TOKYO (AP) – The latest news on the Tokyo Olympics, which are being held under heavy restrictions after a year of delay due to the coronavirus pandemic:
Qatar won the bronze medal in men’s beach volleyball, the first medal in the sport for the country – or for any country in the Middle East.
Cherif Samba and Ahmed Tijan beat Latvia 21-12, 21-18 in the third place match on Saturday morning at the Shiokaze Park venue. Samba scored the winning point on Edgar Tocs’ blocking attempt, then ran to the stands showing the few fans who were there to cheer him on.
Then he fell to his knees and planted his forehead in the sand.
Martins Plavins was trying to win his second bronze medal, to accompany the one he won in London. Instead, he and Tocs finished fourth, just like the Latvian women had done a day earlier.
Peres Jepchirchir led a Kenyan double in the women’s marathon, resisting heat and humidity as he ran through the streets of Sapporo.
Jepchirchir finished in 2 hours, 27 minutes, 20 seconds in a one hour advance race to avoid the heat. A handful of fans lining the course cheered as the Tokyo Games moved north for the marathons and marches. Her teammate Brigid Kosgei finished second and American Molly Seidel, a relatively newcomer to the marathon stage, took bronze.
A race that was moved to Sapporo to avoid the extreme heat in Tokyo found little relief on a twisty course through the city. The starter gun detonated one minute after 6 a.m. local time under sunny skies and with a temperature of 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 Celsius). It climbed to nearly 86 degrees (30) near the finish, with humidity around 65%.
There were 88 registered runners on the field, with over a dozen registrations that did not finish. This included world champion Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya.
The women’s marathon began on the streets of the northern city of Sapporo just after 6 a.m. local time under sunny skies and a temperature of 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius).
There were around 90 runners who embarked on what must have been a hot trip through the streets of Sapporo. The departure time was brought forward by one hour to avoid some of the heat. Spectators were asked not to attend, but some showed up to get a glimpse of the action.
Athletes had to stay cool in every way possible. Before the race, they could use refrigerated ice vests. On the course, there were plenty of water points and crushed ice, as well as towels soaked in cold water.
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