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Raisman finishes Olympics in style

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Raisman finishes Olympics in style

By NANCY ARMOUR
AP National Writer LONDON (AP) -- Aly Raisman finished the Olympics in style. The U.S. captain matched Gabby Douglas in gold medals, winning the title on floor exercise Tuesday. Add in the bronze on balance beam from earlier in the day, and she becomes the most decorated of the Fierce Five. Good thing Raisman had such a big day because the rest of the Americans came up empty-handed. Douglas had another rough day, finishing seventh on balance beam after a fall. World champion Jordyn Wieber, voted most likely to leave the Olympics with the biggest haul, was seventh on floor and finishes without any individual medals. Danell Leyva and Jonathan Horton were fifth and sixth, respectively, on high bar, leaving the U.S. men with only Leyva's all-around bronze. "I'm so happy, going home with two Olympic gold medals and a couple of titles under my belt," Douglas said. "I'm so happy for Aly, she deserves to be up on that podium. She had a great beam routine and I'm so proud of her." Raisman may not have Douglas' bubbly personality or Wieber's resume but she is prized her for her steadiness, and that consistency paid off big in London. Perhaps energized by her surprise bronze on beam, Raisman's floor routine had an extra spark. Her tumbling passes were some of the most difficult, and she got such great height on them you could have parked a double-decker bus beneath her. Her landings were not only secure, one was so powerful it practically shook the floor. Coach Mihai Brestyan was hopping up and down and pumping his fist as she finished, and even Raisman was impressed with herself, mouthing "wow" after she saluted the judges. When her score, a 15.6, was posted, teammate McKayla Maroney yelled "whoa!" so loudly from the stands it could be heard across the arena. There were still five gymnasts to go, but none came close. When reigning world champion Sandra Izbasa landed her final tumbling run on her head, Raisman let herself exhale. And smile. Catalina Ponor, the 2004 champion on floor, won the silver. Aliya Mustafina of Russia got the bronze, her fourth medal of the Olympics. Deng Linlin won the gold on balance beam, upstaging teammate and reigning world champion Sui Lu. It was the second gold of the day for the Chinese, following Feng Zhe's title on parallel bars. Epke Zonderland won gold on high bar, the first medal for a Dutch man and only the second Olympic medal overall for the Netherlands. Raisman just missed a medal in the all-around, finishing with the same score as Mustafina but dropping to fourth on a tiebreak. But she was on the right end of the rules earlier Tuesday, bumping Ponor down to the bronze. Raisman initially finished fourth with a score of 14.966. But she questioned it, and judges added an extra tenth to her routine's difficulty after a review. That gave her and Ponor identical scores of 15.066, but Raisman got the bronze because her execution score was higher. Douglas' life has been a whirlwind since she won the all-around title last week, with media wanting a piece of her and celebs flooding her Twitter timeline, eager to be her new BFF. There was training to fit in, too, with finals on both uneven bars and balance beam. She admitted after Monday's lackluster showing on bars -- she was last -- that it was all catching up with her. It wasn't a lack of energy that cost her Tuesday -- it was a misplaced foot. Her right foot could only brush the beam as she landed on a leap, and she had no chance to save herself. As the crowd gasped, she fell onto the beam in a straddle, hanging on tight as she swung partly underneath. "I'm definitely not going to lie. It was definitely hard to regain your focus," Douglas said. "You're like, 'Yes, I'm the Olympic champion. I'm a world champion.' It's definitely kind of hard to turn the chapter for event finals." On parallel bars, Feng gave the Chinese men their third gymnastics gold medal, following the team competition and Zou Kai's win on floor exercise. And they may not be finished, with Zou still to come on high bar, where he is the reigning world and Olympic champion. Feng flashed a thumbs-up as he walked out for the medals ceremony, and planted a big kiss on the gold after he got it. Germany's Marcel Nguyen was second, adding another silver to one from the men's all-around. Hamilton Sabot of France won the bronze. Feng's routine was filled with intricate combinations, yet he did them with the precision of an artist and the rhythm of a musician. He held his handstands for what seemed like forever, looking like a statue, and there wasn't even the slightest hesitation as he went from one skill straight into another. He hit the mat with a thud on his dismount and was pumping his fists even before he stood upright. He threw a roundhouse punch as he trotted off the podium, and his coach wrapped him in a big hug, pounding his back. When his score of 15.966 was posted, Feng, the 2010 world champion on parallel bars, nodded. There were still six gymnasts to come, but it would take something pretty special to top Feng. And no one came close. Nguyen's routine was impressive, but the European champion took a hop forward on his dismount and needed to windmill his arms to steady himself. Zonderland has long been one of the world's best on high bar, his routine better than any circus act, and all that was missing was an Olympic medal. No longer. He opened his routine with three straight release moves, not even pausing to catch his breath before tossing himself high into the air again. It's high risk, high reward, and the crowd loved it, oohing and aahing as he flew so high he could have waved into the overhead camera. He was a blur as he pirouetted on the bar, yet never looked as if he was on the verge of going out of control. When he hit the mat, he let out a roar. American Jonathan Horton, up next, could only laugh and shake his head, knowing there was no way he -- or anyone -- could top that show. He was right, with Zonderland scoring a 16.533 -- a number not usually seen outside the vault. Zonderland broke into a grin when he saw the mark and pointed at the scoreboard. It was the Netherlands' first gymnastics medal since 1928, when the women's team won gold.

