News briefs from the Olympic Games

Olympic news briefs:

LONDON - The Kenyans will be running with heavy hearts as favourites when the Olympic men's marathon meanders through the streets of London.

Four years ago in Beijing, Sammy Wanjiru captured the country's first Olympic marathon gold.

But he died last year after falling from a second-floor balcony during a domestic dispute.

His countrymen will compete in his memory Sunday, and the expectations are enormous.

The crew of Wilson Kipsang, Abel Kirui and Emmanuel Mutai could sweep the medals for Kenya.

Kipsang is one of most commanding figures in the event, winning the London Marathon last April.

Mutai finishes near the top and Kirui is a two-time defending world champion.

Not a bad lineup against the Ethiopians, who are expected to give the Kenyans a run for gold.

AP

LONDON - FIFA is reviewing evidence that a South Korea player displayed a flag with a political message after the team beat Japan in the Olympic men's football bronze-medal match.

South Korea won 2-0 on Friday, hours after state president Lee Myung-bak visited islets which are disputed territory between the two countries.

The presidential visit prompted Japan to recall its ambassador from Seoul.

The match in Cardiff, Wales, was seen as potentially raising diplomatic tensions, and a South Korea flag with a slogan supporting sovereignty of the islands was reportedly displayed on the field.

FIFA says it was "made aware of this incident," and its disciplinary panel chairman will study pictures from the stadium.

FIFA statutes prohibit political statements at matches.

AP

LONDON - Hugh McCutcheon overcame heartbreak to lead the US men's volleyball team to the gold medal in Beijing.

Now he's trying to put all that behind him while helping the women's team chase down its first gold.

McCutcheon's father-in-law was stabbed to death in Beijing just before the opening ceremonies.

The grieving coach stayed with his team to win gold and has since moved to the women's side with great success.

The Americans are the No. 1 team in the world as they head into the final against Brazil on Saturday night looking to add a gold to the two silvers and a bronze in the team's medal case, a very small haul given the sport debuted at the Olympics in 1964.

As for the tragedy in Beijing, McCutcheon is trying to move on.

"It's not part of our story, it's not part of our journey," he says.

"From Day 1, it's been about USA women's volleyball and trying to get to the mountain top."

AP

LONDON - Sailor Ben Ainslie will carry the British flag at the closing ceremony of the Olympics on Sunday after winning his fourth straight gold at the London Games.

Combined with his silver from 1996, the 35-year-old Ainslie's latest victory in the Finn class made him the most successful sailor in Olympic history.

Ainslie says "it's a really proud moment for me and for sailing to have such an involvement at the end of what's been such an amazing games for the whole country."

AP

LONDON - LOCOG says 325,000 spectators visited Olympic venues on Friday, and 144,000 of those walked through the gates of Olympic Park.

Some 7.7 million spectators have visited Olympic venues over the course of the Games.

However, the numbers will drop on Sunday, with Olympic Park hosting just the water polo, modern pentathlon and handball.

The rest of the park will be in transition mode as Olympic Stadium is transformed into a giant stage for the closing ceremony Sunday night.

AP

LONDON - Saudi Olympian Sarah Attar says her participation in the 2012 Games is already having an effect back home, saying that some in the ultraconservative Arab monarchy were discussing ways to boost female athletics.

"Now that women participated in the Olympics, the doors open," she said.

"There's been talk about private sports clubs and P.E. classes that will arise because of this."

The California-born 19-year-old, who has dual US and Saudi citizenship, came in last at the women's 800 metres, finishing half a minute behind her nearest competitor.

But she said she'd be thrilled with the opportunity to compete in the next Olympic Games, perhaps in the marathon.

"I would love to be able to run in Rio," she said.

"That would be awesome."

AP

LATEST BLOG POSTS