Arts & Entertainment/Economy & business
0 Comments

Olympic Champ Biles Withdraws from All-around Competition

Simone Biles will not defend her Olympic title. The American gymnastics superstar withdrew from Thursday’s all-around competition to focus on her mental well-being. USA Gymnastics said in a statement on Wednesday that the 24-year-old is opting to not compete. The decision comes a day after Biles removed herself from the team final following one rotation because she felt she wasn’t mentally ready. Jade Carey, who finished ninth in qualifying, will take Biles’ place in the all-around. Carey initially did not qualify because she was the third-ranking American behind Biles and Sunisa Lee. International Gymnastics Federation rules limit countries to two athletes per event in the finals. The organization said Biles will be evaluated before deciding if she will participate in next week’s individual events. 

0
Arts & Entertainment/Economy & business
0 Comments

US Gymnast Biles Withdraws From Team Final at Tokyo Games

Simone Biles withdrew Tuesday from the women’s gymnastics team final at the Tokyo Summer Games, saying she needed to concentrate on her mental health.  
 
The 24-year-old U.S. Olympian hoped to win six gold medals that would make her the greatest female Olympic champion of all time after winning 30 world and Olympic medals.
 
But after one uncertain vault Tuesday, Biles said she was not in the right “headspace” to compete and had to drop out from the final competition to protect herself, leaving her future participation in the Games in doubt.
 
Biles had been expected to participate in all six events that included a defense of her all-around crown Thursday, followed by four event finals next week.
 
“I do not trust myself anymore,” Biles said tearfully at a news conference. “I have to focus on my mental health.”
 
“We also have to focus on ourselves, because at the end of the day we’re human, too,” Biles added. “So, we have to protect our mind and our body, rather than just go out there and do what the world wants us to do.”Official statement: “Simone Biles has withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue. She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions.”Thinking of you, Simone! pic.twitter.com/QA1GYHwWTv— USA Gymnastics (@USAGym) July 27, 2021Biles left open the possibility of competing Thursday, noting, “It’s going to be a quick turnaround” and that “Whatever happens, happens and it’s going to be completely fine.”
 
Without Biles, the team representing the Russia Olympic Committee surged past the U.S., earning a score of 169.258 to win the country’s first Olympic team gold in nearly 30 years.Yet another upset occurred in women’s tennis as Japan’s Naomi Osaka, the world’s second-ranked player, suffered a shocking 6-1, 6-4 defeat to Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic in the third round. Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam winner and a favorite to win gold for her native country, struggled during the match with 32 unforced errors.Earlier at the Tokyo Aquatics Center, the highly anticipated contest in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke between Lilly King of the United States, who won the event in the 2016 Rio Olympics, and Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa, ended in an upset when Lydia Jacoby, King’s 17-year-old teammate, edged both women to win the gold. Schoenmaker finished in second place to win the silver medal while King ended in third, taking home the bronze medal.  Gold medalist Lydia Jacoby, center, of the U.S., stands with silver medalist Tatjana Schoenmaker, left, of South Africa, and bronze medalist Lilly King, of the U.S., after the final of the women’s 100-meter breaststroke.Hundreds of people packed into a railroad terminal in Jacoby’s hometown of Seward, Alaska, launched into a wild celebration as they watched her come from behind in the last lap overtake Schoenmaker.STAND UP ALASKA!17-year-old Lydia Jacoby WINS GOLD, and everybody’s celebrating! From left to right, Britain’s Duncan Scott, South Korea’s Hwang Sunwoo and Britain’s Tom Dean swim in a 200-meter freestyle semifinal at the 2020 Summer Olympics, July 26, 2021, in Tokyo.Olympic history was also made Tuesday when Italo Ferreira of Brazil and Carissa Moore of the United States won the first-ever gold medals for men and women’s surfing.   Ferreira, the reigning World Surf League champion, overcame a broken board on his first wave on his way to his historic victory at Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach in Ichinomiya town, outpointing Japan’s Kanoa Igarashi and Owen Wright of Australia, who won the silver and bronze medals respectively.   The Hawaii-born Moore, a four-time world champion and current top-ranked surfer, dominated her first two waves in the finals for a combined 14.93, easily outpointing South Africa’s Bianca Buitendag, who scored 8.46 to win the silver medal.  Amuro Tsuzuki of Japan took home the bronze.   In other Olympic events Tuesday, Flora Duffy of Bermuda won the women’s triathlon in 1:55:36 (one hour, 55 minutes, 36 seconds), which included a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike ride and 10-kilometer run. Duffy’s gold medal victory is the first for the Caribbean island nation, and the second-ever Olympic medal since boxer Clarence Hill won bronze in the 1976 Montreal Games. Georgia Taylor-Brown won the silver medal, while Katie Zaferes of the United States won bronze.   Another gold medal event is taking place later Tuesday in Tokyo when the U.S. takes on host country Japan in women’s softball in Yokohama Baseball Stadium.The United States leads the overall medal count with 22, with China in second place with 22 and host country Japan in third with 17. The U.S., China and Japan are all tied in the gold medal count with nine, followed by five for the ROC.  Host country Japan took gold  in women’s softball, defeating the U.S. team 2-0.The United States leads the overall medal count with 25, with China in second place with 21 and host country Japan with 18.  Some information for this report came from the Associated Press. 

