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World record may be broken in shot put on Day 12 of Olympics

World record may be broken in shot put on Day 12 of Olympics

TOKYO — The main action for Day 12 of the Tokyo Games is at Olympic Stadium with live track & field events anchoring Wednesday coverage.The men’s 200-meters will be decided in morning action streamed on Peacock.A world record could be set in primetime when defending Olympic champion Ryan Crouser tries to break the shot put mark. Nevin Harrison is the only athlete representing the United States in canoe sprint and the gold medal favorite in the women’s canoe 200, and April Ross and Alix Klineman will play for a spot in the women’s beach volleyball gold medal match.Here are some things to watch (all times Eastern):TRACK & FIELDIt will be a world record watch at Olympic Stadium in Wednesday night track and field competition.Ryan Crouser will attempt to break his own world record and win a second consecutive gold medal in the shot put.To comprehend Crouser’s record, try throwing a 16-pound bowling ball from one free throw line all the way to the opposite end of a basketball court. That’s essentially what he did at the U.S. Olympic trials in June, when he broke a 31-year-old record with a throw of 23.37 meters (76 feet, 8¼ inches).U.S. teammate Joe Kovacs won silver at the Rio Games, but at the 2019 world championship in Doha the duo flipped the finishing order with Kovacs beating Crouser, who wound up second.In the 110-meter hurdles, world champion Grant Holloway will be the one to catch. He turned in the second-fastest time in the history of the event in the Olympic trials, running 12.81 seconds — just 0.01 seconds behind the time Aries Merritt set in 2012.And in the 200-meter final, Erriyon Knighton could be in the mix for a medal. The 17-year-old from Florida is the youngest male track Olympian to represent the U.S. since Jim Ryun in 1964, and at trials Knighton broke the under-20 world record held by none other than Usain Bolt.During his first-round run in Tokyo, Knighton was caught mid-yawn before his heat in the first round. His biggest rival will be teammate Noah Lyles, who is the reigning world champion.Track and field events anchor NBC’s primetime coverage that begins at 8 p.m., but the men’s 200 meters will initially be streamed live on Peacock in coverage from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.CANOE SPRINTNevin Harrison is the only athlete representing the United States in canoe sprint and the gold medal favorite in the women’s canoe 200.Harrison won the 2019 world championship at just 17 years old, and she won a world cup series title in May. She took up the sport at the urging of a summer camp counselor when she was 12 years old.She also has a chance to be the first Olympic champion in the event. The canoe 200 was added this year as part of the Olympics’ efforts at gender equity. It has been part of the canoe world championships for several years. The finals will be live on CNBC beginning at 8 p.m.; qualifying will be on NBC in coverage that begins at noon.BEACH VOLLEYBALLApril Ross and Alix Klineman will play for a spot in the women’s beach volleyball gold medal match against Switzerland.The Americans knocked out Germany and defending Olympic champion Laura Ludwig in the quarterfinals, leaving Ross as the only woman remaining in the beach volleyball tournament with an Olympic medal on her resume.Ross won silver in London in 2012 and bronze in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. The semifinals will be aired live on NBC during primetime coverage that begins at 8 p.m.WOMEN’S GOLFThe Golf Channel has two opportunities to watch the top women in the world play.The second round will be shown live and features the top 14 players in the world, led by top-ranked Nelly Korda. The 23-year-old Floridian is the daughter of tennis player Petr Korda, who won the 1998 Australian Open.Of the 60 players, 29 have returned from the Rio Games, the first time golf was played in the Olympics in more than a century. All three medalists from Rio are back, including winner Inbee Park of South Korea.The Americans and South Koreans are the only countries that have the maximum four players. It has been a strong year for the American golfers with six LPGA wins — the most of any country on a tour that has been dominated by the South Koreans for the past decade.The rough has been trimmed significantly since American golfer Xander Schauffele won the men’s tournament at 18-under par. The men required a seven-way playoff to determine the bronze medalist and a playoff of some variety for the women would not be a surprise.A replay of the first round will begin at 9:30 a.m., and the second round will be live beginning at 6:30 p.m.WOMEN’S BASKETBALLThe U.S. women’s basketball team will f ace Australia in the next step toward a seventh consecutive Olympic gold medal.Australia beat the U.S. in an exhibition last month in Las Vegas and will challenge a U.S. team that hasn’t been quite as strong in the Tokyo Games as past years. The U.S. and Australia are ranked No. 1 and 2 in the world, but Australia has never beaten the U.S. in the Olympics.The Opals lost to the Americans in the gold medal game in 2000, ‘04 and ’08. The Australians also lost in the semifinals of the 1996 and 2012 Olympics to the U.S. as well.The Americans have won 52 consecutive Olympic contests going back to the bronze medal game of the 1992 Olympics. Coverage of the quarterfinals will be on USA Network from 2 a.m. through 10 a.m.SPORT CLIMBINGThe Olympic debut of sport climbing continues with women’s qualifying, which includes an element of surprise in that the climbers won’t get a chance to see the wall in two of the three disciplines until right before their first attempt.Climbing at the Olympics will have three disciplines: lead, boulder and speed.Lead is pretty much what recreational climbers face at climbing gyms, only on a much higher wall (15 meters) and far more difficult. There’s a six-minute limit, whoever climbs highest wins.Bouldering is a set of four “problems” on 4.5-meter walls where turning upside down is sometimes the solution to reaching the top. Climbers have five minutes — four in the final — to solve each boulder in as many attempts as they want.Speed is a race to the top of a 15-meter wall on a standardized route. The climbing will be part of all-day coverage on USA Network that also includes finals in boxing, cycling, weightlifting and wrestling.———More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Biles set to return to competition for balance beam final

