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Americans Caeleb Dressel and Sunisa Lee took an important step on Thursday to occupy a place of preference in the history of the Tokyo 2020 Games. The first one won the queen test of swimming, the 100 meters in freestyle, and the second the emblematic one of artistic gymnastics, the general contest.
After the resignation of the also American Simone Biles, to protect her mental health, when she was announced to be the queen of gymnastics, her compatriot Sunisa Lee took advantage of her absence to prevail in the queen test and present herself as a possible successor.
But the exploits of Dressel and Lee were partly obscured by the appearance of the covid, eternal protagonist of some Games that were postponed for a year due to the epidemic.
If he had already taken two of the main contenders for the golf title, the Spanish Jon Rahm and the American Bryson DeChambeau, this Thursday he wreaked havoc in athletics and more specifically in the pole vault event.
The American Sam Kendricks, current double world champion (2017, 2019) of the specialty, will be killed by covid-19 in Tokyo. Neither will Argentine pole-sitter Germán Chiaraviglio be there for the same reason.
Kendricks, 28, was one of the favorites in the competition alongside Swede Armand Duplantis, current world record holder (6.18 meters indoor) in the discipline.
Duplantis, 21, further reinforces his status as a favorite.
But the shadow of the covid cannot obscure deeds like those of Dressel, 24, and his triumph in the queen of the pool test.
After being sixth in Rio-2016, Dressel took command of the swimming speed tests since 2017 and accumulated thirteen world titles, including the last two in the 100 meters, in Budapest-2017 and Gwangju-2019.
Dressel came to Japan with a mission to accumulate six Olympic golds.
– Objective: six gold –
On Monday he successfully started his challenge, hanging the first gold in the 4x100m freestyle relay. In addition, he aspires to climb to the top of the podium in the 100m butterfly, 50m freestyle and the men’s and mixed styles 4x100m relays.
“I wasn’t worried at all. During the race you can’t do much, whatever has to happen will happen,” explained the champion, savoring his first individual gold, “very different” from his two Olympic relay titles in Rio-2016 and the first one he had achieved, also in relief, at the start of Tokyo-2020.
“I knew I had on my shoulders this weight of having won (Olympic gold) medals in relays, but never individually, so it is very special,” he explained.
Then came Sunisa Lee’s deed. In the absence of Biles, her teammate succeeded her and won gold in the individual general contest, ahead of Brazilian Rebeca Andrade, silver.
Lee managed to retain the gold obtained for the United States in Rio-2016 by Biles, who on Wednesday had announced his withdrawal from the individual general contest, pending his decision on the next finals by apparatus, for which he is also classified.
The flaming gold winner, 18, adds this medal to the silver she already won on Tuesday as part of the American team in the general team contest.
– Spanish and Brazilian joys –
In tennis, Pablo Carreño returned the illusion to Spanish tennis and the sport of this country, which is seeking its first gold in these Olympic Games, by qualifying for the semifinals, after surprising world number two, Russian Daniil Medvedev, in the quarterfinals, whom won by 6-2 and 7-6 (7/5).
Now another Russian awaits him, Karen Khachanov (N.25). The other semifinal will be disputed by the German Alexander Zverev (world No. 5) and the big favorite, the Serbian Novak Djokovic.
Later, a silver that is worth gold would arrive, won by Rebeca Andrade in the general gymnastics contest.
Second joy for Brazil, which adds seven medals in Tokyo, on a day in which the covid returned, which is still the main protagonist of the Games.
© 2021 AFP
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Dressel is crowned in swimming, Sunisa Lee succeeds Biles and the covid maintains prominence – France 24