Tokyo Olympics live updates: USWNT beats Netherlands in penalty kicks, US swimmers medal

·24 min read

The USWNT defeated the Netherlands in the Olympic quarterfinals in penalty kicks after regulation and overtime ended in a 2-2 tie.

The team redeemed its early exit from the Rio Olympics in 2016 with the PK victory and will play Canada in the the semifinals Aug. 2.

The U.S. women's basketball team continued its dominant Olympic performance against Japan in group play, defeating the home team 86-69. A'ja Wilson led the American squad, notching her second double-double of the Games.

Track and field is finally underway at the Tokyo Olympics as opening qualifying rounds began Friday morning. At the 2016 Games in Rio, the U.S. led all countries with 32 track and field medals.

DAY 8 ACTION: Live updates from the pool, track on Saturday in Tokyo

In swimming, two-time Olympic gold medalist Lilly King, who won bronze in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke earlier this week, took home silver in the 200 breaststroke final, with teammate Annie Lazor getting bronze. In addition, Ryan Murphy claimed a silver in the men's 200 backstroke.

U.S. swimmers Lilly King and Annie Lazor celebrate their medal-winning performances in the women's 200-meter breaststroke at Tokyo Aquatics Centre.
U.S. swimmers Lilly King and Annie Lazor celebrate their medal-winning performances in the women's 200-meter breaststroke at Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

THURSDAY RECAP: Suni Lee wins women's all-around title, U.S. swimmers continue gold rush

LATEST FROM TOKYO: Sign up for our Olympic newsletter to get exclusive insight

OLYMPIC TEXT ALERTS: We'll be your guide to the Games with the inside scoop sent directly to your phone

US MEDAL WINNERS: Full list of every American who has earned hardware in Tokyo

USWNT moving on to semifinals

YOKOHAMA, Japan — The U.S. women’s team is into the semifinals.

The Americans needed penalty kicks, but Alyssa Naeher made two big saves to beat the Netherlands on Friday in a rematch of the 2019 World Cup final. Naeher stopped Vivianna Miedema on the first shot, and Aniek Nouwen on the fourth.

Rose Lavelle, Alex Morgan, Christen Press and Megan Rapinoe all made theirs to give the Americans the win. They will play Canada in Monday’s semifinals.

USWNT going to penalty kicks against Netherlands

YOKOHAMA, Japan — For a second consecutive Olympics, the USWNT is going to penalty kicks in the quarterfinals.

Four years after making their earliest exit ever from a major tournament when they lost to Sweden on PKs, the Americans face the same scenario against the Dutch. The game is tied 2-2, thanks to Alyssa Naeher standing on her head. She saved a penalty kick in the 81st minute and made another spectacular diving save in the 103rd.

The Americans had two goals waved off in overtime for being offside. The USWNT have had nine goals disallowed in four games in Tokyo.

The winner of the game plays Canada in Monday’s semifinals.

USWNT, Netherlands heading to extra time

YOKOHAMA, Japan – We’re headed for overtime!

Alyssa Naeher saved a penalty kick in the 81st minute of the USWNT’s quarterfinal match against the Dutch, diving to her left and blocking Danielle van de Donk’s shot with her hands. The ball rolled past the edge of the goal, ending the threat from the Netherlands. The U.S. women had scored twice in a three-minute span late in the first half, only to have Vivianne Miedema tie the game in the 54th with her 10th goal of the Olympic tournament.

The teams will play two 15-minute halves. If the game remains tied, it will go to penalty kicks.

The winner of the game plays Canada in the semifinals Monday.

--Nancy Armour

Exciting track and field final

TOKYO — The first track and field Olympic final didn’t disappoint.

In hot and humid conditions, Ethiopia’s Selemon Barega accelerated in the final lap and crossed the finish line with a time of 27:43.22 to win the men’s 10,000 meters. Barega is the first track and field gold medalist at the Tokyo Olympics.

Ugandan pair Joshua Cheptegei (27:43.63) and Jacob Kiplimo (27:43.88) finished second and third, respectively. Cheptegei, the 2019 world champion in the event, was the favorite heading into the 10,000-meter final, but Barega relied on a late kick to win his first Olympic gold medal.

