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Olympics Updates: Italians Stun in Track and Field; Swimming Wraps Up

Olympics Updates: Italians Stun in Track and Field; Swimming Wraps Up

Credit…Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

TOKYO — The middle weekend of any Olympics is always a big one. Swimming wraps up, track gets going, and the team events approach their knockout stages. And the deluge of events at the Tokyo Games seems to have reached a peak on Sunday.

The fastest man in the world is Marcell Jacobs of Italy. He won gold in the 100-meter dash with a time of 9.80 seconds. Fred Kerley of the United States won the silver.

Caeleb Dressel of the United States won his fourth gold medal of the Games in the 50-meter freestyle. Emma McKeon of Australia won her third gold in the women’s 50 free. In an uncharacteristically exciting 1,500-meter freestyle, Bobby Finke of the United States came from behind in the last 50 meters to win.

The United States has never lost a men’s medley relay in any Olympics it has competed in, and despite a challenge from Britain, the Americans won it again in Tokyo, setting a world record and earning Dressel yet another gold medal, his fifth. Australia won the women’s medley, edging the U.S., and making McKeon only the second woman to collect seven medals in one Olympics.

In golf, Xander Schauffele of the United States won the first gold medal for the United States since 1904 (it should be noted that golf was not held at the Games between 1904 and 2016). Rory Sabbatini, a South African playing for Slovakia, the country of his wife’s birth, was second.

In gymnastics event finals, Rebeca Andrade, the all-around silver medalist, won gold in the women’s vault, while MyKayla Skinner of the United States won the silver. Nina Derwael of Belgium won the uneven bars, with Sunisa Lee of the U.S. third. Artem Dolgopyat of Israel won the men’s floor exercise, and Max Whitlock of Britain won the pommel horse.

You already saw the BMX riders race; on Sunday, they did tricks on their bikes in the freestyle competition, which is new to these Games. Charlotte Worthington of Britain won the women’s competition, with Hannah Roberts of the United States second. Logan Martin of Australia won the men’s event.

The first track final of the day was women’s shot put. Gong Lijiao of China won gold, and Raven Saunders of the United States took silver.

In tennis, Alexander Zverev of Germany defeated Karen Khachanov of Russia, 6-3, 6-1, to win the men’s singles. The Czech team of Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova defeated Belinda Bencic and Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland in women’s doubles. And Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Andrey Rublev won an all-Russian mixed doubles final.

The featherweight Duke Ragan of the United States clinched a men’s boxing medal with a win in his quarterfinal, as did the super heavyweight Richard Torrez. Katherine Nye won a silver, the first medal at the Games for the United States in weight lifting.

In yachting, the Laser events concluded with Australia winning the men’s gold and Denmark the women’s. The Chinese divers Shi Tingmao and Wang Han were 1-2 in women’s springboard diving, with the American Krysta Palmer in third.

Adeline Gray of the United States advanced to a gold medal wrestling match with a 3-2 victory over Aiperi Medet Kyzy of Kyrgyzstan. The United States earned a second consecutive bronze medal in men’s team foil fencing, defeating Japan.

Marcell Jacobs on Sunday after earning the unofficial title of fastest man in the world.
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

TOKYO — There is a new fastest man in the world.

Lamont Marcell Jacobs of Italy sprinted to Olympic gold in the men’s 100-meter dash on Sunday, finishing in 9.80 seconds. Jacobs, 26, was born in El Paso before moving to Italy with his mother as a young child.

Fred Kerley of the United States finished second in 9.84 seconds, and Andre De Grasse of Canada was third (9.89).

The event had long been dominated by Usain Bolt, who retired following the 2017 world championships after doubling as the 100- and 200-meter champion at three straight Olympics, from 2008 to 2016.

In a surprise, the field did not include Trayvon Bromell of the United States, who had the fastest lifetime best among the semifinalists: 9.77 seconds, which he had run in June.

But after struggling to a fourth-place finish in his opening-round heat on Saturday, he finished third in the second of three semifinals on Sunday, missing out on an automatic spot in the final by a thousandth of a second. The top four runners in the third semifinal were all faster than Bromell, knocking him out of the final.

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

The field was also absent another notable American: Christian Coleman, the reigning world champion, who is serving a suspension for a series of missed drug tests.

Reaction

Time

0.161

9.80

0.128

9.84

0.155

9.89

4 0.141

9.93

5 0.148

9.95

6 0.167

9.98

DNF

DNF

DQ

There was no clear-cut favorite, and none seemed able to fill the enormous void left by Bolt, a luminous and charismatic presence on the track and an athlete who transcended the sport. But there was plenty of intrigue for the final on Sunday, in large part because no one had any idea who would win.

 Mutaz Essa Barshim, left, and Gianmarco Tamberi celebrate their win after agreeing to a tie in the men’s high jump.
Credit…Pool photo by Christian Petersen

In the men’s high jump, Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy and Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar matched each other all evening until both failed to clear 7 feet 10 inches on three straight tries. They were facing the equivalent of sudden-death overtime when one of the officials, citing an obscure rule, asked them if they wanted to settle for a tie instead.

“Can we have two golds?” Barshim asked him.

Assured that they could, Tamberi and Barshim embraced, their bromance on display.

“He’s one of my best friends,” Barshim said. “We’re always together.”

Barshim was so excited, he broke his sunglasses.

“It’s OK,” he said. “I’ve got like 50 pairs.”

