July 28 Tokyo 2020 Olympics news and results

By Joshua Berlinger, Aditi Sangal and Adam Renton, CNN

Updated 12:05 a.m. ET, August 3, 2021
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3:12 a.m. ET, July 28, 2021

Nadia Comaneci on Simone Biles: "The more medals you have when you go back, the heavier the backpack is"

Montreal 1976 Olympics gymnastics champion Nadia Comaneci stands next to a photo of herself competing in this July 21, 2016, file photo.
Montreal 1976 Olympics gymnastics champion Nadia Comaneci stands next to a photo of herself competing in this July 21, 2016, file photo. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press/AP)

Five-time Olympic gold medalist Nadia Comaneci says she can relate to the high pressure of the Olympics that Simone Biles spoke about upon withdrawing from the team finals event.

"I think that the more medals you have when you go back, the heavier the backpack is," she told CNN.

Comaneci says it was easier the first time she competed

"I was young and I didn't doubt myself. And I just went for it and I didn't have too many ifs," she said.

But four years later, she went back as the Olympic champion and it was a different story.

"You kind of have to be prepared that you are going to be hit from all directions on everything that you do," the Romanian former gymnast said.
"That is a lot of pressure because you want to do your best. But I think it's important to remind yourself that you want to do the best that you can for yourself. And not the best for everyone else [who] expects you to do something that it's more than you can deliver. So, you have to be sure that you keep those pieces separate," she added.

Biles' decision to withdraw from the team was "the right thing" to do for herself and for the US team as well, two-time Olympic gold medalist Bart Conner said.

"It's scary when you are flying through the air and you have no idea where you are," he added.

Referring to Biles speaking out as a survivor of abuse by former US team doctor Larry Nassar, Comaneci said, "it's really hard to be everywhere and to do everything."

"Everything that she does is so unbelievably difficult. Then to be able to juggle five other things during the day, it's really complicated and it's a lot of pressure," she said.
"I think that she will just be continually a role model for all the generations thinking of doing gymnastics right now," Comaneci added.
2:50 a.m. ET, July 28, 2021

It's so hot on the tennis courts in Tokyo that Daniil Medvedev asked what would happen if he died

From CNN's Rebecca Wright and Amy Jordan

Daniil Medvedev of Team ROC serves during his singles third round match against Italy's Fabio Fognini on day 5 of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Tennis Park on July 28 in Tokyo.
Daniil Medvedev of Team ROC serves during his singles third round match against Italy's Fabio Fognini on day 5 of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Tennis Park on July 28 in Tokyo. (David Ramos/Getty Images)

It's roasting on center court at the Ariake Tennis Park.

Temperatures reached 31 degrees Celsius (88 degrees Fahrenheit) in Tokyo on Wednesday, but with the muggy weather and humidity, it felt like 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

World No.2 Daniil Medvedev was clearly affected by the weather. Midway through the match, the Russian — known for his dry humor and sarcasm — approached the chair umpire to ask what would happen if he died.

"I'm a fighter, I will finish the match, but I can die," he said. "If I die, is the ITF (International Tennis Federation) going to take responsible (sic)?

Temperatures hit 31 degrees Celsius (88 degrees Fahrenheit) in Tokyo on Wednesday.
Temperatures hit 31 degrees Celsius (88 degrees Fahrenheit) in Tokyo on Wednesday. (CNN)

Medvedev eventually beat Fabio Fognini of Italy 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 to advance to the quarterfinals. He told reporters after the match that during the second set, it was so hot he had "darkness in his eyes."

"Between every point I didn’t know what to do to feel better. I was bending over, and I couldn’t get my breathing together. I was ready to just fall down on the court," he said.

When temperatures are high, the ITF can activate its Extreme Weather Policy, giving players extra options to help cool down.

Medvedev isn't the only one with concerns. World No.1 Novak Djokovic said the conditions for his first match on Saturday were "brutal."

The Serbian superstar is set to take on Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the third round today, and then play a doubles match later in the day, despite the heat.

