Golfer Xander Schauffele has no previous major victory experience, but he is a gold medal winner.
Schauffele survived Rory Sabbatini’s Olympic-record round to win by one stroke and become the second men’s golfer alive with a gold medal, five years after Justin Rose of Great Britain won it in 2016 at the Rio Games.
In swimming, Caeleb Dressel added two more gold medals to complete his Tokyo Olympics with five by winning the 50-meter freestyle and then shortly later helping the men’s 4×100-meter medley relay team set a world record.
Bobby Finke used a frantic late-race surge to win the gold in the men’s 1,500-meter freestyle. That’s two golds in the distance swims for Finke, who also won the 800-meter freestyle.
In gymnastics, it’s starting to appear as if the chances of seeing Simone Biles compete again in Tokyo are dwindling. Biles has withdrawn from another gymnastics event.
SATURDAY RECAP: US wins bronze in mixed-gender relay, Team USA guaranteed medal in baseball
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After the first hole of the bronze-medal playoff in men’s golf, Paul Casey and Hideki Matsuyama – second and third, respectively, entering Sunday’s final round – are out after making bogey on 18. The playoff will now move to the par-3 10. Cheng Tsun Pan (Chinese Tapei), Mito Pereira (Chile), Sebastian Munoz (Colombia), Rory McIlroy (Ireland) and Collin Morikawa (USA) are still alive.
— Chris Bumbaca
KAWAGOE, Japan — No previous major victory experience was necessary to win a gold medal at the Olympics. American Xander Schauffele proved it all weekend.
Schauffele, 27, has finished in the top 10 at all four majors in his young career (with top three finishes in every event but the PGA Championship). Now he’s the second men’s golfer alive with a gold medal, five years after Justin Rose of Great Britain won it in 2016 at the Rio Games, where the sport returned to the Olympic program for the first time in more than a century.
The sport’s inclusion was predicated on the fact the best players in the world would participate. While the 60-man field for these Tokyo Olympics became diluted due to positive COVID-19 tests from top-10 players Bryson DeChambeau (United States) and Jon Rahm (Spain), several notable names vied for a medal.
And Schauffele stood on top at the end with a 4-under 67 in Sunday’s final round to finish 18-under-par for the tournament.
— Chris Bumbaca
TOKYO — U.S. diver Krysta Palmer took bronze in the women’s individual three-meter springboard final, marking the first time the U.S. has medaled in the women’s event since 1988.
In her first-ever Olympic individual final, Palmer finished with a score of 343.75 points. She was 39.75 points behind first-place Shi Tingmao and five points back from second-place Wang Han, both of China.
Palmer’s best dive of the day came in the third round on a reverse two-and-a-half somersaults pike, which scored 73.50 points ranked second overall.
Palmer, 29, qualified for a spot in the finished when she finished in fifth place with a score of 316.65 points in the semifinal. She also competed in the women’s synchronized three-meter springboard with partner Alison Gibson, where she finished last in eighth place. Palmer was the 2019 national champion in three-meter synchronized diving.
U.S. diver Hailey Hernandez, 18, took 10th place in the final with a points total of 288.45. She qualified when she took 10th in the semifinal with a score of 291.60.
— Olivia Reiner
Top-seeded Adeline Gray is into the Olympic wrestling 76kg semifinals after picking up a pair of wins Sunday.
Gray pinned Tunisia’s Zaineb Sghaier in the first period of her first bout before earning a 6-4 victory over Turkey’s Yasemin Adar in the quarterfinals.
Gray will take on Kyrgyzstan’s Aiperi Medet Kyzy in the semifinals.
— Jace Evans
The 45-year-old Rory Sabbatini, the oldest competitor in the 60-man golf field, set an 18-hole Olympic record by shooting a 61 on Sunday.
Sabbatini, who was born in South Africa and represented Slovakia, the home country of his wife and stepson, put himself into medal contention by shooting 10 under par. He entered the final round seven back of the leader, Xander Schauffele of the United States.
Sabbatini, a six-time winner on the PGA Tour but without a triumph since the 2010 Honda Classic unless you count the 2019 Slovak Open, attained Slovakia citizenship via marriage to Martina Stofanikova, who served as his caddy.