After missing the 2016 Olympics because of a leg injury, Tamberi kept his cast and wrote “Road to Tokyo 2020” on it. When the Games were postponed last year, he scratched out “2020” and wrote “2021.” On Sunday, he took the cast with him to the stadium as a reminder of his hard work.

Tamberi secured his gold medal only minutes before his countryman Lamont Marcell Jacobs won gold in the men’s 100-meter dash. Jacobs said he had felt inspired. Only then, he said, did the goal of winning his race seem plausible.

“Olympic champions,” Jacobs said, “for us and for Italy.”

Lamont Marcell Jacobs, who was born in El Paso but moved to Italy as a baby, after winning the 100-meter dash with a time of 9.80 seconds.
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Before Sunday, an Italian man had never won an Olympic medal in the 100-meter dash in the Games’ 125-year history. Now, Lamont Marcell Jacobs is the first from Italy to hold the title of world’s fastest man.

Jacobs set a European record in the men’s 100-meter dash on Sunday, finishing in 9.80 seconds, to win the gold medal.

Jacobs, a 26-year-old sprinter and long jumper, was born in El Paso to an Italian mother and an African American father. When his father, a soldier in the United States Army, was transferred to South Korea, he and his mother moved to Italy.

His parents separated when he was an infant, but Jacobs reconnected with his father for the first time a year ago, according to The Associated Press. After his 100-meter-dash victory on Sunday, he said that finding his father was part of his mental preparation for the Games.

“I never saw my dad from that time,” Jacobs said. “But I started to speak with him one year ago for the first time. This helped me arrive here with a good mentality.”

Jacobs, whose Instagram handle is @crazylongjumper, a moniker he has inked on his body, along with the names of his three children and his partner, began competing in athletics at 9 years old, gravitating to sprinting and long jump, according to the Tokyo Olympics website.

He made his first impression at the national level while competing in long jump. In 2016, he won the Italian Athletics Championships in long jump with a distance of 7.89 meters.

In 2018, he claimed his first 100-meter-dash title and began closing in on the event’s difficult 10-second barrier. And this year, in May, he set the Italian record in the 100-meters with a time of 9.95 seconds and became the 150th person in history to finish the race in under 10 seconds.

With the Italian record secured, Jacobs set his sights on the Olympics. From the first time he stepped on the track, he told Corriere Della Sera, he dreamed of becoming an Olympian.

“On my bedroom wall I had the newspaper page of the famous Carl Lewis commercial with him wearing stiletto heels in the starting blocks,” he said. “But my idol as a child was Andrew Howe who, like me, is mixed race and half-American. I could identify with him.”

Rebeca Andrade of Brazil won gold in the vault final.
Credit…Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

With two high-flying vaults that made complicated, gravity-defying moves look simple, Rebeca Andrade won the vault final on Sunday at the Tokyo Games, bringing Brazil its first gold medal ever in women’s gymnastics.

Her Olympics just keep getting better.

Last week in the all-around final, Andrade, 22, won the silver medal, finishing just behind the American Sunisa Lee. She dedicated that silver medal, the first Olympic medal of any color for Brazil in women’s gymnastics, to her country, her coaches and her medical staff, which had helped her get to these Games after yet another serious injury to her right knee.

Andrade won with a score of 15.083 points. MyKayla Skinner of the United States, who is retiring after these Olympics, finished second, for the silver medal. Yeo Seo-jeong won bronze for South Korea, and is the first medalist for South Korea in women’s gymnastics.

Result

15.083

14.916

14.733

4 14.716

5

Russian Olympic Committee

14.683

6

Russian Olympic Committee

14.666

7 14.550

8 12.416

In 2019, Andrade needed her third surgery in four years to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee and missed the world championships because of it. Without her, her Brazilian team did not qualify for Tokyo. And she only qualified for these Games just in June, as an individual.

That last-minute effort to compete in Tokyo was worth it: Andrade’s best performance at her last Olympics, the 2016 Rio Games, was 11th in the all-around.

Her first of two vaults was a Cheng, which is a roundoff onto the springboard, a half twist onto the vault, and a front layout with 1½ twists. Her second was an Amanar, which is a roundoff onto the springboard, a back handspring onto the vault, and a back layout with 2½ twists. She didn’t stick either landing, but her execution and height helped her get high scores.

With Simone Biles out of the competition with a mental health issue, Andrade’s toughest competition going into the vault were two Americans: Jade Carey and Skinner.

Credit…Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Carey, who finished second in vault qualifying last week, appeared to adjust her run-up to her first vault — which was supposed to be a Cheng, but she ended up bailing out of it and completed only a Yurchenko tuck, which is one somersault with no twists. Stunned and nearly in tears, she kept her composure long enough to perform a second vault, but that landing had one big step to it. Her overall score, 12.416 points, left her out of the medals.

Skinner was just as stunned, but in a the opposite way. Last week after qualifying, she thought her Olympics was over — and her career was over — when she finished fourth in the vault. Because only two gymnasts per country advance to the finals in the all-around and each apparatus, she was left out of the finals after Biles and Carey had finished ahead of her in qualifying.

In an Instagram post, Skinner, who is 24 and was an alternate at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, said she was heartbroken at how these Olympics turned out for her.

“This closes the book on my gymnastics career, and my only regrets were things outside of my control. So no regrets,” she wrote. “For now I will just try to fill the hole in my heart.”

