Olympic Latest: Bach declares Tokyo Olympics officially over

AP Sports

Eliud Kipchoge, of Kenya, leads during the men’s marathon at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 8, 2021, in Sapporo, Japan. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)

TOKYO (AP) — The Latest on the Tokyo Olympics, which are taking place under heavy restrictions after a year’s delay because of the coronavirus pandemic:

___

The Tokyo Olympics are officially over.

IOC President Thomas Bach declared the Games closed after the French flag was raised inside Olympic Stadium for the transition to Paris 2024. After a short performance in the stadium, the cauldron closed around the Olympic flame, extinguishing it.

The ceremony included a ska band on a stage with people dancing, juggling and soccer players moving around an elevated stage in the center of the stadium.

Medals for the marathon were presented — an Olympic tradition — followed by traditional Japanese dances inside the stadium and on the videoboard.

An opera singer performed during the International Olympic Committee anthem, then the transition to Paris 2024 that included a flyover in front of thousands of fans in front of the Eiffel Tower.

___

Thousands of people, including medalists who have returned from Tokyo, gathered near the Eiffel Tower to welcome the handover of the Olympic flag to Paris, which will host the Games in 2024.

A flyover by jets from the Patrouille de France (“Patrol of France”) released blue, white and red smoke — the colors of the French flag — in the sky of the capital.

French President Emmanuel Macron was filmed on the top floor of the Eiffel Tower saying the Olympic slogan “higher, faster, stronger” and adding: “Together.”

Organizers planned to unfurl a football-field sized flag with the emblem of Paris 2024 from atop the tower but opted against it due to windy weather.

The event took place during the Tokyo Games closing ceremony, after the Olympic flag was formally handed over to Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

It was followed by a concert performed by French artist Woodkid at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.

Paris will organize the Games 100 years after last hosting the Olympics in 1924.

___

The athletes are inside the Olympic Stadium for the closing ceremony of the Tokyo Games.

They entered the stadium from the corners after their countries’ flags were carried in and formed into a circle at the center.

Many marched in holding phones to capture the moment or waved mini flags. Nearly all were wiping sweat off their brows in another humid Tokyo summer night.

The evening started with the raising of the Japanese flag as the Olympic cauldron burned in the corner of the stadium.

___

The curtain is about to close on the Pandemic Olympics.

The 2020 Tokyo Games — held in 2021 — will come to an end with the closing ceremonies. Just like most of the competitions, it will go off without fans in the stands.

Olympic Stadium was empty except for a few hundred media, Olympics officials and volunteers as the cauldron burned at one end. The athletes lined up in folding chairs outside the stadium, not far from a small group of protestors who were surrounded by police.

The rain from a passing tropical storm stopped in the evening, replaced by heavy humidity that has draped over these Games.

___

MEDAL ALERT

Filip Filipovic and Serbia have won their second straight gold medal in men’s water polo, beating Greece 13-10 in the final event of the Tokyo Olympics.

Nikola Jaksic scored three goals on three shots and Filipovic made several big plays as Serbia earned its fourth straight win since it lost to Croatia in group play. Serbia finished third in Group B, but it raised its game to another level when the quarterfinals rolled around — just like it did when it won gold in 2016.

Filipovic’s tiebreaking goal with 26 seconds remaining lifted Serbia to a dramatic 10-9 victory over Spain in the semis.

Serbia became the first country to repeat as Olympic champion since Hungary won three in a row from 2000 to 2008. It earned its fourth medal in its fourth appearance in the Olympics’ oldest team sport.

Dimitrios Skoumpakis, captain Ioannis Fountoulis and Angelos Vlachopoulos scored two goals apiece for Greece, which earned its first medal in men’s water polo. Its previous best finish was fourth in 2004.

Greece also matched the country’s best result in a team sport at the Olympics, joining a silver medal in women’s water polo at the Athens Games.

___

MEDAL ALERT

France has beaten the Russian Olympic Committee 30-25 for the gold medal in women’s handball.

Scores were level at 16-16 midway through the second half before six straight goals for France and a string of saves by goalkeeper Cleopatre Darleux took the game out of the Russians’ reach.

France’s Pauletta Foppa and Allison Pineau had seven goals each, and so did Russian player Polina Vedekhina.

France also won the men’s tournament in Saturday’s final against Denmark and becomes the first country to win both handball events at the same Olympics since Yugoslavia in 1984.