Barega’s wins brings Ethiopia back to glory in the 10,000 meters. Ethiopians Haile Gebrselassie (1996 and 2000) and Kenenisa Bekele (2004 and 2008) were each back-to-back Olympic winners in the event before a gold medal drought in two Olympics.

“We have been winners in the 10,000-meter competition. Since Kenenisa Bekele, we have been unable to achieve a gold medal,” Barega said. “Now winning a gold medal in Tokyo, it seems like it’s making history.”

American Grant Fisher’s time of 27:46.39 was good enough for fifth.

--Tyler Dragon

Netherlands ties it up against USWNT

YOKOHAMA, Japan — Vivianne Miedema strikes again.

The Dutch forward scored her Tokyo-high 10th goal in the 54th minute, threading the ball through Julie Ertz’s legs to tie the quarterfinal against the U.S. women 2-2. It was Miedema’s second goal of the game, having put the Netherlands on the board first in the 18th minute. But the USWNT scored two in three minutes to take a 2-1 lead in the 31st.

The winner of this game plays Canada in the semifinals Monday.

--Nancy Armour

USWNT responds quickly

YOKOHAMA, Japan — That turned quite quickly.

After giving up an early goal in their quarterfinal match against the Netherlands, the U.S. women scored twice in three minutes. Lynn Williams and Sam Mewis were responsible for both goals. In the 28th minute, Williams juked a defender and served the ball into the box where Mewis, her teammate on the NWSL’s Carolina Courage, headed it home.

In the 31st, Mewis got the rebound off a Tobin Heath corner kick and headed it backward, where Williams brought it down with her foot and shot past Sari Van Veenendaal for the go-ahead goal.

Team United States midfielder Julie Ertz (8) dribbles the ball in front of Team Netherlands forward Lieke Martens (11) during the first half.
Team United States midfielder Julie Ertz (8) dribbles the ball in front of Team Netherlands forward Lieke Martens (11) during the first half.

The game is a rematch of the 2019 World Cup final. The USWNT beat the Dutch 2-0 to win its fourth title.

USWNT has surprise lineup for quarterfinal vs. Netherlands

YOKOHAMA, Japan — This isn’t the lineup most would have expected for the U.S. women’s must-win game against Netherlands.

Alex Morgan, Christen Press, Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle are on the bench for the Friday night’s quarterfinal match. Lynn Williams is starting up top for the reigning World Cup champions along with Carli Lloyd and Tobin Heath. Sam Mewis, Julie Ertz and Lindsey Horan are in the midfield.

The Americans have looked lackluster so far at the Tokyo Olympics, being held scoreless in two of their first three games and playing for a draw against Australia in their final Group G game. They can’t afford another anemic effort, and perhaps this is coach Vlatko Andonovski’s way of shaking things up.

But it’s a big gamble. The Dutch have become one of the sport’s powerhouses, winning the European title in 2017 and losing to the Americans in the final of the 2019 World Cup. They lead the Olympic tournament with 21 goals, and Vivianne Miedema is the top scorer with eight goals.

Should the U.S. women win, they would play the winner of Brazil-Canada in the semifinals Monday.

-- Nancy Armour

Mackenzie Brown falls short of medaling in archery

TOKYO — Mackenzie Brown came within one match Friday of winning the first U.S. Olympic women’s archery individual medal since 1976.

Brown advanced to the semifinals at Yumenoshima Park before losing 6-5 in a shootout to eventual gold medalist An San of Korea. She then fell 7-1 in the bronze medal match to Italy’s Lucilla Boari.

“I’m really happy with how I fought and performed,” Brown said. “I’m disappointed with the circumstances and with the outcome, but not by any stretch disappointed with myself or anything I did. I did everything that was within my power so I’m very proud of myself.”

Brown, 26, of Flint, Texas, did not elaborate on the circumstances bothering her, but did speak about the difficulty of shooting in a stadium without spectators and other issues related to COVID protocol.

The last U.S. women’s individual medalist was Luann Ryan in 1976 when archery was competing under a different format without elimination matches. Brown matched a fourth place showing by Khatuna Lorig in 2012.

