July 28 Tokyo 2020 Olympics news and results

By Joshua Berlinger, Aditi Sangal and Adam Renton, CNN

Updated 12:05 a.m. ET, August 3, 2021
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10:13 p.m. ET, July 28, 2021

Simone Biles says huge support has made her realize she's "more than my accomplishments and gymnastics"

Simone Biles blows a kiss while watching the men's All-Around Final on day five of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre on July 28, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
Simone Biles blows a kiss while watching the men's All-Around Final on day five of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre on July 28, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Simone Biles acknowledged the "outpouring love & support" she's received since announcing she would not compete in the women's individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympics to focus on her well-being.

It remains unclear if Biles, the five-time Olympic medalist, will compete in other events.

"[T]he outpouring love & support I’ve received has made me realize I’m more than my accomplishments and gymnastics which I never truly believed before," Biles tweeted.

Read the tweet:

10:08 p.m. ET, July 28, 2021

Hot and humid week ahead for Olympic athletes

From CNN Weather’s Taylor Ward and Gene Norman

Kim Si Woo of South Korea walks past a fan spraying mist during golf competition in Kawagoe, Japan, on July 29.
Kim Si Woo of South Korea walks past a fan spraying mist during golf competition in Kawagoe, Japan, on July 29. Toby Melville/Reuters

Tokyo is experiencing a hot and humid first week of the Olympics, but the high temperatures are not unusual for Japan's capital in mid-summer.

The average high temperature for late July in Tokyo is 31 degrees Celsius (88 degrees Fahrenheit). Over the past five days, highs have ranged from 29.8 to 34.4 degrees Celsius (86 to 94 F) — an average of roughly 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 F) above usual high temperatures.  

Compounding the heat is the usual high humidity. Humidity values have ranged from 66% to 84%, making it feel much hotter, and limiting the body’s ability to cool down through sweat and evaporation.

Though Tokyo is not officially in a heat wave, the hot weather is having an impact on Olympic athletes, particularly in the tennis. Organizers said Wednesday they are pushing back matches so they will begin later in the day.

It came after Spain’s Paula Badosa was forced to retire from her women’s singles quarterfinal match and left the court in a wheelchair due to heatstroke on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Russian Olympic Committee player Daniil Medvedev told the chair umpire that he could finish his men’s singles third-round match — but wanted to know whether the International Tennis Federation would take responsibility if he died.

What athletes can expect in the next week: The forecast in Tokyo is for more of the same — temperatures will continue to be in the low 30s in degrees Celsius (86 to 92 F) over the next seven days, potentially reaching 33 to 34 degrees Celsius (92 to 93 F) over the weekend. There are not currently any heat advisories in effect for the Greater Tokyo region, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. 

10:08 p.m. ET, July 28, 2021

USA's Bobby Finke wins gold in men's 800-meter freestyle

US swimmer Robert Finke reacts after winning gold in the 800-meter freestyle swimming on July 29.
US swimmer Robert Finke reacts after winning gold in the 800-meter freestyle swimming on July 29. Attila Kisbenedek/AFP/Getty Images

American swimmer Robert Finke won gold in the men's 800-meter freestyle event on Thursday morning in Japan with a time of 7:41.87.

This is the first time the event has been held at the Olympics.

Finke, who goes by Bobby, beat Italy's Gregorio Paltrinieri, who took silver with a time of 7:42.11. Ukraine's Mykhailo Romanchuk won bronze in 7:42.33.

9:54 p.m. ET, July 28, 2021

Italy wins gold in lightweight women’s double rowing

From CNN’s Seamus Fagan

Italy's Valentina Rodini and Federica Cesarini react after winning gold in the lightweight rowing double sculls on July 29.
Italy's Valentina Rodini and Federica Cesarini react after winning gold in the lightweight rowing double sculls on July 29. Lee Jin-man/AP

Italians Valentina Rodini and Federica Cesarini have won gold in the lightweight women’s double sculls rowing event.

The 2021 European champions in the event edged out the field by 14-hundredths of second with a time of 6:47.54.

The triumph gives Italy its second gold medal and 17th total medal at the Tokyo Games.

9:42 p.m. ET, July 28, 2021

Ireland wins first Olympic rowing gold

From CNN's Jacob Lev and Jill Martin

Paul O'Donovan, left, and Fintan McCarthy of Ireland celebrate after winning gold in the Men's Lightweight Double Sculls in Tokyo on July 29.
Paul O'Donovan, left, and Fintan McCarthy of Ireland celebrate after winning gold in the Men's Lightweight Double Sculls in Tokyo on July 29. Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Ireland's Fintan McCarthy and Paul O'Donovan have won the country's first ever Olympic gold medal in rowing during the men's lightweight double sculls event, finishing with a time of 6:06.43.

Germany claimed silver with a time of 6:07:29 and Italy took bronze in 6:14:30.