TOKYO – A French super heavyweight boxer sat on the Olympic ring apron in protest for about an hour after he was disqualified from his quarterfinal bout because of an intentional headbutt.
Mourad Aliev reacted with outrage when referee Andy Mustacchio disqualified him with four seconds left in the second round Sunday. The referee determined Aliev had intentionally used his head to clash with British opponent Frazer Clarke, who had significant cuts near both of his eyes.
After the verdict was announced, Aliev sat down on the canvas just outside the ropes and above the steps leading down to the arena floor. He remained there unmoving, and French team officials came up to speak with him and brought him water.
“This was my way of showing that the decision was so unfair,” Aliev said through a translator. “I wanted to fight against all that injustice, and honestly today, also my teammates had unfair results. I trained my whole life for this, and I came into here, and because of one referee’s decision, I lost. It’s over.”
After more than 30 minutes, boxing officials emerged and spoke with Aliev and the French team. Aliev left the apron, and everyone went inside the Kokugikan Arena.
About 15 minutes later, Aliev returned to the arena and resumed his protest in the same spot for about 15 more minutes. He finally left for good, but not before ripping the referee and the oversight of the temporary Boxing Task Force running the Tokyo tournament.
“I would have won, but it had already been written that I was disqualified,” Aliev said. “I prepared my whole life for this, so getting mad about this result is natural.”
Aliev and Clarke were engaged in close fighting throughout their two rounds, and Aliev did appear to lean into his punches zealously. Clarke, who clinched a medal with the win, thought the decision was fair.
“I felt there was a couple of heads going in there,” Clarke said. “Whether it was intentional or not, that’s not for me to say. … I told (Aliev afterward) to calm down. You’re not thinking with your head. You’re thinking with your heart. I know it’s hard, but the best thing to do is go back to the changing room.”
Aliev protested vocally and emphatically immediately after the bout, yelling to the mostly empty arena: “Everyone knows I won!” Aliev claimed he hadn’t been warned by the referee about his aggressive, headfirst fighting before his disqualification, although some ringside observers thought he had.
Aliev refused Clarke’s attempts to calm him in the ring. Aliev won the first round on three of the five judges’ scorecards in what was a close fight.
Aliev’s protest didn’t interrupt the tournament since his bout with Clarke was the final fight of the afternoon session, which meant the next bout wasn’t scheduled for more than three hours.
— Associated Press
Raven Saunders of the United States won the silver medal in the women’s shot put.
Gong Lijiao of China won her first Olympic gold medal with a personal best of 20.58 meters. Saunders’ top throw was 19.79.
Gong, the reigning two-time world champion, produced two efforts over 20 meters on her last two attempts at the Olympic Stadium to cement her victory.
Veteran Valerie Adams of New Zealand won a bronze medal in her fifth and likely last Olympics. The 36-year-old Adams is a two-time Olympic champion and in Tokyo became the first woman to qualify for five Olympic finals in the shot.
Saunders’ silver was the second medal won by the U.S. so far in track and field after the 4×100-meter mixed relay team won the bronze on Saturday night.
— Associated Press
TOKYO — U.S. hammer thrower and Olympic gold-medal favorite DeAnna Price revealed Sunday that she is competing with a fracture in her right foot.
Price advanced to Tuesday’s final in the women’s hammer throw, but her best throw was more than 25 feet shorter than what she achieved at the Olympic trials in June. She said she fractured the talus bone in her right foot, near the ankle, while throwing last month and the injury prevented her from training for three weeks.
“Just to make it through, I’m really happy,” Price said through tears. “I’m hoping just to put a couple more things together, and represent well.”
Price said the injury has been mentally challenging to work through in the leadup to Tokyo, and it remains physically painful. She’s been taping the foot but the pain is inevitable, she said, because it’s the foot she uses to drive and generate power.
“It’s just like, ‘OK, can’t do anything about it.’ You just grin and bear and it and you just keep pushing through it,” she said. “Luckily the pain isn’t as bad as what it has been, so to me, it’s already a blessing.”
