Olympics Live Updates: Emma McKeon Ties a Medal Record on a Big Day in Swimming, Gymnastics and Track

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Current time in Tokyo: Aug. 01, 11:34 a.m.

Caeleb Dressel’s winning time of 21.07 seconds was 0.16 of a second off the world record.
Credit...Doug Mills/The New York Times

Emma McKeon of Australia became the second woman to win seven medals in a single Olympics, and Caeleb Dressel and Bobby Finke of the United States added more gold medals to the American haul on a frantic final day of the swimming competition at the Tokyo Aquatics Center.

Men’s 50m Freestyle
Women’s 50m Freestyle
Men’s 1,500m Freestyle
Women’s 4×100m Medley Relay
Men’s 4×100m Medley Relay

July 31, 10:36 p.m. E.T.

Dressel won his fourth gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday, sprinting to victory in the 50-meter freestyle to open a frantic final day of the swimming competition at the Tokyo Aquatics Center.

Dressel, diving into the lead and never giving it up — or taking a breath — finished in 21.07 seconds, an Olympic record that was only 16 hundredths of a second off the 12-year-old world record in the event.

Florent Manaudou of France finished second in 21.55 seconds, and Bruno Fratus of Brazil (21.57) came in third.

With his teammates cheering him from the stands, Dressel exploded off the block and never faltered. When he learned that he had won, he flexed his left biceps and then hustled out of the pool to prepare for a relay later in the program.

Dressel entered the pool having already won three gold medals at these Games, in the 4x100 freestyle relay, the 100 free and the 100 butterfly. His time in the 100 butterfly, 49.45 seconds, was a world record.


Credit...Doug Mills/The New York Times

In the day’s second race, Emma McKeon of Australia emerged from a highly competitive field to take gold in the women’s 50 free, her sixth medal — three golds and three bronzes — of the Tokyo Games. McKeon finished with a time of 23.81 seconds, an Olympic record.

McKeon had started the day knowing that a top-three finish in her two races — the 50 free and the 4x100 medley relay — would make her only the second woman, after the Soviet gymnast Maria Gorokhovskaya in 1952, to win seven medals at a single Olympics. By day’s end, she had won gold in both.

Sarah Sjoestreom of Sweden came in second place (24.07 seconds), and Pernille Blume of Denmark, who won gold in 2016, took third (24.21). Abbey Weitzel, the only American in the final, finished last.


Credit...Doug Mills/The New York Times

The two short, explosive races then gave way to one of the longest of the Games, the men’s 1,500-meter freestyle. Bobby Finke, 21, of the United States won his second gold medal at these Games by prevailing in a three-man showdown with Mykhailo Romanchuk of Ukraine and Florian Wellbrock of Germany.

Finke hung close for most of the race and then slingshotted into the lead on his final turn, leading his rivals to the wall. He finished in 14 minutes 39.65 seconds, a body length ahead of Romanchuk (14:40.66) and Wellbrock (14:40.91).

“I was just trying to hold on and get my hand on the wall,” Finke said.

Finke, who was competing at his first Olympics, won the men’s 800-meter freestyle on Thursday.

The final was missing the event’s dominant swimmer over the past decade, Sun Yang of China, who holds the world and Olympic records. Sun was barred from competing in the Games, or anywhere else, while he serves a four-year doping suspension.

The crowd of American swimmers in the stands blew air horns and whistles and chanted, “Let’s go, Bobby!” as Finke emerged poolside before the race. Heading into the final 200 meters, Finke was part of a group of three — alongside Wellbrock and Romanchuk — far ahead of the pack. Then, on the final lap, he showed his prodigious closing speed to claim the gold.

His victory, and Katie Ledecky’s in the women’s event, gave the United States a sweep of the grueling 30-lap swimming marathons, the longest races in the competition.

The session ended with two exciting medley relays. In the women’s 4x100 medley relay, Australia won the gold medal with a time of 3:51.60. The American women, who won gold in the event at the 2016 Games, settled for the silver. Canada took the bronze.

McKeon, who erased a small United States lead with her butterfly leg, and Cate Campbell, who delivered the final touch after a powerful closing freestyle, once again delivered the an Australian victory. While McKeon picked up her seventh medal — and fourth gold — in the race, Campbell collected her fourth. She finished with three golds and a bronze at the Tokyo Games.

The men’s 4x100 medley relay is the final swimming event of the Tokyo Olympics, and there is history on the line. The American men have won gold in every Olympics they have competed in. (They did not participate in 1980, when the United States boycotted the Moscow Olympics.) But they enter the race as underdogs, with Britain, which qualified with the fastest time (3:31.47), and Australia looking the strongest out of the field.

