#SportsReport: Dressel, Finke Win Gold; U.S. Pole Vaulter Tests Positive For COVID-19
The U.S. Olympic team has found more gold in the pool. Caeleb Dressel has claimed the first individual gold medal of his career by holding off the defending Olympic champion, Australia's Kyle Chalmers, in the 100-meter freestyle. Dressel closed with a furious sprint to the wall and posted a time of 47.02 seconds, an Olympic record. Dressel beat Chalmers by a mere six-hundredths of a second, leaving the 2016 winner with a silver medal this time.Bobby Finke was the winner in the debut of the men's 800-meter swimming freestyle event at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Finke was fourth on the final lap before turning on a dazzling burst of speed at the end of the 16-lap race, passing all three swimmers ahead of him to take the gold. Finke's winning time was 7 minutes, 41.87 seconds, just 0.24 ahead of Italy's Gregorio Paltrinieri.
In other Olympic competition:
Americans Regan Smith and Hali Flickinger finished 2-3 in the women's 200-meter butterfly. China's Zhang Yufei turned in a dominating performance with an Olympic-record time of 2 minutes, 3.86 seconds, finishing a body length ahead of Smith.
China surprised the U.S. and Australia with a world-record performance in the women's 4x200-meter freestyle relay. Katie Ledecky took the anchor leg for the Americans in third place, nearly 2 seconds behind the Chinese before swimming the U.S. to silver.
Slovakia's Zuzana Rehak Stefecekova set an Olympic record in women's trap to deny the United States a third-straight shotgun gold medal. Rehak Stefecekova hit 43 of 50 targets on a breezy day at Asaka Shooting Range, beating American Kayle Browning.
Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena are moving on in the Olympic beach volleyball tournament. The Americans beat a duo from Argentina, 21-19, 18-21, 15-6 to improve to 2-1 in the round-robin.
American beach volleyball players Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil dispatched Kenya in just 25 minutes, the fastest women's match since the Olympics adopted their current format. Claes and Sponcil coasted to a 21-8, 21-6 rout to improve to 2-0 and almost certainly clinch a spot in the knockout round of 16.
Reigning BMX racing gold medalists Mariana Pajon of Columbia and American Connor Fields have moved on to the semifinals. Fields won two qualifying heats and finished second in another.
American world-champion pole vaulter Sam Kendricks will miss the Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19. Kendricks' dad posted on social media that his son had no symptoms but was informed while in Tokyo that he tested positive and was out of the competition. The IOC's medical director says from July 1 through Wednesday, 198 people accredited for the Tokyo Games have tested positive for COVID-19, including 23 athletes. But he maintains the cases have not placed a burden on the city's medical system — only 2 of those 198 cases required hospital treatment.
Randal Grichuk belted a two-run homer and had three RBIs as the Blue Jays downed the Red Sox, 4-1 in Game 1 of a doubleheader. George Springer also went deep to back Robbie Ray, who allowed a run and five hits over six innings. The Red Sox turned the tables in Game 2 as rookie starter Tanner Houck struck out seven over four innings of a 4-1 decision over Toronto. Rookie Jarren Duran hit his first major league triple for the AL East leaders, an RBI drive in the fourth.
Elsewhere in baseball:
Boston's division lead is up to 2 1/2 games over Tampa Bay after the Yankees scratched out a pair of runs in the 10th inning to beat the Rays, 3-1. Aaron Judge delivered the tiebreaking, RBI single after being a late scratch from the lineup.
Outfielder Michael Conforto threw out the potential tying run at the plate in the ninth inning to preserve the Mets' 2-1 victory over the Braves. Brandon Drury's pinch-hit homer in the seventh inning helped the NL East leaders move five games ahead of Atlanta.
The Houston Astros had no trouble maintaining their six-game lead over Oakland atop the American League West. Yuli Gurriel fell a triple shy of the cycle while driving in three runs to lead the Astros' 11-4 pounding of the Mariners. It was the 13th time this season Gurriel has had at least three hits. Carlos Correa also had three hits and Kyle Tucker homered for the Astros, who have won seven of their last nine games.
