Olympics Roundup

American Jake Varner pins down wrestling gold

American Jake Varner came out on top in his 96-kilogram freestyle final against Valerie Andriitsev of Ukraine, 1-0, 1-0.
Paul Sancya/Associated Press
American Jake Varner came out on top in his 96-kilogram freestyle final against Valerie Andriitsev of Ukraine, 1-0, 1-0.

Cael Sanderson spent the past seven years teaching wrestler Jake Varner how to be a world champion — and he was there watching on Sunday when Varner joined him as an Olympic gold medalist.

Varner defeated Valerie Andriitsev of Ukraine, 1-0, 1-0, in the final to win gold in men’s 96-kilogram freestyle. Coupled with Jordan Burroughs’s win in the 74-kilogram class Friday night, it gave the US multiple Olympic gold medalists in men’s wrestling for the first time since 1996.

‘‘Still not sure I'm in his league, but it’s awesome to be coached by a guy like that,’’ Varner said of Sanderson, a gold medalist at the 2004 Athens Olympics. ‘‘I owe him a lot. It means a lot to have him with me.’’


Varner and Sanderson’s relationship began in 2005 at Iowa State, where Sanderson coached before jumping to Penn State. The day after Varner graduated in 2010, he loaded up the car and drove 15 hours to Pennsylvania to train full time with Sanderson.

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Sanderson said last week that Varner had pounded on him during training sessions leading up to the Olympics. Varner showed that good form by winning four straight matches for gold.

Varner will also collect a $250,000 bonus from the Living the Dream fund, which supports American wrestling.

George Gogshelidze of Georgia and Khetag Gazyumov of Azerbaijan won bronze medals.

Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu also won wrestling gold on Sunday in men’s 66-kilogram freestyle, beating Sushil Kumar of India to give Japan its first Olympic title in the sport in 24 years. Kazakhstan’s Akzhurek Tanatarov and Livan Lopez Azcuy of Cuba were the bronze medalists.


Boxing — Super heavyweight Anthony Joshua roared back to win a tiebreaker over defending champion Roberto Cammarelle of Italy, grabbing Britain’s third boxing gold medal of the Games. Joshua’s medal ceremony was delayed about 15 minutes while Italy protested the result, but its complaints were swiftly rejected by amateur boxing’s governing body.

Sunday’s five-fight finale also featured gold medal victories for perhaps the three most impressive boxers in London: Ukrainian lightweight Vasyl Lomachenko, flyweight Robeisy Ramirez of Cuba, and welterweight Serik Sapiyev of Kazakhstan, who was named the tournament’s best boxer.

Russian light heavyweight Egor Mekhontsev also claimed a gold medal on the second tiebreaker, edging Kazakhstan’s Adilbek Niyazymbetov.

Basketball — Alexei Shved scored 13 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter and Russia won its first Olympic medal in men’s basketball with an 81-77 victory over Argentina, whose players angrily questioned the referees after the final horn following a wild scramble in the closing seconds of the third-place game.

Vitaliy Fridzon’s layup with 5.2 seconds left sealed it for Russia, which came away with the ball after it changed hands several times near midcourt. When the game ended, several Argentine players surrounded the referees in protest and guard Pablo Prigioni kicked an electronic clock off the scorer’s table in disgust. A water bottle was thrown on the court that appeared to come from the stands.