2:58 a.m. ET, July 28, 2021

Breaking: Simone Biles drops out of individual all-around competition

American gymnast Simone Biles waits to perform on the vault on July 27.
American gymnast Simone Biles waits to perform on the vault on July 27. (Gregory Bull/AP)

US gymnastics superstar Simone Biles has withdrawn from the individual all-around competition to prioritize her well-being, USA Gymnastics said.

The organization said it "wholeheartedly supports her decision."

Biles, one of the greatest gymnasts of all time, was a favorite to take home gold in the all-around. She still may have the opportunity to compete in other individual events, but said Tuesday evening that she was going to take the rest of the Olympics "one day at a time."

Read more here:

2:12 a.m. ET, July 28, 2021

"We didn't just get silver. We WON silver," says US women's gymnastics team

From CNN's Jill Martin

US women gymnasts Jordan Chiles, Grace McCallum and Sunisa Lee dedicated their silver medal to Simone Biles, they told NBC.

"I feel like people forget that she’s human," Lee said. "Anything can happen. We don’t owe anybody anything. We don’t owe you a gold medal. You’re not the one competing. We’re the ones that had to go through all of this. If anything, we owed it to ourselves, and I think that’s what we did.”

The team admitted they panicked initially when Biles withdrew from the team competition. But then, Chiles stepped up to compete on the uneven bars and balance beam.

“We still got a medal for the United States of America,” Chiles said. “In our minds, this silver medal is a gold medal. We didn’t just get silver. We won silver.”

Biles took to Instagram to celebrate Chiles, who is also her best friend.

1:51 a.m. ET, July 28, 2021

Kerri Strug battled through injury to win Olympic gold. She's sent her love to Simone Biles

Former US gymnast Kerri Strug offered her support for Simone Biles following the US gymnast's decision to withdraw from the women's team finals event.

Strug famously helped win gold for Team USA at the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta by performing a vault despite having an injured ankle. She was later carried to the podium by her coach.

Strug posted on Twitter that she was sending her love to Biles:

The two-time Olympian added a goat emoji to her tweet, referring to the fact that Biles is known as the greatest of all time, colloquially abbreviated as GOAT.

1:37 a.m. ET, July 28, 2021

Ariarne Titmus says she's "been in her own world" at the Games

From CNN's George Ramsay at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre

Australian swimmer Ariarne Titmus, who has won two gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics, said she is managing the pressure of the Games by narrowing her focus, avoiding social media and limiting the things she has to worry about.

When asked by the media about Simone Biles' decision to open up about how her mental health and pressure has affected her athletic performance, Titmus said that she doesn't know much about Biles. She did, however, say that she decided to delete all social media apps from her phone and has not been speaking that much to her family. She's just focusing on racing.

"Honestly, I’ve kind of been in my own little world," she said. "I'm just honestly really focusing on myself and what I have to do here."

Her record win: Titmus won her second gold Wednesday with an Olympic-record in the women’s 200m freestyle. She was visibly emotional following the medal ceremony, tearfully embracing Australia’s swimming coach Dean Boxall after stepping off the podium.

"This is a great partnership. This is not just me winning. This is him winning as well. So I think that's why I got so emotional," she said.
Ariarne Titmus of Team Australia reacts with her coach Dean Boxall after winning the gold medal in the 200m freestyle final on July 28.
Ariarne Titmus of Team Australia reacts with her coach Dean Boxall after winning the gold medal in the 200m freestyle final on July 28. (Clive Rose/Getty Images)

1:27 a.m. ET, July 28, 2021

The Olympic Cauldron is on public display, giving people a chance to experience the Games amid the pandemic

From CNN's Amanda Sealy and Scott Reeves in Tokyo

The Olympic flame is seen burning on the cauldron at Ariake Yume-no-Ohashi Bridge in Tokyo on July 25.
The Olympic flame is seen burning on the cauldron at Ariake Yume-no-Ohashi Bridge in Tokyo on July 25. (Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images)

While only a select few people had the privilege of attending the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony, the public can now see the Olympic Cauldron in person after it was put on display in Ariake Park.