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Redskins OTA practice report—QB Alex Smith sharp

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Associated Press

Redskins OTA practice report—QB Alex Smith sharp

Even though it was a bright, warm Wednesday in Ashburn the Redskins held their OTA session in the practice bubble because recent rains have left their outdoor fields to soggy to use. Here are my observations from the practice:

—A few Redskins were not present and a few who were there were not participating in the drills. Jay Gruden said that OT Trent Williams is rehabbing in Texas and that LB Zach Brown is in the process of relocating to the Washington area. RB Chris Thompson and OT Morgan Moses were present, but both were spectators. 

— It should be noted that even though Moses didn’t practice and is still rehabbing after ankle surgery, he still participated in the sideline-to-sideline running the team does at the end of practice.

—At rookie camp, RB Derrius Guice was first in line to do every drill. Today, he gave way to the veterans to all take their reps and then he went first among the rookies. 

— “Fat Rob” Kelley never really was fat but he is now lean and mean. He also seems to be a half step quicker than he was in the past. Added competition in the form of second- and fourth-round picks being added at your position will do that to a player. 

—The “starting” offensive line from left to right was Geron Christian, Shawn Lauvao, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, and John Kling. The interior could well start the season; the tackle position awaits the returns of Williams, Scherff, and Ty Nsekhe. 

—RB Byron Marshall, who was on the team briefly last year before getting injured, looked very quick with good acceleration.

—CB Josh Norman was back with the group fielding punts. I seriously doubt that he will handle any kicks in games, even preseason games, but perhaps with DeAngelo Hall being gone he wants to be available as an emergency option. Also back with the punt returners were CB Danny Johnson, CB Greg Stroman, WR Maurice Harris, WR De’Mornay Pierson-El, and, of course, WR Jamison Crowder.

—S D.J. Swearinger spent most of the special teams practice on the sideline working on catching passes with his hands extended away from his body. A little while later, he had a chance to make an interception with his arms extended. Of course, he dropped it. 

—It seems like QB Alex Smith and Crowder have some good rapport built already. Once on the right sideline and a few minutes later on the left, Smith threw a well-placed ball into Crowder, who was well covered on both occasions. 

—Eventually, CB Orlando Scandrick caught on and he swatted down a quick out to Crowder. 

—With Brown out, Josh Harvey-Clemons was with the first unit at inside linebacker. He’s still skinny but less so than he was last year. The second-year player was impressive in coverage, staying with Crowder step for step on a deep pass down the middle.

—The play of the day was a deep pass down the right side from Smith to WR Paul Richardson. Stroman was with the receiver step for step on the 9 route but Smith laid the ball out perfectly and Richardson made a lunging catch. Even though it doesn’t have to under the new rule, the catch did survive the ground. 

—WR Cam Sims had a few impressive plays. On one, QB Colt McCoy lofted one high in the air down the right side. Sims kept his focus on the ball while two defenders lost it and made the catch. 

—WR Trey Quinn had his moments. He made a good grab while being bumped by Scandrick. But a while later he dropped a fairly easy one. 

—The running backs all looked good but Guice looked the best of all of them. He had an ability to cut and maintain his speed that not many have. With the warning that they were playing with no pads with no contact and not at full speed, Guice’s vision appeared to be outstanding. 

More 2018 Redskins

- 53-man roster: Player one-liners, offense
- Tandler’s Take: Best- and worst-case scenarios for 2018
- The draft: Redskins should get 4 additional picks in 2019 draft
- Schedule series: Gotta beat the Cowboys

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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NFL owners unanimously approve new national anthem policy

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USA TODAY Sports

NFL owners unanimously approve new national anthem policy

NFL owners have unanimously approved a new national anthem policy that allows players to remain in the locker room if they prefer but requires players to stand if they are on the field during the performance.

This new policy subjects teams, but not players, to fines if any team personnel do not show appropriate respect for the anthem. 

Teams will also have the option to fine any team personnel, including players, for the infraction separately though. 

The NFL Players Association released it's own statement after the news was made official.