Norway matched its women’s bronze from 2016 with a commanding 36-19 win over Sweden on eight goals each from Nora Mork and Kari Brattset Dale.

___

MEDAL ALERT

Bakhodir Jalolov of Uzbekistan has won gold at super heavyweight in the final boxing match of the Tokyo Olympics, dominating a 5:0 victory over Richard Torrez Jr. of the United States.

The 6-foot-7 Jalolov towered over nearly every other fighter in the Olympic sport’s largest weight class, yet he also has the stiff jab of a much smaller man. He dominated all four of his bouts in Tokyo, sweeping every judge’s decision in three fights and winning by stoppage in the semifinals.

Jalolov is an 8-0 professional boxer who lives in California and fights mostly in North America. He became the most experienced pro to win gold in the second Olympics after professionals were allowed to qualify.

He also won the only boxing medal in Tokyo for the disappointing Uzbek team, which sent 11 fighters to Tokyo after topping the medal table in Rio de Janeiro.

Torrez claimed the third silver for the U.S., which had its most successful Olympics since 2000 in terms of total medals. The Americans are the most successful boxing nation in Olympic history, but they haven’t won a men’s gold medal since 2004.

Frazer Clarke of Britain and Kamshybek Kunkabayev won super heavyweight bronze.

___ MEDAL ALERT

Lauren Price of Britain has won gold in the women’s middleweight division, beating China’s Li Qian 5:0 in a one-sided bout.

Price claimed Britain’s second gold medal and sixth medal overall in Tokyo with a solid performance against Li. Price is the first woman to win gold at middleweight after Claressa Shields, the American two-time champion.

Nouchka Fontijn of the Netherlands and Zemfira Magomedalieva won bronze.

___

MEDAL ALERT

The United States won its first Olympic gold medal ever in women’s volleyball by beating Brazil in straight sets.

The U.S. had won silver three times and bronze twice previously for the most medals by any country that hadn’t won gold. But the Americans finally completed that quest by beating the country that denied them gold in the final match in both 2008 and 2012.

The victory allowed U.S. coach Karch Kiraly to join China’s Lang Ping as the second person to win gold as a player in volleyball and then lead a country to gold as coach. Kiraly won gold indoor as a player in 1984 and ’88. He also won gold in beach volleyball in 1996.

Serbia beat South Korea for the bronze medal.

___

MEDAL ALERT

Hungary has won the bronze medal in men’s water polo, topping Spain 9-5 at the Tokyo Olympics.

Marton Vamos scored two goals and Viktor Nagy made eight saves as Hungary rebounded from a disappointing 9-6 loss to Greece in the semifinals.

Hungary is the winningest program in men’s water polo with nine golds, but the bronze in Tokyo was its first medal since its run of three straight Olympic titles from 2000 to 2008. It finished fifth in London and Rio de Janeiro.

Hungary’s women’s water polo team also won bronze, beating the Russian team 11-9 on Saturday.

Spain dropped its last two games in Tokyo after opening with six straight wins. It lost 10-9 to Serbia on Friday night on Filip Filipovic’s tiebreaking goal with 26 seconds left.

Alberto Munarriz Egana scored two goals for Spain, and Daniel Lopez Pinedo had eight saves.

Serbia plays Greece for gold later Sunday.

___

MEDAL ALERT

Andy Cruz has won Cuba’s fourth boxing gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, beating U.S. lightweight Keyshawn Davis 4:1 in the final at the Kokugikan Arena.

Cruz beat Davis for the fourth consecutive time in their amateur careers, but he had to rally with an impressive third round after Davis swept the second on all five judges’ cards.

Cruz and Davis both showed off the hand speed and athleticism that made them two of the most impressive fighters in Tokyo, but Cruz’s technical skills impressed the judges.

Cruz joined two-time Olympic gold medalists Roniel Iglesias, Arlen Lopez and Julio Cesar La Cruz with championships in Tokyo.

The American team has just one shot left to end its 17-year men’s gold medal drought when super heavyweight Richard Torrez Jr. fights Uzbekistan’s Bakhodir Jalolov in the final bout of the Olympics.

Armenia’s Hovhannes Bachkov and Australia’s Harry Garside won lightweight bronze.

___

MEDAL ALERT

Kellie Anne Harrington of Ireland has won gold in the women’s lightweight division, beating Beatriz Ferreira of Brazil 5:0 in a close bout at the Kokugikan Arena.