It's Ireland's first gold medal of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and second medal overall of this Games.

Prior to the Tokyo 2020 Games, Ireland had won nine Olympic gold medals, all in individual events in athletics, boxing and swimming.

O’Donovan, alongside his brother Gary O’Donovan, won silver in this event in Rio in 2016, which was Ireland’s first medal in Olympic rowing. Other athletes representing Ireland to have collected multiple Olympic medals are swimmer Michelle Smith (four), hammer thrower Pat O'Callaghan (two) and boxer Paddy Barnes (two).

Congratulatory tweets have already started to roll in for the Irish team, including this one from Skibbereen Rowing:

9:12 p.m. ET, July 28, 2021

New Zealand wins its first gold medal of the Games

From CNN's Seamus Fagan

New Zealand's Grace Prendergast (left) and Kerri Gowler celebrate winning gold.
New Zealand's Grace Prendergast (left) and Kerri Gowler celebrate winning gold. Luis Acosta/AFP/Getty Images

New Zealand won its first gold medal of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics with victory in the women’s pair rowing.

Duo Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler took gold with a time of 6:50.19 on Thursday morning in Japan. It's also New Zealand’s first ever Olympic gold medal in the event.

The Russian Olympic Committee took silver with a time of 6:51.45, and Canada earned bronze with a time of 6:52.10.

9:02 p.m. ET, July 28, 2021

Former Olympian Apolo Ohno says the mind of an athlete can be "the world's strongest prison"

Former speed skater Apolo Ohno won eight medals at the Winter Olympics.
Former speed skater Apolo Ohno won eight medals at the Winter Olympics. CNN

American former skating star Apolo Ohno has lent his support to gymnast Simone Biles, saying the world should support athletes "when they need it most."

Biles decided to bow out of the women's individual all-around competition to focus on herself, prompting waves of support from fellow Olympians like eight-time medalist Ohno.

"The mind is the greatest asset or sometimes it's the world's strongest prison. At first glance, you see someone who is the ultimate performer when we often like to portray them as invincible and all of the ideas we want to see from a superhero figure," Ohno told CNN tonight. 
"When we forget they're human we forget they have bad days and we always support athletes when they win and they are champions. When we see them on the stage, we always wish we can or they would like to be. We should also support them when they need it most."
8:43 p.m. ET, July 28, 2021

Croatia's Sinkovic brothers take gold in rowing men's pair

From CNN's Jill Martin

Martin Sinkovic (left) and Valent Sinkovic celebrate their victory.
Martin Sinkovic (left) and Valent Sinkovic celebrate their victory. Maja Hitij/Getty Images

Croatian brothers Martin Sinkovic and Valent Sinkovic have added to their career Olympic medal haul, winning gold in the rowing men’s pair final.

The brothers had won two medals each at the past two Olympic Games heading into Tokyo 2020.

They won gold together in the double sculls in 2016, and they were part of Croatia's boat to win silver in the quadruple sculls in 2012.

Romania took silver, while Denmark earned bronze.

 

6:09 p.m. ET, July 28, 2021

Biles and "the twisties": How fear impacts the mental health and physical safety of gymnasts

Analysis by Elle Reeve

American gymnast Simone Biles performs on the vault during the artistic gymnastics final on July 27.
American gymnast Simone Biles performs on the vault during the artistic gymnastics final on July 27. Ashley Landis/AP

The twisties are a mysterious phenomenon, where suddenly a gymnast is no longer able to do a twisting skill she's done thousands of times before.

Your body just won't cooperate, your brain loses track of where you are in the air. You find out where the ground is when you slam into it.

This is what Simone Biles said she experienced in morning practice.

When Biles scratched most of the Olympic team final, she said it was not because of a physical injury, but her mental health. This doesn't mean she felt sad, or didn't have her heart in it to compete. It means that her psychological state put her at significant physical risk. If her brain wouldn't play along with what her body knows how to do, she could be seriously injured.

Flipping and twisting at the same time can be extremely disorienting, you can't just watch where you are with your eyes. You have to feel it. This is proprioception, a sense of where your body is in space and what it's doing.

In gymnastics, this is called "air sense." And Biles is famous for how good hers is.

"She's always had incredible air sense, which is what you need in this sport," her former coach Aimee Boorman told Houstonia magazine in 2015. "She doesn't crash very frequently. Other kids, you'll just see them splat, or get lost in the air. That doesn't happen with her."

Her natural talent is why her missed vault is so stunning. But her decision to scratch makes a lot of sense. When the twisties set in, it's hard to know when they'll go away. But Biles' decision to protect herself marks a shift from the old way gymnastics worked in the US.

"We also have to focus on ourselves, because at the end of the day we're human, too," she said. "So, we have to protect our mind and our body, rather than just go out there and do what the world wants us to do."