Credit...Doug Mills/The New York Times

TOKYO — The most decorated Olympic swimmer in Tokyo is … Caeleb Dressel? Katie Ledecky?

Nope. It is Emma McKeon of Australia, whose haul of seven medals ties her for the record by any female Olympian set in 1952 at the Helsinki Games by gymnast Maria Gorokhovskaya of the Soviet Union.

The seventh medal came in the 4x100 medley relay and made her the first female swimmer to win that many at a single games. She joins Michael Phelps, Mark Spitz and Matt Biondi as the only swimmers with seven or more (Phelps has the record, with eight golds at the 2008 Beijing Games).

McKeon’s tally:

4x100 freestyle relay (gold, world record)

100 free (gold, Olympic record)

50 free (gold)

100 butterfly (bronze)

4x200 free relay (bronze)

4x100 mixed medley relay (bronze)

4x100 medley relay (gold, Olympic record)

She won four medals at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

Both the men’s and women’s BMX freestyle events also finish today.
Credit...Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

TOKYO — The middle weekend of any Olympics is always a big one. Swimming wraps up, track gets going, and the team events approach their knockout stages. And it seems like the deluge of events at the Tokyo Games hits a peak on Sunday.

It all got started with Caeleb Dressel of the United States winning his fourth gold medal of the Games in the 50-meter freestyle. Emma McKeon of Australia won her third gold in the women’s 50 free. In an uncharacteristically exciting 1,500-meter freestyle, Bobby Finke of the U.S. came from behind in the last 50 meters to win.

And still to come on Sunday for those of us here in Tokyo, Saturday night into Sunday for those in the United States:

The final round of the golf competition began. The medal contenders include Paul Casey of Britain, Hideki Matsuyama of Japan, Xander Schauffele of the United States and Rory McIlroy of Ireland.

You saw the BMX riders race; now see them do tricks on their bikes in the freestyle competition, which is new to these Games.

In swimming, the U.S. men have never lost the medley relay — ever. Could the streak be ended by Britain?

For fighting enthusiasts, two American boxers, Duke Ragan and Richard Torrez, face off in the quarterfinals with a medal on the line. For the sailing set, two yachting golds will be awarded in the men’s and women’s one-person dinghy. And a gold medal will also be awarded in women’s springboard diving.

There will be three tennis finals. Alexander Zverev of Germany faces Karen Khachanov of Russia in men’s singles. The Czech team of Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova plays Belinda Bencic and Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland in women’s doubles. And a Russian team will win mixed doubles, either Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Andrey Rublev or Elena Vesnina and Aslan Karatsev.

The gymnastics event finals begin at 5 p.m. in Tokyo, 4 a.m. Eastern. The women will contest the vault and bars; and the men the horse and the floor exercise. Although eligible, Simone Biles will not compete.

In the Tokyo evening, early Sunday morning U.S. time, track finals include the men’s high jump with Ju’Vaughn Harrison of the United States starting a high jump-long jump double, and the always glamorous men’s 100 meters at 9:50 p.m. Japan time to round out a stellar day at the Games.

Credit...Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

Here are some highlights of U.S. broadcast coverage on Saturday evening and overnight. All times are Eastern.

GOLF The American Xander Schauffele is one to watch as Round 4 of men’s individual stroke play gets underway at 6:30 p.m. on the Golf Channel. The event is also available for streaming on GolfChannel.com and NBCOlympics.com.

BASEBALL Mexico and Israel face off in the knockout stage after each team lost its previous matchup; both countries are making their Olympic baseball debuts in Tokyo. Fans can stream the action from Yokohama Stadium beginning at 11 p.m. on NBCOlympics.com. (The U.S. team, after its win over South Korea, the defending champion, will face Japan next week in Round 1 of the knockout stage.)

BEACH VOLLEYBALL NBC has the round of 16, including teams from the U.S., beginning at 8 p.m.

TABLE TENNIS The round of 16 for both the men’s and women’s teams begins at 9 p.m. on NBCOlympics.com.

BMX The men’s and women’s freestyle finals take off on CNBC, beginning at 9:10 p.m.

SWIMMING Caeleb Dressel won his first Olympic gold medal for an individual race on Thursday, setting an Olympic record in the 100-meter freestyle. As swimming concludes at the Tokyo Games, Dressel takes aim at another gold, this time in the men’s 50-meter freestyle final. Also on the broadcast schedule are the women’s 50-meter freestyle and the men’s and women’s 4x100-meter medley relays. NBC has all of the action beginning at 9:30 p.m.

TENNIS The medal matches for women’s doubles, mixed doubles and men’s singles begin airing at 2 a.m. on the Olympic Channel.

