Simone Biles provided further inspiration when she returned to action on Tuesday and secured a bronze medal at the beam.
China succeeded with a brace from Guan Chenchen and Tang Xijing, but the American gymnast stole the headlines on her first appearance after retiring from last week’s team final.
Mental health issues have been cited as the reason Biles moved away from team events and other individual disciplines, although the 24-year-old excelled in her only event on the beam.
The four-time Rio Olympics gold medalist reminded the world of his qualities with a score of 14,000 and, despite Chenchen’s last-ditch 14,633, produced an emphatic comeback for the United States.
“I was just happy to be able to perform, regardless of the outcome,” Biles explained after Tuesday’s event. “I did it for myself, and I was just proud of myself for being able to compete once again.
“Just having the opportunity to compete in the Olympic Games meant the world, because training for five years and then coming here, then being primed and not being able to do anything, was not fun.
“Going out there and competing once again and having everyone’s support meant the world.”
“I’m proud of myself and all these girls.”
“I’ve been through so much in the last five years and last week.”
– Olympics (@Olympics) August 3, 2021
To add to Biles’ memorable return, the US basketball stars overtook Spain 95-81 to reach the Olympic semifinals, with Kevin Durant scoring a team record of 29 points to lead his team to victory.
However, it was a far from convincing performance for the United States, who were down 39-25 at one point in the second quarter before recovering impressively to reach the mid-race level of 43-43.
THOMPSON-HERAH COMPLETE DOUBLE-DOUBLE
Elaine Thompson-Herah made sprint history by winning the women’s 200m final to complete the double double sprint.
The Jamaican set a new national record with 21.53 seconds, the second fastest time in the history of the event, becoming the second athlete ever, after Usain Bolt, to win both titles at consecutive Games.
Thompson-Herah, who took 100m gold on Saturday after doubling up for the first time in Rio 2016, narrowly missed Florence Griffith-Joyner’s 1988 world record by 0.19 seconds.
“Oh my God, it’s amazing I’ve ever seen this day. That I could complete another double. I can’t believe it, ”said the 29-year-old after the 200m final.
“I really had to get him out to win the 200 meters. It’s a new PB [personal best] and a national record. I am so, so happy.
“Honestly I’m so tired, my legs just need rest. I’ve done so many races in the last few days, but I’m very grateful ”.
Elaine Thompson-Herah does it again! It is the double double for the #MARMALADE queen of the sprint in 21.53!#Gold Women’s 200m Tokyo 2020#Gold Women’s 100m Tokyo 2020#Gold Women’s 200m Rio 2016#Gold Rio 2016 women’s 100m@WorldAthletics | #SstrongerTogether | # Tokyo2020 | #Athletics pic.twitter.com/AENA2JzT1X
– Olympics (@Olympics) August 3, 2021
THE WORLD OF WARHOLM
Karsten Warholm broke the world record with a remarkable triumph over the 400m hurdles, breaking the previous record for the second time in five weeks.
In early July in Oslo, Warholm cut Kevin Young’s longtime record set at the 1992 Barcelona Games by 0.08 seconds, though the 25-year-old cut even more in Tuesday’s final.
The Norwegian star passed in 45.94 seconds, detaching a staggering 0.76 seconds from the global mark to secure a memorable win.
“It’s so big. It’s almost like the story here. It was the only thing that was missing from my collection, “said the 25-year-old after his victory.” I did a World Cup [gold medal]. I had the European Championships, I had the world record, the European record.
“The Olympic gold medal is what everyone is talking about. I knew this race was going to be the toughest of my life, but I was ready. “
The top three finishers all broke the previous Olympic record, with American silver medalist Rai Benjamin running 46.17, but Benjamin’s life performance simply fell short of Warholm.
BRAZIL IS PREPARING TO DEFEND THE TITLE
Brazil inflicted heartbreak on Mexico after a 0-0 draw in 120 minutes to create a final masterpiece with Spain.
Reinier converted the decisive penalty and, with Eduardo Aguirre and Johan Vasquez absent, the reigning Olympic champions won 4-1.
“Playing the Olympics final is a dream,” said Brazil manager Andre Jardine. “The movie I saw was the movie of life. Everything we’ve been through. Even if we didn’t win in the 90 minutes, we took more risks ”.
Japan suffered the agony of extra time in the semi-final against Spain when Marco Asensio’s final winner sank the host nation to prepare an enticing prospect for Saturday’s final.
Despite the football disappointment, female boxer Sena Irie provided the host nation with a reason to celebrate as she overtook 2019 world champion of the Philippines Nesthy Petecio to take gold.
Irie’s victory in the featherweight finals means she is Japan’s first female boxing champion at the Olympics.
CHAOS OF CYCLING
Germany set the world racing record twice for earning her first gold – and, in fact, her first ever medal – in the women’s team pursuit on the bike path.
A strong team from Great Britain, including Laura Kenny, waited for Germany in the final, but the team of Mieke Kroeger, Franziska Brausse, Lisa Brennauer and Lisa Klein produced the race of their lives to finish in 4: 06.159, almost two seconds faster than the previous disc.
On a dramatic day of cycling, reigning world champions Holland won their first gold since 1936 in the men’s team sprint while Team GB had to settle for silver again inside the velodrome.
That silver for Jason Kenny meant he became the first athlete to win eight Olympic medals in cycling track events and also equaled the total medal tally of Britain’s most successful Olympian Sir Bradley Wiggins.
More controversy filled the track events on Tuesday, with Dane Frederik Madsen crashing into the rear of Team GB’s Charlie Tanfield within the final kilometer of the men’s team pursuit heats.
The UCI then found that the Danes, who had nearly two seconds ahead of their opponents, had successfully completed a capture to make it to Thursday’s final against Italy, despite the incident.
Jason Kenny became Team GB’s most decorated Olympian of all time after winning his eighth medal in the team sprint
– UK sports (@uk_sport) August 3, 2021