Tokyo Olympics Live News: Schedule, Medal Count and More
Tokyo Olympics Live News: Schedule, Medal Count and More
Current time in Tokyo: Aug. 4, 4:14 p.m.
TOKYO — Sydney McLaughlin recently said that “iron sharpens iron” when it comes to her relationship with Dalilah Muhammad. They are the pre-eminent practitioners of their craft, the two fastest women ever to run the 400-meter hurdles.
Few events were more highly anticipated at the Tokyo Games than the renewal of their rivalry on Wednesday at Olympic Stadium.
It was safe to assume that something extraordinary would happen, and McLaughlin delivered, breaking her own world record to win her first Olympic gold.
McLaughlin, 21, finished in 51.46 seconds. Muhammad ran the fastest time of her life to take the silver medal in 51.58 seconds, and Femke Bol of the Netherlands was third.
There have been various high-profile chapters between McLaughlin and Muhammad. At the 2019 world championships, Muhammad dipped under her own world record by 0.04 of a second to edge McLaughlin for the win at 52.16 seconds.
But at the U.S. Olympic trials in June, McLaughlin — so often considered the prodigy — met the outsize expectations that had shadowed her since she was a teenager by breaking Muhammad’s world record with a time of 51.90 seconds. Muhammad, after dealing with injuries and illness during the pandemic, finished second at the trials.
Those two races, though, were preludes to what played out on Wednesday, the fastest women’s 400-meter hurdles race in history — one day after Karsten Warholm of Norway had won gold with a time of 45.94 seconds in the fastest men’s 400-meter hurdles race in history.
Muhammad, 31, who had come to Tokyo as the reigning Olympic champion, went out hard to take an early lead. But McLaughlin was gaining on her coming off the final turn and outsprinted her in the final meters.
McLaughlin was a teenager when she competed at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, where she fell short of advancing to the final. It was a learning experience, and she leaned on some of those lessons in Tokyo. The Olympics were not new to her. She seemed utterly unfazed by it all.
She had spent the early part of the year refining her technique by running the 100-meter hurdles at the behest of her coach, Bob Kersee. The idea, McLaughlin said, was to “feel the rhythm of running faster.”
On Wednesday, she was the fastest in the world.
TOKYO — The formidable team of skateboarders from Japan continued its stellar performance at the Olympics and on Wednesday took the gold and silver medals in the women’s park competition, ending the gold medal hopes of the 13-year-old Sky Brown.
Sakura Yosozumi, 19, won the event under the blistering midday sun at Ariake Urban Sports Park. Her winning score of 60.09 put her a point ahead of the 12-year-old Kokona Hiraki.
Brown, who grew up in Japan, lives in California and competed for Britain, finished third to earn the bronze medal.
A victory by Hiraki or Brown would have made either one the youngest gold medalist in Olympics history. The official distinction remains with Marjorie Gestring, a diver who won at age 13 years 268 days at the 1936 Berlin Games.
Brown stumbled in her first two runs of the final but skated flawlessly on the pressure-packed third. She raised her arms in the air, climbed out of the bowl and knelt on the deck and then got hugs from her competitors.
The judges were less impressed and gave her a score of 56.47.
Misugu Okamoto, 15 and a favorite for the gold medal, came off the board on all of her final runs but still scored well enough to finish fourth.
The women’s park discipline in skateboarding had the youngest set of teenagers (and one preteen) in the Olympics. One by one, they dropped into the concrete bowl and buzzed over its ramps and hips and up its walls, flying up and over the lip to twist and turn and drop back in again.
Runs lasted 45 seconds. Brown, Hiraki and Okamoto were among those who stood out from the beginning with bigger airs, more nuanced tricks and bursts of speed and confidence.
Hiraki, who will turn 13 in about three weeks, was the second-youngest athlete among the 11,000 at these Olympics. She wore white Nike coveralls, like someone about to go painting. (The youngest Olympian competing in Tokyo was Hend Zaza of Syria, a table-tennis player.)
Brown turned 13 last month. The effervescent daughter of a British father and a Japanese mother, she grew up mostly in Japan and now lives mostly in Southern California.
“All three of them feel like home,” she said.
She competed in baggy pants and a tank top featuring the Union Jack. She gained attention in Britain by winning a juniors version of “Dancing With the Stars” in 2018. Her smile and her Instagram posts have earned her fans in at least three countries. She has a younger brother named Ocean who has gained attention, too.
