Tuesday was a day of ups and down and emotions for the United States. While it started and ended with gold medals in events making their Olympic debuts, the news that had the country talking was Simone Biles' unexpected withdrawal from the women's gymnastics team final.
The Russian Olympic Committee won the gold medal after Biles exited following her first apparatus. Biles said that following a shaky vault, she realized she wasn’t in the right headspace to compete.
“I didn’t want to go into any of the other events second-guessing myself,” Biles said. “So I thought it would be better if I took a step back and let these girls go out there and do their job.”
In the team competition, only three of the four gymnasts need to compete on each apparatus. So, Suni Lee, Jordan Chiles and Grace McCallum finished up as Biles stood on the sidelines cheering them on.
The Russian gymnasts posted a team score of 169.528, ahead of the U.S. in second place at 166.096. The gold is the first for the Russians since the Unified Team triumphed in Barcelona in 1992 and came a day after the men’s team edged Japan for the top spot in the men’s final.
Great Britain won bronze.
USA Gymnastics announced Wednesday morning that Biles was also dropping out of the all-around final. She will be replaced by American Jade Carey. It's not clear if she will compete in the individual event finals which start Sunday.
Ledecky picks up first Tokyo gold in new event
Katie Ledecky won the 1,500-meter freestyle, which made its Olympic debut for women this year. That helped the American star make up for what has so far been the worst showing of her Olympic career.
About an hour after finishing fifth in the 200-meter freestyle, Ledecky held off teammate Erica Sullivan to win the metric mile in 15 minutes, 37.34 seconds.
Sullivan claimed the silver in 15:41.41, while Germany’s Sarah Kohler grabbed the bronze in 15:42.91.
Earlier in the evening, Ledecky failed to medal in the women's 200-meter final. Australian Ariarne Titmus won gold.
American wins first women's surfing Olympic gold
Carissa Moore of the United States and Italo Ferreira of Brazil became the first Olympic surfing champions on Tuesday, more than a century after the sport first tried to get on the program.
The 28-year-old Moore, the darling child prodigy who could beat the boys and grew up to be the youngest world champion surfer, persevered after struggling in the early heats.
US women's soccer advances to quarterfinals
The U.S. women made it through to the quarterfinals of the women's soccer tournament after a 0-0 draw with Australia on Tuesday. It secured the United States second place in Group G behind Sweden on goal difference. The Americans will face the Netherlands, the top finisher in Group F, in Yokohama on Friday. The game is a rematch of the 2019 World Cup final, which the United States won 2-0.
US gets silver in return of women's softball
For pitchers Cat Osterman and Monica Abbott, it was just like 4,723 days earlier.
Japan won its second straight Olympic softball gold medal, beating the United States 2-0 Tuesday night behind 39-year-old Yukiko Ueno in an emotional repeat of the 2008 victory in Beijing.
US women win silver in synchronized diving
Chen Yuxi and Zhang Jiaqi won the women’s 10-meter synchronized platform, giving the diving powerhouse its second gold of the Tokyo Games.
Jessica Parratto and Delaney Schnell of the U.S. took silver in just their second competition as a pair. Gabriela Agundez Garcia and Alejandra Orozco Loza of Mexico earned bronze.
In other medal results, the German dressage team won its ninth gold medal in the past 10 Olympics by beating the United States and Britain for the second straight time. Yang Haoran and Yang Qian of China beat Americans Lucas Kozeniesky and Mary Tucker in 10-meter air rifle.