At the Tokyo Olympics, there were plenty of surprises and successes!
The much-anticipated women’s gymnastics team final saw the United States finish second behind the Russian Olympic Committee and Simone Biles’ stunning withdrawal, as well as Japan taking on the United States for softball gold. With 25 medals, the United States presently holds the lead (nine golds). China is a close ally of the United States with 21 medals (nine golds).
With a win over Nigeria, the US women’s basketball team began their quest for a seventh consecutive gold medal. Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi, both of whom have four gold medals to their names, have never lost an Olympic match. In the pool, Team USA won four more medals in four individual finals, with Lydia Jacoby’s historic gold in the 100-meter breaststroke leading the way.
Here’s what you might have missed from all the action.
Japan defeats USA for softball gold
Trailing by two runs in the sixth inning of a gold-medal rematch game 13 years in the making, Amanda Chidester came to the plate for the United States with runners on first and second and Japan in a one-out jam. Chidester unleashed a hot shot to third. The ball ricocheted off third baseman Yu Yamamoto’s arm and into the glove of shortstop Mana Atsumi, who doubled up Michelle Moultrie at second.
The U.S. dreams were doused with the strangest of bounces.
Japan, and pitcher Yukiko Ueno, shut the door with three straight outs in the seventh, and defended its gold medal from the 2008 Olympics with a 2-0 win. The U.S. got its second straight silver.
Cat Osterman came out of retirement and Monica Abbott returned to the US national team after the chance of another shot at an Olympic gold medal in Japan drew them back. However, the left-handed pitchers, who had not allowed an earned run in the first five games of the tournament, were not as sharp as they had been. Japan pounded Osterman’s starter, Ally Carda, for eight hits.
Ueno, the winning pitcher in the 2008 Games, played U.S. foil again, giving up two hits and striking out five in six innings. — Susie Arth
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