Olympic wake-up call: Simone Biles, Ellie Black inspire on beam, kayaker wins 2 gold in 1 hour

·4 min read
Simone Biles of the United States won bronze in the balance beam final on Tuesday.  (Mike Blake/Reuters - image credit)
Simone Biles of the United States won bronze in the balance beam final on Tuesday. (Mike Blake/Reuters - image credit)

In a highly anticipated balance beam final, gymnast Simone Biles of the United States won a bronze medal Tuesday, while Canada's Ellie Black finished just off the podium in fourth place.

Both women were inspiring on the beam and throughout the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Biles was returning to Olympic competition after withdrawing from events to look after her mental health. Black had reinjured her ankle in training and dropped from the individual all-around for a shot at the beam.

Biles earned a score of 14.000 for a seventh Olympic medal, and Black delivered a powerful performance for 13.866. The 25-year-old from Halifax was tearful and embraced her coach after her performance.

Lisi Niesner/Reuters
Lisi Niesner/Reuters

China finally reached the podium in women's artistic gymnastics in Tokyo. Guan Chenchen won gold and Tang Xijing earned silver.

Here's what else you may have missed on Tuesday in Tokyo:

Upcoming men's 200-metre semis

Canada's Andre De Grasse and Aaron Brown have both qualified to race in the men's 200-metre semifinals.

You can watch them compete in that race, scheduled to start at 7:50 a.m. ET here.

De Grasse ran 20.56 seconds to finish third in his qualifying heat, while Brown won his own with a time of 20.38 seconds.

De Grasse took the silver in Rio 2016, with Jamaica's Usain Bolt speeding to his third consecutive gold medal in the event. Brown raced to 16th place.

Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

It was that semifinal that gave the world the iconic photo of the pair, with De Grasse and Bolt sharing smiles as the Canadian tried to push past him at the finish.

Sport climbing debut

It was a special moment for Canadian sport climber Sean McColl, who is among the first Olympians in the sport.

The 33-year-old from North Vancouver had advocated for sport climbing to be included in the Games, and saw his dream become a reality with its debut in Tokyo.

Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press
Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

"I am incredibly honoured to be part of this historical group, to be forever written into the history books of [the International Federation of Sport Climbing's] first Olympics," he wrote on Instagram.

Fellow Canadian and family friend Alannah Yip, also from North Vancouver, will make her debut on Wednesday.

New Zealander wins 2 gold, 1 hour apart

It only took just over an hour for Lisa Carrington of New Zealand to paddle her way to two Olympic gold medals.

For a third straight time, the 32-year-old claimed Olympic gold in the single kayak 200-metre race. Afterward, Carrington and partner Caitlin Regal won gold in the doubles 500-metre event.

Carrington set Olympic records in both.

Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images
Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images

She flew to the finish in a time of 38.120 seconds in the individual round. Then with teammate Regal, she broke the doubles time in one minute 35.785 seconds.

Women's team pursuit finishes 4th

The Canadian women's team pursuit squad came fourth after losing their bronze medal race to the United States.

The Americans were silver medallists in Rio 2016 and London 2012, while Canada was looking to repeat its back-to-back bronzes.

Matthew Childs/Reuters
Matthew Childs/Reuters

The Canadian team of Allison Beveridge, Annie Foreman-Mackey, Ariane Bonhomme and Georgia Simmerling couldn't quite catch up to their opponent and finished in a time of four minutes 10.552 seconds.

The United States were ahead in a time of four minutes 08.040 seconds.

Canadian squads bounced from medal contention

The Canadian men's volleyball team and women's water polo team won't be bringing home medals from Tokyo. Both fell in their quarter-final matches on Tuesday.

The men went down in straight sets on the court (21-25, 28-30, 22-25) to the Russian Olympic Committee. While the Canadians were hoping to compete for a medal, their match ended in a repeat of their fate in Rio 2016.

The Canadian women took on the two-time consecutive gold medallists U.S. in the pool, and lost 16-5. It was their first appearance in the Olympic tournament since Athens 2004, where the women finished seventh and didn't reach the quarter-final stages.

Smashing a world record

Norweigan hurdler Karsten Warholm destroyed his previous world record in the intense heat and humidity of Tokyo.

It had only been a month and two days since he broke it the first time, shattering a record held by American Kevin Young that stood since the Barcelona Olympics in 1992.

Phil Noble/Reuters
Phil Noble/Reuters

Warholm had an incredible performance in the 400-metre hurdles final, winning gold in a time of 45.94 seconds. The 25-year-old's jaw dropped when he saw his time. He grabbed his jersey, ripping it open across his chest in celebration.

American Rai Benjamin broke the record, too, but came close behind in second.

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