American women have not won a team medal since 1988.

Brown rallied from 4-2 and 5-3 down in her quarterfinal to beat Mexico’s Alejandra Valencia in a one-arrow shootout. Both shot 10 with Brown closer to the center by .17 centimeters.

In the semifinal against No. 1 seed An, Brown trailed 4-2 before shooting 30 in the fourth set and split the fifth. In the shootout, An shot 10 while Brown was narrowly in the nine ring. An won her third gold medal here, prevailing in another shootout (10-8) in the gold medal match over Elena Osipova (Russian Olympic Committee).

Against Boari, for the bronze, Brown shot well in the first two sets but trailed 3-1. Brown’s first arrow in the third set was seven in a 28-25 loss. Boari shot seven on her second arrow in the fourth set but Brown followed with an eight in a 27-26 match deciding loss.

“My last straight set (28-28) in the semifinal match, I thought I had that one,” Brown said. “It just shows what I’m capable of shooting against Mexico and Korea. I shot good shots. I did what I was supposed to do.”

Brown was seeded fifth after the ranking round. She and world No. 1 men’s archery Brady Ellison lost in the first round of mixed team, and the U.S. women’s team lost in the quarterfinals.

Her improvement individually “had everything to do with my confidence and my abilities,” Brown said. “Getting used to the fact this is the weirdest finals venue you will ever see unless there is another round of COVID that happens. There’s nobody (spectators) to add pressure or to help encourage you.”

Archery concludes Saturday with the men’s individual medals awarded. No. 2 seed Ellison, a 2016 Rio Olympic bronze medalist, shoots against fellow American Jacob Wukie in the round of 16.

-- Jeff Metcalfe

Xander Schauffele helps put U.S. at top of golf stroke play leaderboard

KAWAGOE, Japan — A furious finish from Xander Schauffele put an American atop the leaderboard during the second round of the men’s golf stroke play tournament.

Schauffele carded a pair of eagles – one on the drivable green of the par-4 sixth hole, where his tee shot came within eight feet. Following his second eagle on No. 14, a manageable par 5, he finished par, birdie, birdie, birdie to shoot 63 (8-under-par) on the day and 11-under for the tournament, while overtaking Carlos Ortiz (10-under) of Mexico for first.

The performance from Schauffele followed a weather delay due to lightning in the area that stopped action for about 90 minutes. It was the second straight day storms forced an action stoppage; officials called another delay at 5:20 p.m. local time, minutes after Schauffele sunk his final birdie.

Fellow Americans Patrick Reed and Collin Morikawa sit eight shots back of their teammate, and Justin Thomas is at 1-under for the tournament with one hole remaining in the second round.

-- Chris Bumbaca

Krysta Palmer, Hailey Hernandez reach 3m springboard semis

TOKYO — U.S. divers Krysta Palmer and Hailey Hernandez competed in the women’s individual three-meter springboard preliminary on Friday and both advanced to the semifinal round.

Hernandez, 18, finished sixth with 309.55 points in the field of 27 divers. Her best dive of the preliminary was a forward three and a half somersaults tuck that she executed in the second round, which ranked fourth among competitors.

The Southlake, Texas native’s best international performance in the event came in 2019 when she placed first in the FINA Diving Grand Prix. At the FINA Diving World Cup in 2018, Hernandez finished in ninth place. A recent high school graduate, Hernandez begins her freshman year at the University of Texas in Austin in a few weeks.

Palmer, 29, took 15th place with 279.10 points. The first-time Olympian also competed in the women’s synchronized three-meter springboard with partner Alison Gibson, where she placed eighth in the field of eight. Palmer was the 2019 national champion in three-meter synchronized diving.

The semifinal is on Saturday, July 31 at 3 p.m. local time. The top 12 divers will qualify for the final, which is on Sunday, August 1 at 3 p.m. local time.

-- Olivia Reiner

Olympics swimmers question whether Russian gold medalist is a doper

TOKYO — The controversy over the International Olympic Committee’s decision to allow about 330 athletes from Russia to compete at these Games despite years of state-sponsored doping finally bubbled to the surface Friday at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre after the men’s 200-meter backstroke, where the silver and bronze medalist called into question the Russian gold medalist’s victory.

