Americans Duffy and Coleman qualify for first Olympic sport climbing final
On Tuesday night, sport climbing officially made its Olympic debut with the men’s combined qualification.
Americans Colin Duffy and Nathaniel Coleman competed alongside 18 other climbers in the disciplines of speed, bouldering, and lead. Both Duffy and Coleman qualified to move on to Thursday’s combined final.
The event started in far from perfect climbing conditions with temperatures approaching 90 degrees and humidity around 64%.
Duffy finished qualifying with a combined score of 60.00 points, placing him third (speed 6.00, bouldering 5.00, lead 2.00). Coleman finished with a combined score of 550.00 points, edging into eighth place, the final qualifying spot (speed 10.00, bouldering 11.00, lead 5.00).
The women’s combined qualification begins Wednesday and will feature American climbers Brooke Raboutou and Kyra Condie, as well as gold-medal favorite Janja Garnbret from Slovenia.
Bruce Springsteen’s daughter fails to advance in equestrian jumping
TOKYO – Jessie Springsteen didn’t make it to the individual equestrian jumping final and didn’t have much to say about her ride Tuesday.
On top of Don Juan van de Donkhoeve, the combination rode at the Tokyo Olympics Equestrian Park in 87.15 seconds but with four penalties, after Don Juan clipped a double post on the third-to-last hurdle. It won’t be enough to qualify for Wednesday night’s final.
“My horse has such a big stride and jumped it a little bit forward,” Springsteen, 29, said afterward. “So I think I needed to just be a little quieter there. All in all, I’m really thrilled with the round and I’m excited for the rest of the week.”
It was not only Springsteen’s first Olympics but her first competition on a championship stage.
“You definitely feel a little bit more jitters coming in,” she said.
But Don Juan helped calm her down.
“He does everything so easy. He really gives me a lot of confidence when I’m going through the ring, because I know him like the back of my hand now, and he’s so reliable. So that gives me a really good feeling for my first experience at a championship.”
“He’s so sweet. He’ll like whinny to you every time you walk in the barn. He’s really funny.”
Springsteen walked away after less than two minutes in the mixed zone and four questions concerning her round and Don Juan. The duo will be back in action for jumping team qualifiers on Friday. Neither of her teammates, Kent Farrington and Laura Kraut, qualified for the 30-person final.
Don Juan, unfortunately, was unavailable for comment.
Mondo Duplantis takes gold, Chris Nielsen silver in pole vault showdown
Mondo Duplantis took attempts at a new world record, but the 21-year-old had to settle for just the gold medal after he clipped the bar on his first and third jumps.
Duplantis, who was born and raised in Louisiana, competes for Sweden and won the nation’s first track and field medal of the Tokyo Olympic Games. He cleared a height of 6.02 meters to win and raised the bar to 6.19 meters, which would have broken his own world record of 6.15 meters.
The gold is Duplantis’ first Olympic medal, though he competed in his first Olympics, the 2016 Rio Games when he was just 16 years old.
American Chris Nilsen took silver in the event, clearing a personal-best height of 5.97 meters. The reigning silver medalist, Sam Kendricks, was unable to compete in Tokyo because he tested positive for COVID-19, which left the door wide open for Nilsen to claim a medal at his first Olympic Games.
Elaine Thompson-Herah makes history with 200 wins, Gabby Thomas third
TOKYO — Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah solidified her place as one of the best sprinters of all time.
Pulling away from the field with 50 meters to go, Thompson-Herah won the women’s 200 meters by a fairly large margin. Her gold-medal winning time was 21.53, which set a Jamaican national record. Eighteen-year-old Christine Mboma won the silver at 21.81 and American Gabby Thomas got the bronze with a time of 21.87.
For Thompson-Herah, it is her second gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics and fourth overall Olympic gold. The victory officially places her in rare air: Thompson-Herah is the first woman in history to win the 100 and 200 meters in back-to-back Olympics. She won golds in the 100 and 200 meters at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
The 29-year-old had been battling a nagging Achilles injury leading up to the Tokyo Games. Based on her performance in the 100 and 200 meters in Tokyo, she heals about as fast as she runs.
