US Medals Relatively Low at Tokyo Olympics

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TOKYO – Summer Games forced Olympians to prepare funky heat and pandemic protocols this increased the stress and complicated the normal challenges of running.

The efforts of the Americans produced results that the world could envy, but that fell short of their recent high standards.

The U.S. Olympic team is in danger of losing its gold medal race for the first time since 2008 at a Summer Olympics.

He’s poised to win about 106 medals based on the final rounds of the competition leading up to Sunday, roughly the same level as in 2012 when he won 104 medals. The team won a record 121 medals in 2016, 46 of which were gold; that was two less points than China set for the gold medal in Beijing in 2008.

The blame for lack can spread. The lauded track and field team won 32 medals in Rio, but only 22 to the final night. American men have not won a gold medal in speed events that have been bread and butter since the days of Jesse Owens.

NS USA women’s soccer team, the defending World Cup champion twice, lost twice and won the bronze medal. Simone Biles, the greatest gymnast ever missed most of the meet as she struggled with mental stress. For the first time since 2008, American rowers failed to reach the Olympic podium. Even in rowing, the women’s eight-boat team, which won three gold medals, remained vacant.

With only a handful of events left, Americans have won 31 gold medals and 98 overall this year despite there being more events at these Games than ever before and a few new sports competitions like surfing where Americans are expected to excel. and skateboarding, but he didn’t.

Compared to just over 300 events at the Rio Games in 2016, 339 events were held in Tokyo.

With the shift in American dominance, many other countries have been on the rise, notably Japan and China, whose athletes play at home and don’t have to deal with travel hassles.

Japan beat the tally of 41 medals, including the 12 golds it won in Rio, with 51 medals until Friday night. There are 24 gold coins in these Games. In skateboarding alone, he won five of 12 medals, three of which were gold.

The host nations are generally in better shape than usual because they invest heavily in sports in the years leading up to the Games, but nearly doubling the double-digit gold medal tally (without doping) is unheard of in recent Olympic history.

Also, after eight years of comeback, China’s Olympic gym machine is back. With 36 golds compared to 31 of the USA, the Chinese have a chance to win the gold medal race for the first time since 2008.

Australia is having a really good Olympic based on the strength of its arguably best performance in pool, winning 20 swimming medals, nine of which are gold, after years of frustration.

All three of these countries in particular experienced the pandemic very differently from the United States.

Still, for the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee these numbers are both significant and not. Their managers say they want to earn as many medals as possible, but one year deferment Regarding the Games and the pandemic restrictions at home, officials said it would be a victory for the athletes to just come to Tokyo, compete and return safely.

“Given the high degree of uncertainty about whether or not these games will happen until recently, the restraint when the Games are delayed and then retraining and then focusing on trials and then come here and work on all the countermeasures, guidelines and rules. “I am incredibly proud of this team, even though the tests performed as well as we did,” said Rick Adams, head of sports performance for the Olympic committee.

For years, the only priority of USOPC Executives was to win medals, even receiving bonuses based on how athletes performed at the Olympics.

After everything changed sexual assault scandal perpetrated by Lawrence G. Nassar, US Gymnastics longtime doctor who was sentenced to life in prison for molesting hundreds of girls and young women. The lawsuit forced the resignations of senior executives of both the gymnastics federation and the U.S. Olympic Committee after they were criticized for prioritizing winning over the health and safety of athletes.

While it’s not a goal to win many medals, their message is changing.

“Is the USA hoping to win a lot of medals here? I bet we are,” said Sarah Hirshland, the organization’s general manager. However, she added, “Competitive excellence in Tokyo can be personal bests for American athletes.”

NS Run to these Games for American athletes was far from ideal. They described the repercussions of a series of open and closed deadlocks and a series of social and political upheavals as mentally throwing them off balance.

Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., the Olympic committee took a strict approach to how athletes prepare for the Games. Long after Colorado lifted restrictions on pools and gyms, the Olympic committee continued to limit access to the Olympic Training Center.

USA Swimming was unable to do its usual spring camp at its high altitude training center. As officials feared a coronavirus outbreak among potential Olympians, a training center that could house hundreds of athletes had about 70 people and required a long quarantine period for anyone arriving.

“We have always said and done that we will prioritize the health and safety of our athletes,” Adams said.

With facilities opening and closing across the country last year, athletes had to improvise.

Boxers had to wear rings in malls. Veteran sprinter Allyson Felix spent months jogging up and down the boulevards in Los Angeles, where he lives, while the tracks in California are closed.

“It’s been a long year,” he said Noah LylesThe American sprinter is another world track and field champion who left Tokyo without a gold medal. After winning the bronze medal in the 200m, Lyles emotionally spoke to reporters that she had been on and off antidepressants for the past year and struggled not to let race times and medals define her.

“I am not the next Usain Bolt,” he said.

Grant Holloway, who won a silver medal in the 110m hurdles, summed up his performance in the way many teammates have described themselves over the past two weeks.

“It’s not the result I want,” Holloway said.

In June, 23-year-old Holloway came within a hundredth of a second of breaking the world record. He’s the reigning world champion and didn’t lose the steeplechase all year to Tokyo.

The American track and field team chose not to hold a training camp before the Olympics as a precaution against someone coming out with Covid-19 and exposing the entire team, a decision that has been questioned recently. USA Athletics President Max Siegel declined to comment.

Many athletes have talked about losing the joy that often comes with training and competition, turning Olympic preparation into a job, which is the case for many, but it usually doesn’t feel that way.

USA Swimming CEO Pat Hinchey said he was surprised that in Rio, 30 medals compared to 33 and 11 gold medals compared to 16 five years ago, as well as several fourth-placed American swimmers have performed as well as they did.

The team had 16 new players, including 11 juniors, which has been the biggest crop of the Olympics for some time. Thanks to an intense camp in Hawaii, a few paced between the U.S. trials in June and the start of the Olympics a month later.

“What we’ve all been through was going to create challenges for everyone,” said Hinchey. “These kids have been out of the water for months. They needed to get an extra year and find ways to compete.”

Amanda Krauss, CEO of USA Rowing, said that the failure to produce any medals will take a hard look at what could have been done differently going forward.

“It’s the million dollar question and my inbox is full of a lot of people saying they know exactly what’s going on,” said Krauss, who took over the organization in November.

If there’s a silver lining, the next Summer Games could be in just three years. All those young swimmers and young runners in their 20s won’t have to wait long for their next shot.

“I came, but it wasn’t good enough,” said Michael Cherry, 26, a runner who finished fourth in the 400 meters. “We are a young team. We just have to grow.”

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