Large day for Dressel and Chinese in pool, Lee in acrobatic

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Caeleb Dressel got his first individual trophy, the Chinese women put together a record-setting relay and American Sunisa Lee won the women’s all-around gymnastics gold.

After the most important action of the day session on the sixth day of the Tokyo Olympics came at the pool, Lee shined in the dark in gymnastics with teammate Simone Biles watching from the stands.

Lee, the youngest member of the team, became the fifth straight American woman to say the Olympic title within the women’s all-around. She edged Rebeca Andrade of Brazil in an entertaining and hotly contested final.

Lee’s total of 57.433 points was only enough to top Andrade. The Brazilian earned the primary gymnastics all-around medal by a Latin American athlete but was omitted on gold when she stepped out of bounds twice during her floor routine.

Russian gymnast Ange­lina Melnikova earned bro­nze two days after leading ROC to gold within the team final.

“It’s crazy,” the 18-year-old Lee told reporters after her win. “It doesn’t desire the real world in the least .”

Biles, who stunned the Tokyo Games two nights ago by withdrawing from the all-around team event after one vault, watched from the front row. it’s still not clear whether she is going to compete in any of the individual events within the coming days.

Earlier on Thursday, Biles tweeted her appreciation for all the support that had flooded in after her candid statements about the pressure she was feeling shone a light-weight on athletes’ psychological state.

“…the outpouring love & support I’ve received has made me realize I’m quite my accomplishments and gymnastics which I never truly believed before,” she said during a tweet.

As the Americans celebrated at the Ariake Gym­nastics Centre, their world champion vaulter Sam Kendricks was isolating during a bedroom after he tested positive for Covid-19 and was ruled out of the Games.

Argentine vaulter German Chiaraviglio also tested positive and was isolating, sending a chill through the track and field camp on the eve of the athletics competition.

“We are all pretty spooked out immediately,” said Swedish world record holder Armand Duplantis, whose bar battle with Kendricks was expec­ted to be one among the highlights of the athletics programme.

Kendricks’ case triggered panic within the Australian team, which went into precautionary isolation for quite two hours before about three close contacts were released.

Kendricks, a two-time world champion, and Chiaraviglio will miss the pole vaulting competition when it starts on Saturday.

“We knew this Olympic game was different and with different rules, and here I’m, it’s my turn,” Chiaraviglio wrote on Instagram. “Living through this is often very difficult, but it’ll also pass,” he added.

JAPAN AND CHINA ARE ON TOP

The gymnastics gold wasn’t enough to place the Americans on top of the medal tally by the top of the day.

Instead, Japan’s Aaron Wolf and Shori Hamada grabbed gold medals in judo, bringing the host nation’s haul to fifteen, an equivalent number as China, with the US just behind on 14.

Wolf, whose father is American and mother Japanese, threw South Korean Cho Gu-Ham to secure a dramatic ippon victory that ended quite five minutes of grueling sudden-death overtime within the men’s 100kg final.

After Japan denied China a fourth straight Ping-Pong team sweep by winning the mixed doubles, they reasserted their dominance when Chen Meng beat Sun Yingsha in an all-Chinese women’s singles title.

Japan’s stellar performance had Tokyo residents queuing up for photos around an Olympic monument near the city’s National Stadium with fans who are banned from attending the events as spectators wanting to celebrate any way they might.

Earlier, Dressel, America’s successor to Michael Phelps, won the 100m freestyle in an Olympic record of 47.02 seconds a mere six-hundredths before defending champion Kyle Chalmers of Australia. That gave him a fourth career trophy, with three previous ones coming in relays.

“It may be a lot different. I assume I assumed it might be, I just didn’t want to admit thereto,” he said. “It’s tons tougher. you’ve got to believe yourself, there’s nobody to bail you out.”

Robert Finke won another gold for us within the men’s 800m freestyle, while Australia’s Zac Stubblety-Cook claimed the men’s 200m breaststroke gold in an Olympic record 2:06.38.

The most dramatic race of the day came when China surprised the US and Australia with a world-record performance within the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay.

Katie Ledecky took the anchor leg for the Americans in third place, nearly two seconds behind the Chinese and also trailing the Aussies.

Ledecky passed Australia’s Leah Neale and closed the gap significantly on China’s Zhang Yufei, but couldn’t quite catch her at the top.

She touched during a world-record 7 minutes, 40.33 seconds.

“We didn’t expect to win the race because the Americans and Australians are so strong,” said a shocked Zhang, who only acknowledged she had to swim within the relay after her Olympic record gold within the 200m butterfly an hour earlier.

The Americans claimed silver in 7:40.73, while Australia took the bronze in 7:41.29. All three medalists broke the previous record of 7:41.50 set by the Aussies at the 2019 world championships.

TEEING OFF

Sepp Straka of Austria made four birdies in his last six holes for an eight-under 63 for a one-shot lead over Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand within the first round of men’s golf.

Thomas Pieters of Belgium, who finished one spot out of a trophy in Rio de Janeiro five years ago, shot 30 on the rear nine for a 65.

Carlos Ortiz of Mexico also had a 65 in ideal scoring conditions on a course so pristine it didn’t have a divot when players first began arriving because it had been closed for 2 months.

At a sweltering Ariake Tennis Park, world favorite Novak Djokovic swept aside home hope Kei Nishikori 6-2, 6-0 to succeed in the semi-finals as he targets his first Olympic title.

The Australian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon champion, on track for the primary men’s Golden Slam of winning all four majors and therefore the Olympics, will face Germany’s Alexander Zverev within the last four.

In the women’s tournament, 12th-ranked Belinda Bencic of Switzerland and 2019 French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic will meet within the gold-medal match.

Bencic beat Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan 7-6 (7-2), 4-6, 6-3, and Vondrousova who eliminated Naomi Osaka within the third round defeated fourth-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 6-3, 6-1.

Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen and Taiwan’s Chou Tien-Chen were among the men’s badminton contenders to securely reach the quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, organizers announced a daily record of 24 new Games-related in­fects, three of whom are athletes, taking the general number of positive cases to 193.

The rising figure coincides with the record numbers of the latest cases in Tokyo and nationwide. But the Inter­national Olympic Commi­ttee said there was no link with the Games.

“As far as I’m aware there’s not one case of an infection spreading to the Tokyo population from the athletes or Olympic movement,” spokesman Mark Adams told reporters.

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