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The Sports Report Olympics Edition: A night of shock and disappointment

Simone Biles looks on during the women's gymnastics team final at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

Good morning, my name is Austin Knoblauch and you’re reading The Sports Report Olympics Edition newsletter.

A lot happened overnight at the Tokyo Games — with “a lot” managing to be an understatement. Before we get into that, here’s some of the basics you’ve grown to know and love through these first few days of the Games:

Olympic medal count

U.S. Olympic athlete tracker

Tokyo Olympic medal winners

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Tuesday and Wednesday’s TV schedule

We still have a long way to go in the Tokyo Olympics, but Day 4 shook the sports world.

Coach Laurent Landi embraces Simone Biles after she exited the team final at the Tokyo Olympics.
Coach Laurent Landi embraces Simone Biles after she exited the team final at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday.
(Gregory Bull / Associated Press)

Quite a day, right?

The specifics around Biles’ exit remain cloudy to possibly sunny, but you how the weather can change . As Times columnist Helene Elliott wrote, USA Gymnastics said Biles withdrew because of a “medical issue” and will be assessed daily moving forward. It’s unclear if she will continue to compete in these Olympics.

It was quite the shock considering Biles’ popular status as the greatest gymnast of all-time. While it’s not fair to speculate on why Biles couldn’t finish the team competition, it is clear that Tuesday at the Olympics was shocking in a myriad of ways.

Here’s what Elliott wrote on Biles and the U.S. gymnastics team: Superstar gymnast Simone Biles, considered a lock to become the first woman to win back-to-back Olympic all-around titles and lead the U.S. women to a third straight team gold medal, was scratched from the team competition on Tuesday for reasons that remain unclear. Without her unparalleled power and skill, the U.S. women’s team finished second to the athletes of the Russian Olympic Committee.

USA Gymnastics, the sport’s governing body in the United States, issued a statement that said Biles had withdrawn from the team final competition “due to a medical issue. She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions.” That contradicted NBC announcer John Roethlisberger’s comment during the telecast that network personnel had been told by a team coach or coaches that Biles’ issues were mental rather than physical.

With Jordan Chiles stepping in for Biles and the U.S. lineup juggled to adjust for Biles’ absence, the U.S. women put up a spirited battle but finished second. The ROC, as the team is known here, had 169.528 points, to 166.096 for the U.S. women and 164.096 for Britain. The ROC swept the men’s and women’s team competitions here.

Softball

Ben Bolch on the softball gold-medal game: For the U.S. softball team, one long excruciating wait will be followed by another.

Thirteen years after falling to Japan in the gold medal game at the Beijing Olympics, the U.S. endured another frustrating finish here against its chief rival ahead of an uncertain future for its sport.

Yukiko Ueno, the gutsy Japanese ace who outdueled Cat Osterman in 2008, did so again Tuesday night at Yokohama Baseball Stadium, pitching six strong innings during a 2-0 victory in the gold medal game at the Tokyo Olympics.

Japan’s offense continually pressured previously dominant U.S. pitching, and the country’s second consecutive gold medal seemed like destiny after a wild double play to end the sixth inning kept the U.S. scoreless.

Swimming

Nathan Fenno on swimming: Lydia Jacoby didn’t know what to do.

The 17-year-old touched the pool wall, turned to check the scoreboard and a stunned look filled her face.

Thundersticks clapped, vuvuzelas screeched and the handful of people allowed inside the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on Tuesday shouted loudly enough to make the 15,000-seat building feel, at least for a moment, like it wasn’t mostly empty.

The first gold medal at the Summer Games for the powerful U.S. women’s swim team didn’t come from a big name or world-record holder, but from an Alaska native who will be a high school senior this fall and is the first Olympic swimmer in the state’s history.

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Tennis

Naomi Osaka, of Japan, reacts after losing a point to Marketa Vondrousova.
Naomi Osaka reacts during her loss to Marketa Vondrousova on Tuesday.
(Seth Wenig / Associated Press)

Jorge Castillo on tennis: All Naomi Osaka could do was blankly stare at the blue hard court inside Ariake Tennis Park, befuddled by the unfortunate break on a frustrating Tuesday afternoon.

