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Tokyo Olympics Quick Hits

July 27, 2021
Source: Janine Beckie/Twitter
Source: Janine Beckie/Twitter

⚽️Soccer: It wasn’t pretty, but it was enough. In their final game of group play earlier today, the USWNT battled to a 0–0 draw with Australia, squeaking into a spot in Friday’s quarter-finals. USWNT will face the Netherlands at 7 a.m. ET, a rematch of the 2019 World Cup final. LFG

🏀Basketball: Team USA women’s 5x5 basketball notched a milestone 50th straight Olympic win with a 81–72 victory over Nigeria. While we would've loved to see WNBA stars Nneka Ogwumike (pronounced NEH-kuh oh-gwoo-MIH-kay) and Elizabeth Williams suit up for Nigeria, it was so fun watching reigning WNBA MVP, Team USA’s A’ja Wilson, net a double-double in her Olympic debut. 

  • Meanwhile, after going 6-1 in pool play to lock up the top seed, Team USA women’s 3x3 is on to the semifinals tomorrow at 4 a.m. ET. It’s go time. 

🥇First medals: Bermuda is now the smallest country (by population) to ever win a gold medal, after triathlete Flora Duffy won the country’s first gold yesterday, finishing her race in 1:55:36. Small but oh so mighty.

  • Meanwhile, the Philippines are still celebrating their first-ever Olympic gold, after weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz won in the 55kg category on Monday. And as the cherry on top, Diaz also set an Olympic record, lifting a combined weight of 224kg. 
🏅🥎🏊‍♀️🤼

Team Canada Medal Updates

July 27, 2021
Source: Bernard Brault/La Presse
Source: Bernard Brault/La Presse

🏋️‍♀️Weightlifting: Canada’s second gold medal is extra shiny and new. Just a couple of hours ago, Maude Charron won Canada’s first gold medal in weightlifting since 2012, crushing the competition in the 64kg event. 

🏊‍♀️Swimming: Another medal from the aquatic centre last night. Windsor’s Kylie Masse, who spent the pandemic training in her parents’ backyard pool, won silver in the women’s 100m backstroke, upgrading her bronze from Rio 2016.

🥎Softball: Team Canada won its first-ever softball medal early this morning with a nail-biting 3–2 win over Mexico. After Mexico tied it up in the fifth inning, it was Kelsey Harshman who drove in the winning run. The team’s winning reaction was priceless, making it all the more sad that softball won’t be returning to the Olympics in 2024.

🤼‍♀️Judo: Two days ago, Canada had never won a medal in judo. Now, we have two. After Jessica Klimkait won the bronze yesterday, Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard followed it up with a bronze of her own in the women’s 63kg event today. All that shimmers is gold bronze.

🏅🤸🎾

History making moves for Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka

July 27, 2021
Source: Natacha Pisarenko/AP
Source: Natacha Pisarenko/AP

🤸‍♀️Simone Biles: The gymnastic GOAT had a shaky start to the women’s team final today, lowering her difficulty on the vault before leaving the arena with a trainer. 

  • Biles withdrew from the team event moments later “due a medical issue,” but she eventually returned to cheer on her team to silver from the sidelines, while the ROC  won gold.
  • But Biles’ Olympics are not over. She’ll hopefully be back Thursday for the women’s all-around final before the individual events begin on Sunday. Cross your fingers. 

🎾Naomi Osaka: The Olympic cauldron lighter will leave her home Games without a medal. World No. 2 Osaka was eliminated overnight by No. 42 Markéta Vondroušová (pronounced von-DROH-soh-vah) in the third round. Here for a good time...not for a long time?

  • And with No. 1 Ash Barty and No. 3 Aryna Sabalenka having lost in the first and second rounds, respectively, it’s anyone’s guess who will own the podium.
🏅🏊‍♀️

Tokyo Olympics Gold-Getters

July 26, 2021
Source: TSN/Twitter
Source: TSN/Twitter

Team Canada: While these are the most gender-balanced Olympic Games in history, it’s the women who are carrying Team Canada. The women’s 4x100m freestyle relay swim team won the first Canadian medal — a silver — on Saturday night, and Maggie Mac Neil doubled her medal total last night, bringing home Canada’s first gold in the 100m butterfly. Sugar, baby.

Early yesterday, the pair of Jennifer Abel and Melissa Citrini-Beaulieu won silver in 3m synchro diving, and just this morning, Jessica Klimkait won the red and white’s first-ever judo medal, a bronze in the under-57 kg category. Who run the world? 

🏅Other medal winners: The theme of the weekend was dark horse. Though Dutch medal favorite Annemiek van Vleuten thought she’d won gold when she finished the women’s road cycling race yesterday, the actual winner — teamless, coachless, unsigned, unknown Austrian Anna Kiesenhofer — had crossed the finish line first a shocking minute and 15 seconds earlier. 

  • And in Saturday’s men’s 400m freestyle, 18-year-old Tunisian swimmer Ahmed Hafnaoui won the gold despite qualifying eighth of eight and starting from the outside lane. His family’s reaction is why we love a good underdog story.
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What you need to know about Olympics Softball & Baseball

July 21, 2021
What you need to know about Olympics Softball & Baseball

⚙️How it works: Women’s softball and men’s baseball are returning to the world stage after being nixxed from the 2012 and 2016 Games. 

  • Softball: Six teams (Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Mexico and the United States) play each other once in the group stage, with the top two moving on to the gold medal game and the next two, playing in the bronze medal game. Nice and simple.
  • Baseball: Like softball, six teams will compete, starting with a round robin within two, three-team groups. That said, organizers have introduced a slightly confusing and modified double-elimination bracket, so if you’re a visual learner, click here.

👀Who to watch: As two-time reigning softball world champs with a world No. 1 ranking, Team USA is the overwhelming favorite to win gold. 

  • With major leaguers ineligible to compete, Team USA baseball is world No. 4, so while we’ll be cheering them on, we’ll keep a close eye on No. 1 Japan just in case.

👀Who to watch:  As the two-time reigning softball world champs with a world No. 1 ranking, Team USA is the overwhelming favorite to win gold. However, Team Canada has a solid third place ranking and has promised to “put on a show” for us fans at home.

  • No Canadian representation in baseball, so we’ll keep our eyes on world No. 4 USA and No. 1 Japan instead.

⏰When to watch: