Biles returns, Jamaican sprinters compete again on Day 11 in Tokyo

Simone Biles will make her highly anticipated bid for an individual gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday, while the men’s 400m hurdles and women’s 200m finals take center stage on the track.

American superstar gymnast Biles, who won four gold medals in Rio five years ago, has said she struggles with the “twisties,” a condition in which gymnasts lose the ability to orient themselves in the air.

She withdrew dramatically from last week’s team competition finals after one jump when Team USA took silver, saying she feared for her mental health.

The 19-time world champion then withdrew from the all-around final and three of the four apparatus finals: floor, vault and uneven bars.

But Biles will be back in the final women’s final of the Games, on beam, and all eyes will be on to see how she handles the pressure.

While not her strongest piece of equipment, the 24-year-old is a three-time world champion in beam and took an Olympic bronze in 2016.

Victory is said to be one of the great comeback stories, with Biles documenting her mental health issues during the Games in regular social media posts.

Biles had arrived in Tokyo in search of five gold medals to match the all-time Olympic record for a female competitor of nine.

The Olympic Stadium also faces a dramatic day, with potential world record bids.

Norwegian star Karsten Warholm, who broke a world record of 29 years earlier this year, will renew his rivalry with Rai Benjamin of the United States in the final of the 400m hurdles to close out the morning session.

“I’m looking forward to the final,” said Benjamin, who took silver behind Warholm at the 2019 World Championships in Doha.

“It feels great to keep going, but the work isn’t done yet.”

Another world record holder, Swede Armand Duplantis, is a firm favorite for a men’s pole vault final, which lost some of its luster with the withdrawal of world champion Sam Kendricks after a positive Covid-19 test.

Jamaican duo back to battle

The athletics program will conclude with what promises to be an exciting final in the women’s 200 meters.

Jamaicans Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will face each other again after the former denied her compatriot a record third gold in the 100m by defending her title on Saturday.

“I just have to do the best race I can, run and hope to put myself in a very good position to be on the podium,” said Fraser-Pryce, 2012 silver medalist.

Thompson-Herah, who scored a blistering 21.66 seconds in Monday’s semifinal, and Fraser-Pryce could be challenged by Shaunae Miller-Uibo, 2016 400m winner, rising American star Gabby Thomas and Namibian teen Christine Mboma.

“I’m just here for the experience,” said 18-year-old Mboma, who was banned from running the 400m due to elevated testosterone levels.

“I hope to run a good time and get a medal. I’m just doing my best.”

Elsewhere, Briton Jason Kenny will try to win his seventh Olympic gold in the men’s track cycling team sprint final.

There are also gold medals up for grabs in boxing, canoeing, diving, sailing, weightlifting and wrestling. And rock climbing will make its Olympic debut, in a controversial hybrid format.

Transgender weightlifter, Puerto Rican hurdler makes history on day 10

Tuesday’s action comes after at least two athletes made history on Monday: weightlifter Laurel Hubbard, the first transgender athlete to compete in the Games, and Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, who claimed Puerto Rico’s first-ever track and field gold as she took to victory in the 100m hurdles.

After a storm of publicity surrounding Hubbard’s involvement as the first transgender woman at an Olympics, she failed to make a successful lift in the +87kg contest won by China’s Li Wenwen.

Hubbard, 43, who was born a male and competed as a male before transitioning to a female at age 30, was allowed to compete after meeting the International Olympic Committee’s guidelines on testosterone for transgender athletes.

Her presence on the biggest stage has revived the debate about transgender athletes in women’s sports.

Before quietly leaving the arena, she made a brief statement to reporters thanking the International Olympic Committee and the International Weightlifting Federation for their support of her campaign.

“Of course I am not fully aware of the controversy surrounding my participation in these Games,” she said.

Camacho-Quinn, meanwhile, left the stadium triumphant after taking Puerto Rico’s first track and field gold in Games history (and second gold medal ever) as she stormed to victory in the 100m hurdles.

“For such a small country, it gives few people hope,” Camacho-Quinn said.

Camacho-Quinn, 24, who had set an Olympic record with 12.26 seconds in the semifinals of the women’s 100-meter hurdles, rose home to claim her first major title in 12.37 seconds.

Dutch runner Sifan Hassan also had a day to remember – she fell in her morning heat of the 1500m before picking herself up and winning the race. Just 12 hours later she was back on the track and sprinted to victory to take her first gold of the Games in the 5,000 m, winning in 14 min 36.79 sec.

The Ethiopian-born athlete is aiming for a unique 1500m, 5,000m and 10,000m triple, but said the dream would have been over without an invigorating cup of coffee.

“I was so tired. Without coffee I would never be an Olympic champion. I needed all the caffeine. I was so afraid I wouldn’t do it,” she said.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More