But on Saturday, when Biles withdrew from the vault, Skinner gained the chance to dress in her competition leotard one final time and see if she could win.

She posted on Instagram once again: “Doing this for us @Simone_Biles. … It’s go time baby!”

At last, Skinner — whom Lee called the team’s “grandma” because she has so much experience on the national team — will go home to Arizona with a long-awaited Olympic medal around her neck.

Maggie Astor contributed reporting.

Sunisa Lee of the United States won the bronze medal in the uneven bars, her specialty.
Credit…Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Nina Derwael of Belgium took advantage of her rivals’ mistakes and nerves during the uneven bars final on Sunday to win the gold medal in her specialty.

Derwael, a two-time uneven bars world champion, did not perform as well on bars as she had in qualifying last week, when she finished first, but her routine was good enough — and difficult enough — for her to win. Looking as if she were gliding in the wind, she soared above, under and between the bars and was given 15.2 points for her performance. After the announcer called her the winner, Derwael wrapped herself in the Belgian flag and flashed a huge smile toward her small cheering section in the mostly empty Ariake Gymnastics Center.

Anastasiia Iliankova of Russia was second on the uneven bars, with 14.833 points, to win the silver medal. Sunisa Lee of the United States won the bronze, with 14.5 points.

Russian Olympic Committee

The Belgian winner was supposed to vie for the gold with Lee, who also is an uneven bars specialist. Lee usually has the hardest uneven bars routine in the world and is rewarded for it with a high score.

On Sunday, though, three days after she won the gold medal in the all-around, Lee performed a shaky routine and failed to connect several of her skills, which lowered her difficulty score. Her execution wasn’t as sharp as usual, either. Once she finished her routine, she began shaking her head with disappointment.

The day before the event, Lee admitted that she had felt pressure to win gold on the bars, particularly after winning the all-around title.

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Kristina Timanovskaya, a Belarusian sprinter, said she sought protection in Japan after the Belarus Olympic Committee tried and failed to forcibly deport her, following an Instagram post in which she criticized her coaches for registering her for the wrong event.CreditCredit…Issei Kato/Reuters

A Belarusian sprinter said on Sunday that she was under the protection of the Japanese police after her country’s Olympic Committee tried and failed to forcibly deport her after she criticized her coaches for registering her for the wrong event.

The sprinter, Kristina Timanovskaya, announced on Sunday night via Instagram that she had sought protection in Japan because she feared for her safety in Belarus, where the country’s strongman leader, Aleksandr G. Lukashenko, in power for 27 years, has sought to stifle any dissent.

“I am afraid that in Belarus they might put me in jail,” Ms. Timanovskaya told the independent Belarusian news portal Zerkalo.io. “I am not afraid that I will be fired or kicked out of the national team, I am worried about my safety. And I think that at the moment it is not safe for me in Belarus.”

The Belarusian National Olympic Committee, which is run by Mr. Lukashenko’s eldest son, Victor Lukashenko, said on Sunday that it had withdrawn Ms. Timanovskaya from the Games because of her “emotional and psychological state” after consulting with a doctor.

Ms. Timanovskaya denied being examined by any doctors and said she was in good physical and psychological health. She said she had been forcibly removed from her country’s team because “I spoke on my Instagram about the negligence of our coaches.”

In a video taken at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, she asked the International Olympic Committee for support. In a statement, the I.O.C. said it was researching the situation.

“The I.O.C. has seen the reports in the media,” the statement said, and “is looking into it.”

Ms. Timanovskaya, 24, was to participate in the Olympic Games for the first time this summer in the 200-meter sprint. But she said was informed that she would be running the 4×400-meter relay race because some team members had not taken enough antidoping tests to qualify for the event.

Raven Saunders, who won silver in the shot put, said her gesture on the medal podium was “for oppressed people.”
Credit…Hannah Mckay/Reuters

TOKYO — In the morning, Raven Saunders of the United States captured the silver medal in the shot put.

At night, Saunders delivered the first political demonstration on the podium at the Tokyo Olympics when she raised her arms and crossed them in the shape of an “X” after receiving her medal, setting the stage for a standoff between the International Olympic Committee and Olympic leaders for the United States.

The organizations have conflicting rules and views regarding the exercise of free speech during the Olympics.

Asked after the medal ceremony as she walked toward a phalanx of television cameras about the meaning of the gesture, Saunders said it was “for oppressed people.”

Minutes later, an American fencer, Race Imboden, went to the podium at a different venue after the United States took the bronze medal in foil. He had a circled “X” written on his hand. In 2019, Imboden knelt during the playing of the national anthem at the Pan Am Games.

Photos taken during Sunday’s bronze medal match show that Imboden did not have the symbol on his hand during the competition. It was unclear what the meaning of the mark was, but American Olympics officials said they had begun to hear in recent days that athletes were planning protests.

The I.O.C. and its counterparts for the United States quickly said the other party would be handling the matter.

From the I.O.C.’s perspective, Saunders’s gesture looked to be a clear violation of the organization’s prohibition on political demonstrations on the podium or during competitions, even though the organization in recent months has relaxed its rules against demonstration in other areas the Olympic committee controls.

The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee has a different set of rules and has said it will no longer punish athletes who exercise their free speech rights, so long as they are not expressing hate.

Alexander Zverev of Germany won 6-3, 6-1.
Credit…Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

Alexander Zverev just might have figured something out.