Fellow U.S. hammer throwers Brooke Andersen and Gwen Berry also advanced to the final. Team USA has never won an Olympic medal in the event.
— Tom Schad
TOKYO — The chances of seeing Simone Biles compete again at the Tokyo Olympics are dwindling.
Biles announced her withdrawal from the floor exercise final Sunday, a day before it is to be contested. She had already withdrawn from the all-around, as well as the event finals for vault and uneven bars, which are scheduled for Sunday.
The last event final, for balance beam, is Tuesday, but a decision on her availability for it has yet to be made. Biles will be replaced in the floor final Britain’s Jennifer Gadirova.
Biles came to Tokyo as the biggest star of these Olympics, projected to win a record five gold medals. She pulled out of the team competition Tuesday after one event, saying mental health concerns were manifesting themselves in “the twisties,” a loss of air awareness.
— Nancy Armour
TOKYO — The United States men continued their dominance in the 4×100 medley relay with a world-record performance at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday.
The Americans were led by Caeleb Dressel who finished his remarkable Tokyo Games with a fifth gold medal, swimming butterfly in the final relay of the meet. He won gold in the 50-meter freestyle earlier in the day.
The U.S. men finished in 3:26.78, beating the previous world record by .50 seconds.
The relay opened with Ryan Murphy on backstroke, followed by Michael Andrew, who finished his breaststroke leg with the Americans in second behind Great Britain. Dressel then regained the lead and Zach Apple closed it out, anchoring the freestyle leg.
The U.S. has never lost the men’s medley relay at the Olympics. The only time it has not won gold was in 1980 when the entire team boycotted the Moscow Games.
The U.S. finishes the swimming competition with more medals than any other country, including 30 overall and 11 golds. Australia win 20 overall and nine golds.
— Peter Barzilai
The American women couldn’t hold off Australia in the 4×100 medley relay, with Cate Campbell racing to the gold in the final freestyle leg to win in 3:51.60.
The United States won silver, .13 of a second behind the Aussies. Abbey Weitzeil fought to the finish but touched in second in 3:51.73.
Emma McKeon, who swam the third leg Sunday, won her seventh Olympic medal in Tokyo, with four gold and three bronze. She is the first female swimmer to win seven medals at a single Games.
TOKYO — American Bobby Finke made it a stunning distance double at his first Olympics, winning the gold medal in the men’s 1,500-meter freestyle. It’s the first time an American has won Olympic gold in the event in 37 years.
The 21-year-old University of Florida swimmer won a surprising gold earlier this week in the men’s 800 freestyle. Sunday morning Finke used a late surge to win the 1,500 in 14:39.65, followed by Ukrainian Mykhailo Romanchuk, who took silver, 1.26 seconds back.
— Roxanna Scott
TOKYO — American Caeleb Dressel made it 3 for 3 Sunday morning on the final day of the Olympic swimming competition, winning the men’s 50-meter freestyle for his third individual gold medal of these Games.
Dressel won in 21.07 seconds, setting an Olympic record, followed by Florent Manaudou of France in 21.55. Brazil’s Bruno Fratus won bronze.
Dressel, who won the 100 freestyle and 100 butterfly earlier in the week, also won a gold in the men’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay. He had one more event remaining, the men’s 4×100 medley relay, which the United States has never lost at the Olympics.
— Christine Brennan
TOKYO — American Hannah Roberts exulted and wept after her spectacular first run Sunday in the women’s BMX Freestyle final at the Tokyo Games.
She looked golden with a score of 96.10, 10 points higher than the score of any of her competitors after the first runs were complete at the Ariake Urban Sports Park.
“…It might have been one of the best runs I’ve ever done,’’ Roberts said. “I was obviously super stoked.’’
Then came the second runs.
Charlotte Worthington of Great Britain became the first woman to land a 360 backflip in competition. She scored 97.50, claimed the gold medal and relegated Roberts to the silver medal.
Each rider got two 60-second runs, with only the top score counting. On Roberts’ second run, the final run of the competition, she stopped riding after landing her second trick.
