I Dig Sports
Soo upsets Han to take Hong Kong, China level (1-)
Hong Kong, China’s Minnie Soo Wai Yam prevented Germany from pulling further ahead as she beat Han Ying 3-1 in the second singles match. Soo took the first game 12-10 before Han, who is ranked 10 spots above Soo in the latest ITTF Senior Women’s Singles, brought Germany level by winning the second game 11-9. Soo showed her speed and tenacity against her higher-ranked rival by taking the next two games 11-9 and 11-7 to set up another exciting contest between Doo and Solja in the next match.
Germany takes early lead (1-0)
Shan Xiaona and Petrissa Solja seized the early initiative for Germany as they dispatched Lee Ho Ching and Doo Hoi Kem of Hong Kong, China in the opening doubles match 3-1. The Hongkongers took the early control when they won the first game 11-8. But that joy lasted only seven minutes as Shan and Solja swung the advantage back to Germany, winning the second game 11-5 before closing out the first match with victories in the next two games 11-7 and 15-13.
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Results: ITTF.com and Worldtabletennis.com
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games media notes are available here.
TOKYO -- A slow exchange left the American 4x100-meter relay team in an all-too-familiar spot at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday -- out of medal contention.
And this time, not even racing for one.
The team of Trayvon Bromell, Fred Kerley, Ronnie Baker and Cravon Gillespie failed to make the final after finishing sixth in their qualifying heat, extending a quarter-century of misery for the country that brings the deepest track team to the Games.
"We've definitely got to pick it up for the worlds next year, and the next Olympics, because this is unacceptable," Gillespie said afterwards.
Added Kerley: "We just didn't get the job done today. No excuses."
The United States hasn't won the Olympic 4x100 since 2000 and hasn't made it cleanly to the finish line in a final since taking a silver medal in 2012. But they gave that one back because of a doping ban against Tyson Gay.
This marked the first time the U.S. has failed to make the final since 2008, when Gay was involved in a bumbled exchange. The U.S. got DQ'd for another bad pass in the medal race in 2016.
This time, the sprinters made it around the track, but it was ugly.
Finishing the second leg, Kerley repeatedly misconnected with Baker, to the point that they were practically side by side and barely running by the time they exchanged the stick.
Baker made up some ground on a fast-disappearing field and Gillespie tried to close on the anchor leg, but China, Canada and Italy finished 1-2-3 and the rest of the field pulled away, as well.
When asked what happened on the exchanges, Baker said: "We are all running fast right now. Fred [Kerley] is running 9.8 and I am running 9.8. Trying to time that up perfectly with a couple of practices is tough."
This marks the 10th time since 1995 that the men have botched a relay at a world championships or Olympics.
The women made it through with a no-drama heat of their own and will race for the medal Friday.
Meanwhile, Hansle Parchment of Jamaica won gold in the 110-meter hurdles in 13.04 seconds by overtaking American Grant Holloway right near the end.
Holloway, the world champion, was in front through nine out of the 10 hurdles, but suddenly faded on the last. Parchment flew past him to add an Olympic gold to the bronze medal he won at the 2012 London Games.
Holloway took silver in 13.09 and another Jamaican, Ronald Levy, won the bronze in 13.10 seconds.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
American successfully defends his title with crushing victory over Joe Kovacs and Tom Walsh in Tokyo
With a huge winning throw of 23.30m, Ryan Crouser came within just 7cm of his own world record in the shot put final in Tokyo on Thursday lunchtime.
The 28-year-old American won’t mind, though. He successfully defended his Olympic title – winning the crown by more than half a metre against a quality field – and he did it with an Olympic record that might survive for quite a few years.
Crouser was one of the hottest favourites of the Games and he lived up to the billing in emphatic style. His series was ultra consistent and his rivals simply could not match it.
He threw 22.83m, 22.93m, 22.86m, 22.74m, 22.54m and 23.30m. His final effort would have been a world record if he hadn’t of course thrown 23.37m at the US Olympic Trials in June – a performance that took down Randy Barnes’ 31-year-old world mark of 23.12m.
Fellow American Joe Kovacs took silver with 22.65m while New Zealand’s Tom Walsh earned bronze with 22.47m.
It was a reversal of the epic shot put clash at the 2019 World Championships in Doha where Kovacs threw 22.91m to win narrowly from Crouser’s 22.90m and Walsh’s 22.90m.