0
Arts & Entertainment/Economy & business
0 Comments

Weightlifter Guryeva Wins Turkmenistan’s 1st Olympic medal

Sparsely populated and isolated from most of the outside world, Turkmenistan has finally won its first Olympic medal since independence from the Soviet Union.Weightlifter Polina Guryeva won a silver medal for the Central Asian nation at the Tokyo Games on Tuesday, and then predicted she would go down in the country’s history.”I was in shock because it’s the first Olympic medal in the history of the Turkmen people. It’s the first medal, which I won. No sport in Turkmenistan has had a medal, not one medal,” the 21-year-old Guryeva said. “I think I’ve entered the history of Turkmenistan by winning a medal. I’m so in shock.”Guryeva lifted a total 217 kilograms in the 59-kilogram category, edging Mikiko Andoh of Japan for second place. Kuo Hsing-Chun of Taiwan won gold by lifting 236kg.Guryeva, who calls Kuo her “idol” and copies her training exercises, finished in 28th place at the 2019 world championships while competing one weight category higher. On her coach’s advice, she used the one-year Olympic delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic to reset, dropping down a class.”When the pandemic began, I didn’t have a chance of qualifying,” she said. “In October, I dropped down and started training. And I went to the Asian Championships in Uzbekistan, lifted 211 total, and then I got the chance to go to the Olympics. And then I started training even harder to get this medal.”Guryeva will return home to a country which has often had little contact with the outside world but is trying to make its name in the world of sports. The gas-rich nation sent two medalists to the Soviet Union’s Olympic teams for the 1956 and 1960 Games but success has been rare since.Hosting the 2018 weightlifting world championships at a lavish new sports complex in the capital, Ashgabat, was one step toward raising the country’s profile. Turkmenistan’s authoritarian president, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, is a fan of cycling and the country was scheduled to hold the track cycling championships this year, too, but they were moved because of the pandemic.The Turkmenistan government says it has not had any cases of COVID-19 but has made vaccinations mandatory.For Kuo, the victory was about completing a set of major championship medals. The Taiwanese lifter finally added Olympic gold to her four world titles.”I have all the pieces together. Now I am very happy,” she said through a translator.Andoh lifted a total of 214kg for bronze despite what she later revealed was severe pain in her feet. After her last lift, she fell to the ground on stage with a smile and was helped away by her coaches.In the 64-kilogram category, Maude Charron got hear a song at the Olympics that her “idol” never did — the Canadian national anthem.Charron won an unusually open competition with six women in the running for a place on the podium ahead of their last lifts. Charron’s total of 236kg was four more than silver medalist Giorgia Bordignon of Italy and six ahead of Chen Wen-Huei of Taiwan.Christine Girard, the Olympic champion from the 2012 London Games, never got to stand on the top step of the podium while “O Canada” was played because she originally finished in third place. The lifters that finished above her, from Kazakhstan and Russia, both later tested positive for doping.”I asked her how to prepare for the games, how not to be too intimidated by the rings, and she wrote me a message,” Charron said. “Now I just feel like that’s her medal, that’s her moment because she didn’t have it in real time.”Weightlifting has reallocated dozens of past Olympic medals and cut the Tokyo allocation for countries which racked up the most doping offenses.”For sure anti-doping made a great deal in just cleaning the sport,” Charron said. “There is a progression in this clean way.”