“It is a huge mental drain on me … that I’m swimming in a race that’s probably not clean,” Ryan Murphy, one of the captains of the U.S. Olympic swimming team, told reporters in the mixed zone after winning the silver medal behind Russia’s Evgeny Rylov.

“It frustrates me, but I have to swim the field that’s next to me,” Murphy said. “I don’t have the bandwidth to train for the Olympics at a very high level and try to lobby the people who are making the decisions that they’re making the wrong decisions.”

-- Christine Brennan

MORE: Russian Olympic Committee tweets about doping claims

Maggie Steffens sets Olympic record in U.S. women's water polo win

The U.S. women's water polo team rebounded from a rare Olympics loss to overwhelm ROC, 18-5, in preliminary play on Friday.

In the win, Maggie Steffens became the all-time leading scorer in Olympic women's water polo. She now has 49 career goals.

Steffens and Stephanie Haralabidis led the U.S. with four goals apiece against ROC. Paige Hauschild had three goals and Makenzie Fischer added two. Four other players had a goal apiece.

After opening the Olympics with wins over Japan (25-4) and China (12-7), the U.S. lost to Hungary (10-9) on Wednesday. With Friday's win over the Russian Olympic Committee, the U.S. finished group play 3-1 and will advance to the quarterfinals, which take place Tuesday.

U.S. women's hoops team beats Japan

TOKYO – After getting pushed by Nigeria in its Olympic opener, the U.S. women's basketball team had a tough time putting away Japan on Friday in its second game of pool play. Though the final score ended up 86-69, this was essentially a 10-point game for the entire second half until a couple 3-pointers for the Americans finally broke it open with fewer than three minutes remaining.

Japan proved tough to defend with its ball movement and spacing, continually generating open looks from the perimeter. Early in the game, Japan made those shots in flurries and actually led 30-28 after the first quarter.

Ultimately, Japan couldn’t keep up that pace and finished 10-of-38 from the 3-point line.

Team USA led 49-40 at halftime but couldn’t extend its lead beyond that, largely due to 17 turnovers – which was also a problem in the Americans’ 81-72 win over Nigeria.

Unsurprisingly, the U.S. dominated in the post where Brittney Griner had 15 points (7-of-11 shooting) while A’Ja Wilson finished with 20 points (9-of-15) and 10 rebounds.

The U.S. concludes group play against France on Monday.

-- Dan Wolken

Simone Biles still dealing with 'twisties'

Simone Biles is having the “twisties” on all four events, something she’s never experienced before, and it raises new doubts about whether she’ll be able to compete again at the Tokyo Olympics.

Biles posted two videos of her trying to do her uneven bars dismount Friday on her Instagram story, and it’s clear she is not her usual self. She is supposed to do a double twisting somersault and, in the first video, she gets through a half twist before suddenly dropping out of the air and landing flat on her back. In the second, she makes it 1½ times around.

In both videos, she is landing on mats placed over a pit filled with foam blocks. In competition, however, she would have to do her skills on a hard, unforgiving surface.

The videos on Biles' account were removed within an hour of when they were posted.

-- Nancy Armour

U.S. swimmer violates COVID protocols

TOKYO — The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee said Friday afternoon that swimmer Michael Andrew’s decision not to wear a mask in the mixed zone at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre is a “violation” of COVID-19 protocols and that it is reviewing the matter with USA Swimming and “will take action as needed.”

Andrew, the highest profile unvaccinated American Olympian, did not wear a mask in the mixed zone after finishing a disappointing fifth in the men’s 200-meter individual medley Friday morning. Every other U.S. swimmer has worn a mask everywhere journalists can see them at the swimming venue except for when they are in the water competing and for a moment after the medal ceremony when they are told to briefly take off their masks for an official photo.

USA TODAY Sports shared the news and a photo of Andrew on Twitter, and then received this comment from the USOPC:

“Not wearing a mask is a violation of the covid mitigation protocols put in place by both the USOPC and TOCOG (the Tokyo Olympic organizers) – protocols we have been adamant in following as a delegation. We are currently reviewing this matter with the National Governing Body and will take action as needed.”

