August 4 Tokyo 2020 Olympics news and results

By Joshua Berlinger, Aditi Sangal and Adam Renton, CNN

Updated 12:02 a.m. ET, August 5, 2021
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2:21 a.m. ET, August 4, 2021

USA women's basketball team wins 53rd consecutive Olympic game to advance to semifinals

From CNN's Jill Martin

The US women’s basketball team, the top team in the world and winners of the past six Olympic gold medals, advanced to the semifinals Wednesday with a 79-55 win against world number two Australia.

Breanna Stewart had 20 points in the first half and would finish with 23 on the day to lead Team USA.

This quarterfinal clash between the two teams Wednesday was a rematch of the gold medal games from the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games. The Americans have won gold in this event in every Olympics since 1996 and currently have a 53-game win streak in Olympic play, dating back to the bronze medal game in 1992.

Up next for the US will be Serbia, which defeated China 77-70 earlier in the day.

The other quarterfinals still to come Wednesday are Japan vs Belgium and Spain vs France.

Australia, competing in this Olympics without their best player, Liz Cambage of the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces, will leave Tokyo without a medal. The Opals had to take a tougher route to get to the quarterfinal stage after losing early in preliminary play. Cambage withdrew ahead of the Olympics when the team was preparing in Nevada, citing mental health.

3:37 a.m. ET, August 4, 2021

Sportsmanship has been a hallmark of Tokyo 2020

From journalist Lauren Lau in Hong Kong and CNN's Rebecca Wright and Tom Booth in Tokyo

Sky Brown of Great Britain hugs Sakura Yosozumi of Japan during the skateboarding park finals on Wednesday.
Sky Brown of Great Britain hugs Sakura Yosozumi of Japan during the skateboarding park finals on Wednesday. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Olympics may feature some of the world's fiercest competitors, but the spirit of humility and sportsmanship has been a hallmark of Tokyo 2020.

Here are some of the best moments from the games

Hugs at Ariake Skate Park: It was all love between the world's top female skateboarders when they competed for the first-ever gold medal in park skateboarding.

All the participants hugged each other each time they finished a run in the final, a heartwarming show of solidarity.

Japan's Sakura Yosozumi won gold and her teammate Kokona Hiraki claimed silver. Sky Brown of Great Britain took bronze.

Misugu Okamoto of Japan is carried by Poppy Olsen of Australia, left, and Bryce Wettstein of the United States, right, after Okamoto fell and failed to get a bronze medal in the park skateboarding finals on Wednesday.
Misugu Okamoto of Japan is carried by Poppy Olsen of Australia, left, and Bryce Wettstein of the United States, right, after Okamoto fell and failed to get a bronze medal in the park skateboarding finals on Wednesday. Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Jumpers share gold: The final of the men's high jump might just go down as Tokyo 2020's best feel-good moment.

Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy and Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar were neck and neck as the event drew to a close. Each executed the first six jumps up to 2.37 meters (7 feet 8 inches), but neither could clear the bar at 2.39 meters.

The duo were offered the chance for a tie-breaker. Barshim asked if they could each have golds. When the official said yes, Tamberi jumped into Barshim's arms for a huge hug, and the crowd roared in celebration.

Joint gold medalists Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy and Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar celebrate on the podium together on August 2.
Joint gold medalists Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy and Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar celebrate on the podium together on August 2. Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Graceful in defeat: After Viktor Axelsen of Denmark beat defending Olympic champion Chen Long of China to win gold in men's singles badminton, he embraced his opponent and shed tears of joy.

By beating Chen, the gold medalist at Rio 2016, Axelsen became the first player from outside of Asia to win the event in more than 20 years.

The mutual respect was on display when the two traded jerseys.

Viktor Axelsen of Denmark, left, speaks with Chen Long of China after their badminton singles final on August 2.
Viktor Axelsen of Denmark, left, speaks with Chen Long of China after their badminton singles final on August 2. Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Celebrating swimming history: Tatjana Schoenmaker made history, and it seemed like everyone wanted to celebrate. After the South African swimmer set an Olympic record to win gold in the 200 meters breaststroke, she burst into tears of joy.