Zverev, the talented German battling to break into the highest level of his sport, won the gold medal in the Olympic tennis tournament Sunday, defeating Karen Khachanov of Russia in straight sets 6-3, 6-1.

The tournament victory was arguably the most significant of Zverev’s career, especially considering he upset Novak Djokovic, the world No. 1, in the semifinal. Djokovic, the winner of the year’s first three Grand Slam tournaments, was seeking a Golden Slam and needed the Olympic gold medal and the U.S. Open title later this summer to achieve it.

Zverev called the win over Djokovic the proudest moment of his career, but he did himself one better Sunday in beating Khachanov, 25, a powerful Russian whose game lately has shown signs of the promise that characterized his first years on the tour.

But midway through the second set against Djokovic, Zverev experienced a revelation — that he needed to stop rallying and start swinging through the ball. He reeled of 10 of 11 games to send Djokovic packing and picked up Sunday right where he left off, playing the best four sets of his career on a big stage.

“This is so much bigger than anything else in sports,” Zverev said. “The gold medal for me, the value for me is incredible because you’re not playing for yourself, you’re playing for your whole country, This is an incredible feeling for me right now.”

Zverev broke Khachanov’s serve in the third game of the first set then once more in the ninth game to take the first set, forcing Khachanov into a sloppy volley that sailed wide of the open court.

Zverev never looked back from there, bullying Khachanov with big serves and searing backhands and even sprinkling in the occasional drop shot and topspin lob.

A huge soccer fan, Zverev played in a white shirt with black trim on the sleeves — and a hint of tennis ball yellow — that was awfully similar to the uniform that Germany’s six-time World Cup champion soccer teams wear.

He looked every bit the worldbeater Sunday against Khachanov. By the middle of the second set, Khachanov had lost the zip in his legs. Down 0-5 and in danger of an embarrassing end, he whacked a ball high into the empty stadium seats.

How different a player Zverev seems now from 11 months ago when, in the late stages of the U.S. Open final, his game devolved into a series of slices and soft second serves. In that match, he coughed up a two-set lead and served for the match at 5-3 in the fifth set but could not win it. He cried during the trophy ceremony.

Zverev blasted a 130 m.p.h. ace to get to within two points of the gold medal, pushed perfect backhand volley for match point then clinched the gold medal with a blast off his forehand from the middle of the court. When Khachanov’s last swing sent the ball into the bottom of the net, he collapsed to his knees and buried his face on the pavement.

“He played an outstanding match,” Khachanov said of Zverev. “I was ready. I was prepared. I was playing good tennis.”

For Zverev, the only win that compared to the Olympic triumph is his victory in the ATP finals in 2018. But that event, while it means a lot to tennis players and delivers one of the game’s largest cash prizes, lacks the luster of an Olympic gold medal.

The last two men to win Olympic gold are Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray — Murray won it in both 2012 and 2016. Both are members of the game’s so-called Big Four, which has trimmed to the Big Three since Murray underwent hip replacement surgery.

Nadal skipped this tournament, as he did Wimbledon, and so did Roger Federer, but several of the other top players played.

“The best players in the world were here,” Zverev said. “The only one who was not here, also didn’t play Wimbledon, and that’s Rafa.”

It was lost on no one at Ariake Tennis Park that the medals were distributed by Nenad Lalovic, a member of the International Olympic Committee from Serbia. Lalovic clearly expected to be handing the gold medal to his countryman, but it was not to be.

The match played out as a protest against the Games unfolded outside the gates of the tennis center. The noise filtered into the stadium, forcing both players to adjust to the chants and banging.

The question now is whether Zverev can ride the confidence that will come from winning on the Olympic stage to help him win an elusive Grand Slam title, something just one player currently on the tour in his 20s has managed as Djokovic and Nadal retain their virtual stranglehold on the sport’s most important championships.

Grand Slam tennis is different, requiring players to win three sets instead of two, and then there is the pressure of the spotlight that has no equal in the sport. An Olympic gold medal is a step, but Zverev has no intention of it being the last one he takes, though he did not want to think about that at the moment.

“I don’t want to talk about the next Grand Slam because I just won the Olympic Games,” he said. “To me there is nothing bigger.”

Xander Schauffele won the Olympic tournament by one stroke.
Credit…James Hill for The New York Times

Xander Schauffele of the United States won the gold medal in men’s golf at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday, edging a crowded group of pursuers to win by a single stroke.

Schauffele came into the 18th hole with a one-shot lead over his closest rival but, after a poor tee shot, he was forced to lay up. He then landed a beautiful short-iron shot four feet from the cup. When he made his putt for par, the gold medal was his.

It was the first American gold medal in golf since 1904, a yawning gap explained by the sport being dropped after those Games and returning only in 2016.

Schauffele held off Rory Sabbatini, a South African playing for Slovakia, his wife’s native country, who blistered the course with a final round 10-under 61 that was good enough for the silver.

The battle for the bronze was an unusual seven-way playoff. Several major champions were in that group, including Rory McIlroy of Ireland, Hideki Matsuyama of Japan and Collin Morikawa of the United States.

Two players were knocked out with bogeys at the first playoff hole, and three more after Morikawa and C.T. Pan of Taiwan birdied the third.

It was the relatively unheralded Pan who won the bronze, though, with a par on the fourth playoff hole after Morikawa found the sand.

Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela, center, set a world record in the triple jump. Patrícia Mamona of Portugal, right, won the silver, and Ana Peleteiro of Spain came in third.
Credit…Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela had high hopes coming into these Games.

Rojas, a triple jumper, thought she could make a bid for the world record, which had stood for 26 years. In doing so, she also thought she could become the first woman from Venezuela to win an Olympic gold medal. She won the silver medal in the event at the 2016 Rio Games.

On Sunday evening in Tokyo, she did both. Rojas, 26, leapt 15.67 meters, shattering the 1995 record of 15.50 set by Inessa Kravets of Ukraine.

Distance

15.67m

15.01m

14.87m

4 14.84m

5 14.70m

6 14.60m

7 14.59m

8 14.51m

9 14.38m

10 14.25m

Rojas began sprinting in excitement after realizing her accomplishment, putting her hands over her face in awe.

Patrícia Mamona of Portugal won the silver, and Ana Peleteiro of Spain came in third.

Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin of Taiwan, center, won gold in men’s doubles badminton on Saturday. Taiwan, a self-governing island claimed by China, competes in the Olympics as Chinese Taipei.
Credit…Alexander Nemenov/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

At the medal ceremony for the badminton men’s doubles on Saturday, the winning players watched a flag being raised, but it was not their own. They sang as a song reverberated in the mostly empty venue, but it was not their anthem.

For decades, politics has been getting in the way of Olympic glory for Taiwan, a self-governing democracy that China claims as its territory. Rather than using its formal name, the Republic of China, or even Taiwan, the island competes in international sporting events as Chinese Taipei, under a resolution passed by the International Olympic Committee. The terms prohibit the use of any symbols suggesting that Taiwan is a sovereign nation.

On Saturday, the Taiwanese badminton duo Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin prevailed over Liu Yuchen and Li Junhui of China, winning Taiwan’s first gold medal in the sport. In accordance with regulations, their victory was marked by the raising of the flag it uses at the Olympics, a white banner featuring a plum blossom motif and Olympic rings, and the playing of a song known as its flag anthem, commonly used at international sporting events it attends. ​​

Tensions between the two sides had been raised even before the final, with both Lee and Wang emphasizing their Taiwanese identity on social media. In a Facebook post afterward, Lee said his gold medal was “dedicated to my country, Taiwan.”

Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s president, also congratulated the players for “winning our country’s first gold medal in badminton.”

Badminton is one of the Olympic sports traditionally dominated by China, where the state-run sports system is designed to maximize the number of gold medals in part by focusing on less prominent sports.

Taiwan’s badminton victory has drawn some anger on Weibo, a popular social media platform in China, as well as comments from users congratulating China on a victory that, like Taiwan itself, they see as belonging to Beijing. Others accused the badminton players of advocating Taiwanese independence and criticized them as ungrateful.

“You can participate in the Games because there’s ‘Chinese Taipei’ on your shirts,” wrote one Weibo user who said the Taiwanese players’ allusions to national sovereignty left him speechless.

Similar nationalist attacks have focused on athletes from Hong Kong, a Chinese territory that fields its own Olympic team.

Social media users in Taiwan have responded with memes depicting a badminton court as the island’s new national flag.

The results were reversed in the women’s singles final on Sunday night, when Chen Yufei of China defeated the top-ranked Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan. Before the match, many Weibo users in China had already accused Tai of being pro-independence, citing past remarks lamenting her inability to hold Taiwan’s flag at international competitions.

“We can lose to anyone but Taiwanese and Hong Kongese independentists,” one user wrote.

Charlotte Worthington of Britain won gold in the BMX women’s freestyle event.
Credit…Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

TOKYO — New for the Tokyo Games, BMX freestyle is an expert display of bike handling and airborne trickery as riders soar through a ramped course exclusive to their 20-inch wheeled bicycles.

The ramps have a variety of transitions, thrusting riders skyward before they land back in the ramp and onto the next trick.

It sometimes appeared as if the riders were in a video game.

They spin their handlebars or the bike frame under their body in midair, as much as three times in a single move. All of those tricks are done with a calm awareness to find the handlebars or pedals when it is time to return to Earth, where a panel of judges score them in cycling’s only judged event.

Credit…Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

At the inaugural BMX Freestyle event in Tokyo some subdued drama unfolded. On the women’s side, Hannah Roberts appeared to be in a class of her own. After the first runs she sat easily in first place, scoring a 96.10 out of 100, her nearest competitor was almost seven points back.

But Sunday was not Roberts’s day, and she had to settle for silver. Charlotte Worthington of Britain, who crashed in her first run, was able to land a 360 back flip, a first in women’s competition, with several other difficult tricks to take the win.

On the men’s side, Australia’s Logan Martin dominated on his first run and remained unchallenged into the second runs. With three riders left, it looked as if Costa Rica was going to earn its first medal of the Games with Kenneth Tencio Esquivel sitting in third. But Venezuela’s Daniel Dhers used his second run to move into position for silver. That was enough to bump Costa Rica out of contention for a medal.

Credit…Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

When Declan Brooks won the bronze, Britain had taken a third of all the BMX medals, with one rider winning a medal in each of the disciplines.

The U.S. men entered the 4x100-meter medley relay as underdogs but powered past favored Britain to set a world record.
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

TOKYO — The medals, dozens of them, arrived in singles and in bunches, in short races and long ones, in medleys and relays. But every day, it seemed, the United States and Australia tossed a few more on the pile. Sunday was no different.

