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There's a whole lot going on every day at the Tokyo Olympics. Here, we'll keep you up-to-date with everything you need to know.
Olympic story of the day: Last Dance for USWNT?
The veteran core of the U.S. women's soccer team has won two World Cups and an Olympic gold medal. But if they're going to triumph in this year's Olympics, where they've already reached the medal round, experienced stars like Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd and others are going to need more than just talent. They're going to need guile, strategy and duct tape, writes Dan Wetzel.
"There isn’t much public talk thus far about any potential finality to this tournament, but it’s there. By the time the U.S. heads to the 2023 World Cup in Australia, new blood will have to be pumped into the roster, perhaps drastically," Wetzel writes. "This isn't a sport that is typically kind to 30-somethings."
Big names, big news
Every Olympic Games offers up several big-name stars, athletes whose events you simply must watch ... if you can. The Games' biggest star, Simone Biles, announced Saturday that she would be withdrawing from the vault and uneven bars events, citing an inability to focus mentally enough to compete. Still undecided: if she will compete in floor exercises and balance beam. Elsewhere in Tokyo, swimmer Caeleb Dressel won his second individual gold, setting a new world record in the 100-meter butterfly. Katie Ledecky won her third straight gold in the 800 meter freestyle, and said she plans on being back for 2024 and 2028.
All hail the MittMobile
In Day 7's roundup, we showed you the MittMobile, the extended bullpen cart with the seat shaped like a batting glove. Today, Hannah Keyser brings you the scoop on the Olympics' greatest mode of transportation. A modified golf cart with speeds of up to 12 miles an hour, the MittMobile is part of a heralded tradition of bizarre bullpen carts, and with any luck will help bring those back to ballparks.
“It’s definitely a mixed bag of opinions on the bullpen cart,” Team Israel pitcher and Marlins minor leaguer Jake Fishman told Yahoo Sports. “Some guys prefer to run in because it creates adrenaline. Others prefer to ride the cart because it conserves energy.” But if they ride in the MittMobile, they're riding in style.
Mixed relay shocker
In the inaugural 4x400 mixed relay event, Poland won a surprising gold medal while the favored United States finished with bronze. The U.S. managed to fend off a disqualification earlier in the event, and won reinstatement when it was determined that an official incorrectly lined up one of Team USA's four runners. The mixed format, which allows both male and female runners to compete on an equal playing field, has won praise throughout this year's Games.
Djokovic's medal-round meltdown
Not only did Novak Djokovic miss out on a potential Golden Slam — winning all four majors and a gold medal in one year — he lost in the bronze medal round to Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta. Soon afterward, citing a shoulder injury, he withdrew from the mixed doubles bronze medal game, denying playing partner Nina Stojanović a chance to win bronze. The move gave women's No. 1 Ashleigh Barty and John Peers of Australia the bronze by default, also denying tennis fans a rare chance to see two No. 1s play each other. Oh, and he threw one racket into the stands and took dead aim at the Olympic logo with another:
Not a great run for Djokovic, whose next major test will be at the U.S. Open in September.
Olympics > politics
Saudi Arabian and Israeli judokas faced off against one another on Saturday, ending speculation that there would be yet another boycott of an Israeli athlete. Israel's Raz Hershko defeated Saudi Arabia's Tahani Alqahtani in the over-78kg women's weight class, then the two shook hands. It was a significant moment given that two other athletes had withdrawn from the judo competition rather than face Israeli opponents. Alqatani had faced pressure to also withdraw, but remained in the competition because of support from other quarters.
"I'm happy this match took place," Hershko said afterward. "After the match, we talked a little in the hall, but she didn't want the media to document it. We shook hands and hugged, we talked about the match, about the situation in her country. I told her I understood and that she was brave. I'm happy she eventually stood up despite everything and fought like she should. I'm happy that the sport won out."
Photo of the day
Montenegro's Nikolina Vukcevic (left) battles with South Korea's Ryu Eun-hee in a handball match. Looks bad, but this wouldn't be a foul in the NBA ... as long as it was a superstar doing the pulling, of course.
Every so often, don't we all wish we had a sign like the bus drivers in Tokyo get?
— Devin Heroux (@Devin_Heroux) July 31, 2021
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @jaybusbee or contact him at email@example.com.
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