After 28-year drought, U.S. wins back-to-back men’s wheelchair basketball golds

Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games - Day Twelve
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The U.S. men’s wheelchair basketball team went 28 years with no better than a bronze medal at the Paralympic Games and has now won consecutive gold medals on the sport’s biggest stage.

In the penultimate competition to end in Tokyo, the Americans were victorious over the host nation, 64-60, Sunday afternoon.

Japan secured its first men’s medal at the Paralympic Games or world championships in a well-fought final. Great Britain won the bronze-medal game, 68-58, over Spain for its second Paralympic bronze in a row.

Team captain Steve Serio notched 28 points to lead the game in scoring for just the second time this tournament. The New York native, who turns 34 in three days, now owns three medals from his four Paralympic appearances.

Reo Fujimoto opened scoring with a 3-pointer and Japan ran it to 8-0 before Serio got the Americans on the board. The first quarter ended at 18-18.

Jake Williams scored 13 seconds into the second and the Americans continued to improve to 26-20, ending with a 32-27 lead at the half.

Japan eventually gained back control, 41-39 with 3:51 remaining in the third, and held it to close that period at 46-45.

Serio and Trevon Jenifer helped tie it at 50, but Hiroaki Kozai and Renshi Chokai would bring the host’s lead to 56-51. Jenifer, Brian Bell and Williams responded to get ahead with four and a half to go and remained atop through the clock.

The U.S. men have now won 14 Paralympic medals in wheelchair basketball, including at the last three Games. Though they have been successful on that stage as of late, the Americans have not won a world title since 2002.

Leading into the gold-medal game, 36-year-old five-time Paralympian Matt Scott was selected as the U.S. flag bearer for the Closing Ceremony.

The U.S. women ended their Tokyo tournament with bronze on Saturday, defeating Germany 64-51. The Netherlands won its first gold, 50-31 over first-time medalist China.

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U.S. men’s gymnastics team named for world championships

Asher Hong
Allison and John Cheng/USA Gymnastics
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Asher Hong, Colt Walker and world pommel horse champion Stephen Nedoroscik were named to the last three spots on the U.S. men’s gymnastics team for the world championships that start in three weeks.

Brody Malone and Donnell Whittenburg earned the first spots on the team by placing first and second in the all-around at August’s U.S. Championships.

Hong, Walker and Nedoroscik were chosen by a committee after two days of selection camp competition in Colorado Springs this week. Malone and Whittenburg did not compete at the camp.

Hong, 18, will become the youngest U.S. man to compete at worlds since Danell Leyva in 2009. He nearly earned a spot on the team at the U.S. Championships, but erred on his 12th and final routine of that meet to drop from second to third in the all-around. At this week’s camp, Hong had the lowest all-around total of the four men competing on all six apparatuses, but selectors still chose him over Tokyo Olympians Yul Moldauer and Shane Wiskus.

Walker, a Stanford junior, will make his world championships debut. He would have placed second at nationals in August if a bonus system for attempting difficult skills wasn’t in place. With that bonus system not in place at the selection camp, he had the highest all-around total. The bonus system is not used at international meets such as world championships.

Nedoroscik rebounded from missing the Tokyo Olympic team to become the first American to win a world title on pommel horse last fall. Though he is the lone active U.S. male gymnast with a global gold medal, he was in danger of missing this five-man team because of struggles on the horse at the U.S. Championships. Nedoroscik, who does not compete on the other five apparatuses, put up his best horse routine of the season on the last day of the selection camp Wednesday.

Moldauer, who tweeted that he was sick all last week, was named the traveling alternate for worlds in Liverpool, Great Britain. It would be the first time that Moldauer, who was fourth in the all-around at last fall’s worlds, does not compete at worlds since 2015.

Though the U.S. has not made the team podium at an Olympics or worlds since 2014, it is boosted this year by the absence of Olympic champion Russia, whose athletes are banned indefinitely due to the war in Ukraine. In recent years, the U.S. has been among the nations in the second tier behind China, Japan and Russia, including in Tokyo, where the Americans were fifth.

The U.S. women’s world team of five will be announced after a selection camp in two weeks. Tokyo Olympians Jade Carey and Jordan Chiles are in contention.

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Paris 2024 Olympic marathon route unveiled

Paris 2024 Olympic Marathon
Paris 2024
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The 2024 Olympic marathon route will take runners from Paris to Versailles and back.

The route announcement was made on the 233rd anniversary of one of the early, significant events of the French Revolution: the Women’s March on Versailles — “to pay tribute to the thousands of women who started their march at city hall to Versailles to take up their grievances to the king and ask for bread,” Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet said.

Last December, organizers announced the marathons will start at Hôtel de Ville (city hall, opposite Notre-Dame off the Seine River) and end at Les Invalides, a complex of museums and monuments one mile southeast of the Eiffel Tower.

On Wednesday, the rest of the route was unveiled — traversing the banks of the Seine west to the Palace of Versailles and then back east, passing the Eiffel Tower before the finish.

The men’s and women’s marathons will be on the last two days of the Games at 8 a.m. local time (2 a.m. ET). It will be the first time that the women’s marathon is held on the last day of the Games after the men’s marathon traditionally occupied that slot.

A mass public marathon will also be held on the Olympic marathon route. The date has not been announced.

The full list of highlights among the marathon course:

• Hôtel de ville de Paris (start)
• Bourse de commerce
• Palais Brongniart
• Opéra Garnier
• Place Vendôme
• Jardin des Tuileries
• The Louvre
• Place de la Concorde
• The bridges of Paris
(Pont de l’Alma; Alexandre III;
Iéna; and more)
• Grand Palais
• Palais de Tokyo
• Jardins du Trocadéro
• Maison de la Radio
• Manufacture et Musées
nationaux de Sèvres
• Forêt domaniale
des Fausses-Reposes
• Monuments Pershing –
Lafayette
• Château de Versailles
• Forêt domaniale de Meudon
• Parc André Citroën
• Eiffel Tower
• Musée Rodin
• Esplanade des Invalides (finish)

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