A Jamaican has won the women’s 200 meters in four of the last five Olympics.
Athing Mu cruises to gold in women’s 800 meters
TOKYO – The late Kobe Bryant coined the term “Mamba Mentality.” In track and field “Medal Mentality” seems like more of an appropriate term.
It’s a phrase Athing Mu said she thought of at the Tokyo Olympics. Following her performance in the women’s 800 meters, she might want to get the term trademarked.
The 19-year-old prodigy won the 800-meter final at the Tokyo Olympics. Mu crossed the line in a gold-medal-winning time of 1:55.21 to break the American record. She led for the entire race. Keely Hodgkinson of Great Britain ran a 1:55.88 to place second and American Raevyn Rogers rounded out the top three, finishing third at 1:56.81.
With the win, Mu joined Madeline Manning-Mims as the only two American women to ever win Olympic gold in the 800 meters. Manning-Mims accomplished the feat 53 years ago at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.
“Coming here, I came with a medal mentality,” Mu said. “I came here wanting a medal.”
Mu’s Olympic gold is the crowning achievement in what was a remarkable, record-setting track and field season for the Trenton, New Jersey native. She broke the collegiate 400- and 800-meter records as a freshman at Texas A&M, then turned pro at U.S. trials and won the 800 meters.
Tamyra Mensah-Stock wins second women’s wrestling gold in U.S. history
CHIBA, Japan – U.S. wrestler Tamyra Mensah Stock took gold in the women’s 68 kg final match against Blessing Oborududu of Nigeria, marking her first Olympic title.
Mensah Stock, the No. 1 seed in the tournament, defeated her opponent 4-1.
The two wrestlers most recently faced off at the 2019 world championships in the round of 16. Mensah Stock defeated Oborududu 6-1 and went on to win the title.
The Katy, Texas native started her Olympic career in Tokyo with a 10-0 victory over Japan’s Sara Dosho, the 2016 Olympic champion, in the 1/8 final round. Mensah Stock beat China’s Zhou Feng, the silver medalist at the 2015 world championships, 10-0 in the quarterfinal. She defeated Ukraine’s Alla Cherkasova, the 2018 world champion, 10-4 in the semifinal.
After 76 kg freestyle wrestler Adeline Gray took silver in her loss to Germany’s Aline Rotter-Focken, Mensah Stock becomes the seventh woman to medal in wrestling for the U.S. at the Olympics and the second woman to win gold. Mensah Stock and Gray give the U.S. women’s team at least two freestyle medals at the Tokyo Games, which tie the contributions from the 2004 U.S. Olympic women’s team
Mensah Stock was the 2019 world champion and won the world’s bronze medal in 2018. Although she won the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, Mensah Stock did not compete at the Rio Olympics because the nation did not qualify her weight class.
Three Americans qualify for men’s 200-meter final
TOKYO — Gold medal favorite Noah Lyles is moving on to the 200-meter final.
And 17-year-old Erriyon Knighton looked even more impressive in his semifinal heat Tuesday.
Knighton, who just turned pro earlier this year, started glancing over his shoulder midway through his semifinal heat, winning comfortably in 20.02 seconds. Lyles was also well ahead of the field in his heat, but let up with 20 meters to go. He finished third but qualified on time in 19.99 seconds.
Fellow American Kenny Bednarek will join them in the final, which is Wednesday.
Sam Mikulak’s gymnastics career ends without an Olympic medal
TOKYO — Sam Mikulak finished his elite gymnastics career with a hit routine, finishing sixth in the parallel bars final Tuesday.
China’s Zou Jingyuan won gold, while Germany’s Lukas Dauser claimed silver and Turkey’s Ferhat Arican took bronze.
Mikulak has been the best U.S. male gymnast going on a decade, winning six consecutive national titles in that time. But he never broke through in major international meets, leaving without a medal in three Olympic Games.
