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= TOKYO 2020 =
From Lane One
/Updated/There may not be spectators in the stands and parts of the country are under states of emergency, and the popular narrative is that Japan doesn’t want the Olympic Games, but it turns out that the Games are a hit in the host country.
Viewership of the Opening Ceremony was reported at 56.4% in the Tokyo area, with few thousands folks gathered – against government recommendations – near the stadium. There were reports of protestors, but most were out to soak up some of the atmosphere of the Games (like the fireworks and music).
Then the competition start and daily reports show consistent viewing of the Games daily, with a projected 111.1 million Japanese – about 88% of the country – having watched some part of the competitions.
It doesn’t hurt that Japan has already set a national record for the most gold medals won in a single Games, including a sweep of the new skateboard events and dominating the judo tournament.
On the streets, Kyodo News reported:
“While public skepticism about holding the games during a pandemic was strong when they officially opened a week ago, many people in Japan appear keen to get hold of souvenirs of what is likely to be a once-in-a-lifetime event — especially as the country has so far stayed near to or at the top of the gold medal count.
“The official online store, which sells goods ranging from apparel to Japanese traditional crafts, even became temporarily inaccessible due to a traffic surge.”
After eight full days of competition, 154 of 339 events (45%) have been completed in Tokyo. The current medals leaders:
1. 46: China (21-13-12) and United States (16-17-13)
3. 37: Russian Olympic Committee (11-15-11)
4. 30: Japan (17-5-8)
5. 28: Great Britain (8-9-11)
So far, 76 countries have won at least one medal, compared to 86 for the entire 2016 Games in Rio.
Our exclusive TSX team scoring uses the familiar collegiate system of 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 per event to give a much better view of the relative achievements of the teams:
1. 592.0 United States
2. 486.0 China
3. 464.0 Russian Olympic Committee
4. 362.0 Japan
5. 304.0 Great Britain
6. 286.5 Italy
7. 273.5 Australia
8. 254.0 France
9. 220.0 Netherlands
10. 202.0 Germany
11. 184.0 Korea
12. 167.0 Canada
Even with a reduced-sized squad of 335 athletes, the “Russian Olympic Committee” is doing quite well in Tokyo.
Thursday night was a big one for NBC, with 19.5 million viewers across all channels, its biggest audience of the Game:
● 23 July (Fri): 8.2 million for the Opening Ceremony
● 24 July (Sat): 15.3 million
● 25 July (Sun): 19.2 million
● 26 July (Mon): 16.8 million
● 27 July (Tue): 16.2 million
● 28 July (Wed): 15.0 million
● 29 July (Thu): 19.5 million
These numbers are for the “total audience” for primetime programming across NBC-NBCSN-CNBC-USA Network, but far behind the Rio 2016 numbers, in a better time zone. The 2020 Games average audience is 17.5 million per night and NBC announced that more than 100 million Americans have watched some part of the Games on television.
NBC noted that Olympic viewing via streaming has passed 2,000,000,000 minutes, up 19% from Rio in 2016 and up 74% from the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games.
~ Rich Perelman
= RESULTS: SATURDAY, 31 JULY =
● Archery: Men
Turkey’s Mete Gazoz, 22, told reporters after a World Archery World Cup win in 2019 that he would win at the Games “by smiling.”
Instead, he was shouting for joy after defeating Italy’s Mauro Nespoli, 6-4, to take the Olympic title in Tokyo. He took out reigning World Champion Brady Ellison of the U.S. in the quarters, 7-3, then stopped Chih-Chen Tang (TPE) by 6-2 in the semis and then stormed past Nespoli, also something of a surprise finalist.
It was Turkey’s first-ever medal in Olympic archery.
Japan’s Taraharu Furukawa, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist, won the bronze in Tokyo by defeating Tang, 7-3.
● Athletics: Men’s Discus
Sweden’s Daniel Stahl was supposed to win and he did.
Stahl, the world leader, took the lead at 68.90 m (226-0) in the second round and never looked back to become Sweden’s first-ever discus gold medalist.
Behind him, the battle was on between Stahl’s teammate Simon Pettersson, Austria’s Lukas Weisshaidinger and Australian Matthew Denny. Weisshaidinger got out to 66.65 m (218-8) in the second round to stand second over Pettersson (66.58 m/218-5) and Denny (65.53 m/215-0).
Weisshaidinger improved to 67.07 m (220-0) in round three and Denny got out to 65.94 m (216-4) but was still fourth.
Slovenia’s Kristjan Ceh was expected to fight for a medal and moved to fourth in the fourth round with his 66.05 m (216-8) throw. Then Pettersson got hold of a good one in the fifth round and spun out to 67.39 m (221-1) to take second. Weisshaidinger fouled his last two throws and Sweden now had gold and silver in the same Games … after having won only one medal ever in this event before, a 1972 bronze from Ricky Bruch.
Denny got back to fourth on his final attempt, a lifetime best of 67.02 m (219-10). Sam Mattis was the only American in the final; he finished eighth with a seasonal best of 63.88 m (209-7).
● Athletics: Women’s 100 m
Dramatic is one way to describe this historic event. After a sensational first round in which six women ran under 11 seconds, the Athletics Integrity Unit announced a provisional suspension of Nigerian star Blessing Okagbare for Human Growth Hormone from an out-of-competition test on 19 July.
In the semis, Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah – the defending champion – ran away to a 10.76 stunner in the first race, only to see Marie-Josee Ta Lou (CIV) run 10.79 to win the second semi and then a 10.73 victory from 2008-12 Olympic champ Shelly-Anne Fraser-Pryce (JAM) in the third semi.
Those three, along with Shericka Jackson (JAM: 10.79 behind Ta Lou), were in the medal hunt. American Teahna Daniels ran a lifetime best of 10.98 in semi three and was the only U.S. runner to qualify for the final.
The fast times had everyone wondering about the final: was there something special coming?
Off the gun, Fraser-Pryce got out well and was joined by Thompson-Herah in front by 25 m. They ran together, heads down and were separated from everyone else by mid race and moving away. They were stride for stride and then Thompson-Herah found a magical gear not seen since 1988 and sprinted away from Fraser-Pryce, raising her left hand in celebration as she crossed in 10.61!
The wind was actually slightly in the faces of the runners at -0.6 m/s, so Thompson-Herah’s time is even more amazing, equaling the no. 2 performance in history, Florence Griffith-Joyner’s winning time at the 1988 U.S. Olympic Trials. Thompson-Herah eclipsed FloJo’s Olympic Record of 10.62 from the Seoul Games in 1988.
