Update on the latest sports
Biles pulls out of all-around competition
TOKYO (AP) — Simone Biles will not defend her Olympic title. The American gymnastics superstar withdrew from Thursday’s all-around competition to focus on her mental well-being.
USA Gymnastics said in a statement that the 24-year-old is opting to not compete. The decision comes a day after Biles removed herself from the team final following one rotation because she felt she wasn’t mentally ready.
Jade Carey, who finished ninth in qualifying, will take Biles’ place in the all-around.
In some of Wednesday’s Olympic action:
— Katie Ledecky has finally collected her first gold medal of the Tokyo Games. Ledecky won the 1,500-meter freestyle, which made its Olympic debut for women this year. That helped the American star make up for what has so far been the worst showing of her Olympic career. About an hour after finishing fifth in the 200-meter freestyle, Ledecky held off teammate Erica Sullivan to win the metric mile in 15 minutes, 37.34 seconds.
— The U.S. team of Stefanie Dolson, Allisha Gray, Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young has won the first women’s gold medal in the new Olympic sport of 3-on-3 basketball. Plum scored all five of her points early to help the Americans take the lead, and they held on for an 18-15 win over the team representing the Russian Olympic Committee. Plum, the all-time leading scorer in NCAA history, led all scorers in this tournament, too.
— The U.S. women’s water polo team lost at the Olympics for the first time since 2008, falling 10-9 to Rebecca Parkes and Hungary in group play. The U.S. was a big favorite to win its third straight gold medal coming into Tokyo, but it was pushed hard by China during a rugged 12-7 victory Monday and then it struggled against Hungary. Even with the loss, it still should be able to advance to the knockout round.
— Tennis player Novak Djokovic’s Golden Slam bid is alive and well. The top-ranked Serb beat training partner Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain 6-3, 6-1 to reach the quarterfinals at the Tokyo Games. Djokovic is attempting to become the first man to achieve a Golden Slam by winning all four Grand Slam tournaments and Olympic gold in the same calendar year.
Djokovic says pressure is part of being a professional
TOKYO (AP) — Novak Djokovic says “pressure is a privilege” with the topic of athletes’ mental health and pressure being discussed at the Olympics.
The top-ranked Serb was asked how he deals with the pressure of attempting to become the first man in tennis to achieve a Golden Slam. He says that “without pressure there is no professional sport” and adds that “if you are aiming to be at the top of the game you better start learning how to deal with pressure and how to cope with those moments.”
Mike Sullivan would coach US hockey team for Winter Olympics
UNDATED (AP) — Mike Sullivan of the Pittsburgh Penguins has been named U.S. men’s hockey coach for the 2022 Olympics in Beijing.
Sullivan will be behind the bench if the NHL participates. There is not a deal currently in place to send NHL players to the Olympics. Negotiations are ongoing.
Sullivan coached the Penguins to back-to-back Stanley Cup titles in 2016 and 2017. USA Hockey expects to name his assistants later this summer.
Lamar Jackson not practicing at start of Ravens’ camp
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — Lamar Jackson was not practicing with the Baltimore Ravens at the start of their first practice of training camp. There was no indication beforehand that Jackson would be absent, but he wasn’t with the rest of the Baltimore quarterbacks going through drills early in practice.
Jackson, who won MVP honors in 2019, is entering his fourth season with Baltimore. He threw for 2,757 yards with 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions last season. He’s also rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of the past two seasons.
Dolphins’ Flores hopes to resolve dispute with CB Howard
MIAMI (AP) — Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores says he hopes to resolve a contract dispute with All-Pro cornerback Xavien Howard, who has requested a trade. Flores says it’s still possible to keep Howard in Miami and happy about his situation, and says the Dolphins will continue to have discussions with the veteran’s agent.
Howard reported for the start of training camp Tuesday to avoid being fined, and then posted a statement on social media saying he doesn’t feel valued or respected by the team. Howard is unhappy with the $75.25 million, five-year extension he signed two years ago.
US to play World Cup qualifier against Mexico in Cincinnati
CHICAGO (AP) — The United States will play its home World Cup qualifier against Mexico in Cincinnati, ending a streak of five straight in Columbus, Ohio.
The U.S. Soccer Federation says the Nov. 12 match will be at TQL Stadium, the 26,000-capacity venue that opened in May as home of the city’s Major League Soccer team.
The U.S. beat Mexico in World Cup qualifiers at Columbus Crew Stadium in 2001, 2005, 2009 and 2013, all by 2-0 scores, and lost 2-1 in 2016.