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Highlights -Twitter abuse, Venus powers on

LONDON, England, July 31-Twitter abuse and intense action are among the Tuesday highlights at London Olympics.


Adrian fastest in 100 freestyle heats

American Nathan Adrian was fastest in the opening heats of the men’s 100m freestyle, with world champion James Magnussen not far behind in fourth spot on Tuesday.

Adrian, the third-ranked swimmer in the event, clocked 48.19sec to win his sixth heat and head the top-16 into the semi-finals of the event later Tuesday.

“It felt good to be that easy in the first 50 and to have a little bit to come home,” Adrian said.

Magnussen, who disappointed in Australia’s medal-less freestyle relay on Sunday, put in a 48.38sec swim, slow by his standards, but fourth overall behind South African Gideon Louw (48.29) and Dutchman Sebastiaan Verschuren (48.37).

“I am still trying to recover from the relay a bit,” Magnussen said.

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“The relay is motivation, but more than anything I want to put it out of my memory. It was one my first failures since breaking into the international scene.

Brazilian Cesar Cielo, who holds the world record at 46.91secs, was equal 10th-fastest with 48.67sec, ahead of Australia’s second-ranked James Roberts and Frenchman Yannick Agnel, both in 12th place on 48.93sec.


NBA playmakers power Russia over China

Russia’s Andrei Kirilenko and Alexey Shved, future NBA teammates for the Minnesota Timberwolves, powered a veteran Russian side over China 73-54 on Tuesday to stay unbeaten in Olympic round-robin play.

Kirilenko, a 2.06m centre, scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds while Shved, a 23-year-old point guard, added 14 points and six assists as Russia improved to 2-0 in Group B, having beaten Britain 95-75 on Sunday.

“I think we are in pretty good shape,” Kirilenko said. “We played well the past couple of months. We’ve got a lot of confidence and momentum but it’s not going to be easy.”

Kirilenko, 31, signed a two-year deal worth $20 million last week to play for the Timberwolves next season alongside Shved, a breakout talent whom Kirilenko played alongside last year at CSKA Moscow.

“I can’t tell you how he’s going to adjust to the NBA because it takes time,” Kirilenko said. “But as long as he puts himself into the work, he’s going to be great. He has got all the tools.

“We have been missing that position since 2008 and I think he fills that gap really nicely.”


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Venus crushes Wozniak to keep gold bid on track

Venus Williams underlined her desire for a fourth Olympic gold medal as the American raced into the third round with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Canada’s Aleksandra Wozniak at Wimbledon on Tuesday.

Venus hasn’t won a Grand Slam since 2008, but the American has always thrived at the All England Club and is clearly determined to emulate her singles success at the 2000 Sydney Games.

The 32-year-old, who has also won two doubles golds with sister Serena, was far too powerful for Wozniak and took just 63 minutes to set up a last 16 clash with German seventh seed Angelique Kerber, who reached the Wimbledon semi-finals earlier this month.

When Venus, a five-time Wimbledon champion, crashed out against Elena Vesnina in the first round of the grass-court Grand Slam last month, the result was seen as further evidence of the American’s struggles with Sjogren’s syndrome, an auto-immune disease which leaves her fatigued and with painful joints.

But she has looked back to her ferocious best over the last two days in south-west London.

She crushed French Open finalist Sara Errani in the first round and Wozniak, the world number 54 who is actually ranked 15 places about Venus, was clearly out of her depth on Centre Court.

When Wozniak began the match with a double-fault, Venus immediately smelled blood and pressured her opponent into surrendering her serve twice to take the first set.

Venus was equally merciless in the second set, breaking three times to secure a smooth passage into the last 16.


British diving starlet abused on Twitter

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British teenage diver Tom Daley has been targeted by abusive Twitter messages after one of the Olympic hosts’ poster boys missed out on a medal in his opening event at the London Games.

The Twitter ‘troll’ accused the 18-year-old of letting down his late father after he and partner Pete Waterfield finished fourth in the 10m synchronised platform diving event on Monday.

A Twitter campaign to get the user banned from the site was launched following the comments about Daley’s father, who died last year from brain cancer at the age of 40.

Daley retweeted a message from the user, Rileyy_69, which said: “You let your dad down i hope you know that.”

The diver responded: “After giving it my all… you get idiots sending me this…”. Daley received dozens of messages of support.

Police arrested a 17-year-old boy at a guesthouse in Weymouth, a coastal town in southwest England, hours after Daley received the messages.

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