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AROUND THE HORN

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.

Announcer back at racetrack after racist rant

FAIRMONT, Minn. (AP) — An announcer who was fired by an Iowa racetrack after a racist rant was back behind the microphone in southern Minnesota last weekend, but he did not receive a standing ovation as promised because he was apparently uncomfortable with that plan, according to the promoter of Fairmont Raceway.

Lon Oelke is the full-time announcer at Fairmont Raceway, where he worked Friday — days after the Kossuth County Speedway in Algona, Iowa, cut ties with him after he went on a racist rant this month against Black fans and athletes who kneel during the national anthem as a protest against racial inequality.

The Kossuth County Speedway said in a statement that its leaders “do not condone” Oelke’s comments, adding that management did not hear them during the race, but only after they gained attention on social media.

“I think perhaps the whole thing is taken a little out of context with social media these days,” Fairmont track promoter Jon McCorkell told the Star Tribune, adding that he’ll “stick by my guy.”

In a video that was posted Thursday on Twitter, Oelke told the crowd during a July 15 race that he wanted to make “a social service announcement” before the national anthem. He condemned those who “won’t stand for our flag” or who “take a knee” during the anthem.

“I’ve got four words for you: Find a different country if you won’t do it,” he said. “Get the hell out of dodge.”

Cheers in the crowd can be heard at that point. Oelke added that he was outraged that the NFL is considering playing the Black national anthem before games this season “for those folks, I guess the darker toned skin color, I’ll just say, Blacks.”

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