Trojans At Tokyo Olympics Day 8: Kendall Ellis Wins Bronze; Several Trojans Advance
USC got its second medal of the 2020 Olympics when track's Kendall Ellis took home a bronze on Day 8 (Saturday, July 31, in Tokyo). Other Trojan highlights from the day involved beach volleyball's Kelly Claes and Tina Graudina, swimmer Katarzyna Wilk-Wasick, track's Andre DeGrasse, Dalilah Muhammad, Anna Cockrell, Amalie Iuel and Gianna Woodruff and water polo's Kostas Genidounias.
- Kendall Ellis of the U.S. earned a bronze medal in the mixed 1600m relay, a new Olympic track event. She ran the second leg on the American team that clocked 3:01.22, just 0.01 second out of a silver medal (she ran her leg in 50.2). Nicole Yeargin ran the second leg for Great Britain's quartet that finished sixth with a time of 3:12.07. A USC track and field athlete has now won at least one medal at every Summer Olympics since 1904, except for 1908 when no Trojan competed.
- All four runners with USC ties in the heats of the women's 400m hurdles—Dalilah Muhammad and Anna Cockrell of the U.S., Amalie Iuel of Norway and Gianna Woodruff of Panama—advanced to the semifinals on Monday (Aug. 2). Iuel and Muhammad will run the semis at 4:35 a.m. PT (8:35 p.m. JT), Woodruff at 4:45 a.m. PT (8:45 p.m. JT) and Cockrell at 4:55 a.m. PT (8:55 p.m. JT). Muhammad had the top qualifying time of 53.93 in the heats, Cockrell was 14th in 55.37, Woodruff was 15th in 55.49 and Iuel was 20th in 55.65.
- American Isaiah Jewett had a time of 1:45.07 to finish fifth in the first men's 800m heat, but that ended up sixth overall and advanced him to the event semifinal on Sunday (Aug. 1) at 4:45 a.m. PT (8:45 p.m. JT). Jewett had a faster time than four of the six heat winners.
- Canada's Andre De Grasse had the fastest men's 100m dash time of 9.91 (+0.6) in the heats to advance to the semifinal on Sunday (Aug. 1) at 3:15 a.m. PT (7:15 p.m. JT).
- Tynia Gaither of the Bahamas placed sixth in her women's 100m semifinal heat and 21st overall with a time of 11.31 (+0.0), but did not advance.
- Trojan Kelly Claes and her partner Sarah Sponcil from UCLA came back to defeat Brazil's Ana Patricia Silva Ramos and Rebecca Silva, 17-21, 21-19, 15-11, in women's beach volleyball group play. Claes had a match-best 17 kills along with 3 blocks and 1 dig. The Americans (2-0) won their pool and now move on to the knockout Round of 16 to face Canada's Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson on Saturday (July 31) at 5 p.m. PT (9 a.m. JT on Aug. 1).
- USC's Tina Graudina of Latvia and partner Anastasina Kravcenoka quickly dispatched Kenya's Gaudencia Makokha and Brackcides Khadambi in 27 minutes in group play, 21-6, 21-14. Graudina posted match-highs of 19 kills, 9 digs and 6 aces along with 1 block. The Latvian pair, who finished second in their pool with a 2-1 record, will now face Nadezda Makroguzova and Svetlana Kholomina of ROC (Russian Olympic Committee) in the knockout Round of 16 on Saturday (July 31) at 10 p.m. PT (2 p.m. JT on Aug. 1).
- In the second-to-last day of swimming events, Poland's Katarzyna Wilk-Wasick was fifth in the women's 50m freestyle semifinals in 24.26 and advances to the final on Saturday (July 31) at 6:37 p.m. PT (10:37 a.m. JT on Aug. 1).
- In the men's 50m freestyle semi, Vladimir Morozov of ROC (Russian Olympic Committee) finished 16th in 22.25 and did not advance.
- Spain defeated Australia in men's water polo group play, 16-5. USC's Blake Edwards scored twice for Australia, his brother Lachlan did not score and goalie Joel Dennerley did not play. Next for the Aussies (1-3) is Kazakhstan on Monday (Aug. 2) at 3:50 a.m. PT (7:50 p.m. JT) in more group play.
- In the following match, Hungary beat the U.S., 11-8. Trojan Hannes Daube scored a goal for the U.S., but Marko Vavic was scoreless. The U.S. (2-2) concludes group play when it battles Greece on Sunday (Aug. 1) at 7:30 p.m. PT (11:30 a.m. JT on Aug. 2).
- In the last water polo match of the day, Greece dominated South Africa, 28-5. USC's Kostas Genidounias scored a goal for the Greeks (3-0-1), who take on the U.S. for their next contest.
- USC's Chimezie Metu had a double-double to lead Nigeria with game bests of 22 points and 10 rebounds, but Nigerians lost to Italy, 80-71, in their final men's basketball game of group action. Metu also led Nigeria with three assists and a game high three steals. Nigeria ended up 0-3 and will not advance to the quarterfinals. In the three games combined, Metu had 27 points and 20 rebounds.