Olympics Live Updates: Mixed-Gender Events Debut at the Olympics


Current time in Tokyo: July 31, 8:46 a.m.

Women competing in the 5,000-meter event. Saturday will feature the first time men and women will compete against each other in Olympic track and field. 
Credit…Alexandra Garcia/The New York Times

TOKYO — Saturday is a day for the new mixed-gender events at the Olympics. Track will have a 4×400 mixed relay and swimming a 4×100 freestyle mixed relay. There will be a triathlon relay and team judo and trap shooting events.

The swimming lineup, starting at 10:30 a.m. Japan time, 9:30 p.m. Eastern Friday night, also includes Katie Ledecky in the 800 freestyle. She will face her nemesis, Ariarne Titmus of Australia, but this time at a distance that clearly favors Ledecky. There is also another chance for gold for Caeleb Dressel, in the 100 butterfly.

At the track, golds will also be awarded in men’s discus, and the women’s 100 meters, at 9:50 p.m. Tokyo time, 8:50 a.m. Eastern. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the Jamaican who won gold in 2008 and 2012 and bronze in 2016, will go for gold No. 3.

Also on the gold medal menu are women’s rugby sevens, men’s trampoline and the wind surfing events.

TOKYO — The U.S. women’s soccer team defeated the Netherlands on penalties after a 2-2 draw in their quarterfinal on Friday night. Next up, a semifinal against Canada on Monday.

In tennis, Novak Djokovic’s surprise loss to Alexander Zverev of Germany ended his bid for a Golden Slam. The first track final, the men’s 10,000 meters, was won by Selemon Barega of Ethiopia.

Ryan Murphy won a silver in the men’s 200-meter backstroke, but he caused a stir by suggesting that the race, won by Evgeny Rylov of Russia, might have been tainted by drug use.

The United States men’s and women’s eights each finished fourth, meaning the U.S. failed to win a rowing medal for the first time since 1908.

Connor Fields of the United States, the defending gold medalist, was in excellent position in his BMX semifinal when he clipped the wheel of the rider in front and went down in a nasty three-bike crash. Medical personnel attended to Fields for several minutes before he was carried from the track on a stretcher and taken to a hospital.

Teddy Riner of France, a legendary heavyweight judoka, failed in his bid to win a third straight gold medal, but did capture a bronze.

The U.S. women’s basketball team improved to 2-0 with an 86-69 victory over Japan. A’ja Wilson had 20 points. The women’s rugby team was eliminated in the quarterfinals by Britain, 21-12.

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April Ross and Alix Klineman won their beach volleyball group with a perfect 3-0 record; they advanced to the round of 16.

Ryan Murphy of the U.S. competing during the men’s 200-meter backstroke final on Friday.
Credit…Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

Ryan Murphy won a silver medal for the United States in the men’s 200-meter backstroke and then caused some fireworks in his news conference when he questioned whether his race, won by a Russian, was drug free, given Russia’s history of doping in sports.

“I don’t know if it was 100 percent clean,” Murphy said, “and that’s because of things that have happened in the past.”

Evgeny Rylov won in an Olympic record time of 1 minute 53.27 seconds. Rylov took control of the race on the second turn, stretching his lead to a half-second at the halfway mark and finishing about half a body length ahead of Murphy, who was the defending Olympic champion in the event.

Rylov won by 0.88 of a second, but after the race Murphy dived into the fray of whether Russian athletes should be allowed to compete at the Games, given the country’s history of state-sponsored doping. Russia’s athletes are competing in Tokyo as representatives of the Russian Olympic Committee, and all who were allowed to race had to go through a rigorous clearing process before being allowed to participate.

Still, Murphy directly questioned whether his race had been free of doping. He took care not to directly accuse Rylov, who was seated four feet to his left, of cheating but referred more generally to Russia’s doping history.

Rylov chose not to address Murphy’s comments, saying only that he was a supporter of clean sports and that he had followed all the procedures that were required for him to swim at the Olympics. Murphy then clarified that he was not making a direct accusation but did not back away from his statements.

“I need to be clear,” he said. “My intention is not to make any allegations here. Congratulations to Evgeny; congratulations to Luke. They both did an incredible job. They’re both very talented swimmers. They both train real hard, and they’ve got great technique.”

The bronze medalist in the race, Luke Greenbank of Britain, took the same stance as Murphy. “It’s frustrating knowing there’s a state-sponsored doping program going on and not more being done to tackle that,” he said afterward.

