Two of USA Swimming’s biggest stars were back in the pool Saturday in Tokyo.
Caeleb Dressel picked up his third gold of these Olympics, winning the men’s 100-meter butterfly and setting a new record in the process.
Then it was Katie Ledecky’s turn in the pool in her final swim of the Tokyo Games. Ledecky won the 800-meter freestyle for the third consecutive Olympics to add to her medal haul.
While the swimming was taking place, we got more clarity on the status of gymnastics star Simone Biles, who will not compete in the vault and uneven bar event finals on Sunday. Her participation in the balance beam and floor exercise finals are still to be determined.
Looking ahead, the title of world’s fastest woman will be on the line when the 100-meter dash final takes place at Olympic Stadium on Saturday night Japan time.
FRIDAY RECAP: USWNT beats Netherlands in penalty kicks, US swimmers medal
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TOKYO — The title for the fastest woman alive is up for grabs during track and field competition Saturday.
Jamaican duo Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson-Herah are going for gold in the women’s 100 meters. Both women have an opportunity for history on the track.
Fraser-Pryce could become the first woman in history to win three Olympic gold medals in the women’s 100 meters. The 34-year old is already a two-time Olympic champion. She won gold in the women’s 100 at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
Fellow Jamaican, Thompson-Herah took Fraser-Pryce’s crown at the 2016 Olympics, winning the event in a time of 10.71. If Thompson-Herah repeats, she will join Fraser-Pryce, Gail Devers and Wyomia Tyus as the only women in Olympic history to win back-to-back Olympic titles in the 100 meters.
Both of them will see heavy competition from other sprinters in the field, mainly from Marie-Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast.
Ta Lou’s 10.78 set an African record and was the fastest time after the opening round.
A champion will also be crowned in the inaugural 4×400 mixed-gender relay.
After being disqualified in the preliminary round, the U.S. mixed-gender relay team was reinstated. The U.S. squad has the third best time (3:11.39) heading into the final, behind Netherlands (3:10.69) and Poland (3:10.44).
In the field events, an Olympic champion will be named in the men’s discus.
Swedish thrower Daniel Stahl has the best mark (66.12) entering the final. Stahl has a chance to become Sweden’s first ever gold medalist in the men’s discus.
— Tyler Dragon
The United States baseball team will face Korea to close the opening round at 6 a.m. ET on Saturday. Both teams have a 1-0 record heading into the game, with Korea edging out Israel, 6-5, and then the U.S. team defeating Israel, 8-1.
This was the first Olympic victory for the U.S. team since 2008, the last time baseball was in the Games. Four pitchers – Joe Ryan, Brandon Dickson, Anthony Carter and Ryder Ryan – struck out a combined nine batters, and the three relief pitchers behind Ryan allowed just two hits. Joe Ryan found out last Thursday he had been traded from the Tampa Bay Rays to the Minnesota Twins, but said he’s focused on the Games right now.
From the plate, Tyler Austin picked up 3 RBIs and three extra-base hits. Eddy Alvarez, who has a gold medal in speedskating, had two RBI doubles.
Former major leaguer Nick Martinez will take over as starting pitcher on Saturday. Martinez currently plays for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of Nippon Professional Baseball. Korea will send out Young-pyo Ko, who is in his fourth season with the KT Wiz of the Korea Baseball Organization.
— Alyssa Hertel
TOKYO – World No. 1 Novak Djokovic came to the Olympics trying to add a gold medal to the three Grand Slam titles he’s already won this year. Instead, he’ll go home without any medal in men’s singles.
A day after his shocking collapse against Alexander Zverev in the semifinals, a frustrated Djokovic dropped a second consecutive three-setter, this time losing to Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta in the bronze medal match 6-4, 6-7, 6-3.
For Carreno Busta, ranked No. 11 in the world, winning a bronze medal here ranks as arguably the biggest achievement of his career alongside his two semifinal appearances at the U.S. Open in 2017 and 2020.
— Dan Wolken
YOKOHAMA, Japan — While he hasn’t played Major League Baseball since 2018, five-time All-Star Adrián González confirmed that 2021 will be his final season in the game.
Playing first base for Team Mexico in baseball’s return to the Olympic stage for the first time in 13 years, González went hitless with two strikeouts in four at-bats during Mexico’s 7-4 loss to Japan on Saturday at Yokohama Stadium. He went 1-for-3 the day before as Mexico lost to the Dominican Republic, 1-0.
González represented Mexico at four editions of the World Baseball Classic. In the Mexican League this year, he is playing in the Mariachis de Guadalajara’s inaugural season.
“It’s been fun,” he said. “Playing in Mexico is a lot more fun … just because of the atmosphere.”
At 0-2, Mexico will be at the bottom of the bracket as the tournament moves to a double-elimination format after pool play concludes. Mexico will face Israel.