Fraser-Pryce ran 10.74 for second and Jackson passed Ta Lou in the final 10 m for a lifetime best of 10.76 and the bronze medal. Ta Lou was fourth in 10.91; Daniels was seventh in 11.02.
In the last four Games, Jamaica has won 10 of the 12 medals in this race and the medals sweep was the first since 2008. Usain Bolt may be gone, but the Jamaican women are as dominant as ever.
● Athletics: Mixed 4×400 m
The U.S. was disqualified, then reinstated for the final, but it still didn’t turn out the way they hoped.
The quartet of Trevor Stewart, Kendall Ellis, Kaylin Whitney and Vernon Norwood were the fourth and fifth-place finishers at the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 400 m. They were game, but they were simply outrun.
Stewart (44.9) passed second to Ellis, who ran 50.2, but saw Marileidy Paulino of the Dominican Republic run a sensational 48.7 – she has run 49.99 from blocks – and give the lead to Anabel Medina.
Medina faded, but Whitney managed only 50.29 and the U.S. was fourth by a half-second when Norwood got the stick, behind the Netherlands (Femke Bol, 49.74), the Dominicans and Poland. Norwood’s 44.43 anchor was good, but only third-best in the field as Kajetan Duszynski finished for Poland in 44.38 and won the race.
The Dominicans, with a 44.90 from Alexander Ogando, held off Norwood, who passed the Netherlands to win the bronze medal.
U.S. depth had always been its strong suit in relays, but once again, notice was served that the world is catching up. The U.S. selections were made by relay coach Orin Richburg, and the next-in-line athletes from the Trials were in this final. That might not have been the best-available U.S. team, but it was a team which made sense from a procedural point of view; maybe that’s what’s most important in the U.S. today.
● Badminton: Men’s Doubles
Joy for Chinese Taipei, with Yang Lee and Chi-Lin Wang defeating China’s JunHui Li and YuChen Liu in the final, 21-18, 21-12.
Lee and Wang got to the final with a 21-11, 21-10 of expected finalists Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan from Indonesia, while Li and Liu struggled past Malaysia’s Aaron Chia and Wooi Yik Soh, 24-22, 21-13.
Chia and Soh did win the bronze medal, 17-21, 21-17, 21-14 over Ahsan and Setiawan, to complete another upset in a topsy-turvy event. It was the first-ever medal in the sport for Chinese Taipei.
● Fencing: Women’s Team Sabre
Favored Russia came through as expected and won the gold with a 45-41 win over France in the gold-medal final.
The Russian Olympic Committee entry moved past Japan in its quarterfinal by 45-34, then rolled over Korea, 45-26, in the semis. In the final, the Russians actually lost five of the nine matches, but a big 11-3 win by Olga Nikitina over Charlotte Lembach proved to be the difference.
Korea salvaged the bronze with a 45-42 win over Italy. The U.S. finished sixth, after losing to France in the quarterfinals.
● Gymnastics: Men’s Trampoline
Belarus won a second straight gold medal, but not in the way it was expected.
Returning champion Uladzislau Hancharou finished fourth, so instead it was Ivan Litvinovich whose degree-of-difficulty propelled his routine to a 61.175 score, enough to edge Chinese star Dong Dong (61.235).
New Zealand’s Dylan Schmidt won the bronze (60.675) and Hancharou was fourth (60.565).
The shocks started in qualifying, when China’s Lei Gao, winner of four straight world titles, crashed on his second routine and did not advance to the final. Litvinovich, 20, had won silver at the 2019 Worlds and moved up to the top of the podium, one place ahead of Dong for the second straight major championship.
Dong added to his Olympic medals set: the 2012 gold medalist, he won bronze in 2008 and the silver in 2016.
● Judo: Mixed Team
France thrashed Japan, 4-1 in the final event of the Olympic Judo program, earning a third Olympic gold medal for superstar Teddy Riner.
Japan had beaten France in the 2019 World Championships, but Clarisse Agbegnenou defeated Chizuru Arai in the women’s 70 kg opener and then Axel Clerget downed Shoichiro Mukai in the men’s 90 kg class by golden score for a 2-0 lead.
Akira Sone, the women’s +78 kg champ, won over Romane Dicko in the +70 kg group to close to 2-1, but then Riner defeated Aaron Wolf in golden score to give the French a 3-1 advantage. Sarah Leonie Cysique finished the job with a win over Tsukasa Yoishida in the women’s 57 kg class and France had the gold.
In the bronze-medal matches, Israel defeated Russia, 4-1, and Germany stopped the Netherlands, 4-2.
● Rugby 7s: Women
New Zealand’s “Black Ferns” came into the tournament as favorites after winning the 2019-20 Sevens Series and they left with the gold medal after a 26-12 win over France in the Olympic final.
New Zealand was up 19-5 in the first half and sailed home thanks to tries from Michaela Blyde, Gayle Broughton, Stacey Fluhler, and Tyla Nathan-Wong. Nathan-Wong added three conversions for 11 total points.
Fuji defeated Great Britain, 21-12, in the bronze match to take home Olympic medals in both rugby events. The U.S. finished sixth, losing to Australia, 17-7, in the fifth-place match.
● Sailing: Men’s and Women’s RS:X
Three-time World Champion Kiran Badloe (NED) finished off a brilliant performance with a fourth-place in the medal race and took the Olympic title with a net of 37 points, an amazing 37 points ahead of his nearest competitor. Badloe won five of the first 12 races and was second in another, and had top-five finishes in 11 of 13 races.
The fight for second saw France’s Thomas Goyard fail to start in the medal race, but his net score of 74 was just enough to hold onto the silver. China’s Kun Bi finished eighth and moved up to bronze with 75 points, just ahead of Yoav Cohen (ISR: 76), the medal race runner-up and Mattia Camboni (ITA: 76), who also did not start.
China’s Yunxiu Lu claimed with two wins and six seconds and finished in the top six in 11 o 13 races to win the women’s RS:X title with 36 points. That was just enough to edge France’s Charlene Picon, the Rio gold medalist, who finished second in the medal race and scored a net of 38 points for silver.
Great Britain’s Emma Wilson, a two-time European Championships medalist, also ended with a net of 38 points, but her total score was higher than Picon and had to settle for bronze.
