Olympics Latest: US beats Tunisia 3-1 in men's volleyball

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:

___

The U.S. men’s volleyball team has improved to 2-1 in pool play at the Olympics by beating Tunisia 3-1.

The Americans bounced back from a loss to the Russians on Wednesday. They knocked off the lowest-ranked team in their group 25-14, 23-25, 25-14, 25-23.

The victory keeps the U.S. in good position to advance to the quarterfinals as one of the top four teams in Pool B. Tunisia has lost all three matches so far in Tokyo.

___

MEDAL ALERT

Annemiek van Vleuten has roared to an emphatic victory in the women’s time trial at the Tokyo Olympics. That gave her a measure of revenge for some miscommunication that may have cost her gold in the road race last weekend.

The Dutch rider led by more than six seconds at the first time check, then pushed it to an astonishing 28 seconds before she put the hammer down to finish in 30 minutes, 13.49 seconds at Fuji International Speedway.

The sixth-from-last rider on the course, van Vleuten was forced to sit on the hot seat for several minutes while those who started after her finished. None of them really had a chance. Marlen Reusser of Switzerland finished more than 56 seconds back to earn the silver medal and van Vleuten’s teammate Anna van der Breggen earned bronze.

___

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and Japanese baseball great Sadaharu Oh are attending the opener of the Olympic baseball tournament and were on the field for the ceremonial first pitch in Fukushima.

They were joined by Tokyo Organizing Committee President Seiko Hashimoto and World Baseball Softball Confederation President Riccardo Fraccari as a high school baseball player from the region threw out the first pitch -- a full windup from atop the rubber.

Bach, wearing bright white gloves on both hands, fist bumped the 14-year-old before Team Japan took the field for its game against the Dominican Republic.

It’s the only Olympic baseball game being held in Fukushima, which was devastated by an earthquake and an ensuing tsunami and nuclear accident in 2011. The rest of the tournament will be held at Yokohama Baseball Stadium in Tokyo.

Baseball was restored to the Olympic slate this year for the first time since 2008. The sport will be dropped again for the 2024 Games in Paris but is expected to again be played in Los Angeles in 2028.

___

MEDAL ALERT

Britain has won the men’s 4x200-meter freestyle relay at the Olympics for the first time since 1908, but just missed a world record.

With a powerhouse group that included the 1-2 finishers in the 200 freestyle, Britain blew away the field in 6 minutes, 58.58 seconds. That was just off the world record set by the Americans (6:58.55) at the 2009 world championships.

The 200-meter gold medalist, Tom Dean, led off for the British. James Guy and Matthew Richards took the middle legs before 200-meter silver medalist Duncan Scott swam the anchor leg. It was the first British gold in the event since it made its debut at the first London Games.

Russia claimed the silver in 7:01.81, while Australia took the bronze in 7:01.84.

The four-time defending champion Americans finished fourth -- the first time they’ve failed to win a medal in the event other than the boycotted 1980 Moscow Games.

___

MEDAL ALERT

Katie Ledecky has finally collected her first gold medal of the Tokyo Games.

Ledecky has won the 1,500-meter freestyle, which made its Olympic debut for women this year. That helped the American star make up for what has so far been the worst showing of her Olympic career.

About an hour after finishing fifth in the 200-meter freestyle, Ledecky held off teammate Erica Sullivan to win the metric mile in 15 minutes, 37.34 seconds.

Sullivan claimed the silver in 15:41.41, while Germany’s Sarah Kohler grabbed the bronze in 15:42.91.

___

MEDAL ALERT

Japanese swimmer Yui Ohashi has swept the women’s individual medley at the Tokyo Olympics.

Ohashi rallied to win the 200-meter medley, beating Americans Alex Walsh and Kate Douglass. Ohashi had previously won the 400-meter individual medley.

The winning time was 2 minutes, 8.52 seconds. Walsh took the silver in 2:08.65, while the bronze went to Douglass in 2:09.04.

Defending Olympic champion and world record-holder Katinka Hosszu of Hungary finished seventh. She was the oldest swimmer in the final at age 32.

___

MEDAL ALERT

China has wrapped a record-setting first day of rowing finals by smashing the world record in women’s quadruple sculls and winning gold.

The Chinese boat finished in 6 minutes, 0.13 seconds and shaved nearly two seconds off the previous mark set by the Netherlands in 2014. The race was never close. Poland won silver more than 6 seconds behind the Chinese. Australia won bronze for that country’s fourth medal of the day.

Windy conditions produced a strong tailwind for the rowers at Tokyo’s Sea Forest Waterway, and new world or Olympic records were set in each of Wednesday’s six medal races.

___

MEDAL ALERT

Kristof Milak of Hungary has romped to a dominating victory in the men’s 200-meter butterfly at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

Milak won the the gold by about two body lengths, backing up his status as one of the biggest favorites at the Olympic pool. He touched in 1 minute, 51.25 seconds -- some 2 1/2 seconds ahead of the silver medalist, Japan’s Tomoru Honda, who finished in 1:53.73.