The Athletics kept pace as Sean Manaea took a perfect game into the sixth inning and Matt Chapman smacked a three-run homer in a 10-4 blowout over the Padres. Manaea kept the Padres off the basepaths until he issued a one-out walk to Jurickson Profar and pinch-hitter Eric Hosmer then lofted a bloop single. Elvis Andrus had three hits and two RBIs for the A's, who split the two-game series.
Michael A. Taylor's two-out single in the bottom of the 10th gave the Royals a 3-2 triumph over the White Sox. Salvador Perez tied the game with a solo blast in the ninth before Kansas City won for the seventh time in eight games.
Franmil Reyes hit two of the Indians' four home runs in a 7-2 victory over the Cardinals. Reyes' second-inning blast bounced out of Progressive Field and almost dinged a bicyclist pedaling past on the street.
Shohei Ohtani slammed his major league-leading 37th home run, a three-run blast in the fourth inning of the Angels' 8-7 win over the Rockies. Phil Gosselin's RBI single in the eighth broke a 7-all deadlock.
The Tigers were outhomered 7-0 yet still managed to defeat the Twins, 17-14. Jeimer Candelario had three ribbies and Eric Haase supplied a three-run double to help Detroit overcome Ryan Jeffers' grand slam in a six-run fourth.
The Orioles pulled out an 8-7 win over the Marlins behind Ryan McKenna, who drew a bases-loaded walk to force in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. Trey Mancini and Pedro Severino contributed home runs to help Baltimore erase a 5-0 deficit.
The Dodgers are back within two games of the NL West lead after Walker Buehler tossed three-hit ball over seven innings of an 8-0 pounding of the first-place Giants. Cody Bellinger homered for the defending World Series champions, while Max Muncy and AJ Pollock had three hits apiece to help Los Angeles end a three-game skid.
The Brewers knocked off the Pirates, 7-3 as Lorenzo Cain and Luis Urias hit two-run doubles to support Adrian Houser's five scoreless innings. Pittsburgh rookie Rodolfo Castro became the first player in major league history to homer with his first five big league hits when he went deep twice against Milwaukee's bullpen.
Joey Votto homered twice for the second consecutive day, going deep in his fifth straight game to match a club record as the Reds thumped the Cubs, 8-2. Tyler Stephenson and Shogo Akiyama each had two RBIs in support of Tyler Mahle, who worked six shutout innings.
The Diamondbacks were 3-2 winners over the Rangers as Madison Bumgarner pitched four-hit ball over seven innings to win for the first time in 2 1/2 months. David Peralta and Daulton Varsho slammed solo home runs as Arizona won despite collecting just three hits.
Wednesday's game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington was postponed after three more Nationals players and eight staffers tested positive for COVID-19. The postponement was announced a little over an hour before the scheduled game time and came a day after Nationals star Trea Turner exited a game against Philadelphia in the first inning following his positive test for the virus. The game has been rescheduled as part of a straight doubleheader on Thursday.
In MLB news:
The Yankees' inconsistent offense has been bolstered by the acquisition of outfielder Joey Gallo from the Rangers. A person familiar with the trade revealed it to The Associated Press, saying it is pending the approval of medical records for the players involved. The left-handed-hitting Gallo is batting .223 with 25 homers, 55 RBIs and a major league-leading 74 walks.
The Athletics have acquired versatile but well-traveled outfielder Starling Marte from the Miami Marlins for left-hander Jesús Luzardo. The 32-year-old Marte is batting .306 with an .859 OPS and 22 stolen bases in 25 attempts. The Marlins will cover nearly all of his remaining contract for 2021, and he becomes a free agent after this season.
The Brewers have landed All-Star third baseman Eduardo Escobar from the Diamondbacks for two prospects. The 32-year-old Escobar made his first All-Star game this season and is batting .246 with 22 homers.
