Olympics Latest: Worthington wins BMX freestyle gold
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:
Britain’s Charlotte Worthington put on a show in BMX freestyle’s Olympic debut, landing the first 360 backflip in women’s competition to knock off American Hannah Roberts at the Tokyo Olympics.
Roberts, a three-time world champion at 19, set the bar in her opening run, landing a backflip with a tailspin for a 96.1.
Worthington crashed on her first run, but pulled out all the stops in her second. The 25-year-old added a front flip to her 30 backflip and closed with another backflip for a 97.5.
Roberts, the top seed, had a chance to top the Brit, but landed hard off an early jump and waved off the rest of her second run.
Switzerland’s Nikita Ducarroz took bronze with an 89.2 in her second run.
American Bobby Finke has won gold in the grueling men’s 1,500-meter freestyle race.
The American won his second gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics with another strong finishing kick.
Just as he did in winning the 800-meter freestyle, Finke stayed closed throughout the 30-lap race and turned on the speed at the end. He touched in 14 minutes, 39.65 seconds.
Ukraine’s Mykhailo Romanchuk took the silver in 14:40.66, while the bronze went to Germany’s Florian Wellbrock in 14:40.91. Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri faded to fourth in 14:45.01.
The top four were close nearly the entire race, often separated by less than a second at the turns. But that was right where Finke needed to be. After his closing lap in the 800, he knew he had the speed at the end to beat everyone else.
Finke has been perhaps the biggest American surprise at the pool. Relatively unknown before the U.S. trials, he become the first American male to win the 1,500 since Mike O’Brien at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.
Australia’s Emma McKeon has claimed the gold medal in the women’s 50-meter freestyle at the Tokyo Olympics.
It is the sixth medal of the games for the Aussie star, who has one more chance to make it seven in the 4×100 medley relay.
McKeon completed a sweep of the 50- and 100-meter freestyle with an Olympic-record time of 23.81 seconds. The silver went to Sweden’s Sarah Sjöström in 24.07, while defending Olympic champion Pernille Blume of Denmark settled for bronze this time in 24.21.
American Abbey Weitzeil finished last in the eight-woman field.
American Caeleb Dressel has won his fourth swimming gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics with a victory in the 50-meter freestyle.
Dressel cruised to a relatively easy victory in the frenetic dash from one end of the pool to the other, touching in an Olympic record of 21.07 seconds.
France’s Florent Manaudou repeated as the Olympic silver medalist in 21.55, while Brazil’s Bruno Fratus claimed the bronze in 21.57 — edging out American Michael Andrew for the final spot on the podium.
Dressel has one more shot at a gold in the 4×100 medley relay, an event the United States has never lost at the Olympics. He’ll swim the butterfly leg in a race that caps nine days of swimming competition at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.
If Dressel claims a fifth victory, he would join Americans Michael Phelps, Mark Spitz and Matt Biondi, as well as East Germany’s Kristin Otto, as the only swimmers to win as many as five golds at a single Olympics. Phelps did it three times.
Katie Ledecky is bidding farewell to the Tokyo Games after claiming four medals, two of them gold.
The American swimming star went on Twitter to post her thanks to the people of Tokyo and everyone who gave her “tremendous support this week and over the years!” Even though the stands were largely empty at the Olympic pool because of the coronavirus pandemic, Ledecky says she “could hear you all!”
Ledecky wasn’t quite as successful as at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she swept her three individual events and also won a gold and a silver in the relays.
But she did win gold in her two longest events, the 800- and 1,500-meter freestyle, in addition to swimming a brilliant anchor leg that almost pulled out a gold for the United States in the 4×200 free relay.
Along the way, Ledecky became the first female swimmer to win six individual golds in her career, the first woman to win the 800 free at three straight Olympics, and one of just five American female swimmers to earn 10 career medals.
At age 24, Ledecky has no plans to stop swimming.
Americans Sarah Sponcil and Kelly Claes are out of the beach volleyball tournament after a three-set loss to Canada in the knockout round opener.
Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson beat the U.S. 22-24, 21-18, 15-13 at the Shiokaze Park venue. Americans Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena are set to meet Qatar in the afternoon session.
Claes and Sponcil entered the games as the hottest team in the world, winning the last two events of the pandemic-extended qualifying period to grab the second U.S. spot in Tokyo. In the process, they knocked out five-time Olympian Kerri Walsh Jennings.
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