Trojans At Tokyo Olympics Day 15: USC's Gold Medal Count Explodes To 11 With Wins In Track, Water Polo
It was a golden day for USC athletes at the 2020 Olympics on Day 15 (Saturday, Aug. 7, in Tokyo), the second-to-last day of the Tokyo Games, as Trojans in water polo and track collected an amazing 9 gold medals along with a silver. USC athletes now have captured 20 medals in Tokyo (11 golds), with one more guaranteed medal still to come, making this the fifth consecutive Summer Olympics that USC's participant have won at least 20 medals.
- USC's first gold medal haul of the day came in the women's water polo final, where four Trojans helped the U.S. easily defeat Spain, 14-5. USC's Kaleigh Gilchrist scored twice for the Americans, Stephania Haralabidas had a goal, Paige Hauschild didn't score and Amanda Longan saw time at goalkeeper. Silver medalist Spain also featured a Trojan, Anni Espar (she did not score).
- In the 5th-6th place classification women's water polo game featuring Trojans on both teams, Australia beat Netherlands, 14-7. USC's Tilly Kearns and Hannah Buckling each scored a goal for Australia, as did Trojan Maud Megens for Netherlands. The Aussies finished fifth and the Dutch were sixth in the final Olympic women's water polo standings.
- USC's Joelle Bekhazi and Hayley McKelvey helped Canada defeat China, 16-7, in the 7th-8th place classification game. The Canadians complete Olympic play in seventh place. Bekhazi had 2 goals against the Chinese, but McKelvey did not score.
- There were more gold medals soon after in the track competition's 1600m relays. On the women's side, the U.S. women's team—with USC's Allyson Felix and Dalilah Muhammad running the second and third legs, respectively—blazed to a season-best winning time of 3:16.85, some 3.68 seconds faster than the runnerup. Felix won her 11th career Olympic medal, making her the most decorated track and field Olympian in U.S. history, male or female (she already had won more Olympic medals than any female track and field athlete from any country). With seven Olympic gold medals in her career, she is tied for second most by an American female in any Summer Olympics sport. USC's Kendall Ellis also received a gold medal because she ran a leg for the U.S. in the qualifying round of the 1600m relay. Two other Trojan women also were in the final: Kyra Constantine ran the third leg for Canada, which was fourth in a season-best 3:21.84 (just .60 out of a bronze medal) and Nicole Yeargin anchored the Great Britain quartet that finished fifth in a season-best 3:22.59.
- Then in the men's 1600m relay, with Trojans Michael Norman running the second leg and Rai Benjamin anchoring, the U.S. won comfortably in a season-best 2:55.70. The Americans took the lead for good during Norman's leg.
- Trojan Sophia Popov of Germany tied for 40th at an even par 284 and Hong Kong, China's Tiffany Chan tied for 50th at 6-over 290 at the conclusion of the women's golf tournament. Popov shot a par 71 in the fourth round, while Chan had a 1-under 70, her second consecutive day under par. The tourney winner shot 17-under.