At 28, Mikulak had reevaluated during the pandemic and focused on his mental health. He hopes to work in the field now that his gymnastics career is over.
“I think I’m just going to remember, everything is going to come down to that breath of fresh air afterward,” Mikulak said after the all-around final last week. “All right, it is all done. Now I can go and enjoy and do all the fun things I’ve been sacrificing for a while. …I don’t think it’s going to be this big, monumental moment. I think it’s going to end, and that’s life. All right, you move on to the next thing.”
— Rachel Axon
Simone Biles warms up on the balance beam
TOKYO — For the first time in a week, Simone Biles mounted an apparatus on the Olympic competition floor.
About two hours before she is set to compete on the final day of event finals at the Tokyo Games, Biles warmed up on the balance beam. Biles, who won bronze in that event in Rio, walked through her routine, in some places gesturing rather than attempting the skills she will compete with later.
Biles had not competed here since the team final a week ago when she pulled out of the competition after one event.
Biles attempted a vault that is one of the most difficult that gymnasts do but is routine for her. She bailed on the vault one rotation early and barely landed on her feet.
Since then, citing mental health concerns, Biles pulled out of the all-around, vault, uneven bars, and floor finals.
U.S. women’s water polo team advances to semifinals
The U.S. women’s water polo team defeated Canada, 16-5, in the quarterfinals Tuesday.
Maggie Steffens, Makenzie Fischer, and Alys Williams each scored three goals in the comfortable knockout round win.
Steffens, a two-time gold-medal winner, is the all-time leading goal-scorer in women’s Olympic water polo history.
The U.S. will play the winner of the Australia-ROC game in the semifinals on Thursday at 6:50 a.m. ET. The U.S. – the two-time reigning gold medal winners – has medaled in every women’s water polo competition ever since the sport was added to the Olympic docket in 2000.
Trailing by as many as 10 points late in the second quarter, Team USA rode Kevin Durant to a 36-10 run that spanned both halves and eventually wore down the Spanish team, which got a 38-point effort from point guard Ricky Rubio.
As brilliant as Rubio was, however, he did not have the luxury of playing alongside multiple NBA All-Stars who showed up Tuesday with intensity on both ends of the floor and a commitment to moving the ball instead of settling for contested jumpers.
The U.S. will play the winner of Australia-Argentina in the semifinals.
Team USA-Spain men’s basketball game tied up at half
TOKYO — The U.S. men’s basketball team is in a real dogfight against Spain in the quarterfinals, tied 43-43 at halftime.
This isn’t a huge surprise, as Spain came into the Olympics ranked No. 2 by FIBA and the reigning Basketball World Cup champions. But the way the first half played out once again highlighted some of the roster flaws for Team USA that have been apparent since the beginning.
The lack of size in the frontcourt. The inability to create easy shots from its half-court offense. The indifferent point of attack defense. All of it has created a situation where Spain is very competitive with the U.S. and at points in the first half looked like the superior team.
In fact, the U.S. is fortunate to be tied because Spain actually led 39-29 with 3:25 remaining in the half until a nice push led by Kevin Durant, who had a team-high 12 points.
The U.S. was impatient on offense for much of the half and shot just 38% from the field. Spain made 14-of-23 from inside the arc and had nine offensive rebounds.
— Dan Wolken
US wrestler drops Olympic debut
TOKYO – Fourth-seeded U.S. wrestler Kayla Miracle lost 3-2 to China’s Long Jia on Tuesday in her Olympic women’s wrestling 62kg debut.
Miracle, who trains in Tempe at Sunkist Kids Regional Training Center, went ahead 2-1 with a takedown late in the first period of a round of 16 match at Makuhari Messe Hall.
Long regained the lead with 1:51 left in the six-minute match and held off Miracle’s late shot for an attempted takedown in the final minute.
In the quarterfinals, Long lost by fall to Ukraine’s Iryna Koliadenko, eliminating Miracle’s chance of wrestling again in repechage for a chance at a bronze medal.