Katie Ledecky of the U.S. during the Women's 800m Freestyle swimming final on Saturday.
Credit...Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

Katie Ledecky of the United States swam to her second gold of the Games in the women’s 800 meters, a victory made all the more satisfying because it was at the expense of her rival Ariarne Titmus of Australia. Caeleb Dressel of the United States won his third gold medal, setting a world record in the 100-meter butterfly.

But there was disappointment for the U.S. swimmers in the new mixed medley relay: Ryan Murphy had the team in the lead after the opening backstroke leg, but they faded on the breaststroke and butterfly, all the way to last place at one point. Dressel’s freestyle anchor could pull them to only fifth. Britain won the event.

In track and field, Elaine Thompson-Herah defended her title in the 100-meter dash and led a Jamaican sweep of the podium with Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson. Poland won the first mixed-gender 4x400 relay, followed by the Dominican Republic and the United States.

More mixed-gender events on Saturday: Spain won in trap shooting, with tiny San Marino in second and the United States third. Earlier, Alessandra Perilli had won San Marino’s first-ever medal in the individual event. Now she has two.

In the mixed triathlon relay, Britain beat the United States for gold, and France surprised Japan in the judo team competition.

The United States men’s basketball team beat the Czech Republic, 119-84, and advanced to the quarterfinals. The U.S. baseball team defeated South Korea, 4-2, and won its group.

Pablo Carreño Busta of Spain defeated Novak Djokovic to win the bronze in men’s tennis. Djokovic withdrew from his bronze medal mixed doubles match. The women’s tennis gold medal went to Belinda Bencic of Switzerland.

And no one bounced better than Ivan Litvinovich of Belarus in men’s trampoline; Dong Dong of China was second for his fourth career medal in the event.

Elaine Thompson-Herah, center, defended her gold medal in the 100-meter dash after overtaking the two-time former champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, left.
Credit...Doug Mills/The New York Times

TOKYO — Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica on Saturday repeated as the Olympic champion in the women’s 100 meters, outsprinting a field that included Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, a two-time former champion.

Thompson-Herah finished in 10.61 seconds, breaking Florence Griffith-Joyner’s Olympic record by a hundredth of a second in a time that made her the second-fastest woman in history.

It was a Jamaican sweep of the medals: Fraser-Pryce took silver in 10.74, and Shericka Jackson won bronze.

Fraser-Pryce had been seeking her third Olympic gold in the event after winning back-to-back titles at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. She won bronze in the 100 meters at the Rio Olympics in 2016, finishing behind Thompson-Herah and Tori Bowie of the United States.

On Saturday, Thompson-Herah edged ahead of Fraser-Pryce about halfway down the track and held her off, triumphantly raising her left arm as she crossed the finish line. She then fell to the track in apparent disbelief.


Credit...Doug Mills/The New York Times

Teahna Daniels, the lone American in the race, finished seventh.

The final on Saturday was missing two notable figures: Sha’Carri Richardson, the U.S. champion, who is serving a monthlong suspension for testing positive for marijuana, a banned substance; and Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria, who was suspended by antidoping authorities on Saturday for testing positive for human growth hormone.

A deep pool of talent remained. Thompson-Herah seemed to send a message by winning her semifinal heat in 10.76 seconds, despite slowing a few meters from the finish.

Fraser-Pryce, meanwhile, came through her semifinal heat in 10.73. Both runners appeared primed for a showdown. They delivered.




Elaine Thompson-Herah


0.150 10.61


Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce


0.139 10.74


Shericka Jackson


0.152 10.76

Marie-Josee Ta Lou

Ivory Coast

0.158 10.91

Ajla del Ponte


0.129 10.97

Mujinga Kambundji


0.138 10.99

Teahna Daniels

United States

0.144 11.02

Daryll Neita


0.108 11.12

The women’s 100-meter final was preceded by the first mixed-gender 4x400 relay in Olympic history. In a stunner, Poland won gold in a tight finish with the Dominican Republic in second, and the United States in third.

And in first-round heats of the men’s 100-meter dash, all three Americans — Trayvon Bromell, Fred Kerley and Ronnie Baker — made it through to the semifinals, though Bromell, one of the favorites to win gold, labored to a fourth-place in his heat and advanced based only on his time.

Laurel Hubbard of New Zealand returned to weight lifting in 2017 after a break of more than a decade.
Credit...Luca Bruno/Associated Press

TOKYO — When Laurel Hubbard, a 43-year-old weight lifter from New Zealand, makes her first attempt in the women’s heavyweight competition on Monday, she will become the first openly transgender female athlete to compete at the Olympics.

Yet she will do so amid a debate over whether she should be at the Games at all.