● Shooting: Team Mixed Trap
Spain and tiny San Marino ended up as the top two teams in qualifying and faced off for the gold medal, with San Marino assured to win its second medal ever … in the same Games!
In the final – this was a new event at the Games – it was Fatima Galvez and Alberto Fernandez (ESP) who were only slightly better than Alessandra Perilli and Gian Marco Berti, 41-40. Fernandez was a rock, making all 75 shots in the qualifying and then 24 of 25 in the final.
The U.S. pair of Madelynn Bernau and Brian Burrows qualified for the bronze-medal match and defeated Slovakia, 3-2 in the shoot-off after a 42-42 tie after 50 shots in regulation. Burrows made his last nine shots to get the U.S. even and into the shoot-off.
● Shooting: Women’s 50 m Rifle/3 Positions
Swiss Nina Christen was the only shooter to win medals at both of the ISSF World Cups in this event in 2021. Consistency matters most in shooting and she navigated best through the three-position test to win the gold with an Olympic Record of 463.9 points.
She had only the fifth-best score in the kneeling portion, and was fifth-best in prone shooting. But in the standing portion, she scored 102.9 to lead everyone in the third round and then began eliminating the others. She shot 10.8, 10.4, 10.7, 10.4 and 10.2 to be the best scorer in each of the last five rounds and win the event.
Russians Yulia Zykova was second (461.9) and Yuliya Karimova – the 2018 World Champion – finished third at 450.3. American Sagen Maddalena was fifth with 427.8.
It was the first-ever medal for Switzerland in the event and Christen’s second in the Games after her bronze in the 10 m Air Rifle.
● Swimming: W 800 m Free-200 m Backstroke
The tension for American fans was palpable as Katie Ledecky – the world-record holder and two-time Olympic champion – facing Australian Ariarne Titmus for the third time.
Here, Ledecky was the favorite, but needed to grind down her rival, lap after lap, to ensure no last-lap miracles from the Australian. And that’s what she did.
Slowly, methodically, powerfully, Ledecky did just that. She had a 1.22-second edge on Titmus at the halfway mark and then kept pouring on the pressure. There was no let-up and the lead was 1.32 seconds after 500 m, 1.72 seconds after 600 m, then 2.43 seconds after 700 m and looking clear. Titmus made up a little ground on the penultimate lap, but it was not enough to challenge Ledecky, who won in 8:12.57, the no. 16 performance in history. Ledecky now owns the top 23 times ever.
Titmus was no slouch, moving to no. 2 on the all-time list at 8:13.3, a national record. Italy’s Simona Quadarella, the silver-medal winner in this event at the 2019 Worlds, finished third in 8:18.35 with American teen Katie Grimes fourth in 8:19.38.
Ledecky has said previously that she is committed to swim through 2024 and her contract with swim apparel maker TYR is into that year. She told NBC that 2024 is for sure, and maybe even 2028?
Her scorecard for Tokyo: 800 and 1,500 m Freestyle golds, 400 m Free and 4×200 m Free silvers and a fifth in the 200 m Free. She now has seven Olympic golds in her career over three Games and 10 total medals (7-3-0), just behind three Americans who have won 12 total swimming medals: Jenny Thompson, Dara Torres and Natalie Coughlan.
(Thanks to Olympic super-statistician Dr. Bill Mallon for noting all three.)
The women’s 200 m Backstroke final pointed to Australia’s Kaylee McKeown, the world leader, but it was Canada’s Kylie Masse who led at the halfway point and showed no interest in backing off.
McKeown turned second at the 150 m mark, down 0.69 to Masse, but then pushed steadily into the lead and won going away in 2:04.68, the no. 7 performance all-time. Masse was a clear second in 2:05.42 and then there was the fight for third.
Americans Phoebe Bacon and Rhyan White were 3-4 for most of the race, but found themselves in a fight with Australian vet Emily Seebohm, who turned fifth at the 150. But Seebohm came hard on the final 50 m and passed both to grab third in 2:06.17 to 2:06.39 for White and 2:06.40 for Bacon.
The win gives McKeown the 100 and 200 m Backstroke titles, last done by American Missy Franklin in 2012. But it’s also the first-ever win for an Australian in this event in Olympic history.
● Swimming: Men’s 100 m Butterfly
Dressel did it! In the first of three swims on the night, American Caeleb Dressel rocketed out to a strong lead at the turn, already up 0.65 up on Hungary’s 200 m Fly winner Kristof Milak.
But Milak mounted a charge in the last 25 m and close slightly, but Dressel’s huge reach – he’s 6-3 – got him to the wall a full stroke ahead in 49.45, a world record, lowering Dressel’s 2019 World Championships mark of 49.50.
Milak was strong to the finish as well, timing 49.68, the no. 4 performance of all time. Swiss Noe Ponti got third in 50.74.
It’s Dressel’s second individual gold of the Games and his third overall. His domination of this event is this: of the nine times in history under 50 seconds, seven are his.
● Swimming: 4×100 m Mixed Medley
This most-odd event had Great Britain as the favorite, primarily with Breaststroke superstar Adam Peaty and 2017 Worlds Butterfly medalist James Guy in the middle of the team.
However, double Backstroke medal winner Ryan Murphy had the U.S. in the lead for most of the opening leg, but caught by Italy’s Thomas Ceccon at the wall. With Nicolo Martinenghi on Breaststroke, Italy had the lead after the second leg, but Peaty moved the British up to fourth. The U.S., with Lydia Jacoby (who had her goggles slide down to her mouth on the dive) faded to sixth.
Then Guy took over, swimming against mostly women on the Fly leg and flew into the lead with a 50.00 leg and gave Anna Hopkin a solid lead over China’s Juanxuan Yang on the Freestyle leg.
Torri Huske had a rough time as the U.S. leg on the Butterfly, timing 56.27 and dropping to last. The U.S. was so far behind that even Caeleb Dressel’s 46.99 anchor could do no more than move up to fifth.
Hopkin maintained the lead over female anchors Yang, Australia’s Emma McKeon and Italy’s Federica Pellegrini and finished in a world-record time of 3:37.58, ahead of China (3:38.36) and Australia (3:38.95).
● Tennis: Women’s Singles
In a tournament which initially looked like one of the highlights of the Games, Swiss Belinda Bencic ended up defeating Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) in the women’s final by 7-5, 2-6, 6-3.