— Chris Bumbaca
TOKYO — Brady Ellison’s fourth Olympics ended without a medal after the world No. 1-ranked archer came to Japan hoping to win three.
Instead, the 32-year-old from Arizona lost in the men’s individual quarterfinals Saturday at Yumenoshima Park. Earlier, he and U.S. teammates lost in the first round of mixed team and men’s team quarterfinals.
Ellison plans to compete through the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, so he potentially has two more chances (also Paris 2024) for the gold medal that has eluded him since 2008. He has won two team silvers (2012 and 2016) and an individual bronze in Rio.
“There’s a lot of Americans that say I’m not (expletive) until really until you win a Games,” he said. “Until you do win the Olympics, that’s when you really stamp your thing as a legend. I’ve won everything, but you still need this one. I just want a gold medal, I don’t care where (event-wise) it comes from. If I get a gold, I get a complete set and that would be pretty cool.”
Ellison was tied 3-3 against Turkey’s Mete Gazoz through three sets then shot consecutive eights to start the fourth set, losing 27-26 for a two-point deficit. World No. 4 Gazoz finished with a perfect score of 30 in the fifth set to Ellison’s 29 for his third victory in their head-to-head matches and went on to win the gold medal.
The U.S. archery team failed to medal for the first time since 2008 even with the addition of a new event (mixed team).
— Jeff Metcalfe
Brian Burrows and Madelynn Ann Bernau of the United States won the bronze medal as mixed team trap shooting made its Olympic debut in Tokyo.
Burrows and Bernau prevailed in a shoot-off 3-2 after tying Slovakia Erik Varga and Zuzana Rehak Stefecekova with 42 targets each.
Spain’s Alberto Fernandez and Fatima Galvez won the gold. They defeated San Marino’s Gian Marco Berti and Alessandra Perilli 41-40 in the gold medal match.
San Marino went into its final two shots with a chance to tie and send the match to a shoot-off, but Berti missed his to give the gold to the Spaniards.
The medal is San Marino’s highest in the Olympics and just its second in 61 years of competition after Perilli won bronze in women’s individual trap.
The gold was the first Olympic medal for Fernandez, a three-time world champion who’s been one of the world’s most decorated shooters.
Burrows was retired for two years before being convinced to come back in 2018, paving his way to the Tokyo podium.
“It has been just a crazy Cinderella story,” he said. “I was only going to do it for a match and I kept winning and winning and set a world record in Mexico and then was making world championships teams… And just for it to come full circle and we’ve got an Olympic medal is unbelievable.”
— Associated Press, Rachel Axon
YOKOHAMA, Japan — Megan Rapinoe has added incentive for the U.S. women’s soccer team to win gold.
Rapinoe’s fiancée, Sue Bird, already has four Olympic gold medals with the U.S. women’s basketball team, and is favored to win a fifth at the Tokyo Games. Rapinoe has one gold medal, from the 2012 Olympics in London.
“I could never catch up, but I can’t fall too much further behind,” Rapinoe joked Friday night after converting the final penalty kick to lift the USWNT to a quarterfinal victory over the Netherlands.
Bird also has four WNBA titles, while Rapinoe has yet to win an NWSL championship. She is, however, a two-time World Cup champion with the USWNT, in 2019 and 2015.
The Americans are looking to become the first reigning World Cup champs to win the Olympic gold.
“It’d be nice if I had multiple golds and (Bird) had multiple golds,” Rapinoe said, “so then we can just say we have multiple golds.”
— Nancy Armour
TOKYO – U.S. swimmers Ryan Murphy, Lydia Jacoby, Torri Huske and Caeleb Dressel took fifth in the mixed 4×100-meter medley relay final, which made its debut at the Tokyo Olympics.
Murphy (backstroke), Jacoby (breaststroke), Huske (butterfly) and Dressel (freestyle) finished with a time of 3:40.58 behind Great Britain, China, Australia and Italy.
Great Britain, with a time of 3:37.59, broke the world record set by China on Sept. 26, 2020.
TOKYO – Connor Fields, the American BMX racer who was hospitalized Friday after crashing at the Olympics, suffered a brain hemorrhage at the venue but doctors reported there has been no additional bleeding and no new head injuries were found, USA Cycling said in a news release issued Saturday.
Fields has been moved out of the critical care unit and will remain in the hospital until cleared, according to USA Cycling.
“There’s a bit of fluid on his brain, but it has not increased for the next 24 hours, so they’re feeling good about that,’’ Mike Fields, his father, told USA TODAY Sports on Saturday. “So far the results seem pretty positive.’’
According to his father, Connor Fields also suffered a broken rib and bruised lung in the crash.
Fields, a medal favorite who crashed in a semifinal heat at Ariake Urban Sports Park, underwent a CT scan on his brain Saturday morning, according to his father. He also had CT scans on his spine and abdomen.