Athletes, advocates for women’s sports and fair-sport campaigners have questioned whether Hubbard, who competed in men’s competitions before quitting the sport more than a decade ago, has an unfair advantage. Others believe the Games’ binary categories fail to account for a diverse group of athletes.

Hubbard, who rarely speaks to the news media, declined a request for comment. But in 2017, she told Radio New Zealand that she did not see herself as a flag bearer for transgender athletes.

“It’s not my role or my goal to change people’s minds,” Hubbard said. “I would hope they would support me, but it’s not for me to make them do so.”

The New Zealand Olympic committee has shielded Hubbard since she arrived in Tokyo. Kereyn Smith, secretary-general of the committee, called Hubbard “quite a private person” and said she wanted her lifting to be the focus.

“She’s an athlete,” Smith said in an interview on Friday. “She wants to come here and perform and achieve her Olympic dream and ambition.”

Supporters of transgender athletes cheered her arrival.

“This moment is incredibly significant for the trans community, for our representation in sport and for all trans people and nonbinary kids to see themselves and know that sport is a place for them,” said Chris Mosier, a race walker who in 2020 became the first openly transgender man to compete in a U.S. Olympic trials.

Simone Biles did not compete on three apparatuses during the team final after performing her vault.
Credit...Doug Mills/The New York Times

Simone Biles, the superstar American gymnast, will not compete in Sunday’s event finals for vault and uneven bars at the Tokyo Games, according to U.S.A. Gymnastics. Earlier this week, she withdrew from the event finals and the all-around final, citing mental health reasons, and she is still eligible for finals in the floor exercise on Monday and the balance beam on Tuesday.

MyKayla Skinner, the American who had the fourth-highest score on vault during qualifying, will take Biles’s place in the vault final. Skinner did not initially secure a spot in the final because each country is allowed only two gymnasts in each final, and Biles and Jade Carey had qualified ahead of her.

“Can’t wait to compete in vault finals. Doing this for us,” Skinner said on Twitter, mentioning Biles. “It’s go time baby!”

Looks like I get to put a competition Leo on just one more time. Can’t wait to compete in vault finals. Doing this for us @Simone_Biles ❤️ It’s go time baby!

— MyKayla Skinner (Harmer) (@mykaylaskinner) July 31, 2021

Mélanie de Jesus dos Santos of France will take Biles’s place in the bars finals.

In an emailed statement on Saturday, U.S.A. Gymnastics said Biles “will continue to be evaluated daily” to determine whether she will compete in the floor exercise and the balance beam or whether her Tokyo Games are over.

“We remain in awe of Simone, who continues to handle this situation with courage and grace, and all of the athletes who have stepped up during these unexpected circumstances,” the statement said.

Biles, the four-time Olympic gold medalist, won a silver medal with her U.S. team in the team final after backing out of the event once it began. After performing the vault, she said she had gotten lost in the air and could no longer gauge where her body was in relation to the ground. She said she didn’t think it was safe for her to continue and said she didn’t want to risk losing a medal for the U.S. team by not being able to perform well. Instead, she left her teammates to compete without her and cheered them on from the competition floor.

Two days later, Biles also did not compete in the all-around final because of the issue, which can be described as a mental block. In an Instagram story on Friday, she said that the problem was still plaguing her.

“Literally can not tell up from down,” Biles wrote in the Instagram story. “It’s the craziest feeling ever. Not having an inch of control over your body.”

Biles, who came into the Tokyo Games undefeated in the all-around since 2013, had been expected to become the first woman in 53 years to win back-to-back all-around Olympic titles. Instead, Biles’s teammate, Sunisa Lee, of St. Paul, Minn., went on to win the all-around on Thursday. Lee will compete for her next medal on Sunday on the uneven bars, her specialty.

Katie Ledecky has 10 medals total in three Olympics, including seven golds.
Credit...Doug Mills/The New York Times

Katie Ledecky, the U.S. swimmer, has always tried to distance herself from the field, and the Tokyo Olympics have been no exception.

She won two gold medals this week, in the 800-meter freestyle and the 1,500-meter freestyle, which is a new Olympic event for women this year. That gives her six Olympic gold medals in individual events over her career, the most of any female swimmer, and more than any man except Michael Phelps, who has 13.

She has seven total gold medals, including one she won with the U.S. 4x200 freestyle relay team in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. She also has three silver medals — two earned in Tokyo this week, one in Rio — for a total of 10 medals overall.

Ledecky, 24, said Saturday that she intended to continue competing, and to qualify for the 2024 Games in Paris. She is still the world’s best female distance swimmer, but a new generation of athletes is catching up with her, and even overtaking her, especially in the shorter races.

Here’s a look at Ledecky’s decorated career, and the new competition she faces:

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