Trojans At Tokyo Olympics Day 7: Start Of Track Events Highlights Busy Day Of Competition
As the Olympic swimming competition began to wind down, the first day of track and field got underway on Day 7 (Friday, July 30, in Tokyo) of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. There were some nice showings by several Trojans: April Ross in beach volleyball, swimmers Louise Hansson, Vladimir Morozov and Katarzyna Wilk-Wasick, track's Rai Benjamin and Tynia Gaither, and Stephania Haralabidis, Paige Hauschild, Kaleigh Gilchrist, Maud Megens and Anni Espar in women's water polo.
- In beach volleyball, Trojan April Ross and partner Alix Klineman remained undefeated in group play (3-0) by coming back to beat the Netherlands' Sanne Keizer and Madelein Meppelink, 20-22, 21-17, 15-5, in the rain. Ross had 20 kills and 9 digs, both match highs. The Americans now move on to the knockout Round of 16 at a date and time and against an opponent to be determined once all group play is concluded.
- Later in the day, the U.S. men's team of USC's Tri Bourne and partner Jake Gibb suffered its first loss of group play, falling to Qatar's Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan, 21-18, 21-17. Bourne had 11 kills, 5 digs and 1 ace. The Americans finished 2-1 in group play and will move on to the knockout Round of 16 at a date and time and against an opponent to be determined once all group play is concluded.
- In women's water polo group action, the Netherlands overwhelmed South Africa, 33-1. Trojan Maud Megens scored 5 goals. Next up for the Netherlands (2-1) is Canada on Saturday (July 31) at 11:30 p.m. PT (3:30 p.m. JT on Aug. 1).
- The U.S. defeated ROC (Russian Olympic Committee), 18-5, in the next match. USC's Stephania Haralabidis had a game-best 4 goals, Paige Hauschild added 3 goals and Kaleigh Gilchrist had 1 goal, while Amanda Longan did not play. The U.S., which finished group play with a 3-1 mark, now moves on to the quarterfinals at a date and time and against an opponent to be determined once all group play is concluded.
- In the final women's water polo match of the day, there were Trojans on both sides of the pool when Spain defeated Australia, 15-9. Anni Espar scored a goal for Spain (3-1), while Tilly Kearns had 2 goals and Hannah Buckling had 1 for the Aussies (2-1). Spain now is set for the quarterfinals at a date and time and against an opponent to be determined once all group play is concluded. Australia still must play South Africa on Sunday (Aug. 1) at 3:50 a.m. PT (7:50 p.m. JT) to conclude group play.
- In the evening swimming events, Louise Hansson swam the butterfly leg in 56.79 to help Sweden's 400m medley relay team finish fifth in the heats in 3:56.23. The Swedes now advance to the final on Saturday (July 31) at 7:15 p.m. PT (11:15 a.m. JT on Aug. 1).
- Vladimir Morozov of ROC (Russian Olympic Committee) moved on to the semifinal of the men's 50m freestyle by placing 12th in 21.92. He is competing in his third Olympics and won a bronze medal in the 2012 Olympics as part of Russia's 400m freestyle relay. His semifinal is on Friday (July 30) at 7:11 p.m. PT (11:11 a.m. JT on July 31).
- Katarzyna Wilk-Wasick of Poland, competing in her fourth Olympics, advanced to the semifinals of the women's 50m freestyle by finishing fifth in the heats at 24.31. Her semifinal race is on Friday (July 30) at 7:37 p.m. PT (11:37 a.m. JT on July 31).
- Three other Trojan men were in the 50m freestyle heats, but none advanced: Italy's Santo Condorelli and Croatia's Nikola Miljenic both tied for 19th at 22.14, while Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago tied for 33rd in 22.46.
- Anicka Delgado tied for 25th in the women's 50m freestyle, breaking her own Ecuadorian record with a time of 25.36, but did not advance, nor did incoming Trojan Noelani Day of Tonga, who was 63rd in in 29.06.
- Sweden's Victor Johansson was 18th in the 1500m freestyle heats in 15:05.53 and did not advance.
- In the men's 400m medley relay heats, Evangelos Makrygiannis swam the opening backstroke leg as Greece placed 14th in 3:36.28, but the Greeks did not advance.
- In the first day of track and field events, Rai Benjamin of the U.S. was fourth in round 1 of the 400m hurdles in 48.60 (first in his heat) and he advances to the semifinals on Sunday (Aug. 1) at 5:05 a.m. PT (9:05 p.m. JT)
- Tynia Gaither of the Bahamas qualified for the semifinals of the 100m by placing 29th in round 1 in 11.34 (third in her heat). Her semifinal race is on Saturday (July 31) at 3:15 a.m. PT (7:15 p.m. JT).
- Kendall Ellis did not compete on the U.S. quartet of the mixed 1600m relay, which placed third in 3:11.39 in round 1 and advanced to the final of this first-time Olympic event. The Americans originally were disqualified after passing the baton out of the zone on the first handoff, but were reinstated. The final is on Saturday (July 31) at 5:35 a.m. PT (9:35 p.m. JT).
- The U.S. men's volleyball team, with Trojan setter Micah Christenson, lost to Brazil, 30-32, 25-23, 25-21, 25-20, to fall to 2-2 overall. Christenson had a match-high 59 assists and a team-best 2 blocks to go along with 2 digs. The U.S. concludes group play against Argentina on Sunday (Aug. 1) at 5:45 a.m. PT (9:45 p.m. JT).
- Nigeria's women's basketball team fell to France, 87-62, in preliminary round action. Amy Okonkwo, who played on the USC women's basketball team in 2015 before transferring, scored 4 points and had a steal for Nigeria (0-2), which next plays host Japan on Sunday (Aug. 1) at 6 p.m. PT (10 a.m. JT on Aug. 2) in another prelim game.
- Israel's baseball team fell to the U.S., 8-1, in an opening round game. Ben Wanger—who played at USC in 2020 before transferring—pitched the ninth inning for Israel, allowing 3 hits and an earned run. Israel (0-2) now will play a Round 1 game on Saturday (July 31) at 8 p.m. PT (noon JT on Aug. 1) against an opponent to be determined once opening round play concludes.
- Shooter Sandra Uptagrafft, who was in USC's Army ROTC program and is the Trojans' oldest Tokyo Olympian at age 50, finished 33rd in the 25m sports pistol. After sitting in 24th place with 288 points after the precision portion the previous day, she scored 285 points in the rapid portion of the event for a total of 573 points. She did not advance to the final.
Sixty-five past, present and future USC students are competing at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, far more than any school in the nation this Olympics and the Trojans' most ever in a single Olympics. The Trojans represent 32 National Olympic Committees in 12 different sports.