Marketa Vondrousova’s shot somehow landed on the back line, within arm’s length, to give her a 4-3 lead in the second set. Osaka reacted without emotion. The match already was wearing on her. Little was going right. Within minutes, her gold medal hopes at the Tokyo Games came to a stunning end.

Osaka, the host country’s face of these Games, lost in straight sets to Vondrousova of the Czech Republic — 6-1, 6-4 — in the third round of the women’s tennis tournament. Vondrousova, the 42nd-ranked player in the world, advanced to the quarterfinals to face either Croatia’s Donna Vekic or Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina.

“How disappointed am I?” Osaka said. “I mean, I’m disappointed in every loss, but I feel like this one sucks more than the others.”

Soccer

Kevin Baxter on soccer: A shaky U.S. team stumbled into the quarterfinals of the women’s Olympic soccer tournament by the narrowest of margins Tuesday, playing a dogged Australia to a scoreless tie to advance on goal differential.

The U.S. (1-1-1), which finished second in its group for the first time since the inaugural women’s Olympic tournament in 1996, will play Friday in Yokohama against the winner of Group F. The Netherlands and Brazil went into the final day of that group late Tuesday tied for first with four points each.

The U.S. beat the Netherlands in the last Women’s World Cup final in 2019.

Australia could also advance as a third-place team depending on the rest of Tuesday’s results. Sweden, which finished pool play perfect after beating New Zealand 2-0 on Tuesday, will advance as the Group G champion. Its opponent was also to be determined late Tuesday.

Surfing

U.S. surfer Carissa Moore celebrates after winning the gold medal on Tuesday.
(Francisco Seco / Associated Press)

Kevin Baxter on surfing: American Carissa Moore struck gold in surfing’s Olympic debut Tuesday with teenage teammate Caroline Marks finishing fourth under slate-gray skies at Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach in Chiba Prefecture, Japan.

In the men’s final, Brazil’s Italo Ferreira overcame a broken board on his first wave to beat Japan’s Kanoa Igarashi with a two-wave score of 15.14 to Igarashi’s 6.60. Australian Owen Wright won the men’s bronze by two-tenths of a point over Brazil’s Gabriel Medina in the most competitive heat of the final day.

Earlier Tuesday, Ferreira, the 2019 World Surf League champion, scored a near-perfect 9.73 out of possible 10 in his quarterfinal heat, breaking the Olympic record of 9.00 Medina set in his quarterfinal.

Volleyball

Gary Klein on volleyball: Throughout more than 20 years playing volleyball, Justine Wong-Orantes rarely struggled to make or receive a pass or serve.

She excelled at an early age as a beach and indoor player. As a setter, she led her Long Beach-based club team to a national title. In college, she moved to the back-row libero position and helped Nebraska win an NCAA championship.

But in 2018, after solid performances as a libero with the U.S. women’s volleyball team the previous year, Wong-Orantes struggled and lost her starting spot.

TV schedule for Tuesday and Wednesday

Brazil's Abner Teixeira, left, exchanges punches with Britain's Cheavon Clarke.
Brazil’s Abner Teixeira, left, exchanges punches with Britain’s Cheavon Clarke during their heavyweight boxing match Tuesday.
(Frank Franklin II / Associated Press)

TOKYO — Here’s a look at the TV schedule for Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s events at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

TUESDAY

Multiple sports — 11 p.m. (Monday)-7 a.m., USA

  • Cycling — Women’s mountain bike (live)
  • Swimming — Qualifying heats (live)
  • 3-on-3 basketball — Quarterfinals (live)

Multiple sports — 11 p.m. (Monday)-1:30 a.m., CNBC

  • Diving — Women’s synchronized platform (live)
  • Canoe slalom — Women’s final (live)
  • 3-on-3 basketball