Australia’s Ash Barty was the top seed, but lost in the first round. Japan’s Naomi Osaka lost in the third round and third-seed Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) was bounced in the second round.
Bencic, 24, who has reached the semis at the U.S. Open, won Switzerland’s first women’s tennis medal ever and its first Singles medal since Marc Rosset won in Barcelona in 1992.
Fourth-seeded Elina Svitolina (UKR) won the bronze over Elena Rybakina (KAZ), 1-6, 7-6, 6-4.
● Triathlon: Mixed Relay
Although new to the Olympic Games, this event has a long pedigree within the sport, with a world championship held since 2009.
Great Britain was the gold-medal favorite, but women’s bronze winner Katie Zaferes had the U.S. in the lead after the first leg after a strong run, ahead of Germany’s Laura Lindemann and Britain’s Jessica Learmonth.
But two-time Olympic medalist Jonny Brownlee got Britain to the front with the fastest second leg in the field and World Champion Georgia Taylor-Brown did the same in the third leg to create a lead of 21 seconds over the U.S., with Kevin McDowell and Taylor Knibb following Zaferes.
On the anchor, silver medalist Alex Yee was not to be touched and finished in 1:23:41, unchallenged.
Meanwhile, France’s two-time World Champion Vincent Luis charged through the swim and bike phases to erase the 12-second American lead, passing Morgan Pearson and holding a six-second lead heading into the run.
But Pearson had Luis in his sights and pulled even after the first lap and sped away on the final circuit, making up 15 seconds in the final phase and bringing the U.S. home with silver, 1:23:58-1:24:04. It was a run that Pearson will long remember. .
● Weightlifting: Men’s 81 kg and 96 kg
China’s world-record holder and World Champion Xiaojun Lyu won the men’s 81 kg class with an Olympic Record 374 kg, getting Olympic Records along the way in the Snatch (170 kg) and Clean & Jerk (204 kg).
It’s Lu’s third straight Olympic medal after gold in London in 2012 and a silver in Rio.
Behind him, Zacarias Bonnat Michel of the Dominican Republic claimed a surprise silver, placing third in Snatch and then lifting 204 kg in the Clean & Jerk – same as Lu – for a total of 367 kg. It’s the first-ever medal for the Dominicans in weightlifting and second medal of the Games after the Mixed 4×400 m in athletics.
Italy’s 2017 bronze medalist, Antonino Pizzolato grabbed the bronze (365 kg), just ahead of American Harrison Maurus. Maurus completed five of his six lifts, but missed on his last Clean & Jerk – 205 kg – that would have given him the bronze medal. He finished at 361 kg, a new American Record and equaled his own American mark with his 200 kg lift in the Clean & Jerk. It’s the best finish by a U.S. men’s lifter at the Games since 1988.
The 96 kg class featured Qatar’s Fares El Bakh, the 2019 World Championships silver medalist, who set an Olympic Record of 402 kg and an Olympic Clean & Jerk record of 225 kg.
He won easily from Venezuela’s Keydomar Vallenilla (387 kg) and Georgia’s 2021 European Champion, Anton Pliesnol (also 387 kg), both just ahead of Canada’s Boady Santavy (386 kg).
It’s Qatar’s first-ever Olympic gold in any sport and second-ever in weightlifting (also a bronze in 2000).
● Athletics: More crazy qualifying in the morning session, especially in the men’s 800 m.
In the first heat, Kenya’s Ferguson Rotich rolled down the home straight and sprinted to a 1:43.75 win, more than a full second faster than the next five. Australian Peter Bol set a national record in second (1:44.13) and Elliot Giles (GBR) was third in 1:44.49 … in a heat! American Isaiah Jewett faded to fifth, but his 1:45.07 qualified him on time.
In the saner heats, Marco Arop (CAN), Clayton Murphy of the U.S., Emmanuel Korir (KEN) and Nijel Amos (BOT) all won; American Bryce Hoppel advanced in third in heat six.
The men’s vault qualifying did include American Matt Ludwig, who rushed to Tokyo to replace Covid-stricken Sam Kendricks, but did not quality, clearing 5.50 m (18-0 1/2). The qualifiers did include the other two Americans, Chris Nilsen and K.C. Lightfoot, as well as heavy favorite Mondo Duplantis (SWE), 2012 Olympic champ Renaud Lavillenie (FRA), Poland’s Piotr Lisek and Rio champ Thiago Braz (BRA).
World leader Jasmine Camacho-Quinn (PUR) led the qualifying in the women’s 100 m hurdles in 12.41, ahead of Jamaica’s Megan Tapper (12.53 lifetime best). Americans Keni Harrison, Gabbi Cunningham and Christina Clemons all advanced without incident.
The women’s 400 m hurdles heats were led by Rio champ Dalilah Muhammad of the U.S. (53.97) and world-record holder Sydney McLaughlin (54.65), Dutch star Femke Bol (54.43) and American Anna Cockrell (55.37) all qualified.
American Valarie Allman, no. 2 on the world list for 2021, led the women’s discus qualifying at 66.42 m (217-11), one of only two automatic qualifiers. Two-time Olympic champ Sandra Perkovic (CRO) qualified third at 63.75 m (209-2) and 2019 World Champion Jaime Perez was seventh (63.18 m/207-3). World leader Jorinde van Klinken (NED) did not qualify (14th); neither did Americans Rachel Dincoff (27th) and Kelsey Card (28th).
In the evening qualifying in the men’s long jump, Cuba’s Juan Miguel Echevarria reminded everyone of what he is capable of, leading at 8.50 m (27-10 3/4), ahead of world leader Miltiadis Tentoglou (GRE) at 8.22 m (26-11 3/4). JuVaughn Harrison of the U.S. qualified fifth at 8.13 m (26-8 1/4); Americans Steffin McCarter (15th) and Marquis Dendy (19th) did not qualify for the final.
The women’s 800 m showed that American sensation Athing Mu will be hard to beat. She loped to a comfortable 1:58.07 win in heat two and could have gone much faster. Jamaica’s Natoya Goule won heat one over Britain’s Jemma Reekie, 1:59.57-1:59.77, but Ajee Wilson of the U.S. – favored for a medal – faded on the home straight, finished in 2:00.79 and did not advance. Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson won heat three in 1:59.12, with Raevyn Rogers of the U.S. in third (1:59.28) and advancing as a time qualifier.
