Today concludes the 2016 Rio Olympic games, and nine former Syracuse athletes representing their countries return home from Brazil after a wild two weeks in the southern hemisphere.
Carmelo Anthony, Jim Boeheim and Mike Hopkins look to secure gold this afternoon when Team USA takes on Serbia. But their path to the championship was a bit tougher than expected. The United States played in four games decided by 10 points or less, despite being heavy favorites in each contest. Melo has had impressive performances throughout the tournament, including becoming the all-time leading scorer in U.S. Olympic history during his 31 point outburst against Australia. Today’s championship won’t be a cakewalk for the United States, who beat Serbia by three in pool play.
Michael Gbinije did not have the same luck as his former coaches and Anthony. Nigeria only mustered up one win in pool play, but Gbinije and company did give Spain, one of the best international teams, a run for its money in a 96-87 loss. Unlike his college days, Gbinije did not score in double figures in every game, but the former Orange standout’s last name still baffled announcers. Some things never change.
Natalie Mastracci brought home silver in the 2012 London Olympics, but was unable to repeat after finishing fifth with Canada in the Women’s coxed eight. The Canadians won the repechage to reach the finals, and missed out on a medal by just under two seconds.
Alyssa Manley and the United States field hockey team finished second in their pool to the eventual gold medal winners, Great Britain. In the elimination rounds, the U.S. fell to Germany, who went on to take bronze.
Finally, a trio of SU grads represented the Orange on the track. Nigeria’s Uhunoma Osazuwa competed in the heptathlon, but did not finish above 17th in any of her events. Flings Owusu-Agyapong carried the Ghana flag during the opening ceremonies. The former All-American finished 28th in the 100 meter dash and 14th in the 4×100 meter relay. Former cross country and track and field star Katie Zaferes was one of three Americans in the triathlon and finished 18th in the event.