By Amy Tennery, Simon Evans and Ossian Shine
TOKYO (Reuters) – Olympic organisers were on Sunday investigating after a group of athletes was found drinking together at the Village, while Tokyo sizzled in scorching temperatures as Tokyo 2020 lurched into day nine.
Australia’s Emma McKeon painted the pool gold reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/swimming-dressel-mckeon-complete-sprint-gold-doubles-2021-08-01, becoming the first female swimmer to win seven medals at a single Olympic Games but the Simone Biles saga https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/simone-biles-withdraws-event-final-floor-exercise-tokyo-2020-usa-gymnastics-2021-08-01 took another sad twist as she pulled out of yet another event.
With these Games being staged in a COVID-induced state of emergency, there has been much focus on the behaviour of those involved in the Olympics, and public anger at rule-breaking.
Police had attended the scene https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/olympics-organisers-investigating-after-athletes-drank-alcohol-together-village-2021-08-01 following reports of the forbidden drinking, which had involved multiple athletes and others, Director General for the Games Toshiro Muto told reporters.
Organisers had previously said athletes were permitted to drink alcohol only in their rooms and only if they are alone, as a precaution against the virus – a far cry from earlier Games where many athletes celebrated long and hard after their events.
Unlike the strict COVID-19 lockdowns seen elsewhere, Tokyo is under a looser state of emergency that includes curbs on restaurant hours and the serving of alcohol.
It is largely reliant on self-enforcement, however, and authorities can’t order people off the streets. On Saturday large crowds had assembled to catch a glimpse of the triathlon competition as officials with placards and bullhorns asked them to disperse.
Gruelling conditions https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/athletics-tokyo-dishes-out-punishing-heat-dayside-competitors-2021-08-01 greeted the athletes at the Olympic Stadium on Sunday as a trackside thermometer in the open, placed about 50 metres from the finish line, touched 40 degrees Celsius (104°F).
Muto said 30 people involved in the organisation of the global sports showpiece, including volunteers and contractors, have suffered heat-stroke, but all had mild symptoms.
There were no such concerns at the pool, where McKeon rewrote the record books after winning gold in the women’s 4×100 medley relay and completing the sprint double with victory in the 50m freestyle.
The feat saw McKeon join Michael Phelps, Mark Spitz and Matt Biondi as the only swimmers with seven medals at a Games. Russian gymnast Maria Gorokhovskaya, in 1952, is the only woman to have won seven in any other sport.
“It still feels pretty surreal. I never thought I would win two golds in one session … I’m very proud of myself,” the 27-year-old said.
Caeleb Dressel confirmed his dominance in men’s sprint swimming, powering to victory in the 50 free. The American added to his 100 gold, clinching a fifth medal of the Games as Team USA triumphed in the men’s medley relay.
The United States ended what an enthralling swimming competition in Tokyo with 11 gold medals, five fewer than in Rio and London. Australia won nine, their most swimming golds at a Games, and Britain left with four golds as part of a record haul of eight total medals.
Biles pulled out of the final of the floor event and will decide later this week if she will compete in the one remaining event she is qualified for.
These Games were to have been a stage for her to cement her status as the world’s best-ever gymnast and become the most decorated female Olympian.
Instead she has performed just one single vault and has remained on the sidelines to focus on her mental health.
“Either way, we’re all behind you, Simone,” USA Gymnastics said in announcing her decision to not compete on the floor.
China lead the medals table with 22 golds with the U.S. behind on 19, and Japan third with 17.
Gong Lijiao had boosted the Chinese tally with gold in the women’s shot put. “I think all my efforts were really worth it,” she said after beating American Raven Saunders and New Zealand’s Valerie Adams.
Despite being beaten, Adams was all smiles as she waved a photograph of her two children.
“I just hope to continue to inspire female athletes all around the world,” said Adams, who added an Olympic bronze to her two golds from Beijing and London and silver from Rio. “If you want to have a kid and you want to come back and be at the top of the world, you can, you can absolutely do that.”
The men’s 100m resumes later on Sunday with the semi-finals and final. A new winner will be crowned after the retirement of triple champion Usain Bolt.
The United States look well-placed to take gold for the first time since 2004 but it is the most open-looking race for many years, illustrated by pre-Games favourite Trayvon Bromell getting through Saturday’s heats only as a fast loser.
(Reporting by Reuters Olympic team; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)
Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.