Darlan Romani of Brazil was fourth with 21.88m and Zane Weir of Italy fifth with 21.41m.
The 25-year-old Hill appeared in 19 games last season for Arizona, going 9-9-1 record with a .913 save percentage, 2.74 goals against average and two shutouts.
Hill has appeared in 49 career games with a 19-21-4 record, 2.79 goals against average and .909 save percentage.
Two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference were unable to determine a winner as the MLS-leading New England Revolution and Nashville SC played to a scoreless draw on Wednesday night in Foxborough, Mass.
Matt Turner made a pair of saves in his return from CONCACAF Gold Cup duty for league-leading New England (11-3-4, 37 points), which extended its unbeaten streak to five games after winning four straight entering the match.
"Just a poor technical performance on our part. We did a lot of good things, had a lot of control in the game," Revolution coach Bruce Arena told the team's myTV38 telecast. "We created not enough chances and technically weren't good on the day."
Joe Willis stopped all six shots he faced to help Nashville (6-1-10, 28 points) pick up a point on the road and stretch its own unbeaten run to nine games (4-0-5).
Nashville, which beat New England 2-0 at home on May 8, has never lost to the Revolution since entering the league as an expansion side in 2020, going 1-0-3.
Revolution captain and midfielder Carles Gil was sidelined due to an injury. Gil, who leads the league with 15 assists, is expected to miss three-plus weeks as a result of a sports hernia, according to SB Nation.
Gustavo Bou gave the Revolution a chance to pull out a win in the first minute of second-half stoppage time when he floated a ball into the box for Teal Bunbury, whose header was corralled on a bounce by Willis.
Two minutes later, C.J. Sapong was able to slip a ball through the box on the other end, but Nashville was unable to maintain possession.
Before the match, four New England players -- Turner, Gil, Bou and Tajon Buchanan -- were named to the 2021 MLS All-Star Game. Injured Nashville defender Walker Zimmerman earned the first All-Star nomination in club history.
Nashville visits Inter Miami on Sunday night while New England hosts the Philadelphia Union.
The 20-year-old French defender was rashly tackled from behind by Villarreal forward Nino and received lengthy treatment at the King Power Stadium before being carried off.
Fofana was a key member of Brendan Rodgers' side in his debut campaign last season.
Leicester face Manchester City in the Community Shield on Saturday, with the new Premier League season starting the following weekend.
Asha Philip, Imani Lansiquot, Dina Asher-Smith and Daryll Neita smash five-year-old mark in Tokyo Olympics heats
Buoyed by the return of Dina Asher-Smith and anchored by in-form Daryll Neita, the British women’s 4x100m team set a national record of 41.55 in the relay heats on Thursday morning in Tokyo.
Asha Philip started things off with a bullet start before passing on to Imani-Lara Lansiquot for her leg down the back straight.
Showing no little sign of lack of fitness and racing at just after 10am local time, Asher-Smith sped around the bend as she pulled the team into a winning lead before handing over to Neita, who brought the baton home confidently.
Their time smashed the UK record of 41.77 that was set when finishing third in the Rio Olympics five years ago.
Philip said: “It was an early start for everyone. We were on a 6.40am bus but we knew we had a job to do. We wanted to put down a good time and executed the race.”
The Brits defeated the United States, whose squad of Javianne Oliver, Teahna Daniels, English Gardner and Aleia Hobbs ran 41.90, with Jamaica third, although the latter is expected to be more of a force in the final with 100m and 200m Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce to come in.
Lansiquot added: “It’s been really inspirational to see how these girls have done in the individual.”
After withdrawing from the 200m after failing to make the 100m final, there were worries that Asher-Smith might not run but she said: “In my head there was never any doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t be here today. The relay is very important, we got a bronze medal in Rio and I’ve been training hard to get ready.”
Neita added: “We’ve worked so hard although we’ve not had so much practice – and neither has the rest of the world – so to come out here and have so many good exchanges was really good.”
In the other sprint relay heat, Germany clocked 42.00 to beat Switzerland and China.
Morgan Lake makes high jump final
Britain’s Morgan Lake made her second consecutive Olympic final when she was one of 14 athletes to clear the automatic qualifying height of 1.95m.
Lake finished equal 10th in Rio and will be hoping to improve on that in a high quality final on Saturday.
Also qualifying were world champion Mariya Lasitskene of Russia and gold medal favourite Yaroslava Mahuchikh.