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The Russian Olympic Committee dismissed the comments as poor sportsmanship. “How badly our victories unnerve our colleagues,” it said in a tweet. “Here we go again — the same old song about Russian doping is played by the old music box. Someone is diligently turning the handle.”

Sifan Hassan won the first-round heat of the 5,000 on Friday, launching her possible bid at a triple gold. 
Credit…Alexandra Garcia/The New York Times

TOKYO — Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands could try to do something unprecedented at the Tokyo Games: win the women’s 1,500, 5,000 and 10,000 meters. To do so, she would need to run multiple heats in multiple events, including five races in six days next week if she successfully plows through the rounds.

She launched her bid at a possible triple gold on Friday night by winning her first-round heat of the 5,000 and securing a spot in Monday night’s final.

She raised her hands in muted celebration as she crossed the finish line.

“I was celebrating getting into the final,” Hassan said. “That is a lot of pressure.”

Asked whether she had decided to compete in all three events at the Olympics — something that’s been widely speculated — she said: “Not yet. I have to talk to my coach.”

Elise Cranny and Karissa Schweizer of the United States also made it through to the final.

“It was a tough field out there, and I got really pushed around,” said Schweizer, who was bleeding from her shins after getting spiked.

Hassan, 28, has emerged as one of the most dynamic and versatile runners in the world since the 2016 Olympics, when she placed fifth in the 1,500 meters while failing to advance through her qualifying heat of the 800 meters. She signaled her meteoric rise at the 2019 world championships by winning both the 1,500 and 10,000 meters. She broke the mile world record later that year.

In June, Hassan set another world record, this time in the 10,000 meters, only to have it broken two days later by Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia. Gidey is among the athletes who will challenge Hassan in Tokyo.

Hassan was coached by Alberto Salazar until 2019, when he was banned for four years by the United States Anti-Doping Agency for violating rules governing banned substances. This week, Salazar was permanently barred from participating in track and field.

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And in the final event of the opening day of competition at Olympic Stadium, Selemon Barega of Ethiopia held off a pair of athletes from Uganda, Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo, to win gold in the men’s 10,000 meters. Barega scorched the final laps to edge out Cheptegei, the world-record holder in both the 5,000 and 10,000 meters, by 0.41 seconds.

Grant Fisher of the U.S. finished fifth.

It was the first time someone other than Mo Farah of Britain won the 10,000 since 2008. Farah, who doubled as the 5,000- and 10,000-meter champion at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, failed to qualify for the Tokyo Games.

Connor Fields of the U.S. was hospitalized after crashing in the semifinals.
Credit…Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

TOKYO — Perhaps it was an ominous sign, or maybe just a normal one, when BMX racing at the Olympics began on Monday with a training run collision between a top cyclist and a marshal who wandered onto the track.

When the competition began on Thursday, a Japanese rider flipped over her handlebars in the first heat, ending her Olympic experience in less than a minute and sending her away with a broken collarbone.

Friday, the day the medals were doled out, began with a thunderous downpour, which felt right, because BMX is high in drama. Water slicked the course, merely adding to the danger factor. Reasonable minds delayed the start and sent workers onto the paved serpentine course of rollers and high-banked turns with brooms and dryers.

Yet it was just off the track where there was something more telling: five teams of medics, each armed with a stretcher, spread around the course. Behind the main scoreboard, three ambulances idled.

The danger inherent in the sport — part of its allure and part of the reason it is here at the Olympics — became most apparent during the semifinals, when Connor Fields of the United States, the gold medalist at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, crashed on the first turn of a semifinal heat. In a split second, two trailing riders tumbled on top of him.

Fields was carried off the track after several motionless minutes. His jersey was shredded by the fall, and his hip and shoulder were bloody with road rash. Racing was delayed about 30 minutes as he was taken to an ambulance and eventually driven away.

“We can confirm that Connor Fields is awake, stable and awaiting further medical evaluation,” the American team’s chief medical officer, Dr. Jon Finnoff, said through a U.S.A. BMX spokeswoman. “Additional updates about his condition will be shared as they become available.”

BMX is part of the growing X Games-ification of the Olympics, perpetually in search of sports that might appeal to younger viewers in ways that, say, modern pentathlon or dressage do not. BMX’s freestyle discipline was added for Tokyo, along with skateboarding, surfing and sport climbing.


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