July 29 Tokyo 2020 Olympics news and results

By Matias Grez, Ben Church, Helen Regan, Aditi Sangal, Adam Renton, Melissa Macaya, Melissa Mahtani and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, July 30, 2021
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10:06 p.m. ET, July 29, 2021

Evgeny Rylov sets Olympic record in men's 200-meter backstroke

Russian swimmer Evgeny Rylov swims to victory in the 200-meter backstroke final on Friday.
Russian swimmer Evgeny Rylov swims to victory in the 200-meter backstroke final on Friday. (Jeff Roberson/AP)

Russian Olympic Committee swimmer Evgeny Rylov won gold in the men's 200-meter backstroke, setting a new Olympic record with a time of 1:53.27.

USA's Ryan Murphy won silver in a time of 1:54.15 and Great Britain's Luke Greenbank took bronze in 1:54.72.

9:55 p.m. ET, July 29, 2021

South Africa's Tatjana Schoenmaker breaks world record to win gold in 200-meter breaststroke

South Africa's Tatjana Schoenmaker reacts after winning the final of the 200-meter breaststroke event to set a new world record on Friday in Japan.
South Africa's Tatjana Schoenmaker reacts after winning the final of the 200-meter breaststroke event to set a new world record on Friday in Japan. (Odd Anderson/AFP/Getty Images)

South Africa's Tatjana Schoenmaker swam to victory in the women's 200-meter breaststroke, breaking the world record with a time of 2:18.95.

Schoenmaker is the first woman ever to go under a time of 2:19.

Team USA swept the rest of the podium with Lily King winning silver in 2:19.92 and Annie Lazor taking the bronze in 2:20.84.

9:45 p.m. ET, July 29, 2021

New Zealand wins men's eight, closing out the Olympics rowing competition

From CNN's Jill Martin

The rowing competition in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is complete, and it finishes with New Zealand winning gold in men’s eight.

Germany, which has won the men’s eight at each of the past three world championships (2017, 2018 and 2019), edged Great Britain for silver.

Great Britain settled for bronze in Japan, but their Olympic medal streak stays alive, having collected a medal in this event at each of the previous three Olympic Games: silver in 2008, bronze in 2012 and gold in 2016.

9:35 p.m. ET, July 29, 2021

South African golfer Paula Reto withdraws from Games following positive Covid-19 test 

From CNN’s Taylor Barnes

Paula Reto of South Africa hits a tee shot on the ninth hole during the final round of the Marathon LPGA Classic at Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania, Ohio on August 9, 2020.
Paula Reto of South Africa hits a tee shot on the ninth hole during the final round of the Marathon LPGA Classic at Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania, Ohio on August 9, 2020. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

South Africa's Paula Reto will miss the Olympics after she tested positive for Covid-19 before she was set to travel to Tokyo to compete, the International Golf Federation said on Thursday.

Following the federation’s late athlete replacement policy, Reto's slot in the competition will be taken by India's Diksha Dagar. 

The women’s golf competition begins Aug. 4. 

9:09 p.m. ET, July 29, 2021

Stefanos Ntouskos becomes Greece's first Olympic rowing champion

From CNN's Jill Martin

Stefanos Ntouskos of Greece reacts after winning the gold medal during the men's single rowing final on Friday.
Stefanos Ntouskos of Greece reacts after winning the gold medal during the men's single rowing final on Friday. (Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Stefanos Ntouskos of Greece has won gold in the men’s single sculls final, posting a time of 6:40.45, an Olympic best.

Ntouskos is also Greece’s first Olympic rowing champion.

Taking the silver medal is Norway’s Kjetil Borch, the 2018 world champion. He is the second athlete representing Norway to earn an Olympic medal in this event; Olaf Karl Tufte won gold in 2004 and 2008. Borch won bronze in Rio in 2016 in the men’s double sculls with Tufte.

Bronze went to Damir Martin of Croatia. He won silver in this event at the Rio Games in 2016 and silver in men’s quadruple sculls in London in 2012.

8:55 p.m. ET, July 29, 2021

New Zealand's Emma Twigg breaks through and wins gold in women's single sculls

From CNN's Jill Martin

Emma Twigg of New Zealand competes in the women's rowing single sculls final on Friday.
Emma Twigg of New Zealand competes in the women's rowing single sculls final on Friday. (Lee Jin-man/AP)

Emma Twigg of New Zealand has won gold in the women’s single sculls final, posting a time of 7:13.97, an Olympic best.

She is the first athlete from New Zealand to finish on the podium in this event at the Olympic Games.

Twigg has five world championship medals in women’s single sculls, including gold in 2014 and silver in 2019. Tokyo 2020, Twigg's fourth Games, marks her breakthrough Olympic performance after she previously finished fourth at Rio 2016 and London 2012.

The silver medal went to Hanna Prakatsen, representing the Russian Olympic Committee. Magdalena Lobnig earned Austria’s first Olympic medal in rowing since 1992, winning bronze. This is also Austria’s first Olympic medal in women’s rowing.

6:52 p.m. ET, July 29, 2021

Olympic champion Carly Patterson: Gymnastics "can be life-threatening if you're not mentally there"

From CNN's Jason Kurtz

Former Olympic champion Carly Patterson feels that the United States can do more to help its gymnasts cope with the stresses of international competition and the rigors of the sport.

"I think USA gymnastics is really in transition still right now trying to change a lot of things," said Patterson, who won gold in the gymnastics all-around at the 2004 games in Athens, Greece.

Patterson's comments come as a newly intensified light has been shone on the topic of mental health amid Simone Biles' withdrawal from multiple events. When Biles pulled out of the event she took gold in five years ago, the decision was met with scrutiny and criticism from those doubting her competitiveness and mettle. It's a critique Patterson takes issue with.