Lake’s training partner and team-mate Emily Borthwick equalled her 1.93m PB on her second attempt but such was the standard it was not quite good enough to progress.
It was a day of upsets Wednesday at the U.S. Women’s Amateur.
Not only did the top seed, medalist Rachel Kuehn, fall in the opening round of match play at Westchester Country Club in Rye, New York, but so, too, did seven of the top eight seeds, as well as Rose Zhang, far and away the top-ranked women’s amateur in the world and the event’s defending champion.
Then again, that’s match play.
Kuehn, a rising junior at Wake Forest, drew Kentucky’s Marissa Wenzler in the Round of 64. Wenzler had survived a 12-for-2 playoff a day earlier for the last ticket into match play, and she carried that momentum – which built upon her brilliant week last month at the Women’s Western Amateur, where she medaled and won the match-play title – into her bout with Kuehn.
Trailing 2 down through six holes, Wenzler birdied the par-5 ninth to tie the match back up before building a 2-up lead of her own. She would close out Kuehn on the par-5 18th hole with another birdie.
“Being the one seed comes with perks and cons,” Wenzler said. “When you're the one seed, I think it's more nerve-wracking because you're expected to play better and [win]. At the same time, when you're in an event like this, your seeding doesn’t matter.”
Added Kuehn, who became the fifth No. 1 seed since 2010 to lose in the opening round of match play: “Marissa played great. I had a couple bounces not go my way and a couple that went hers, and that's golf.”
Wenzler will be joined in Thursday morning’s Round of 32 by her college teammate, Jensen Castle, who was the other player to advance out of Tuesday evening’s playoff. Castle took down second-seeded Kennedy Pedigo of SMU, 3 and 2.
Arkansas’ Brooke Matthews, the third seed, was the only top-8 seed to win her opening match. Matthews routed Brittany Shin, 5 and 4.
Zhang was the 30th seed after a so-so stroke-play performance, but the incoming Stanford freshman, fresh off her victory at the U.S. Girls’ Junior and made cut at the Evian Championship, seemed to have found her groove on the back nine in her match against Penn sophomore Elle Nachmann, who back in 2017 became the youngest player to qualify for three USGA women’s championships in the same year, when, at age 14, she earned her way into the U.S. Women’s Amateur, U.S. Girls’ Junior and U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball.
Zhang made six birdies and led 2 up with six holes to play, but Nachmann didn’t quit. She won three of the next four holes to grab a 1-up lead, and then she sunk an 8-footer for birdie at the last to edge Zhang, who had won 15 of her last 16 USGA matches.
“I'm feeling amazing,” Nachmann said. “I knew that she was going to be a tough competitor. It really, really makes me confident.”
Nachmann didn’t hit a single college-golf shot as a freshman as the Ivy League chose not to compete last season because of the pandemic. However, she’s had a spectacular summer, winning the Florida Women’s Amateur Stroke Play last month after finishing runner-up to LSU’s Kendall Griffin in the Florida Women’s Amateur. She also medaled in her U.S. Women’s Amateur qualifier and came within a shot of qualifying for the U.S. Women’s Open.
Even after those results, though, the Boca Raton, Florida, native was still ranked No. 1,968 in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking entering this week. Zhang, of course, was No. 1, but she’s the only one of four Stanford players to be headed home Wednesday – Rachel Heck, Aline Krauter and Brooke Seay all won to advance to the Round of 32.
“Coming into this week I just didn't have the best game,” Zhang said. “I had to grind through stroke play, and then in match play obviously you can't make any mistakes.”