● Team/Baseball: The U.S. went to 2-0 with a 4-2 win over South Korea. Nick Martinez pitched five innings, giving up one run, for the win. Triston Casas and Nick Allen both hit home runs for the U.S. The American squad advances to round two of the playoffs and will face the other group winner – Japan – on Monday.
● Team/Basketball: The U.S. men progressed to the quarterfinals with a second-place finish in Group A via a 119-84 rout of the Czech Republic in Saitama. Jayson Tatum led all scorers with 27 and Kevin Durant had 23, as the U.S. shot 62% from the floor.
The quarterfinals will begin on 3 August; Australia won its group with a 3-0 mark; other groups are continuing.
● Team/Beach Volleyball: Americans Nick Lucena and Phil Dalhausser did advance to the round-of-16 playoffs by winning their final group game against Argentina’s Julian Azaad and Nic Capogrosso. They will now face the hot Qatari pair of Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan, who won Pool C with a 3-0 record, on 2 August.
The other American pair, Jake Gibb and Tri Bourne, will play Julius Thole and Clemens Wickler (GER), second in Group F.
Americans Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil finished pool play undefeated with an impressive 17-21, 21-19, 15-11 win over Brazil’s Ana Patricia and Rebecca and won Pool D with a 3-0 mark. The Americans will now play Canada’s Heather Bansley and Brandy Wilkerson in the round-of-16 on Sunday.
● Team/Football: In the men’s tournament quarterfinals, Spain beat the Cote d’Ivoire, 4-2, in extra time; Japan defeated New Zealand on penalty kicks after a 0-0 tie; Brazil stopped Egypt, 1-0, and Mexico is into the semifinals with a 6-3 win over Korea.
● Team/Volleyball: The U.S. women suffered their first loss in Tokyo, getting swept by the Russian Olympic Committee, 25-20, 25-12, 25-19. Worse, hitter Jordan Thompson had to leave during the second set due to an ankle injury, but may be able to return for later games. The U.S. (3-1) will play Italy (3-1) on Sunday in its final group game, but will advance in any case to the quarterfinals.
● Team/Water Polo: The U.S. men fell to 2-2 with an 11-8 loss to Hungary in pool play and will play Greece (3-0-1) on Monday in its final group game. The U.S. is already assured of making it to the playoff round.
= PREVIEWS: SUNDAY, 1 AUGUST =
(25 events across 11 sports)
● Athletics: Men’s 100 m-High Jump
With 2019 World Champion Christian Coleman out with a whereabouts suspension, American Trayvon Bromell has been the story of 2021. The 2015 Worlds bronze medalist, he made the U.S. Rio team, but suffered from injuries until 2020 and in 2021 is suddenly the world leader at 9.77 and winner of six of seven meets this year.
But the heats showed that Americans Ronnie Baker (10.03) and Fred Kerley (9.97), Canada’s Andre De Grasse (9.91 season best) and South Africa’s Akane Simbine (10.08) are ready to go.
So is Italy’s Lamont Jacobs, who won heat three in a national record of 9.94 and Nigeria’s Enoch Adegoke, who won heat two in 9.98.
Not ready was Bromell, fourth in heat two in 10.05 and only made it to the semis as a time qualifier.
If Bromell can get right – his passing gear did not materialize on Saturday – he can win. But Baker, De Grasse, Simbine and Jacobs and perhaps Kerley all looked like potential medal winners, and Bromell did not. Safest best: Baker and De Grasse, both brimming with confidence.
The men’s high jump medalists from the 2019 World Championships are all in: winner Mutaz Essa Barshim (QAT) and Russians Mikhail Arimenko and Ilya Ivanyuk.
The top three on the 2021 world list are in: Ivanyuk and Maksim Nedasekau (BLR) at 2.37 m (7-9 1/4) and the amazing LSU dual threat in the high jump and long jump, JuVaughn Harrison, at 2.36 m (7-8 3/4). Add in a few more at 2.33 m (7-7 3/4) this year, including Brandon Starc (AUS), Shelby McEwen (USA), Gianmarco Tamberi (ITA), Canadian Django Lovett and Akimenko.
Barshim and Ivanyuk are experienced, proven medal winners, but Harrison’s athleticism and explosiveness at take-off seems irresistible. He’s also undefeated, winning three indoor meets (including the NCAA title) and six outdoor meets, including the SEC, NCAA and then Olympic Trials at 2.33 m (7-7 3/4) while long jumping at the same time. Why not a seventh?
● Athletics: Women’s Triple Jump-Shot Put
The women’s triple jump winner is a foregone conclusion: world indoor record holder Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela.
The 2016 silver medalist from Rio, she won the 2017 and 2019 World Championships, set the world indoor record at 15.43 m (50-7 1/2) in 2020 and is the no. 2 jumper of all time at 15.43 m outdoors this year. Over.
The contenders for the other medals include Jamaica’s Shanieka Ricketts, the 2019 Worlds silver medalist and no. 2 on the world list at 14.98 m (49-1 3/4); Cuba’s Liadamis Povea is third on the world list (14.93 m/48-11 3/4), and American Keturah Orji is fourth on the world list at 14.91 m (48-11), but was the last qualifier for the final.
Spain’s Ana Peleteiro for a season’s best of 14.62 m (47-11 3/4) as the second qualifier and Thea Lafond from tiny Dominica set a national record of 14.60 m (47-10 3/4) and qualified third.
Catherine Ibarguen (COL), the Rio gold medalist, qualified seventh with a season’s best, but only 14.37 m (47-1 3/4). Perhaps a surprise for the final.
The women’s shot promises to be a showdown between two double Olympic medalists. New Zealand’s Valerie Adams won Olympic gold in 2008 and 2012 and China’s Lijiao Gong won bronze and silver the same years. Gong won the world title in 2019, but Adams – now recovered from injuries – is ready to make another try for a third gold.
American Michelle Carter upset both in 2016 in Rio, relegating Adams to silver with Gong fourth. In 2021, Gong is the world leader at 20.39 m (66-10 3/4); only she and American Jessica Ramsey (20.12 m/66-0 1/4) have surpassed 20 m. Raven Saunders of the U.S., fifth in Rio, is third at 19.96 m (65-6). Adams stands equal-fourth with Auriol Dongmo (POR) at 19.75 m (64-9 3/4).
Gong led the qualifying at 19.46 m (63-10 1/4) and is the favorite, with teammate Jiayuan Song the no. 2 qualifier at 19.23 m (63-1 1/4) and Saunders at 19.22 m (63-0 3/4). Can Saunders or Ramsey pull another Carter-esque upset?