“Cognitively, he’s doing well,’’ Mike Fields said. “He knows where he is. He knows his birthday. He recognizes people.’’
— Josh Peter
Simone Biles will not compete in vault, uneven bars event finals
TOKYO – Simone Biles will skip the event finals for vault and uneven bars, still not ready to compete again after losing her sense of where she is in the air. The announcement was made Saturday morning in Tokyo.
Biles also has qualified for Monday’s floor exercise final and Tuesday’s balance beam final. A decision on her availability for those two events has yet to be made.
Biles will be replaced in the vault final by fellow American MyKayla Skinner. Skinner was fourth on vault in qualifying, but Jade Carey and Biles were ahead of her and countries are limited to two gymnasts per final. Biles’ spot in the uneven bars final will be filled by the first reserve, which currently is France’s Melanie de Jesus dos Santos.
TOKYO – Katie Ledecky, the most decorated female swimmer of all time, won the women’s 800-meter freestyle for the third consecutive Olympic Games.
Ledecky won in 8:12.57, beating silver medalist Australian Ariarne Titmus by 1.26 seconds.
With the victory, Ledecky, 24, closed out her 2020 Olympics with two golds and two silvers. She has said she is going to keep swimming to the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
In the women’s 200 backstroke final, Americans Rhyan White and Phoebe Bacon fell short of the podium. White finished in fourth with 2:06.39 and Bacon finished a place behind her with 2:06.40. Australian Kaylee McKeown, Canadian Kylie Masse and Australian Emily Seebohm took the top three spots.
TOKYO – U.S. swimmer Caeleb Dressel took gold in the men’s 100-meter butterfly, breaking his own world record and marking his third gold-medal finish at the Tokyo Olympics.
Dressel finished in 49.45 seconds ahead of Hungary’s Kristof Milak and Switzerland’s Noe Ponti. He set an Olympic record with a time of 49.71 during Friday’s semifinals, which was two tenths of a second slower than the world record he set in 2019. He is the only man to have broken 50 seconds in the event.
He later competed in the semifinals of the 50-meter freestyle, where he easily advanced to the final, and anchorced the mixed medley relay.
Dressel took his first Tokyo gold in the 100-meter freestyle and picked up another gold in the men’s 4×100 freestyle relay.
TOKYO – Morgan Pearson gutted out a blistering run on the final leg of the triathlon mixed relay on Saturday to give the United States a silver medal in the event’s Olympic debut.
Katie Zaferes, the bronze medalist in the women’s race, gave the Americans a narrow lead on the first leg, but the U.S. team was in second when Pearson took over the final leg. France’s Vincent Luis came from third to first halfway through the bike on the final leg, but Pearson ran him down to finish second.
Britain won gold, while France took bronze in the first Olympic race for the event, in which teams of four each swim 300 meters, bike 7.4 kilometers and run 2 kilometers.
Ever wonder how the horses used for equestrian competitions at the Olympics make it to the host cities? Just like their riders, they fly business class, and it took 19 planes to transport over 300 horses to Tokyo.
The U.S. team, which consists of 12 Olympic and Paralympic athletes along with coaches, groomers, doctors and more, flew first to Europe for their pre-export quarantine before heading to Tokyo. Each horse’s groomer and vet has to bring a month’s worth of supplies with them. Team USA is known for overpacking.
Horses don’t have any more trouble flying than humans, though. Some like it more than others, and they’re tended to during the entirety of the flight.
–Gabriela Miranda and Rachel Axon
Another new event, the triathlon mixed relay, makes its debuts at the Tokyo Olympics.
There are 17 countries listed as competing in the event. Each country has a four-person team — two men and two women — who will each compete in a super sprint triathlon that consists of a 300-meter swim, 6.8-kilometer bike ride and 2-kilometer run. The order of competitors will alternate between genders and start with a woman.
Kevin McDowell, Morgan Pearson, Taylor Knibb and Katie Zaferes will race for the U.S. Zaferes finished third in the women’s individual event on Monday.
Team USA has won five World Championship medals since this triathlon discipline was formalized in 2009, including gold in 2016 and silver in 2020. France is the three-time defending world champion. Australia and Great Britain will be other teams to watch.
Team USA’s Schauffele leading as third round of golf begins
Xander Schauffele overtook Mexico’s Carlos Ortiz in Friday’s second round for first place halfway through the tournament. He shot 8-under par on the day and is 11-under in the tournament heading into the third round. Schauffele is likely the best shot Team USA has for a medal in men’s golf.
Schauffele’s fellow Americans, Patrick Reed and Collin Moriwaka, are 8-shots back from the lead.
The first two days of the Olympic tournament have been marred by bad weather, with stoppages occurring due to storms in the area.