— Jeff Metcalfe
Alyssa Naeher out of USWNT bronze medal match
TOKYO — U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher will not play in the bronze-medal match after hyperextending her right knee in the quarterfinals.
Naeher also has a bone contusion, but an MRI showed no ligament damage, U.S. Soccer said. She is likely to miss several weeks in the NWSL, where she plays for the Chicago Red Stars.
“I’m disappointed I won’t be able to be on the field Thursday with my teammates competing for a medal, but I know this group will bounce back from a tough loss,” Naeher said through U.S. Soccer. “I can’t wait to watch them fight for a bronze medal and I will be here to support the team in any way I can to help us get it done.”
The USWNT plays Australia on Thursday for the bronze medal. The reigning World Cup champions lost to Canada 1-0 on Monday night after Jessie Fleming converted a penalty in the 74th minute.
Naeher injured her knee in the 22nd minute against Canada when she went up for a ball and landed awkwardly. Trainers worked on her for several minutes, including having her test her knee by hopping on one leg. Naeher returned to the game, but pulled up on a goal kick and immediately signaled that she needed to come out. She was in tears as she walked to the sideline.
Adrianna Franch replaced Naeher, making her seventh appearance for the USWNT.
— Nancy Armour
Rai Benjamin claims silver in 400-meter hurdles, Karsten Warholm sets world record
TOKYO — Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang dubbed it a “superduellen,” or super duel. Dagbladet, another tabloid in Oslo, went with “gullduel” – golden duel.
In the weeks leading up to the Tokyo Olympics, it became one of the most highly-anticipated one-on-one matchups, both in Norwegian media and for track and field afficianados around the world: Norway’s Karsten Warholm, the world record-holder, vs. American Rai Benjamin, the third-fastest 400-meter hurdler of all-time.
And Tuesday’s final did not disappoint.
In the latest edition of one of track’s great individual rivalries, Warholm surged at the finish to win his first gold medal in the 400-meter hurdles, with a time of 45.94 seconds, a new world record. Benjamin, naturally, finished right behind him for silver, in 46.17.
Alison do Santos of Brazil took bronze.
It was the second time in two days that Warholm, 25, and Benjamin, 24, crossed the finish line almost in tandem, after sharing a semifinal heat Monday. And it will certainly not be the last time they meet, with both still in the prime of their careers.
— Tom Schad
Brittney Reese adds to USA’s medal haul with silver in women’s long jump
TOKYO – U.S. featherweight boxer Duke Ragan is moving on to the gold medal match after defeating Samuel Takyi of Ghana in the semifinal round of the Tokyo Olympic tournament.
Ragan, 23, won by split decision, 4-1. Takyi took the first round 3-2, pouring on the punches in the last 40 seconds to take a lead. While Takyi continued to build confidence in the second round, Ragan landed several shots in the last 30 seconds to win 4-1. Ragan closed out strong in the third round and secured a berth in the final.
In the final, Ragan will face off against the winner of the semifinal match between Lazaro Alvarez of Cuba and Albert Batyrgaziev of the Russian Olympic Committee.
Ragan, a Cincinnati native, is the first American featherweight medalist since Rocky Juarez won silver at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Ragan, women’s welterweight Oshae Jones, and men’s lightweight Keyshawn Davis are the first three U.S. boxers who will bring home medals. Jones competes in the semifinal on Wednesday against Hong Gu of China and Davis will face off against a to-be-determined opponent in the semifinal on Friday
Ragan turned pro in the summer of 2020. He had a 4-0 record prior to joining the Olympic team – three by decision and one by knockout.
— Olivia Reiner
Luka Doncic leads Slovenia to basketball semifinals
Luka Doncic continues to impress in Tokyo as Slovenia breezed past Germany in the basketball quarterfinals with a 94-70 victory.
The Dallas Mavericks star dropped 20 points on Tuesday, and nearly got a triple-double with his 11 assists and eight rebounds. Zoran Dragic led Slovenia with 27 points as the team took the lead midway through the first quarter and held onto it for the rest of the game.