-- Christine Brennan

BMX racer Connor Fields involved in scary crash in semifinals

TOKYO — American Connor Fields, a medal favorite in BMX cycling, was awake and awaiting further medical evaluation after crashing during a semifinal heat Friday at the Olympics, according to a spokesperson for the U.S. BMX racing team.

There was no information on Fields’ injuries, said Angelina Palermo, the spokesperson.

Fields, 28, was taken off the course on a stretcher, loaded into an ambulance and transported to a hospital.

The crash took place on the first turn of the race. Fields was in second place when his front wheel appeared to catch the back wheel of the leader, France's Romain Mahieu.

Fields tumbled to the ground and two other riders fell over him.

-- Josh Peter

Connor Fields, right, crashed after a collision with France's Romain Mahieu during the Men's BMX semifinal at Ariake Urban Sports Park.
Connor Fields, right, crashed after a collision with France's Romain Mahieu during the Men's BMX semifinal at Ariake Urban Sports Park.

Ross/Klineman advance in beach volleyball

The American beach volleyball duo of April Ross and Alix Klineman completed an undefeated run through pool play with a three-set victory Friday over Sanne Keizer and Madelein Meppelink of the Netherlands to advance to the knockout stage.

Ross and Klineman dropped the first set, but rallied for a 20-22, 21-17, 15-5 victory. They'll play next in the Round of 16, which begins this weekend.

COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Tokyo

TOKYO – For a second consecutive day, Tokyo organizers announced a record number of coronavirus cases.

Friday’s total of 27 cases includes three athletes and 15 contractors. On Thursday, organizers announced 24 new coronavirus cases, also with three athletes and 15 contractors in that total.

Since July 1, 220 positive cases have been reported by Olympic organizers. Half are of contractors who work for third parties hired by Tokyo’s organizing committee to work the Games. A total of 23 athletes have tested positive here this month, most recently with American pole vaulter Sam Kendricks announcing Thursday that he tested positive and will not be able to compete here.

The Olympic positives come as cases of coronavirus are surging in Japan. The country eclipsed 10,000 daily cases for the first time on Thursday, with a record 3,177 coming from Tokyo. The capitol city set a new record for a third consecutive day and eclipsed 3,000 cases for the first time, The Japan Times reported.

Olympic organizers have said they do not see a connection between cases from the Games and the increasing cases in Japan because participants are restricted to their accommodations and Games venues.

“We have been implementing robust counter measures on COVID-19 in that respect,” said Masa Takaya, spokesman for the organizing committee. “We are delivering the safest possible environment from most perspectives, from the perspective of participants and also from the perspective of the people in Japan.”

-- Rachel Axon

Russian ends Ryan Murphy's reign (again) in men's backstroke

TOKYO – Russian Evgeny Rylov set an Olympic record in 1:53.27 in the men's 200-meter backstroke, beating American Ryan Murphy by .88 of a second.

The 24-year-old Russian has swept both the 100 and 200 back in Tokyo and has a silver in the 4x200 free relay.

Murphy was the defending Olympic champion in the 100 and 200. In the 100 back in Tokyo, Murphy won bronze, finishing behind Rylov and Russian teammate Kliment Kolesnikov.

-- Roxanna Scott

USA's King, Lazor take silver, bronze in women's 200 breaststroke

TOKYO – American Lilly King won silver in the women's 200-meter breaststroke Friday morning, finishing second to South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker, who set a world record in 2:18.95.

King finished .97 of a second behind Schoenmaker. American Annie Lazor, King's training mate in Indiana, won the bronze.

King won a bronze medal in the 100 breaststroke Monday, finishing behind Alaskan teammate Lydia Jacoby, who won gold. King swept both the 100 and 200 breast in Rio five years ago.

-- Roxanna Scott

Dressel sets Olympic record in 100 butterfly semis

TOKYO -- American Caeleb Dressel swam the fastest time in the men’s 100-meter butterfly semifinals Friday, setting an Olympic record in 49.71 seconds.

