TOKYO 2020/Wednesday Review & Preview: McLaughlin shatters 400H WR; De Grasse beats U.S. in 200 m; Talakhadze lifts WR 1,065 lbs.!

Double Olympic gold medalist and world-record setter Sydney McLaughlin (USA) (Photo: Tim Healy for TrackTown USA)

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= TOKYO 2020 =
From Lane One

Two amazing feats of sprinting have produced world 400 m hurdles records on consecutive days on the track in Tokyo, with Norway’s Karsten Warholm running a stunning 45.94 and then American Sydney McLaughlin winning on Wednesday in 51.46.

Commentators are finding it hard to draw comparisons to these brilliant performances, but there’s actually an app – really a book – for that.

World Athletics publishes a seldom-referred-to book called the “IAAF Scoring Tables of Athletics,” last updated in 2017 (before the World Athletics name was adopted). It’s available on the World Athletics Web site and is based on decades of statistical research, mostly by Bulgaria’s Dr. Bojidar Spiriev and after his death in 2010, by his son, Attila.

The 370 pages of tables offer comparisons of the “value” of times or distances in men’s and women’s events, allowing a comparison. So how do Warholm’s and McLaughlin’s world records stand up?

The tables are not designed to compare men’s and women’s events against each other, but only within genders. So, in the comparison of the men’s world records, the top 10:

1,356 ~ 100 m: 9.58 by Usain Bolt (JAM)
1,351 ~ 200 m: 19.19 by Usain Bolt (JAM)
1,346 ~ Long Jump: 8.95 m by Mike Powell (USA)
1,341 ~ 400 m H: 45.94 by Karsten Warholm (NOR)
1,323 ~ Shot Put: 23.37 m by Ryan Crouser (USA)

1,321 ~ 400 m: 43.03 by Wayde van Niekerk (RSA)
1,317 ~ Pole Vault: 6.18 m by Mondo Duplantis (SWE)
1,316 ~ Marathon: 2:01.39 by Eliud Kipchoge (KEN)
1,314 ~ High Jump: 2.45 m by Javier Sotomayor (CUB)
1,306 ~ 10,000 m: 26:11.00 by Joshua Cheptegei (UGA)

Among the women’s events:

1,382 ~ Discus: 76.80 m by Gabrielle Reinsch (GDR)
1,372 ~ Shot Put: 22.63 m by Natalya Lisovskaya (URS)
1,333 ~ Long Jump: 7.52 m by Galina Christyakova (URS)
1,331 ~ Heptathlon: 7,291 by Jackie Joyner-Kersee (USA)
1,314 ~ 100 m: 10.49 by Florence Griffith-Joyner (USA)

1,309 ~ High Jump: 2.09 m by Stefka Kostadinova (BUL)
1,308 ~ 200 m: 21.34 by Florence Griffith-Joyner (USA)
1,305 ~ Javelin: 72.28 m by Barbora Spotakova (CZE)
1,304 ~ 400 m: 47.60 by Marita Koch (GDR)
1,303 ~ Hammer: 82.98 m by Anita Wlodarczyk (POL)

McLaughlin’s 51.46 was scored at 1,286 points, behind the 1,295 for the marathon record of 2:14:04 by Brigid Koskei (KEN), the 1,290 for the pole vault (5.06 m by Yelena Isinbayeva/RUS) and Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas’s new 15.67 m triple jump, and the 1,287 points for records in the 1,500 m (3:50.07 by Ginzebe Dibaba/ETH) and 10,000 m (29:17.45 by Almaz Ayana/ETH).

The 800 m mark of 1:53.28 by Jarmila Kratochvilova (CZE) also scores 1,286.

That means she can go faster.

It’s worthwhile to note that several of the above women’s records were set by chemically-enhanced Eastern Europeans in a time with much less effective anti-doping activities. When will those records fall?

Now 242 events in – out of 339 – (71%), the current medals leaders:

1. 79: United States (25-31-23)
2. 70: China (32-22-16)
3. 53: Russian Olympic Committee (14-21-18)
4. 48: Great Britain (15-18-15)
5. 40: Japan (21-7-12)

So far, 85 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. 933.0 United States
2. 742.0 China
3. 597.5 Russian Olympic Committee
4. 559.5 Great Britain
5. 505.5 Japan
6. 415.0 Australia
7. 378.0 Italy
8. 376.5 Germany
9. 345.0 France
10. 306.5 Netherlands
11. 249.0 Korea
12. 232.5 Canada

NBC announced that Monday evening’s primetime coverage drew 15.8 million viewers, the ninth time in 10 nights that more than 15 million have tuned in. As specific numbers were not given for Saturday and Sunday, the available information shows:

● 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
● 30 July (Fri): 15.2 million
● 31 July (Sat): not reported
● 01 Aug. (Sun): not reported
● 02 Aug. (Mon): 15.8 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. NBC says more than 105 million Americans have watched some part of the Games so far.

The average is still over 16 million for the “total audience” in primetime, compared to 27.5 million per night in Rio in 2016.
~ Rich Perelman


Artistic Swimming: Duet
Russians Svetlana Romashina and Svetlana Kolesnichenko dominated the event, winning both the Technical and Free routines and compiling a score of 195.9079.

That was well ahead of the Chinese par of Xuechen Huang and Wenyan Sun (192.4499) and they were far ahead of bronze medalists Marta Fiedina and Anastasiya Savchuk (189.4620). Japan’s Yukiko Inui and Moeka Yoshida (187.8166) were fourth.

This is the third straight gold for Romashina, who won with Natalia Ishchenko in London and Rio.

Athletics: Men’s 200 m-800 m-Hammer
American Noah Lyles came into Tokyo with two-year win streak of 11 finals in a row and did everything right in the 200 m final … and lost.

Canada’s Andre De Grasse, the 2016 silver medalist, impressed everyone with his world-leading 19.73 in the semifinals and re-shaped the race. Lyles, who jogged at the finish of his semi and ended up third, drew an unfamiliar inside lane (three) instead of his preferred lane seven and knew he had to burn the turn to be able to use his top-end speed to catch everyone else.

Off the gun, Lyles executed his plan to perfection. He ran hard on the curve and coming into the straight, actually had the lead and looked like he might be on his way to gold. But De Grasse (in six) and American Kenny Bednarek (in seven) were hot on his tail and when De Grasse pushed hard in the middle of the straight, Lyles did not have the overdrive gear so often employed in his big wins.

De Grasse got him in the end, winning in a national record 19.62, into a headwind of 0.5 m/s, moving him to no. 8 on the all-time list and giving him two medals in Tokyo after his 100 m bronze.

Bednarek also passed Lyles near the line, finishing in 19.68, making no. equal-11th all-time. Lyles was third in 1974, equaling his seasonal best, ahead of the third American, teen Erriyon Knighton (19.93) and then Liberia’s Joseph Fahnbulleh (19.98 national record).

