© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Gymnastics – Artistic – Women’s Team – Final – Ariake Gymnastics Center, Tokyo, Japan – July 27, 2021. Simone Biles of the United States wearing a protective mask gestures. REUTERS / Lindsey Wasson / File Photo
By Steve Keating and Simon Evans
TOKYO (Reuters) – American gymnast Simone Biles withdrew from two more finals https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/gymnastics-american-simone-biles-withdraws-event-finals-vault-uneven-bars- us- 2021-07-31 in Tokyo on Saturday, making it unclear if he will make another appearance at the Games, while swimmers Katie Ledecky and Caleb Dressel regained some lost shine https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle / sports / swimming- more-gold-dressel-mckeown-does-backstroke-double-2021-07-31 for America in the pool.
In the first failed drug test of the Games, Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare was provisionally suspended https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/athletics-nigerian-sprinter-okagbare-banned-after-failed-drugs-test -2021 -07-31 after a positive test for human growth hormone ended his career in Tokyo.
American BMX racer Connor Fields was taken out of intensive care after suffering a brain hemorrhage https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/cycling-fields-suffered-brain-bleed-crash-out-icu-says- mother- 2021-07-31 during her terrible accident the day before. Originally one of the big favorites for gold, Fields fell hard in a crash at the first corner during the semifinals.
China now leads the medal count https://graphics.reuters.com/OLYMPICS-2020/MEDALTALLY/rlgpdynkjvo/media-embed.html with 20 gold. Japan has 17 and the United States 16.
The Games are held without spectators and after a year of delay due to the pandemic, an unprecedented turn in the history of the modern Olympic Games. There is growing concern in Japan as infections rise, forcing the government to extend the state of emergency https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/japan-proposes-adding-four-regions- covid-19-emergency -minister-2021-07-29 in Tokyo and expand it to neighboring prefectures.
Much of the attention at the Games has been on superstar Biles, who shocked the world this week when he left team competition after a poor opening vault and later refused to defend his full crown, citing concern for his condition. physical and mental. welfare.
“Today, after further consultation with medical staff, Simone Biles has decided to withdraw from the event finals by jumping and uneven bars,” USA Gymnastics said, adding that she would continue to be evaluated daily to see if she would compete in the finals for the exercise. floor and balance beam.
His outspokenness has brought the issue of athletes’ mental health to the limelight and sparked a great deal of global support. She has spoken about the “twisties”, incidents of disorientation https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/i-had-twisties-just-like-simone-2021-07-30, during some of its severity- challenge skills.
“It’s honestly petrifying to try to do a skill but not have your mind and body in sync,” Biles wrote on Instagram on Friday.
‘SHE MADE IT HARD’
In swimming, Ledecky and Dressel added to their loot of medals and took away some of what has so far been a disappointing Games for the US swim team, whose eight golds are only half their Rio tally.
Ledecky, who lost her 200m and 400m titles to Australia’s Ariarne Titmus before beating her in the 1,500m, became the first swimmer to win six individual golds on Saturday, coming home in the 800m.
Taking control early on, Ledecky increased his lead over Titmus from the 500 mark and came home more than a second ahead of his rival, winning the event for a third game in a row, another first.
“He made it difficult and it was a lot of fun racing,” Ledecky said.
World champion Dressel broke into the 100m butterfly title in world record time, picking up his second individual gold to add to the gold he won in the 4×100 freestyle relay.
“It took a world record to win the Olympic final. And I don’t think it happens that often at the Olympics,” he said.
“My plan was to get out fast and then wait.”
Great Britain won the inaugural 4×100 mixed medley relay of the Olympics for their fourth swimming gold, setting a world record. Britain’s total of four swimming golds in Tokyo is their best comeback in more than a century and breaststroke gold medalist Adam Peaty said they were a transformed team.
“One word has changed the whole team and it is ‘belief’. We have champions who believe we can win. We have champions who believe we can set world records,” he said.
DOPING, SHADOW OF ACCIDENT
The jubilation has been tempered by doping problems and a shocking accident in BMX cycling, as well as the pandemic.
Nigeria’s Okagbere, a sprinter and silver medalist in the long jump at the 2008 Olympics, was provisionally suspended on Saturday morning, said the Athletics Integrity Unit, which monitors doping in the sport.
The 32-year-old, who has won the 200-meter and long jump world championships and is competing in her fourth Olympics, comfortably won her 100-meter series on Friday to qualify for the semi-finals.
More than half of the 5,000 doping tests planned for the Games have already been carried out, the International Testing Agency said on Friday.
The issue of doping had already come to light when US swimmer Ryan Murphy said on Friday that his 200-meter backstroke final “was probably not clean” after losing his title to Evgeny Rylov of the Russian Olympic Committee.
However, Murphy, who won three golds in Rio, later backed away from any hint that his rivals had cheated.
“The Russian state and sports officials covered themselves with the dark cloud and in the process, tragically, pushed their athletes into the storm,” Travis Tygart, director of the US Anti-Doping Agency told Reuters.
American BMX racer Fields was taken out of intensive care after a night in the unit, but remains in hospital.
“Doctors reported that Fields suffered a brain hemorrhage at the scene,” USA Cycling said.
Organizers reported 21 new Games-related COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 241 as of July 1, a minuscule number given the tens of thousands of people involved in the event.
COVID-19 infections have also risen, reaching a total of 3,300 in Tokyo on Friday, after hitting a record 3,865 a day earlier, adding to the strain on the medical system.