Wednesday's match results
- Marissa Wenzler, Dayton, Ohio (150) def. Rachel Kuehn, Asheville, N.C. (138), 1 up
- Hailey Borja, Lake Forest, Calif. (146) def. Yilin (Angela) Liu, Irvine, Calif. (146), 3 and 2
- Valeria Mendizabal, Guatemala (144) def. Laney Frye, Nicholasville, Ky. (148), 2 and 1
- Valentina Rossi, Argentina (144) def. Hannah Holzmann, San Antonio, Texas (148), 19 holes
- Katie Cranston, Canada (149) def. Morgan Baxendale, Windermere, Fla. (143), 4 and 3
- Tess Blair, South Jordan, Utah (147) def. Kennedy Swann, Austin, Texas (145), 5 and 3
- Emilia Migliaccio, Cary, N.C. (143) def. Ting-Hsuan Huang, Chinese Taipei (149), 22 holes
- Brooke Seay, San Diego, Calif. (145) def. Savannah Barber, Fort Worth, Texas (147), 3 and 2
- Cara Heisterkamp, Westlake, Ohio (149) def. Erica Shepherd, Greenwood, Ind. (142), 19 holes
- Mika Jin, Fremont, Calif. (146) def. Lauren Hartlage, Elizabethtown, Ky. (146), 2 and 1
- Aneka Seumanutafa, Emmitsburg, Md. (144) def. Audrey Tan, Malaysia (148), 1 up
- Aline Krauter, Germany (148) def. Clare Connolly, Chevy Chase, Md. (145), 5 and 3
- Emma McMyler, San Antonio, Texas (149) def. Caroline Canales, Calabasas, Calif. (142), 2 and 1
- Xin (Cindy) Kou, People's Republic of China (146) def. Lauren Peter, Carmel, N.Y. (145), 3 and 2
- Yu-Chiang Hou, Chinese Taipei (148) def. Alessia Nobilio, Italy (144), 3 and 2
- Bibilani Liu, Cupertino, Calif. (147) def. Grace Summerhays, Scottsdale, Ariz. (145), 3 and 1
- Jensen Castle, West Columbia, S.C. (150) def. Kennedy Pedigo, Fort Worth, Texas (140), 3 and 2
- Sophie Linder, Carthage, Tenn. (146) def. Bridget Ma, Windermere, Fla. (146), 22 holes
- Jenny Bae, Suwanee, Ga. (144) def. Bailey Davis, White Plains, Md. (148), 3 and 2
- Anna Morgan, Spartanburg, S.C. (148) def. Cory Lopez, Mexico (144), 1 up
- Rianne Mikhaela Malixi, Philippines (149) def. Allysha Mae Mateo, Mililani, Hawaii (143), 19 holes
- Valery Plata, Colombia (146) def. Julia Gregg, Farmers Branch, Texas (145), 5 and 4
- Sophie (Yixian) Guo, People's Republic of China (143) def. Maisie Filler, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (149), 3 and 2
- Emily Mahar, Australia (147) def. Maddison Hinson-Tolchard, Australia (145), 2 up
- Brooke Matthews, Rogers, Ark. (141) def. Brittany Shin, Cape Coral, Fla. (149), 5 and 4
- Elle Nachmann, Boca Raton, Fla. (146) def. Rose Zhang, Irvine, Calif. (146), 1 up
- Rachel Heck, Memphis, Tenn. (144) def. Karen Tsuru, Carlsbad, Calif. (148), 7 and 5
- Grace Kim, Australia (148) def. Celeste Dao, Canada (144), 1 up
- Kailie Vongsaga, Diamond Bar, Calif. (149) def. Alyaa Abdulghany, Malaysia (143), 1 up
- Riley Smyth, Cary, N.C. (145) def. Suthavee Chanachai, Thailand (146), 3 and 1
- Kan Bunnabodee, Thailand (143) def. Alyson Bean, Murrieta, Calif. (149), 1 up
- Emma Spitz, Austria (147) def. Jackie Rogowicz, Yardley, Pa. (145), 3 and 2
Thursday's matches, tee times (ET)
- 7 a.m. Marissa Wenzler, Dayton, Ohio (150) vs. Hailey Borja, Lake Forest, Calif. (146)
- 7:10 a.m. Valeria Mendizabal, Guatemala (144) vs. Valentina Rossi, Argentina (144)
- 7:20 a.m. Katie Cranston, Canada (149) vs. Tess Blair, South Jordan, Utah (147)
- 7:30 a.m. Emilia Migliaccio, Cary, N.C. (143) vs. Brooke Seay, San Diego, Calif. (145)
- 7:40 a.m. Cara Heisterkamp, Westlake, Ohio (149) vs. Mika Jin, Fremont, Calif. (146)
- 7:50 a.m. Aneka Seumanutafa, Emmitsburg, Md. (144) vs. Aline Krauter, Germany (148)
- 8 a.m. Emma McMyler, San Antonio, Texas (149) vs. Xin (Cindy) Kou, People's Republic of China (146)
- 8:10 a.m. Yu-Chiang Hou, Chinese Taipei (148) vs. Bibilani Liu, Cupertino, Calif. (147)
- 8:20 a.m. Jensen Castle, West Columbia, S.C. (150) vs. Sophie Linder, Carthage, Tenn. (146)
- 8:30 a.m. Jenny Bae, Suwanee, Ga. (144) vs. Anna Morgan, Spartanburg, S.C. (148)
- 8:40 a.m. Rianne Mikhaela Malixi, Philippines (149) vs. Valery Plata, Colombia (146)
- 8:50 a.m. Sophie (Yixian) Guo, People's Republic of China (143) vs. Emily Mahar, Australia (147)
- 9 a.m. Brooke Matthews, Rogers, Ark. (141) vs. Elle Nachmann, Boca Raton, Fla. (146)
- 9:10 a.m. Rachel Heck, Memphis, Tenn. (144) vs. Grace Kim, Australia (148)
- 9:20 a.m. Kailie Vongsaga, Diamond Bar, Calif. (149) vs. Riley Smyth, Cary, N.C. (145)
- 9:30 a.m. Kan Bunnabodee, Thailand (143) vs. Emma Spitz, Austria (147)
Nuno Espirito Santo said he has yet to speak with Harry Kane and admitted Tottenham have to "solve the problem" of the striker's future as he continues to seek a record-breaking move to Manchester City.
