The Latest: Protests force Olympic torch relay off course

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) The Latest on the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro (all times local):

2:20 p.m.

Leaders of countries who are in Brazil to promote bids for the 2024 Games discussed terrorism threats Friday ahead of Rio's opening ceremony.

French President Francois Hollande says Paris and other cities bidding to host future Olympics need to be able to protect themselves, and Hollande says France has experience in organizing and protecting major events. More than 200 people have died in France in the last 18 months in terror attacks, but Hollande said these were not attacks on major organized events like the European Championship soccer tournament, which was held around France in June and July.

Italian Premier Matteo Renzi says holding the Olympics in Rome would be an answer to terrorists trying to cower people into a ''life of fear.''

Speaking in an interview with two international news agencies, including The Associated Press, Renzi said that if the terrorists ''hate music, we will invest more money in music. If they hate soccer or other sports, we believe this is our identity.''

Paris and Rome are bid rivals for the 2024 Games along with Los Angeles.

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1:55 p.m.

Protests and large crowds have forced the Olympic torch relay away from Copacabana.

The torch relay was due to pass by Rio de Janeiro's famed beach ahead of Friday's opening ceremony.

Earlier, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon ran with the torch by Ipanema beach after receiving it from International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.

The flame will be used to light the Olympic cauldron Friday night at the Maracana Stadium.

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1:25 p.m.

Pele says his poor health will prevent him from participating in the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics.

In a statement on Friday, Pele says ''I'm not physically able to attend the opening of the Olympics.''

Friday's opening ceremony will need to fill a void without Brazil's most famous athlete. He had hip surgery several years ago and often walks with the help of a cane.

Pele says in his statement that "only God is more important than my health. In my life, I've had fractures, surgeries, pain, hospital stays, victories and defeats. And I've always respected those who admire me.''

He says it was ''my own decision.''

Pele apologized for disappointing Brazilians and says ''as a Brazilian, I ask God to bless all who participate in this event.''

He signed the statement Edson Arantes do Nascimento - Pele.

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Corrects item to reflect that Pele did not directly address Olympic cauldron in his statement.

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1:10 p.m.

The world rowing federation has cleared a previously banned Russian rower from competing in the Olympics but says Russia has decided to leave him at home anyway.

Ivan Podshivalov, who received a two-year doping ban in 2008, got a last-minute go-ahead to compete in Rio after a sports arbitration panel rejected a rule barring Russian athletes with prior doping sanctions from competing in the games.

However, world rowing federation FISA said Friday that with the Olympics about to start the Russian rowing federation had decided to stick to its lineup in the men's four and leave Podshivalov in Moscow.

FISA upheld the ban of another Russian rower who had been suspended in 2008, Anastasia Karabelshikova, saying she didn't meet the criteria for competing in the games.

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12:30 p.m.

Kim Woojin of South Korea set a recurve world record with a score of 700 during the qualifying round of archery at the Rio Olympics.

The 24-year-old Kim beat the previous mark of 699 for 72 arrows set by Im Dong-Hyun at the 2012 London Games.

A perfect score is 720 as archers shoot at total of 72 arrows over 12 rounds. The results of Friday's qualifying round are used to determine seeding for the final in the rounds next week.

American Brady Ellison was second with a score of 690 and David Pasqualucci of Italy wound up third with 685. Brazilian and medal favorite Marcus D'Almeida wound up 34th in qualifying.

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11 a.m.

Brazilian police say they have jailed a Moroccan Olympic boxer on allegations he sexually assaulted two Brazilian women.

In a statement, police say they arrested boxer Hassan Saada Friday for possible assaults on two Brazilian women who worked as waitresses in the Olympic Village.

According to the statement, the attacks happened on Wednesday. No other details were given.

Police say Saada will be jailed for a period of 15 days while they conduct a rape investigation. Under Brazilian law, suspects can be held for a long period of time while a case is examined.

He was due to compete Saturday. A light heavyweight boxer, he was set to fight Mehmet Nadir of Turkey in the preliminary rounds Saturday at 12:30 p.m. He was not predicted to be a medal contender.

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8:20 a.m.

The Olympic flame has hit Rio's most famous landmark, the Christ the Redeemer statue.

Brazil Olympian Isabel Barroso Salgado was emotional as she stood beneath the 125-foot statue (38 meters, 30 centimeters), holding the torch straight above her head with both arms outstretched.

The volleyball medalist from Brazil then received a blessing as cameras snapped all around.

The iconic wonder is one of many stops for the flame as it travels around Rio de Janeiro at the end of a long relay that began in Greece. Torch runners carried the flame through Copacabana early Friday.

The flame will be used to light the Olympic cauldron Friday night at the opening ceremony at Maracana Stadium.

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6:25 a.m.

As the Olympic torch makes its way through Rio de Janeiro, the big question is: Will Pele show up?

The former soccer star - Brazil's most famous athlete - said this week he was invited to take part in the opening ceremonies for the 2016 Summer Olympics, but business deals were stopping him from doing it.

Millions of television viewers from around the world are expected to watch the three-hour ceremony in Rio de Janeiro on Friday night, which culminates in the lighting of the Olympic cauldron.

American sculptor Anthony Howe told The Associated Press that his cauldron design was inspired by life in the tropics. There will be two cauldrons in Rio, one at the Maracana soccer stadium that is hosting the opening ceremony and another open to the public in downtown Rio.

Howe says the cauldron in central Rio will be lit by a runner after the opening ceremony ends.

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6 a.m.

There's going to be no shortage of samba, culture or diversity in the opening ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics as Brazil proudly showcases its traditions and environmental wonders.

Millions of television viewers from around the world are expected to watch the three-hour ceremony in Rio de Janeiro on Friday night, which comes as the country is reeling from political and economic turmoil.

Organizers are making sure that global warming and the environment, especially the country's magnificent Amazon rainforest, are important parts of the ceremony.

In all, 4,800 performers and volunteers will be involved in the show at Rio's Maracana stadium. NBC will broadcast the opening ceremony on a one-hour tape delay because it wants the extravaganza to be shown completely in U.S. prime time.

Samba and pop music singers are expected to perform, including Grammy award winners Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil. Supermodel Gisele Bundchen will also be on hand to promote her native Brazil.

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