Competitors from the lane next to her, American swimmers Annie Lazor and Lilly King, who won silver and bronze in the event, joined in for a group hug to celebrate Schoenmaker's remarkable win.

South African swimmer Tatjana Schoenmaker is congratulated by some of her fellow competitors — from left, American Lilly King, American Annie Lazor and South African Kaylene Corbett — after winning gold in the 200 meters breaststroke on July 30.
South African swimmer Tatjana Schoenmaker is congratulated by some of her fellow competitors — from left, American Lilly King, American Annie Lazor and South African Kaylene Corbett — after winning gold in the 200 meters breaststroke on July 30. Carl Recine/Reuters

1:28 a.m. ET, August 4, 2021

Wednesday is expected to be the hottest day of the Tokyo Olympics

From CNN's Michael Guy

Competitors try to stay cool during the high jump event on August 4.
Competitors try to stay cool during the high jump event on August 4. Martin Meissner/AP

The mercury is expected to rise to 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) in Tokyo on Wednesday, making it the hottest day of the Olympics so far.

For athletes competing outdoors, the conditions during the day will likely be punishing. Tokyo's stifling summer humidity means temperatures will feel as high as 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).

Because of these conditions, Japan's Meteorological Agency may issue a code red heat alert, the highest level on the scale.

Conditions are hot throughout Japan. Forty of the country's 47 prefectures were placed under heat illness alerts on Wednesday.

An ongoing issue: Tokyo's high summer temperatures and thick humidity concerned many going into the Summer Games. Makoto Yokohari, a professor of environment and urban planning at the University of Tokyo and adviser to Olympic organizers, told CNN before the opening ceremony that "when you take into account not only the temperature, but also humidity, I would say that a Tokyo summer is the worst in the history of Olympics."

Several athletes, including tennis star Novak Djokovic, have voiced concerns about the dangers of the heat and humidity. Djokovic called the conditions "brutal" when he was competing.

12:32 a.m. ET, August 4, 2021

IOC investigating case of two Chinese athletes wearing badges of Mao Zedong on the podium

From CNN's Gawon Bae

China's Bao Shanju, left, and Zhong Tianshi pose with their gold medals on the podium after the track cycling team sprint final on August 2.
China's Bao Shanju, left, and Zhong Tianshi pose with their gold medals on the podium after the track cycling team sprint final on August 2. Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has asked China's Olympic Committee to explain why two Chinese cyclists, Bao Shanju and Zhong Tianshi, wore badges featuring the likeness of the country's late leader Mao Zedong during a medal ceremony on Monday.

Spokesman Mark Adams on Tuesday said the IOC has contacted the Chinese Olympic Committee about the incident. The following day he said the IOC was assured "this will not happen again."

IOC rules prohibit athletes from protesting or engaging in political demonstrations on the podium, though they are allowed to express their views at other Olympic venues.

American Raven Saunders, who won the silver medal in shot put, was the first athlete to protest on the podium at the Tokyo Games, crossing her arms into an X-shape during her medal ceremony Sunday. The IOC said it has “fully suspended” any action against Saunders after news of her mother's death overnight.

adges of the late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong pinned China's Bao Shanju, left, Zhong Tianshi wearing protective face masks pose with badges of the late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong pinned to their tracksuits REUTERS/Matthew Childs
adges of the late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong pinned China's Bao Shanju, left, Zhong Tianshi wearing protective face masks pose with badges of the late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong pinned to their tracksuits REUTERS/Matthew Childs Matthew Childs/Reuters

12:55 a.m. ET, August 4, 2021

Japan's Sakura Yosozumi wins gold and Kokona Hiraki takes silver in women's park skateboarding

Gold medalist Sakura Yosozumi of Japan celebrates on the podium next to silver medalist Kokona Hiraki of Japan and bronze medalist Sky Brown of Great Britain after their park skateboarding final event on August 4.
Gold medalist Sakura Yosozumi of Japan celebrates on the podium next to silver medalist Kokona Hiraki of Japan and bronze medalist Sky Brown of Great Britain after their park skateboarding final event on August 4. Mike Blake/Reuters

Japan's Sakura Yosozumi and Kokona Hiraki took gold and silver in the first ever women's park skateboarding event.