● Badminton: Women’s Singles
The luck of the draw is producing an interesting situation as the women’s tournament heads to the finish. Both of the Chinese entries are in the same semifinal, with top-seeded Yufei Chen playing eighth-seed Bing Jiao He.
Opposite are India’s star V. Sindhu Pusarla and Chinese Taipei star Tzu-Ying Tai.
Pusarla is trying to head back to a second Olympic final, after she lost to Carolina Marin (ESP) in the Rio final in 2016. At 26, she’s the reigning World Champion and has won five Worlds medals (1-2-2) since 2013. Tai is a Taipei superstar and has been world-ranked no. 1 multiple times. She beat Sindhu or the 2018 Asian Games, but has never been further than the Worlds quarterfinals or the round of 16 at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. She may be due.
Chen owns two Worlds bronzes, from 2017 and 2019 and owns 10 tournament titles on the BWF World Tour. This is her first Olympic Games, but she is a serious contender for gold; in the seven previous editions of this event in the Games, China has won four times, lastly in 2012.
He also won a Worlds bronze in 2018; she also won a bronze and silver in the 2017 and 2019 Asian Games, so she is worthy, but a definite underdog against Chen.
● Cycling: Men’s & Women’s BMX Freestyle
This is a new event for 2020, aimed at youth interest, with the UCI holding “Urban Cycling World Championships” beginning in 2017.
The men’s field starts with two-time World Champion Logan Martin of Australia, who was also the leading qualifier in the seeding stage, averaging 90.97 on his two trials.
Japanese teen (19) Rim Nakamura was fifth at the 2019 Worlds, but won the 2019 Asian Championships and will be a threat: he qualified second at 87.67. Pan American Games champion Daniel Dehrs (VEN) qualified third (85.10).
American entries include 2018 World Champion Justin Dowell and 2020 Worlds bronze winner Nick Bruce; they ranked eighth and ninth in the seeding runs, so they will lead off the riders in the finals. Costa Rica’s Kenneth Tencio Esquivel, the 2018 Worlds silver medalist, qualified sixth.
The women’s Freestyle Park event has been dominated by Americans Hannah Roberts and Perris Benegas.
Roberts is the 2017-19-21 World Champion and Benegas won in 2018. They ranked 1-2 in the seeding runs at 87.70 and 86.50.
They will be challenged in the finals, especially by Swiss Nikita Ducarroz, third in the seeding at 83.55 and the 2021 Worlds silver medal winner. Britain’s Charlotte Worthington was the no. 4 qualifier and a two-time Worlds bronze winner. German Lara Lessman won the 2017 Worlds silver and qualified sixth.
Chile’s Macarena Perez Grasset is also a contender; although only seventh in the seeding trials, she won a Worlds silver in 2019.
No one doubts that Roberts is the clear favorite, but the race for silver and bronze will be both close and entertaining.
● Diving: Women’s 3m Springboard
If it’s diving, you start with China, with familiar stars Tingmao Shi and Han Wang, with Shi the reigning Olympic Champion from Rio and World Champion in 2015-17-19. She is the clear favorite.
Wang won the Worlds silvers in 2013-17-19 and teamed with Shi for the 3 m Synchro gold. They must be penciled in for gold and silver unless …
The challengers will include Jennifer Abel of Canada, a two-time Worlds bronze winner in 2011 and 2017 and one of the most consistent divers in the world. Her teammate Pamela Ware also won a Worlds bronze, back in 2013, and won the 2019 Pan American Games.
Australia has contenders in Esther Qin – 6th at the 2019 Worlds – and Annabelle Smith, German Tina Punzel (8th), and Britain’s Grace Reid (10th), with Americans Hailey Hernandez and Krysta Palmer looking for a perfect performance to get into the medal hunt. Japan is performing brilliantly, so why not 2019 Worlds fifth-placer Sayaka Mikami.
● Fencing: Men’s Team Foil
A real shot for a medal from the United States, which returns two members of its bronze-medal-winning team from the 2016 Olympic bronze squad and two from the team that won the 2019 World Championship.
Alexander Massialas and Gerek Meinhardt were on both of those teams and Nick Itkin is the third for Tokyo and they are one of the favored squads. They will have their hands full with 2016 silver winners France, also the 2019 Worlds silver medal winners, returning Enzo Lefort, Julien Mertine and Maxime Pauty. Italy returns all three of its 2019 Worlds bronze winners: Alessio Foconi, Andrea Cassara and Daniele Garozzo.
Those three teams start as favorites; Japan and Russia will also contend and Hong Kong, led by Ka Long Cheung, could also be a contender.
● Golf: Men
The men’s tournament saw the leaders shoot 63s on the Kasumigaseki Country Club course: Austria’s Sepp Straka in round one and then American Xavier Schauffele in round 2. The latter’s 131 (-11) gave him a one-stroke lead over Carlos Ortiz (MEX: -10) and two over Hideki Matsuyama of Japan (-9).
Schauffele maintained his one-stroke advantage through round three with a 68, but Matsuyama is looking over his shoulder at -13 (67), with Paul Casey (GBR) and Carlos Ortiz (MEX) at -12 (201). With four more at -11 and two at -10, this is a wide-open tournament and a win by Matsuyama would trigger a big celebration in golf-happy Japan.
● Gymnastics: Men’s Apparatus: Floor Exercise-Pommel Horse
The qualifying scores showed Israel’s Artem Dolgopyat with the top score at 15.200, followed by Russian star Nikita Nagornyy (15.066), Sung-Hyun Ryu (KOR: 15.066) and Rayderley Zapata (ESP: 15.041).
Nagornyy has been in the middle of all the action in Tokyo: team gold and All-Around bronze, and was sixth in this event in the 2019 Worlds.
Dolgopyat is an experienced competitor, especially on Floor, with silver medals in the 2017 and 2019 Worlds and the 2020 European title. China’s Ruoteng Xiao also owns a Worlds bronze from 2019. Zapata is also a Worlds medal winner on Floor, from 2015. American Yul Moldauer owns the 2017 Worlds bronze on Floor. So there are plenty of contenders, but Dolgopyat – born in the Ukraine – has a great chance to win Israel’s first-ever medal in Olympic (artistic) gymnastics.
