Texans In Tokyo: Biles Snags Bronze, U.S. Men's Basketball Advances To Semifinals & More
Star gymnast Simone Biles returned to the competition today, and she won a bronze medal in the balance beam event. The U.S. is currently tied with China for the most medals at the games. But China's 32 gold medals are atop the leaderboard. The United States has a chance to make up ground in a couple of Track & Field events taking place this morning.
Here's a look at everything you need to know about the Texans in Tokyo on Aug. 3:
For more than a decade, Spain has been the U.S. Men's Basketball Team's biggest rival in international play. The teams have competed for gold medals in 2008 and 2012. Just in 2019, when the U.S. was bounced from the FIBA World Championships, the Spanish team took home the top prize.
But today, lead on-court by former UT Longhorn Kevin Durant's 29 points, the Americans knocked the Spaniards from the tournament.
The U.S. Team is coached by San Antonio's Gregg Popovich. He's gotten a lot of heat during the Olympics because many outside of Team U.S.A. feel like the players have underachieved. But Coach Pop has tried to remind folks in the media that international basketball is different than the NBA.
One sign of proof might be this: Spain's point guard Ricky Rubio scored 38 points in today's game. In his 12 years in the NBA, he's never reached that height.
Also, the U.S. Women's Basketball team has continued its decades-long dominance during the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Tonight, they play Australia in the quarterfinals. If they win, it will be their 53rd consecutive win.
After Simone Biles withdrew from the Women's All-Around Finals event due to mental exhaustion and concern for her well-being, not many people thought they'd see the 24-year-old in any other Olympic events. But Biles decided she wanted to give it a go one more time.
She won a bronze medal on Tuesday morning in the Balance Beam event.
“I wasn’t expecting to medal,” Biles told the media. “To have one more opportunity to be at the Olympics meant the world to me.”
Biles landed her bronze medal with a score of 14.0.
Gold medalist Sunisa Lee also performed in the balance beam event. She placed fifth with a 13.866.
Track & Field
Texas A&M Aggie Athing Mu won the Olympic gold medal in the women's 800-meter race on Tuesday morning. Her time was 1:55.21, which is a new American record. Mu's victory is the first time an American woman has won the 800 since the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.
The 19-year-old Mu wasn't the only American with ties to Texas on the podium. Houston native Raevyn Rogers also ran in the women's 800-meter race. She placed third and will bring a bronze medal home to the Lone Star State.
24-year-old Gabrielle "Gabby" Thomas also competed on Tuesday morning and the former Texas Longhorn won bronze in the Women's 200-meter race.
Thomas is often referred to as the "third-fastest woman of all time" due to her 21.61 seconds race time in the 2020 U.S. Olympic trials. But today, she was defeated by Jamaica's Elaine Thompson-Herah. (Thompson-Herah became the first woman to win back to back gold medals in the 100-meter and 200-meter races in the 2016 and 2021 Olympics.)
Pole vaulter KC Lightfoot and shot putter Ryan Crouser were the other two Americans with ties to Texas that competed today.
Lightfoot, a former Baylor Bear, placed fourth in the pole vaulting medals event. His American teammate Chris Nilsen landed a silver medal but fell to Sweden's Armand Duplantis.
Crouser placed 1st in Men's Shot Put pool play. He will compete for a gold medal in the final tomorrow night at 9:05 p.m. CT.
Here are some other noteworthy track & field results you ought to know:
- College Station native and Texas A&M grad Maggie Malone placed first in her javelin throwing heat. She'll compete for gold Friday, Aug. 6 at 6:50 AM CT.
- Ariana Ince, from Gonzales, placed 15th in her heat and will not be throwing the javelin in the final.
- Texas A&M grad Annie Kunz will compete in today's Women's Heptathlon event. That's at 7:51 p.m. CT.
- Benard Keter, a Texas Tech Red Raider, placed 11th in the 3,000-meter steeplechase final on Monday.
- Melissa González, who was born in El Paso and who graduated from Carrollton Creekview High School, ran the Women's 400-meter hurdle race for Colombia. She placed sixth in the semifinal.
- Middle-distance runner Bryce Hoppel completed Olympic competition on Monday with a fifth-place finish in the Men's 800-meter semifinal.
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