It was Canada’s first win in this event since Percy Williams in 1928!

Kenya’s Ferguson Rotich had controlled his heat and semi with blistering pace from the front of the pack, but in the final, he was happy to let Australia’s Peter Bol do the pacework, leading the pack through the first lap in 53.8.

Everyone was still in contention with 200 m to go, and then Emmanuel Korir (KEN) – the slowest qualifier from the semis – screamed into the lead past Bol and into the home straight.

Korir was all-out into the lead with Bol fading and Poland’s Patryk Dobek moving into second and Rotich coming from the back.

Rotich found an extra gear in the final and passed Dobek and closed n Korir as the Kenyans went 1-2 in a slow 1:45.06-1:45.23. Dobek was third in 1:45.39 and Bol fourth in 1:45.92.

American Clayton Murphy had the same idea as at the Olympic Trials, waiting to slingshot down the straight, but was too far back to make a meaningful move when Korir blew the race apart around the final bend and finished last in 1:46.53.

How slow was this? Rotich won his heat in 1:43.75 and his semi at 1:44.04. But it was Kenya’s fourth straight win in the event.

Poland celebrated a men’s-women’s hammer sweep, with Wojciech Nowicki, 32, so many times a medalist, but never the winner, grabbing hold of the event from his very first throw.

A three-time Worlds bronze medalist and the Rio 2016 bronze winner, he opened with the only throw over 80 m in the first round, at 81.18 m (266-4) and improved in round two to 81.72 m (268-1), a distance no one else could match. His third-round toss of 82.52 m (270-9) ended up being the winner and he had five straight throws over 80 m before a final foul. Any of three of his throws would have won the gold.

Behind him, Norway’s unheralded Eivind Henriksen was sitting third most of the day, then was shunted to fourth when four-time World Champion Pawel Fajdek muscled into second in the firth round at 81.53 m (267-6). Two throws later, Henriksen got his chance and sent the ball-and-chain to 81.58 m (267-8) for a national record and moved into second. That’s how it ended.

American Rudy Winkler figured to be a factor, but could not improve on his opening throw of 77.06 m (252-10) and finished a disappointing seventh. Teammate Daniel Haugh threw 76.22 m (250-1) and had two fouls and finished 11th. Along with the women’s throwers, this was a downer of a meet for the U.S. hammer throwers, but the World Championships in Eugene are only a year away.

Athletics: Women’s 3,000 m Steeple-400 m Hurdles
Everyone wanted to see if world-record holder Beatrice Chepkoech (KEN) was just going to run away and hide, as she had done in so many races in the past. She had the lead off the start, but was sixth after three laps and finished in seventh at 9:16.33.

So someone else was going to win. Uganda’s Peruth Chemutai went to the lead, shadowed closely by American Courtney Frerichs and Kenya’s Hyvin Kiyeng, a former World Champion. With three laps to go, Frerichs had the lead and was working to split a pack of five runners behind her that included Chemutai, Kiyeng, Winfred Yavi (BRN) and fellow American Emma Coburn.

Frerichs poured on the pressure, and had broken away from everyone except Chemutai with two laps to go. At the bell, Frerichs had a 5 m lead, but after the barrier around the first turn, Chemutai took off and breezed to a comfortable win in 9:01.45, a national record.

Frerichs was unchallenged for silver, finishing in 9:04.79, a season’s best, with Kiyeng third (9:05.39) and Mekides Abebe (ETH) coming up for fourth in 9:06.16. Coburn was tryin g to move up on the final lap, but fell and was ultimately disqualified for a lane violation.

The third American in the final, Val Constein, finished 12th in 9:31.61.

Another staggering, historical, awesome race was run in the 400 m hurdles, this time by the women.

All eyes were on the trio of American world-record setter Sydney McLaughlin in lane four, Dutch star Femke Bol – undefeated in 2021 – in five and Rio 2016 champion Dalilah Muhammad in seven. McLaughlin had taken away Muhammad’s world mark with a blazing 51.90 at the U.S. Trials, but here they were again.

Muhammad had a strategy: go full bore from the gun. She made up the two staggers outside of her within the first two hurdles, while McLaughlin was running fast but steady in the middle of the track, moving up on Bol.

Muhammad pushed and pushed, with McLaughlin behind her and came off of the far turn in the lead, but the gap was closing. Bol had charged hard around the turn and came toward the straight actually leading McLaughlin.

But McLaughlin – who has the best Twitter handle in the sport, @GoSydGo – passed Bol by the ninth hurdle and set her sights on Muhammad. She was still behind over the 10th hurdle, but charging and her superior flat speed sent her past the Rio gold medalist into the tape as the 2020 Olympic Champion.

The time? A mind-boggling 51.46, taking another 0.44 off of her mark from the Trials, with Muhammad the second woman under 52 with a brilliant 51.58, the no. 2 performance ever. Bol lost, but moved to no. 3 all-time at 52.03, the fourth-fastest time ever run. Five of the seven finishers got lifetime bests; American Anna Cockrell was disqualified for a lane infraction. Jamaica’s Janieve Russell was fourth in 53.08.

This isn’t the end, folks. Muhammad is 31 and can be a factor in Paris. McLaughlin and Bol are both 21.

Boxing: Men’s 81 kg
Cuba won its second Olympic boxing gold – both over Great Britain – as Arlen Lopez won his second Olympic gold with a 4:1 decision over Benjamin Whittaker.

Lopez won a close one: four judges had him by 29-28, 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27, with one judge voting for Whitaker, 29-28. Lopez moved up from the 75 kg class he won in Rio.

Imam Khataev of Russia and Loren Alfonso (AZE) won the bronze medals.

Cycling: Men’s Team Pursuit
Italy dominated this event, setting a world record of 3:42.307 in winning its heat and then taking it down further to 3:42.032 in the final. The team of Francesco Lamon, Simone Consonni, Jonathan Milan and World Time Trial Champion Filippo Ganna were more than a match for everyone, but the final with 2020 World Champion Denmark was close: 3:42.032 to 3:42.198.

The final reversed Italy’s silver-medal finish at the 2020 Worlds and was their first win in this event since 1960, then Italy’s third win in a row (and seven of the prior nine).

Australia won the bronze by overtaking New Zealand in the 3-4 race.

Equestrian: Jumping
Eight riders finished the Jumping competition with perfect, no-penalty records, requiring a jump-off for the medals. This was a test of execution and time, with a 45-second limit and the places determined by time in case there were no penalties.

It was close, but Britain’s Ben Maher won his second career Olympic gold – also from 2012 in Team Jumping – by getting Explosion W around the course without incident in 37.85 seconds. All six rides in the jump-off had no penalties – again – but Peder Fredricson (SWE) was second-fastest at 38.02 and Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) was third in 38.90. Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann was fourth in 39.71.

