Paris Henken and Kirkland’s Helena Scutt sped across Guanabara Bay and became the first U.S. crew to win a race at the Rio Olympics regatta.

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RIO DE JANEIRO — With their ponytails flapping and their American flag spinnaker billowing in the breeze, Paris Henken and Kirkland’s Helena Scutt sped across Guanabara Bay and became the first U.S. crew to win a race at the Rio Olympics regatta.

Henken, of Coronado, California, and Scutt, of Kirkland, jumped into the lead at the start and flawlessly sailed their 49erFX skiff around the course to win the fifth race of the series Saturday.

“It was definitely something that we wanted to do, and was in the back of our minds, like, ‘Oh, we should win a race in the Olympics,’ ” Henken said. “When it was actually happening, it was very exciting and we’re just very happy.”

Henken and Scutt are in their first Olympics, as is the 49erFX, which is similar to the men’s 49er.

The Americans are ninth overall with six races to sail before the medals race, 18 points out of podium position.

Notes

• The U.S. team of Kelly Catlin, Jennifer Valente, Sarah Hammer and Chloe Dygert of Bremerton took silver in women’s team pursuit cycling.

The British cruised to gold in 4 minutes,10.236 seconds, breaking the world record they set in the semifinal round. The U.S. finished 4:12.454; Canada beat New Zealand for bronze in 4:14.627.

• Fresh off Thursday night’s stunning four-set victory against host Brazil, the Americans rallied from way down in the first set to beat France 25-22, 25-22, 24-25, 25-22 and improve their position in Pool A.

Next up is Mexico on Monday in the final preliminary match before the knockout quarterfinals.

Juan Martin del Potro ended Rafael Nadal’s bid for an unprecedented second Olympic singles gold medal in a thrill-a-minute semifinal. Del Potro rallied to stun 2008 champion Nadal 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) in more than three hours and will play Andy Murray of Britain for the gold medal.

Murray defeated Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-1, 6-4.