Biles set to return to competition for balance beam final

Simone Biles will at last return to Olympic competition Tuesday on Day 11 of the Tokyo GamesBy JENNA FRYER AP Sports WriterAugust 2, 2021, 4:24 PM• 4 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleTOKYO — Simone Biles will at last return to Olympic competition Tuesday on Day 11 of the Tokyo Games.The 2016 Olympic champion pulled out of competition a little over a week ago to focus on her mental health, but will return for the balance beam final in what will certainly be the highlight of NBC’s coverage.The men’s horizontal and parallel bars will also be decided.It will be a big night at Olympic Stadium for American hurdlers Sydney McLaughlin and Dalilah Muhammad. They are expected to race each other for the gold in the 400-meter hurdles.The women’s golf tournament begins with four Americans — Nelly Korda, Jessica Korda, Danielle Kang and Lexi Thompson — headlining the 60-player field.Here are some things to watch (all times Eastern):BILES IS BACKSimone Biles was the face of these Olympic Games leading into Tokyo until a case of the “twisties” sidelined the six-time Olympic medalist.Biles, citing issues surrounding air awareness, first pulled out of team competition after one event and said she needed time to focus on her mental health. She also skipped four of her five scheduled events, only announcing Monday that she’d return for the balance beam.“We are so excited to confirm that you will see two U.S. athletes in the balance beam final tomorrow — Suni Lee AND Simone Biles!! Can’t wait to watch you both!” USA Gymnastics said in a statement.The 24-year-old Biles won bronze on beam in Rio de Janeiro five years ago. Lee won the women’s all-around while Biles sat out, bronze in the uneven bars and was part of the group that won silver in women’s team competition.The women’s balance beam final will be streamed live on Peacock starting at 4 a.m. with an encore — along with the men’s horizontal bar final — during NBC’s primetime coverage beginning at 8 p.m.AMERICAN SHOWDOWNThe month-long battle between Sydney McLaughlin and Dalilah Muhammad continues at Olympic Stadium as both hurdlers eye the gold medal in the 400 meters.McLaughlin is the world record holder at 51.90 seconds, but the mark could be broken at the Tokyo Games, by either her or rival Dalilah Muhammad. Both made it through the rainy semifinals to advance into the final with an Olympic gold medal on the line.Each time the two have met, the world record has fallen.The race will be shown live in NBC’s primetime coverage along with the women’s 800-meter final, women’s 200-meter final and the men’s 200-meter semifinals.NBC SPORTSThere’s a full day of coverage on NBC Sports Network that begins at 4 a.m. and runs all the way through 2 a.m.Among the events scheduled for live coverage is the semifinals of the men’s soccer tournament, and the women’s quarterfinal in beach volleyball.Alice Dearing, the first Black female swimmer for Great Britain, will make her Olympic debut in the women’s marathon. Dearing gained attention when FINA said she could not use a swim cap designed to accommodate her Afro.A replay of the U.S. men’s basketball game against Spain will be shown in coverage beginning at 8 p.m.WOMEN’S GOLFThe entire first round of the women’s golf tournament will be shown live from Kasumigaseki Country Club beginning at 6:30 p.m. on The Golf Channel. The Americans have four contenders in Nelly Korda, Jessica Korda, Danielle Kang and Lexi Thompson.FOR THE LATE CROWDBoth the women’s park skateboarding final and the quarterfinals of women’s volleyball will be shown live beginning at 12:05 a.m. on NBC.The quarterfinals of the women’s basketball tournament will be on USA Network at 12:40 a.m.The Olympic Channel will host wrestling starting at 5:15 a.m. with finals and semifinals running until 1 p.m. Competition resumes at 10 p.m. for four additional hours of wrestling matches.———More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Bromell looks to replace Bolt atop Olympic 100-meter podium

