Olympics Latest: McKeon is fastest 50m freestyle qualifier

Jul 30, 2021, 6:16 AM | Updated: 6:16 am
Simone Manuel, top, of the United States, swims alongside Emma Mckeon, of Australia, during heat 10 of the women's 50-meter freestyle at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 30, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

TOKYO (AP) — The Latest on the Tokyo Olympics, which are taking place under heavy restrictions after a year’s delay because of the coronavirus pandemic:


Emma McKeon of Australia is the fastest qualifier in the women’s 50-meter freestyle heats at the Tokyo Olympics.

She touched in 24.02 seconds, setting an Olympic record, to lead 16 swimmers into Saturday’s semifinals. McKeon won the 100 free earlier Friday.

McKeon was followed by defending champion Pernille Blume of Denmark and teammate Cate Campbell, who took bronze in the 100 free.

American Simone Manuel, the silver medalist at the 2016 Rio Games, advanced in 11th. Also moving on was Siobahn Haughey of Hong Kong in 15th place. She earned silver in the 100 free.


American swimmer Caeleb Dressel is the top qualifier in the men’s 50-meter freestyle preliminaries at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

Dressel touched in 21.32 seconds to lead the field heading into Saturday’s semifinals.

He was followed by France’s Florent Manaudou, the silver medalist at the 2016 Rio Games. Defending Olympic champion Anthony Ervin failed to qualify for the U.S. team.



Fiji has upset defending champion Australia 14-12 in the quarterfinals of the women’s rugby sevens competition.

The win propelled the Fijians into a semifinal against top-ranked New Zealand, runners-up to Australia in 2016.

Fiji has had a hand in knocking two of the top three teams from 2016 out of the Tokyo Games. A win over Canada in the group stage had a big role in the Rio de Janeiro bronze medalists missing the quarterfinals. The Fijian men have won back-to-back Olympic titles.


U.S. swimmer Michael Andrew didn’t wear a mask when he stopped to talk to reporters behind the scenes at the Tokyo Olympics.

The 22-year-old was already under scrutiny for saying he wasn’t vaccinated against COVID-19.

Swimmers wear face coverings outside the pool, and most leave them on when they talk to media.

But the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee says Andrew didn’t violate COVID-19 protocols, because athletes are allowed to remove masks during interviews.



Lukáš Krpálek has claimed his second Olympic gold medal in judo for the Czech Republic, winning the talent-stacked men’s heavyweight division with an ippon victory over Georgia’s Guram Tushishvili in the final at the Budokan.

Krpálek won at half-heavyweight in Rio de Janeiro, and he capped an impressive run through the heaviest division in Tokyo by pinning Tushishvili to the mat until he got the finish with 13 seconds left.

French star Teddy Riner’s quest for a record-tying third consecutive Olympic gold medal ended in the quarterfinals with a narrow loss to Russian athlete Tamerlan Bashaev, who then lost a spectacularly well-fought semifinal to Krpálek.

Riner still won his fourth Olympic medal. He claimed bronze with a victory over Hisayoshi Hasagawa, who became only the third of host Japan’s 14 Olympic judokas not to win a medal.

Japan claimed its ninth gold when women’s heavyweight Akira Sone won moments before Hasagawa’s loss on penalties in golden score. Japan also claimed one silver and one bronze in its homegrown martial art.

Bashaev went on to win the other bronze with a win over Ukraine’s Yakiv Khammo.

The judo tournament concludes with the Olympics’ first mixed team event Saturday.



There will be no Golden Slam for Novak Djokovic.

The top-ranked Serb lost to Alexander Zverev of Germany 1-6, 3-6, 6-1 in the semifinals of the Tokyo Olympics tennis tournament.

Djokovic was attempting to become the first man to win all four Grand Slam tournaments and Olympic gold in the same year. He won the Australian and French Opens as well as Wimbledon this year and needed the Olympic and U.S. Open titles to complete the collection.

