TOKYO (AP) — The Tokyo Games just keep producing some of the fasted 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.”
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.”
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, meeting the loser of Wednesday night’s Japan-South Korea matchup for a berth in this weekend’s gold medal game.
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.”
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.
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