Kristof Milak of Hungary was second in qualifying for Saturday’s final, finishing in 50.31 seconds.

Dressel won his first individual Olympic gold Thursday, in the 100 free. He won in 47.02 seconds, an Olympic record and the fastest time in the world this year.

US falls just short of medals in women's, men's rowing

TOKYO — The U.S. men’s and women’s eight each finished fourth in their respective A finals, concluding an Olympic regatta in which the nation failed to reach the medal table.

It's the first time that the U.S. failed to win an Olympic medal in rowing when the Americans have entered boats. The U.S. had no rowers entered in the Olympics in 1908 and 1980.

The women’s eight finished with a time of 6:02.78, roughly four seconds behind first-place Canada. New Zealand finished in second and China in third. The women’s placement breaks an Olympic gold medal streak — they had finished first in 2008, 2012 and 2016, a record tied with Romania.

The men’s eight crossed the finish line with a time of 5:26.75, about two seconds behind first-place New Zealand. Germany and Great Britain took silver and bronze, respectively.

-- Olivia Reiner

Hurdler McLaughlin has made great strides over last five years

A then 17-year-old Sydney McLaughlin stepped on the track in Rio de Janeiro as the youngest U.S. track and field athlete since 1976 to compete at the Olympics. The teenage phenom had enormous potential but little expectations. She finished fifth in her semifinal heat and failed to advance to the women’s 400-meter hurdles Olympic final.

What a difference four, plus an additional year, can make.

The 21-year-old is now the only woman in history to run under 52 seconds in the women’s 400-meter hurdles. As she prepares for her second Olympics and first as a world-record owner and prohibitive favorite, McLaughlin enters Tokyo as one of the key athletes ushering a new era of U.S. track and field.

Sydney McLaughlin defeats Dalilah Muhammad to win the women's 400-meeter hurdles in a world-record time of 51.90 seconds.
Sydney McLaughlin defeats Dalilah Muhammad to win the women's 400-meeter hurdles in a world-record time of 51.90 seconds.

“It’s a crazy time, so much change. I think it’s really important and really cool to be a part of it. It’s kind of just this new wave and kind of this new generation,” McLaughlin said. “It’s kind of pushing the boundaries as much as possible.”

-- Tyler Dragon

Suni Lee reacts to viral video of her family, friends

Videos of Suni Lee’s family reacting to the gymnast winning an Olympic gold medal in the all-around competition quickly went viral on Twitter, with fellow Olympians, celebrities and viewers at home cheering alongside Lee's joyful family.

“Golden reaction for a golden moment,” NBC’s Olympics account tweeted on Thursday, alongside video of a crowded room of Lee’s family and friends watching her finish in first place at the Tokyo Games.

Lee responded to the footage, which has received millions of views, on Thursday, calling her loved ones “the people i do it all for.”

“I LOVE YOU ALL,” she shared.

Her father, John Lee, told the "TODAY" show after her victory that their family was holding their breath as she competed.

“There’s no words that can express this right now,” he said.

Meanwhile, back in her hometown of Saint Paul, Minnesota, city mayor Melvin Carter and Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz are both declaring Friday "Sunisa Lee Day" in her honor.

-- Marina Pitofsky

Outspoken Sandgren aware of how polarizing tennis fans can be

TOKYO — If nothing else, Tennys Sandgren is honest about the position he finds himself in as the last hope for American tennis to avoid being shut out from the medal stand at the these Olympics, something that hasn’t happened since 1920, when no Americans entered the tournament.

“To be fair, we probably shouldn’t even be playing,” Sandgren said, referring to himself and doubles partner Austin Krajicek, who only made the U.S. team because the highest-ranked American men decided that playing an ATP 250 event in Atlanta this week would be a better use of their time.

But regardless of how they made it here, Sandgren and Krajicek could very well leave with a bronze medal. They face New Zealand’s Marcus Daniell and Michael Venus on Friday for third place.

And yet, Sandgren understands as well as anyone that a lot of tennis fans – a lot of American tennis fans – will be actively rooting for him to lose Friday.

-- Dan Wolken

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Olympics 2021 live updates: USWNT beats Netherlands in penalty kicks

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting