Texans In Tokyo: Biles Out Of All-Around, 3X3 Women's Basketball Wins Gold, Archer Back On Target
The U.S. continues to lead all countries with 30 medals at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. But the country's most decorated gymnast has exited competition due to stress and concerns over her own well-being.
Gymnastics star Simone Biles has decided to withdraw from the all-around competition at the Olympics to concentrate on her well-being, according to USA Gymnastics. University of Texas Longhorn Drew Kibler and the rest of the men's 4x200m freestyle swim relay team placed fourth, falling short of their medal hopes. Archer Mackenzie Brown has regained her accuracy during individual play.
Here's what you need to know about the Texans competing at the Olympics on July 28:
Mackenzie Brown entered the Olympics with hopes of medaling in one of the game's newest events — mixed team archery.
Sadly, she and her partner Brady Ellison — second in men's qualifying — were eliminated during their first match. Plus, Brown was again denied a chance at the podium when the U.S. women's archery team was eliminated from the competition in the quarterfinals.
But on Tuesday Brown began competing in the women's individual archery event and was able to rack up wins against Germany and China. She's moving onto the round of eight.
Brown's competitor has not been decided yet, but the event kicks off at 7:43 p.m. CT on Thursday.
Despite a loss to Tokyo in the seeding round, the USA's 3x3 Women's Basketball team entered the medal play with a top seed. That meant the team was able to take a day off on Tuesday.
But play picked back up on Wednesday and the U.S. defeated a tough French team. France had entered the tournament as the top-ranked 3x3 women's team in the world. The final score was 18-16.
Dallas Wings star Allisha Gray finished with six points and led the team's defensive efforts against France.
After defeating France, the U.S moved onto the Gold medal game against the Russian Olympic Committee. They defeated the Russians 18-15. And Stephanie Dolson, who plays for the Chicago Sky in the WNBA, led the way with 7 points.
“It is incredible,” Dolson told NPR. “Basketball runs deep in the USA and to pull this off and win gold is incredible.”
The U.S. Men's Basketball Team played the second game of group play on Wednesday and they routed the Iranian team 120 to 66.
Team U.S.A. is coached by San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. And Popovich has received a lot of criticism during the Olympics because of an early loss in group play to France, as well as exhibition losses to Nigeria and Australia.
Pop and Team USA will take on the Czech Republic in the next game of group play. And will need to either win or lose by a small margin to advance to medals play.
Plano's Connor Fields will compete in the men's BMX event on Wednesday at 8:12 p.m. Fields has represented the U.S in Olympic play twice before. And he became the first American to win an Olympic BMX gold at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
"We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being," said USA Gymnastics in a tweet. "Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many."
Biles decision to not compete in the Gymnastics All-Around competition comes after she removed herself from the Women's Team competition.
At the time, many assumed she was injured because USA Gymnastics had said Biles' exit was due to "medical" purposes. And they said her return to play would be re-examined on a "day-to-day" circumstance.
But Biles later revealed that stress was the reason for her exit. She told the media that withdrawing was what she believed was best for herself and her team.
The USA Women's Gymnastics team won Silver in the team competition without Biles competing in either the balance beam or uneven bars events.
For the first time, the United States failed to medal in a swimming relay at the Olympic Games.
The men's 4x200m freestyle relay team was edged out by Australia by a little more than a half-second to take the bronze.
After the loss, former Olympian Michael Phelps questioned coaching decisions made by the U.S. He was most offended by the call to leave Caeleb Dressel off the final foursome. Phelps called the move “shocking” during his comments on TV for NBC Sports.
“In my opinion, he’s probably the best 200 freestylers in the world,” Phelps said. “He could probably put up one of the best times that we’ve seen. Leaving him off that relay, to me, I think it makes it a lot harder to win the gold medal.”
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