Turkey wins third medal, women knocked out in Rio
RIO DE JANEIRO
AFP photoTurkish wrestler Cenk İldem clinched the bronze medal in men’s Greco-Roman 98-kilogram division on Aug. 16 to earn Turkey’s third medal at the Rio Olympic Games, while the women’s basketball team was knocked out of the tournament in the quarterfinals by Spain with a buzzer beater.
İldem lost Artur Aleksanyan of Armenia, who went on to win the gold, in the semifinal, but managed to secure the bronze by taking down Alin Alexuc Ciurariu of Romania.
Lugo Cabrera of Cuba took home the silver, while the other bronze medal match saw Ghasem Gholamreza Rezaei of Iran best Carl Fredrik Stefan Schoen of Sweden.
On the basketball court, Spanish guard Anna Cruz scored one of the biggest shots women’s basketball in Spain to cap an exciting rally to help Spain advance to the semifinals by eliminating Turkey 64-62.
“Not just for the way we won, but what this game means for Spain,” Torrens said. “Never have been in the semifinals of the Olympic Games. This team believes. So it’s something amazing for us.”
Officials immediately ruled Cruz’s shot good, though the play was reviewed. Spain coach Lucas Mondelo watched as the referee announced the basket counted, then turned to celebrate with his players.
“I was lucky that it got in,” Cruz said. “I love this kind of shots when they get in. Sometimes the ball goes in, other times it doesn’t.”
Spain scored 12 of the final 14 points with Cruz scoring three of the final four baskets. Cruz finished with 14 points as leading scorer Alba Torrens who was held to six - well below her average of 18.6 points in Rio.
Turkey appeared in control, leading 60-52 with 3:44 left.
Instead, Spain will play Serbia, a surprise 73-71 winner over Australia, on Aug. 18 for a spot in the gold medal game.
The game appeared headed for overtime when Lara Sanders’ layup tied it at 60 with 4 seconds left. Instead, it set the stage for Cruz.
Sanders, who played at North Carolina and was then known as LaToya Pringle, finished with 22 points for Turkey. She was disappointed how some of her teammates’ careers will end with the gut-wrenching loss.
Nevriye Yılmaz, 36, is retiring now that Turkey is out of the tournament.
“It’s heartbreaking to see their faces after the game,” Sanders said.