the decision as one that protects individual athletes who have not been implicated in doping.Rios preparations, meanwhile, remain clouded on several fronts, including budget cuts, water pollution, slow ticket sales and concerns over crime and the Zika virus. The games come with Brazils suspended president awaiting an impeachment trial and the country gripped by a severe recession.But Bach and the IOC board remained upbeat following a final progress report by organizing committee chief Carlos Nuzman, including details of the opening ceremony at the Maracana stadium.We cant reveal any secrets, but the organizing committee tell us that the ceremony will have Brazilian soul and enchant the world, Adams said.Bach gave the organizers a final pep talk ahead of the first games in South America.He thinks its going to be a great games, Adams said. He made that very, very clear. He gave a very rousing thank-you to the team and said, Now you must concentrate on delivery, delivery, delivery.Also on Saturday, the IOC board granted full recognition to the International Ski Mountaineering Federation. It had received provisional recognition in 2014. 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