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SPORTSBRIEFING

Clemson is favorite for 7th straight ACC title

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Clemson is the preseason favorite to win a seventh straight Atlantic Coast Conference championship.

The Tigers were picked on 125 of 147 votes from media members attending the ACC Kickoff preseason media days last week. They were selected on all but one ballot to win the Atlantic Division race.

Dabo Swinney’s Tigers last year became the first team in any power conference to win six straight league football championship games. And their current streak of ACC championships is the league’s longest since Bobby Bowden’s Florida State teams won at least a share of the crown for nine straight seasons after joining the league in 1992.

North Carolina waschosen to win the Coastal Division and earned 16 votes to win the league title, marking the first time the Tar Heels were named to win the division since 2016 after claiming the 2015 Coastal title.

In the Atlantic, North Carolina State was picked second behind Clemson, followed by Boston College, Florida State, Wake Forest, Louisville and Syracuse.

In the Coastal, Miami was second behind UNC, followed by Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Georgia Tech and Duke. While Clemson has been a fixture atop the Atlantic, the Coastal has been unpredictable, with each of the seven schools winning a crown from 2013 to 2019 before the league played a nondivisional format in 2020 because of the pandemic.

First medal for Bermuda

TOKYO (AP — Flora Duffy won the Olympic women’s triathlon early Tuesday, earning Bermuda’s first Olympic gold medal and its first medal of any kind since 1976.

Duffy is a two-time former world triathlon series champion. She’s competing in her fourth Olympics and is one of just two athletes representing Bermuda in Tokyo.

The start of the race was delayed 15 minutes because of storm conditions around Tokyo Bay. Duffy pumped her arms over her head as she finished the swimming, cycling and running course in 1 hour, 55:36 minutes.

The 33-year-old Duffy had never finished higher than eighth in her previous three Olympic triathlons. Bermuda hadn’t medaled at the Olympics since boxer Clarence Hill’s bronze in heavyweight boxing in Montreal.

Great Britain’s Georgia Taylor-Brown won the silver medal and American Katie Zaferes won bronze.

Storm may affect some events

TOKYO (AP) — First, the sun. Now: the wind and the rain.

The Tokyo Olympics, delayed by the pandemic and opened under oppressive heat, are due for another hit of nature’s power: a typhoon arriving Tuesday morning that is forecast to disrupt at least some parts of the Games.

“Feels like we’re trying to prepare for bloody everything,” said New Zealand rugby sevens player Andrew Knewstubb.

Don’t worry, Japanese hosts say: In U.S. terms, the incoming weather is just a mid-grade tropical storm. And the surfers at Tsurigasaki beach say Tropical Storm Nepartak could actually improve the competition so long as it doesn’t hit the beach directly.

But archery, rowing and sailing have already adjusted their Tuesday schedules. Tokyo Games spokesman Masa Takaya said there were no other changes expected.

“It is a tropical storm of three grade out of five, so you shouldn’t be too much worried about that, but it is a typhoon in Japan interpretation,” Takaya said. “This is the weakest category, but this is still a typhoon so we should not be too optimistic about the impact of the course.”

On the beach about 60 miles east of Tokyo, the competitors want the change in weather so long as the rain and wind don’t make total landfall. The surfing competition was delayed Monday because of low tide. But if the storm hits as expected, it could deliver waves twice as high as expected.

“As a homeowner I say, ‘Oh no, stay away!'” said Kurt Korte, the official Olympic surfing forecaster. “But as a surfer, ‘OK, you can form if you stay out there,’ Everybody can agree a storm out in the distance is the best.”

The Japan Meteorological Agency said Nepartak was headed northwest over the Pacific Ocean east of Japan on Monday with landfall expected Tuesday afternoon. The storm could bring strong winds, up to 5.9 inches (150 millimeters) of rainfall and high waves as it cuts across Japan’s northeastern region.

In advance, organizers made the first major alterations to the Olympic archery schedule because of weather. There was an hour delay at the Beijing Games in 2008. Here, the Tuesday afternoon sessions have been postponed until Wednesday and Thursday.

“We’ve heard that storm could be anything from rain or 80-mph wind,” said American archer Jack Williams.

Added Brady Ellison, his teammate: “Unless there’s lightning, right here, we’ll shoot it. We’ll deal with whatever it’s going to be. Rain just starts to suck in general.”

Beach volleyball plays in everything but lightning. Both the women’s final at the Beijing Games and men’s final at the Rio Games were held in heavy rain.

At Ariake Tennis Park, center court has a retractable roof that can be closed for inclement weather, but play on outer courts would have to be suspended.

“They can move every match, I think, if there is really going to be a typhoon with rain,” said Daniil Medvedev, the No. 2 player in the world. “We never know. I guess they will maybe try to move six matches, but it depends how long the matches will be.”

Any sort of rain — typhoon, tropical storm, or even light sprinkling — will be a wild swing from the first three days of the Games.

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