The Latest: Paris Games to fly giant flag from Eiffel Tower

·5 min read

TOKYO (AP) — The Latest on the Tokyo Olympics, which are taking place under heavy restrictions after a year’s delay because of the coronavirus pandemic:

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Organizers of the 2024 Paris Olympics say they will use the Eiffel Tower to unfurl “the biggest flag ever flown” on Sunday during the closing ceremony in Tokyo.

Paris organizing committee president Tony Estanguet talked about the plan in Tokyo to promote the formal handover on Sunday to the next Summer Games host.

A giant flag had a test flight from the iconic Parisian landmark two months ago, though the exact reason was not explained then.

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, is in Tokyo to take part in the traditional handover during the closing ceremony.

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MEDAL ALERT

Americans April Ross and Alix Klineman have won the women’s beach volleyball gold medal.

The U.S. pair beat Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy of Australia 21-15, 21-16 for the championship on Friday. It’s Ross’ third medal in as many Olympics, to go with the silver she won in London and a bronze from Brazil. Klineman is a first-time Olympian.

The silver for Australia was its first beach volleyball medal since Natalie Cook and Kerri Pottharst took gold on Bondi Beach in Sydney in 2000.

In the bronze medal match, Switzerland’s Joana Heidrich and Anouk Verge-Depre cruised to a straight-set victory over Latvia.

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The number of Games-related COVID-19 infections has risen to 387 as Tokyo records more than 5,000 cases in one day for the first time during the pandemic.

Tokyo Olympics organizers added 29 cases to its tally from July 1 through Thursday. No athletes or residents of the Olympic Village are among the new cases.

The 387 total includes 207 contractors, living in Japan and visiting from abroad, who are working at the Games.

Tokyo authorities announced a daily total of 5,042 new cases on Thursday.

Japanese Prime Minister Yosihide Suga said Thursday “infections are expanding at a pace we have never experienced before." He ruled out an link to hosting the Olympics during a state of emergency.

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MEDAL ALERT

Switzerland has won the bronze medal in women’s beach volleyball.

Joana Heidrich and Anouk Verge-Depre of Switzerland cruised to a straight-set victory over Latvia on Friday morning in the third-place match.

The Swiss edged Tina Graudina and Anastasija Kravcenoka 21-19 in the first set before opening a 5-1 lead in the second and pulling away to win 21-15 and claim their nation’s first Olympic medal on the women’s side.

Americans April Ross and Alix Klineman were scheduled to play Mariafe Artacho and Taliqua Clancy of Australia in the gold medal match later Friday morning.

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MEDAL ALERT

Dawid Tomala of Poland has won what might be the last 50-kilometre race walk at the Olympics.

Tomala won in 3 hours, 50 minutes and 8 seconds in Sapporo for the gold medal.

Jonathan Hilbert of German was second, 36 seconds behind Tomala in 3:50:44. Evan Dunfee of Canada was third in 3:50:59. The race walking events were moved to Sapporo because of Tokyo’s summer heat and humidity.

The 50-kilometre walk has been dropped from the schedule for the next Olympics in Paris in 2024 and may not return.

It was first introduced at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics and has been held at every Games since with the exception of Montreal in 1976.

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The International Olympic Committee says it has removed two Belarus team coaches from the Olympics, four days after they were involved in trying to send sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya back to Belarus.

The IOC says it cancelled and removed the credentials of Artur Shimak and Yury Maisevich.

The IOC says the men “were requested to leave the Olympic Village immediately and have done so … in the interest of the well-being of the athletes.”

Shimak and Maisevich continued to have contact with Belarus athletes since Sunday after the IOC linked them to taking Tsimanouskaya in a car to the airport to put her on a plane to Belarus.

Tsimanouskaya had criticized team coaches on social media and is now in Poland with a humanitarian visa.

The IOC says Shimak and Maisevich “will be offered an opportunity to be heard” by its disciplinary commission investigating the case.

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Dutch Olympic track cyclist Laurine van Riessen is recovering in a Tokyo hospital a day after a harrowing crash in the keirin semifinals at the Izu Velodrome.

Van Riessen was briefly knocked unconscious when she collided with British rider Katy Marchant at more than 40 mph. Van Riessen remained on the apron of the track for several minutes before doctors loaded her onto a stretcher and removed her from the velodrome.

She was transferred to a Tokyo hospital and diagnosed with a broken collarbone, broken ribs and a bruised lung.

A spokesperson for the Dutch track team says Van Riessen is well but can't remember the fall. The team doctor is with her and Van Riessen was able to make clear that the pain is mostly in her shoulder.

Van Riessen’s teammate, Shanne Braspennincx, went on to win the gold medal in keirin, a six-lap race where the first three are paced by a motorized bike and the last three are a free-for-all sprint to the finish.

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More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

The Associated Press

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