Fredricson won his second consecutive Olympic silver in the event; Britain won its second straight gold.

Sailing: Men’s and Women’s 470
Australia’s Mathew Belcher and Will Ryan won silver in Rio, but moved to the top of the podium for Tokyo, winning this class with ease at just 23 points. They were in the top two in seven of the 11 races and had four wins, including the medal race.

With their World Championships golds – Belcher has won eight times with Ryan aboard for five – they’re one of the best ever in this class.

Sweden’s Anton Dahlberg and Fredrick Bergstrom were comfortably second with 45 points, including three wins and a second in the medal race. Spanish veterans Jordi Xammar and Nicolas Rodriguez finished third at 55, just edging New Zealand’s Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox (57).

In the women’s 470, Britain’s Hannah Mills won silver in this event in London and gold in Rio and added another gold in Tokyo, sailing this time with Eilidh McIntyre.

They moved up from being 2019 Worlds bronze medalists to the top of the podium, winning at 38 points with seven top-3 finishes in the 11 races.

Poles Agnieszka Skrzypulec and Jolanta Ogar were in third before the medal race, but finished fourth to tie France’s Camille Lecointre and Aloise Retornaz at 54. Because the Poles were fourth in the medal race and the French sixth, Skrzypulec and Ogar took silver.

The U.S. pair of Nikole Barnes and Lara Dallman-Weiss were 12th (98).

Skateboarding: Women’s Park
Japan celebrated another Skateboarding gold, with 2018 World Champion Sakura Yosozumi – 19 years old – putting up a big score in the first round of 60.09 and then seeing it stand up for the entire event.

Teammate Kokona Hiraki, age 12, also scored high in the first round at 58.05, then improved to 59.04 for the silver. Britain’s Sky Brown, 13, had two middling runs, but then scored well in the third round at 56/47 to claim the bronze medal.

Japan’s 2019 World Champion, Misugu Okamoto, 15, was fourth at 53.58. They were the only ones to break 50.00.

This gives Japan three straight Skateboarding golds, no doubt to the disappointment of street maintenance crews throughout the country. American Bryce Wettstein, 17, was sixth (44.50).

Swimming: Women’s Open Water 10 km
To avoid the heat of the day in Tokyo, the women’s 10 km was started at 6:30 a.m. and came down to a pack of five women heading into the final 1.4 km lap.

The leader at the lap-to-go buoy was Germany’s Leonie Beck, with Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA), defending champion Sharon van Rouwendaal (NED) close behind and American Ashley Twichell and Australia’s Kareena Lee a couple of meters further behind.

That’s when it was go-time for Cunha, a four-time winner of the World 25 km Championship, but a silver and bronze winner at 10 km. She took the lead over Beck, but with van Rouwendaal right behind. These two dueled it out, stroke for stroke for perhaps 1,000 m right to the touch, with Cunha getting there first in 1:59:30.8 to 1:59.31.7 for the defending champion.

Lee had moved up steadily from fifth to third and touched in 1:59.32.5, just 1.7 seconds behind the winner and Anna Olasz (HUN) moved up steadily from eighth to fourth in 1:59:34.8.

Beck was fifth; American Haley Anderson and Twichell were 6-7 in 1:59.36.9 and 1:59.37.9.

Cunha finally has the 10 km medal she was looking for.

Weightlifting: Men’s +109 kg
Georgia’s Lasha Talakhadze won his second Olympic gold in dominating fashion, posting three world records and putting on the show everyone was hoping for.

He made all six of his lifts, claiming world and Olympic marks in the Snatch (223 kg/491 lbs.), the Clean & Jerk (265 kg/584 lbs.) and the combined total of 488 kg (1,075 lbs.), erasing his mark of 485 kg from April of this year. Wow!

Behind him, Ali Davoudi of Iran made five of his six lifts and totaled 461 kg for second, followed by Man Assad of Syria (424 kg). American Caine Wilkes finished ninth at 390 kg.

Wrestling: Greco-Roman 67 kg-87 kg
At 67 kg, Iran’s Mohammad Reza Geraei handled Ukraine’s Parviz Nasibov, 9-1, to win the gold medal, stepping down from 72 kg quite successfully. It’s Iran’s first-ever medal in this class.

Three-time World Champion Frank Stabler (GER) came back through the repechage rounds to defeat Ramaz Zoidze (GEO) by 5-4, for one bronze medal, and Mohamed Ibrahim El-Sayed (EGY) won the other against Russia’s Artem Surkov on criteria after a 1-1 tie.

At 87 kg, Ukraine’s Zhan Beleniuk defeated Viktor Lorincz (HUN), 5-1, to deny the Lorincz family two Olympic golds. Older brother Tamas Lorincz won the 77 kg class and now has bragging rights until Paris.

Beleniuk was the favorite, moving up from the silver he won in Rio in 2016 at 85 kg.

Germany’s Denis Kudla wrestling back through the repechage bracket and won a bronze medal with a pin of Mohamed Metwally (EGY). Same for Serb Zurab Datunashvili, who defeated Ivan Huklek (CRO), 6-1.

Wrestling: Women’s Freestyle 62 kg
Japan’s perfect record in this class continues, with a fifth gold medal in five Games, this time for Yukako Kawai.

She defeated Aisuluu Tynybekova (KGZ) – the 2019 World Champion at 62 kg – in a tight, 4-3 match. That reversed a Tynybekova win in the 2019 Worlds round of 16. Kawai finished the tournament at 4-0 and outscoring her opponents by 27-7.

Ukraine’s Iryna Koliadenko won one bronze with a 3-1 win vs. Anastasija Grigorjeva (LAT) and Taybe Yusein (BUL) took the other, beating Lyubov Ovcharova of Russia, 10-0.


Athletics: The morning qualifying was in the men’s 110 m hurdles and javelin. The hurdles is previewed further below; the javelin had some surprises.

There was no surprise as far as prohibitive favorite Johannes Vetter (GER) was concerned; he was an auto-qualifier at 85.64 m (281-0) and no. 2 overall.

The qualifying leader was India’s Neeraj Chopra at 86.65 m (284-3); Vetter was second.

Among the non-qualifiers was 2012 Olympic champ Keshorn Walcott (TTO: 79.33 m/260-3), 2019 World Champion Anderson Peters (GRN: 80.42 m/263-10) and 2015 World Champion (and Rio silver winner) Julius Yego (KEN: 77.34 m/253-9).

Americans Curtis Thompson finished 21st at 78.20 m (256-7) and Michael Shuey did not get a legal mark.