0
Arts & Entertainment/Economy & business
0 Comments

US Gymnast Simone Biles Withdraws From Teams Finals in Day of Olympic Upsets, Setbacks and Surprises

Tuesday’s slate of competitions at the Tokyo Olympics has been filled with a number of stunning defeats and setbacks over a variety of events.One of the biggest shocks of the day came when U.S. gymnast Simone Biles, seeking to burnish her already legendary career, withdrew from the overall team finals after failing to execute her planned maneuver in the vault and stumbling backward on her landing. She then briefly left the floor with her coach, then returned to rejoin her teammates with her ankle wrapped in a bandage.”Simone Biles has withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue. She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions,” said a statement from USA Gymnastics.Official statement: “Simone Biles has withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue. She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions.”Thinking of you, Simone! Gold medalist Lydia Jacoby, center, of the U.S., stands with silver medalist Tatjana Schoenmaker, left, of South Africa, and bronze medalist Lilly King, of the U.S., after the final of the women’s 100-meter breaststroke.Hundreds of people packed into a railroad terminal in Jacoby’s hometown of Seward, Alaska, launched into a wild celebration as they watched her come from behind in the last lap overtake Schoenmaker.STAND UP ALASKA!17-year-old Lydia Jacoby WINS GOLD, and everybody’s celebrating! From left to right, Britain’s Duncan Scott, South Korea’s Hwang Sunwoo and Britain’s Tom Dean swim in a 200-meter freestyle semifinal at the 2020 Summer Olympics, July 26, 2021, in Tokyo.Olympic history was also made Tuesday when Italo Ferreira of Brazil and Carissa Moore of the United States won the first-ever gold medals for men and women’s surfing.   Ferreira, the reigning World Surf League champion, overcame a broken board on his first wave on his way to his historic victory at Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach in Ichinomiya town, outpointing Japan’s Kanoa Igarashi and Owen Wright of Australia, who won the silver and bronze medals respectively.   The Hawaii-born Moore, a four-time world champion and current top-ranked surfer, dominated her first two waves in the finals for a combined 14.93, easily outpointing South Africa’s Bianca Buitendag, who scored 8.46 to win the silver medal.  Amuro Tsuzuki of Japan took home the bronze.   In other Olympic events Tuesday, Flora Duffy of Bermuda won the women’s triathlon in 1:55:36 (one hour, 55 minutes, 36 seconds), which included a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike ride and 10-kilometer run. Duffy’s gold medal victory is the first for the Caribbean island nation, and the second-ever Olympic medal since boxer Clarence Hill won bronze in the 1976 Montreal Games. Georgia Taylor-Brown won the silver medal, while Katie Zaferes of the United States won bronze.   Another gold medal event is taking place later Tuesday in Tokyo when the U.S. takes on host country Japan in women’s softball in Yokohama Baseball Stadium.The United States leads the overall medal count with 22, with China in second place with 22 and host country Japan in third with 17. The U.S., China and Japan are all tied in the gold medal count with nine, followed by five for the ROC.  Some information for this report came from the Associated Press. 