Steffi Graf in 1988 remains the only tennis player to achieve the Golden Slam.

Zverev’s opponent in the gold-medal match will be Karen Khachanov of the Russian Olympic Committee.

Djokovic will play Carreno Busta for bronze.

Djokovic hadn’t lost since he was beaten by Rafael Nadal in the Italian Open final 2 ½ months ago.


Heavyweight Akira Sone has won Japan’s ninth gold medal in judo at the Tokyo Olympics. She beat Cuban veteran Idalys Ortiz with penalties 4:52 into golden score.

The 21-year-old Sone fought courageously against Ortiz, whose silver is her her fourth Olympic medal. She finally won in anticlimactic fashion when Ortiz was penalized for the third time for a false attack after taking two earlier penalties for non-combativity.

Japan has won 11 medals in the first 13 weight classes at the Budokan.

Iryna Kindzerska of Azerbaijan and France’s Romane Dicko won bronze for their first Olympic medals. The 21-year-old Dicko cut a striking figure on the tatami by dyeing her braids red, white and blue like the French flag.


The Russian Olympic Committee has issued a punchy statement hitting back at other athletes’ criticism of the Russian team’s presence in Tokyo following years of doping revelations.

In a statement on social media accompanied by pictures of two swimmers and a rower who voiced concerns about doping or Russian eligibility, the ROC pours disdain on “English-language propaganda” spread by “athletes offended by defeats.”

Russia was rebranded as ROC for the Tokyo Olympics and next year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing as part of sanctions for failing to turn over accurate data from the Moscow anti-doping laboratory.

The ROC says “yes, we are here at the Olympic Games. Absolutely by right. Whether someone likes it or not.”


Transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard has thanked the International Olympic Committee for helping to make it possible for her to compete at the Tokyo Games.

In comments provided by the New Zealand Olympic Committee, Hubbard says “the Olympic Games are a global celebration of our hopes, our ideals and our values. I commend the IOC for its commitment to making sport inclusive and accessible.”

Hubbard has been a focus for support and criticism since qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics. She is a medal contender in the women’s over-87-kilogram weightlifting category on Monday.

The IOC in 2015 drew up a set of recommendations for including transgender athletes. Many sports bodies including the International Weightlifting Federation have enacted similar policies.


China’s Shi Tingmao and Wang Han have finished 1-2 in the preliminaries of Olympic women’s 3-meter springboard diving.

Shi totaled 350.45 points for her five dives, followed closely by Wang at 347.25. The two already teamed up to win the 3-meter synchro event.

Shi is going for her second straight individual gold on the springboard and looking to extend China’s dominance in the women’s event. They have won 3-meter gold at every Olympics since the 1984 Los Angeles Games, a winning streak that covers the last eight Olympics.

Canada’s Jennifer Abel and Pamela Ware claimed the next two spots in the standings, followed by Japan’s Sayaka Mikami and American Hailey Hernandez. The top 18 advance to the semifinals Saturday at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.



An San of South Korea has won her third straight archery gold medal at the Tokyo Games.

She won during a shoot-off in the final of the women’s individual event.

An beat Elena Osipova of ROC, the acronym for the Russian Olympic Committee, by a 6-5 score Friday. She scored a 10 in the shoot-off — Osipova recorded a 8 — to help her nation remain perfect in archery in Tokyo. An had a part in the mixed and women’s team gold medals as well, with the men’s team also winning. The last archery event will be the men’s individual competition Saturday.

The South Koreans have now earned gold in the women’s individual in nine of the last 10 Olympics.

Lucilla Boari of Italy beat Mackenzie Brown of the United States by a 7-1 score for bronze. Brown nearly knocked off An in the semifinals, losing 6-5 in a shoot-off.


American BMX racer Connor Fields is awake, stable and awaiting further medical evaluation at the hospital, according to statement issued U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee chief medical officer Dr. Jon Finnoff.