In the evening session, qualifying continued in the women’s 400 and 1,500 m. Jamaica’s Stephenie Ann McPherson led all of the 400 m qualifiers in a lifetime best of 49.34 in winning semifinal three, ahead of Allyson Felix of the U.S. (49.89). Marileidy Paulino of the Dominican Republic, looking very much like a medal winner, ran a national-record 49.38 to win semi one, beating Jamaica’s Candice McLeod (49.51 PR), Cuba’s Roxana Gomez (49.71 PR) and American Quanera Hayes (49.81).

Favorite Shaunae Miller-Uibo won semi two at 49.60 over Jodie Williams of Great Britain (49.97 PR). American Wadeline Jonathas was fourth in semi two and did not advance.

Paulino, McPherson and Miller-Uibo drew 4-5-6 for the final, with Hayes in lane two and Felix on the outside in lane nine. Felix broke 50.0 for the first time since 2017, but has an uphill climb to a medal in the final.

The semis in the women’s 1,500 m were staggeringly fast, with reigning Olympic champ Faith Kipyegon winning semi one in 3:56.80, the no. 8 performance of the year! The first five were all under 4:00, and American Elle Purrier St. Pierre was sixth at 4:01.00, but qualified on time.

American Cory McGee was involved in a crash with Kenyan Winny Chebet and was advanced to the final after finishing 11th in 4:10.39.

In semi two, Sifan Hassan won in a more sensible time of 4:00.23, ahead of Britain’s Laura Muir (4:00.73); American Heather MacLean was 12th (4:05.33) and did not advance. It took 4:01.69 to make the final.

Team/Baseball: The U.S. got home runs from Triston Casas and Tyler Austin and five innings of shutout pitching from Scott Kazmir and defeated the Dominican Republic, 3-1, to stay alive in the Olympic tournament.

The U.S. will now play South Korea, a 5-2 loser in the semifinals with Japan, for the right to play Japan in the gold-medal game. That match-up will be on the 5th. The loser will play the Dominican Republic for the bronze medal. The Americans beat South Korea, 4-2, in the group stage.

Team/Basketball: The U.S. women’s team ran its Olympic win streak to 53 with an impressive 79-55 pounding of Australia to move to the semifinals against Serbia.

The Aussies shot just 30% against the U.S. and were out-rebounded, 44-38. Breanna Stewart poured in 23 points for the U.S. on 8-10 shooting from the field, and center Brittany Griner added 15. The U.S. was up 26-12 at the quarter and 48-27 at half.

In the other bracket, China and France will play in the other semi, both on the 6th.

Team/Volleyball: The U.S. women stomped on the Dominican Republic, winning 25-11, 25-20 and 25-19 to move on to the semifinals against Serbia on the 6th. Brazil will play South Korea in the other semifinal.

Andrea Drews led the U.S. once again with 21 points on 21-36 kill tries.

(27 events across 12 sports)

Athletics: Men’s 400 m-110 m hurdles-Triple Jump-Shot Put-20 km Walk-Decathlon
The U.S. has six of the 10 fastest men on the 400 m world list for 2021 and Michael Norman and Michael Cherry are safely through to the final. But U.S. fans are worried.

Cherry, having a career year, looked great in winning his semi in 44.44. But Norman, who won the U.S. Trials in 44.07, was second in his semi in 44.52, behind Steven Gardiner (BAH), who ran 44.14, a season’s best.

Kirani James, the 2012 Olympic Champion from Grenada, won semi one in a season’s best 43.88, followed by a national record from the increasingly dangerous Anthony Zambrano (COL: 43.93).

James and Zambrano also have the best lane draw for the final, in four and five, with Cherry in six, Gardiner in seven and Norman in eight. Cherry’s all-time best is 44.35, in 2021, and he will need to bust his PR into the 43s to have a shot at winning.

James, Zambrano, Gardiner and Norman are all capable of running in the mid-43s and even in the low 43s for Gardiner and Norman. Will being in lane eight get Norman to run the race hard, as Wayde van Niekerk (RSA) did in 2016, on the way to a win and the world record of 43.03?

If Norman is in shape and has just been waiting, this could be special. Based on the rounds, the U.S. could also get shut out.

In the men’s 110 m hurdles, the U.S. won 15 of 17 Olympic golds through 1972, then only four times since, and only once (2012: Aries Merritt) in the last five Games.

But world leader Grant Holloway – who has run 12.81, 1/100ths off of Merritt’s world record – blazed away in his heat at 13.02 and confirmed his favorite’s status.

Holloway and U.S. teammate Devon Allen won semis two and three in 13.13 and 13.18, the two fastest times of the day.

Jamaica’s Ronald Levy won semi one at 13.23, ahead of Pascal Martinot-Lagarde (FRA: 13.25) and Asier Martinez of Spain (13.27, lifetime best). Daniel Roberts of the U.S. could not close on the leaders and ended up finishing fifth in the struggle for the line in 13.33 and did not qualify for the final.

Holloway is the clear, undisputed favorite and a world record is not out of reach. Behind him, Allen could get a medal, but he has to have a good start and keep from hitting hurdles. Levy and fellow Jamaican Hansle Parchment are more than capable of running 2-3, or better, if Holloway stumbles.

Confusion reigns in the men’s triple jump, where Pedro Pablo Pichardo (POR) did exactly what he was supposed to in the qualifying and Hugues Fabrice Zango (BUR) did not.

Pichardo, the 2013 and 2015 Worlds silver medalist, boomed out to 17.71 m (58-1 1/4) to lead all qualifiers and he’s the world leader at 17.92 m (58-9 1/2). Zango, the 2019 Worlds bronze medalist, set a World Indoor Record of 18.07 m (59-3 1/2) in January and is no. 2 on the year list at 17.82 m (58-5 3/4).

So what was he doing as the last qualifier at 16.83 m (55-2 3/4)?

In fact, only five men made the auto-standard of 17.05 m (55-11 1/4). Americans Will Claye and Donald Scott are in, but have managed only season bests of 17.21 m (56-5 3/4 for Claye) and 17.18 m (56-4 1/2 for Scott).

Beyond Pichardo, China’s Yaming Zhu (17.39 m/57-0 3/4 in 2021), Algeria’s Yasser Triki (17.33 m/56-10 3/4) and maybe Cuba’s Cristian Napoles (17.38 m/57-0 1/4 in 2019) might be the best bets.

Or are Claye – twice an Olympic silver medalist in 2012 and 2016 – and Scott hiding something special?

The Doha World Championships shot put was the greatest competition in the history of the event, with the lead passing back and forth in the final round until American Joe Kovacs uncorked a sensational 22.91 m (75-2) to best teammate Ryan Crouser (22.90 m/75-1 3/4) and New Zealand’s Tomas Walsh (22.90 m/75-1 3/4).

No one expects that this time. Since Doha, Crouser has become an unstoppable force, culminating in an amazing Olympic Trials performance in which he massacred the 31-year-old world record and sent the 16-pound ball out to 23.37 m (76-8 1/4). He’s on a winning streak of 19 finals from February 2020 to today and no one expects him to lose. He won the 2016 Rio Olympic title at 24 and will surely – injuries notwithstanding – add a second.