She was severely injured last year in an accident at Tony Hawk’s indoor skatepark when she flew through a gap between two high ramps, crashing at least 15 feet to the concrete. She was unconscious with a skull fracture and broke a wrist and a hand.
She was back on a board a few weeks later and appeared to be flying higher and skating harder than ever at the Olympics.
“Falling is part of skateboarding,” she said in an interview in May. “It’s part of life. I was honestly excited to get back on the board.”
Brown’s main rival at the Olympics was expected to be Okamoto, a quiet and straight-faced competitor, the best park skater of the past couple of years. She is part of a deep Japanese contingent that has captured more medals in skateboarding than any other country — including all three of the Olympic gold medals awarded so far.
Kokona Hiraki of Japan, 12, and Sky Brown of Britain, 13, won the silver and bronze medals in the park skateboard competition on Wednesday. Because they didn’t win, the failed to claim the title of youngest-ever Olympic gold medalist.
Not that we really know who that is.
The current accepted youngest gold medalist is Marjorie Gestring, a 13-year-old American diver who won the springboard competition in 1936. Her record was threatened by Momiji Nishiya of Japan, a 13-year-old who won the street skateboard competition last week. But Nishiya was about two months older than Gestring was at the time of her gold.
Either Hiraki or Brown would have broken the record.
The youngest winner of any medal was Dimitrios Loundras, a Greek who at age 10 in 1896 won a bronze medal in team gymnastics.
But there’s one possible twist to Gestring’s record.
At the Paris Games of 1900, a Dutch rowing pair recruited a local French boy to be their coxswain. After they won, and a picture was taken, he disappeared into the crowd. Though several candidates have been put forward, his identity has never been discovered and remains one of the greatest mysteries in Olympic history.
The consensus is that he was 10 or younger, but despite the avid interest of Olympics researchers for years, that simply isn’t known for sure.
Here are highlights of U.S. broadcast coverage on Wednesday morning. All times are Eastern.
DIVING The qualifying round in women’s 10-meter platform diving airs live at 2:30 a.m. on USA.
VOLLEYBALL In the women’s quarterfinals, Serbia plays Italy at 4 a.m. and Brazil takes on Russia at 8:30 a.m. Both matches will be carried live on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN).
TRACK AND FIELD The finals in the men’s 200 meters, in which Noah Lyles of the United States is the favorite, and the men’s 800 meters headline another exciting session on the track at Olympic Stadium. Live coverage begins at 6 a.m. on NBC’s Peacock streaming service.
BASKETBALL Spain plays France in a women’s quarterfinal game, with the loser eliminated from medal contention. The game airs live at 8 a.m. on USA.
BEACH VOLLEYBALL Replays of men’s quarterfinal matches begin at 10:15 a.m. on NBCSN.
SPORT CLIMBING The women’s combined competition begins with qualifying rounds in speed and other disciplines. Coverage is at 10 a.m. on USA.
The International Olympic Committee said it was investigating a potential breach of Olympic regulations after two cyclists from China wore pins bearing the silhouette of Mao Zedong in a medal ceremony.
The small red and gold pins — once ubiquitous symbols representing Mao’s three-decade rule over China — were attached to the track suits of the cyclists, Bao Shanju and Zhong Tianshi, when they received gold medals in the women’s sprint on Monday.
The cyclists’ badges are a potential violation of Rule 50 of the Olympic charter, which bans “political, religious or racial propaganda” at Olympic venues.
In a news briefing on Wednesday, Mark Adams, an I.O.C. spokesman, said that the committee had asked China’s Olympic delegation to submit a report explaining the incident, and that it had been promised a “full formal answer soon.”
“They have also assured us already that this will not happen again,” Mr. Adams said.
Separately, the Korea Badminton Association said on Wednesday that it had filed a complaint with the World Badminton Federation after a Chinese player was captured on video swearing in a doubles match against South Korean players.
The Chinese badminton player, Chen Qingchen, repeatedly shouted what has been interpreted as a common Chinese obscenity. She apologized, saying that she was merely celebrating points scored and that she would adjust her “bad pronunciation.” But she did not say what she had intended to shout.
The incident was widely reported in South Korea — where nationalists sometimes chafe at China’s assertions of power — but lauded as a spirited and refreshing performance on Chinese social media.