Fields was injured in a violent crash on the first lap of his qualifying heat the Tokyo Olympics. The reigning gold medalist slammed into the turn coming off a jump and was hit by two other riders.

Medical personnel raced onto the course to attend to him before carrying him away on a stretcher to an ambulance at Ariake Urban Sports Park.

The 28-year-old from Las Vegas qualified for the finals despite the crash, but was not able to race.



The Czech Republic’s Jiri Prskavec has won the gold medal in the men’s kayak slalom on the final run of the event.

Prskavec’s flawless ride through the rapids at the Kasai Canoe Slalom Center beat silver-medalist Jakub Grigar of Slovakia by 3.22 seconds. Germany’s Hannes Aigner won bronze.

Prskavec is the top-ranked paddler in the world in the event, and his top runs in the semifinals allowed him to start the final in last position so that he would know what time to beat.

Prskavec was the bronze medalist in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.



The Chinese team of Wang Yi Lyu and Huang Dong Ping edged China’s Zheng Si Wei and Huang Ya Qiong, 2-1, for gold in an exciting badminton mixed doubles match.

The match, which lasted a little over an hour Friday, was tight throughout, with both teams exchanging long rallies filled with smashes and lunging, rapid-fire returns.

Wang and Huang won the first game, 21-17, with Zheng and Huang taking the second, 21-17. That set up the tie-breaking game, which saw repeated ties until Wang and Huang pulled away at the end for gold, 21-19.

Many are wondering if China can use Tokyo to return to its past dominance in the sport, which was shaken at the Rio Games, where several top players lost early. China swept all five badminton gold medals at the 2012 London Games.

Earlier Friday, Japan’s Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino took bronze in mixed doubles, beating Tang Chun Man and Tse Ying Suet of Hong Kong, 2-0.


U.S. women’s water polo captain Maggie Steffens broke the Olympic scoring record with a goal in the third period against the Russian Olympic Committee.

Steffens was all alone in front for her 48th career goal in the Olympics, snapping a tie with Italy’s Tania Di Mario for the top spot. Steffens scored again on the next possession to help the U.S. open a commanding 13-3 lead.

Women’s water polo was first introduced to the Olympic program for the 2000 Sydney Games.

The 28-year-old Steffens is going for her third consecutive gold medal at the Tokyo Games. She scored 21 times in London, and then pumped in 17 more in Rio de Janeiro. She had seven goals in Tokyo before the matchup with the ROC.



China has taken the top of the podium in women’s trampoline.

Zhu Xueying edged teammate Liu Lingling for gold in the finals. Zhu’s score of 56.635 was just enough to top Liu’s total of 56.350. Bryony Page of Great Britain earned the bronze after taking silver in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Two-time defending Olympic champion Rosie MacLennan of Canada just missed the podium, finishing fourth.

Liu topped qualifying with a two-round total of 105.470, just ahead of Zhu, giving her the chance to go last in the finals. Zhu drilled her set, which requires gymnasts to string together 10 consecutive aerial maneuvers while jumping 25 feet into the air.

Liu followed but couldn’t quite catch her teammate.

The two medals for the Chinese pushed their total to 13 since the sport was introduced at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, far and away the most in the discipline.

Nicole Ahsinger, who finished 10th in Brazil, advanced to her first Olympic final and finished sixth. The 23-year-old American said she plans to aim for the 2024 Games in Paris.



Russian shooter Vitalina Batsarashkina has won her second gold and third medal of the Tokyo Olympics, beating Korea’s Kim Minjung in a shoot-off in women’s 25-meter pistol.

Batsarashkina tied Kim with 38 points and won the shoot-off 4-1. China’s Xiao Jiaruxuan took bronze.

Batsarashkina also won gold in 10-meter air pistol and teamed with Artem Chernousov to take silver in 10-meter mixed team air pistol. She also took silver in 10-meter air pistol at the 2016 Rio Olympics.