Emma McKeon of Australia became the second woman to win seven medals in a single Olympics, and Caeleb Dressel and Bobby Finke of the United States added more gold medals to the American haul on a frantic final day of the swimming competition at the Tokyo Aquatics Center.

Men’s

50m

Freestyle

Women’s

50m

Freestyle

Men’s

1,500m

Freestyle

Women’s

4×100m

Medley

Relay

Men’s

4×100m

Medley

Relay

The United States finished the meet by winning the men’s 4×100-meter medley relay in world-record time, extending an American unbeaten streak in the event. The victory also gave Dressel, who won the men’s 50 freestyle in Sunday’s opening race, his fifth gold medal of the Games.

Dressel, 24, became only the fifth American to win five golds in a single Games, joining a list that includes some of the greatest Olympians in the country’s history: the speedskater Eric Heiden and the swimmers Mark Spitz, Matt Biondi and Michael Phelps. (Phelps accomplished the feat three times.)

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

“I’m proud of myself,” Dressel said afterward. “I feel like I reached what my potential was at these Games, and it was really fun racing.”

The American swimmers finished the Olympic meet with 30 total medals, down from the 33 they won in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. And their final total of 11 gold medals fell short of the 16 they took home from the last Games.

In some ways, then, the team has looked like a group in transition. Afterward, the coaches said they hoped their young athletes had gained valuable experience for the next Olympics, now only three years away.

“Of course we’d love to have more golds here, just like we’d love to have more medals in general,” said Greg Meehan, the women’s team coach. “I think we had four fourth places.”

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

McKeon, 27, had started the day knowing that a top-three finish in her two races — the 50 free and the 4×100 medley relay — would make her only the second woman, after the Soviet gymnast Maria Gorokhovskaya in 1952, to win seven medals at a single Olympics. By day’s end, she had won gold in both.

In her first race, McKeon emerged from a highly competitive field to take gold in the women’s 50 freestyle, finishing with a time of 23.81 seconds, an Olympic record. Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden was second (24.07 seconds) and Pernille Blume of Denmark, who won gold in 2016, took third (24.21). Abbey Weitzeil, the only American in the final, finished last.

Later, in the women’s 4×100 medley relay, Australia won the gold medal with a time of 3:51.60. The American women, who won gold in the event at the 2016 Games, settled for the silver. Canada took the bronze.

McKeon erased a small U.S. lead with her butterfly leg, and Cate Campbell delivered the final touch after a powerful closing freestyle. While McKeon picked up her seventh medal — and her fourth gold — in the race, Campbell collected her fourth. She finished the Games with three golds and a bronze.

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

McKeon said the day had felt surreal. “To be in that kind of company, it’s an honor,” she said of tying a record for medals at a single Games. “And I know I’ve worked hard for it.”

Her total ran Australia’s medal count to 20, with nine golds, meaning that the Aussies and the Americans together had won nearly half of the medals available (50, of 105) and more than half the golds.

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Wedged between some of the superstars of the sport, Finke, 21, had been a relative unknown before this month. On Sunday, he won his second gold medal by prevailing in the men’s 1,500-meter freestyle after an intense three-man showdown with Mykhailo Romanchuk of Ukraine and Florian Wellbrock of Germany.

Finke hung close for most of the race and then propelled himself into the lead with his final turn. Finding a new gear after 29 relentlessly steady laps, he beat his rivals to the wall. He finished in 14 minutes 39.65 seconds, a body length ahead of Romanchuk (14:40.66) and Wellbrock (14:40.91).

His victory, and Katie Ledecky’s in the women’s event, gave the United States a sweep of the grueling 30-lap swimming marathons, the longest races in the competition.

“I don’t know how I’m going to be able to process things,” Finke said afterward. “I came into to this meet not really expecting to medal for anything.”

Dressel had entered the meet with much higher expectations. He opened the session by winning his fourth gold medal of the Games with a lung-busting sprint to victory in the 50 free. Diving off the blocks, he surfaced in the lead and never gave it up — or took a breath — as he finished in 21.07 seconds, an Olympic record. Florent Manaudou of France finished second in 21.55 seconds, and Bruno Fratus of Brazil (21.57) came in third.

When Dressel learned that he had won, he flexed his left bicep and then hustled out of the pool to prepare for the day’s final race, the 4×100 medley relay.

Dressel had entered the pool Sunday having already won three gold medals at the Games, in the 4×100 freestyle relay, the 100 free and the 100 butterfly. His time in the 100 butterfly, 49.45 seconds, was also a world record.

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

History was on the line in the final event, the men’s 4×100 medley relay. The American men entered the competition having won gold in every Olympics they had competed in — they did not participate in 1980, when the United States boycotted the Moscow Olympics — and kept the streak alive with a world record, winning easily in 3:26.78.

Despite their dominance, the Americans had entered the race as underdogs. The Americans had nearly missed the final, in fact, qualifying seventh with a different set of swimmers. That left the group that strode onto the deck for the final — Ryan Murphy, Michael Andrew, Dressel and Zach Apple — in an outside position, in Lane 1, but with a better-than-outside shot.

Dave Durden, the head coach of the men’s team, said he knew the team had a shot when he looked at splits from the previous world-record time and saw that each of the American men was individually capable of beating them.