Kane missed Wednesday's 2-2 friendly draw at Chelsea after failing to report for preseason training at the start of the week as planned, but is expected back at the weekend presuming he tests negative for COVID-19 following his holiday in the Caribbean.
City are keen on pursuing a deal for the striker but Spurs value Kane at around £150 million and are reluctant to let him go given he has three years remaining on a £200,000-a-week contract.
Kane believes he has a gentleman's agreement with chairman Daniel Levy to depart this summer, creating a stalemate Spurs head coach Nuno says they need to resolve in the coming days.
"It is not that I don't want to comment -- all this issue related to Harry, I believe we should discuss internally among us and try to avoid any kind of public argument or discussion about it," he said on Wednesday night.
"Us, we have to focus on what is important. We have to solve the situation but first between us. We solve the situation internally with the club. Speaking and trying to reach a better solution and conclusion to this situation."
Pushed on whether he had spoken with Kane, Nuno added: "The answer I will give you is I expect to speak with Harry soon and I haven't had the chance yet. Anything in relation to Harry is internal so first of all we have to first of all solve the problems ourselves and then I will speak with you."
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel also spoke about his team's summer business following the draw, calling Internazionale's Romelu Lukaku, who has been linked with the team, a "fantastic" forward before quickly adding he wouldn't comment on another team's player.
"I will not talk about players who don't play in my squad. He is a fantastic player, but a player from Inter and with all due respect I will not talk about him," said Tuchel, who lost long-time striker Olivier Giroud to AC Milan.
"I think with the exit from Olivier Giroud from the type of players we could use a player used to playing with their back to goals, whose strength is to keep possession from long balls.
"So we can add this direct style of play to our portfolio and this is the characteristic of player that is not Tammy [Abraham], Timo [Werner] or Kai [Havertz], so this is a profile we don't have in the squad.
"We are relaxed and very well aware of our situation at the same time."
Uruguay are determined to prove that the four stars on their crest correspond to four World titles won.
Puma, sponsors of the Uruguay national teams, communicated on Tuesday to the Uruguay Football Association (AUF) that FIFA had told them to remove two of the four stars above Uruguay's crest in time for the 2022 World Cup.
The demand was made after Puma presented the design of the Uruguay shirt to a FIFA commission, but football's world governing body has yet to notify the AUF.
Two of the stars correspond to the Olympic gold medals won by Uruguay in Paris in 1924 and in Amsterdam four years later that were considered world championships at the time.
Uruguay won the inaugural World Cup they hosted in 1930 and lifted the trophy again 20 years later when they stunned Brazil, 2-1, at the Maracana.
AUF said they were surprised that FIFA is now questioning their football heritage and reiterate that their position "is very clear."
"FIFA has always recognised, even publicly, that Uruguay has four World Cups because in 1924 and 1928 it [the Olympic football tournament] was organised by FIFA and it's in 1930 when they decided to do the championships independently," AUF vice president Gaston Tealdi said.
AUF are preparing documents to prove the validity of those stars.
"It's an opportunity to regularise the situation and if this has to give rise to an express acknowledgement, it is welcomed," Tealdi said.