Multiple sports — 11 p.m. (Monday)-4 a.m., NBCSN

  • Beach volleyball — Women’s qualifying round (live)
  • Women’s basketball — U.S. vs. Nigeria (replay)
  • Rugby — Men’s quarterfinal (live)
  • 3-on-3 basketball

Tennis

Second-round men’s singles; third-round women’s singles; men’s and women’s quarterfinals, 11 p.m. (Monday)-11 p.m., Olympic Channel

Gymnastics

Women’s team final, 3 a.m. (live)

Softball

U.S. vs. Japan — Gold medal game, 4 a.m., NBCSN (live)

Multiple sports — 6:30 a.m.-5 p.m., NBCSN

  • Beach volleyball — Women’s qualifying round (live)
  • Women’s handball – France vs. Spain
  • Archery — Individual eliminations
  • Badminton — Qualifying rounds
  • Equestrian — Team dressage final
  • Fencing — Women’s team epee final
  • Softball — U.S. vs. Japan (gold medal game; replay)
  • Table tennis — Elimination rounds
  • Surfing — semifinals
  • Women’s volleyball — U.S. vs. China

Multiple sports — 9 a.m.-2 p.m., NBC

  • Canoe slalom — Women’s final
  • Beach volleyball — Women’s qualifying round
  • Cycling — Women’s mountain bike
  • 3-on-3 basketball — quarterfinal
  • Swimming — Qualifying heats
  • Diving — Women’s synchronized platform final
  • Swimming — Qualifying heats

Multiple sports — 11 a.m.-3 p.m., USA

  • Rugby — Men’s quarterfinal
  • Weightlifting — Women’s finals
  • Judo — Finals
  • Taekwondo — Finals
  • Boxing — Elimination rounds
  • Women’s basketball — U.S. vs. Nigeria (replay)

Multiple sports — 5-9 p.m., NBC

  • Gymnastics — Women’s team final
  • Swimming — Finals for women’s 200 freestyle, men’s 200 butterfly, women’s 200 individual medley, women’s 1500 freestyle, men’s 4x200 freestyle relay

Multiple sports — 5-11 p.m., USA

  • Beach volleyball — Men’s qualifying round (live)
  • Table tennis — Women’s quarterfinal (live)
  • Men’s volleyball — U.S. vs. Tunisia (live)
  • Rugby — Men’s semifinals
  • Archery — Individual eliminations
  • Canoe slalom — Qualifying (live)

Multiple sports — 5-11 p.m., CNBC

  • Rowing — Finals and semifinals (live)
  • Cycling — Women’s time trial (live)
  • Beach volleyball — Women’s qualifying round
  • Cycling — Men’s time trial (live)

Multiple sports — 5-11 p.m., NBCSN

  • Women’s basketball — U.S. vs. Nigeria (replay)
  • Softball — Final
  • Women’s soccer — U.S. vs. Australia (replay)
  • Women’s volleyball – U.S. vs. China

Canoe slalom

Qualifying, 9 p.m., NBC (live)

Multiple sports — 9:35-11 p.m., NBC

  • Cycling — Women’s team trial
  • Women’s water polo — U.S. vs. Hungary (live)

Women’s soccer

  • U.S. vs. Australia, 1 a.m., USA (live)
  • U.S. vs. Australia, 7 a.m., USA (replay)
  • Canada vs. Britain, 8 a.m., USA
  • U.S. vs. Australia, 3 p.m., USA (replay)

WEDNESDAY

Multiple sports — 11 p.m. (Tuesday)-9 a.m., USA

  • Diving — Men’s synchronized springboard final
  • Canoe slalom — Qualifying (live)
  • 3-on-3 basketball — Women’s semifinal (live)
  • Rugby — Men’s bronze medal and final (live)
  • 3-on-3 basketball — Men’s semifinal
  • Swimming — Qualifying heats (live)
  • 3-on-3 basketball — Finals (live)
  • Men’s volleyball — Brazil vs. Russian Olympic Committee (live)
  • Canoe slalom — Men’s qualifying

