Track records keep falling in fast Tokyo Games

Aug 3, 2021, 3:25 PM | Updated: Aug 4, 2021, 8:08 am

TOKYO (AP) — The Tokyo Games keep producing some of the fastest moments the world has ever seen on the track.

A day after the men’s 400-meter hurdles staged possibly one of the greatest races ever run, the women put on their own show as one of the Games’ most anticipated rivalries lived up to the hype.

The United States’ Sydney McLaughlin smashed the world record and Dalilah Muhammad broke it as well in a sensational American 1-2 finish in the women’s 400 hurdles.

“Iron sharpening iron,” McLaughlin said of her latest showdown with Muhammad. “Every time we step on the track, it’s always something fast.”

This race sat on the razor’s edge for sure. McLaughlin came from behind after the last hurdle to claim the gold in 51.46 seconds, quicker than the 51.90 mark she set at the Olympic trials when she was the first woman to run under 52. Muhammad’s time of 51.58 also would have been a world record.

In this race, however, it was only good enough for second.

Expect these two to set more records between now and Paris in 2024. McLaughlin, 21, and Muhammad, 31, have been trading the record for two years.

Muhammad won the race in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. McLaughlin made the U.S. team but didn’t make the final that year.

“I made the mistake in 2016 of letting the atmosphere get to me,” McLaughlin said. “Just being able to put the pieces together, I am really grateful.”

In other action on the track at Olympic Stadium, Canada’s Andre de Grasse won the 200-meter race five years after finishing second to Usain Bolt. De Grasse won in a national record time of 19.62 seconds, holding off two Americans for the medals.

Kenneth Bednarek won silver in a personal best 19.68 seconds and 2019 world champion Noah Lyles took bronze in 19.74. Erriyon Knighton, the youngest member of the U.S. men’s track team at 17, placed fourth in 19.93.

Kenya’s Emmanuel Korir won gold in the 800 meters to stretch his country’s dominance in the event to four consecutive Olympics.

On the basketball court, the U.S. women advanced to the semifinal round with a 79-55 win over Australia behind a 23-point effort from Breanna Stewart. The Americans are now just one win away from playing in their seventh consecutive gold medal game. They will face Serbia on Friday. The Serbians, who won the bronze medal in 2016, beat China 77-70.

The U.S. has won six consecutive gold medals, and 53 consecutive games in Olympic tournaments since 1992. The Americans put on their best game of the tournament from a roster that didn’t get together until about three weeks before the Games.

“It’s do or die at this point,” Sue Bird said. “That helps.”

BASEBALL

Triston Casas hit his third home run of the Olympics, and the U.S stayed in gold medal contention with a 3-1 win over the Dominican Republic. Tyler Austin, a former major leaguer in his home ballpark of the Central League’s Yokohama Bay Stars, added a solo home run in the fifth, his second long ball of the tournament.

The U.S. plays on Thursday night against South Korea, which lost to Japan 5-2, for a berth in this weekend’s gold medal game.

GNARLY DEBUT

Sakura Yosozumi of Japan won the inaugural Olympic women’s park event in skateboarding, solidifying Japan’s dominance of the sport making its Olympic debut. The silver went to Kokona Hiraki, who at 12 became Japan’s youngest Olympic medalist. Britain’s Sky Brown prevented a Japanese medal sweep, taking the bronze.

Japanese skaters also took both golds in the men and women’s street events in the first week of the Tokyo Games.

“This competition which was held at my country made us stronger from what we used to be,” Yosozumi said. “I want everyone to love skateboarding.”

SPIKING IT

The U.S. women’s volleyball team advanced to the semifinals for the sixth time in the past eight Olympics by beating the Dominican Republic in straight sets.

The Americans advanced to a matchup against Serbia in the semifinals. The U.S. is seeking its first gold medal in the sport after winning bronze in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro and silver in 2008 and 2012.

WARM SWIM

Ana Marcela Cunha of Brazil won the women’s 10-kilometer marathon swimming event in the warm waters of Tokyo Bay.

The air temperature during the latter stages of the race was 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 Celsius), with 74% humidity that made it feel like 95 degrees (35 C). The water temperature was about 84 degrees (29 C), just under the allowable limit of 88 degrees (31 degrees C).

CYCLING RECORDS

Italy broke its own world record to win the gold medal in men’s team pursuit cycling. The team of Simone Consonni, Filippo Ganna, Francesco Lamon and Jonathan Milan wiped out a deficit of nearly half a second over the final five laps to beat Denmark and finish in 3:42.032.

ARTIST IN THE WATER

Russia’s Svetlana Romashina claimed her record sixth Olympic gold medal in artistic swimming, teaming with Svetlana Kolesnichenko to win the duet. The Russians were heavy favorites in a sport they have dominated for more than two decades. Their last Olympic loss in the sport formerly known as synchronized swimming came at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

___

More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Belgium's Leandro Trossard, left, and Croatia's Josko Gvardiol fight for the ball during the World ...
Associated Press

‘Little Pep’ Gvardiol coming up big for Croatia at World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — For 90 minutes, the hulking, masked mass that is Josko Gvardiol kept Belgium’s big-name strikers at bay with timely tackles — none bigger than his stop on Romelu Lukaku two minutes into stoppage time. Then the 20-year-old Croat who is fast becoming the most sought-after center back in Europe went over […]
1 day ago
Christian Pulisic of the United States attends a press conference before a training session at Al-G...
Associated Press

US star Pulisic on track to play against Dutch in World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Christian Pulisic is on track to play for the United States in its World Cup round of 16 match against the Netherlands on Saturday, Pulisic left Tuesday’s final group stage match against Iran at halftime after bruising his pelvic bone in a collision with the goalkeeper while scoring in the 38th […]
1 day ago
Spain players leave the pitch at the end of the World Cup group E soccer match between Japan and Sp...
Associated Press

Spain in recovery mode after losing to Japan at World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — It’s not how Spain imagined reaching the knockout phase of the World Cup: finishing the group stage with a loss and having to rely on other teams to help it advance. Spain survived but heads into the round of 16 against Morocco with bruised confidence after losing 2-1 to Japan. “We […]
1 day ago
FILE - Philadelphia Eagles' Josh McCown speaks during a news conference after an NFL wild-card play...
Associated Press

Josh McCown hopeful to get a coaching opportunity

Josh McCown played quarterback for 12 teams across nearly two decades in the NFL, and learned a different offense almost every season. He looks forward to sharing his knowledge and experience as a coach. “I love being part of teams and being part of a group,” McCown said on the AP Pro Football Podcast. “You […]
1 day ago
Belgium's head coach Roberto Martinez, left, hugs Belgium's Eden Hazard after the World Cup group F...
Associated Press

Belgium’s golden generation is over, where now for Martinez?

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — His eyes welling up, Roberto Martinez said his goodbyes and left, his next whereabouts unknown. It is the end of an era for Belgium’s golden generation. But for the man who led it to third place at the 2018 World Cup, it is the beginning of something new. A return to […]
1 day ago
head coach Louis van Gaal of the Netherlands talks with Frankie de Jong as he leaves the pitch duri...
Associated Press

US coach Berhalter to draw on Dutch lessons at World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Gregg Berhalter knows plenty about Dutch soccer — he turned pro in the Netherlands 28 years ago. He will look to draw on the lessons he learned there when he coaches the United States against Oranje on Saturday for a place in the quarterfinals of the World Cup in Qatar. The […]
1 day ago
Track records keep falling in fast Tokyo Games