Bromell looks to replace Bolt atop Olympic 100-meter podium

Usain Bolt has retired so there will be a new fastest man at the Olympics for the first time since 2008 when the men’s 100-meter dash is held on Day 9 of the Tokyo GamesBy JENNA FRYER AP Sports WriterJuly 31, 2021, 5:09 PM• 4 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleTOKYO — There will be a new fastest man of the Olympics crowned Sunday when the 100-meter dash is run without Usain Bolt in the finals for the first time since 2008.The favorite to claim the gold is American sprinter Trayvon Bromell, a 26-year-old from St. Petersburg, Florida. The race is the marquee event of the Olympics and closes out a busy night at Olympic Stadium.Newly minted Olympic all-around champion Sunisa Lee will be looking to add to her medal haul in the uneven bars final, while Americans Jade Carey and MyKayla Skinner are medal threats in the vault finals.Here are some things to watch (all times Eastern):TRACK & FIELDThere will be a new gold medalist in the marquee race of the Olympics and it just might be an American who takes over the spot left open by Usain Bolt’s retirement.Bolt won three consecutive golds in the men’s 100-meter dash but he’s now moved on in his life and there’s an opening for a new star. Trayvon Bromell doesn’t have the same swagger as Bolt, but he does have speed.The 26-year-old from Florida is an unassuming sprinter in a showman’s event. Bromell is the favorite in Sunday’s gold medal race. He’ll be challenged by teammate Ronnie Baker, Andre De Grasse of Canada and Akani Simbine of South Africa.Bromell won U.S. Olympic trials and also has the top time of 2021, at 9.77 seconds. The sports books believe Bromell will win and he’s the even-money favorite for the gold.Olympic Stadium will be the centerpiece of Sunday night’s Tokyo Games coverage, with medals also set to be handed out in the women’s 100-meter hurdles and the men’s long jump. NBC’s primetime coverage begins at 7 p.m. and will also feature the women’s springboard final in diving and an elimination match in women’s beach volleyball.GYMNASTICSSimone Biles is taking another night off in Tokyo, where she’s found herself unable to compete because of mental health issues. She pulled out of the women’s team final, the women’s all-around and won’t participate Sunday in the uneven bars or vault.So it will be newly minted Olympic all-around champion Sunisa Lee looking to add to her haul in the uneven bars final. Lee and Belgium’s Nina Derwael are the heavy favorites to top the podium.Americans Jade Carey and MyKayla Skinner posted two of the top four scores in vault during qualifying and will both be medal threats in the finals. Skinner made it into the final when defending Olympic champion Biles opted out.Medals will also be handed out in men’s floor exercise, pommel horse and still rings. Coverage will be live at 4 a.m. on Peacock with encore presentations during NBC’s primetime coverage.BASKETBALLThe U.S. women’s basketball team will continue the quest for a seventh consecutive gold medal as Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi lead the Americans against France in the final game of group play.The women are 2-0 in group play. The game against France will be aired at 12:40 a.m. on USA Network.In men’s competition, Slovenia against reigning World Cup champion Spain is the game of note.Luka Doncic has had a spectacular Olympics for Slovenia and is the leading scorer in Tokyo; Slovenia’s men’s national team is 15-0 all time when he’s in the lineup.The game will decide the winner of Group C and be assured of a top-four seed in the quarterfinals — but both Slovenia and Spain will be in the quarterfinals, win or lose. The game is at 4:20 a.m. on USA Network.IN OTHER NOTABLE ACTIONElimination rounds in women’s beach volleyball will be live in primetime on both NBC and CNBC beginning at 8 p.m.Novak Djokovic’s quest for the Golden Slam ended and the men’s top-ranked tennis player in the world left Tokyo without a single medal. Alexander Zverev of Germany knocked off Djokovic and will play Karen Khachanov of the Russian Olympic Committee in the gold medal match live for the late crowd on The Olympic Channel with an afternoon replay on USA Network.The U.S. men’s water polo team will play Greece live in primetime on CNBC, where coverage of men’s elimination round beach volleyball and the fencing men’s team foil final will also air.CNBC will also showcase the field hockey women’s quarterfinal live, as well as the bronze medal and gold medal matches of women’s doubles badminton.———More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Ban on 'Soul Cap' spotlights lack of diversity in swimming