The Chinese team ended up defeating the South Koreans.
The Greek synchronized swimming team has withdrawn from the Olympics because four of its members tested positive for the coronavirus, requiring the entire team to leave the athletes’ village in Tokyo.
The Hellenic Olympic Committee said in a statement that “there will be no Greek representation” in the duet or group events in synchronized swimming. All members of the team were transferred to a quarantine hotel, the committee said.
Olympic organizers said on Tuesday that one Greek swimmer had tested positive, and on Wednesday three more members of the team were added to the list of athletes who had been found to be infected with the coronavirus. At least 327 people connected to the Games have now tested positive in Japan since July 1, including 31 athletes, according to Tokyo 2020 officials.
The news ended a topsy-turvy run for the Greek swimmers. A key member of the team, Evangelia Platanioti, tested positive for the virus in late July and was thought to be out of the Games. But after a subsequent test turned up negative, she rushed to Tokyo and arrived on Sunday, just a day before the preliminary round of the duet competition in synchronized swimming, also known as artistic swimming.
She and her partner, Evangelia Papazoglou, tied for 10th place and advanced. But they had to withdraw before the next round on Tuesday evening.
Tokyo organizers announced a total of 28 new cases among Olympics personnel on Wednesday, the highest daily count reported so far.
Elsewhere in Japan, virus cases are surging. The country has recorded an average of nearly 10,000 new infections daily over the past week, the most since the start of the pandemic, according to New York Times data. The Japanese government said this week that it would begin hospitalizing only Covid-19 patients who were seriously ill or at risk of becoming so, leaving those with minor symptoms to isolate at home in order to reduce the strain on hospitals.
On Sunday, Raven Saunders won a silver medal in the shot-put at the Tokyo Games. On Tuesday, NBC reported that her mother had died in Orlando, Fla., where she had gone to attend an Olympic watch party for her daughter.
Saunders called her mother, Clarissa Saunders, her “number one guardian angel” in a message on Twitter.
Herbert Johnson, Raven Saunders’s longtime coach, confirmed her mother’s death in a Facebook post. He said that Clarissa Saunders and Raven’s sister, Tanzy, had gone from Charleston, S.C., the Saunders family’s hometown, to Orlando to watch Raven compete in the Olympics.
Raven Saunders did not disappoint. Sporting hair dyed green on the right and purple on the left and a mask that was a nod either to the Joker or the Hulk (her nickname), she defeated all competitors but Gong Lijiao of China.
Saunders, 25, brought attention to her feat, dancing and singing “Celebration” afterward and later, on the medals podium, crossing her arms in the shape of an X, a gesture she said was “for oppressed people.”
“Not being there is a bummer,” Clarissa Saunders said of not being able to be with her daughter in Tokyo, The State, a newspaper in Columbia, S.C., reported. “But hey, we’re cheering from here … and she knows we’re here cheering for her.”
Saunders, who finished fifth in the shot-put in the 2016 Rio Games, has publicly praised her mother for her support. In an Instagram post on Mother’s Day, Saunders said of her mother: “You’ve shown me what strength is and for that I can push through anything. You’ve shown me relentlessness and for that I’ve learned determination.”
Mayor John Tecklenburg of Charleston called Clarissa Saunders “Raven’s strongest supporter.”
“On behalf of the citizens of Charleston, we pray for Raven and her family, and join them in grieving this unimaginable loss,” Mr. Tecklenburg said in a statement.
CHIBA, Japan — Either way on Tuesday night, Tamyra Mensah-Stock knew there would be a first.
Since women’s wrestling was added to the Summer Olympics in 2004, a Black woman had never won the top prize. But in the light heavyweight gold medal match at Makuhari Messe Hall, Mensah-Stock, a Texas native whose father came to the United States from Ghana at 30, was going up against Blessing Oborududu of Nigeria.
“Oooooh, it was awesome,” Mensah-Stock said afterward with her usual zeal and earnestness.
“Oh my gosh, look at us representing,” she added later. “And I’m like, if one of us wins, we’re making history. You’re making history, I’m making history, we’re making history. It’s fantastic. It meant a lot. I’m so proud of Blessing. I was looking at her, ‘Dang, she’s killing it.’ But I can kill it, too.”
And Mensah-Stock, 28, certainly did, dominating her opponents throughout the Tokyo Games and beating Oborududu, 32, by a score of 4-1 to become the second American woman to win a wrestling gold medal after Helen Maroulis in 2016.
