TOKYO >> The quest for gold medals is on track for the U.S. women’s basketball and volleyball teams after finishing at the top of their groups in pool play.
The U.S. women’s soccer team can’t say the same.
Jessie Fleming scored on a penalty kick in the 74th minute and Canada earned a 1-0 semifinal victory over the United States in the Olympic women’s soccer competition on Monday.
Canada goes on to face Sweden in the gold medal match, while the U.S. will play Australia for the bronze. Sweden beat Australia 1-0 in the other semifinal.
It is the second straight Olympics that the United States has been knocked out of contention for the gold medal match.
“I think this is my first loss ever to Canada,” American star Megan Rapinoe said. “It sucks not to be able to compete for a gold medal, which is what we wanted. Not a great performance, either. That’s the most frustrating thing.”
The Americans were bounced from the 2016 Games by Sweden in the quarterfinals. The U.S. team goes on to play in the bronze medal match in Kashima on Thursday.
Canada had not won against the United States since 2001.
In basketball, A’ja Wilson scored 22 points and Breanna Stewart added 17 to help the U.S. beat France 93-82 in their final pool play match.
The win was the 52nd in a row for the U.S. going back to the bronze medal game of the 1992 Olympics. The U.S. went undefeated in group play and advanced to the quarterfinals. The Americans (3-0) haven’t lost a game in group play since women’s basketball was added to the Olympics in 1976.
“It wasn’t a must-win, but we always want to win,” Stewart said. “To have that momentum going into the quarterfinals, this is where we start to peak.”
While the U.S. women’s basketball team has dominated at the Olympics, the women’s volleyball team is seeking its first gold medal ever.
The Americans are off to a good start after beating Italy in five sets Monday to win their pool despite losing a second starter to a rolled ankle. Jordyn Poulter joined Jordan Thompson on the sidelines, but the U.S. still improved to 4-1.
“They really stayed together,” coach Karch Kiraly said. “I look back and our substitute box is getting very lonely back there. There’s only three or four players there. So it’s getting to be a bit of an adventure. But our team played with great heart and played together.”
BILES ON THE BEAM
Simone Biles is returning to competition in Tokyo.
The 2016 Olympic champion will compete in the balance beam finals on Tuesday, a little over a week after stepping away from the meet to focus on her mental health.
The 24-year-old Biles won bronze on beam in Rio de Janeiro five years ago.
She removed herself from the team final on July 27 after a shaky performance on vault during the first rotation. She watched from the sidelines as her three American teammates completed the meet without her; the U.S. took silver behind the team known as the Russian Olympic Committee.
Biles later said she was dealing with issues surrounding air awareness, referred to as “the twisties” in her sport. Biles qualified for all five individual event finals but took herself out of four of them.
Elsewhere in gymnastics, American gymnast Jade Carey won the gold medal on floor exercise, Shin Jeahwan of South Korea won the men’s vault, and Liu Yang of China won the men’s still rings.
Transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard made her mark by competing in the women’s weightlifting but couldn’t complete a lift.
Hubbard is not the only transgender athlete competing at the Tokyo Games, but she has been the focus of attention as a medal contender in weightlifting.
The New Zealander overbalanced on her opening weight of 120 kilograms, taking the bar behind her shoulders.
Hubbard’s second effort of 125 kilograms was ruled invalid on a majority decision by the referees. The third attempt was almost a repeat of the first, ruling Hubbard out of medal contention in the women’s over-87-kilogram division.
Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands started her bid to win three medals at the Tokyo Games by earning gold in the 5,000 meters.
Hassan pulled away with about 250 meters to go and cruised to the win in a time of 14 minutes, 36.79 seconds. She beat Hellen Obiri of Kenya by nearly two seconds. Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia was third.
Earlier in the day, the 28-year-old Hassan had a scare when she fell on the final lap in the opening round of the 1,500. She picked herself up, caught the pack and won her heat to advance. She’s also entered in the 10,000 meters.
Hassan won the 1,500 and 10,000 at the 2019 world championships.
GO FOR GOLD
Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico has won gold in the women’s 100-meter hurdles, powering ahead of American Keni Harrison.
Camacho-Quinn finished in 12.37 seconds for a .15 second win over the world-record holder, Harrison. Jamaica’s Megan Tapper finished third.
“This was what I wanted for this year. I wanted to be a gold medalist,” Camacho-Quinn said.
Miltiadis Tentoglou of Greece has edged Cuba’s Juan Miguel Echevarria for the men’s long jump gold medal with a winning jump on the last attempt.
Discus thrower Valarie Allman won the first track and field gold medal for the U.S. Allman’s winning throw went 68.98 meters (226 feet, 3 inches) to hold off Kristin Pudenz of Germany in a competition that was delayed by rain.
WALK IT OFF
Yuki Yanagita tied it with an RBI grounder off Scott McGough in the ninth inning, Takuya Kai hit a walkoff single against Edwin Jackson in the 10th and Japan beat the United States 7-6 to reach the Olympic semifinals.
Japan (3-0) will play South Korea (3-1) on Wednesday night for a spot in the final.
The U.S. (2-1) fell into the loser’s bracket of the double-elimination second round. To reach this weekend’s final, it must beat the winner of Tuesday’s elimination game between the Dominican Republic (1-2) and Israel (1-3), and then the Japan-South Korea loser.
April Ross and Alix Klineman have advanced to the quarterfinals of the Olympic beach volleyball tournament.
The American “A-Team” beat Cuba 21-17, 21-15. The win came a day after two other U.S. teams were ousted in the first knockout round.
Next up for the Americans is one defending gold medalist Laura Ludwig of Germany and her partner Maggie Kozuch.
Jake Gibb and substitute teammate Tri Bourne lost to Germany in the beach volleyball round of 16, ending their shotgun partnership after just two weeks.
Bourne was a last-minute swap after Gibb’s original partner, Taylor Crabb, tested positive for COVID-19 when he arrived in Japan. The pair had just three practices before their first match, but they made it out of pool play with a 2-1 record.
Julius Thole and Clemens Wickler beat Bourne and Gibb 17-21, 21-15, 15-11 to advance to the quarterfinals.