"She is doing the hardest skills that you can do," said Patterson of Biles. "Gymnastics is a dangerous sport to begin with. When you're doing dangerous skills like she's doing of that crazy caliber, it can be life-threatening if you're not mentally there and prepared."

Biles' withdrawal opened the door for USA teammate Sunisa Lee, who followed in the powerful footsteps left by the American women who came before here, including Patterson.

"It is definitely one of the most incredible and surreal moments of your life winning the gold medal in the all-around," said Patterson, whose gold in Athens started a streak of excellence that now stands at five.

"Thinking about having all of your hard work and all of the hours and dedication and years in the gym culminating at just the perfect time," said Patterson's of Lee's win. "Now you have this Olympic gold medal to show for it. It's probably going to take her a few days for it to sink in."

Patterson notes that Lee's life is about to "get flipped upside down for sure and in the coolest way," encouraging the freshly minted champion to "stay grounded" and lean on her support system amid what is certain to be an uptick in demands and attention.

"Keep the community around you that's been around you, your family, your friends. Keep all of those people close that have helped you on the rise on the way to that gold medal."

3:17 p.m. ET, July 29, 2021

Catch up: Here's what you missed during Thursday's Olympic events

From CNN's Alyssa Kraus

Day six of the Olympic Games have officially come to a close in Tokyo. Despite rising Covid-19 cases and extreme heat, several athletes flourished in their events, earning gold medals for their countries.

Here's everything you need to know about today's Olympic events:

  • Cicadas: Due to Tokyo's state of emergency, fans are not able to attend the Olympic Games — and without cheering fans, you mostly just hear cicadas. Although some events have lively atmospheres due to coaches and officials, others have been eerily quiet. Thus, it's possible to hear the rattle of cicadas from the trees and bushes surrounding the venues. In Japan, cicadas have been called "the sound of the summer."
  • Covid-19: On Thursday, Tokyo reported its third consecutive day of record high Covid cases, according to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. Tokyo reported 3,865 new cases today, which topped Wednesday's record of 3,177 new cases. As of Thursday, at least 198 cases have been linked to the Games, according to Olympic organizers. Argentinian pole vaulter Germán Chiaraviglio is one of those cases, after he tested positive for Covid-19, he announced today.
  • Heat: Tennis player Novak Djokovic progressed into the semifinals of the men's tennis competition after beating Japan's Kei Nishikori in straight sets at Ariake Tennis Park on Thursday. However, the match was played later in the afternoon, offering some welcome relief from the extreme heat. The decision came after Russian Olympic Committee player Daniil Medvedev raised concerns about playing in the heat earlier this week. Tennis organizers moved the start time of the match to 3 p.m. local beginning on Thursday after more players expressed dissatisfaction with the playing conditions.
  • Men's swimming: In an Olympic record of 47.02 seconds, American swimmer Caeleb Dressel won the men's 100 meter freestyle final. The win gives Dressel his first individual Olympic gold medal. In addition, USA's Robert "Bobby" Fink won gold in the men's 800-meter freestyle event with a time of 7:41.87. This was the first time the event has ever been held at the Olympics.
  • Women's gymnastics: Sunisa "Suni" Lee won a gold medal in the women's all-around gymnastics final today, making her the fifth American woman in a row to win the event. Lee, who also earned a silver medal with Team USA in the team finals, is the first Hmong American to become an Olympic gymnast. Four-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles cheered on her teammates during the all-around finals from stands after she withdrew from today's event due to mental health concerns.
2:24 p.m. ET, July 29, 2021

Olympic gold medalist Dominique Moceanu: I support Simone in whatever decision she makes

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury and Elle Reeve

Dominique Moceanu on July 29, 2021.
Dominique Moceanu on July 29, 2021. CNN

Dominique Moceanu, a 1996 Olympic Gymnastics Team gold medalist, offered her support and encouragement to Simone Biles, after Biles withdrew from the team competition and individual all-around event due to mental health concerns.

"We have to remember that athletes and Olympic-level athletes are human, too, and give them the support they need and also the time they need to heal when things are not going the way they feel they need to be. It's also for their safety, for their mental health," she told CNN's Ana Cabrera.

Moceanu tweeted about her own experience pushing through an injury during the 1996 Olympics after she fell on the balance beam on her head and commended Biles for standing up for herself.

"I was 14 y/o w/ a tibial stress fracture, left alone w/ no cervical spine exam after this fall. I competed in the Olympic floor final minutes later. @Simone_Biles decision demonstrates that we have a say in our own health—“a say” I NEVER felt I had as an Olympian," she wrote.

Moceanu said the conversation around mental health and sports has changed since she competed.

"I think we're seeing that taking place right now with Simone being able to step up and acknowledge that something is not right, and that helps her make a decision for herself that you know, 'What's best right now is for me to take care of my health," she said.

Biles said that morning of the team competition, she had a "bit of the twisties," a mysterious phenomenon — suddenly a gymnast is no longer able to do a twisting skill she's done thousands of times before. Your body just won't cooperate, your brain loses track of where you are in the air. You find out where the ground is when you slam into it.

"Well, the twisties are something that you can't get rid of in a day. And especially not on the hard competition equipment. You have to go back into pits and you to make sure that you are going back to the drills safely again," Moceanu explained.

Whether or not Biles can compete in other individual events depends on the severity of the "twisties."

"If she can get ahold of it and she feels like she can feel that air awareness back and she feels her mental game is sharp again, then absolutely she can go back out there for event finals and be the Simone weall know and can perform at the highest levels. It depends on the severity. This is not the first time the twisties have happened to her. It's happened in her training before. So this is something she's dealt with in the past. Now it's just coming out on the grand scale of the Olympic games," Moceanu told Cabrera.