Asked about the feat after the match, she said: “Young women are going to see themselves in a number of ways. And they’re going to look up there and go: ‘I can do that. I can see myself.’”
Then Mensah-Stock signaled toward her head, saying: “Look at this natural hair. Come on, man! I made sure I brought my puffballs out so they could know that you can do it, too.”
Serving as a symbol to others has long been on Mensah-Stock’s mind. Back home in Katy, Texas, she started wrestling in 10th grade after she was bullied in track and field, her sport of choice. She reluctantly switched to wrestling at the behest of her twin sister, a wrestler, but soon found that the sport not only unlocked her athletic ability but also helped her develop confidence.
Mensah-Stock said she wanted other young women, perhaps those who felt as she once did, to see that “you can be silly, you can have fun, and you can be strong, you can be tough and you can be a wrestler.”
In her first year wrestling, Mensah-Stock finished second in the state championships but knew more was to come. She told a friend that they would be Olympians one day. In 2016, she made it to the Rio Games, but only as a practice partner for her teammates when she failed to secure a spot in the competition.
“From the very beginning, I knew I could get here,” she said.
Although a Black woman hadn’t won an Olympic gold in wrestling before, Mensah-Stock rattled off the names of Black wrestlers who had achieved so much before her. Among them: Toccara Montgomery, who finished seventh in the 2004 Games, and Randi Miller, who won a bronze medal in the 63-kilogram weight class in 2008.
“They paved the way for me, and I was like, ‘I know you guys could have done it, so I’m going out there and I’m going to accomplish this,’” Mensah-Stock said.
Before the gold medal match, Mensah-Stock struggled to sleep because of nerves. She said her coach, Izzy Izboinikov, made sure she ate something. Watching other wrestlers from the United States compete earlier on Tuesday made her anxiety worse.
“It wasn’t pretty,” she said.
But after the clock ran out and Mensah-Stock was the winner, she formed a heart sign with her hands and showed it to both sides of the arena. The television broadcast showed her family, watching from the United States, making the same gesture in response. From the stands, her training partner Maya Nelson clapped and shouted with so much glee that her mask couldn’t stay on.
The heart sign, she later said, was a tribute to her loved ones: her father who died in a car crash after leaving one of her high school tournaments, a tragedy that nearly led her to quit wrestling; her uncle, a former professional boxer, who died of cancer; her grandfather who also died of cancer; a late friend who was also a wrestler; her husband, her mother, her aunt, her sister and the entire country.
“I’m trying to send love to everyone,” she said.
Here are some highlights of U.S. broadcast coverage on Tuesday evening. All times are Eastern.
GOLF NBC Golf airs the first round of play in the women’s tournament live at 6:30 p.m.
TRACK AND FIELD Coverage begins at 8 p.m. on USA Network, with highlights including a replay of the women’s 200-meter and 800-meter races. The men’s 110-meter hurdles semifinals will be broadcast live starting at 10 p.m., and the highly anticipated women’s 400-meter hurdles final starts at 10:30 p.m. Heats for the decathlon, heptathlon and men’s javelin will be held.
WATER POLO The U.S. women’s team faces Canada in a quarterfinal match that will be replayed on NBCSN at 8 p.m. The U.S. men play Spain in a quarterfinal game at 2 a.m. on CNBC.
GYMNASTICS NBC will air replays of the men’s horizontal bar final and the women’s beam final starting at 9 p.m.
SOCCER The men’s teams from Mexico and Brazil face off in a semifinal game replayed at 9 p.m. on NBCSN.
SKATEBOARDING The women’s park competition kicks off at 9 p.m. on CNBC, with the finals airing live at 11:30 p.m.
WRESTLING Men compete in the round of 16 and quarterfinal matches for freestyle in the 57-kilogram and 86-kilogram weight classes. Women face off in the 57-kilogram class for freestyle. Coverage starts at 10 p.m. on the Olympic Channel.
BASKETBALL The N.B.A. superstar Kevin Durant leads the United States men’s team against Spain, with Pau Gasol, at 10:45 p.m. on USA Network. The women’s team, featuring Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi, plays Australia at 12:40 a.m. on USA Network in a live broadcast.
BASEBALL The U.S. team faces the Dominican Republic in an elimination game airing live at 12:15 a.m. on CNBC.