Ban on 'Soul Cap' spotlights lack of diversity in swimming

TOKYO — Alice Dearing has an afro, a voluminous puff nearly impossible to protect in most swimming caps. Her hair shrinks if it gets wet. And the chlorine? The chemicals in a pool can cause severe damage that requires substantial time and money to treat.The first Black female swimmer on Britain’s Olympic team uses the the Soul Cap, an extra-large silicone covering designed specifically to protect dreadlocks, weaves, hair extensions, braids, and thick and curly hair. But Dearing has been forbidden from using the cap in her Olympic debut next week in the women’s 10k marathon swim.FINA, which oversees international competitions in swimming, rejected the application from the British makers of the Soul Cap for use in the Tokyo Games, citing no previous instance in which swimmers needed “caps of such size and configuration.” It also wondered if the cap could create an advantage by disrupting the flow of water.On social media and in Black swimming circles, the outcry was swift and the conversation went on for days. A Change.org petition was launched and Dearing, an ambassador for the cap and co-founder of the Black Swimming Association, openly expressed disappointment.For people of color, this was so much more than a ban on a swimming cap. Dismissing it represented yet another injustice.THE BACKLASHIt’s been five years since the Rio Games, when American Simone Manuel became the first Black female swimmer to win Olympic gold. Since then, there has been little uptick in swimmers of color at the elite level.Like Dearing, Donta Katai of Zimbabwe is the first Black swimmer to represent her country. And at almost any meet at the international level, swimmers of color are extremely rare. The U.S. team has only two black females, Manuel and Natalie Hinds.Those familiar with the situation say the reasons for that shortage — and the racism behind them — run deep in history.Neither Manuel nor Hinds understands the dismissal of the Soul Cap. Both Americans have sponsorship from other companies that make caps to protect their hair, but they were disappointed that a cap made by a Black-owned business specifically to aid swimmers of color was outlawed.“It doesn’t do the best for inclusivity in the sport,” Manuel said.The tenuous relationship between Black people and water goes back a long way. In the era of segregation in the United States, Black swimmers were barred from pools; those that did permit swimmers of color were often unsafe and neglected.“The predominance of white athletes in swimming is a key example of a racial disparity in sport that can be linked to histories of institutional racism,” said Claire Sisco King, an associate professor of communication studies at Vanderbilt University and editor of the Women’s Studies in Communication international journal.Accessibility to public pools is another barrier, King notes, and wealth inequality makes an often expensive sport like swimming inaccessible. She said the banning of the Soul Cap “risks perpetuating the racist assumption that Black athletes don’t belong in the sport of swimming.”According to the USA Swimming Foundation, 64% of Black children do not know how to swim compared to 40% of white American children. Additionally, 79% of children in American families that earn less than $50,000 a year do not know how to swim.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that between 1999 and 2010, the fatal unintentional drowning rate for Blacks was significantly higher than white swimmers; for every white child between 5 and 18 years old who drowned, 5.5 Black children drowned.Danielle Obe co-founded, with Dearing, the Black Swimming Association not long after the 2019 Christmas Eve drowning of a father and two children while on holiday in Spain.