Kovacs has not been rested on his laurels, either. He continues to compete at a level just less than Crouser, believing there is another Doha miracle coming sometime. He’s no. 2 in the world for 2021 at 22.72 m (74-6 1/2) and has promised more than that in Tokyo. He threw poorly in the qualifying, however, standing 11th at 20.93 m (68-8).

Walsh, still very much a threat, is the leading candidate for third and was second in the qualifying. Poland’s Michal Haratyk, a contender, did not make the final, so challengers for medals might include Brazil’s Darlan Romani, Serbia’s Armin Sinancevic and maybe even American Payton Otterdahl, the final qualifier.

The 20 km walk will take place in Sapporo, in cooler temperatures than were expected in Tokyo, at 4:30 p.m. local time. It will still be hot, around 80 F.

China has won the last two Olympic races in this event, and Rio silver medalist Zelin Cai is back again. However, Japan has the reigning World Champion in Toshikazu Yamanishi, who won over Vasily Mizinov of Russia and Perseus Karlstrom of Sweden.

The Chinese want to win this race badly and have the world leader, Kaihua Wang at 1:16.54 from the nationals last March, Cai and Jun Zhang (1:17:39, no. 4 on the year list). Japan counters with Yamanishi, Eiki Takahashi (1:18:04) and Koki Ikeda (1:18:45).

Spain’s Alvaro Martin (1:19:14) and Diego Garcia (1:19:19) might be able to handle the heat a bit better. It may come down to just that.

In the decathlon, Canada’s Damian Warner was expected to make another assault on the 9,000-point mark, achieved by only three men in history. The world leader at 8,995 from his win at Gotzis in May, he equaled his lifetime best of 10.12 in the 100 m, and got a season’s best in the shot put. His 8.24 m (27-0 1/2) long jump would have won the bronze medal in the open event.

He’s on track to win, leading with 4,722 points and ahead of Australia’s Ashley Moloney (4,641) and Canadian teammate Pierce LePage (4,529).

Americans Steve Bastien (4,369), Garrett Scantling (4,338) and Zach Ziemek (4,322) stand 4-6-7, with world-record holder Kevin Mayer (FRA) fifth at 4,340.

Moloney, 21, is having a great meet, getting a lifetime best in the 100 m (10.34) and them equaling his best ever in the high jump (2.11 m/6-11). He’s scored 8,492, in 2020.

Athletics: Women’s Pole Vault-Heptathlon
The women’s vault suffered a blow when American Sandi Morris, a real contender, broke her pole in qualifying after a rain delay and ended up with a leg injury that did not allow her to qualify.

So, the U.S. will soldier on with Katie Nageotte, the U.S. Trials winner and the world leader at 4.95 m (16-2 3/4). American Morgann Leleux (4.70 m/15-5 this year) also made the final.

The medal contenders certainly include 2016 gold medalist Katerina Stefanidi (GRE), a supreme big-meet jumper – 2017 World Champion and third at the 2019 Worlds – but only at 4.80 m (15-9) this year.

The 2019 World Champion is Russia Anzhelika Sidorova, no. 2 on the year list at 4.91 m (16-1 1/4), and Britain’s Holly Bradshaw is no. 3 at 4.90 m (16-0 3/4).

If you’re looking for surprises, consider Tina Sutej (SLO), a former NCAA champ at Arkansas; she’s done 4.74 m (15-6 1/2) this year, or Iryna Zhik (BLR), who has also cleared 4.74 m.

After the first day of the heptathlon, Anouk Vetter (NED) found herself in first place at 3,968 after a strong 200 m, in which she had the third-fastest time in the field.

The reigning Olympic Champion, Belgium’s Nafi Thiam, had the lead after winning the high jump at 1.92 m (6-4 1/4) and was fourth in the shot put, but ran poorly in the 200 m (18th) and sits third, behind teammate Noor Vidts, 3,941-3,921.

American Annie Kunz, the world leader at 6,703 from the U.S. trials, is fourth at 3,870 and teammate Erica Bougard is sixth at 3,837.

Vetter was 10th in Rio and the bronze medalist at the 2017 Worlds, so she is no stranger to pressure. She already has a lifetime best in the hurdles in Tokyo and seasonal bests in the shot put and high jump.; she has scored as high as 6,636 from 2017. Thiam had trouble with the heat; this is her first hep since 2019. The surprise is Vidts, 25, who has a lifetime best of 6,240 and was 15th at the 2019 World Championships in Doha. She’s on track to do much better in Tokyo.

Kunz has not been close to her running form from the Trials in Tokyo so far, but is still in contention for a medal. Bougard, too, the fourth-placer at the 2019 Worlds, could made a push for a medal, but will need big performances in the long jump and javelin.

Britain’s Katarina Johnson-Thompson suffered a right calf strain in the 200 m and was disqualified; she was the 2019 World Champion in the event.

Boxing: Men’s 57 kg
The Featherweight final at 57 kg could be a history-making one for the United States, with Duke Ragan facing Russian Albert Batyrgaziev.

Ragan won the 2017 World Championships silver in the Bantamweight class and the 2019 Pan Am Games silver, then turned professional. He has a 4-0 record as a Featherweight and had left the Olympic ranks behind. Then came the pandemic and qualification for the Games was suddenly based on rankings from 2017-19. So here he is, having won his bouts by decisions: 3:2, 5:0, 3:2 in the quarters and then 4:1 over Ghana’s Samuel Takyi.

Now, in the final, Ragan can become the first American since Andre Ward at 81 kg in Athens 2004 to win an Olympic gold medal.

Batyrgaziev is also a pro, with a 3-0 record in the Super-Featherweight class since July 2020. He got to the Games by winning the European Qualification Tournament in 2020; he also competed at the 2019 World Championships.

The Russian won a 3:2 decision – an upset for sure – in the semifinals against Cuba’s Lazaro Alvarez, a two-time Olympic medalist with bronzes in 2012 (Bantamweight) and 2016 (Lightweight) and three World Championships.

Takyi and Alvarez are the bronze medalists.

Canoe: Sprint/Men’s K-1 200 m-K-2 1,000 m
Great Britain has won the K-1 200 m both times it has been on the Olympic program, with Ed McKeever in 2012 and Liam Heath in 2016.

Heath is back to defend his title and he’s the favorite, having also won the World Championship race in both 2017 and 2019.

His rival from Rio, France’s Maxime Beaumont is also back. Now 39, he won the Rio silver and has one K-1 200 m silver from the Worlds back in 2015. Since then, he has won a European Champs bronze in 2017 and the European Games gold in 2019, so he will be heard from.

