Fernanda Garay & Brazil Claim Silver in Women’s Volleyball at Tokyo Games

2020 Tokyo GamesIt’s a silver lining for Fernanda Garay

The 34-year-old Brazilian professional volleyball player and her Brazil teammates lost to Team USA in the gold medal match of women’s volleyball tournament at the 2020 Tokyo Games, settling for the silver.

Fernanda Garay & Team Brazil

Brazil lost the match in straight sets to the Americans, 21-25, 20-25,- 14-25.

Garay was a member of the Brazil team that won the gold medal at the 2012 London Games.

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It’s the first-ever Olympic gold for Team USA.

After the match, Garay recognized the strategic superiority of the Americans on the court, but asserted that the Brazilians gave their all.


“I think our preparation was the best possible, we knew the difficulty of this game, as it is an Olympic final. We knew that they would give their all, I have no doubt that we also gave our all. Maybe strategically they were able to play better than us, they were very aggressive on the serve, and we had to keep holding and behind the score many times. I’m very proud of our group, of what we’ve done so far,” she told TV Globo.

“They had more adversity than us, who managed to impose themselves in more games, this may have strengthened them at this time. We had no doubt that we could have a great game, they were better, and that’s what sport is all about. One hour is gained, another is lost. Unfortunately, today was our turn to feel defeat, and it hurts like hell, but I’m really proud of what we’ve done. We fought a lot and left everything on the court”, she added.

Garay confirmed that this final was her last Olympics, taking the opportunity to exalt the group with whom he lived in recent years.

“It’s terrible now, because we couldn’t win. But the sport is like that, it was great to be with this group all this time. I enjoyed every moment with these girls, I am very proud of them. A group that came discredited and strengthened in times of difficulty, I return home proud of everything we’ve done and where we’ve come from”, she concluded.

Justine Wong-Orantes Helps Lead Team USA to First Olympic Gold in Women’s Volleyball at Tokyo Games

2020 Tokyo Games

It’s the golden hour for Justine WongOrantes

The 25-year-old half-Mexican American professional volleyball player, widely regarded as one of the world’s best female return specialists (libero), and her Team USA mates defeated Brazil in the women’s volleyball competition to claim historic gold at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Justine Wong-Orantes

The Americans dispatched their rivals 25-21, 25-20, 25-14 to win Olympics gold for the USA women’s volleyball for the first time.

Wong-Orantes was named Best Libero at this year’s Games.

Wong-Orantes and Jordan Larson were stars for the American team as they ripped through the tournament in Tokyo, saving their best for last, with Larson finishing it off with 12 kills against Brazil, which had stood in America’s way on past attempts to stand atop the medal stand.

Team USA Volleyball

Larson had won silver at the 2012 London Games and bronze at the 2016 Rio Games. Now she has the complete set, while it’s a first gold for Wong-Orantes in her Olympic debut.

On June 7, 2021, US National Team head coach Karch Kiraly announced Wong-Orantes would be part of the 12-player Olympic roster for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

With very minimal international Team USA experience, Wong-Orantes would lead the Olympics in serve reception percentage, on the way to helping the USA capture a first-ever gold medal in dominating fashion.

Juan Francisco Leads Dominican Republic to Country’s First-Ever Baseball Olympics Medal

2020 Tokyo GamesJuan Francisco is the Domincan Republic’s new hero…

The 34-year-old Dominican former professional baseball first baseman homered to help give the Dominican Republic a four-run, first-inning lead, then hit a tie-breaking, two-run double off Seunghwan Oh in a five-run eighth inning to help lead his team to a 10-6 victory over South Korea to claim the bronze in men’s baseball at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Juan Francisco

Melky Cabrera had four hits for the Dominicans (3-3), who won a baseball medal for the first time, and the country’s first-ever team medal.

South Korea (3-4), the 2012 London Games gold medalist, took a 6-5 lead in a four-run fifth inning against five pitchers. Kang Baek-Ho hit a go-ahead single.

Oh (2-1), a 39-year-old right-hander who pitched in Major League Baseball blew a save for the second time in the tournament.

Kansas City farmhands Jeison Guzman and Erick Mejia singled in the eighth, Seattle Mariners prospect Julio Rodriguez walked and Oh threw a wild pitch that tied the score.

