Trojans At Tokyo Olympics Day 13: Several Advance To Gold Medal Matches in Beach Volleyball, Water Polo
A number of Trojans advanced to medal rounds on Day 13 (Thursday, Aug. 5, in Tokyo) of the 2020 Olympics. April Ross will play for a gold medal in women's beach volleyball after her semifinal victory, while Tina Graudina will go for a bronze. Five Women of Troy are on the U.S. and Spain rosters that will play for a gold in women's water polo after Day 13 semifinal wins. Andre De Grasse and Aaron Brown propelled Canada's men's 400m relay team into the finals, as did Kendall Ellis (U.S.), Nicole Yeargin (Great Britain) and Kyra Constantine (Canada) for their countries in the women's 1600m relay. Legendary swimmer Ous Meloulli competed in his sixth Olympics, tying a USC record.
- USC's April Ross of the U.S. and partner Alix Klineman overwhelmed Switzerland's Anouk Verge-Depre and Joana Heidrich, 21-12, 21-11, in the first women's beach volleyball semifinal to move into the gold medal match on Thursday (Aug. 5) at 7:30 p.m. PT (11:30 a.m. JT on Aug. 6). Ross, who won a silver in the 2012 Olympics with Jenn Kessy and bronze in 2016 with Kerri Walsh Jennings, is now looking to complete her collection with a gold. She had 15 kills, 8 digs and 2 aces against the Swiss, all match highs.
- In the other women's beach volleyball semifinal, Trojan Tina Graudina of Latvia and partner Anastasija Kravcenoka fell to Australia's Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy, 23-21, 21-13. Graudina had a match-leading 5 blocks to go with 13 kills and 4 digs. The Latvians now will play in the bronze medal match on Thursday (Aug. 5) at 6 p.m. PT (10 a.m. JT on Aug. 6).
- In women's water polo, the U.S. beat ROC (Russian Olympic Committee) in the semifinals, 15-11. USC's Stephania Haralabidis had a goal for the U.S., while Paige Hauschild and Kaleigh Gilchrist were scoreless and goalie Amanda Longan did not play. The Americans will now play for a gold medal against Spain, an 8-6 winner over Hungary in the other semi. Trojan Anni Espar had a match-best 3 goals for the Spaniards. The gold medal match is on Saturday (Aug. 7) at 12:30 a.m. PT (4:30 p.m. JT).
- Netherlands beat China, 13-6, in a 5th-8th place classification match. USC's Maud Megens scored a goal for Netherlands, who now will face Australia in the 5th-6th place classification match on Friday (Aug. 6) at 7 p.m. PT (11 a.m. JT on Aug. 7). Australia beat Canada, 14-12, in a 5th-8th place classification game. USC's Hayley McKelvey scored 2 goals for Canada, while the other Trojans in that match (Australia's Tilly Kearns and Hannah Buckling and Canada's Joelle Bekhazi) went scoreless. Canada will meet China in the 7th-8th place classification match on Friday (Aug. 6) at 5:30 p.m. PT (9:30 a.m. JT on Aug. 7).
- In the men's 400m relay Round 1 of track competition, Trojans Aaron Brown (leadoff) and Andre De Grasse (anchor) helped Canada finish third overall (second in its heat) in a season-best 37.92 and advance to the final on Friday (Aug. 6) at 6:50 a.m. PT (10:50 p.m. JT).
- Three Trojan women ran legs for their countries in the second heat of the 1600m relay Round 1 and all helped their squads advance to the final in season best times. Kendall Ellis ran the third leg on the American quartet that had the fastest overall mark of 3:20.86. Nicole Yeargin was the anchor for Great Britain, which was fourth overall in 3:23.99. Kyra Constantine anchored Canada's team that placed seventh overall in 3:24.05. The final is final on Saturday (Aug. 7) at 5:30 a.m. PT (9:30 p.m. JT).
- USC's Michael Norman of the U.S. was fifth in the men's 400m final in 44.31. Just 0.23 seconds separated second and fifth place.
- After the second round of the Olympic women's golf competition, Trojan Sophia Popov of Germany stood tied for 39th at 1-over and Hong Kong, Korea's Tiffany Chan was 58th (9-over). Popov shot a 1-over 72 in the second round, while Chan had a 3-over 74. The tourney leader is 13-under after two rounds. The third round is on Thursday (Aug. 5), with Popov teeing off at 4:11 p.m. PT (8:11 a.m. JT on Aug. 6) and Chan going at 5:23 p.m. PT (9:23 a.m JT on Aug. 6).
- Trojan great Ous Meloulli of Tunisia, competing in his sixth Olympics (tied for most all-time by a Trojan), was 20th in the open water 10k swim in a time of 1:56:33.3. Meloulli won the event at the 2012 Olympics and he also won a gold medal in the 1500m freestyle at the 2008 Games.