Residents of Japan's capital — and their and dogs — have gathered to catch a glimpse of the flame because, with Tokyo under a state of emergency due to Covid-19, it's one of the few ways they can experience these pandemic-era Olympics.

What most may not appreciate, however, is the thought behind the cauldron’s design.

The Japanese design house that built the cauldron, nendo, went through 85 drafts before landing on a final look.

To make the cauldron, nendo needed machines capable of applying a pressure of 3,500 tons as they had to mold thick aluminum plating into curved shapes. The final product weighs 2.7 metric tons.

The flame itself pays respect to the Fukushima nuclear disaster set off by the devastating earthquake and tsunami of 2011. The hydrogen that fuels the flame was produced in Fukushima prefecture. But because hydrogen has no color when it burns, designers added sodium carbonate to give the flame its vibrant gold hue.

1:06 a.m. ET, July 28, 2021

Could Ariarne's Titmuss dominance signal a changing of the guard?

From CNN's Coy Wire at the Tokyo Aquatics Center

Ariarne Titmus of Team Australia competes in the 200m freestyle final on July 28.
Ariarne Titmus of Team Australia competes in the 200m freestyle final on July 28. (Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Australia’s Ariarne Titmus has now won gold twice at the Tokyo Games, and both times, she beat out the defending Olympic champion in the event: American swimming legend Katie Ledecky.

Two days after taking gold in the women’s 400m freestyle, Titmus on Wednesday won the women's 200m freestyle, finishing with an Olympic record time of 1:53.50.

Ledecky finished fifth. It was the first time the American had failed to make the podium in an individual Olympic event.

Ledecky is regarded as the most dominant female swimmer ever. She won gold in the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle events at the 2016 Rio Games. Before that, she took gold in the 800m freestyle at London 2012. Ledecky won silver in the 400m freestyle on Monday at the Tokyo Games.

She's also considered one of swimming's most versatile competitors. Though her best events are distance, her range, if compared to sprinting, would be like Usain Bolt running in the 200m, 400m, and 1500m events.

Dominant display: If Ledecky's disappointing finish in the 200m freestyle fueled talk of her demise, her commanding performance just minutes later may force the doubters to think twice.

Ledecky crushed the field in the first-ever women's 1500m freestyle event, finishing more than four seconds ahead of fellow American Erica Sullivan to take gold. That's all the more impressive given at times, she was barely using her legs. One team USA staffer said Ledecky was saving her energy, because she has two events left to go.

Ledecky will compete in the 800m freestyle and is considered a favorite to win that, too.

By the time she's done in Tokyo, Ledecky will have swum a stunning 6,000 meters (3.7 miles) by the time she is finished competing. To put that in context, Michael Phelps swam a total of 3,300 meters when he won eight golds at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

12:55 a.m. ET, July 28, 2021

IOC says it's supporting athletes on mental health but "can do more on this issue"

From CNN's Gawon Bae in Seoul and Chandler Thornton

Mark Adams, director of communications at the IOC, speaks to the media ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on July 21 in Tokyo.
Mark Adams, director of communications at the IOC, speaks to the media ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on July 21 in Tokyo. (Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) says it hopes it is supporting athletes on issues surrounding mental health but "we can do more," spokesman Mark Adams said.

"It’s an incredibly important issue, and one that’s finally come to the fore. Are we doing enough? I hope so, I think so. But like everyone in the world, we can do more on this issue, and we are, and we’re really supporting the athletes in this," Adams said in a news conference the day after US gymnast Simone Biles withdrew from the team competition due to mental health concerns.

"We all have huge respect for [Biles,] and huge support for her," Adams added, saying that mental health has "been a big issue for quite a few years now, and it’s really coming to the fore."

Biles has qualified for the individual all-around competition Thursday, as well as the individual event finals in floor exercise, balance beam, vault and uneven bars next week.