USA hoops goes for gold; marathon bronze

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    The U.S. men’s basketball team will face France for the second time at the Tokyo Olympics, only this time, there’s gold on the line. NBC – not Peacock – will televise the game live at 10:30 p.m. E.T. A historically dominant force in international basketball, the United States has struggled in Tokyo – and even before it. In July, it lost exhibition matches against Nigeria and Australia. Then in the opening game of Olympic pool play, it lost 83-76 to France.

    After a semifinal win over the Aussies, though, something has finally clicked for the American squad. Milwaukee Bucks star Jrue Holiday and Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker, who was busy with the NBA Finals during the U.S. exhibitions, have supplemented an offense carried by Olympic veteran Kevin Durant.

    The United States has won 15 gold medals since men’s basketball was added to the Olympic slate in 1936 and four of the five this century. USA Basketball’s only blemish was a loss to Argentina in the 2004 semifinals in Athens before the team came back to beat Lithuania for bronze.

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    TEAM USA MEDAL COUNT: Full list of every American who has earned hardware in Tokyo

    TOKYO —Time and again, at the Tokyo Olympic Games, U.S. athletes have climbed onto the medal podium to be rewarded with gold, silver, or bronze. In a historic first, nearly 60 percent of those U.S. medalists have been women.

    If U.S. women were their own country, they would be fourth in the Olympic medal count, ahead of Great Britain, Germany, Italy, France, and nearly 200 other countries. They would be behind only the entire U.S. team, China, and the Russian Olympic Committee.

    Of Team USA’s 99 medals heading into the final weekend of the Games, 59 have been won by women, nearly twice as many as the 35 won by men. (Five of the medals have been won in mixed events featuring male and female athletes.)

    That means 59.6 percent of all U.S. medals have been won by women. Suppose that number holds through the last events of these Olympics. In that case, it will easily surpass the previous best result for American women, winning 55.8 percent of the medals at the 2012 London Olympics.

    The U.S. is guaranteed at least three more medals from American women, with U.S. women’s basketball, water polo, and volleyball playing for gold in the next two days. On Saturday at 3:30 a.m. E.T., the U.S. women’s water polo team, faces Spain in the gold-medal match.

    Later Saturday night, the U.S. goes for its seventh consecutive gold medal in women’s basketball when it takes on Japan at 10:30 p.m. E.T. The U.S. women’s volleyball team has a chance to win its first-ever Olympic gold medal when it meets up with Brazil Sunday at 12:30 a.m. E.T. — Christine Brennan.

    Left outside a Cambodian orphanage as a child, Jordan Windle was adopted at 18 months old by Jerry Windle and grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Jerry Windle put Jordan in his first aquatics class at 7-years-old. The campers had a chance to jump off the one-meter diving board, and even at a young age, Jordan caught people’s attention. The head of the aquatics program, Tim O’Brien, son of former Team USA diving coach Dr. Ron O’Brien, said Jordan needed to be put in a diving program.

    Jordan would move multiple times to train under different coaches, who were all delighted when their former protégé made the U.S. Olympic team. Now, he’s competing for a chance at an Olympic medal in Tokyo. Men’s 10-meter platform diving semifinals began at 9 p.m. E.T., and the finals are scheduled for Saturday at 2 a.m. E.T.

    Molly Seidel continues to impress. After a stunning performance to qualify for Team USA, Seidel ran another gutsy race Saturday, hanging with the lead pack and holding on to win bronze in the Olympic marathon. It was just the third marathon Seidel, 27, has ever run.

    Seidel crossed the finish line third in 2:27:46 on a muggy morning in Sapporo. Kenyans Peres Jepchirchir and Brigid Kosgei finished first and second, respectively. Seidel becomes just the third American woman to ever medal in the women’s marathon. Joan Benoit won gold in the event in 1984, and Deena Kastor took bronze in 2004.

    It’s an incredible accomplishment for a four-time NCAA champion in cross country in track, for whom the marathon is still a relatively unfamiliar distance. Fellow American Sally Kipyego finished 17th. Alpine Tuliamuk, who won Olympic trials, dropped out of the race about halfway through, with her team citing an injury in a post on social media. — Tom Schad

    Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band may have resumed their residency on Broadway, but all eyes are on the daughter of “The Boss,” Jessica, as she competes in the Olympics. She’ll have one last chance to medal alongside McClain Ward and Laura Kraut in the equestrian team jumping finals on Saturday at 6 a.m. E.T.

    Ward and Kraut already have four career medals between them, but they are looking for another with Springsteen. The team qualified after a trio of nearly perfect runs around the course in qualifiers, good enough for fifth out of the 10 teams that advanced. According to a post on social media from her squad, Alpine Tuliamuk dropped out of the women’s marathon Saturday due to injury.

    Tuliamuk, 32, won the U.S. Olympic marathon trials in early 2020. She dropped out of Saturday’s race a little before the halfway point, roughly 12 miles into the 26.2-mile race. Her running team, HOKA Northern Arizona Elite, wrote on Twitter that her hip “has been bothering her these last two weeks.”

    “She tried her best to get it right but couldn’t fix it,” the club wrote. “More to come when we have details.” Fellow American Molly Seidel was still with the leaders at the 15-mile mark, while Sally Kipyego was slightly behind in 9th. — Tom Schad

    Besides being the country’s first Olympic or World Cup title, Canada’s win over Sweden in the women’s soccer gold medal game cemented a more critical piece of history.  Quinn, a Canadian midfielder and one of the first openly transgender athletes to compete at the Olympics, is now a gold medalist. Their win is a momentous one for trans representation and acceptance.

    “That’s such a huge thing for me, just making sure kids know that they have a place in this sport,” Quinn said after the game. “Sports bring me so much joy, so hopefully I can pass that message along and be a role model for younger folks, seeing that they can be themselves and they can also have a place here, and they can be Olympic champions.”

    While the International Olympic Committee has long had rules allowing for the participation of transgender athletes at the Games, the Tokyo Olympics are the first at which any have competed. New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard also competed in Tokyo.  — Nancy Armour

    The women’s marathon, originally scheduled to start at 7 a.m. Saturday in Tokyo was pushed up to 6 a.m. due to high temperatures creating dangerous running conditions.  The race will be broadcast live at 5 p.m. ET Friday in the USA.

    Climate change is becoming an increasing issue in sports. Competition times at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials in Eugene, Oregon, were altered as temperatures soared above 100 degrees. In Tokyo, a caddy for U.S. golfer Lexi Thompson had to relinquish his duties because of heat exhaustion.

    Alpine Tuliamuk, the U.S. marathon champion, Sally Jepkosgei Kipyego, and Molly Seidel will all race for the United States. Tuliamuk was one of the Olympic athletes who fought for breastfeeding mothers to bring their children to Tokyo after initially not being allowed to.