Harrington is a 31-year-old career amateur who spent the past half-decade waiting for her shot to follow in the footsteps of Katie Taylor, who won gold for Ireland at the inaugural women’s Olympic boxing tournament in London.

Harrington’s technical precision contrasted sharply with Ferreira’s aggressive, exciting style. Harrington swept the third round on all five judges’ cards to win.

Finland’s Mira Potkonen and Thailand’s Sudaporn Seesondee won bronze.

___

Bahraini runner Sadik Mikhou has tested positive for a blood transfusion at the Tokyo Olympics and has been provisionally suspended.

The Moroccan-born Mikhou ran in the 1,500-meter heats on Tuesday but did not advance to the final.

The International Testing Agency says the suspected doping violation was reported on Friday.

Mikhou was previously banned for blood doping but his suspension expired in December.

___

The IOC has given itself more power to remove sports from the Olympic program.

The decision voted in by International Olympic Committee members comes during prolonged issues with the leadership of weightlifting and boxing.

The IOC can now remove a sport if its governing body does not comply with a decision made by the Olympic body’s executive board or if it “acts in a manner likely to tarnish the reputation of the Olympic movement.”

Weightlifting could lose its place at the 2024 Paris Olympics because of long-term doping problems and governance issues. The International Weightlifting Federation was led for two decades until last year by longtime IOC member Tamas Ajan.

Boxing at the Tokyo Games was taken out of the International Boxing Association’s control in 2019 after doubts about the integrity of Olympic bouts and IOC concerns about its presidential elections.

___

MEDAL ALERT

The Russian rhythmic gymnastics juggernaut collapsed in Tokyo, with the country’s team losing the gold medal to Bulgaria a day after losing the individual competition to Israel.

Russia claimed silver medals in both.

Russia has been dominant in the sports for decades. It has won gold medals in both the group and individual competitions in every Olympics since 2000, but the winning streak ended this year.

Linoy Ashram of Israel won gold in the individual competition Saturday, edging out a pair of Russian identical twins who were the favorites heading into Tokyo.

On Sunday, Bulgaria’s five-woman team won gold by beating the Russians in the group final, a two-part competition beginning with routines where performers dance with balls, followed by a set of hoops and clubs. Italy placed third.

___

MEDAL ALERT

Jennifer Valente got up from a crash in the omnium-ending points race to hang on for the gold medal, capping what had been an otherwise frustrating and disappointing Olympics for American cycling.

Valente won the opening scratch race, picked up three sprints in the points race and performed well in the elimination race to take an eight-point lead into the points race, where points are awarded for sprints every 10 laps.

Valente won the first sprint to pad her lead, then got up from a crash with 30 laps left to keep from losing any ground on her pursuers. She wound up taking second in the final sprint to secure the gold medal.

Yumi Kajihara took silver for Japan. Kirsten Wild earned bronze for the Netherlands.

___

MEDAL ALERT

Brittney Griner scored 30 points, and the United States won its seventh straight gold medal in women’s basketball, beating Japan 90-75.

Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi have been part of five of those gold medals. Nobody has played more Olympic games for the U.S. than Taurasi with 38. Bird is second with 36 in her final Olympics.

This golden streak started in 1996 in Atlanta with Dawn Staley a player. Staley joins the late Anne Donovan as the only Americans to help the U.S. win gold as players, assistants and then head coaches.

A’ja Wilson added 19 points and Breanna Stewart scored 14 as the Americans dominated inside again. The U.S. extended its Olympic winning streak to 55 consecutive games dating to the 1992 bronze medal game.

Japan finished with the silver in the host nation’s first appearance in the medal round. Japan finished eighth at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

___

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe says it’s “inevitable” that questions will be asked about the integrity of breakthrough track and field results at the Tokyo Olympics.

Coe was asked at a news conference if it was frustrating that some doubted whether the surprise win by men’s 100-meter champion Marcell Jacobs had been clean.

Italian and British media reported that Jacobs cut ties this year with a nutritionist who was linked to a police investigation of steroid distribution.

Coe said he would not speak about a specific case, though he acknowledged that after “performances that are outstanding, it is inevitable people will always ask questions.”

The two-time 1,500-meter gold medalist says: “Am I surprised about anything in athletics? Not really.”

