Olympics Latest: Pole vaulter Kendricks positive for COVID

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TOKYO (AP) — The Latest on the Tokyo Olympics, which are taking place under heavy restrictions after a year’s delay because of the coronavirus pandemic:

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American world-champion pole vaulter Sam Kendricks will miss the Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19.

Kendricks’ dad posted on social media that his son had no symptoms but was informed while in Tokyo that he tested positive and was out of the competition.

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee confirmed the news and said Kendricks has been placed in isolation at a hotel. He is being supported by the USOPC and USA Track and Field.

Kendricks won the bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics and took gold at the last two world championships. He holds the American record at 19 feet, 10 1/2 inches (6.06 meters).

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UPSET ALERT

China has surprised the U.S. and Australia with a world-record performance in the women’s 4x200-meter freestyle relay.

Katie Ledecky took the anchor leg for the Americans in third place, nearly 2 seconds behind the Chinese and also trailing the Aussies.

Ledecky passed Australia’s Leah Neale and closed the gap significant on China’s Li Bingjie, but couldn’t quite catch her at the end.

Li touched in 7 minutes, 40.33 seconds, denying both Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus another gold medal. After winning both the 200 and 400 free individual titles, Titmus led off for Australia in the relay.

The Americans claimed silver in 7:40.73, while Australia took the bronze in 7:41.29. It was the second swimming world record of the Tokyo Games -- in fact, all three medallists broke the previous mark of 7:41.50 set by the Aussies at the 2019 world championships.

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Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena are moving on in the Olympic beach volleyball tournament.

The Americans beat Julian Azaad and Nicolas Capogrosso of Argentina 21-19, 18-21, 15-6 to improve to 2-1 in the round-robin. That’s good for at least one more match in Tokyo.

In all, the American teams are 8-1 in the preliminary stage. Three other teams still have one match to play.

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USA Climbing head coach Josh Larsen has returned to the United States due to the death of his father.

Meg Coyne, national teams manager and assistant coach, will temporarily step into Larson’s role.

Sport climbing is making its Olympic debut at the Tokyo Games. Qualification rounds begin on Aug. 3 with the men. The women qualifying the following day.

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Reigning BMX racing gold medallists Mariana Pajon of Columbia and Connor Fields of the United States have moved on to the semifinals at the Tokyo Olympics.

Pajon is the only BMX rider to earn two Olympic gold medals. She won all three of her qualifying rounds to finish with three points. Her top challenger, American Alise Willoughby, also won her three qualifying runs.

Fields, gold medallist at the 2016 Rio Olympics, won two qualifying heats and finished second in another. France’s Joris Daudet and Sylvain Andre won all three of their heats.

Former world champion Niek Kimmann of the Netherlands won two heats to qualify after colliding with a race steward who had wandered onto the course during a training run on Monday.

The top four riders from each of two semifinals will move on to Friday’s finals.

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Simone Biles has expressed her gratitude on social media for the support she has received since dropping out of the women’s team gymnastics final at the Tokyo Olympics.

She withdrew after the first rotation, vault, because she said wasn’t in the right headspace to compete.

A day later, she gave up her chance to defend her all-around title.

The most decorated gymnast ever said in a tweet, “the outpouring love & support I’ve received has made me realize I’m more than my accomplishments and gymnastics which I never truly believed before.”

Biles still has not decided if she will compete in the individual events.

The women's all-around competition is Thursday night Tokyo time, while individual events start Sunday.

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MEDAL ALERT

Living up to the hype, American swimmer Caeleb Dressel has claimed the first individual Olympic gold medal of his career.

Dressel held off the defending Olympic champion, Australia’s Kyle Chalmers, with a furious sprint to the wall. The winning time was an Olympic record of 47.02 seconds.

Dressel beat Chalmers by a mere six-hundredths of a second, leaving the 2016 winner with a silver medal this time. The bronze was claimed by Russia’s Kliment Kolesenikov.

The first three gold medals of Dressel’s career were all in the relays.

Now, he’s got one earned all by himself.

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MEDAL ALERT

China has claimed its first gold medal at the Olympic pool.

Zhang Yufei turned in a dominating performance to win the women’s 200-meter butterfly with an Olympic-record time of 2 minutes, 3.86 seconds. She was more than a body length ahead of the pair of Americans, Regan Smith and Hali Flickinger.

The U.S. swimmers duelled back and forth for the silver, with Smith pulling ahead at the end to touch in 2:05.30. Flickinger earned the bronze in 2:05.65.

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Italian tennis player Fabio Fognini has apologized for yelling at himself with a homophobic slur during a loss at the Tokyo Games.