Dominican Republic Baseball

Francisco, a six-year big league veteran whose last major league at-bat was in 2014, had struck out in his three previous plate appearances and nine times overall. The 34-year-old doubled to the left-center gap for an 8-6 lead, and Boston Red Sox prospect Johan Mieses followed with a long two-run homer to left.

Francisco hit .208 (5 for 24) with two homers and five RBIs during the tournament, the last for baseball in the Olympics until at least 2028.

Cristopher Mercedes (1-0), who pitches for the Central League‘s Yomiuri Giants, threw 3 1/3 shutout innings through the eighth as the fourth reliever out of the Dominican bullpen.

Jumbo Diaz, four years removed from his last big league appearance, relieved with two on in the ninth and got three straight outs for the save.

Rodriguez, a 20-year-old at Double-A Arkansas, put the Dominicans ahead 2-0 on an afternoon of intermittent rain when he sent a 0-1 pitch well over the left field wall. Francisco drove the next pitch in the last row of the right-field seats for his second Olympic homer and a 3-0 lead.

Mieses walked, and that was it for South Korea starter Kim Min-woo, who allowed four runs, three hits and a walk in one-third of an inning. Charlie Valerio added a sacrifice fly.

Dominican starter Raul Valdes, a 43-year-old left-hander who was the oldest player in the tournament, gave up five runs and nine hits in four-plus innings. Valdes’ last big league appearance was for Houston in 2014.

Rodriguez was hit on the right hand by a pitch from Park Se-Woong in the sixth but stayed in the game.

Jhan Marinez‘s first attempt to relieve was foiled when the bullpen cart started to the mound when he had just one leg on it, causing him to stumble. He got back on and walked his only batter.

Spain’s Pilar Peña Claims Second-Career Olympic Silver in Women’s Water Polo

2020 Tokyo Games

It’s a repeat performance for Pilar Peña

The 35-year-old Spanish water polo player and her teammates claimed the silver medal in women’s water polo at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

USA Women's Water Polo

Peña, the captain of the Spanish team, and her fellow teammates had to settle for silver after losing handily to Team USA 5-14.

Ashleigh Johnson, the first African American woman to make a U.S. Olympic water polo team, blocked 11 out of 15 shots from Spain during her time in goal – a rate of 73%. The main goalie for Spain blocked 19% of the shots.

Spain Women's Water Polo Team

It’s the second silver medal for Spain in the sport, after losing the gold medal match at the 2012 London Games to the United States. Peña was on that silver-winning team.

Saúl Craviotto Claims Fifth Career Medal with Silver in Men’s K-4 500 M Canoeing at Tokyo Games

2020 Tokyo Games

Saúl Craviotto is celebrating a fifth Olympics medal…

The 36-year-old Spanish sprint kayaker and his teammates – Marcus Walz, Carlos Arevalo and Rodrigo Germade – claimed the silver medal in the men’s K-4 500-meter canoeing event at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Saúl Craviotto, Marcus Walz, Carlos Arevalo & Rodrigo Germade

With his latest medal, Craviotto is now tied with fellow canoeist David Cal as the Spaniard with the most-ever Olympic medals.

In a close race, Germany won the gold with a time of 1:22.219, while Spain ended the race with a time of 1:22.445.

Saúl Craviotto, Marcus Walz, Carlos Arevalo & Rodrigo Germade

Slovakia took home the bronze with a time of 1:23.534.

Craviotto had previously won the gold medal in the men’s K-2 500-meter race at the 2008 Beijing Games, the gold in the men’s K-2 200-meter race at the 2016 Rio Games, the silver in the K-1 200-meter race at the 2012 London Games, and the bronze in the K-1 200-meter race at the 2016 Rio Games.

It’s Walz’s second Olympic medal, while it’s Arevalo and Germade’s first.

Belén Succi  & Argentine Women’s Field Hockey Team Claim Silver at Tokyo Games

2020 Tokyo Games

The third time didn’t prove to be the charm for Belén Succi and her teammates, but they’re still going home medalists…

The 35-year-old Argentine field hockey goalkeeper and her teammates lost their gold medal final match against the Netherlands in the women’s field hockey competition 3-1, having to settle for the silver medal.