He suggests people doubted his own rapid career progress from a “relatively modest athlete” in 1978 to an Olympic champion two years later.

___

Megan Rapinoe says she’s enjoying the greatest gift she doesn’t deserve: being able to stick around and watch fiancee Sue Bird play for a fifth Olympic gold medal.

Rapinoe finished up her Olympic commitment Thursday night when the U.S. won bronze in women’s soccer, with Rapinoe scoring twice in the win. Athletes return home quickly after their final competition under coronavirus pandemic protocols at the Tokyo Games.

Rapinoe says she’s thankful that someone arranged for her to be a few rows off courtside, able to support and watch Bird, knowing this will be her last Olympics. Rapinoe says she feels “super lucky” to be able to attend the game because of all the restrictions.

The U.S. men and their coach, Gregg Popovich, also are in the stands watching the American women play for their seventh consecutive gold medal. The U.S. men won gold Saturday. The teams are flying home on the same plane.

___

MEDAL ALERT

Jason Kenny has become Britain’s most decorated Olympian by defending his gold medal in the keirin. That gave Kenny seven golds to break a tie with cyclist Chris Hoy and nine overall to break a tie with Bradley Wiggins.

Azizulhasni Awang of Malaysia outsprinted Dutch rider Harrie Lavreysen for the silver medal.

Kenny slotted in behind the motorized pacing bike for the first three laps, then began sprinting the moment it ducked off the track. Nobody reacted to his audacious flyer, and that allowed Kenny to build nearly a quarter-lap lead.

He held it all the way to the finish, raising his arms in triumph after crossing the line.

___

MEDAL ALERT

Kelsey Mitchell of Canada has won gold in the women’s sprint event in track cycling, sweeping past Olena Starikova of Ukraine at the Izu Velodrome.

Mitchell upset reigning world champion Emma Hinze of Germany in the semifinals before facing off with Starikova, who likewise had upset 2019 world champion Lee Wai Sze of Hong Kong in her semifinal match.

Mitchell led wire-to-wire against Starikova in the first of their best-of-three final. Then, she held Starikova off in a drag race to the finish to win Canada’s second gold in the event after Lori-Ann Muenzer’s at the 2004 Athens Games.

Lee easily swept past Hinze to win the bronze medal.

___

An on-track official has been removed from the track inside the Izu Velodrome on a stretcher after he was knocked over by a rider during a massive crash near the end of the scratch race in the women’s omnium.

The official, who has not been identified, was standing on the track apron near the first turn when Elisa Balsamo of Italy hit Emily Kay of Ireland as they took the bell for the final lap. Both went down, and that set off a chain reaction that took down five more riders, including two-time defending champion Laura Kenny.

The rider from Egypt, Ebtissam Zayed Ahmed, rode right over Balsamo and into the track official.

___

Serbia is going home with an Olympic medal in women’s volleyball for the second straight Games.

The Serbians beat South Korea in straight sets to win the bronze medal in Tokyo. Serbia won its first medal in the sport five years ago, a silver in Rio de Janeiro.

South Korea fell short in its quest for a second women’s volleyball medal after winning bronze in 1976.

The United States is taking on Brazil for the gold medal.

___

MEDAL ALERT

Eliud Kipchoge pulled away late and no one could come close to catching him as the 36-year-old from Kenya defended his Olympic marathon title.

Kipchoge finished in 2 hours, 8 minutes, 38 seconds on a breezy and humid Sunday along the streets of Sapporo. It was more than 80 seconds ahead of runner-up Abdi Nageeye of the Netherlands. Bashir Abdi of Belgium earned bronze to close out the track and field portion of the Tokyo Games.

On a day with plenty of cloud cover, Kipchoge cruised. The temperature was around 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 Celsius) at the start and climbed to 84 (29). The men’s race kept with its original start time a day after the women’s race was moved up an hour to avoid the heat.

Humidity was at 81% as the runners wound their way through Sapporo, which is located about 500 miles (about 830 kilometers) north of Tokyo. The race was moved to escape the extreme heat, but it was about the same temperature Sunday in Tokyo — and rainy.

Kipchoge smiled along the way and even fist-bumped a fellow racer. Kipchoge becomes the third athlete to win multiple gold medals in the men’s marathon, joining Abebe Bikila (1960, ’64) and Waldemar Cierpinski (’76, ’80).

___

More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Popular Stories