Spain’s Saul Craviotto, one of the two Rio bronze winners is in; he owns Olympic golds from 2008 in the K-2 500 m and Rio 2016 in the K-2 200 m. At 36, his record since then has been spotty.

The runner-up to Heath at the 2019 Worlds, Serbia’s Strahinja Stefanovic is on the rise. He won silver at the 2018 World U-23 Champs in this event and then moved up to silver on the senior level a year later. Russia’s two-time Worlds bronze medalist Evgenii Lukantsov, is also going to be a factor.

Heath is 36, but appears still be in top form. He will need to be to fend off Stefanovic.

In the K-2 1,000 m, the 2018 and 2019 World Champions from Germany, Max Hoff and Jacob Schopf, lead the field and have a legacy to live up. German boats have won gold-silver-gold in the last three Games in this event. Hoff already owns an Olympic gold from the K-4 10,000 m race in 2016 and won a London bronze in the K-1 1,000 m as well. The pair won the 2021 European Championships as well.

They will be challenged by the 2018 and 2019 runner-ups Francisco Cubelos and Inigo Pena (ESP), France, which has Etienne Hubert back from the 2019 Worlds bronze winners, and boats with established stars such as Josef Dostal (CZE), silver winner in Rio in the L-1 1,000 m.

Hungary’s Balint Kopasz, winner of the K-1 1,000 m gold in Tokyo, is paired with Bence Nadas in this race.

Canoe: Sprint/Women’s K-1 500 m-C-1 200 m
In the K-1 500 m, the answer is yes. New Zealand star Lisa Carrington is entered, looking for her third gold of this Games.

Already, she’s won the K-1 200 m and teamed with Caitlin Regal for the K-2 500 gold. Now she and Regal will be competitors. Carrington was the bronze medalist in Rio in the K-1 500 m.

Challenging them will be two-time Olympic champion Danuta Kozak of Hungary and Rio runner-up Emma Jorgensen of Denmark, already the K-1 200 m bronze winner.

Carrington won the 2019 Worlds in this event, beating Volha Khudzenka (BLR) and Kozak, with Serbia’s Milica Novakovic fourth and Jorgensen fifth. Kozak won in 2018, over Carrington and Khudzenka. This is going to be close, but Carrington is hunting Olympic gold no. 5

The C-1 200 m race is a new event for the Tokyo Games, as is the C-2 500 m. In the C-1, American Nevin Harrison is the reigning World Champion, winning in 2019 over Russia’s three-time silver medalist Olesia Romasenko and two-time bronze winner Alena Nazdrova of Belarus. Maria Mailliard of Chile was fourth and Canada’s Katie Vincent fifth. Expect more from Vincent, who won the Worlds bronze in the C-1 500 m race in 2018.

Canada also has high hopes for 11-time World Canoeing Champion Laurence Vincent-Lapointe, who won this event in 2010-11-13-14-17-18, but was hit for doping in 2019 and missed the World Championships. She was cleared of the charge and fully reinstated, and is frankly still the favorite.

Harrison is just 19 and moved from winning the Pan American Games in 2019 to the Worlds and won again, the first American to win at the Canoe Sprint Worlds. Is she ready for Vincent-Lapointe?

Cycling: Track/Men’s Omnium
A big field of 34 is ready for the multi-event championship in cycling, the Omnium, including a Scratch Race, Tempo Race, Elimination Race and Points Race.

This will only be the third time on the program for this event, and gold (2012) and bronze (2016) medalist Lasse Norman Hansen (DEN) is in Tokyo, but only as a substitute for Niklas Larsen! However, Italian road star Elia Viviani, who won the Rio 2016 gold, is back and ready to defend.

All three medal winners from the 2020 Track Worlds are in: Benjamin Thomas (FRA: also the 2017 winner), Jan-Willem van Schip of the Netherlands (also silver in 2018) and Matthew Walls of Great Britain. The 2018 World Champion, Poland’s Szymon Sajnok, is also ready to go, as is New Zealand’s Aaron Gate, the 2013 Worlds winner and 2017 silver medalist.

Thomas , 25, has gone gold-silver-gold at the Worlds in 2017-19-20. He’s the one to beat.

Cycling: Track/Women’s Keirin
A close relative of the Sprint, the Keirin lets the riders loose three laps from the finish. It’s the third time for this race on the Olympic program, with a big field assembled. The lone returning Olympic medalist is star Hong Kong sprinter Wai Sze Lee, who won bronze in 2012 and was also the 2018 Worlds silver medalist and 2019 World Champion.

She will be contending with the 2020 World Champion, German Emma Hinze, who defeated Korea’s Hje-Jin Lee in the final, and also won the individual Sprint. The 2019 Worlds silver winner, Kaarla McCulloch (AUS), and bronze medalist, Russian Daria Shmeleva and Lithuania’s 2018 Worlds bronze medalist, Simona Krupeckaite, all have shots at a medal.

The American entry is Madalyn Godby, who made the B-final in 2020.

Wai Sze Lee and Hinze are superstars in the track cycling world; will we get a final between those two?

Diving: Women’s 10 m Platform
China has dominated this event over the past nine Games, winning seven golds, three silvers and a bronze. Qian Ren and Yajie Sie went 1-2 in Rio, with Canada’s Meaghan Benfeito third.

The last two bronze medalists are back: Pandelela Pamg (MAS) from 2012 and Benfeito from 2016. China has entered teens Yuxi Chen (15), the reigning World Champion on the 10 m, and Hongchan Quan, age 14. Even at that age, they are the favorites to start. Wow.

The U.S. has Delaney Schnell, the 2019 Worlds bronze medalist; she’s fresh off her 10 m Synchro silver at Tokyo and should contend for a medal again. Australia’s Melissa Wu was fourth in 2019, with Pamg fourth and Benfeito fifth.

Malaysia’s Jun Hoong Cheong won the 2017 Worlds in a major upset, but was only last seen at a major tournament in 2018, when she the Commonwealth Games title.

Can someone equal Cheong’s performance from 2017? So far, China is 3-3 on the women’s side and Chen is the clear favorite for another Olympic sweep.

Hockey: Men
The past two World Cup champions will meet for the gold medal in Hockey, with 2018 winner Belgium facing 2010 and 2014 winner Australia.

Belgium won the men’s silver in Rio in 2016, helping to break a streak of six straight Games in which Australia had won a medal, including the gold in 2004.

The Aussies whipped Group A with a 4-0-1 record, outscoring its opponents by 22-9, but had a tough time in the quarterfinals, tying with the Netherlands and then winning a penalty shoot-out to advance. The semifinal with Germany was cleaner, with a 3-1 to advance.

Belgium was also 4-0-1 in its group, with a 26-9 scoring edge, and defeated Spain (3-1) and India (5-2) to get to the gold-medal round.