British skateboarder Sky Brown, another one of the sport's bright young stars, won bronze. She beat out Misugu Okamoto for third place, denying Japan a clean sweep in the event.

All three medalists are younger than 20. Yosozumi is 19, Hiraki is 12, and Brown is 13.

Brown, Great Britain's youngest ever Olympian, is now also the country's youngest ever medalist.

With Yosozumi's win, Japan has taken gold in all three skateboarding events so far in Tokyo.

Skateboarding concludes Thursday with the men's park event.

11:59 p.m. ET, August 3, 2021

What you need to know on Day 12 of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Poland's Amelia Brodka competes in the park skateboarding preliminaries on Wednesday.
Poland's Amelia Brodka competes in the park skateboarding preliminaries on Wednesday. Ben Curtis/AP

Skateboarding is back. Women's sport climbing makes its Olympic debut. And the women's 400 meters hurdles final proved to be just as exciting as the men's race on Tuesday.

Here's what you need to know on day 12 of the Tokyo Olympics.

Timanovskaya leaves Tokyo: Belarusian Olympic sprinter Kristina Timanovskaya was seen boarding a Vienna-bound flight out of Tokyo on Wednesday, just days after she was threatened by team officials for refusing to compete in an event she had never trained for.

Biles wins bronze: The best-ever female American gymnast finished Tokyo 2020 on a high note, taking home the bronze medal in the individual balance beam event. Biles had a tough Olympics, withdrawing midway through the team competition for mental health reasons.

She then skipped the next four individual finals — the all-around individual competition, the vault, the uneven bars and floor — to focus on her psychological well-being.

Biles said competing in beam was different than the other disciplines.

"For the other events, physically and mentally, it was not safe for me to do it because I could not do the skills without jeopardizing my health and safety," she told reporters after winning bronze.
"At the end of the day, we're not just entertainment. We're human and there are things going on behind the scenes that we're also trying to deal with on top of sports."

China's Guan Chenchen took gold and her teammate Tang Xijing claimed silver.

Morning medals:

  • Hurdles: Sydney McLaughlin smashed her own world record to win the women's 400 meters hurdles. Fellow American Dalilah Muhammad, who also broke the previous world record, took silver.
  • Marathon swimming: Ana Marcela Cunha of Brazil won the 10 kilometer race, the Olympics' longest swim, by less than a second. She swam in 1:59:30.8 to earn her first Olympic medal.

The leaderboard: China leads all countries with 32 gold medals, followed by the US with 25 and Japan with 19. The US has won 75 total medals, more than any other nation. China is second with 69 and the Russian Olympic Committee has 52.

What's on tap later:

  • Athletics: Wednesday's headliners include the women's 3,000 meters steeplechase final. For the men, gold is up for grabs in the hammer, 800 meters and 200 meters.
  • Women's basketball: Serbia beat China to advance to the semifinals, and the US takes on Australia next. The other two quarterfinals, Japan vs. Belgium and Spain vs. France, take place Wednesday evening in Japan.
  • Boxing: Among the medal fights, Cuba's Arlen Lopez bids for a second Olympic gold against Team GB's Ben Whittaker in the men's light heavyweight final at the Kokugikan Arena.

The full Olympic schedule can be found here.

11:57 p.m. ET, August 3, 2021

The men and women who medaled in the 400 meters hurdles crushed records in almost identical fashion

From CNN's Jill Martin

American Sydney McLaughlin competes in the women's 400 meter hurdles final on Wednesday.
American Sydney McLaughlin competes in the women's 400 meter hurdles final on Wednesday. Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

It's happened again.

For the second day in a row, an Olympic 400 meters hurdles final was a tightly contested race — with two athletes breaking what was the previous world record in the event and the third-place finisher running the fourth-fastest time ever. 