She limped to the medal ceremony, wore a walking boot to a press conference and explained she’d injured her foot on the second day of practice and hurt it again on her second run. But, no excuses.
“Charlotte did some crazy things,’’ Roberts said.
Among the crazier things involving Worthington is that in 2018 she was working in the kitchen of a restaurant rather than competing full time. But that year, Worthington said, she attended some BMX contests and learned Great Britain was assembling an Olympic team.
Worthington eventually became part of that team and headed to the Tokyo Games with hopes of landing a 360 backflip. She pulled out of the trick on her first run, which resulted in a score of 38.60.
“To go into the second run, you’re constantly in and out of, ‘Can I do it? Is it the right time? Is it not?’ ” she said. “But I just had to have faith in it being ingrained in my body, the amount of work that we’ve put into it.
“So going out there the second time, I was just ready to give it my all again. And once I landed that trick, I knew I was on. I was pretty much zoned out for the rest of the run.’’
— Josh Peter
TOKYO – Sarah Sponcil and Kelly Claes, ranked No. 3 in the world in beach volleyball, lost in the Olympic round of 16 Sunday at Shiokaze Park.
Canadians Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson, ranked No. 16, won 22-24, 21-18, 15-13 after being down a set and 10-4 in the second.
“We made more than enough opportunities for ourselves to win,” Claes said. “Fought through that first, up in the end and we let them back in. Everybody is good out here so letting that door open just a little and here we are, we lost.”
Canada led 12-11 in the third set when a Sponcil serve was called out. The U.S. challenged the call and at first was successful only for a further review to go Canada’s way.
Down 14-11, Sponcil and Claes held off two match points before losing the third on a Wilkerson winner.
“I thought it (Sponcils’ serve) was in,” Claes said. “It sucks, but it shouldn’t have come down to that third set. We did such a good job in the second then just let them back in.”
— Jeff Metcalfe
While the U.S. has only one medal so far in athletics — a bronze from Saturday’s mixed-gender 4×400 relay — finals are just beginning.
In women’s shot put, which has its final at 8:35 p.m. ET, the United States’ Raven Saunders is a favorite after finishing atop the rankings in qualifiers. An NCAA star at Mississippi, Saunders threw 19.22 meters to put herself through to the finals and caught the eyes of many on social media for her unique facemask.
Sunday morning stateside will also see men’s high jump, women’s triple jump and men’s 100-meter finals. Trayvon Bromell, who ran a 9.80 in the 100 at the U.S. Olympic trials, has gold-medal potential. The qualifying heats for the event will occur shortly behind the finals.
Team USA’s Sarah Sponcil and Kelly Claes, college stars at UCLA and USC respectively, set off the round of 16 for women’s beach volleyball, the first elimination round of the tournament.
The young duo is facing off against Canada’s Brandie Wilkerson and Heather Bansley at 8 p.m. ET. Neither of the U.S. nor Canada’s two teams faced each other in the preliminaries. Sponcil and Claes won all three of their preliminary games.
Controversy has arisen in Tokyo over the long-standing requirement in the sport to wear bikini bottoms while playing. It’s not the only sport at the Games with criticized dress codes for women.
On the men’s side, action starts at 11 p.m. ET with Phil Dalhausser and Nicholas Lucena of the U.S. against Qatar’s Ahmed Tijan and Cherif Younousse. The U.S. duo lost one match in the prelims against the Netherlands.
Run into Richard Torrez Jr. in the Olympic village, and he’ll probably show you a magic trick. He’s been carrying a deck around with him to spark conversation with other athletes.
The American super heavyweight boxer, who graduated from high school as valedictorian of his class, comes from a family of boxers. Both his father and grandfather were boxers, and his dad even fought for the U.S. team, though he didn’t make it to the Olympics. Torrez Jr. was invited to train at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee training center in 2017.
Tyrell Biggs was the last boxer to medal for Team USA in the super heavyweight division back in 1984. Torrez Jr. is one round away from medal contention having bested his opening round opponent on Thursday. He’ll head into the ring at 6:06 a.m. ET on Sunday for his quarterfinal bout against Cuba’s Dainier Pero.
— Josh Peter