Does Belgium’s 3-1 win against the Dutch in group play mean anything? Belgium won its 2018 world title with a penalty shoot-out win against the Netherlands, but never met third-place Australia in the tournament.

The two teams have the top scorers in the tournament so far: Alexander Hendrickx has 14 goals for the Belgians, while Blake Govers (AUS) is second with seven, and Tim Brand and Thomas Wickham each have five.

Karate: Men’s Kumite 67 kg
Karate makes its debut at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, but will not be continued to Paris in 2024. Who knows if the sport will be on again, so it’s important for the karatekas to make the best show possible.

France’s Steven Da Costa is the reigning World Champion from 2019 and also has a 2016 bronze to his credit. He’s ranked no. 1 in the world on the WKF rankings, followed by Egypt’s Ali Elsawy. Venezuela’s Andres Madera also won a 2016 Worlds bronze and is ranked no. 21.

Italy’s Angelo Crescenzo won the world title at 60 kg in 2018, but as 67 kg is the lightest class on the Olympic program, he has moved up. Same for Naoto Sago (JPN: 60 kg silver) and Firdovsi Farzaliyev (AZE) the Worlds bronze winner at 60 kg in 2016. Kazak Darkhan Assadilov has won two 60 kg Worlds medals, in 2018 and 2008!

All of them will literally be chasing Da Costa.

Karate: Women’s Kata-Kumite 55 kg
Two women’s divisions are on the schedule, starting with the Kata (stance) competition.

Spain’s Sandra Sanchez is the 2018 World Champion and ranked no. 1 by the World Karate Federation. She will face off once again with Japan’s Kiyou Shimizu, the 2014 and 2016 World Champion and the silver winner in 2018.

They are the favorites. Hong Kong’s Grace Lau and Italy’s Viviana Bottero both won Worlds bronzes in 2018 and are ranked sixth and third at present. Turkey’s Dilara Bozan and American Sakura Kokumai are ranked sixth and seventh and expected to contend for (bronze) medals.

Hard to see anyone other than Sanchez and Shimizu on top of the podium.

In the 55 kg Kumite class, most of the medal winners from the 50 and 55 kg classes from the 2018 Worlds are in: 50 kg champ Miho Miyahara (JPN), silver winner Serap Ozcelik (TUR), bronze winners Bettina Plank (AUT) and Sara Bahmanyar (IRI), and 55 kg bronze medalists Tzu-Yun Wen (TPE) and Ivet Goranova (BUL).

However, it’s Ukraine’s Anzhelika Terliuga who is ranked no. 1, winner of two Karate 1 Premier League events in the 2020-21 season.

Wild card: Russia’s Anna Chernysheva, 19, the 2021 European Champion at 55 kg. Is she too young for the pressure?

Skateboard: Men’s Park
Also making its debut in Tokyo is the Skateboard Park event, with World Championships held since 2016.

The dominant force in this event is Pedro Barros (BRA), winner of the 2018 world title, but also second in 2016 and 2017, so he’s won a quarter of all World Championships medals ever offered by himself.

He has two medalist teammates, Luiz Francisco and Pedro Quintas, the silver and bronze medalists from 2019.

The reigning World Champion is Heimana Reynolds (USA), the winner in 2019 and silver medalist in 2018; he also has a medalist teammate in Cory Juneau, the 2017 Worlds bronze winner.

Add in Italian Ivan Federico – bronze winner in 2016 – and Australia’s Keegan Palmer, bronze medalist in 2018, and you have 10 of the 12 Worlds medals ever won represented in Tokyo.

Sport Climbing: Men’s Combined
Another first-time sport for Tokyo, the Combined event brings together the normally-separate disciplines of Bouldering, Lead and Speed.

The Combined, as a World Championship event, has been held since 2012 and the 2012-14-16 titles all went to Sean McColl of Canada. He’s in the field, but the favorite is more likely Czech Adam Ondra, the three-time Lead World Champion and 2014 Bouldering gold medalist. Ondra was also the 2018 Combined silver medalist.

The last two world titles in the Combined have been won by Austria’s Jacob Schubert (2018) and and Japan’s Tomoa Narasaki, who won over Schubert in 2019. Germany’s Jan Hojer and Kazak Rishat Khaibullin were the bronze medalists the last two years.

Ondra, Schubert and German Alexander Megos are great in Lead; Narasaki, teammate Kai Harada and Jong-Won Chon are Bouldering experts, and Italy’s Ludovico Fossali and France’s Bassa Mawem are best in Speed.

But Ondra and Narasaki are the likely favorites.

Swimming: Men’s open-water 10 km
The 10 km of open-water swimming are tough enough, but the competitors are keeping a close watch on the heat as well.

Tokyo will be the fourth 10km open-water event for men, and two of the three prior gold medalists are back: London 2012’s Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia and Ferry Weertman (NED) from Rio 2016. The Rio bronze medalist, Marc Antoine Olivier (FRA) is also back.

Multiple medalists from the FINA World Championships are ready to go. The 2019 World Champion, Germany’s Florian Wellbrock – already the Tokyo 2020 1,500 m Freestyle bronze medalist – is in, along with teammate Rob Muffels, the 2019 bronze medalist.

Weertman, Olivier and American Jordan Wilimovsky have dominated the Worlds medal lists over the last three Worlds:

● 2015: 1. Wilimovsky; 2. Weertman; 3. S. Gianniotis (GRE)
● 2017: 1. Weertman; 2. Wilimovsky; 3. Olivier
● 2019: 1. Wellbrock; 2. Olivier; 3. Muffels

They’re all contenders again, and let’s add in Hungary’s Kristof Rasovszky, the 2019 World 5 km winner; Italy’s Giorgio Paltrinieri, the Rio 1,500 m Freestyle winner and Tokyo 800 m Free silver winner, and his teammate Mario Sanzullo, the 2017 World 5 k silver medalist.

Weertman has consistently been at his best when medals are on the line; if he is fit, he’s first among equals when the horn sounds.

Table Tennis: Women’s Team
China owns this event, having won all three Olympic tournaments and winning the World Team Championship four times in a row and 12 of the last 13, from 1992-2018.

The trio of Tokyo 2020 gold medalist Meng Chen, silver medalist Yingsha Sun and Manyu Wang is in the final against second-seed Japan, with bronze medalist Mima Ito, Kasumi Ishikawa and Miu Hirano.

China has been perfect so far, ringing up match wins by 3-0 in each of its three rounds. Japan, the second seed, has also not lost a set: 9-0 over three matches. Japan has been second to China in each of the last three World Team titles events; time for a breakthrough?

The third-place match will be between third-seed Germany and fourth-seed Hong Kong. Germany won the Olympic silver in 2016, with Japan third. Hong Kong has not won an Olympic medal in this event.