0
Arts & Entertainment/Economy & business
0 Comments

Upset Victories in Swimming, Women’s Tennis Mark Day 7 of Tokyo Olympics  

The Tokyo Olympics got off to a busy start Tuesday at the Tokyo Aquatics Center with a trio of high-profile finals in the men’s and women’s swimming.   In the women’s 100-meter breaststroke, the highly anticipated race between Lilly King of the United States, who won the event in the 2016 Rio Olympics, and Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa ended in an upset when Lydia Jacoby, King’s 17-year-old teammate, edged both women to win the gold. Schoenmaker finished in second place to win the silver medal while King ended in third, taking home the bronze medal.  Hundreds of people packed into a railroad terminal in Jacoby’s hometown of Seward, Alaska, launched into a wild celebration as they watched her come from behind in the last lap overtake Schoenmaker.STAND UP ALASKA!17-year-old Lydia Jacoby WINS GOLD, and everybody’s celebrating! #TokyoOlympics x @USASwimming📺: NBC💻: https://t.co/GFrdWbcFoO📱: NBC Sports App pic.twitter.com/leYOC2Mzju— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) July 27, 2021Jacoby is the first swimmer from the remote northwestern state to qualify for a Summer Olympics.   In another surprise finish, Ryan Murphy of the United States finished third in the men’s 100-meter backstroke final, as teammates Evgeny Rylov and Kliment Kolesnikov of the Russian Olympic Committee, or the ROC, finished in first and second place respectively. Murphy had hoped to repeat his 2016 gold medal Rio performance, but took the bronze medal instead. His loss also ended a streak of six consecutive U.S. wins in the 100-meter backstroke dating back to 1996.   Meanwhile, Australia’s Kaylee McKeown won the women’s 100-meter backstroke and set a new Olympic record of 57.47 seconds. Canada’s Kylie Masse won the silver medal while Regan Smith of the United States took the bronze medal.   And British swimmers Tom Dean and Duncan Scott won the gold and silver medals, respectively, in the men’s 200-meter freestyle final. Brazil’s Fernando Scheffer won the bronze medal.   Yet another upset occurred Tuesday in women’s tennis as Japan’s Naomi Osaka, the world’s second-ranked player, suffered a shocking 6-1 6-4 defeat to Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic in the third round. Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam winner and a favorite to win gold for her native country, struggled during the match with 32 unforced errors. In other Olympic events Tuesday, Flora Duffy of Bermuda won the women’s triathlon in 1:55:36 (one hour, 55 minutes, 36 seconds), which included a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike ride and 10-kilometer run. Duffy’s gold medal victory is the first for the Caribbean island nation, and the second-ever Olympic medal since boxer Clarence Hill won bronze in the 1976 Montreal Games. Georgia Taylor-Brown won the silver medal, while Katie Zaferes of the United States won bronze.   Another historic gold medal victory occurred Monday in women’s weightlifting, when Hidilyn Diaz of the Philippines won the 55-kilogram division to win the first-ever gold medal for the Pacific archipelago. Diaz also set two Olympic records when she lifted 127 kilograms in the clean and jerk section as well as an overall total of 224 kilograms.   And fencer Edgar Cheung won Hong Kong’s first Olympics gold medal in 25 years when he beat Italy’s Daniele Garozzo by a score of 15-11.   Two gold medal events will take place later Tuesday in Tokyo when the U.S. takes on host country Japan in women’s softball in Yokohama Baseball Stadium. And gymnast Simone Biles will seek to burnish her already legendary career when she leads the U.S. women in the overall team finals.   The United States and China are tied in the overall medal count with 19, while the Russian Olympic Committee has 15 and host country Japan has 13 medals. The U.S. and Japan are tied in the gold medal count with eight, followed by seven for China and 5 for the ROC.  Some information for this report came from Reuters and AFP. 

0
Arts & Entertainment/Economy & business
0 Comments

Chinese Pair Outduels Russians to Win Mixed Team Pistol Gold

China’s Jiang Ranxin and Pang Wei out-dueled their Russian rivals in a riveting contest to secure gold in the 10-meter air pistol mixed team event at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday. The Chinese pair scored a 16-14 victory against newly minted women’s Olympic champion Vitalina Batsarashkina and Artem Chernousov at the Asaka Shooting Range. Jiang and Pang, bronze winners in their individual events in Tokyo, overcame an 8-4 deficit to lead 14-10 before the Russians staged a comeback to level the scores. The Chinese shooters, however, held their nerve to reach the 16-point mark and claim gold. Russian athletes are competing in Tokyo under the flag of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) as part of sanctions for several doping scandals. Ukraine won the bronze medal match after Olena Kostevych and Oleh Omelchuk beat Serbians Zorana Arunovic and Damir Mikec 16-12. South Korean pistol great Jin Jong-oh will return empty-handed from his fifth, and possibly final, Olympics as his pairing could not get through the qualification round. The four-time Olympic gold medalist failed to qualify for the final of the men’s individual event on Saturday. 