“We just thought, we’ve got to do something for our community,” Obe said. After conversations with Swimming World magazine, she found that 95% of Black adults in London do not swim and 80% of Black children leave primary school not yet able to swim.Said Obe: “We thought the only way to get more Alice Dearings in the pool, with Alice being Black and among the 5% in the water, we had to reduce the 95% not in the water.”ROOTS OF THE SOUL CAPDearing is among the Black swimmers who balance love of the water with the difficulties of protecting hair.Obe suspects Dearing will have her afro braided into cornrows in order to use an approved cap in the marathon swim, but Dearing had been using the Soul Cap. It was created by schoolmates Toks Ahmed and Michael Chapman, who both did not learn how to swim until their late 20s.“The perception has always been that swimming isn’t for Black people; my mom doesn’t swim, Michael’s mom doesn’t swim, none of our friends swim,” Ahmed said, “and it was like, ‘This is nuts, — we need to learn how to swim.’”A woman in the class struggled to keep her bathing cap on her head, which sparked the Soul Cap idea.“We both wondered why there wasn’t swim caps made to accommodate that more voluminous hair and afro textures and bigger hair,” Ahmed said. “We spoke to our moms and our sisters and they both all said, to be fair, a big barrier to swimming is the fact our hair gets soaked, we haven’t got a swimming cap that works.”What they thought would be a niche product received such favorable feedback that the duo realized “we were filling a gap, providing something that removed a barrier to women and children who did not want to swim.”In 2017 they self-funded 150 black extra-large caps, another 60 in burgundy, and are now taking orders for about 25,000 caps. The caps started with the two understated colors; then they were contacted by open-water swimmers who needed brighter hues. Then came queries from swimmers who didn’t have full afros and wanted the caps in smaller sizes.The attention created by the federation’s rejection has been effective, though Dearing wasn’t available to talk about it. Her team wouldn’t make her available for comment until after her Aug. 4 competition.SUCCESS CAUSING CHANGEManuel and Hinds were part of the bronze medal-winning 4×100 meter freestyle relay and Manuel, a four-time medalist, made history when she won gold in the 100-meter free at Rio.Black swimmers’ success can be a change agent, but there must also be specific steps toward creating more interest and opportunity, said Shontel Cargill, a former competitive swimmer who is Black. She is now a therapist and assistant clinic director at Thriveworks in Cumming, Georgia.“Due to the discriminatory and segregated past of swimming, Black families have been taught to fear swimming instead of embrace it,” Cargill said.FINA is now in talks with Soul Cap and said in a statement it will review the application again later this year. The governing body said it is “understanding of the importance of inclusivity and representation,” and the review of the Soul Cap and similar products “are part of wider initiatives aimed at ensuring there are no barriers to participation in swimming, which is both a sport and a vital life skill.”The federation’s swimwear approval committee chairman “is fully aware of the cultural issues that Soul Cap has raised, and we are reviewing the process,” Brent Nowicki, an American named executive director of FINA in June, said Saturday.Ahmed feels encouraged after conversations with Nowicki, who he said was “quite apologetic for the way the application was handled.”“I think it’s testament that if there was more representation at that level, and more representation at the approval process, someone might have said ‘Hey, let’s consider this because there are people out there who want to swim competitively, but don’t want to cut their hair down short and maybe don’t want to compromise,'” Ahmed said. “It’s just about giving people an option.”———More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Swimming wraps up with Dressel going for another gold medal