On Pommel Horse, four men scored 15+ in the qualifying: Chih Kai Lee (TPE) led with 15.266, matched by Ireland’s Rhys McClenaghan and Japan’s Kohei Kameyama. American Alec Yoder scored 15.200, trailed by Max Whitlock of Britain (14.900) and China’s Wei Sun (14.800).
Whitlock is enormously experienced, and is the defending champion from Rio, after winning a home bronze in 2012 in London. He’s a three-time World Champion, including the 2019 Worlds and enters as one of the favorites, regardless of his qualifying result.
Lee earned the silver at the 2019 Worlds and McClenaghan the bronze, the first-ever Worlds medal won by an Irish athlete! Japan’s Kazuma Kaya qualified only seventh, but was fifth in the 2019 Worlds and has to be considered a threat. Not to be ignored: Russian David Belyavskiy, the final qualifier, but the silver winner in this event in the 2017 Worlds.
American Alec Yoder is in his first Games, but was part of the U.S. team at the 2018 Worlds; he was 30th in the Pommel Horse in qualifying then, but fourth in Tokyo now!
● Gymnastics: Women’s Apparatus: Vault-Uneven Bars
The leading qualifier for the Vault final was Simone Biles, who opted out of the final. She was in good form in the qualifying, leading the vault at 15.183, with American Jade Carey at 15.166 and then Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade at 15.100.
Biles will be replaced by American MyKayla Skinner (4th: 14.866), who was only out of the final because of the two-per-country qualifying rule.
Two members of Russia’s winning team entry are in this field: Liliia Akhaimova and Angelina Melnikova.
Biles and Carey went 1-2 in this event at the 2019 World Championships; the other returning finalists are fourth-placer Shannon Olsen, Mexico’s Alexa Moreno (7th), Akhaimova (7th) and Korea’s Seo-Jeong Yeo (8th).
Could Carey and Skinner both capture medals? Certainly possible, but this is also a chance for Andrade to capture the gold medal that eluded her in the All-Around.
In the Uneven Bars, Belgium’s Nina Derawel – the two-time World Champion in this event – led the qualifying at 15.366 and American Suni Lee was the only other over 15 at 15.200.
The next four qualifiers were Russians – their whole team – so only Anastasiia Iliankova (14.966) and Melnikova (14.933) can compete. Biles was the last qualifier at 14.566; she will likely be replaced by France’s Melanie de Jesus dos Santos (FRA).
Lee won the 2019 Worlds bronze in this event and looks like a solid choice for silver behind Derwael. Melnikova was fourth in 2019 and one of the two Russians certainly looks primed for a medal. Not to be overlooked in German Elisabeth Seitz, the 2018 Worlds bronze winner in this event; she qualified seventh.
● Sailing: Men’s Laser-Women’s Laser Radial
Australians have won the last two Olympic golds in the Men’s Laser class with Tom Slingsby and Tom Burton, and Matt Wearn – the 2018 Worlds silver medalist – is about to make it three.
Heading into the medal race, Wearn – the 2018-19-20 Worlds silver winner – has an almost insurmountable lead of 49 net points to 71 for Norway’s Hermann Tomasgaard. Wearn could lose if he is disqualified or does not finish, but baring disaster, he will win.
The race for second is tight, with Tomasgaard (71) trying to hold off Tonci Stipanovic (CRO: 74) – the Rio silver medalist – and 2018 World Champion Pavlos Kontides (CYP: 76). German Philipp Buhl, the 2018 Worlds bronze winner, is still in contention with 85 net points, as is Brazilian Robert Scheidt, the 1996 and 2004 Olympic gold medalist (now 48).
Wearn’s edge has been his consistency: he’s been first or second in five of the 10 races; of the remaining sailors in the top six, only Kontides (2) and Buhl (2) have more than one top-three finish so far.
The medal race will settle a tight contest between familiar stars in the Laser Radial class: Denmark’s Anne-Marie Rindom, Dutch star Marit Bouwmeester and Belgian Emma Plasschaert.
Rindom, the 2016 Olympic and 2018 Worlds bronze medalist, has the lead with 64 net points, with one win, one second and two fourths. Bouwmeester, the gold and silver medalist in the last two Games, is second with 71 and three top-three finishes.
Plasschaert, the 2018 World Champion, sits fifth with 83 net points, but is in position to move up with a high placement ahead of Sweden’s Josefin Olsson (79) and Canada’s Sarah Douglas (79). Olsson is a past Laser Radial World Championships silver medalist from 2014; she was sixth in Rio and possibly headed for the podium.
At 30, Rindom is well positioned to win her second Olympic medal and Denmark’s first gold in women’s sailing since 1996.
● Swimming: Men’s 50 m Free-1,500 m Free-4×100 m Medley
Caeleb Dressel barely had time to strip down to swim in the second semi of this race after accepting his gold from the 100 m Butterfly. But he was on the starting block in good time, had the lead off the start and powered to the finish, winning in 21.42, the equal-fourth-fastest performance in the world this year.
He won by 0.18 over Greece’s Kristian Gkolomeev and 0.25 ahead of Britain’s Ben Proud and fellow American Michael Andrew (21.67). All four advanced to the final, as the first heat was won in a slower 21.53 by France’s Florent Manaudou, ahead of Bruno Fratus (BRA: 21.60).
Manaudou was the 2012 Olympic Champion (21.34) and second in Rio (21.41) and is a force to be reckoned with; Fratus won three straight Worlds medals in 2015 (3rd), 2017 (2nd) and 2019 (2nd).
Andrew has done 21.48 this year, but that won’t get a medal. Dressel, with more time to rest, is the clear favorite for tomorrow, with Manaudou – who retired after 2016, but returned in 2019 to participate in the International Swimming League – and Fratus are definite threats.
Brazilian Cesar Cielo’s Olympic Record of 21.30 is in danger, but his world mark of 20.91 from 2009 appears safe. Maybe.
The men’s 1,500 m qualifying showed 800 m bronze medalist Mykhallo Romanchuk (UKR) the fastest at 14:45.99 in heat one, followed by 800 m winner Robert Finke of the U.S. (14:47.20), Germany’s 2019 World Champion Florian Wellbrock (14:48.53) and 800 m silver winner – and reigning Olympic gold medalist – Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA: 14:49.17).
Wellbrock is the world leader this year at 14:36.45 at the German Nationals, with Romanchuk at the European Championships at 14:39.89 and then Paltrinieri at 14:40.38 at the Italian Nationals. Finke sits fourth at 14:46.03.