0
Arts & Entertainment/Economy & business
0 Comments

At Tokyo Olympics, Skateboarding Teens Blaze Trail for Women

On the Olympic podium stood three teenage girls — 13, 13 and 16 — with weighty gold, silver and bronze medals around their young necks, rewards for having landed tricks on their skateboards that most kids their age only get to see on Instagram.After decades in the shadows of men’s skateboarding, the future for the sport’s daring, trailblazing women suddenly looked brighter than ever at the Tokyo Games on Monday.It’s anyone’s guess how many young girls tuned in to watch Momiji Nishiya of Japan win the debut Olympic skateboarding event for women, giving the host nation a sweep of golds in the street event after Yuto Horigome won the men’s event.But around the world, girls trying to convince their parents that they, too, should be allowed to skate can now point to the 13-year-old from Osaka as an Olympic-sized example of skateboarding’s possibilities.A champion of few words — “Simply delighted,” is how she described herself — Nishiya let her board do the talking, riding it down rails taller than she is. She said she’d celebrate by asking her mother to treat her to a dinner of Japanese yakiniku barbecue.The silver went to Rayssa Leal, also 13 — Brazil’s second silver in skateboarding after Kelvin Hoefler finished in second place on Sunday in the men’s event.Both Nishiya and Leal became their countries’ youngest-ever medalists. The bronze went to 16-year-old Funa Nakayama of Japan.”Now I can convince all my friends to skateboard everywhere with me,” Leal said.She first caught the skateboarding world’s attention as a 7-year-old with a video on Instagram of her attempting, and landing, a jump with a flip down three stairs while wearing a dress with angel wings.”Skateboarding is for everyone,” she said.But that hasn’t always been true for young girls, even among the 20 female pioneers who rode the rails, ramps and ledges at the Ariake Urban Sports Park.The field included Leticia Bufoni of Brazil, whose board was snapped in two by her dad when she was a kid to try to stop her from skating.She was 10.”I cried for hours,” she recalled. “He thought girls shouldn’t skate because he had never seen a woman skate before.”Bufoni added, half-joking, that getting him to relent had been harder than qualifying for the Tokyo Games.”So I want be that girl that the little girls can show their parents and be like, ‘She can skate. I want to be like her,'” Bufoni said.Annie Guglia of Canada said she didn’t see any other girls skate during her first two years on her board. The first contest she entered, at the age of 13, had no women’s category, so organizers had to create one for her.”And I won, because I was the only one,” the 30-year-old Guglia said. “We have come a long way.”Skaters predicted that by time the next Olympics roll around, in Paris in 2024, the women’s field will have a greater depth of talent and tricks, built on the foundations they laid in Tokyo.”It’s going to change the whole game,” U.S. skater Mariah Duran said. “This is like opening at least one door to, you know, many skaters who are having the conversations with their parents, who want to start skating.”I’m not surprised if there’s probably already like 500 girls getting a board today.”
Nishiya is going places with hers. She said she aims to be at the Paris Games “and win.””I want to be famous,” she said.But first — barbecue. Her delighted mom didn’t take much convincing.”I’ll definitely take her,” she said.

0
Arts & Entertainment/Economy & business
0 Comments

US Stage Late Comeback Over Japan in Tune-up Before Gold Match

The United States beat Japan 2-1 on Monday in an inconsequential game to end round-robin play.But the U.S. team’s failure to record a hit against a third-string Japanese pitcher until the sixth inning demonstrated the challenge it faces in the gold-medal matchup between the two teams.U.S. batters did race their way into three hits and a run against Yamamoto Fujita in the sixth, and Kelsey Stewart shot a tie-breaking homer to end the game an inning later.But, as United States’ 3-1 loss to Japan in the Beijing 2008 finals showed, counting on lucky hits late in the game delivers inconsistent returns. Failing to hit in key moments foiled the United States against Yukiko Ueno of Japan in 2008, the last time softball appeared at the Olympics.Ueno, 39, will be back in Tuesday’s final, as will U.S. hurlers Cat Osterman and Monica Abbott.Overall, the United States finished round-robin play on Monday scoring nine runs on 27 hits with Stewart’s blast over right their lone home run. By contrast, Japan had double the runs on 26 hits, including six homers, and stranded fewer runners.On Monday, both teams used their back-up pitchers and several bench players. The win means the United States will bat after Japan in the final.The rivals went unbeaten against their other four competitors at Tokyo 2020 to set up the 2008 rematch, when Japan became the only team other than the United States to capture gold. The two rivals also have met for the last seven biennial World Baseball Softball Confederation world championships, with U.S. taking five of them.Tokyo 2020 organizers returned softball to the Olympics, and both the hosts and their opponent have said in the long lead-up to the postponed competition that they hope an exciting final can boost interest in the sport and make it a recurring fixture.Later Monday, Mexico beat Australia, 4-1, to face Canada in Tuesday’s bronze medal game.Clouds hung over the ballpark on Monday, and Tuesday’s forecast calls for rain.Canada has played in each Olympics, but never placed higher than fourth. Mexico made their Olympics debut this year.

0