“All we wanted them to do was swim at their level,” said Durden, who added that Dressel’s earlier swim had freed him mentally to perform well in the relay.

Murphy, the world-record holder in the 100 backstroke, staked the Americans to an early lead, before Adam Peaty of Britain, the world’s fastest man in the breaststroke, immediately erased the advantage by the race’s halfway mark.

But the Americans were just too deep. Dressel powered back in the butterfly, and Apple kept the United States streak alive with a strong closing freestyle leg. Britain won the silver and Italy took the bronze.

After a grueling week and a half of swimming, and an Olympic cycle that lasted five years instead of four, Dressel joked that he was ready to go home.

“I’m going to take a little break here,” he said, laughing. “I’m pretty over swimming, guys.”

Emma McKeon of Australia during the women’s 50-meter freestyle final at Tokyo Aquatics Center on Sunday.
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

TOKYO — The most decorated Olympic swimmer in Tokyo is … Caeleb Dressel? Katie Ledecky?

Nope. It is Emma McKeon of Australia, whose haul of seven medals ties her for the record by any female Olympian, set in 1952 at the Helsinki Games by the gymnast Maria Gorokhovskaya of the Soviet Union.

McKeon’s seventh medal came in the 4×100 medley relay and made her the first female swimmer to win that many at a single Games. She joins Michael Phelps, Mark Spitz and Matt Biondi as the only swimmers with seven or more (Phelps has the record, with eight golds at the 2008 Beijing Games).

Australia set an Olympic record in the race with a time of 3:51:60, edging out the United States in a stroke-for-stroke final lap. Canada won bronze.

She won the 50 free in a time of 23.81, an Olympic record.

“I never thought that I would win a 50 freestyle because I have been training for the 200 my whole life,’’ she said afterward. “If I put it altogether I knew I could win. It’s very surreal. I think the whole week I’ve been kind of keeping my emotions just at a certain level because I knew I had so much more racing to do. It’s very surreal to be in that kind of company.”

McKeon’s tally:

  • 4×100 freestyle relay (gold, world record)

  • 100 free (gold, Olympic record)

  • 50 free (gold, Olympic record)

  • 100 butterfly (bronze)

  • 4×200 free relay (bronze)

  • 4×100 mixed medley relay (bronze)

  • 4×100 medley relay (gold, Olympic record)

She won four medals at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, giving her 11 medals in total and making her the most decorated Australian Olympian ever. Her five gold medals in Rio and Tokyo are tied with the swimmer Ian Thorpe for the most in Australian history.

Simone Biles, center, with teammate Jordan Chiles during the individual all-around gymnastics final on Thursday.
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Simone Biles has withdrawn from her third individual apparatus final of the Olympics, leaving only one event where she can choose to compete.

Biles on Sunday withdrew from the floor exercise final, which was scheduled for Monday, U.S.A. Gymnastics said in a statement. She had previously said that she would not compete in the uneven bars or vault finals, which are scheduled for Sunday night.

Her last potential event in the Tokyo Games would be the balance beam, and U.S.A. Gymnastics said she would make a decision soon.

“Either way, we’re all behind you, Simone,” the organization said in a statement.

MyKayla Skinner, another American, will take Biles’s place in the vault final. On the floor exercise, Jennifer Gadirova of Britain will move into Biles’s spot.

Biles, the most decorated gymnast in history, was expected to repeat as all-around champion, but she withdrew from the all-around and the team final last week, citing mental health issues. She said that she was not mentally prepared to compete and that she was also dealing with a common gymnastics problem of her losing bearings while performing daring maneuvers in the air.

She exited the team final after the vault, and was in the stands to watch her teammate Sunisa Lee win the all-around. Lee was the fifth straight American woman to win that event, following Carly Patterson in 2004, Nastia Liukin in 2008, Gabby Douglas in 2012 and Biles in 2016.

Lee’s next chance at a medal will be on Sunday in the uneven bars, her best event.

Shi Tingmao of China competing in the 3-meter springboard event on Sunday. She won gold, and her teammate Wang Han took silver.
Credit…Joe Giddens/EPA, via Shutterstock

They make it look easy: crisp gymnastics through the air, knifing impact with the water and barely a splash upon entry.

But diving is a grueling sport, requiring years of training from a young age. Some divers suffer from damage to their eyes, like detached retinas, from constant impact with the water. And for all that training, an Olympic performance comes down to a few seconds of twists and turns. There is no margin for error.

On Sunday, Shi Tingmao of China won gold in the 3-meter springboard event. Her teammate, Wang Han, took silver, underlining China’s dominance of this precision sport, in which perfection must be achieved in a couple seconds. Krysta Palmer of the United States rounded out the medals with bronze.

Shi, a 29-year-old veteran who started her athletic career at age 6 as a gymnast before switching to diving five years later, unleashed an inward 2 1/2 somersaults pike for her first dive and capped it with a forward 2 1/2 somersaults 1 twist pike for her fifth and final dive. Her score of 383.50 dominated the rankings, with Wang scoring 348.75.

At the 2016 Rio Games, Shi captured gold in both the 3-meter springboard and the 3-meter synchronized events.

Diving routines unfold so quickly that they look like a video on fast-forward. The judges must make almost equally rapid verdicts on the athletes’ performances.

The Chinese Olympic diving team, nurtured in state training facilities from early elementary school age, has dominated the competition for years.