Wrestling: Men’s Freestyle 57 kg-86 kg
In the men’s 57 kg Freestyle final, India’s Ravi Kumar Dahiya will try to become the country’s first-ever wrestling gold medalist. He has a severe challenge in Russia’s Zaur Uguev, the 2018 and 2019 World Champion at this weight.

Kumar won the 2019 Worlds bronze at this weight and the two met in the semifinals, with Uguev winning a tight battle by 6-4. So they know each other well.

While Uguev has won his bouts close – 5-4 over Tom Gilman of the U.S., 6-6 on criteria in the quarters and then 8-3 over Reza Atri (IRI) in the semis – Kumar rolled over his first two opponents by 13-2 and 14-4 and then pinned Nurislam Sanayev (KAZ) in the semis. Maybe he does have a chance at history!

Atri and Sanayev will wrestle for bronze medals against the repechage winners; Gilman of the U.S. is still a possible opponent for Atri.

At 86 kg, a classic battle is on with Hassan Yazdani of Iran, the Rio 2016 gold medalist at 74 kg and World Champion at this weight in 2017 and 2019 – and Dave Taylor of the U.S., the 2018 World Champion.

According to a Wikipedia account of Yazdani’s international career, they have met twice, with Taylor winning both times. The first was in the 2017 World Cup, where Taylor had an 8-4 lead before pinning Yazdani. The second was at the 2018 Worlds, where Taylor won 11-6 in the first round on the way to the world title.

Both have been impressive, with Yazdani winning his bouts by 11-2, 12-1 and 7-1 in the semis against Russia’s Artur Naifonov. Taylor has won his matches by 11-0, 12-2 and a 10-0 shutout of India’s Deepak Punia in his semifinal.

Iran has never had a gold medalist in this weight class; the U.S. last won it in 2004 with Cael Sanderson.

Naifonov and Punia will wrestle for bronzes against the repechage bracket winners.

Wrestling: Women’s Freestyle 57 kg
The comeback attempt from American Helen Maroulis fell a little short in Tokyo, as she lost in the semifinals of the women’s Freestyle 57 kg class to Japan’s Risako Kawai.

Maroulis famously won the 2016 Rio gold at 53 kg, beating three-time gold medalist Saori Yoshida in the final. Maroulis then won the 2017 World Championship at 58 kg, but suffered concussion problems in 2018 that have dogged her since.

She whipped through the U.S. Trials and won her matches in Tokyo by 8-4 and 8-0, but fell in the semis. She will now wrestle for a bronze medal against a repechage bracket winners.

Kawai will try to keep Japan’s record in this class perfect: they have won all four prior Olympic golds. She will face Iryna Kurchkina (BLR), who has sailed through her matches by 8-2, 6-3 and 11-0 in her semi against Bulgarian Evelina Nikolova.

Kawai comes to the final with World Championships in 2017 (60 kg), 2018 (59 kg) and 2019 (57 kg); she won her first two Olympic matches by 8-2 and 7-0 before successfully battling Maroulis in the semis.

Nikolova will also wrestle for a bronze.


International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams told a Tuesday news conference that a “Disciplinary Commission” is being formed to “establish the facts” in the situation of Belarusian sprinter Krystsina Tsymanouskaya and the circumstances that led her to seek Japanese police protection at the airport and to ask for political asylum in Poland.

Adams noted that the requested report on the matter from the Belarus National Olympic Committee had been received; the new Commission is especially interested to “hear the two officials, Mr. Artur Shumak and Mr. Yuri Moisevich, who have allegedly been involved in the incident.”

U.S. silver-medal-winning shot putter Raven Saunders revealed that her mother, Clarissa, passed away on Tuesday (3rd) after watching her daughter compete on Sunday at a viewing party in Orlando, Florida.

The IOC had been inquiring into her post-medal ceremony arm-crossing for photographers; Adams noted “the process for the moment is being fully suspended for the time being.”

The Chinese Olympic Committee is preparing a report, at the request of the IOC, on the wearing of “Chairman Mao” buttons by Track Cycling women’s Team Sprint winners Shanju Bao and Tianshi Zong at their medal ceremony. While the report is in process, Adams said the Chinese NOC “have assured us this will not happen again.”

The International Olympic Committee held elections for its Athletes’ Commission for four positions that will run through the Los Angeles 2028 Games. According to the IOC:

“Between 13 July and 3 August, 6,825 athletes voted in the IOC AC election at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, representing a participation rate of 61.27 per cent, one of the highest in the history of AC elections, the first of which was held at the Olympic Games Atlanta 1996.”

There were 30 candidates; those elected to be members of the IOC for the next eight years include Spanish basketball star Pau Gasol, Polish cyclist Maja Wloszczowska, Italian swimming star Federica Pellegrini and Japanese fencer Yuki Ota. All four are four- or five-time Olympians and multi-medal winners.

Shooter Danka Bartekova (SVK), canoeist and Paris 2024 Chair Tony Estanguet (FRA) and Australian rower James Tomkins are leaving the Athletes’ Commission. The chair of the group, Zimbabwe’s Kirsty Coventry, is also completing her term, but has been elected as an individual member of the IOC and will serve to age 70.

The first instance of a team-wide Covid infection problem surfaced with the Greek squad in Artistic Swimming. Four of the 11 athletes tested positive, plus a team official, although they were asymptomatic, and two more members of the team were deemed to be “close contacts.”

On a proposal from the Tokyo organizers to the Hellenic Olympic Committee, the team was quarantined. This resulted in its withdrawal prior to the Team event, since there would not be enough competitors (eight) remaining.

Evangelia Papazoglou and Evangelia Platanioti participated in the Duet preliminaries, but were withdrawn from the Duet Technical and Duet Free routines.

The number of Covid positives report by the Tokyo 2020 organizers edged up slightly to a Games-high 29 on Wednesday, with 19 of the 29 from Games contractors and four athletes (three from the Greek Artistic Swimming team)..

The infection total is now 322, of which 172 (53%) are contractors, 91 are “Games-concerned personnel” (28%), 28 are athletes, 14 media and 17 are Tokyo 2020 staff and volunteers.

The testing report by stakeholder group through 2 August:

Athletes and team officials: 33 positives in 236,258 tests (0.01%).
Media/Tokyo 2020 staff: 72 positives in 278,203 tests (0.03%).

The number of people coming to the Games through airports has slowed to a trickle, with only 186 reported on 2 August. The infection rate among all Games-related personnel coming to Japan remains at 0.08%.

The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee reported no positives among 863 U.S. personnel in Tokyo on 3 August; note how the delegation size is shrinking quickly now as the Games near the close.

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, 0 of 1,214 for 28 July, 1 in 1,174 on 29 July, 0 of 1,174 on 30 July and 0 for 1,148 on 31 July. In August: 0 of 1,088 for 1 August, 0 of 1,010 on 2 August.

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