Multiple sports — 11 p.m. (Tuesday)-1 a.m., NBCSN

  • Women’s volleyball — U.S. vs. China
  • Beach volleyball — Women’s qualifying round

Tennis

  • Men’s third-round singles; women’s singles and doubles quarterfinals; men’s doubles semifinals, first-round mixed doubles, 11 p.m. (Tuesday)-7 p.m., Olympic Channel
  • Men’s singles and mixed doubles quarterfinals; women’s singles and doubles semifinals, 7-11 p.m., Olympic Channel (live)

Cycling

  • Men’s individual time trial — 11 p.m. (Tuesday), CNBC

Men’s soccer

  • Germany vs. Ivory Coast, 1 a.m., NBCSN (live)
  • France vs. Japan, 4:30 a.m., NBCSN (live)
  • Spain vs. Argentina, 6:30 a.m., NBCSN (live)

Men’s gymnastics

  • All-around competition, 3 a.m., Peacock, (live)

Canoe slalom

  • Women’s qualifying, 3:30 a.m., NBCSN

Multiple sports — 9 a.m.-2 p.m., NBC

  • Rowing – Finals
  • Cycling — Individual time trials
  • Beach Volleyball — Men’s qualifying round
  • Swimming — Qualifying heats

Multiple sports — 9 a.m.-5 p.m., USA

  • Archery — Individual eliminations
  • Table tennis — Men’s and women’s quarterfinals and semifinal
  • Rowing — Finals
  • Fencing — Men’s team sabre finals
  • Judo — Finals
  • Weightlifting — Men’s final
  • Boxing — Elimination rounds
  • 3-on-3 basketball — Finals
  • Men’s volleyball — U.S. vs. Tunisia
  • Women’s water polo – U.S. vs. Hungary

Men’s basketball

  • Australia vs. Italy, 10:30 a.m., NBCSN

Multiple sports — 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m., NBCSN

  • Men’s handball — France vs. Germany
  • Badminton — Mixed doubles quarterfinals
  • Equestrian — Dressage individual final
  • Women’s water polo — China vs. Japan
  • Rugby — Men’s bronze and gold medal matches

Men’s basketball

  • U.S. vs. Iran, 2 p.m., NBC

Golf

  • Men’s first round, 3:30 p.m., Golf Channel (live)

Multiple sports — 5-9 p.m., NBC

  • Gymnastics — Men’s individual all-around
  • Diving — Men’s synchronized springboard final
  • Swimming — Finals: Men’s 800 freestyle; men’s 200 breaststroke; women’s 200 butterfly, men’s 100 freestyle; women’s 4x200 freestyle relay

Multiple sports — 5-11 p.m., USA

  • Beach volleyball — Qualifying round (live)
  • Rugby — Women’s qualifying round (live)
  • Table tennis — Women’s semifinal (live)
  • Men’s water polo — U.S. vs. Italy (live)

Multiple sports — 5-11 p.m., CNBC

  • Rowing — Finals (live)
  • Cycling — BMX racing quarterfinals (live)
  • Fencing — Women’s team foil quarterfinals
  • Archery — Individual eliminations
  • Fencing — Women’s team foil semifinals (live)

Multiple sports — 5-11 p.m., NBCSN

  • 3-on-3 basketball — Finals
  • Men’s volleyball — U.S. vs. Tunisia
  • Women’s water polo — U.S. vs. Hungary
  • Men’s basketball - U.S. vs. Iran
  • Rugby — Men’s bronze and gold medal matches

Table tennis

  • Women’s semifinal, 9 p.m., NBC

Multiple sports — 9:35-11 p.m., NBC

  • 3-on-3 basketball — Finals
  • Beach volleyball — Men’s qualifying round
  • Cycling — BMX racing quarterfinals

Men’s basketball

  • U.S. vs. Iran, 9:40 p.m., Peacock

Until next time...

That concludes today’s newsletter. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, email us at sports@latimes.com. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.


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