Day four at the Tokyo Olympics will be headlined by one of the most anticipated events of 2021 — the women’s gymnastics team final. After a not-so impressive qualifying round, the Simone Biles-led U.S. women’s gymnastics team will look to reclaim its status as heavy favorites and win a third consecutive team gold medal early Tuesday in the U.S. (6:45 a.m. ET).
Team USA can also secure another gold medal in softball after a walk-off win against Japan on Monday — the same team they will face in the gold medal game at 7 a.m. ET. U.S. softball will also look to avenge a gold-medal loss in the 2008 Olympics to Japan, the last time the sport was part of the Summer Games.
Other final events occurring include four swimming events and the women’s triathlon, but all outdoor events could all face weather implications as tropical storm Nepartak is expected to hit Japan on Tuesday.
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At the age of 13, Momiji Nishiya made history on Monday as Japan’s youngest Olympic champion when she won the gold medal in the women’s street skateboard competition.
Nishiya edged another 13-year-old, Rayssa Leal from Brazil, at the Ariake Urban Sports Park. USA TODAY Sports looks back on this historic performance with seven memorable photos of Nishiya’s successful quest for gold.
Bermuda smallest country to ever win gold after triathlon win
Flora Duffy made history by winning gold in the women’s triathlon Tuesday as she made Bermuda the least-populated nation to ever win an Olympic gold medal.
The win also made Duffy the first person from Bermuda to win a medal of any kind at the Olympics since Clarence Hill in 1976. Bermuda has an estimated population of 63,903, according to World Bank. For reference, the entire population would be able to fit inside the 65,000 seat Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
Duffy broke the record held by Liechtenstein, who won gold in the 1980 Winter Olympics in alpine skiing.
Duffy held on to the victory with a time of 1:55:36. She beat out silver medalist Georgia Taylor-Brown of Great Britain, who finished with 1:56:50. Katie Zaferes of the U.S. won bronze with a time of 1:57:03.
Grace McCallum replaces Jordan Chiles in U.S. women’s gymnastics lineup
This is the Olympics of the unexpected, and that includes the U.S. women’s gymnastics lineup for Tuesday’s team final.
Grace McCallum will compete on uneven bars and balance beam rather than Jordan Chiles, despite Chiles scoring higher on both events all year. The surprise move follows Chiles’ struggles in qualifying, as the Americans finished second for the first time since the 2010 world championships.
McCallum and Simone Biles will compete on all four events while Chiles will do vault and floor exercise and Suni Lee will do uneven bars and balance beam. Teams must count all three scores on each event, meaning the choice of McCallum over Chiles is not insignificant.
Chiles had been the most dependable of the U.S. women this year, not counting a single fall in her first four meets. That’s 32 events, for those keeping track. She outscored McCallum on both bars and beam at the U.S. Classic in May, Day 1 of the U.S. championship and both days of Olympic trials.
But Chiles had a rough day in qualifying, falling twice on beam and dragging her feet across the mat during uneven bars. The Americans dropped her score on each of those events.
The lineup decision will put additional scrutiny on national team coordinator Tom Forster, who initially said the selection committee would use scoring potential to choose the Tokyo team. But he went in rank order instead, selecting McCallum over Skinner despite Skinner giving the U.S. a higher-scoring team.
Asked to explain his reasoning, Forster said the gold medal wasn’t going to be decided by tenths of a point.
“Our athletes are so strong that I don’t think it’s going to come down to tenths of a point,” he said last month. “We didn’t feel like it was worth changing the integrity of the process simply for a couple of tenths.”
— Nancy Armour
Surfing finals condensed thanks to typhoon forecast
The first-ever Olympic surfing competition has faced challenges from Mother Nature throughout the qualifying rounds, and the finals are now being condensed due to volatile weather and surf conditions.
Tokyo organizers made the decision to run both the men’s and women’s finals back to back on Tuesday morning rather than running one final Tuesday and one Wednesday,
So far, waves have been few and far between for the Olympians competing in Tsurigasaki, Japan, but an impending typhoon is likely to provide better surf conditions on Tuesday.
According to Kurt Korte, the official forecaster for the Olympic surfing competition, the storm is expected to stir up waves up to seven feet high, but high wind speeds could lead to overly-choppy waters. The surf is expected to die down by Wednesday in Japan, so the surfing competition is taking advantage of the small but promising window to give athletes a competitive final.
— Emily Adams