The bronze went to Italy’s Federico Burdisso in 1:54.45.

South African star Chad le Clos finished fifth. He won the 200 fly at the 2012 London Olympics, upsetting Michael Phelps, but was no match for the Hungarian star.

___

MEDAL ALERT

The Netherlands have set a new world record in men’s quadruple sculls with a sprint over the final 500 meters to win the gold medal.

Their time of 5 minutes, 32.03 seconds beat the previous mark of 5:32.26 set by Ukraine at the 2014 world championships.

The Dutch boat was fourth after the first 500 meters but had closed to second by the next marker. A late push overtook Great Britain for the lead.

Great Britain then held off a late charge by Australia to win silver. Australia’s bronze was the country’s third medal of the day after winning gold in men’s and women’s four.

___

MEDAL ALERT

Ariarne Titmus has beaten Katie Ledecky again at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Ledecky didn’t even win a medal -- the first time that’s ever happened to her at the Olympics.

Titmus gave the Australian women their third individual swimming gold with a victory in the 200-meter freestyle. Titmus set an Olympic record of 1 minute, 53.50 seconds to make it 2-for-2 against the American star, following up a thrilling victory in the 400m freestyle.

In the longer race, Titmus conserved her energy over the first half of the race, then rallied to pass Ledecky with the second-fastest performance in history. Ledecky wasn’t even close in the 200, making the first flip in seventh place and never getting higher than her fifth-place showing at the end. She finished in 1:55.21 -- nearly 2 seconds behind the winner.

Ledecky is facing a grueling morning that also includes the final of the 1,500 free. She’s a big favorite for gold in that race, which is new to the women’s program this year.

Italy’s Federica Pellegrini of Italy finished seventh in her fifth and final Olympics. She won the gold in 2008 and is still the world-record holder.

___

MEDAL ALERT

Australia has doubled its haul of Olympic rowing gold medals as the men’s four charged to victory moments after the Aussie women claimed their gold.

Australia had bolted to the front by the 500-meter mark and never were challenged for the lead to reach in the finish line as Romania fought a late surge by Italy to claim the silver medal. Australia’s time of 5 minutes, 42.76 set a new Olympic record.

Italy won bronze.

___

MEDAL ALERT

Australia’s women’s four set a new Olympic-best time to win the gold medal in windy conditions at Tokyo’s Sea Forest Waterway.

The Australian boat led at each marker but had to fight off the Netherlands over the last 50 meters to win in 6 minutes, 15.37 seconds, just .34 seconds ahead of the Dutch boat.

Ireland took bronze more than 5 seconds back.

The windy conditions pushing rowers at the waterpark saw Olympic best times quickly fall as the first three races all saw new standards set.

___

MEDAL ALERT

The French team of Hugo Boucheron and Matthieu Androdias has held off a late charge from the Netherlands over the final 50 meters to win the men’s double sculls by 0.2 seconds in Olympic record time of 6 minutes, 33 seconds.

China made a strong move out of the start before falling back even with the French and the Netherlands. The Dutch boat of Melvin Twellarr and Stef Broenink briefly held the lead at 1,500 meters.

Boucheron and Androdias quickly reeled in the Dutch with a powerful push that was good enough to hold off a late charge at the finish line.

China Zhiyu Liu and Liang Zhang finished third for bronze.

___

New U.S. beach volleyball partners Jake Gibb and Tri Bourne will have some more time at the Olympics to get to know one another.

The Americans had never played together before their first match in Tokyo on Sunday. They beat Switzerland 21-19, 23-21 on Wednesday to improve to 2-0 in the round-robin. They have one more match remaining, against Qatar on Friday night.

Gibb qualified for the Tokyo Games with Taylor Crabb as his partner. But Crabb tested positive for COVID-19 and withdrew, allowing Gibb to replace him. Bourne was on the third-place U.S. team in the qualifying race; each country is limited to a maximum of two spots.

Two wins should be enough to put the Americans in the knockout round. At worst, it would put leave them in a three-way tie for first and give them a tiebreaker match.

___

MEDAL ALERT

Romania’s Ancuta Bodnar and Simona Radis have won the first rowing gold medal of the Tokyo Games, in women’s double sculls.

They bolted from the start and never let up in a dominating performance.

The rowing medal events had been delayed for a day because of bad weather forecasts amid a tropical storm.

Once back on the water, the Romanians were never challenged and led by two boat lengths with just 500 meters to go. Bodnar and Radis are both just 22. Their sprint to victory left the only fight for the silver medal, where New Zealand’s Brooke Donohue and Hannah Osborne edged the Dutch boat of Roos de Jong and Lisa Scheenaard.

___

— More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/olympic-games and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Bg pattern light

UPGRADE TO PREMIUM

Subscribe to Samoa Observer Online

Enjoy access to over a thousand articles per month, on any device as well as feature-length investigative articles.

Ready to signup?