Fognini used the offensive Italian word repeatedly during the three-set defeat to Russian athlete Daniil Medvedev in the third round on Wednesday.

Fognini writes in an Instagram story that the extremely hot conditions “affected his head” and that he “used a really stupid expression toward myself.”

He adds that “obviously I didn’t want to offend anyone’s feelings” and that “I love the LGBT community and I apologize for the nonsense that I let out.”

The Instagram story was written on a rainbow background.

The often volatile Fognini was kicked out of the U.S. Open doubles tournament in 2017 for vulgarly insulting the chair umpire during his first-round loss in singles.

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MEDAL ALERT

Izaac Stubblety-Cook of Australia has won the 200-meter breaststroke at the Olympic pool in Tokyo.

Stubblety-Cook rallied on the final lap to pass Arno Kamminga of the Netherlands, who went out fast and tried to hold on. The winning time was an Olympic record of 2 minutes, 6.38 seconds as the Aussies captured their fifth gold of the swimming competition, matching the powerful American team.

Kamminga was under world-record pace through the first 150 meters, but he faded to the silver in 2:07.01. The bronze went to Finland’s Matti Mattsson in 2:07.24.

American Nic Fink finished fifth.

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MEDAL ALERT

Bobby Finke of the United States has captured gold in the debut of the men’s 800-meter swimming freestyle event at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri grabbed the silver after leading most of the race, while the bronze went to Mykhailo Romachuk of Ukraine.

It was a thrilling finish. Germany’s Florian Wellbrock grabbed the lead from Paltrinieri on the final flip, with Finke lurking back in fourth. But the American turned on a dazzling burst of speed at the end of the 16-lap race, passing all three swimmers ahead of him to take the gold.

Finke’s winning time was 7 minutes, 41.87 seconds, just 0.24 ahead of Paltrinieri. Romachuk finished in 7:42.33, knocking Wellbrock back to fourth.

The men’s 800 freestyle was added to the Olympic program for the Tokyo Games, marking the first time that approximate distance was contested by the men since there was an 880-yard race at the 1904 St. Louis Games.

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MEDAL ALERT

Italy’s Valentina Rodini and Federica Cesarini have surged over the final 50 meters to snatch the gold medal in the women’s lightweight double sculls.

The Dutch team of Marieke Keiser and Ilse Paulis had led nearly the entire race but collapsed to the bronze medal in the final 20 meters as the French team of Laura Tarantola and Claire Bove won silver.

The Dutch team nearly slipped out of the medals entirely, and only took the podium by 0.01 seconds ahead of Great Britain.

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American beach volleyball players Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil dispatched Kenya in just 25 minutes, the fastest women’s match since the Olympics adopted their current format.

The U.S. pair beat Brackcides Khadambi and Gaudencia Makokha 21-8, 21-6 to improve to 2-0 and almost certainly clinch a spot in the knockout round of 16. They have one match remaining, against Brazil on Saturday.

The match was the fastest since the international volleyball federation adopted the rally scoring and best-of-three sets format in 2002.

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MEDAL ALERT

Ireland’s duo of Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan held off a late charge from Germany’s Jonathan Rommelmann and Jason Osborne to win the gold medal in men’s lightweight double sculls.

The Irish boat looked secure through the first 1,000 meters before the Germans closed the gap with 500 to go and threatened to pull even.

A late surge over the final 200 meters sent the Irish to the win by 0.86 seconds.

Italy’s Stefano Oppo and Pietro Ruta won bronze.

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MEDAL ALERT

New Zealand’s Grace Pendergrast and Kerri Gowler have won gold in the rowing women’s pair.

The Kiwi duo won the world championship in 2019 and were favoured to grab victory in Tokyo. They are just the third non-European team to win the Olympic event and the first since 1996.

Russia’s Vasilisia Stepanova and Elena Oriabinskaia surged past Canada’s Caileigh Filmer and Hillary Janssens over the final 300 meters to take the silver medal. Canada won bronze.

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MEDAL ALERT

Croatian brothers Martin and Valent Sinkovic have dominated the men’s pair in Olympic rowing, cruising to victory in a race they led from the start.

The Croatians were the heavy favourites. They won double sculls in 2016, then switched boat disciplines and won two world championships before claiming another Olympic gold medal. They are the first men to win Olympic gold in both double sculls and the sweep pairs.

Romania’s duo of Marius Cozmiuc and Ciprian Tudosas won silver. Denmark’s Frederic Vystavel and Joachim Sutton won bronze.

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(The item on the women’s 4x200m relay has been corrected to show that it was the second swimming world record of the Games, not the first.)

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— More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

The Associated Press

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