American BMX rider Connor Fields is “awake and awaiting further medical evaluation” after he crashed in the third semifinal run and had to be removed from the course at Ariake Urban Sports Park on a stretcher.

Fields was fourth after the first two heats and had prime position for the last ride before the finals. Instead, the 28-year-old from Las Vegas slammed into the track and was run over by other riders as he lay motionless on the asphalt.

The first American BMX rider to win gold at the Rio Games was tended to for several minutes before he was taken off the course in a stretcher. He was quickly loaded into an ambulance and taken to the hospital.

A doctor for USA Cycling said in a statement that “we can confirm Connor Field is awake and awaiting further medical evaluation.” The team said additional updates will be announced as they become available.


Three athletes who tested positive for COVID-19 are among the 27 new cases announced by Tokyo Olympics organizers.

World champion pole vaulter Sam Kendricks, whose case was announced Thursday, is among the three, which raises the tally to 225 games-accredited people in Japan infected since July 1.

Three of the 27 cases were residents of the Olympic Village, including Kendricks, another athlete and a team official or coach — the latter two were not identified. The third athlete with a positive test is staying outside of the village.

Among the new cases are 18 people who live in Japan, as Tokyo and the country each report record numbers of daily cases during the pandemic.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams cites the governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike, and Japan’s prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, saying the increase in cases was not linked to staging the Olympics during a state of emergency.


American backstroke star Ryan Murphy suggested that his Olympic races were “probably not clean,” seeming to take aim at Russian swimmers who beat him in two events.

Murphy made the comments Friday after taking the silver medal behind Evgeny Rylov in the 200-meter backstroke. Three days ago, he settled for bronze in the 100 back, touching after both Rylov and another Russian, Kliment Kolesnikov.

At a news conference with the other medalists, Murphy said he wasn’t making any allegations and congratulated Rylov.

Most Russian athletes were allowed to compete at Tokyo, even though they officially represent the Russian Olympic Committee — not their country — after revelations it launched a massive state-sponsored program to elude testers ahead of the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.

Rylov, who has long been one of the world’s top backstrokers, denied being involved in any doping schemes. He said he’s always been clean in competition and has been tested. He said he didn’t feel like he was the target of Murphy’s frustration.


The International Olympic Committee has challenged campaigners to show proof that an Iranian gold medalist shooter is a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The “United for Navid” group has called on the IOC to open an ethics investigation and to suspend the Tokyo Olympics title won by Javad Foroughi in men’s 10-meter air pistol.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams says “we would encourage them if they have any evidence to send that to us.”

Foroughi has reportedly served in Syria as a nurse with the IRGC, which the United States designated a terrorist organization in 2019.

“United for Navid” campaigns for Iran to be excluded from international sports. It is named for wrestler Navid Afkari, who was executed last year for an alleged murder in 2018 during the time of demonstrations against the Iranian government.

IOC president Thomas Bach and soccer’s world body FIFA joined calls for Afkari’s life to be spared.


Track and field is underway at the Olympics, with the women laying down some very fast times in the 100 meters heats.

There were no major surprises in the opening session at the Olympic Stadium, other than those early times in what promises to be a tight women’s 100 battle.

Defending Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah won her heat in 10.82 seconds and fellow Jamaican and favorite Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce cruised home in 10.84 to win hers. Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee La Tou laid down the fastest time of the heats in a surprising 10.78 seconds.

Six women went under 11 seconds. Teahna Daniels of the United States and Dina Asher-Smith of Britain also progressed. The women’s 100 final is Saturday.

In the men’s 400 meters hurdles, world-record holder Karsten Warholm of Norway went through with no trouble in a time of 48.65 seconds. Rival Rai Benjamin of the United States progressed with 48.60.

Only one gold medal is up for grabs on the opening day at the track, in the men’s 10,000 meters. It’s the last event of the evening session.

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Olympics Latest: McKeon is fastest 50m freestyle qualifier