Germany was able to cut the deficit to seven at halftime, but Slovenia outscored the Germans 50-33 in the second half. The win also made Slovenia a perfect 17-0 with Doncic on the roster.
Slovenia will play the winner of France vs. Italy for a spot in the gold medal match, as Doncic and company could meet Team USA in finals.
— Jordan Mendoza
Allyson Felix begins fifth Olympics, qualifies for 400m semifinal
TOKYO — Five-time Olympian Allyson Felix is through to the next round in the women’s 400 meters.
Felix won her first-round heat with a time of 50.84 to advance to the semifinal.
“It’s nice to get going,” Felix said after her first race in Tokyo. “It felt good to get out there. I’m ready to bump it up for the semis.”
The announcer inside Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium introduced Felix as “the legend” as she was preparing to run in her fifth Olympics.
The 35-year-old has the fourth-fastest time in the field entering the semifinals. Dominican Republic’s Marileidy Paulino is going into the next round with the best 400-meter time (50.06).
Americans Wadeline Jonathas and Quanera Hayes are also joining Felix in Wednesday’s semifinal.
Felix is the only female track and field athlete to win six Olympic gold medals. The veteran sprinter’s nine overall Olympic medals are tied with former runner Merlene Ottey for most ever by a female Olympian in track and field history. She announced earlier this year that she is retiring after the Tokyo Olympics.
“Knowing that this is my last time around, it means a lot to me,” Felix said.
US beach volleyball ‘A Team’ advances to semifinals
American beach volleyball duo April Ross and Alix Klineman, better known as the “A-Team,” downed Germany in their quarterfinal match.
Ross/Klineman beat Germany’s Laura Ludwig and Margareta Kozuch in straight sets (21-19, 21-19) to advance to the semifinal.
About midway through the first set, dark clouds rolled in and it started showering for a few minutes. The sky cleared and the hot sun was back, but that didn’t seem to affect the U.S. team.
Back-to-back block points from Klineman put Team USA back in the first set tied at 12-12 and there was no turning back.
“That’s a super-strong German team and we have so much respect for them. I think it was just trusting in our abilities as a team and what we do.” Ross said after the match. “We did a lot of preparation and kind of stuck with what we wanted to do. Impressed with ourselves and each other. Just kept our belief and positivity high.”
Ross/Klineman will face Swiss pair Anouk Verge-Depre and Joana Heidrich in the semifinals on Thursday.
— Alex Ptachick
Notre Dame’s Yared Nuguse out of men’s 1500 meters
TOKYO — American Yared Nuguse is out of the Tokyo Olympics due to a quad injury, his college program, Notre Dame, announced Tuesday.
The announcement came just 30 minutes before Nuguse was scheduled to run his first 1500-meter heat in Tokyo. The 22-year-old finished third at the U.S. Olympic trials in June.
Team USA will now have just two athletes in the 1500-meter field: Reigning Olympic gold medalist Matthew Centrowitz, and reigning NCAA champion Cole Hocker.
— Tom Schad
Jasmine Camacho-Quinn’s gold medal represents more than a record win
Thompson-Herah is just a few days removed from becoming a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the 100 meters. She looks determined to secure another gold in the 200 and become the first woman in history to win both races in back-to-back Olympics..
American Gabby Thomas, however, has the all-time fastest time in the competition.
Thomas is the second-fastest woman to ever run the distance. She posted a world-leading and lifetime best of 21.61 at the U.S. trials in June.
— Tyler Dragon
Simone Biles returning for balance beam
TOKYO — Simone Biles feels good enough again to give it another go.
USA Gymnastics said Monday that Biles would do the last event final, balance beam, scheduled for Tuesday night. It will be her first competition since she withdrew from the women’s team final Tuesday night, citing concerns for her mental health and physical safety.
Biles came to Tokyo as the biggest star of these Olympics, projected to win a record five gold medals. But she developed a case of “the twisties,” a loss of air awareness that can have catastrophic consequences for a gymnast.
— Nancy Armour
Amazing Device Lights Up Dark Countertops and Fixes Dark Kitchens