Swimming wraps up with Dressel going for another gold medal

The final night of swimming gives Caeleb Dressel and four-time Olympic medalist Simone Manuel more chances to collect hardware on Day 8 of the Tokyo GamesBy JENNA FRYER AP Sports WriterJuly 30, 2021, 5:11 PM• 4 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleTOKYO — The final night of swimming gives Caeleb Dressel and four-time Olympic medalist Simone Manuel more chances to collect hardware on Day 8 of the Tokyo Games.Dressel is a gold medal favorite in the men’s 50-meter freestyle and is the two-time reigning world champion. Manuel will compete in the women’s 50-meter freestyle, which she won silver in 2016 in Rio. The U.S. is also expected to contend for the gold medal in the men’s and women’s 4x100m medley relay.Allyson Felix will attempt to pass Merlene Ottey of Jamaica as the female Olympian with the most track and field medals in the mixed 4×400 relay and the women’s 100-meter dash will be decided after a spirited day of heats.Kevin Durant and the U.S. men’s basketball team face Czech Republic in its final game of group play.Here are some things to watch (all times Eastern):SWIMMINGThe final day of swimming is a big one for Caeleb Dressel. He’ll go for two more gold medals in his sights in the 50-meter freestyle and the 4×100-meter medley relay. The Americans are big favorites in both events.Though the 50 free is always a bit of a crapshoot decided by a few hundredths of a second, Dressel has turned his brilliant underwater technique into 50 free titles at the past two world championships. The U.S. men, meanwhile, have never lost a medley relay at the Olympics.Also keep an eye on Simone Manuel, who will swim her only individual event of these Games after failing to qualify for the American team in the 100 free, an event she won at the Rio Games. Manuel revealed at the U.S. trials that she had been diagnosed with overtraining syndrome, which forced her to halt training for nearly a month. Cate Campbell and 100 free champion Emma McKeon are also expected to be among the leading contenders in the 50 free.The Americans also are the two-time defending Olympic champions in the women’s 4×100 medley relay, but will be challenged by an Australian women’s team that had won five gold medals as of Friday.In the men’s 1,500 free, American Bobby Finke could take another medal after a surprising victory in the 800 free. Swimming will be the highlight of NBC’s primetime coverage that begins at 8 p.m.TRACK & FIELDThe women’s 100-meter dash will be decided after a spirited round of early heats.Reigning world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran her heat in the nearly empty Olympic Stadium in 10.84 seconds. Her Jamaican rival, defending Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah, finished in 10.82.And Marie-Josee Ta Lou, the Ivory Coast sprinter who finished an excruciating fourth in Rio de Janeiro, kept saying “Wow! Wow!” after she crossed the finish line in a blistering personal best of 10.78.They were the fifth, sixth and seventh-fastest times of the year, produced on a day when seven of 54 sprinters hit a personal best — all in an opening round.In the mixed 4X400 relay, a medal for the Americans would push Allyson Felix past Merlene Ottey of Jamaica as the female Olympian with the most track and field medals. She currently has 10 medals. Much of the track and field coverage will be on NBC in primetime, but select qualifying rounds will also air live in primetime on USA Network.MEN’S BASKETBALLThe U.S. men’s basketball team can secure second place in Group A and clinch a berth in the Olympic quarterfinals on Saturday when it faces the Czech Republic.A win would also give the U.S. a chance at securing a top-four seed for the quarterfinals, which will be played in Saitama on Tuesday. Having a top-four seed is critical because it would mean that the Americans would not face any group winners in the knockout stage before the semifinals. The game will be streamed live Saturday at 8 a.m. on Peacock with encores later on both NBC and NBC Sports Network.BEACH VOLLEYBALLThe knockout round begins in beach volleyball and the top American team of April Ross and Alix Klineman made it through the preliminaries unscathed, winning all three of their matches.That puts the Americans on the opposite side of the bracket from the overall No. 1 overall, Canada. They would not meet until the gold medal match. The elimination rounds will be on NBC in primetime.FOR THE LATE CROWDThe elimination round of men’s beach volleyball will be aired live on NBC beginning at midnight, along with coverage of the men’s 1,500-meter free and the BMX Freestyle Finals.The finals in men’s and women’s singles tennis will be presented on the Olympic Channel beginning at 2 a.m.———More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Caeleb Dressel goes for more gold on Day 7 of Tokyo Games