This looks like four men for three medals, but Britain’s Daniel Jarvis will be a factor; he qualified fifth with a seasonal best of 14:50.22.
Finke was superb in winning the 800 m Free; does he have another such performance ready? Paltrinieri has enormous experience as a winner: Olympic champion in Rio and twice World Champion in this event, from 2015 and 2017. He’s the favorite.
The U.S. has won the men’s 4×100 m Medley 14 times in the 15 times it has been contested at the Games; only at the 1980 Games did the American fail to win … as it did not attend.
The U.S. goes in with a Backstroke medal winner in Ryan Murphy, the fourth-place finisher in the Breaststroke in Michael Andrew, the world-record holder in the 100 m Fly in Caeleb Dressel and a proven anchor in Zach Apple from the 4×100 m Freestyle.
That’s a good team, but one that will be challenged by Russia, Great Britain and Australia. The U.S., Great Britain and Australia were 1-2-3 in 2016, but the British beat the U.S. in the 2019 Worlds with Luke Greenbank, Adam Peaty, James Guy and Duncan Scott and all four are back: 3:28.10-3:28.45 and 3:28.81 for Russia in third. Murphy and Dressel swam the first and third legs for the U.S.
In the heats, Italy led the qualifying at 3:30.02 in winning race one and Britain was the second race winner at 3:31.47. The U.S. qualified only fourth in heat one, with Joseph Armstrong, Andrew Wilson, Tom Shields and Blake Pieroni, none of whom are likely to swim in the final.
Too close to call; it may come down to Apple and Scott on the anchor.
● Swimming: Women’s 50 m Free-4×100 m Medley
Australia’s Emma McKeon and Cate Campbell came in 1-2 on the world list and were 1-3 in the heats in 24.02 – an Olympic Record for McKeon – and 24.15, with Dane Pernilla Blume – the reigning Olympic Champion – second in 24.12.
Blume won heat one in 24.08, ahead of Swede Sarah Sjostrom in 24.13. McKeon and Campbell were both in the second semi, along with Americans Simone Manuel and Abbey Weitzeil. McKeon got out best and maintained a small lead to the wall in another Olympic Record of 24.00. Weitzeil got up for second in 24.19, ahead of Pole Katarzyna Wasick (24.26) and Campbell fourth – after a bad start – in 24.27. Manuel was seventh in 24.63 and did not qualify for the final.
McKeon is the favorite, no doubt, but Blume is going to be right there.
The U.S. and Australia have split the last four Olympic races, with the Americans winning the last two in London and Rio, with Australia second both times.
Australia looks the favorite here, with double gold medalist Kaylee McKeown on Backstroke, Emma McKeon on Fly and Cate Campbell on Freestyle. Butterfly is a weakness.
The U.S. has Backstroke bronze medalist Regan Smith, Breaststroke winner Lydia Jacoby (or Lilly King if desired), fourth-placer Torri Huske for Fly and Abbey Weitzeil for Freestyle. Good, but probably not good enough to hold off Campbell.
China and Canada will certainly contend as well; Jacoby and Huske swam poorly in the Mixed 4×100 m and will be aching to do better. They will need to be superb for the U.S. to win and just excellent if the Americans are to win a medal for the 14th time in 15 Games; the U.S. has never failed to medal in this event except for the boycott year of 1980.
Canada led the qualifying at 3:55.17, with the U.S. second in 3:55.18 (Rhyan White, King, Claire Curzan, Erika Brown), both in heat two. Australia won heat one in 3:55.39.
Three gold-medal matches will be on: Alexander Zverev (GER) vs. Russian Karen Khachanov in the men’s Singles; Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova (CZE) vs. Swiss gold-medal winner Belinda Bencic and Viktorija Golubic in the women’s Doubles, and in the Mixed Doubles, it’s an all-Russian final with Elena Vesnina and Aslan Karatsev vs. Anastasiia Pavlyuchenkova and Andrey Rublev.
Important; not sexy. But Bencic could get a second gold!
● Weightlifting: Women’s 76 kg
China does not have an entrant in this class and with North Korea absent from the Games, the returning medal winners from the 2019 Worlds are Neisi Dajomes of Ecuador (bronze) and Clean & Jerk bronze winner Aremi Fuentes of Mexico (fourth overall).
Ukraine’s Iryna Dekha was fifth in 2019 and Swede Patricia Stenius was seventh; they all figure as contenders.
However, the 2019 World Champion at 71 kg, American Katie Nye is in this class. Her winning total of 248 kg in 2019 compares very favorably with the 245 kg lifted by Dajomes for the 76 kg bronze and thus this weight could see a rare multi-medal performance – even a sweep – by lifters from the Americas.
Stepping down in weight, from 81 kg to 76 is Darya Naumava (BLR), who finished fourth at the 2019 Worlds, lifting a combined 244 kg. This is getting too close to call, but Nye feels she can perform at this weight successfully. The U.S. has one Olympic women’s weightlifting gold, by Tara Nott at 48 kg in Sydney in 2000. Will Nye be the second?
= INTEL REPORT =
The Tokyo 2020 organizers announced the third-largest number of positives in the Olympic community on the 31st, with 21 total, bringing the cumulative total to 241.
Fourteen of the 21 positives were contractors, who are 51% of the total (124), and seven were “Games-concerned personnel” (now 72 total or 30%). No athlete infections were reported. That keeps the athlete total at 23, the media total at 12 and the Tokyo 2020 staff and volunteer total at 10.
This should be the time of greatest risk, as the swimmers are just finishing up and 1,900 track & field athletes are arriving to compete.
The testing report by stakeholder group through 29 July:
● Athletes and team officials: 30 positives in 177,092 tests (0.02%).
● Media/Tokyo 2020 staff: 51 positives in 204,281 tests (0.03%).
The report noted a Japanese government statistic that 40,558 tests were made at airports for Olympic-related personnel coming into the country through 29 July. To have limited “Olympic visitors” to just less than 41,000 people through the first half of the Games is a stunning reduction in foreigners coming to what for many has been one of the world’s biggest parties.
The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee reported no positives among 1,174 U.S. personnel in Tokyo on 30 July; There was one positive among 1,174 personnel in Tokyo on 29 July, the first positive since the 24th. Prior results: 1 in 1,038 athletes and officials on 24 July; 0 of 1,144 on 25 July, 0 of 1,172 delegates on 26 July, 0 of 1,175 on 27 July, and 0 of 1,214 for 28 July.
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