Thursday's Olympics: Canada wins gold in women's rowing eight

Associated Press
Emma Twigg, of New Zealand reacts after winning the gold medal in the women's rowing single sculls final at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 30, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.

Canada has won the rowing women's eight gold medal. They stormed to an early lead, then held off New Zealand over the final 200 meters to win.

The victory ended American dominance in the event. The U.S. had won three consecutive Olympic gold medals but fell to fourth at the Sea Forest Waterway. The Americans were dropped by the leaders early and were never in medal position for the entire race.

China finished third for the bronze medal.

Beach volleyball

Americans April Ross and Alix Klineman have moved on to the Olympic beach volleyball knockout round after having just a little bit of trouble against the Netherlands.

Starting in a drizzle and finishing in a downpour, the No. 2 seeded Americans lost the opening set of the match 22-20. It was the first set they have lost in the Tokyo Games. They trailed 12-9 in the second before scoring four straight points and seven of the next eight to take it 21-17.

In the tiebreaking set, they pulled away to beat the winless Dutch pair of Sanne Keizer and Madelein Meppelink 15-5.

The victory gave the four U.S. beach volleyball teams — two men’s and two women’s — a 9-1 record in these Olympics. Jake Gibb and Tri Bourne (2-0) play their final match of the round robin on Friday night. Sarah Sponcil and Kelly Claes (2-0) finish up against Brazil on Saturday morning. Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena are good for at least one more match after finishing the preliminary round 2-1.

BMX

The start of the BMX racing semifinals and finals at the Tokyo Games is being delayed by rain.

Storms moved through Tokyo Friday morning, leaving puddles on the track at Ariake Urban Sports Park.

Racing was supposed to start at 10 a.m. local time with the men’s semifinals, but track officials said it will be at least 10:45 before riders get on the track.

Swimming

A few hours after winning the first individual gold medal of his career, Caeleb Dressel has returned to the pool to tie an Olympic record in preliminaries of the 100-meter butterfly.

Dressel touched first in the last of eight heats with a time of 50.39 seconds, equaling the mark set by Singapore’s Joseph Schooling when he won gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Dressel holds the world record of 49.50, set two years ago at the world championships in Gwangju.

Hungary’s Kristof Milak was the second-fastest qualifier, advancing to Friday’s semifinals in 50.62. Milak already won gold in the 200 butterfly.

A couple of big names failed to make the top 16, which was needed to advance.

South African gold medalist Chad le Clos was 18th, while Schooling was far back with the 44th-fastest time. Only 11 swimmers went slower than the defending Olympic champion, who has fallen on hard times with his memorable upset of Michael Phelps.

Katie Ledecky has advanced to the final of her final Olympic event, posting the top time in preliminaries of the 800-meter freestyle.

After anchoring the United States to a silver medal in the 4x200 free relay during the morning session, Ledecky returned to the Tokyo Aquatics Centre in the evening to post the top qualifying time of 8 minutes, 15.67 seconds.

Another American, Katie Grimes, was the second-fastest qualifier at 8:17.05. Australia’s double gold medalist, Ariarne Titmus, also advanced to Saturday morning’s final to set up a fourth and final showdown with Ledecky.

Ledecky will be going for her second gold medal of these games and sixth individual medal overall, which would be the most of any female swimmer. She’s currently tied with Hungarian great Krisztina Egerszegi.