Caeleb Dressel goes for more gold on Day 7 of Tokyo Games

TOKYO — Caeleb Dressel is expected to be the star of Day 7 at the Tokyo Games as he seeks his third gold medal in Friday night coverage of the Olympics.The U.S. women’s soccer team plays Netherlands in a rematch of the World Cup final, and Allyson Felix can become the most decorated female Olympian in track and field.Both the U.S. men’s and women’s water polo teams play and Hannah Roberts in BMX freestyle will try to become the youngest U.S. medalist in cycling since 1912. She’d also be the first female teenager to win an Olympic cycling gold medal.Here are some things to watch (all times Eastern):SWIMMINGCaeleb Dressel is the favorite in the men’s 100-meter butterfly, an event he won at the past two world championships and is the world record holder. He’s already won two golds in Tokyo.Katie Ledecky will be attempting to earn her 10th career medal as a big favorite in the women’s 800-meter freestyle. A victory would give Ledecky six individual golds over her career, which would be the most of any female swimmer. Ledecky is currently tied with Hungarian great Krisztina Egerszegi after winning gold in the 1,500 free.The mixed 4×100 medley relay makes its Olympic debut. The chaotic event features teams comprised of two men and two women, but there are no restrictions on which swimmers take each of the four strokes.That sets up some odd-looking but thrilling races where big leads can quickly evaporate. Swimming will be featured during NBC’s primetime competition that begins at 8 p.m.TRACK & FIELDActivity has hardly started at Olympic Stadium but Friday gives a preview of what could be the race of the Olympics.The women’s 400-meter hurdles opening round puts Sydney McLaughlin and Dalilah Muhammad in action. The two have lowered the world record each of the past three times they’ve raced in a major competition. McLaughlin currently holds it at 51.90.In the mixed 4X400 relay, a medal for the Americans would push Allyson Felix past Merlene Ottey of Jamaica as the female Olympian with the most track and field medals. She currently has 10 medals.Most of the track and field action will be part of NBC’s primetime coverage, although the USA Network will host some qualifying events.Field events including the women’s triple jump and women’s shot put will be part of streaming on Peacock that begins at 8 a.m.WATER POLOThe U.S. women’s water polo team faces the Russian Olympic Committee in its first game since its first loss at the Olympics since 2008. Trying for its third consecutive gold medal, the U.S. lost 10-9 to Hungary in group play on Wednesday. It was the United States’ first loss since Jan. 16, 2020, at Australia. It dropped to 130-4 since it won gold at the 2016 Games. That match will be on NBC in coverage that begins at noon.Alex Obert and the U.S. men’s water polo team take on Krisztian Manhercz and Hungary. Obert scored twice during a tough 12-11 loss to Italy on Thursday, and Manhercz had five goals on five shots in a 23-1 victory against South Africa.The U.S. is looking to strengthen its position for a likely berth in the quarterfinals. The men’s game is live on USA Network beginning at 11 p.m.EARLY MORNING SOCCERThe U.S. women’s national soccer team has advanced to the quarterfinals in Japan.The Americans face the Netherlands — the team’s opponent in the 2019 World Cup final in France — on Friday in Yokohama. If they lose, they will go home.The World Cup rematch is live at 7 a.m. on NBC Sports Network.FREESTYLE BMXHannah Roberts, a three-time BMX freestyle world champion at the age of 19 and the first woman to land a 360 tailwhip in competition, will try to become the youngest U.S. medalist in cycling since 1912. She’d also be the first female teenager to win an Olympic cycling gold medal.Roberts since 2019 has won three world cup titles, three world championships and has a Pan American Games gold medal. The freestyle finals are part of CNBC’s coverage that begins at 8 p.m.FOR THE LATE CROWDOlympic first-timers Sarah Sponcil and Kelly Claes, the youngest U.S. beach volleyball team ever to qualify for the Summer Games, have a chance to finish with a perfect 3-0 record when they play Brazil in the round-robin finale. That live match is part of CNBC’s coverage that begins at 8 p.m. and runs through 2 a.m.The U.S. women’s volleyball team will play the Russian Olympic Committee live, and the men’s trampoline final will also be held.On the Olympic Channel, tennis begins to wind down with coverage that begins at 11 p.m. The women’s single’s final is the headliner, along with the bronze medal matches for men’s singles, women’s singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles.The third round of the men’s golf tournament will be played from 6:30 p.m. through 3 a.m. on the Golf Channel.———More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Olympic Stadium opens in Tokyo for start of track and field

