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Thursday, October 28, 2021

What you missed in Tokyo: Athing Mu wins gold; Noah Lyles, Erriyon Knighton zoom into 200m finals; USA hoops still alive


Monday night brought us a jam-packed slate of Tokyo Olympic action. First, the A-Team — the American duo of April Ross and Alix Klineman — continued its quest for Olympic gold with a 21-19, 21-19 win over Germany in the beach volleyball quarterfinal. Then, Kevin Durant scored 29 points while Damian Lillard had 11 points, four rebounds and four assists as the U.S. men’s basketball team beat Spain 95-81 to reach the Olympic semifinals.

Meanwhile on the track, American Rai Benjamin broke the previous world record in the 400-meter hurdles but was outdone by Norway’s Karsten Warholm, who became the first person to break 46 seconds in the event.

On Tuesday morning, Simone Biles made her return and earned a bronze in the balance beam. Also, Team USA continued to dominate on the track. Erriyon Knighton, the 17-year-old star, zoomed into the 200-meter final along with fellow American Noah Lyles. Athing Mu, 19, won gold in the 800-meter final.

As always, we have you covered with all the Tokyo action you might have missed:

Springsteen out of individual show jumping final

Jessica Springsteen (yes, daughter of that Springsteen) fell short of qualifying for the Olympic individual show jumping finals at Tokyo’s Equestrian Park on Tuesday. The 29-year-old’s Olympic debut was strong save for her mount Don Juan van de Donkhoeve knocking down one rail, which cost her 4 faults. She’ll ride again Friday night as part of America’s four-rider entry in the jumping team event.

Nilsen soars to silver

Three-time NCAA champion Chris Nilsen can add “Olympic silver medalist” to his already stacked résumé. Nilsen clinched the second spot by clearing a height of 5.97 meters (19.58 feet), which is more than an inch better than the University of South Dakota school record height of 19.46 feet he set last season. Nilsen’s silver-medal finish is the highest by an American since 2004.

Mensah-Stock is golden

That’s Olympic champion Tamyra Mensah-Stock, to you. The U.S. wrestler captured gold by defeating Blessing Oborududu of Nigeria 4-1. She is the first American Black woman and the second American woman overall to accomplish the feat.

Gold for Athing Mu

Athing Mu won the women’s 800-meter race and is just the second American woman to win the event. Mu is the first since Madeline Manning in 1968. At the age of 19, Mu is the second-youngest male or female winner of the Olympic 800-meters.

Historic feat for Thompson-Herah

Jamaican Elaine Thompson-Herah won gold in the women’s 200 meters after winning gold in the 100m earlier in the games. She completed the sweep in the 100 and 200m in consecutive Olympic Games.

The only male or female to complete the 100m/200m sweep in consecutive games is fellow Jamaican Usain Bolt, who did so in three consecutive games (2008, ’12, ’16). She also joins Usain Bolt as the only track athletes to win the 200m in consecutive games.

American Gabby Thomas won the bronze in the 200.

Americans flying on the track

Warholm shatters world record

Rai Benjamin running a 46.17 in the 400-meter hurdles broke the old world record, but in a battle between two of the best 400-meter hurdles racers on the planet, it was only good enough for silver. Norway’s Karsten Warholm ran an even better race, setting the new world record in 45.94 seconds for a gold medal. Brazil’s Alison dos Santos picked up the bronze medal.

USA Basketball storms back to reach semis

Behind Kevin Durant‘s 29 points, the U.S. men’s basketball team advanced to the Olympic semifinals with a 95-81 win over Spain on Tuesday.

The U.S. trailed 40-29 midway through the second quarter before a 29-7 run spanning two quarters put the Americans up 58-47. They will play the winner of Australia and Argentina in Thursday’s semifinal (12:15 a.m. ET).

Spain, which was led by a career-high 38 points from Ricky Rubio, was eliminated.

France defeated Italy in the morning’s third semifinal. France will face Luka Doncic and Slovenia in one semifinal. The United States will face the winner of the morning’s final quarterfinal: Australia vs. Argentina.

Felix returns to form

Allyson Felix, competing in her fifth and final Olympic appearance, won her heat in the 400-meter race in 50.84 seconds. Jamaica’s Roneisha McGregor and the Czech Republic’s Lada Vondrová tied for the second spot at 51.14, also qualifying for the semifinals, which begin at 6:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday.

American men show out

Youth Olympic Games and world champion Noah Lyles, who didn’t make the cut to Rio 2016, is off to a strong start for his first Olympic gold medal in the men’s 200 meters at Tokyo. In his first race at the Tokyo Olympics, Lyles, 24, who is the fourth-fastest man in this event, cruised into the semifinals (scheduled for 7:50 a.m. ET on Tuesday), finishing first in his heat at 20.18. Eswatini’s Sibusiso Matsenjwa finished second in the heat, followed by Ghana’s Joseph Amoah.

Lyles didn’t have the fastest time in the preliminary round, though. USA’s Kenny Bednarek finished first in his heat with a 20.01 time.

A-Team to semis

The U.S. beach volleyball duo of April Ross and Alix Klineman, otherwise known as the A-Team, defeated Germany’s Laura Ludwig and Margareta Kozuch in straight sets to advance to Thursday’s semifinal. The gold-medal match will be on Friday.

Late leap gives Germany gold

Team USA’s Brittney Reese had a gold medal snatched away from her grasp in the women’s long jump when Germany’s Malaika Mihambo jumped 7.00 meters in her final attempt. Reese, a gold medalist in London and silver medalist in Rio, jumped 6.97 meters. Nigeria’s Ese Brume won bronze.

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