Argentina Women's Field Hockey Team

“It was a pretty close match. We face a very dynamic team. They scored the goals very quickly and we couldn’t recover from that,” said Las Leonas star María Noel Barrionuevo, who said she was hugely “proud” of her teammates.

“I feel sad about the defeat, but at the same time happy, because at the end of the day we were able to reach an Olympic final, which is something amazing, and we were also able to take home the silver medal,” he added.

It’s the third time Argentina has come up as the runner-up in Olympic competition. They’d previously taken the silver at the 2000 Sydney Games and the 2012 London Games.

The Argentina women’s team also won the bronze medal in 2004 Athens Games and 2008 Beijing Games.

It’s the Netherlands’ third gold medal in the last four Olympics.

Cuba’s Fernando Jorge & Serguey Torres Claim Surprise Gold in Canoeing at the Tokyo Games

2020 Tokyo GamesFernando Jorge and Serguey Torres have ended a 20+ year Olympic medal drought…

The 22-year-old Cuban canoeist and his 34-year-old compatriot/partner won a surprise gold medal in the men’s canoe double 1,000 meters at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Fernando Jorge & Serguey Torres

Jorge and Torres ended the race with a time of 3:24.995, just ahead of the Chinese team, who had a time of 3:25.198.

Germany, which had won the event at five of the last seven Olympic games, won the bronze with a score of 3:25.615.

Fernando Jorge & Serguey Torres

Sebastian Brendel had been in the German boat for gold medals in the 2012 London Games and 2016 Rio Games.

But the race developed into a battle between Cuba and China over the final 500 meters.

The Cuban duo had won silver at the world championships in 2019, but Cuba hadn’t medaled in this event at the Olympics since 2000.

Cuba’s Roniel Iglesias Wins Gold Medal in Men’s Welterweight Boxing at Tokyo Games

2020 Tokyo GamesRoniel Iglesias is golden yet again…

The 32-year-old Cuban amateur boxer claimed the gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Games after defeating Great Britain’s Pat McCormack by a score of 5-0 in the men’s welterweight competition.

Roniel Iglesias

Scores were 30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 in favor of Iglesias, who delivered a masterclass performance Tuesday evening at Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo.

Iglesias has previously won a gold medal at the 2012 London Games in the light welterweight category.

He also claimed a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Games after losing his semifinal bout to defending champion Manus Boonjumnong in the light welterweight category.

Iglesias moved to the welterweight prior to the 2016 Rio Games, where he competed but failed to medal.

The four-time Cuban Olympian with three medals can now add ‘two-time Olympic Gold medalist’ to his resume.

Roniel Iglesias

“This puts me straight up there in the highest ranking, in the highest order,” he said. “I think this speaks for itself and shows how much I love the sport. … Those who always doubted that I could achieve the Olympic pinnacle, that was an extra push from me to get up every morning and give it that extra bit of effort and achieve this result,” said Iglesias of his Olympic career.

Spain’s Teresa Portela Claims Silver in Women’s K-1 200m at the Tokyo Games

2020 Tokyo Games

The sixth time’s the charm for Teresa Portela

The 39-year-old Spanish sprint canoer claimed the silver medal in the women’s K-1 200 meter canoe sprint competition at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Teresa Portela

Portela finished the race with a final time of 38.883, right behind gold medalist Lisa Carrington of New Zealand’s time of 38.120.

Denmark’s Emma Jorgensen finished right behind Portela with a time of 38.901 to settle for the bronze.

Portela, who has competed since the early 2000s, has competed in six Olympics.

Previously she finished fourth on one occasion (2012 London Games: Women’s K-1 200 m) and fifth on three occasions (2004 Athens Games: K-2 500 m, K-4 500 m; 2008 Beijing Games: K-4 500 m).

Lázaro Álvarez Claims Third Straight Boxing Bronze Medal at the Tokyo Games

2020 Tokyo Games

Make that three in a row for Lázaro Álvarez

The 30-year-old Cuban amateur boxer lost his semifinal men’s featherweight boxing match to the Russian Olympic Committee’s Albert Batyrgaziev by a score of 3-2, leaving him settling for a bronze medal at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Lázaro Álvarez

It’s Alvarez’s third consecutive Olympic bronze.

The southpaw previously won the bronze medal at the 2012 London Games and 2016 Rio Games.