The Reds added some more help for their struggling bullpen by acquiring right-hander Mychal Givens from the Rockies pitching prospects Case Williams and right-hander Noah Davis. The 31-year-old Givens is due to be a free agent after the season.
Second overall draft pick Jack Leiter has signed a deal with the Texas Rangers that includes a $7.9 million signing bonus. It is the largest signing bonus for a drafted pitcher in 10 years.
The expansion Seattle Kraken bolstered their netminding on the first day of the NHL's free agent signing period, inking former Colorado Avalanche netminder Philipp Grubauer to a six-year package worth $35.5 million. Grubauer was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goaltender after going 30-9-1 with a 1.95 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage. Seattle also added to its forwards by signing Jaden Schwartz and Alexander Wennberg.
In other moves:
Forward Brayden Point has taken an eight-year deal to remain with the Lightning. Point collected 48 points in 56 games during the regular season this year before providing 14 goals and 23 points in 23 playoff games for the Stanley Cup champs.
The Devils have picked up one of the three marquee free agents by working out a seven-year, $63 million deal with Dougie Hamilton. He had 10 goals and 32 assists in 55 games last season and has 341 points in the regular season during his NHL career with Boston, Calgary and Carolina.
Two-time Stanley Cup champion Blake Coleman signed a six-year deal with Calgary worth just under $30 million. Coleman had 11 points in 23 playoff games for the Cup-winning Lightning this year.
Forward Mike Hoffman has accepted a three-year, $13.5 million package from the Canadiens. He's now teammates with defenseman David Savard, who accepted Montreal's four-year, $14 million package.
The Predators are keeping forward Mikael Granlund around with a four-year, $20 million contract. Granlund has scored a team-high 24 goals since John Hynes was hired as head coach in January 2020.
The Stars signed three-time All-Star defenseman Ryan Suter and former Stanley Cup champion goaltender Braden Holtby. Both veterans were recently bought out by their previous teams. Suter signed a four-year deal worth $14.6 million.
Two-time Stanley Cup champion Blake Coleman was among the others to get a deal done early. Coleman signed a six-year deal with Calgary worth just under $30 million.
Phillip Danault has signed a six-year, $33 million contract with the Kings. Danault helped the Canadiens reach the Stanley Cup Final this year.
The Hurricanes have acquired defenseman Ethan Bear from the Oilers for forward Warren Foegele. The team also signed defenseman Tony DeAngelo for one season and added netminders Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta on two-year deals.
The Senators have signed head coach D.J. Smith to a two-year extension. The deal will keep the 44-year-old Smith behind the bench through the 2023-24 season.
It was Festivus in Green Bay on Wednesday, and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers spent much of his nearly 32-minute news conference airing his grievances. He explained why he stayed away from OTAs and mandatory minicamp. One of those reasons was his desire to serve as a recruiter and evaluator of free agents. Rodgers also said the team didn't have any plans for him beyond the upcoming season. He was also displeased by the way the team has allowed several star players to leave the team, some without any contract offer. Rodgers wasn't sure he'll be a Packer beyond this season.
Elsewhere in the NFL:
The Jets held their first practice of training camp without their hoped-for franchise quarterback. Zach Wilson remained unsigned Wednesday and is the only first-round draft pick to not have a deal done after San Francisco signed quarterback Trey Lance earlier in the day.
Quarterback Lamar Jackson has tested positive for COVID-19 and missed Baltimore's first practice of training camp. Coach John Harbaugh announced Jackson's positive test after practice Wednesday and said running back Gus Edwards also tested positive. He would not go into much more detail about either case.
Deshaun Watson was on the field for the start of training camp with the Texans. The future of the quarterback is uncertain after he asked for a trade in January before 22 women filed lawsuits alleging that he sexually assaulted or harassed them in March. Houston police and the NFL are investigating the allegations, but no charges have been filed.
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