The Summer Olympic Games are heading into their final week of competition. Here is the latest from Tokyo.
Latest from the Gymnastics Mat
The main show on Sunday on the gymnastics mat was the final event competition for both the vault and the parallel bars. Without Simone Biles in competition, the women’s team was already shorthanded. Despite the large loss of Biles, the US women’s team was able to nab two individual medals in this competition.Read More »
This was Lee’s third medal of these Olympic Games after she also won a silver for her participation in the team competition and the gold in the coveted all-around title event earlier in the week.
Over on the vault, American MyKayla Skinner took home the silver. Skinner stepped in to replace Biles after she was unable to compete due to mental health issues. Skinner came away with a 14.916 average on her two vaults. This score included a 15.033, a higher score than she earned during the qualifying round.
The gold medal in the women’s vault competition went to Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade, boasting a score of 15.083.
The women’s finals on the floor and the balance beam are on tap later this week.
Out on the Track
The much-anticipated men’s 100-meter dash was the main event at the track on Sunday. The big question going into the event was who was going to take over for the retired Usain Bolt as the world’s fastest man.
That question was answered when Lamont Marcell Jacobs of Italy edged out Fred Kerley of the US in second place and Andre De Grasse of Canada in third place. Jacobs made history as the first Italian man to win this event.
The world was treated to a touching moment when Jacobs was greeted at the finish line by fellow Italian teammate Gianmarco Tamberi. The high jumper had just won his own gold medal moments before, putting him in the right spot to rush over to Jacobs and congratulate him for his historic accomplishment.
Tamberi had a story of his own to tell. He walked away as a joint gold medalist alongside Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar. Both men had failed to clear the 2.39-meter mark in the high jump. Because they had identical records of clearing 2.37, the pair decided to share the title of Olympic gold medal champion. The bronze went to Maksim Nedasekau of Belarus.
In the Pool
It was another great outing for the Americans in the pool. Katie Ledecky added two more gold and two additional silver medals to her count at the 2020 Olympics, earning her a spot as the only American Olympic athlete with six individual gold medals. Ledecky also became the fourth swimmer in history to earn a gold medal in three consecutive Olympic competitions.
On the men’s side, Caeleb Dressel wrapped up his Olympic Games with a gold medal in the men’s 50-meter freestyle race, setting the Olympic record at 21.07 seconds. In winning this race, Dressel became the third man in history to win both the 50-meter freestyle and the 100-meter freestyle in the same games.
Dressel was also a key cog in the men’s 4-100-meter medley relay team. Dressel swam the butterfly portion of the race alongside Ryan Murphy swimming the backstroke, Michael Andrew swimming the breaststroke, and Zach Apple swimming freestyle as the anchor. Team USA posted a time of 3:26.78, good enough for a gold medal and a new world record.
With the swimming portion of the Olympics finishing up, Team USA was the proud recipient of 52 medals overall, including 19 golds.
The high heat and humidity continue to be a concern at the games. According to committee spokesman Masa Takaya, at least 30 people have fallen to heat-related illness over the last several days. Most of these illnesses have affected volunteers and staff members. It is not known if any competing athletes have been treated for health conditions related to the heat.
Organizers have come under fire for downplaying the heat and humidity for this time of the year in Tokyo. When Tokyo was gunning to win the bid to host the games, they marketed the city as having a more temperate climate. According to the Reuters news agency, the temperature at the track venue hit 104 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday.
There are now nearly 300 COVID-19 cases linked to the games. There were 17 new cases reported on Monday. These positive cases were identified as mostly contractors and volunteers. The good news is that there were no new cases from the Olympic Village. This keeps the total number of cases in the village at 28.
Although there has been a recent surge of positive cases in Tokyo, the organizers maintain that this influx of confirmations is not related to the games.