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Plus, Canada wins third gold of the Games with victory in women’s eight rowing – the first in the event since 1992

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Canada’s Kylie Masse holds up her silver medal in the women’s 200m backstroke at the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday, at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. She won the silver medal. July 31, 2021Melissa Tait/The Globe and Mail

Latest Olympic highlights

  • Kylie Masse wins silver: In the pool, Kylie Masse claimed silver in women’s 200-metre backstroke in another meeting with her rival, Australia’s Kaylee McKeown, who finished first. Canada’s Taylor Ruck also finished sixth on Saturday, 3.56 seconds behind the winner.
  • Simone Biles: The ‘twisties’ have grounded the most decorated American gymnast of all time. Biles has withdrawn from the vault and uneven bars at Tokyo and her status for the last two individual gymnastic events is still unknown. Earlier this week, she withdrew from the event finals and the all-around final, citing mental health reasons.
  • Tennis shock: World No. 1 Novak Djokovic was beaten by Germany’s Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals of the men’s singles at the Tokyo Games, dashing the Serbian’s dream of winning his first singles gold medal and completing a Golden Slam. Djokovic had been aiming to become the first man to win all four majors and Olympic gold in the same calendar year, matching the feat Steffi Graf achieved in 1988.
  • Rugby Canada fires coach: Rugby Canada has fired Jamie Cudmore, a former star player in charge of developing the next generation of talent after a series of social media posts belittling the women’s sevens team. The comments have added to a year of turmoil for the governing body and the sevens women, who launched a formal complaint in January under Rugby Canada’s bullying and harassment policy.
  • Hong Kong & China: Hong Kong police arrested a man Friday on suspicion of insulting the national anthem, after he was allegedly caught booing the Chinese nation anthem while watching an Olympic event at a mall. The 40-year old man was allegedly waving colonial-era Hong Kong flags according to a police statement posted on Facebook.
  • Inclusion: Transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard of New Zealand is in Japan for the Tokyo Games and thanked the International Olympic Committee on Friday for helping to make it possible for her to compete. Hubbard has been a focus for support and criticism since qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics. She is a medal contender in the women’s over-87-kilogram weightlifting category on Monday.

Get the Olympic highlights in your inbox every day with our newsletter, or follow @globeandmail on Twitter for breaking news. Here are yesterday’s Olympic highlights in case you missed them.

Situation in Tokyo, by numbers




More Olympic updates for July 30

  • Women’s eight rowing: The Canadian team of Lisa Roman, Kasia Gruchalla-Wesierski, Christine Roper, Andrea Proske, Susanne Grainger, Madison Mailey, Sydney Payne, Avalon Wasteneys and Kristen Kit were surprise gold medalists, defeating the favourites from New Zealand, who took silver.
  • Men’s 10,000 metres: Canada’s Mohammed Ahmed finished in sixth place in the men’s 10,000 metres gold medal, the first of the Olympic athletics programme.
  • Women’s soccer: Canada advances to the semi-finals after defeating Brazil on penalties following a 0-0 draw.
  • Men’s volleyball: The Canadian men’s volleyball team knew it needed a three-set victory to remain in the race for the quarter-finals, and it did not disappoint. Canada won Friday’s match against Venezuela in convincing fashion, 25-13, 25-22 and 25-12 to grab three all-important points and improve its record to 2-2 in preliminary play.
  • Women’s rugby sevens: Canada’s hopes of earning another medal in women’s rugby sevens were dashed on Friday when the team missed out on the quarter-finals by the slimmest of margins. The Canadian squad finished third in Pool B with a 1-2 record after lopsided losses to France and Fiji.
  • Women’s 800 metres: There was Olympic heartbreak for Melissa Bishop-Nriagu on the opening morning of track and field in Tokyo. The world silver medalist and Canadian record-holder finished fourth in her heat of the women’s 800 metres and didn’t advance to the semi-finals.