This time it came in the women’s race.

Americans Sydney McLaughlin and Dalilah Muhammad entered the final as favorites to win gold. McLaughlin had set the previous world record in June with a time of 51.90 seconds. On Wednesday morning in Tokyo's Olympic Stadium, she and Muhammed both topped it.

McLaughlin finished nearly a half-second faster, taking gold with a run of 51.46 seconds. Muhammad, who won this event at Rio 2016, took silver in a time of 51.58.

"What a great race," McLaughlin said. "I'm just grateful to be out here celebrating that extraordinary race and representing my country."

Femke Bol of the Netherlands finished in 52.03 seconds to win bronze. Bol's time was the fourth-fastest run in this event ever.

Surprising similarities: The men's 400 meters hurdles played out almost identically on Tuesday. Norway's Karsten Warholm held the world record heading into the race. Both he and second-place finisher Rai Benjamin beat Warholm's previous record to win gold and silver, respectively, just like McLaughlin and Muhammad.

"I can't really (get) it straight in my head yet. I'm sure I'll process it and celebrate later," McLaughlin said after the women's race.

Bronze medalist Alison dos Santos of Brazil ran the fourth-fastest time in history in the men's event to win bronze — just like Bol.

Norway's Karsten Warholm reacts after winning the men's 400 meter hurdles final on Tuesday.
Norway's Karsten Warholm reacts after winning the men's 400 meter hurdles final on Tuesday. Petr David Josek/AP
11:40 p.m. ET, August 3, 2021

Belarusian sprinter Kristina Timanovskaya has left Tokyo

From CNN's Taylor Barnes, Sara Turnbull and Helen Regan

Belarusian Olympian Kristina Timanovskaya arrives at a boarding gate for her flight out of Narita International Airport in Tokyo on Wednesday.
Belarusian Olympian Kristina Timanovskaya arrives at a boarding gate for her flight out of Narita International Airport in Tokyo on Wednesday. Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images

Belarusian Olympic sprinter Kristina Timanovskaya, who refused to fly home fearing she would be arrested, was seen boarding a Vienna-bound flight out of Tokyo on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old athlete was set to compete in the women's 200 meters at the Tokyo Games on Monday, but instead said team officials tried to forcibly send her back to Belarus against her wishes after she criticized sporting authorities.

Her drama-filled plight has dominated global headlines around the Games and while her comments were not overtly political, her case has heightened fears of the safety of those who speak out against Belarusian officials.

Timanovskaya was seen arriving at Narita airport on Wednesday morning with luggage and wearing blue jeans and a blue sweatshirt. She later boarded Austrian Airlines flight OS52.

The athlete had been expected to travel to Warsaw, Poland, where she was offered safe refuge and a humanitarian visa by the country's Prime Minister. It is not clear if she will make a connection in Vienna on her way to Poland, or if she intends to stay in Austria, or travel elsewhere.

Read more:

12:47 a.m. ET, August 4, 2021

Simone Biles reveals her aunt unexpectedly died during the Olympics

From CNN's Jill Martin

American Simone Biles is seen during warm-ups prior to the balance beam final on August 3.
American Simone Biles is seen during warm-ups prior to the balance beam final on August 3. Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Following her bronze medal win on balance beam Tuesday, Simone Biles revealed that her aunt had died during the Olympics.

"Two days ago my aunt unexpectedly passed, and that was something I wasn't expecting to happen at the Olympic Games either, so at the end of the day, you have to be a little bit more mindful of what you say online, because you have no idea of what these athletes are going through as well as (in) their sports," Biles said.

Biles didn’t compete in four individual finals at the Tokyo Olympics — the all-around individual competition, vault, uneven bars and floor exercise — after withdrawing during the women’s team final, citing mental health concerns.

"Every day I had to be medically evaluated by the doctors, and then I had two sessions with a sports psychologist which kind of helped keep me more level-headed,” said Biles, regarding preparations for the beam final. “I was cleared to do beam, which I honestly didn't think I'd be cleared to do last night."