In Tokyo, they have struck gold in the women’s synchronized 3-meter event, the women’s synchronized 10-meter platform event and the men’s synchronized 3-meter event. The only gold that has eluded the squad so far was in the men’s synchronized 10-meter platform event, in which they took silver.

Megan Rapinoe, right, and other U.S. players celebrating after she scored the winning penalty kick to defeat the Netherlands. The U.S. team now will play Canada.
Credit…Kiichiro Sato/Associated Press

TOKYO — The U.S. women’s soccer team lost a game, tied another and needed penalties to beat the Netherlands in the quarterfinals. But the team remains alive, with a semifinal game against Canada on Monday at 5 p.m. Tokyo time, 4 a.m. Eastern.

Three more gymnastics event finals will also be contested at that time, with the potential highlight being Jade Carey of the United States in the women’s floor exercise.

A full plate of track includes the long jump and steeplechase for men, and the discus, 100-meter hurdles and 5,000 meters for women. The long jump and hurdles are Sunday night, U.S. time, with the other events in the early hours on Monday.

The U.S. beach volleyball team of April Ross and Alix Klineman, still undefeated in Tokyo, plays in a round of 16 match against Lidianny Echevarria Benitez and Leila Consuelo Martinez Ortega of Cuba on Sunday night U.S. time.

And the U.S. men’s baseball team faces Japan at 6 a.m. Eastern; the loser won’t be eliminated but will have a much shorter path to the gold medal.

Correction: 

Because of an editing error, the headline on an earlier version of this article misstated the soccer team that the U.S. women will play. It is Canada, not the Netherlands.

Jade Carey competes in the gymnastics women’s apparatus final. She is expected to compete in the floor final on Monday.
Credit…Gregory Bull/Associated Press

Here are some highlights of U.S. broadcast coverage on Sunday evening and overnight. Early on Monday morning, Megan Rapinoe and the U.S. women’s soccer team head into the semifinals. Follow The New York Times for live updates when the game starts at 4 a.m. on USA Network. All times are Eastern.

GYMNASTICS The women’s gymnastics apparatus finals will be presented at 7 p.m. on Sunday on NBC. MyKayla Skinner and her fellow American Jade Carey competed in the vault final, where Skinner took home the silver.

Carey is expected to represent the U.S. in the floor final, which can be streamed live at 4 a.m. on Monday on Peacock. Coverage will also be presented at 8 p.m. on Monday on NBC.

Credit…Alexandra Garcia/The New York Times

TRACK & FIELD Additional track & field finals and qualifying rounds will air live on Sunday beginning at 8 p.m. on USA Network. Peacock will also present live coverage of track & field finals and qualifying rounds on Monday morning starting at 6:20 a.m.

BEACH VOLLEYBALL Live coverage of the women’s beach volleyball elimination rounds will feature the Americans April Ross and Alix Klineman playing Cuba beginning at 8 p.m. tonight on NBC. Canada will play Spain at 9 p.m. on CNBC.

BASKETBALL In pursuit of a seventh consecutive gold medal, Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi and the U.S. women’s basketball team will face France in its final game of group play. USA Network will air the game live at 12:30 a.m. on Monday. With a victory, the U.S. will advance to the quarterfinals.

Credit…Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

SOCCER Megan Rapinoe and the U.S. women’s soccer team will play Canada in the semifinals at 4 a.m. on Monday on USA Network, with a spot in the gold medal match on the line.

BASEBALL The U.S. baseball team, featuring former M.L.B. players Todd Frazier and Edwin Jackson, will face Japan in the playoff round live at 6 a.m. on Monday on NBCSN.

Correction: 

Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article misidentified the silver medalist in the women’s gymnastics vault final. It was McKayla Skinner, not Jade Carey.

The saving grace of these strange Olympics: Tokyo’s 24-hour convenience stores, or conbini, as they are known in Japan.
Credit…James Hill for The New York Times

TOKYO — Noodle joints, skewer shops, sushi counters. Those of us who are here covering the Games stare at it all through tinted glass on languid bus rides from one Olympic venue to another.

This is for good reason. Japan is in a state of emergency. Coronavirus cases are on the rise. Unleashing thousands of foreigners like me, an American journalist, into a city — to its restaurants and bars and stores — would be imprudent. But we do need to eat.

Enter the saving grace of these Olympics, the glue holding the whole thing together: Tokyo’s 24-hour convenience stores, or conbini, as they are known in Japan. They have quickly become a primary source of sustenance — and, more surprisingly, culinary enjoyment — for many visitors navigating one of the strangest Games in history.

All of us — athletes, team staff members, officials and journalists — are largely prohibited from venturing anywhere but our hotels and the Olympic venues. Trips outside this so-called bubble cannot exceed 15 minutes.

We can’t traverse the galaxy of food outside the Olympic limits, but a conbini contains a culinary world unto itself, a bounty of bento boxes, fried meats, sushi, noodles galore and all manner of elaborate plastic-wrapped meals and rare snacks.

In the lobby of the main press building, a Lawson store heaves each day with multinational crowds scavenging for their next meal.

The 7-Eleven outside my hotel hums with activity long after midnight, as people returning from late events gaze, frozen by choice, upon unending rows of ready-to-eat foodstuffs, looking to match component parts into a perfectly bespoke meal.

Even athletes have been spotted carrying overstuffed shopping bags of snacks.


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