The Olympic experience

Cathal Kelly’s three ideas to put the fun back into the Games

Empty stands, COVID-19 restrictions and the creeping presence of geopolitics seems to have taken some of the fun out of the Tokyo Olympics. Globe sports columnist Cathal Kelly gives his ideas for how to inject more fun into future Games, including freezing the addition of new judged sports that spark interest initially but then flare out.

The Globe’s Timothy Moore visually explains speed climbing, which is new to the Tokyo Olympics as one of three disciplines. But unlike bouldering or lead climbing, you won’t see an athlete’s prowess unless you can freeze time — which we’ve done for you.

Open this photo in gallery:Speed climbing is new to the Tokyo Olympics

The Globe and Mail

Globe visual journalist Melissa Tait is in Tokyo capturing Canada’s athletes as they chase the podium.

Keep up with the latest behind-the-scenes stories and images from the Olympics in our reporters’ notebook from Tokyo.

In Photos: Canada's women's rowing eight wins gold and other Tokyo Olympic highlights

  • Canada’s Lisa Roman, Kasia Gruchalla-Wesierski, Christine Roper, Andrea Proske, Susanne Grainger, Madison Mailey, Sydney Payne, Avalon Wasteneys and Kristen Kit celebrate on the podium after winning the gold medal in women’s eight rowing competition at the Tokyo Olympics.Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

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From The Globe’s Olympic team

Michael Andrew’s maskless display at the Tokyo Olympics isn’t about vaccine politics — it’s about bad manners

Cathal Kelly opines about the implications of American swimmer Michael Andrew’s masklessness and vaccine hesitancy at the Tokyo Olympics, as COVID-19 surges in Japan: “This isn’t about Andrew’s vaccine politics (though he confuses principle with self-interest, a particularly American misreading of moral philosophy common at both ends of their right-left spectrum). This is about bad manners. It’s about coming to someone else’s country and lecturing them about how you feel like doing things.”

With gold in women’s eight, Canada’s days as a rowing power are no longer behind it

Canada won its third gold medal in Tokyo at the women’s eight rowing event – its first such performance in 29 years. They defeated world champion New Zealand to do so, and as Cathal Kelly writes, “there is nothing like the pure bliss of winning when no one expected you to.”

‘They want us out of Japan:’ Nigerian refugee leaving for Canada amid Olympics

Gloria Nkechi Onyekweli landed in Tokyo in 2006 with a fake passport in hand and a burning desire to be as far as possible from Nigeria, her home, where security forces shot her fiancé and had begun to hunt for her.

On Friday, she plans to board a plane for Canada, which has accepted her for resettlement after years of unsuccessful attempts to become a refugee in Japan – a country whose smiling welcome of Olympians stands in contrast to its treatment of people like Ms. Onyekweli.

In nearly 15 years in Japan, she was kept behind bars for 30 months and occasionally treated harshly. She describes being bruised by guards in immigration detention and feeling “mental torture” from the pressure of uncertainty. The law barred her from working, even after she learned Japanese and secured credentials to care for the elderly. Read Nathan VanderKlippe’s full story here.

Tokyo Olympic events to watch tomorrow, July 31

  • In the morning: Catch Canada’s Tammara Thibeault in her quarterfinal boxing matchup (12:06 a.m. ET) and Boady Santavy in the 96-kilogram weightlifting medal event (6:50 a.m. ET). Also, tune into round 1 of the men’s 100 metres event (6:45 a.m. ET) prior to Sunday’s semifinal (6:15 a.m. ET) and final (8:50 a.m. ET).
  • In the evening: Watch for Canadian golfers Mackenzie Hughes and Corey Conners at the fourth and final round of the men’s competition (6:30 p.m. ET) while Canada’s women’s basketball team takes on Spain (9:00 p.m. ET). Finally, Canada will look for a medal in the women’s 4x100 medley relay final (10:15 p.m. ET) after qualifying in first place.

Check the full Olympic schedule for the latest event times and competitors.

The Tokyo Olympics: Essential reads

What athletes and teams should Canadians look out for? Consult our guide.

How did Canada’s swimmers use data to get stronger? Grant Robertson and Timothy Moore explain.

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