Olympic Stadium opens in Tokyo for start of track and field

Track and Field begins competition on Day 7 of the Tokyo Games and four medal events will be decided in the pool in Friday’s coverage of the OlympicsBy JENNA FRYER AP Sports WriterJuly 28, 2021, 4:49 PM• 4 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleTOKYO — Track and Field begins competition on Day 7 of the Tokyo Games and four medal events will be decided in the pool in Friday’s coverage of the Olympics.The gymnastics women’s all-around competition will go on without defending gold medalist Simone Biles, who pulled out citing struggles with her mental health.Both the men’s and women’s American volleyball teams play, and the U.S. women’s basketball team faces Japan.Here are some things to watch (all times Eastern):TRACK & FIELDOlympic Stadium will be open for the first time since the opening ceremony when qualifying rounds in track and field begin.The Americans have medal contenders in Rai Benjamin in the men’s 400-meter hurdles, and Athing Mu and Ajee’ Wilson in the women’s 800 meters.A medal will be awarded in the men’s 10,000-meter final. Coverage will be live on USA Network.SWIMMINGIt’s again a busy day of swimming at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre with medals awarded in four events.Two-time Olympic gold medalist Lilly King, who won a bronze medal in the women’s 100 meter breaststroke earlier this week, will be a gold medal contender alongside Annie Lazor in the women’s 200 meter breaststroke.Three-time Olympic gold medalist Ryan Murphy, who won bronze this week in the men’s 100 meter backstroke, will attempt to win a second consecutive gold medal in the men’s 200 meter backstroke.The men’s 200 meter individual medley will also be decided, as well as the women’s 100 meter freestyle. Coverage begins at 8 p.m. on NBC.GYMNASTICSThere will be a new women’s all-around gymnastics champion now that Simone Biles has pulled out of competition. The gymnast considered the greatest of all time has cited her mental health and the pressure she’s been under as her reason for not competing in the all-around competition.Jade Carey, who finished ninth in qualifying, will take Biles’ place in the all-around. Carey initially did not qualify because she was the third-ranking American behind Biles and Sunisa Lee. International Gymnastics Federation rules limit countries to two athletes per event in the finals.Now the competition will likely come down to Rebeca Andrade of Brazil, who finished second to Biles during qualifying, followed by Lee and Russians Angelina Melnikova and Vladislava Urazova. The four were separated by three-tenths of a point in qualifying. The all-around will be streamed live Thursday morning at 6:50 a.m. on Peacock, with a replay on NBC during primetime coverage.BEACH VOLLEYBALLBeach volleyball resumes with the American “A-team” of April Ross and Alix Klineman meeting the Netherlands. A win would advance them to the knockout round with a perfect 3-0 record.Ross won the silver medal at the London Games and the bronze at the Rio Games. Klineman is a first-time Olympian. The match will be on CNBC in coverage that begins at 8 p.m.MEN’S VOLLEYBALLThe U.S. men’s volleyball team faces its toughest test yet of the Olympics when the Americans face defending champion Brazil in their fourth match of pool play.The United States is 2-1 so far at the Games after beating Tunisia in four sets behind strong performances from T.J. DeFalco and Max Holt. The Americans are in good shape to advance to the quarterfinals after winning bronze four years ago. The match is part of CNBC’s primetime coverage that begins at 8 p.m.FOR THE LATE CROWDThe BMX Racing finals will be held in NBC’s late night coverage that runs until 2 a.m., and the U.S. Women’s basketball team faces Japan at 12:40 a.m. on USA Network.The semifinals of the men’s singles and mixed doubles, and the men’s doubles final begin at 11 p.m. on the Olympic Channel, while the second round of the men’s golf tournament runs through 3 a.m. on the Golf Channel.———More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

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